{Celebrating Apple Month with BC Tree Fruits and Home Tasting Room}

Earlier this month, me and the boy spent an evening alongside other local food bloggers and media at Home Tasting Room on Stephen Avenue for a night of apple themed beverages and appetizers hosted by BC Tree Fruits in celebration of Apple Month.

We were welcomed at the door with one of these delicious Cinnamon Apple Cocktails. The aroma reminded me of a freshly baked apple pie. The clean crisp flavours made it the perfect beverage to wake up our palettes for the delicious food to come. I enjoyed it so much, I snuck in to grab another glass later on that night 🙂 Thanks to Andrea who helped organize the evening and Carey-Ann from Home Tasting Room for the recipes! I’ll definitely be recreating this one at home.
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  • Cinnamon sugar rim
  • 1/2oz Amaretto
  • 1/2oz Spiced rum
  • 3oz Apple juice
  • Ice
Rim the glass with the cinnamon sugar, add ingredients! Cinnamon stick or apple wedge can be used as garnish.
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The open concept kitchen at Home combines modern and rustic with the exposed brick wall of the historic building contrasted with the sleek stainless steel and the rows of house made canned vegetables and preserves. We snagged a spot front row centre to catch all of the action.

We got to chat with one of the hosts of the evening, BCTF Nutritionist and Orchardist, Darcel Markgraf to learn about her apple farm and the different apple varieties available this time of year which include: Royal Gala, Ambrosia (my favourite!) , McIntosh, Spartan, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith and Fuji.

Soon after we moved on to cocktail number two of the night..an apple bellini with a twist served up in wine glasses.
  • 4-5 Pieces of diced apple
  • 1oz Fresh pressed apple juice
  • 1/2oz Simple syrup
  • 1/2oz Cognac
  • Dash cinnamon
  • Dash ground all spice
  • Ice
  • 3oz Prosecco or Brut
Place diced apple in wine glasses, set aside. Add remaining ingredients except Prosecco to a shaker tin with ice
Shake vigorously until slightly frothy. Strain into glass with diced apple and top off with Prosecco.

While we sipped our cocktails we got to watch a cooking demo with Executive Chef Geoff Rogers and one of the guests prepare one of our appetizers of the evening, a sous vide Broek Acres pork belly with smoked apple foam.

We also sampled mini tartlets filled with bits of crispy bacon, chunks of apple..

And topped with an organic smoked cheddar cloud melted on top….Ooh I want one of those torches in my kitchen! Fancy..

Another winning combination of flavours mixing savoury, sweet and creamy.

Other bites of the evening included:

  • Apple and Noble Farms duck confit pastilla
  • Apple and beet ‘stack’ with marinated cucumber

But my favourite of the night was this Gruyere gougere with an ambrosia apple mousse and bacon. I could have EASILY eaten a whole tray of these.

Thanks to Chef Roger for sharing the recipe!

Apple Mousse:

  • 4 Ambrosia apples, medium size
  • 250ml Apple juice
  • 4 oz. sugar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 250 ml Rock Creek Cider
  • 1 ½ tsp powdered gelatin
  • 300ml whipping cream

Chop the apples leaving the skins on. Combine the apples with the sugar, apple juice and lemon in a non-reactive pan.  Bring to a simmer over low heat and continue to cook until the apples are very soft.  In a separate pot add the cider and reduce over medium heat until 8 tbsp remain.  Stir the gelatin in to the cider reduction until dissolved.  Whip the cream until soft peaks form and set aside. Blend the apples with the juice until smooth and add to the cider reduction.  Gently fold this mixture in to the whipped cream then let sit 3 hours before serving.

Gougeres:

  •  185ml water
  • 185ml 2% milk
  • 6 oz. unsalted butter
  • 0.5 oz salt
  • 6 eggs
  • 5 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 9 oz. flour

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set to the side.

In a large sauce pan, combine milk, water, butter and salt.  Bring this mixture to a boil over medium high heat.  Gradually mix in the flour until a smooth dough begins to form.  Lower the heat and continue stirring until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan.  Transfer the dough to a large bowl and allow to cool for 1 minute.  Add the eggs, one at a time stirring it in completely before adding the next.  Finally add the remaining ingredients.  Allow the dough to sit for 1 hour before use.  Pipe the dough or hand roll in to balls and place on the baking sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 min.  The outside should be golden and the inside light and airy.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable evening and we left with a couple of souvenirs from the night including this retro cool 2012 desktop calender with apple inspired recipes.

And this awesome wooden USB stick loaded up with even more apple recipes to put onto my “to make” list.

If you’re looking for some ideas to incorporate apples into your cooking repertoire, check out these links below to help celebrate February Apple month:
  • These hearty apple breakfast bars look mighty delicious served with a side of creamy greek yogurt.
  • Make your man (or woman) swoon by making these apple and pork medallions with sage cream sauce.
  • These fragrant apple spice loaves combine fibre rich apples and iron rich molasses for a hearty and nutritious winter treat. (A recipe created by one of the hosts, Darcel, who declared this as one the best loaves she’s made.)
  • Celebrate Valentine’s with this beautiful apple cake topped with thinly sliced Royal Galas and finished off with a thin layer of semi sweet chocolate on the bottom.
  • Or whip together this simple and elegant Ambrosia apple board at your next dinner party.
You can find these recipes and more on the BC Tree Fruits website here.
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And lastly, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of BC Tree Fruits, they are launching its first nationwide contest – The Artful Apple – which invites fruit fans to decorate their favourite variety of BC Tree Fruits apples and upload the works of art to share.
The public will vote for their favourite Artful Apple and the individual with the winning apple will be awarded  5 luxurious nights for four people at Predator Ridge including a spa card, a golf package and more! There are also 8 secondary prizes including an Ipad. For more details, you can visit artfulapple.comHappy Apple Month everyone!
Comments
3 Responses to “{Celebrating Apple Month with BC Tree Fruits and Home Tasting Room}”
  1. Mallory says:

    Sounds like my type of meal. I am an apple addict!

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