Archive for October, 2010

silly me, I thought pumpkins were for baking…

“But who can resist using the trebuchet for pumpkins?”

picking apples

Go now!  It’s that time!  While I’ve been trying to pack away some last plums that I think will make an excellent holiday gift, apple season has snuck up on me.  Apples are early this year – and best combined with a little leaf-peeping.  My aunt gave me an apple peeler/corer a couple of years ago that she said would change my life, and it is always a good time for change! I’m thinking about apple crumble/crisp/brown betty, tarte tatin, maybe an apple whiskey cake, applesauce…

Don Baker Farm has already closed for u-pick this season but Fix Bros. and LoveApple Farm are still open – or – check out NY Apple Country for a farm near you.  To find out all about apples, check out the City Cook.

If you prefer your apple in liquid form, I might suggest apple cider from a local vendor – or, even better –  Core Vodka, apple brandy or AppleJack.

art opening – Nina Bachinsky Gimmel

photo credit: Nina Bachinsky Gimmel

Local photographer, pastry chef  and co-owner of Swoon restaurant Nina Bachinsky Gimmel shows her work starting this Friday at Davis Orton Gallery.  Opening reception Saturday 10/23/2010 3-5pm.


  • Davis Orton Gallery
  • 114 Warren Street, Hudson NY
  • Thursday – Sunday, 12-6pm

fall harvest festival (2010) this sunday in Kinderhook

“Pack a picnic, escape from the city, and spend a gorgeous fall day in the fields of Katchkie Farm.”

  • Katchkie Farm
  • Kinderhook, NY
  • Sunday, October 17
  • 11am-3pm

wouldn’t it be cool to lay down here?


Photocredit: Tate Photography © Ai Weiwei



the last of the plums

What a gorgeous weekend and week!

In my attempt to focus on baking with seasonal fruit before it is only apple this-and-that, I’ve been buying plums like I’ll never see them again.  Or at least not for another 11 months.

A couple of weeks ago I tried the NY Times recipe for adult jello, using plums instead of white peaches.  Not so yummy – more like weird knox blox.  Since I had guests over that had expectations for yummy dessert, I scrambled for another quick plum recipe, and found this one tucked away from Mrs. Baker of Don Baker Farm.  It was simple and amazing.  We ate it before I could take a picture…

Original Plum TorteC/O Mrs Baker of Don Baker Farm
1 stick unsalted butter softened
3/4 cup plus 1-2 tbl sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
2 lrg eggs
12 Italian Prune Plums halved and pitted
1 tsp ground cinnamon

350 oven

cream butter and 3/4 cup sugar. add eggs one at a time. then add dry ingredients(flour, bp, salt).
spoon the batter into an ungreased 9-10″ springform pan.
cover the top with plums skin side down.
mix cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle over the top.

bake 40-50 min.

leftovers go very well with coffee the next morning…


The recipe that is next on my list is from Orangette, through several references online.  Fruit topped with crumble is always de-lish.

Plum Crumblefrom blog Orangette
2 Tbsp. lightly packed brown sugar
1 ½ Tbsp. all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground ginger
2 Tbsp. finely chopped crystallized ginger
12 to 14 Italian prune plums, halved and pitted

Scant ¾ cup granulated sugar (about 4 to 4 ½ ounces)
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 egg, beaten well
7 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Position a rack in the center of your oven, and preheat the oven to 375°F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the seasoning for the plums: the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger, and crystallized ginger. Add the plums, and gently stir to coat. Arrange the plums skin side up in an ungreased deep 9-inch pie plate.

In another medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the topping: the granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to blend well. Add the egg. Using your hands, mix thoroughly, squeezing and tossing and pinching handfuls of the mixture, to produce moist little particles. Sprinkle evenly over the plums.

Spoon the butter evenly over the topping, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is browned and the plums yield easily when pricked with toothpick. Cool.

Serve crumble warm or at room temperature, with crème fraîche, thick yogurt, or unsweetened whipped cream.

Yield: about 6 servings

Note: To reheat leftovers, it’s best to do it slowly, in an oven set to 300 degrees.


But mostly what I’ve been doing with the plums is pricking them all over with a pin and piling into a large jar with sugar, flavorings and lots of brandy. This recipe is also courtesy of the NY Times, and in 6 weeks I’ll try it with vanilla gelato.  Or straight out of the jar.  In pictures they look like shapes floating in embalming fluid.  Which is brandy.  I am *very* excited about these plums.

I think everyone is getting brandied plums for Christmas this year…

Oktoberfest 2010 in Germantown

Bratwurst, pie-baking contest and fireworks?  What could be better than that???

  • Oktoberfest
  • Palatine Park – Germantown NY
  • October 8, 9, 10, 2010
  • hours vary