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My trip at the end of October took me out to visit relatives on my maternal side of the family. My uncle has an orchard and sent me back with a big bag of apples (among other veggies, I may or may not have had to acquire another bag in order to lug all of my foodstuffs on the plane! :D) that I have happily been munching through. However, I decided that such special fruit needed to be used for more exciting purposes than snacks and oatmeal add-ins, which is when I came up with the glorious plan of making apple caramel bars.

Think a peanut butter oatmeal crust topped with a delicious spiced caramel apple mixture. Oh it was a glorious fall treat in my minds eye, alas, in real life I had some issues. I made a peanut butter oatmeal cookie-like dough, pressed it into the bottom of an 8×8″ pan and cooked it up for about 20 minutes until it was browned. In the meantime I thinly sliced up three of the gifted apples, tossed them with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice, and got to work on the caramel. I used the caramel recipe from Ricki’s Sweet Freedom cookbook . It was this step where I started to run into trouble. I don’t have a candy thermometer (well, that’s a lie, I found out post baking adventure that our household actually does have one, but for the purpose of the story, no candy thermometer) but figured I could go by her description of the consistency and the times listed just fine. Once my caramel got to that stage, I wanted to pour it over the apples that were spread on top of the crust, unfortunately my timing was poor and the crust wasn’t ready yet. When all parts were finally ready the caramel was past the pouring stage so I kind of spooned globs over the apples and hoped for the best, despite the fact that the bit I had nibbled off the spoon hardened in my mouth rather quickly. Fortunately after another stint in the oven, the caramel did soften up a bit more, though not enough to spread around and glue all the apples onto the crust. Anyways, after all that it was pretty darn tasty, although not the most photogenic (see below). I would like to give it another go because I think in theory it is quite a workable recipe, but I am giving it a bit of a rest for now. Let me know if any of you give it a try, or have a similar recipe. 🙂

-K

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So, the month of October is fast approaching, and I am so excited to be part of this year’s Vegan MoFo. Since both K and I update this blog, we’ll be alternating days of posting. Sound good?

Ok, now some other business I need to attend to:

First, Katie of ChocolateCoveredKatie is having yet another giveaway, (this time for AmazingGrass bars), so head on over and make sure you enter! Thanks Katie! 🙂

Second, it’s almost officially fall! I hope you’re all avoiding any seasonal colds! I’ve been taking advantage of the slightly cooler weather to eat bowls of what I’ll call ‘liquid anti-cold’. IMG_1643This was chickpea/collard/sweet potato soup in a miso-kombu broth, with plenty of onions, garlic, and ginger. So tasty! Ok, question: any suggestions for what to do with rehydrated kombu? The texture of it plain is a little too um, seaweed-y for my liking, and I’m not really sure how I can use it up!

Followed by some seasonal dessert, inspired by Averie of Love Veggies, Yoga, Running, and Chocolate: a raw-ish apple crumble! Unforuantely, this picture doesn’t show that the vast majority of the crumble is under the apples. I used a date/pecan/cinnamon/agave/quinoa flake (not raw!) mixture, added chopped apples tossed with more cinnamon, and finished it all off with a splash of maple syrup (also not raw!).

IMG_1657

Mmm!

-Eve

This recipe is from my mom, who says she got it from the Dutch neighbours that lived next door in the tiny Quebec logging town she grew up in. Given that, I feel confident enough posting it here – but if you recognize it as your family recipe, let me know! This is reasonably simple to put together, but is fancy enough to make for guests. It’s also delicious – the running joke in my family was that we had no idea how well this lasted, since there were never leftovers past the next day’s breakfast.

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Dutch Apple Cake

Preheat oven to 425F and grease a pizza pan.
Prepare the apple slices first:
-Peel and core 4 large apples (I like Braeburn, but my mom always used McIntosh), and slice them into medium-thin slices. Each apple should yield around 14 slices. Toss with a dash of lemon juice and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine:
-1 ener-g egg replacer, prepared as per package instructions (1 1/2 tsp. powder whisked with 2 tbsp water)
-2/3 c. non-dairy milk
Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, measure:
-1 1/2 c. a.p. flour
-2 tsp. baking powder
-pinch salt
Combine these, and then add:
-1/4 c. COLD non-dairy butter
With two knives or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until well combined – until it resembles sand, with no lumps of butter.
Quickly add the egg replacer/milk liquid to the flour/butter bowl, and stir until just combined- don’t overmix! It will be quite moist. Scoop the batter/dough onto the greased  pizza pan, and use floured hands to press it into the pan. Cover with the apple slices (start at the outside of the pan, and work in!) and bake at 425 for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine:
-1/4 c. room temperature non-dairy butter
-1/2 c. brown sugar
-1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
-1/2 tsp. nutmeg
It will resemble a thick paste.

When the 25 minutes are up, remove pie and turn the oven down to 350F. Spoon the butter/sugar/spice paste over the hot pie, and spread it around so that everything is evenly glazed. Return to the 350 degree oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. If the edges look like they might burn before everything else cooks, cover them with a tin foil edging.
This is wonderful served warm with a scoop of vanilla non-dairy ice cream, but I strongly encourage everyone to try at least a sliver of this, served cold, for breakfast the next day!

-E