One of the best parts of moving North to Portlandia has been experiencing the different seasons again. Two long, hard years in the Southern California Desert’s weather monoculture is enough to drive any sane person bat shit crazy. I remember our first Christmas in La Quinta when we piled into our car joyously singing holiday carols as we headed to the local Christmas tree vendor. It was 109 degrees and I was sweating profusely lending the holiday season a slightly less than festive feel. Within five miles of driving home, the tree went from a vibrant green to deathly brown with the needles falling out so quickly it made me wonder if the tree had received the horticulture equivalent of chemotherapy.
The transition from the parched lunar surfaces of the Coachella Valley with it’s faux tropical landscapes to the naturally luscious and abundant greens of Oregon almost went unnoticed because when we arrived it was the height of Summer and Portland was in the throes of a heat wave. For us, the 90 degree weather seemed pleasantly cool and promising as we savored just how beautiful an Oregon Summer can be. When you start thinking smugly how beautiful the weather is, every Oregonian will remind you about Winter’s upcoming rains and near constant greys, something I am actually looking forward to.
Fall’s arrival was heralded in by her beautiful colored hues, crisp nights and cool, damp mornings. We recently camped on Mount Hood and decided to drive back home through what is known as the Fruit Loop, a rural route winding through small towns and picturesque apple and pear orchards just south of the town of Hood River. We stopped at Draper Girls and picked up heirloom apples sweeter and crisper than any apple I had previously eaten. Apples always get me thinking of home baked galettes, caramel apples and beignets.
- 4 Apples, peeled, cored and cut into ½ inch hick slices
- 1 cup Calvados
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 recipe Beignet Batter
- Vegetable Oil to fry in
- Powdered Sugar
- 1 recipe Caramel Sauce
- 1 pint Caramel Ice Cream
- Marinate apple slices in Calvados and Sugar for a few hours, or overnight.
- Dip apple slices in beignet batter and fry at 350 degree till golden brown, about five minutes.
- Be sure to slip slices so they cook evenly.
- Drain on paper towels.
- Dust with copious quantities of powdered sugar, drizzle with caramel sauce and top with a scoop of caramel ice cream.
- Relive your youth with every bite!
- 1.5 cups All Purpose Flour
- ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- 2 Egg Yolks
- ¼ cup Vegetable Oil
- ⅔ bottle Crispin Hard Cider
- 2 Egg Whites
- Mix dry ingredients, reserve.
- Mix egg yolks, oil and cider, reserve.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.
- Whip egg whites and fold in.