So, today I decided to let the world in on the new website I’ve been working on over the last few months, in spite of the fact that there are still some kinks to be worked out. I decided that my on-line approach to hospitality should mirror my at-home approach to hospitality—meaning that, when the hospitality urge strikes, I try not to let the stack of unwashed dishes in the sink or the fact that I haven’t vacuumed in two weeks keep me from inviting someone in to share a pot of tea. All that to say, Come on in! Don’t mind the mess.
If you scroll down on the blog page, you’ll see that I’ve kept a few old posts from my Passionate Embrace blog. Think of these as the just-in-case cookies a host might pull out of the freezer for unexpected company. They may not be warm from the oven but they’re still tasty and at least there’s something on hand to go with that cup of tea I offered when I invited you by. There will be freshly-baked apple torte posts coming out of the oven on future visits, I promise.
Speaking of future visits… While I’m glad to host, my intention is to make this a pot-luck blog. This blog is not about me. It’s about stories well told. I’m eagerly sending out invitations to others who have stories to tell. If you have a story you’d like to tell here, please let me know.
In the interest of good hospitality, I’ll send you off with my favourite apple torte recipe. It came into my hands on a fall day much like today, after raking leaves with a dear friend. I don’t remember how long we worked that day, but I do know that blisters had bubbled up on my hands long before I put down the rake. I kept working because I didn’t want blisters to interrupt the story my friend told while the two of us pulled dead leaves into piles. When the sun went down and our hands ached from the cold, we came in for a meal, and tea, and apple torte. She sent me home with the recipe. I cherish the recipe not only because it makes a quick and delicious dessert but because it is inextricably linked to the story she told me that day, a story that changed my life. So, in gratitude for that story and for stories that change lives, I offer you the recipe for the best apple torte you can make.
This is what it looks like in my recipe book. Feel free to ask for more detailed instructions.* *By special request, here are the details…
Preheat the oven to 425F. Mix the first three ingredients together. Using knives or a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until the ingredients look pebbly. Add the vinegar and knead until smooth. Press this dough evenly into a glass pie pan (base and sides). Next, mix the additional dry ingredients together (sugar, flour, and cinnamon). Note: A half a cup of sugar is generally enough, but make it to your taste. Peel, core, and slice three cups of apples. Toss the flour, sugar and spice mix into the apples. Add a bit of lemon juice and/or zest or a handful of cranberries for colour. Spread the apples in the prepared crust, pressing gently. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes (to seal the crust), then reduce heat to 350F and bake for 40-45 minutes until apples are cooked and crust is lightly browned.