Piece of life
Did you think I was not going to bother you with my pickings? No… although this time will probably be the last year. Picking under centimetres of snow is even more difficult.
And I think this picking is our favourite one: the famous apple picking. A genuine Quebec tradition, we couldn’t slip this activity and, honestly, I can’t get enough of it. Besides, I ask myself why it is not done more frequently in France, as apple production is also popular there.
Where to pick apples?
Well, it’s easy, there are orchards all around Montreal, and every family has its preference. In the Cocotte family, we prefer organic apples, and we can find a great choice of organic orchards. We have been going to Oka for several years, the orchards there are numerous, and the landscapes are magnificent, especially with all the beautiful autumnal colours of this season. During times, we used to go to “La Croisée des Pommes”, besides the picking, there is a playground for the kids, some animals, a mascot and lots of apple-based products to buy. We had some crush for their donuts [which are not apple based, but arghhh, they are so good].
However, this approach was not really what we were looking for, we prefer to focus on Nature and some more tranquillity. So, it has been going many years that we use to go to the Joannette orchard [2 minutes from the “La Croisée des Pommes”], which focuses only on the apples, less turmoil, no superfluous things, just Nature and picking. It is much more in line with us, but it is a matter of taste and personality. The apples will be as good from one orchard as to another, it is the atmosphere that you have to choose, according to what you are looking for and what you like.
About the Apple Cake with Olive Oil
I was in the mood for a nice big, soft apple cake with olive oil. I think they fit well together. So, I started snooping for recipes from my favourite chefs and Ottolenghi. I immediately looked for his recipe for apple cake with olive oil and maple syrup glaze, but it didn’t get along with me too much. Then, I found another recipe that was better related to what I was looking for, and the visual immediately got me, Spiced Apple Cake. No olive oil in the original recipe, but feel free to adapt the recipes by adjusting the ingredients. It is often possible to substitute some ingredients for others, and butter can be easily replaced by olive oil. In the end, I kept this recipe base, replacing the butter with olive oil, the sour cream with yogurt and adding some lemon juice and spices with cinnamon. The result was everything I wanted, extra soft and delicious.
Moral of the story: don’t stick yourself to a recipe just because of a single ingredient; adapt it to your tastes and desires or just by your pantry. A recipe is not set in stone, it’s up to you to make it your own ?
Apple cake with olive oil
- 23 cm cake mold
- Hand beater (or a beater equipped with wire whip)
- 300 g flour
- 3 eggs
- 100 ml olive oil
- 125 g sugar
- 200 g natural yogurt
- 1 lime (zests and 1/2 juice)
- 1 coffee spoon cinnamon
- 1 sachet yeast
- 1 pinch salt
Pour la finition
- 4 apples
- 60 g sugar
- 1/2 coffee spoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Stir the oil and the sugar.
- Add the eggs and the zests. Keep stiring until you get a homogeneous texture.
- In other salad bowl, mix the flour, the yeast, the salt and the cinnamon.
- Gradually add the flour in the oil/eggs/sugar mixture, alternating with the yogurt and the juice of 1/2 lime. Mix until you get a homogeneous dough. Pour in a greased mold.
- Peel the apples and slice them into thin strips.
- Distribute them on top of the dough, sprinkle with sugar/cinnamon.
- Take it to the oven for 1 hour.