My Mom can always use more apples, so Sigrid Marie let me fill up the boxes I brought with me, which wasn't a hard task at all since apples can be found in overabundance everywhere. All day I had flashbacks to my grandparents old house in southern Poland where they used to have wonderful orchards.
We had so much fun yesterday. It's not an understatement to say that Sigrid Marie's life is a little bit like from the blog Manger, just maybe the more Norwegian version of it. Let's be honest. I know country life is hip and all that, but who wouldn't love to live like this? Stripped away from the romanticism, maintaining a farm very much about the hard work and persistence - especially with a full time job and if you choose to keep livestock as well. I imagine it is the result after that hard work, however, what makes living on a farm so very magical. The harvest, the plants and the trees that have survived the cold winter and finally bear fruit.
As you may have guessed by now, I am totally sold on this lifestyle. And last, but not the least - imagine what you can do with all that produce! All those apples! Here is an example.
For the apple pie
This "apple pie", if you even can call it that, is ridiculously easy to make. All you need is puff pastry enough to cover a fireproof iron skillet a little bit over the edges. Place any kind of apple pieces over the puff pastry and fold the excess pastry over the sides. You can use apples of any kind, personally I find tart apples to contrast nicely with the delicate delicate puff pastry and sweet, slightly spicy ginger caramel sauce. We used the Norwegian apple Haugmann. Place the skillet in the middle of the oven at 200°C/ 390°F for about 20 minutes.
For the ginger caramel sauce
1 cup or 2 dl heavy cream
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
3/4 cup or 1.5 dl granulated sugar
1/4 cup or 0.5 dl water
2 tablespoons salted butter
We mostly followed this recipe, but we made some adjustments. The amount of sugar was a little less than in the original recipe.
The caramel sauce is made in two processes.
1. Cooking the heavy cream. In a saucepan the grated ginger is mixed with heavy cream and brought to a simmer. It is set aside for about 20 minutes.
2. The caramel. In a saucepan, mix the water and sugar and simmer it on medium heat. Whisk the mixture occasionally. After simmering the sugar and water mixture for about 7-8 minutes increase the heat. Notice how the mixture becomes first golden and them very quickly deep amber. This is when you know the caramel is ready. Set it aside.
A common problem when making caramel is that the sugar crystallizes at the end of the process instead of caramelizes. This means you need to use higher heat, and it's particularly a challenge when working on an electric furnace. If it happens add more water, give the mixture a stir and turn up the heat to the max before you put the saucepan back on.
3. Making the sauce. Set the caramel aside and add, through a sift, a little of the cooked heavy cream into it while stirring. Return the pan to a low heat and add the remaining heavy cream little by little. Whisk in the butter and continue whisking until the sauce is smooth.
Ginger caramel sauce can be used hot or cold and is perfect for ice cream, apple pie or anything else that is complemented by creamy sweetness and spice.