Come Dine Around the Fire Pit
The premise is simple: create a three-course menu with Ambrosia apples as the star of each dish. Home cooks can choose their recipes from the Ambrosiaapples.ca website, and substitute anything they want on any of the recipes – or create their own — but all the dishes must include Ambrosia apples. Everyone is instructed to choose one appetizer, one entrée, and one dessert. Cocktails are optional.
Our next group is from Kelowna, BC. Though the sun shines brightly all day, winter nights in the Okanagan can be quite chilly.
Our chef, Mackenzie is no stranger to professional kitchens, but he also loves sharpening his blades, and his skills, for his friends and family. He hosted his mom, Lynn, and her three coworkers, Natalie, Solenne, and Karla, who are all teachers and administrators from OKM Middle School. They enjoyed their winter-themed, physically-distanced Ambrosia feast around an outside fire pit on Lynn’s patio.
Ambrosia apples were purchased from Peter’s Independent Grocer in Kelowna.
Mac kept outdoor dining in mind when he selected his menu beginning with Caramelized Ambrosia Apple and Parsnip Soup. Next up was a Pulled Pork Bun with Ambrosia Apple BBQ sauce, topped with an Apple Fennel Slaw, and with a side Apple Walnut Salad. Dessert was an Ambrosia Appelflappen, a Dutch treat similar to a beignet and apple fritter. “As we were eating outside in the middle of winter, I wanted really warming and hearty dishes,” says Mac. “I wanted to showcase the Ambrosia apples in different ways. The soup showcased how they can pair well with root vegetables for a savoury bite, the bbq sauce captured the natural sweetness and acidity of Ambrosia apples, and the the appelflappen was a warm cooked dessert with still crisp apple that popped with juice with every bite.”
The menu was a hit! “Everyone loved the soup, especially around the fire,” Mac says. “The Appelflappen was definitely their favourite, though. The ladies suggested opening an Appelflappen food truck at the farmers market or our local outdoor skating rink. They all initially wanted small pieces as they felt quite full, but all ended up coming back for seconds!”
Mac had never cooked with Ambrosia apples before, but will definitely be doing so again. “This was my first time using Ambrosia apples outside of eating them raw. They are definitely a go-to now. It was a lot of fun trying to incorporate the apples in a variety of ways into some of my regular home dishes and to include some new ones.”
Mac was kind enough to include his recipes (see below), and some photos. “Sorry the photos are a little dark,” he says. “The ladies took them outside while I was still in the kitchen cooking.” We’ll forgive them, Mac, thanks, the menu looks delicious!
Mac’s Caramelized Ambrosia & Parsnip Soup
- – Vegetable Oil
- – 1 White Onion (sliced)
- – 3 stalks of Celery (about 1 cup, chopped)
- – 4 Ambrosia Apples (chopped)
- – 4 Parsnips (about 1.5 cups, chopped)
- – 500 ml of Vegetable Broth
- – 500 ml of Oat Milk
- – Chives (for garnish)
- – Olive Oil (for garnish)
- – Salt and Pepper (to taste)
- Heat up a pot with the vegetable oil and begin to sauté the onions until tender and starting to brown.
- Add the celery and apples, and continue sauteing until everything has begun caramelizing.
- Add the Vegetable broth, and simmer on low for about 20 minutes.
- Transfer the soup to a blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy.
- Add the soup back to the pot, adding in the oat milk, salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 5 more minutes.
- To serve, add minced chives and a drizzle of olive oil (citrus flavoured if you have it).
Mac’s Pulled Pork Buns with Ambrosia BBQ sauce
- – 1 White Onion (sliced)
- – 2 Ambrosia Apples (chopped)
- – 1/4 cup Apple Juice
- – 1/4 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
- – 100ml Tomato Paste
- – 1/4 cup Honey (or maple syrup)
- – 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
- – 2 tbsp Salt
- – 1 tsp paprika
- – 1 tsp cumin
- – 1 tsp mustard seeds (whole or ground is fine)
- For the BBQ sauce, begin sautéing the onions and apples until just starting to caramelize.
- Deglaze the pot with the apple juice and apple cider vinegar.
- Add in the tomato paste, honey, brown sugar, salt, and spices.
- Cook for about 10 minutes, until the sugars have fully dissolved.
- Blend the BBQ sauce until smooth.
Pulled Pork Bun
- – 1-2 lbs of pork loin
- – 1 Ambrosia Apple
- – 1/4 bulb of Fennel
- – 1/2 cup White Vinegar
- – 6 buns
- For the pulled pork, set the loin in a slow cooker, cover with BBQ sauce.
- Set the slow cooker on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours.
- Remove the loin from the sauce, to shred with forks, add it back to the sauce.
- Cut the apple and fennel into matchsticks.
- Let the fennel sit in the vinegar for about an hour.
- Mix the fennel and apples right before you are ready to plate.
- Put the shredded pork on each bun and top with the apple fennel slaw.
Mac’s Ambrosia Appelflappen
- – 1/2 tsp sugar
- – 1/4 cup water (lukewarm)
- – 2 tsp dry instant yeast
- – 2 cups of flour
- – 2 tbsp sugar
- – 1 egg
- – 1 cup of whole milk
- – 1/2 tsp salt
- – 2 L of vegetable oil (for deep frying)
- – 3 Ambrosia Apples
- – Icing sugar (to garnish)
- In a small bowl, mix the 1/2 tsp of sugar, water, and yeast. Allow to bloom for about 10 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, add the flour and 2 tbsp of sugar. Make a well in the centre.
- Once the yeast has bloomed, add it to the well with the egg and mix.
- Make sure to heat the milk slightly to lukewarm temperature. Add in the milk half at a time while mixing until fully combined.
- Allow the dough to rise in a warm area for about an hour.
- Stir in the salt. The dough should have an almost thick batter consistency.
- Heat the oil to 350F/180C.
- Peel, core, and slice the apples into thick rounds.
- Using tongs or tweezers, dip the apples into the dough and gently drop each into the hot oil.
- Fry until golden brown on both sides.
- Drain on a tray lined with paper towels.
- Garnish the appelflappen with icing sugar.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream or caramel sauce, or both!
Would you like your Ambrosia Apple menu featured in our blog series? Share your interest by contacting us on our Instagram page http://instagram.com/bcambrosia, or by posting and tagging @bcambrosia and #ComeDineWithMe. Check out our recipes here: https://ambrosiaapples.ca/recipes/.