Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Canadian Prince

So, are you staying up to watch the nuptual shindig that has swept the world by storm? Personally, it takes the demands of the gym to drag me out of bed anywhere near that early, and when you consider the amount of times the Will & Kate ceremony will be replayed in the following days I figure I'll eventually see the good parts. My sister and I have decided that the whole lead-up to the wedding is getting quite irritating to say the least, since every television channel, radio station and website seems to have something to say about the whole ordeal. I wish the two all the best, I really do, which is why I can't help but imagine how tired they must be of the constant attention.

While I know a lot of English residents are actually extremely apathetic - 79% said in a survey that they were "largely indifferent" or "couldn't care less" about the event - the money spent by those wanting to leave the country coupled with the incoming tourist revenue is going to do wonders for their economic state. The activities of British royalty definitely still hold an alluring aura for many members of the world public, and it's easy to see why. On some level, every girl dreams of her own Prince Charming fairytale (a la Disney) and the grand splendour of it all is still a passing fantasy for many.

While not part of the british royal family, lovers out there have another, far more accessible Prince to fall in love with. Handsome, sweet, definitely charming, exotic and always available, he's one tasty catch - he's even technically savvy! Not to mention he's also crunchy, nutritious and delicious.

What am I talking about? Well, it's my new favourite apple - the Red Prince. Named after the early 20th century Austrian prince Wilhelm Franz von Habsburg, the fruit has a rather romantic history: in 1994, on the Germany-Holland border, a farmer driving through his orchard spotted a single tree filled with red apples amongst a field full of green ones. Talk about fate! The tree's bounty turned out to have a clean, crunchy bite and a sweet (but not too sweet) flavour, and before you knew it, a star was born in Europe. It wasn't until 2004 that the trees hopped the pond, but I for one am so glad they did!

In celebration of tomorrow's royal wedding (even though I am, if you will, rather cynical of the event), the Red Prince Apple Growers (headed by the original Canadian producers Irma and Marius Botden) were kind enough to send me a gift pack of their delicious offerings, all attractively packaged a la traditional "wedding cake" tiers! Along with some of their fresh fruit (my favourite part!), I found some Red Prince Apple Gem Scones (along with a recipe and suggestions for serving with clotted cream!), gold leaf-topped truffles and an alarm clock shaped like the fruit. The alarm clock is my sister's favourite part of the set, since it talks - stating the time and temperature when pressed - and has several "wake up" tunes, including my favourite song "Canon in D".

Accompanying the package was both an official-looking "invitation" from the growers to tune into the event and a rolled parchment scroll with a rather clever verse (which my sister insisted on reading in an over-done British accent - she's slightly more tired of the furor than I am).

While I thoroughly enjoyed the apples all on their own, the other members of my family found favour in the scones and truffles. I know my mom gladly added the soft, buttery buiscuits to her lunchbox - and now that I have the formula (which is also online) I'll be able to make some more!

My stepbrother, though he steers clear of "sweet things" himself, fell upon the Caramel Red Prince Apple Truffles I was sent and gave them to his girlfriend, who adored them from what I heard! While they're not quite a diamond (or giant sapphire) ring, they are gilded with actual, edible gold and enrobed in luxurious dark chocolate! The recipe for these is up on the Red Prince site as well, but I've been given permission to share it myself as well!

Gilded Caramel Red Prince Apple Truffles
Makes 18-20
3 tbsp salted butter
1/2 cup sugar (I wonder what brown sugar would be like!)
3 cups Red Prince apples, cored, peeled and finely diced
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate melting wafers (I'd use good dark chocolate chips myself)
24-Karat gold leaf or edible gold dust (optional)
  1. In a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat melt butter and sugar.
  2. Once melted, reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
  3. Let cook until the sugar caramelizes and turns golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Immediately add diced Red Prince apples, lemon juice and cinnamon.
  5. Continue cooking for 20 minutes until most of the apples have cooked down and appear translucent.
  6. Transfer mixture to a blender or food processor and blend to form a smooth paste.
  7. Place into fridge or freezer for 1/2 hr or until cold enough to handle.
  8. Using your hands, roll 1 tsp caramel apple filling into a ball then place on a parchment lined baking sheet or tray.
  9. Continue rolling with remaining filling and then place apple balls back into freezer for approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave.
  11. Gently roll 1 apple ball into chocolate and drain excess chocolate. Place coated truffle back onto baking sheet and repeat steps with remaining apple balls.
  12. Place truffles into fridge to set, about 1/2 hr.
  13. Brush tops with gold leaf or gold dust to finish.
Per truffle (assuming 20)
101 calories
5 g fat
4 g saturated fat
8 mg cholesterol
24 mg sodium
13 g carbohydrates
1 g fibre
1 g protein
1% vitamin A
3% vitamin C

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