Apple pie is one of the obvious uses for this extravagance, but there is only so much you can take.
Over the past few days, I've been trying to use apples and their byproducts to come up with a good porridge. Today's was just about right. You could reasonably make this with all-local ingredients, except for the cinnamon.
Here is what you need for 1 serving:
- half of an Empire apple: Empire apples are good because they fall apart when cooked. You could also use a Mac apple, but it would be more tart.
- 1/4 cup sweet apple cider: I am talking about the pressed apple cider and not the alcoholic cider
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup uncooked grain cereal: over the past few days, I have used a ground 10-grain cereal made by Bob's Red Mill. Today, I was at the bottom of the bag and mixed 10-grain cereal with Quaker rolled oats (not the quick variety). Essentially, anything that has about a 10-minute cooking time will be OK with this recipe. Something I have not yet tried in this recipe but would probably be great are Oak Manor Farms's Toasted Porridge Oats. They are a farm in SW Ontario but available in the GTA.
- 1 cinnamon stick: only if you like cinnamon with your apple
- maple syrup: readily-available local maple syrup is available all over Ontario
Put the apple cider into a saucepan, bring it to a boil and then add the apple pieces. Simmer (covered) the apple pieces in the cider for 2-3 minutes.
Then, add the water and bring it to a boil. Add the cereal grains and stir briefly to prevent clumping and then reduce to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Stir periodically (every few minutes).
[ Optional (cinnamon): Depending on how cinnamon-y you like your apple to taste (if at all), add the cinnamon stick to the saucepan earlier or later in the cooking process. If you like a strong cinnamon flavour, add the cinnamon stick when you add the oats. If you like a mild flavour, add it about 8 minutes into the 10 minutes simmer time. ]
Once the grains have simmered for 10 minutes, remove from the heat and uncover. Add the maple syrup to taste (for me, this is about 1 tbsp.).
Put it into a bowl, let it cool down a bit and then serve.
I was pretty impressed with this. I think cider is to apples what tomato paste is to tomatoes -- it amplifies the essential flavour.