Rustic Apple Cranberry Galette

Many of us enjoy baking throughout the year but it seems like when the weather gets colder, baking in the kitchen takes on a whole new meaning. Tea brewing, music playing…making the kitchen is one of the coziest places in the house. Using fresh local apples and cranberries, this week I’ll show you how to make a super easy, positively delicious galette!

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A galette is a rustic country pie. No pie plate, no attention to fancy crust or fluted edges. Filling can be whatever you like, sweet or savory. The key is to not overwhelm the crust with filling. Let’s get started!

Ingredients 

  • 1 recipe of pie dough, top and bottom crusts, homemade or store bought
  • 4 apples, Cortland, Macoun or any other baking apples available
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup whole cranberries
  • raw sugar
  • 1 egg

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.

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Parchment paper on the pans.

Peel, core and slice apples. In a bowl coat apple slices with the sugar, spices and flour. Stir and set aside.

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Apples.

Divide dough into four pieces. Form them into round discs. Dust surface with additional flour. Roll out one at a time into approximately 9” circles.

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Rolling out the dough.

Move dough onto the pans. Arrange apple slices in a pinwheel fashion in the center of each crust.

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Arrange the apples.

Scatter the cranberries in top of the apples. Fold the edges of the crust over to make a rim.

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Add cranberries and fold the edges.

Whisk the egg and brush it gently on top of the crust.

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Egg wash.

Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown. Move to a wire rack to cool.

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Golden brown.

Serve warm or cold. Especially good with rich vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce!

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For such a simple dessert it makes quite an elegant presentation!

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With garden chores wrapping up, there is more time for catching up on indoor things. The trees are bare, all but a few copper-colored oak and beech leaves. Bright red winter berries are everywhere. Beau has been cutting more teeth so you can imagine how that’s going! Until, next time, happy baking!

Hilary|Everlongardener

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup!

Believe it or not, I had a few requests for the roasted tomato basil soup that I mentioned in last weeks blog post, What Will I Do With All These Tomatoes? I’ve been trying to eat all of our tomatoes and I think I’m finally at the point where I’m keeping up. Cooler fall temps have slowed down the ripening process and now my green tomatoes outweigh my ripened ones by far. But if you are still drowning in ripe tomatoes or you’ve picked up some from a local farm, here’s another delicious recipe for you to try!

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Pretty much any tomatoes that you might have available will work for this tasty soup. I used a combination of colors, shapes and sizes for my soup. Since I grow a wide variety of tomatoes, it’s hard to say what I will have on hand each week. This soup is packed with flavor and is suitable for a wide range of diets. It is by no means an ordinary tomato soup! All of these measurements are approximate, so you can’t mess it up. Use what you have and improvise if you like.

Ingredients

  • 10 medium sized tomatoes
  • 20 small or cherry sized tomatoes
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • thyme, marjoram or oregano
  • salt and pepper
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Cover the entire pan with tomatoes.

Instructions

Anyone can make this soup. With simple methods and fresh produce, you will be no more than an hour or so away from a hot meal. Set oven for 375 -400F. Wash all of the tomatoes. Cut small tomatoes in half and medium ones tomatoes into 4-8 pieces. Position them on two cookie sheets face up.

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Sprinkle with basil and your choice of herbs.

Sprinkle basil leaves and your choice of garden herbs over the trays of tomatoes.

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Time for the garlic!

Remove the outer papery covering from the garlic cloves. Place them with the tomatoes whole, no chopping required. Then drizzle with olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.

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Looks good already.

Roast pans of tomatoes for about an hour.

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Look at that luscious tomato stuff!

Allow pans to cool for a few minutes. With a spatula, put the tomatoes into your blender or food processor. You will now have to resist the temptation of eating the entire pan of roasted tomatoes. Notice how the olive oil and tomato juice settles into an ooey, gooey liquid.

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Scrape that pan!

Blend cooked ingredients until smooth. At this point you can thin the soup without water or chicken stock. I left it thick for a really satisfying fall meal.

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Blend it up!

To serve, pour into bowls and top with grated Parmesan cheese. Try serving with crusty bread or a sandwich. This soup would also go well with a big salad for lunch. It comes out so thick that you could even serve it over pasta! This recipe will make about 4 cups of soup.

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Hot and healthy tomato soup!

There are many roasted tomato soup recipes out there. I just used what’s I had from the garden. Why not try mixing up different types of tomatoes or choose the herbs that you happen to love. The combinations are endless!

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Just look at that melted cheese!

There’s nothing like using fresh produce in the kitchen! Whether you grow your own food or get seasonal vegetables from a local farm, you can use your imagination with your family’s weekly menu! Garden cleanup has begun for most of us around here. The crunchy leaves are falling, the ticks are out and the squirrels are on the move. Beau has been eagerly helping with garden cleanup. He’s really good at pulling plants out of the ground and digging big holes! I always wanted an assistant! Enjoy your week everyone!

Hilary|Everlongardener

For more articles to boost yourself into fall mode, try Build Up Your Soil This Fall, Wonderful Winter Squash and Fall Cleanup Tips all right here on Everlongardener!

What Will I Do With All These Tomatoes?

They all seem to come at once and by the time the tomatoes start to ripen, they just keep coming! Small ones, large ones and crazy colored ones. Traditional types and unique varieties. The tomato harvest is upon us and there’s no turning back now. What will you do with all these tomatoes? Leave them on your neighbors porch? Let them rot on the windowsill? I don’t think so. Let’s get in the kitchen and use those tomatoes!

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Canning and Freezing

One of the best ways to preserve your tomato harvest is canning. From spicy salsa to sauce, relish to tomato jam, there are endless ideas for creating winter pantry delights. Bottle your own tomato juice, soup or Bloody Mary mix. Can stewed tomatoes for future winter soup and chili recipes. Your local Extension office website is a good source for canning guidelines.

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Use those tomatoes!

If you are like most of us though, there is very little time for the whole canning process. Chopped or whole tomatoes can be frozen in freezer bags. Homemade sauce can be frozen in containers. For more information on preserving tomatoes in the freezer, go check out my post Quick Food Preservation Tips. This article has time saving ideas for tomatoes, herbs and refrigerator pickles.

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Place tomatoes in zipper bag to freeze.

Get Creative in the Kitchen 

It may feel like you need to cram tomatoes into every meal of the day to eat them all. I too have been eating so many that my mouth is getting sores! I like to slice tomatoes for sandwiches, cold ones or in hot grilled cheese sandwiches. Some of us could eat this every day for lunch. So many combinations. Cucumbers, ricotta, cheddar cheese…BLT’s! They are all so good this time of year.

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A simple Caprese salad.

Salads present countless opportunities for the addition of fresh tomatoes. Smaller cherry tomatoes add so much flavor to a garden salad. Chop them into a bowl and add chunks of mozzarella, basil, balsamic vinegar and olive oil for a scrumptious salad that everyone will love. Comfort food like bruschetta can be a light and speedy summer supper.

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Roasted tomato soup.

Winter isn’t the only time for soup! Try preparing a fresh tomato chili or garden veggie soup. This week someone was suggesting roasting the tomatoes with herbs and olive oil. When the tomatoes are finished, put everything into the blended for a thick and savory roasted tomato soup. I tried my hand at it and it’s wonderful! I may have to do a recipe post for all of you in a few days!

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A bountiful harvest!

How about using all these tomatoes in the form of a pie? A light frittata or a flavorful quiche? A tomato pie, tart or a colorful heirloom tomato galette? This can elevate the tomato to center stage instead of just an addition to a salad. Fresh tomatoes of any size are so  wonderful on homemade pizza. Either use them for a topping or slice them to use instead of sauce. Mix up the cheese for all kinds of different flavors. Feta, cheddar, goat cheese…all of this tomato talk is definitely making me very hungry. Do you have any ideas yet?

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They just keep coming!

While canning tomatoes is a fantastic way to preserve them, it doesn’t take much time to add them to your weekly menu this time of year. There are endless recipes out there if you just look. From snacking to meals, it’s not hard to figure out what to do with all of these tomatoes! For some fabulous garden to table recipes try The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook. Full of gardening advice along with recipes for everything that may come from the garden.

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A variety of beautiful tomatoes.

This week has been a hot one! Feels a little unusual for late September but we’ll take it. With no major frosts in our zone 5b area, the garden has been able to keep going. It sure has been easy to pretend it’s still in the middle of summer! The leaves have begun to change to their golds and reds so fall is coming for sure. We had a chance to visit the Common Ground Country Fair last weekend. I have to say that I didn’t get to see nearly enough. When you bring a little boy it’s all about the farm animals and sheepdog demos! No gardening talks for me! Oh well…maybe next year! Thanks for joining me this week and use those tomatoes! Hey, and don’t forget forget to subscribe in the sidebar for more great fall posts!

Hilary|Everlongardener

 

Garden Harvest 4 Bean Salad

Summertime and the living is beany! I know, I’m so corny that I make classic songs into lame gardening jokes! Maybe I’ll just stick to gardening. If you have a garden of any size and you grow green beans, you know how huge the garden harvests can be all at once. Sure, you can freeze or can them but how about eating your fill of them in fresh dishes? This week I’m sharing my Garden Harvest 4-bean salad recipe, filled with garden fresh veggies and lots of flavor.

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Ingredients List

  • 1 cup green beans
  • 1 cup wax or yellow beans
  • 15 oz. cooked kidney beans
  • 15 oz. cooked black beans
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped dill
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2-3 tbsp. sugar or preferred sweetener, optional
  • 1/2 tsp. each dry mustard, celery seed, crushed red chili flakes
  • salt and pepper to tastewww.everlongardener.com

Directions For the Salad 

Assemble all of the ingredients to make the salad. If you are using canned kidney and black beans, drain and rinse them.

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Peppers and onions.

Snap the beans and cut into 1 1/2″ pieces.

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Snap the beans.

Place the beans in a saucepan and put in enough water to cover the beans. Cook over high heat and boil for 2 minutes. Immediately drain beans to prevent overcooking. You can even shock them with cold water. We don’t want mushy beans!

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Steamy beans.
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Cooked beans.

In a large bowl, mix all beans together. Add onions and peppers.

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Add peppers and onions.

In a small bowl, make the dressing. Whisk all wet ingredients and spices together.

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Whisk the dressing.

Pour over bean salad and completely combine.

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Pour dressing over beans.

Cover bowl and place in the refrigerator. Allow to sit for at least 4 hours or overnight. The Garden Harvest 4 Bean Salad keeps for days and gets better the longer it marinates.

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Tucked into the fridge!

This salad makes a wonderful side dish to bring to gatherings, an addition to your lunch or eaten as a snack. 4 bean salad is a fantastic lunch on the go.

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Beautiful salad!

Packed with tons of tangy flavor, hearty beans and the freshness of summer, you’ll want to make this again and again. It’s inspired by traditional bean salads and my friends pickled dilly beans that we grew up eating. There’s nothing like garden fresh produce to help inspire all of us in the kitchen. I make this in winter if any decent looking beans are a available. Mix up the type of beans that our use to your liking. The kidney and black bean combo is my fave but you can use whatever you like or have on hand. If you would like to start growing beans, get some tips in the post Green Beans. They are one of the easiest veggies to grow!

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Great bean flavor!

This week in the garden we’ve received just a bit of rain to soothe the very thirsty ground. We could definitely use more. The cucumbers are finally beginning to produce and salad green seeds are in the ground for future cool weather harvests. Tomatoes are ripening like crazy. The new pup has been attacking my hosta plants and the low branches of the hydrangeas. This too shall pass! I forgot what it was like to have a baby in the house! Have a great gardening week everyone!

Hilary|Everlongardener

 

Refreshing Strawberry Watermelon Granita

Summer is here and so are the watermelons! Every barbecue and picnic would not be complete without watermelon. Remember those huge watermelons that used to be in the stores? Did you have watermelon seed spitting contests with all of your siblings and cousins? I bet you did! Everyone’s faces were covered in pink, sticky liquid. You probably miss that. Right now watermelons are in those giant bins at grocery stores but they will soon be available from local farms or maybe even your own home garden. These smaller varieties we see now are perfect for just two people. There’s more to watermelon than just cutting it up and serving. With a little creativity, you can serve watermelon in many other ways.

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One of my family members cannot have dairy products so I’ve been cooking most of our food dairy-free for about 2 years. It has now become a way of life. The other day I had a quantity of watermelon that I wanted to do something with. The idea for a refreshing granita popped into my head. What is a granita? A granita is a unique Italian dessert usually made from sugar, water and flavoring.

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Juicy watermelon!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of watermelon chunks
  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled, fresh or frozen
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 4 tablespoons sugar or preferred sweetener

 

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Put watermelon and strawberries in the blender.

Directions

Assemble ingredients for the granita. If using fresh lime juice, juice the lime. If you are using bottled, measure out equivalent amount. Place watermelon and the strawberries in a blender or food processor. Pour in lime juice and add sweetener. You can make this without sugar but it really kicks the flavors into gear. You could use honey, agave nectar, stevia or coconut sugar. Less or more sweetener can be used to suit your taste.

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Blend all ingredients.

Blend all ingredients until smooth. If you prefer a chunkier granita, stop blending before all of the pieces are pulverized.

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Pour into shallow dish.

Select a shallow dish to pour your mixture into. A glass, oven-safe container is usually a good choice. Pour the slurry into the dish. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a stable spot in your freezer for about 3 hours. Freezers will vary.

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Stir the frozen mixture.

After the time is up, check on your frozen creation. It should not be frozen solid but be somewhat firm. Using a fork, scrape the frozen slush to make the granita. If it seems too firm, just let it sit for a bit until it is workable.

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Serve it up!

After you have scraped up enough granita, spoon the dessert into glasses or pretty dishes. Garnish with mint or lemon balm leaves if you like. This recipe makes 4-5 servings. Keep any remaining granita in the freezer. Mixture will freeze solid, so plan enough time for thawing if you want to serve any left over portions.

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An elegant dessert!

There you have it! One healthy, vegan, gluten free, summertime dessert. It really is very refreshing. Even my pickiest eater loved it and ate every last drop. Try this easy summer recipe, I think you will really love it!

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As beautiful as it is tasty!

The garden has been slowly taking off. The flower beds are blooming right on time but the vegetable garden has been slow. My beets are still in the miniature stage. Chard is also behind. I have to attribute it to the very slow start we had with the weather. I’m continually surprised at the hope that I have for next years garden even when things don’t turn out like I planned this year. The peas are doing well. We eat them while we are tending the garden. I have a pea recipe in mind but they rarely make it to the house! I hope your garden is doing well. Thanks for checking out my recipe post this week here at Everlongardener! I really hope that you give it a try!

Hilary|Everlongardener