Apple of my Eye

Today, I want to tell you about an apple for the teacher's Live, Love, Teach quilt and an apple dessert. First, an apple for the teacher. I finished Block #33, Amber and Zane's block. Here is their original block submission:

And here it is rendered in fabric and floss.

This one ended up being a lot more stitching than it appeared originally. Straighten out all those concentric circles, and you end up with miles of stitching. In the same way a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, I just kept stitching and stitching and stitching, and it was finished in two sittings. 

The second apple I want to tell you about is this Baked Apple Roses dessert. Oh my. This was delicious, and super simple. You'll want to run out and get yourself some frozen puff pastry just so you can amaze your friends. They'll think you've spent all day creating them, but it's so easy to do.

I've linked to the recipe up there above the image, and I was all set to do a tutorial for you, but then I found a video online that shows you exactly how to make them. In the video, he uses some experimental biscuit dough he's made earlier, but I used the frozen puff pastry. It's widely available in the freezer section of your grocery store, and comes two sheets to a box like this:

Be sure you get the "sheets" and not the shells. I wish these came individually wrapped, but like so many things in life, no one consulted me. Often I've considered what a better place the world could be if others would regularly consult me, but apparently it isn't meant to be. So sorry. Anyway...you can make this a dessert for four, but if you only want to make two, just wrap the unused sheet up tightly in some plastic wrap and stick it back in the freezer. You'll want to thaw the other one for 30-40 minutes at room temperature before making your apple roses.

So here's the video that shows you how to do it. Watch and learn. If you can't see the video, click right here.

I used a Braeburn apple and a LOT more cinnamon sugar in mine because, as you already know, I'm a sugar fiend. He's not kidding about getting the apples soft, but not mushy. You want them to be nicely pliable. Also, I had a little trouble with the finished roses sticking to the ramekins when I tried to take them out. They were stuck on the bottom as well as the sides, and so I carefully pried them out with a fork. I'm going to try this again today using the remaining puff pastry sheet, but this time, I think I'll skip the step at the beginning where you sprinkle sugar inside the ramekin and try it with just a good coating of plain butter. 

When we were ready for dessert last night, we dusted them with powdered sugar and served them up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yum. It's good that I didn't make all four yesterday because I feel fairly certain we would have eaten them all in one sitting. Finally, I like desserts a la mode warmed up just a little, and so I gave mine a 15-second shot in the microwave before adding the ice cream. Did I already say Yum? Well, Yum...just in case I forgot.

Also yesterday, I made another batch of the green tomato salsa. This is so good. As I said in a previous post, I've not always been happy with the flavor of green tomato stuff, but with this recipe, I've hit on a way to use the green guys. One of these was actually turning sort of orangy-red, but I showed it no mercy. It was chopped up and boiled down with the rest of its greener friends.

I didn't post the recipe last time I made this, but I'm going to give it to you now. The last time around, I thought it needed a little more heat. This time, I added more cayenne and it's nicely spicy now. Enough heat that your taste buds will howl, but not so hot it'll knock your head off. So here you go:

Green Tomato Salsa
Adapted from Marisa McClellan's Preserving by the Pint
Yield: 3-4 half pint jars

2 Pounds Firm Green Tomatoes
1 Cup Chopped Yellow Onion (about 1 Small Onion)
1/2 Cup (more or less) Seeded and Chopped Poblano Pepper (about 1 Small Pepper)
1/4 Cup Bottled Lime Juice
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
3 Cloves Garlic -- minced
1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 Teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper -- may be adjusted to taste up to a total of 1 teaspoon per batch

Prepare a boiling water bath and 4 half-pint jars according to manufacturer's directions.

Core and roughly chop the tomatoes and place them in a medium-heavy-bottomed pot along with the onion, pepper, lime juice, sugar, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil and lower the temperature to medium-high. Cook at a simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the salsa has reduced by about one quarter and looks considerably less watery.

When the time is up, remove the pot from the heat and taste the salsa, adjusting the salt and heat levels as necessary. For hotter salsa, you can add up to 1 teaspoon of cayenne. Funnel the salsa into the prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes (add 5 minutes of time for every 1,000 feet of elevation).

By the way, this makes a small enough batch that you could skip the processing altogether. Just put it in some kind of container and stick it in your refrigerator. It'll be good for at least a couple of months. It's good served with chips or any other way you use salsa, but I especially like it on eggs.

Today I'm going to get to work on the blocks I mentioned in yesterday's post. It was a pretty sunrise this morning, but it's clouded over and looking like rain now. Good quilting weather.

10 comments from clever and witty friends:

Teresa in Music City said...

Love those baked apple roses!!! The guy doing the tutorial kinda got on my nerves (excessively chipper people often do!), but it looks like something I could do. I'm wondering how hard it would be to make a dozen instead of two.... what size do they finish up to be? Would a normal muffin pan be big enough? It would be perfect for my book club group when it's my turn to serve dessert. Thanks for sharing :*)

Barbara said...

It would not be at all hard to make a dozen. If you roll your sheets of puff pastry out carefully, you could easily get three from one sheet. That means each box of puff pastry could make six. Two boxes of puff pastry and you've got enough for a dozen. I used a whole apple for two, but I had apple left over, so you'd probably only need 4-5 apples depending on how large they are. You could lay the apples out before rolling them up to make sure you had them divided up evenly. And, yes, I think a regular size muffin pan would work fine. You could even use the paper muffin cups to prevent them from sticking, and they would still be pretty

WoolenSails said...

That is a wonderful stitchery and fun pattern.
Those apples do look delicious, I wish I could eat things like that.


gayle said...

The stitched block is wonderful!
And thanks for the recipes - both look terrific. I've noted them down and hope to try them soon!

BillieBee (billiemick) said...


Dana Gaffney said...

The apple roses look delicious, I have to agree with Teresa though the guy on the video got on my nerves.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Both my daughter and SIL made these for deserts for a get together - and said they were easy to make and were a big hit, too. Oh, and yes, the block looks wonderful!

Lynette said...

I definitely have to try out those apple roses.

quiltzyx said...

Do you think that maybe Amber Zane is just one person's first & last names? Cute block.
The Baked Apple Roses do look easy enough to do. I'm with you on the cinnamon sugar too!

Kate said...

The owls look great. Those apple roses look yummy. Now I'm hungry!