February is Apple Month: Make it Fruitful
February 7th, 2012
February is Apple Month and to celebrate BC Tree Fruits hosted a party at Home Tasting Room. BC Tree Fruits is owned by local grower families and provides expertise in promoting, packaging and transporting. Even across provincial borders, most Calgarians will recognize the green leaf sticker with the bold red BC in the centre. It's not quite buying local, but in the
absence of our own Okanagan it will do.
The evening included debate over which apple varietal was the best.
There are more than 8,000 internationally with BC Tree Fruits
specializing in 14. Who knew heated conversation could happen over the Braeburn versus the Nicola. Check out bctree.com for apple tasting notes. The knowledge will make you feel sophisticated while biting into the juicy fruit. I'm partial to the Honeycrisp,
which might have just as much to do with the name as the flavour and
texture. I'm also a fan of the Ambrosia, which is a BC creation and
quickly becoming the most popular of the apples — as a bonus the sweet
snacker browns less quickly when exposed to air, which is good news for
vain apple eaters like myself.
The Apple Month event was also an education in the many ways to prepare the fruit. It may win the award for most versatile fruit with extra points for lasting through the winter.
Put it in a cocktail like this one with sparkling wine, Hennessy and apple juice.
Or in small spoonfuls of apples and beets with marinated cucumber and mozzarella.
Or the classic combo of pork and applesauce.
The best thing about apples how easy a fruit it is. You can throw it in your purse for a quick snack. It stores well and it is an easy addition to plenty of recipes. Spend a few minutes researching the apple's virtues and you too will be wooed by its awesomeness. No wonder both Eve and Snow White were lured by it.
Being the experts that they are, BC Tree Fruits has an online library of apple-centric recipes including my favourite the Apple Pancake Puff. This recipe is one of those dishes that is simple to make, but impresses any guest. It also makes a lovely breakfast in bed for Valentine's Day.
Apple Pancake Puff
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup butter
2 apples, cored, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 cup all purpose flour
1 Tbsp ground flax seed
1 Tbsp white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Celsius. Prepare cake pan by lining with parchment paper or greasing well.
Microwave brown sugar and butter to melt. Pour into bottom of pan.
Arrange apple slices or rings decoratively over the brown sugar mixture.
Whisk egg, milk and oil. In separate bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, flax seed and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix well.
Pour batter carefully over apples.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until slightly golden and cooked through.
Happy Apple Month!