Well, you know I love the apples, and I have discovered a new favorite No, it's not the much touted Honeycrisp, which apparently was developed at the University of Minnesota. Certainly I'll eat them when fresh and local, but I don't think they are worth the hype. Their crisp and juiciness are ideal, but the initial bite fades into one-dimensional simplicity. Maybe they're all the rage because they're good keepers? Good for farmers? Anyhow, I digress...the favorite is the Chestnut Crabapple. We all love them. Small, red, crunchy, tart with a hint of banana sweet at the end.
Yum. Confession. I thought they'd make adorable caramel apples. I've now been to two trips to the local HyVee for bags of MilkMaid caramels for a shortcut. The bags even came with sticks. Well, the secret stash was a great boon to my editing work over the past week, but not a single caramel made it onto an apple. And now I don't even have such a craving for the treat. (Good thing our local orchard provides them when we go picking, so the children are not deprived of the taste treat!)
And the apples in yesterdays frangipane tart were Bramley's. An incredible baking apple that the apple dude at the Farmer's Market insisted I try. Once we got to talking Belle de Boskoops, Ashmead's Colonel and Cox Orange Pippin, he knew I was serious, and he's let us in on the local secrets now. And since you asked, frangipane is generally an almond filling, though in this case I made a crust with almond meal.