Find the flavors of fall in apple cake, butternut squash tart

Fare Exchange / Getty Images
Fare Exchange / Getty Images

Welcome to Oct. 11 together, Fare friends. This morning I am exploring the list of unanswered requests. First, Gouda Fondue is still in the Lost and Not Yet Found. So are Native American Fry Bread, Chocolate Mousse a la Vine Street Market and poke bowls.

Your September requests for yellow and zucchini squash are hereby expanded into requests for acorn squash "or any other winter squash."


APPLE CAKE AND SPOON BREAD RECIPES

Teri Purvis' latest cookbook acquisition, "The Kate Smith Cookbook," included two recipes that are well-suited to a fine October day.

Calumet Apple Cake

1 cup sifted flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoon sugar

3 tablespoons butter or other shortening

1 egg, well beaten

1/4 cup milk

3 apples, pared, cored and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Sift flour once; measure, add baking powder, salt and sugar, and sift again. Cut in butter or shortening. Combine egg and milk; add to flour mixture, stirring until mixture is blended. Turn into greased 9-inch pie plate, spreading dough evenly.

Cover surface of dough with overlapping apple slices. Dot with butter and sprinkle with mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon. Bake in a 400-degree F oven for 35 minutes or until apples are tender. Cut in wedges, and serve warm. For a delicious dessert, serve with plain or whipped cream or with lemon sauce.

Makes 8 servings.

(READ MORE: More than just apples, Cleveland's Apple Valley Orchards also offers home-baked pies, fritters and donuts)

Southern Spoon Bread

3/4 cup cornmeal

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons melted butter

1 cup boiling water

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 eggs, well beaten

1 cup milk

Combine cornmeal, salt and butter. Stir in boiling water slowly, and beat until smooth. Add baking powder to eggs, and combine with milk; add to cornmeal mixture, stirring well. Turn into greased casserole or 8- by 8- by 2-inch pan. Bake in a 350-degree F oven for 40 to 50 minutes.

(READ MORE: Spoon bread, banana bread and a pep talk on cornbread)


TJ'S AND A TART

Last week began a discussion of easy meals from Trader Joe's ingredients. This week Sara Beth Pickle reported on her search.

"You can join a Facebook group titled 'Trader Joe's Meal Ideas for Busy People.' Sometimes other topics get in the way, but this is what I have found lately.

"They sell a butternut squash and caramelized onion tart. It's 18 ounces and is perishable so must be kept refrigerated. I looked it up and learned that it is $9.99, serves 2 to 4 and that it is 'limited.' I think that means it is not always available, so I am going to waste no time getting a couple of them.

"All you need with it is one of TJ's premixed bagged salads. You can also serve these salads with TJ's quiche or spanakopita.

"Some other things I saw: the easiest dinner ever, 2 to 4 chicken breasts with a jar of salsa in a crockpot on low for 2 to 3 hours. You can put this chicken in a taco bowl, in a salad or eat with one of TJ's steamable veggie and rice packs."

In her search for recipes with ease, Ms. Pickle also ran across a scratch version of the tart. "It doesn't look that complicated, really, because it calls for frozen puff pastry. It got my attention because it was recommended for a Thanksgiving side, and I think I will try it. It came from 'Two Knives and a Pan.'"

Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Tart

Frozen puff pastry makes this dish come together quickly. It is perfect as a Thanksgiving side or a vegetarian entrée. Cutting the squash into thin ribbons allows them to roast while the tart bakes, cutting out an extra step. Serve this in small squares for an elegant appetizer or with a simple green salad for an easy fall lunch.

1 frozen puff pastry sheet

1 tablespoon salted butter

1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise

Kosher salt

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

4 ounces Gruyère, shredded

1 medium butternut squash

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Remove puff pastry sheet from package, and set out to thaw.

In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add onion slices and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until well caramelized, 30-40 minutes. You may need to turn down the temperature to low to prevent onions from browning. When onions are finished, set aside.

While onions cook, heat oven to 400 degrees F.

If puff pastry is thawed enough to work with, unfold and place on counter. Using a rolling pan, gently roll pastry until it is about 9 by 12 inches. Transfer to a baking sheet.

Use a fork to prick pastry sheet all over. Be sure to go all the way to the edges.

Brush the pricked pastry with 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Sprinkle oiled pastry with shredded Gruyère. Set aside.

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the skin off the squash and discard. Then, peel ribbons of squash and transfer to a bowl. You will need 6 cups of squash ribbons (about half 1 medium squash). Toss squash ribbons with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, thyme and ½ teaspoon salt until ribbons are coated. Set aside. Return to the pastry with oil and cheese. Top cheese layer with caramelized onions, doing your best to spread them evenly over the cheese. Top onion layer with butternut squash ribbons, making sure to cover the pastry from edge to edge. Bake for 22 minutes, until pastry is golden, cheese is bubbly and squash is starting to brown on some edges. Let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, and cut into squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 8 side servings or 24 appetizer portions.

(READ MORE: Simple roasted butternut squash)

Thanks for your midweek company, and please come back.


REQUESTS

— Gouda fondue

— Native American fry bread

— Vine Street Market's chocolate mousse

— Poke bowls

— Summer and winter squash dishes


TO REACH US

Fare Exchange is a longtime meeting place for people who love to cook and love to eat. We welcome both your recipes and your requests. Be sure to include precise instructions for every recipe you send, and know we cannot test the recipes printed here.

Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750

Email: chattfare@gmail.com

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