Our family will be with us for the long Thanksgiving weekend, and while our son will pick out the wines, I will, as always, be in charge of the menu. Each year I prepare roast turkey basted with herb butter served with dark shallot pan gravy accompanied by cornbread and leek dressing. These two dishes are so popular with our clan that there would be a revolt should I think of presenting the bird and dressing any other way. I have free range, however, when it comes to the rest of the menu.
This year, for example, I’m adding an Apple and Cherry Crumble with Ginger Crème Fraîche to our dessert table. Far easier than an apple pie, but just as tempting, it is made with diced Granny Smiths and tart dried cherries covered with a crisp golden topping that includes oats, walnuts, and brown sugar. What sets this crumble apart from others, though, is the crème fraîche scented with honey and freshly grated ginger drizzled over the warm meltingly tender baked apples.
You can make the crème fraîche and also have the ingredients measured and ready for assembling the topping a day ahead. Then you’ll just need to peel and dice the apples. I have also baked this crumble 3 to 4 hours ahead, then popped it back in the oven to warm for 15 minutes or more.
And, what about those post Thanksgiving meals! I’m planning on putting the leftover turkey to good use by making turkey salad sandwiches with fennel and walnuts, another new recipe for my family to sample. Fennel instead of the typical celery gives the salad its crunch, while golden raisins offer a welcoming sweet note.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
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Apple and Cherry Crumble AND Turkey Salad with Fennel and Walnuts on Whole Wheat
Apple and Cherry Crumble with Ginger Crème Fraîche
Ginger Crème Fraîche
1 1/2 cups crème fraîche
1 1/2 tbsp honey
2 tsp peeled, finely grated ginger
3/4 cup dried tart cherries
3/4 cup oats (regular or quick, not instant)
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
8 tbsp chilled butter cut into small dice, plus a little extra for greasing the baking dish
6 large tart apples such as Granny Smiths
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon plus extra for sprinkling
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp lemon juice
Confectioner’s sugar for sprinkling
1.Place the crème fraiche in a medium mixing bowl and stir in the honey and ginger. Transfer to a serving bowl. (Crème fraiche can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
2. For the crumble, place cherries in a bowl and cover with hot water. Let stand 5 to 6 minutes to soften, and then drain, pat dry, and set aside.
3. Arrange a rack at center position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9- by- 13- inch pyrex pan or a baking dish of similar size.
4. Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, and walnuts in a mixing bowl and add 8 tablespoons diced butter. Using your fingers, pinch and work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles pea-size chunks.
5. Peel and core the apples, then cut into 1/2 inch-wide wedges. Cut wedges in half crosswise and place in a bowl. Toss with cinnamon, salt, and lemon juice. Spread half of the apples in the baking dish, and sprinkle half of cherries over them. Repeat with remaining apples and cherries. Scatter the topping evenly over the fruit.
6. Bake, uncovered, until topping is crisp and rich golden brown and fruit beneath is tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove and cool 5 minutes. Using a sieve, sift confectioner’s sugar over the top of the crumble and then the cinnamon.
7. Serve the crumble warm with a bowl of the ginger crème fraîche for drizzling on top. Serves 8.
Turkey Salad with Fennel and Walnuts on Whole Wheat
1/2 cup good quality prepared mayonnaise, such as Hellman’s
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
4 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
3 tbsp chopped tarragon
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups diced cooked turkey
1/2 cup diced fennel
1/3 cup chopped green onion, including 2 inches of the green stems
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
8 best whole wheat bread slices, cut from a crusty artisan loaf, toasted
Watercress or Bibb lettuce
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juce and zest, tarragon, 1/4 tsp salt and 3/8 tsp black pepper. Add the turkey, fennel, green onions, raisins, and walnuts, and mix well. Season the salad with more salt, black pepper, and an extra squeeze or two of lemon juice if you like. (Turkey salad can be prepared 4 hours ahead; keep covered and refrigerated.)
2. Divide the turkey salad evenly on four of the toasted bread slices. Top each with some watercress sprigs or Bibb lettuce leaves. Cover with remaining toasted bread slices. Halve and serve. Makes 4 sandwiches
Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2015