At last. The Holidays are beginning to become a part of wintertime memory. The treats and candy and excessive savories are a thing of the past. The refrigerator is beginning to look normal again. I am slowly going through the last of the special food gifts received - gorgeous blue cheese that graced a creamy sauce atop venison steaks, roasted and salted almonds that were part of a Gouda cheese, prosciutto and fig jam cheese board, lovely chocolates that came from Beacon Hill Chocolates.
It's time to go back to basics. That's not to say that we must not have a sweet dessert until Easter, though! It just means that I will be rustling about in the stores and using up things that were stockpiled for the holiday baking and cooking and need to be used before I go through a 're-stocking period'.
Take this little galette, for instance. What could be simpler? A simple pie crust, five Cortland apples that are on the cusp of becoming too soft, the last of a bag of walnuts, the last of a bag of golden sultanas, some left over mulled cider that was strained and saved in a jar on the cold back porch, a healthy dash of Calvados brandy, a sorry-looking half lemon that was just fine for juicing, the last few tablespoons of brown sugar in a gnarly-looking bag from the pantry cupboard, and a beat up cube of cold butter that was rattling around at the back of the butter bin in the fridge door.
These items and a slow and playful attitude became a fun hour in the kitchen this morning. My nephew has been visiting for the last few days and was popping back and forth between the piano and the cook island to check out my kitchen ramblings. The pears that I originally meant to use got ditched, as they were just too far gone. I played with arranging the apples on a bed of toasted walnuts. We commiserated over the flavours in a sauce of sultanas, brown sugar, butter, Calvados, and cider, sticking our fingers in the hot sauce and testing the minimal sweetness. I compromised and added just a pinch of cinnamon and brown sugar to the apples and lemon juice before loading them onto the crust and nuts.
The mound of apples grew higher and rounder and we debated whether they would stay put or gush out over the edges of the crust. We decided to put half the sultana sauce over top and reserve some for the last few minutes of baking.
And then, it was ready to go into the oven ... a pretty little galette made with the dregs of the leftovers and yet, a wonderful little bit of kitchen craft. What are you making with your kitchen bits and pieces?
Open your fridge door and pantry cupboards, pull out a few choice ingredients, and putter your way to a fun wintertime creation! Isn't it such fun to cook and bake ?!? Happy New Year!
Our galette baked beautifully and was run under the broiler at the last minute with the last of that sultana and cider sauce. The apples and raisins were just such a pretty brown and crisped just a bit. Oh man, I even have some left over heavy cream for whipping ... what a nice little dessert for dinner this evening!