The September 2010 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by John of Eat4Fun. John chose to challenge The Daring Cooks to learn about food preservation, mainly in the form of canning and freezing. He challenged everyone to make a recipe and preserve it. John’s source for food preservation information was from The National Center for Home Food Preservation.
John provided us with a recipe for apple butter, madly (in my view) using some sugar substitute rather than sugar. I ignored that, using sugar, but was intrigued by apple butter and followed through on it. Turns out that it is tremendously easy. I bought a 2kg bag of apples, cored them, didn’t bother peeling them, into a pot with a half cup of sugar and a good squeeze of lime juice, and simply cooked them down through being stewed apples until they were falling to pieces. Then I took a stick blender and transformed the whole into apple sauce. This I kept cooking for maybe 2 hours on a low temperature, until the liquid content had reduced to practically nothing, and the remaining butter held its shape when scooped out onto a plate. Delicious, and oh so easy. Oh, and then i froze some, to fulfill the challenge requirements.
|The apple butter|
|Apple butter bagged and ready to freeze|
Of course, with all this delicious apple butter on hand, I needed to do something more than just eat it, good as that was. So I decided to finally get around to using the filo pastry I had sitting in the fridge. I made… things. Not entirely sure what they are called, I imagine it is Turkish or pseudo-Turkish in origin. A baked semolina custard, cut into rectangles, topped in apple butter, wrapped in filo and baked. Looks like this:
|Semolina Apple Butter Pastry|
So, to make the semolina custard, I took a third of a cup of semolina and 2 cups of milk, quarter cup of sugar. Made that into semolina by heating the milk to just below boiling, whisking in semolina and sugar, and stirring it until thick. Took it off the heat, mixed through 2 eggs, a bit more sugar, and 30gm of butter, and transferred it to an oven dish. Baked the resulting slurry until it firmed (about 80 minutes at 180c), and took it out to cool.
Having cooled, i cut it into fingerish sized rectangles. Each rectangle I placed on a butter brushed sheet of filo, topped with a spoon of apple butter, and then rolled into a tube shape. (Fold each short edge over the centre, roll up along the long axis of the pastry sheet). Brushed the remaining with butter and baked until golden.