Monday, December 3, 2018

thanksgiving hangover

 I think I still have a Thanksgiving hangover. These days are always such a blur. Tomorrow is basically Christmas. I'm thinking about presents which was never a consideration (and problem) before at all. And then it'll be NYE which will roll into my birthday, and before long it'll be Thanksgiving 2019, and who knows where I'll be by then. Still sad probably. Still tired definitely. Still finding solace in all things food of course. Like these Newton Pippin apples, mmmm.

Naturally I processed all of them into a classic apple pie for Matthew's Thanksgiving. Seems like the obvious choice, but these complexly tart apples were meant to be shoved in pies.
I was immediately struck by the tall and proud layered slices in S¨onmezsoy's The Artful Baker. And then I spent a good half an hour to an hour slicing my apples because I refused to buy a mandolin from
In the end my cross section is not so beautiful, but that's because, as Morgan pointed out immediately when I got to Matthew's, I cut it when it was fresh out of the oven. I hadn't time, you see! I had to carry it over hot on an oven mitt, so no, I couldn't wait 3 hours until it was cooled to cut a piece out. That's how I ended up with this broken, oozing blob instead of the tall, beautifully stacked pie that inspired me.
It was still thick, sticky, and delicious though. I added in a few tablespoons of miso caramel into the saucy filling. And Matthew mentioned that the layers offered a whole new eating experience. Not just eye candy.
It did hold up better after some time in the fridge. Reminds me of canyon walls or rock formations.

In the mean time, I was prepping a fruits cake for Athena's mom's birthday, and it was also my favorite game of "use up all the perishables in the fridge before going away for a long weekend."

sponge cake from here with pear simple syrup soak and pear juice soak
pastry cream
pomegranate seeds in the middle
grapes, blackberries, pineapple, clementines, strawberries
i.e. hodgepodge of fruits from the overflowing Berkeley Bowl bargain bin (BBbb).

The actual Thanksgiving weekend was spent in LA in Luke's parents' garage. But it's not what it sounds like - it's an Airbnb level garage.
My contribution was a pear dessert because I hauled home a giant bag of pears from the BBbb, and Zoe is my current IG inspiration. Ignore the fact that her pears look perfect and effortless, swimming in her frangipane. This was attempt number 1 of many for me now that I confirmed what I always guessed - that poaching pears.. is incredibly easy, allows the pears to keep longer, goes amazingly well with cheese and crackers, and gave me an opportunity to use up half a bottle of flat champagne (along with simple syrup and ginger slices) that I was just going to leave on the counter and wait for vinegar otherwise.
I stuck with the tart crust from Sweet (with clementine zest), subbed in ground walnuts for almonds in the frangipane, and mashed up some leftover blackberries with sugar to spread on top post bake.

Thanksgiving spread was traditional. My favorite thing is still unapologetically green bean casserole. The kind that's made with canned green beans and cream of mushroom soup and topped with fried French onions. The next day was anti traditional - duck prosciutto with rosemary crackers, Singaporean street food, and then we passed by Dominique Ansel's LA resy and bakery. I had been to his bakery in NYC, so I was just curious when I scanned at the menu, but two things immediately caught my eye (which were subsequently the only two things the waiter suggested - love when that happens): elote milk bread and octopus corn dog.
Amazingly meaty and tender octopus leg battered and fried with gochujang and furikake with its curly tip bitten off because I couldn't wait.

Got a glimpse of the super tall and puffy pies at Apple Pan, one of the fam favorites at the Eberle house apparently. Simple menu. Efficient service. Must know it's first come first serve at the horseshoe counter. And sodas come with a metal cone paper cup holder.
Look at that giant tub of apples.

Leftovers tart!
Dough scraps that fit perfectly in the mini ceramic tart-for-one dish Luke got me. Blackberry pastry cream. Slices of poached pears.
Not the most extraordinary cross section, but ideal two-bite pieces for breakfast. Or one if you're David.

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