October 21, 2010

proof whisky, Apples to Apples Vol. 3

"The sweeter the apple, the blacker the core. Scratch a lover and find a foe!" – Dorothy Parker
Flower of this purple dye, Hit with Cupid’s archery, Sink in apple of his eye... – Shakespeare, A midsummer Night’s Dream
Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. – Martin Luther

Welcome back to ‘the proof is in’. We hope that you had a fabulous weekend.

From the beginning apples have been associated with temptation, love, beauty, luck, health, pleasure, wisdom, sensuality, sexuality, virility and fertility. Stories and traditions about man's origins connect him to a garden of paradise filled with fruit trees. Apples are today recognized for their nutritional benefits, sustainability and versatility. For this, we give praise to the apple. If you want to learn more about our brands, visit www.proofbrands.com.

Today, we introduce you to our absolutely favourite autumnal (and wintry) Thursty Thursday Cocktail, The Apple Crisp. This sweet, buttery drink can be served warm or cold. Either way, it is dangerously delicious, so beware! (and enjoy ;) )

The Apple Crisp
Cocktail size
1 oz. proof whisky

1/2 oz. Goldschlager
5 oz. apple cider
To a highball glass filled with ice, add proof whisky, Goldschlager and apple cider.
Garnish drink with cinnamon stick. This cocktail can be served warm as well, just omit
the ice and warm in a heat-resistant mug.
Pitcher or thermos size
8 oz proof whisky
4 oz. Goldschlager
40 oz. apple cider
To a pitcher, add proof whisky, Goldschlager and apple cider. Serve in highballs glasses filled with ice or a heat-resistant mug. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Although you have pretty much missed out on apple-picking season (apart from Mutsu, Fuji and other later varieties), it is never too late to pick up fresh apple cider, butter and baked goods at some of the local orchards. Most orchards have market shops, which are open for longer periods. Here is a link listing a great number of North American Orchards:

If you are a city dweller and prefer to skip the long haul out to the countryside, there are many local establishments baking some fine apple goodies right in your neighbourhood. We may have missed a few little treasures, but these bakeries ARE exceptional:

The Pie Shack
Tim McConvey, owner of The Pie Shack, likes something more than pie – he likes people more than pie. When I rushed in, late yesterday afternoon for one of his last Cinnamon Apple pies, he was waiting for me, with a story (and a coffee). Tim doesn’t only offer an amazingly light, buttery crust – he offers an experience. His natural enthusiasm and warmth is mirrored in his stylishly oh-so-comfy décor. When I asked him if I could order just a slice, he said that he could do anything I want. He said that he just wanted people to sit down and enjoy a piece of pie – simple as that. Visit The Pie Shack for Tim. Sure, the pie is yummy, but the pie man is absolutely delightful. www.thepieshack.ca/

More great pies:
Wandas Pie in the Sky www.wandaspieinthesky.com/
Dufflet's Pastry on Queen www.dufflet.com
Queen of Tarts www.queenoftarts.ca
Altitude Baking 1346 Queen Street East
The Bake Sale on Bloor St. W  www.bakesaletoronto.com

Sweet Tooth Pastry Shop 508 Danforth Avenue
Daniel et Daniel (248 Carlton Street) www.danieletdaniel.ca
Charlottes Food 55 West Beaver Creek Road, Richmond Hill

If your inner domestic God or Goddess is screaming out, why not master a recipe from one of our two favourite ladies.

If you are in for a challenge:
Tarte aux pommes
Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol. 1 - Julia Child

The classic French apple tart consists of a thick, well-flavored applesauce spread in a partially cooked pastry shell. Over it thinly sliced apples are placed in an overlapping design of circles. After baking, it is coated with apricot glaze. (for 8 people) And if you are serious about making this fine dessert, you will have to purchase the book. This recipe can be found on pages 635 through 637.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volumes 1 and 2, are sold at most bookstores for under $40 each. They truly are classics and worth the read. I was lucky enough to get an original copy from my mom.

If you are trying to watch your weight:
Paula Deen Savannah High Apple Pie www.foodnetwork.com

For the Deep Dish Pie Crust:
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups butter-flavored solid shortening (recommended: Crisco)
1 tablespoon salt
3/4 cup cold water

For the Filling:
24 apples, preferably Golden Delicious or Granny Smith, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced*
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon ground 
For the 
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk
4 tablespoons sugar
1 recipe 
Caramel Pecan Topping, recipe follows

*The number of apples depends on the size of the pie. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
For the Deep Dish Pie Crust:
Cut flour into butter-flavored shortening. Add salt and stir in enough water to make stiff dough. Knead slightly together. Chill dough before using.
Use 1/3 of pie dough for bottom crust. Roll bottom crust. Lay in pie pan.
For the filling:
Combine apples, flour, sugar, and cinnamon and mix lightly with spatula
For the streusel: In a small bowl combine together butter, brown sugar, flour, pecans and cinnamon. Layer this mix every so often between apples. Using stainless bowl, begin layering apples slice by slice, slightly overlapping starting at the outside circle of the bowl and working towards the center. Push firmly as the layers build. Round off top layer of apple slices when you reach the top. Put a single layer of sliced apples in the bottom crust. Take the pie pan with the bottom crust in left hand and the stainless bowl of sliced apples in right hand and invert. Put finger tips under edge of bowl to release the air and gently lift off. Press and firm apples and straighten. Add slices of apple to take away sharp edges (so as not to puncture the pie dough. Add slices of apples to top of pie to round off. Add 4 tablespoons of butter pats on top of pie. Roll out top crust using remaining pie dough. Gently place top crust over the mound of apples. Smooth the sides of pie crust towards bottom of pie pulling out on extra crust. Pinch down to seal 2 layers together. Crimp pie for first time. Cut extra crust with the back of a sharp knife. Re-crimp the edges and push towards the pie. Brush with milk and sprinkle sugar rubbing your left hand from the bottom up to evenly spread your sugar. Put 5 steam vents with a small knife towards the upper part of the pie. Do not vent at the top as it will cause the pie to split open as it bakes. Bake between 350 to 375 degrees F for 1 hour, 20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let cool for at least 1 hour. Spread warm Caramel Pecan Topping on top of crust beginning at the base of the pie above the fluting and working towards the top.
Serving suggestions:
Drizzle caramel pecan topping with semisweet chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate.
Cook's Note: To add candied pecans to pie recipe, use 2 cups of candied pecans, 1 cup towards the bottom, 1/2 cup towards the middle, and 1/4 cup towards the top.
Caramel Pecan Topping:
2 (12-ounce) cups melted caramel
3 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 1/2 cup chopped pecan pieces
Melt caramels completely in microwave. Add evaporated milk and stir until smooth consistency. Add chopped pecans and stir. Spread over pie starting at base and working in. Yield: topping for 1 pie

Add a dollop of our yummy topping to put either of these delicious desserts over the top (as if they aren’t already):

proof whisky Whipped Cream
1 liquid cup heavy cream, cold
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon proof whisky
In a large mixer bowl, place all the ingredients and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. (Chill the whisk beater alongside the bowl.) Beat the mixture until soft peaks from when the beater is raised or the cream mounds softly when dropped from a spoon. Do not overbeat. (Can be stored refrigerated for 2 to 3 days)

On Sunday, proof served The Warm Apple Crisp at a fundraising event hosted by the Alliance for a Better Georgina (http://bettergeorgina.homestead.com/)
The event, held at the historic home of Captain Isaac May, Lake Simcoe’s storied steamboat captain, included the launch of “The Georgina Book” authored by community residents.

The 100-page-book with over 500 colourful maps and photographs provides a unique historical and environmental overview of Lake Simcoe and the Town of Georgina, reflects what people treasure most about their diverse communities, and gives young people a forum in their own chapter.  By gathering stories and information and assembling a unique record of the area’s assets, the book’s creators hope to illuminate the vision of their home as a wonderful place to live and work. The communities represented are Keswick, the Historic Lakeshore Communities, Sutton, Jackson’s Point, Georgina Island and nearby mainland,  Pefferlaw, Udora,  Belhaven and Baldwin. 
Proceeds from the book, priced at $19.95, will further the work of the not-for-profit Alliance for a Better Georgina also celebrating its 10th year in 2010.

Among the festivities at the launch were the young Queensville Players dressed as famous old-time Lake Simcoe characters, and locally-inspired hors d’oeuvres prepared by chef Neil Noseworthy, owner of Taste Worthy Cuisine in Jacksons Point, Ontario. www.tasteworthycuisine.com
Chef Neil created these savoury sweet potato tarts for the event.

The Proof is in the Sweet potato pudding
4 cups of cooked sweet potato mashed, either roasted and skinned or boiled and skinned be careful no to add water to potato as it will thin the mixture.
2oz of proof whisky flamed and reduced 50% to 1oz of whisky
4oz of Cream cheese
2 tbsp of brown sugar
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Nutmeg
Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
Puree all ingredients together or whip with hand mixer or blender. (mixture should be thick) Add to a piping bag and pipe into tart, pie shell or casserole dish. Garnish with a sprinkle of brown sugar or toasted pecan.

The organic apple cider used in “The Apple Crisp” was purchased at Pegg's Orchard located on Old Homestead Road in Keswick.http://www.homesteadorchards.com/

Don’t forget to visit us tomorrow night at Whisky Live!
Ticket Details - All tickets to be collected at the event
Book your tickets and your order will be available at the door for collection. Bring along your confirmation to the show, we are not posting out the tickets.
Friday 22nd October, VIP Ticket 4pm to 10pm. $95
Including Whisky Live tasting glass, show guide,10 vouchers and food.
On door price $110.
Friday 22nd October, Evening Ticket, 7pm to 10pm. $60
Including Whisky Live tasting glass, show guide, 5 vouchers and food.
On door price $70.
Masterclass tickets $20 (valid with a VIP or Evening ticket)

Weekend Weather:
Saturday, October 23rd – Variable cloudiness and a high of 16 degrees
Sunday, October 24th – Cloudy with showers and a high of 15 degrees.

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