Last week the mailman delivered my copy of "Deep Run Roots", Vivian Howard's new cookbook. I have been waiting for its release for a LONG time. Before we left Virginia and moved to Guam, I was fortunate enough to be able to eat at both of Vivian's restaurants (you like how we're on a first-name basis?). I have watched every single episode of her show, "A Chef's Life", which airs on PBS. To put it mildly, I'm a fan.
Anyway, my friends Nancy and Courtney are also fans, so we decided that we would cook through the book together, even though they are 8,000 miles away in Virginia (with access to lots of fresh-picked-right-off-the-farm fruits and veggies) and I am here in Guam (with access to flown-in-from-thousands-of-miles-away fruits and veggies. Unfortunately, there aren't any chapters in the book featuring mango or avocado or Asian beans or anything else that grows on this island.)
Given the time of year, we chose to begin with the Apple chapter. Having been intrigued by Applejacks ever since the apple episode in the second season of "A Chef's Life", that's where I chose to begin. The back-story on these is that Vivian grew up going to the B&S Cafe, where they would sell these hand-held apple pies on the weekend for about a buck. Sweet Ms. Barwick, who used to run the Cafe, is now Vivian's neighbor and in the afore-mentioned episode, she taught Vivian how to make the Applejacks.
It's not a quick process, I will tell you that much. (ALL.MORNING.LONG.) You can find the recipe HERE.
Yesterday, I cored and sliced some Fuji and Golden Delicious Apples and slid them into the dehydrator. Vivian tells you in the book how to dry them without any fancy equipment, but since I already had the fancy equipment, I figured I might as well use it.
I decided today would be the day I attempted these babies since the husband and kids were out of the house for a good part of the morning. Making the filling was easy... chop up the dried apples, mix with some Apple Cider and water, and cook it down. Except that there is no easily-found Apple Cider on Guam right now, so I used some apple juice concentrate I had in the freezer.