Recipes and Stories

14 September 2018: Old Friends, Mentors, and Sautéed Apples in Bourbon Caramel

September 14, 2018

Tags: Classic Southern Cooking, Apples, Caramel, Caramel Apples, Nathalie Dupree, Autumnal Cooking

Sautéed Apples in Bourbon Caramel Sauce
One blustery late autumn evening, Timothy and I had gone up to Charleston to sing in a choir for a special evensong and were staying, as we do whenever we can, with my lovely friend, mentor, and adopted big sister, Nathalie Dupree and her husband Jack Bass.

Our “pay” for singing was a dinner that, to Timothy’s disappointment, did not include dessert. When we got back to the house and had settled in at the kitchen table, Nathalie, who is a text book example of the maxim that Southerners are always talking about food, wanted to know all about where we’d eaten and what we’d had. (more…)

1 November 2017: Of Writers’ Block and Bourbon Apple Cobbler

November 1, 2017

Tags: Classic American Cooking, Classic Southern Cooking, Apple Cobbler, Bourbon Apple Cobbler, Apple Pie, Apples, Bourbon, Cinnamon

Bourbon Apple Cobbler
Any writer will tell you that there’s nothing to equal the exhilarating feeling that comes with finishing a piece of writing. Whether it’s a whole book, a magazine article, or just a short essay like this, it’s like winning a door prize, finally being let out of jail, and reaching the top of an impossible mountain climb or finish line of a marathon, all at once.

But then. What immediately follows is an awful, restless sense of “what now?” It’s almost like being abandoned. That piece of writing has been your sole life’s purpose for days, months, sometimes years. And now it’s finished . . . with nothing to take its place. It’s not quite like writer’s block, but sometimes it feels worse. (more…)

3 October 2017: Pork Chops for Fall

October 3, 2017

Tags: Classic American Cooking, Pork, Pork Chops, Sauerkraut, Apples, Oven-Braising

Oven-Braised Pork Chops with Apples and Sauerkraut
It was a crisp fall evening in the early days of my graduate school work at Clemson University, and we actually had something that architecture students rarely see: an evening free of deadlines.

I’d just moved off campus into my first apartment on my own, a cozy four room half-basement affair tucked into the side of a hill, with a kitchen that, at long last, was completely mine. Every free moment back then was spent in that kitchen, experimenting, puttering, nibbling. (more…)

26 September 2013: A French Apple Tart

September 26, 2013

Tags: Autumnal Cooking, Apple Pie, Apples, Apple Tart, French Apple Tart, Julia Child

A Free-Form Apple Tart is a simple pastry to master, but it never fails to impress.
For those on my Facebook author’s page who asked for the recipe, here’s the free-form apple tart that’s pictured there. This was the first apple pie I ever made after I was grown and had my own kitchen. It’s from the first Julia Child cookbook I owned, From Julia Child’s Kitchen (1975), and it has been my standard apple pie ever since. (more…)

30 October 2012: Autumn Apple Tart

October 30, 2012

Tags: Apples, Apple Pie, Classic French Cooking, Apple Tart, Cinnamon Sugar

A Simple Apple Tart
Now that we’re finally getting a little bit of a nip in the air, here’s another simple apple tart that is just the thing to warm and soothe.

The most important part of a good pie or tart is good pastry, which is fortunately a snap to make, especially if you own a food processor. (more…)

18 October 2012: Apple Pie Season

October 19, 2012

Tags: Apple Pie, Apple Tart, Apples, Historical American Cooking, Historical Southern Cooking, Damon Lee Fowler's New Southern Kitchen

Gingered Apple Tart with Shortbread Crust, photographed by Timothy Hall
Surely one of the best fragrances of autumn is the heady aroma of the season’s first juicy, ripe apples baking in a pie. For many Americans, it’s the quintessential aroma of the season—the subtle smell of falling leaves and of toasting pecans, roasting turkey, and mulled cider all rolled into one. (more…)