Today we are having a harvest party! Yesterday, we found a small apple orchard five miles from our house and then a pumpkin patch a few more miles down the road. We decided to have a harvest party with all of our goodies!
We carved our very first Jack O’Lantern! I have never done that before. First my husband cut the top open. I had the honor of reaching inside and pulling out the “guts!” Then, my son drew the face on the side of the pumpkin with a pencil and my husband carved out the eyes, nose and mouth. Then, I took the pumpkin seeds and toasted them for a super crunchy and very fresh snack.
My son also wanted jello so we used this Simply Delish brand of vegan jel dessert. I get that it is not the healthiest thing in the world, but my son is 5 and he needs his fix! This is the orange flavor and we used my mother’s 1970’s Tupperware jello mold. Hilarious!
We also made my famous applesauce. This is one of the best things I make – perfectly pure, nothing added. Today’s batch came out light pink. Next, we added apples to our potato pancakes so we had a good reason to eat the applesauce.
And the finale, was that gorgeous apple crostata pictured up top. Inspired by a new vegan friend, I veganized this apple crostata recipe, also known as a galette, from Jessica Seinfeld’s from Do It Delicious. I used vegetable shortening and worked the dough just like the Barefoot Contessa says to.
Note: I forgot to peel the apples. It is probably better to do so. When we ate the crostata right out of the oven it didn’t matter but when we had seconds later, it made a difference.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon vegan sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold Earth Balance vegetable shortening
1/4 cup ice-cold water + as many more tablespoons as needed
3 large apples (I used McIntosh)
3 tablespoons vegan sugar
1 tablespoon flour
A few shakes of cinnamon
1 tablespoon apricot preserves
2 teaspoons water
Vegan sugar, for an extra sprinkle
To make the dough, add flour, sugar and salt into the food processor and pulse until ingredients are combined. Dice the shortening and add it to the processor. Pulse until mixture has a totally crumbly consistency. With the motor running, add ice water through the feed tube and process until the dough comes together. Add a tablespoon of water a time until it becomes a solid mass. Turn out onto a floured surface and form into a disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
While the dough is chilling, cut the apples into 1/4 inch thick slices. If using an apple slicer, cut each piece into three more pieces. Add to a bowl and sprinkle with sugar, flour and cinnamon. Toss to coat well.
Preheat the oven to 400. Line a big baking sheet with parchment paper.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator and flour a rolling pin and work surface. Roll the dough out into a circle, as thin as you can get it. It might have breaks on the edges, but that is okay because it will fold over into the crust. Gently roll the dough onto the rolling pin and transfer it to the baking sheet.
Pour the apples onto the middle of the dough and sort of try to organize them in a pretty way. Fold the border over the apples to enclose the dough, pleating it as you go around.
Whisk together the apricot preserves and water and brush over the apples. Sprinkle a little extra sugar over the top for good luck.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the apples are tender. Eat immediately because it is just sooooo good or let it cool. Serve a la mode, if you like!
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds right out of a pumpkin
1/2 tablespoon grapeseed oil
Clean the pumpkin seeds of the guts of the pumpkin. Spread out onto a baking sheet to dry overnight. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat. Toast in a 375 oven for 25 to 30 minutes until brown.
4 russet potatoes
2 McIntosh apples
1 medium onion
2 flax eggs *
1/2 to 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Sunflower oil, for frying
Whip up the flax eggs and set aside.
Peel the potatoes and shred them in the food processor. Place into a strainer and cover with water. Lift up the strainer and press out as much water as possible. Next, peel the apples and shred them in the processor. Then do the same with the onions. Place the onions into another strainer and press out the water.
Mix everything together, using as much flour as needed to make the mixture stay together. Fry up in oil until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Best to let them sit for a bit before eating.