Last weekend I had the pleasure of participating in a workshop on apples and conservation. Matt Kaminsky talked about wild apples and grafting as a practice for preserving and multiplying varieties. In addition to sharing a number of apple recipes From this site, my contribution to the workshop was to think about how updating recipes is a form of knowledge preservation and to share this 17th century recipe "Candy pippins to look like l 'amber' from UPenn Ms Codex 252 (120r).
to Candy pippins to look like amber
take big pipins and cut them and drill a hole
through them and put them in a dirt tray
the ouen strow the fine sugar sifted over them, then
sprinkle a little rose water on the suger then
cook them in an ouen lett your ouen be hot as for the manhant
you stop the ouen and let them recast in half
a hoe then take them out of the dish and place
on a lettuce or siue one so let them dry
2 or 3 days then they will look clear like amber
and be finely candied you can keep them all
Made with conservation and storage in mind, this recipe uses sugar, rose water, and heat to transform the tender flesh of apples in season. The instructions ask you to bake your peeled apples in a hot bread oven "as hot as the manhant" or manchet bread. Then they dry for an additional 2-3 days before storage.
Before the workshop, I had explored this recipe with the juicy Arlet apple (a personal favorite). I even tested it as a sliced apple recipe - given the different meanings of 'pare' - but eventually decided that the recipe called for whole baked apples. (Sidenote: Season apple chips with rose water and sugar this fall for a delicious treat.) At the workshop, Matt suggested using a spongier, less juicy variety of apple for this preparation. After consulting the suppliers of Three Springs Fruit Farm in my local market I decided to try the recipe one more time with Jonathan apples.
1½ teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of rose water
Preheat your oven to 350F.
Peel and seed the apples.
Place the apple on a baking sheet. Sprinkle sugar over the apples. Then sprinkle rose water on the apples.
Bake for 1 hour. Let cool completely on a cooling rack.
These apples fall somewhere between a baked apple and a dried, sweet apple. After cooking, and especially after staying a few days after cooking, the apples are a rich golden color.
I ate a hot apple from the oven. It was beautifully sweet and scented with rose water. After two days of sitting it was drier, denser and more deeply fragrant. The smell of rose water had dispersed, but it was even tastier.
If I had to test the recipe again, I could bake it longer or at a hotter temperature to see how much moisture I could get out before resting. I could also add more sugar and rose water to see how much “amber” effect I could create on the outside of the fruit. If you make any changes to the recipe while you're trying it, let me know how it goes!
Whether you regularly whip up Michelin-worthy meals at the drop of a hat or your cooking skills are best described as “fine, ” you can always benefit from the helpful little tricks of others. Here, 14 of our friends’, families’ and coworkers’ most-used cooking tips.
There’s a time and a place to whip out that complicated coq au vin recipe you’ve been dying to try. A dinner party isn’t that time. With a new recipe, you’ll likely be chained to the kitchen the whole time, plus, when you’re trying something for the first time, there’s always the possibility that it could go horribly wrong. When cooking for a group, we always err on the side of tried-and-true crowd-pleasers.
You do hours of prep work on an intricate dish, only to be totally disappointed once you taste the final product. Bummer. Instead of putting in all that effort only to be disappointed, taste while you cook. That way, you’ll realize sooner that the dish isn’t tasting how you’d like it to, and you can make all kinds of last-ditch exercices to save it. This doesn’t just work for bad-to-OK meals. Tasting midway through and realizing how perfect a dash of cayenne or a squirt of lemon juice would be can take a great dinner to legendary status.
Plating pasta means tossing some onto a plate and finishing it with a nice dollop of sauce right on the middle, right ? Wrong. Here’s how to take your carbs to the next level : On the stove there should be two pans, one with pasta and one with sauce. Cook the pasta to al dente and transfer it into the sauce. Then, add a little bit of pasta water ( literally just the starchy water the pasta has been cooking in ), which will help the sauce cling to the pasta while also keeping it the right consistency. Perfection.
In the pursuit of the perfect steak, you have to be OK with your kitchen getting a little smoky. That’s because, to get the mouthwatering sear we’re all after, the meat has to be dry and the pan should be pretty damn close to smoking hot. Trust us, it’s worth a few seconds of a blaring alarm.
Most foods are ruined by too much salt. Steak is different. When it comes to seasoning your meat ( before you cook it ), more is more. Use a generous amount of coarse Kosher salt—more than you think you need. Since most cuts of steak are pretty thick, even though you’re using a lot of salt, it’s still only covering the surface.
This one isn’t too complicated. Whether you’re making avocado toast, pizza, fried rice or a burger, the addition of a fried egg on top will not hurt your feelings. Trust us.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but we’ve definitely found ourselves in a situation where we assumed we knew all of the ingredients that went into chocolate chip cookies only to find out that we had about half the required amount of brown sugar. Ugh. tera avoid a mid-cooking grocery-store trip, read the recipe from front to back—carefully—before you start.
Prepping grains in mass quantities is less about taste than convenience. Rice, quinoa and even oatmeal last about a week in the fridge after being cooked. When we’re prepping any one of those, we double up our measurements and store the leftovers, which are then impossibly easy to use up throughout the week. Too tired to make dinner ? Heat up some leftover rice from the fridge and toss an egg on top ( remember ? ). Couldn’t be simpler.
So you fried up a pound of bacon for an indulgent ( read : delicious ) brunch. Great, just make sure you don’t throw out the grease in the pan. Instead, save it in the refrigerator or freezer ( it technically lasts for up to a year, but should be used sooner than that to take full advantage of its flavor ). Then, anytime you’re cooking something you typically prepare in oil, try cooking it in the bacon grease instead. You’ll never want to eat Brussels sprouts the old way again.
You’ve probably heard that whenever a dish is lacking a little something-something, the best thing to do is toss in some salt. But, we have it on good authority that salt isn’t always the answer. When you’re tasting a dish at the end and you think it needs a little oomph, often it just needs a splash of acid ( like lemon juice ) to round out the flavor.
You know the difference between a paring knife and a fillet knife, but do you know how to take care of them ? Or, more importantly, how to use them ? A set of good knives can be the difference between a stressful cooking experience and a great one. First, practice your knife skills. Look up tutorials on YouTube and practice chopping, slicing and julienne-ing. It’s amazing what you can do with your cook time when your prep time is shortened with solid knife skills. Then, once you’ve got your skills down pat, learn how to take care of your set. No one ever achieved kitchen greatness with a dull chef’s knife.
The key to tender, flavorful barbecue and roasts ? Cooking it on a low temperature for a long time. The same doesn’t go for roasting veggies. For crispy, perfectly cooked butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and more, remember the magic number : 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Any lower, and you risk pulling a pan of blah carrots out of the oven. It might seem high, but to get the nice roasted flavor, you need high heat. And while we’re on the subject, stop crowding your veggies in the pan, which will also make them soggy.
You know how just about every cookie recipe suggests that you chill your dough in the refrigerator for at least a few hours, but oftentimes you don’t listen because you just want cookies now ? ! ( Same. ) Unfortunately, this step actually does make a difference. In addition to limiting how much the dough spreads while baking, chilling your dough intensifies the flavors and produces that perfect chewy, crispy texture we know and love.
It won’t do your breath any favors, but never ( ever ) scrimp on garlic. In fact, we typically double the amount a recipe calls for. Apologies to anyone who was planning on kissing us.