March 30, 2012
Looking for something new and healthy to nibble on this time of the year? Then pick up a pound or two of Washington state’s newest apple variety: the Lady Alice.
The Rainier Fruit Co., exclusive agent for this new fruit, sent along a sample box about a week ago, and almost half these beauties have already been consumed by my husband and me.
They’re small and compact–perfect for the lunch box or a child’s afternoon snack.
My tasting notes read: Pleasing firm, dense texture with a snap to the skin. Not overly or cloyingly sweet–just right–with a bit of a tart aftertaste and pleasing acidity (much like a fine aged Riesling). Refreshing and very satisfying!
Rainier Fruit Company claims to be one of the largest growers of fresh apples in the United States. According to a press release, “This year the company is shipping its largest crop yet of the Lady Alice apple, a new apple that is making its way into more stores this year than ever before.”
You’ll find Lady Alice apples at your local QFC and other independent stores in the Seattle area through May, or while supplies last. Or use the Lady Alice Store Locator to find a store near you.
More about the Lady Alice Apple (from the press release):
The unique Lady Alice variety is like a fine wine–it gets richer with age. The variety is characterized by its pinkish-red stripes over a creamy yellow background and sweet, crisp, dense flesh with a hint of tartness. It is an excellent choice for snacking, baking, and cooking. Unlike many varieties of apples, the Lady Alice is slow to brown when cut, making it perfect for salads and fruit trays. Its heirloom-like flesh helps the apple retain its texture when heated at high temperatures. Its delicious sweet bite offers a hint of tartness that lingers on the palate.
The recipe below would be perfect for this time of year since it uses first-of-the-season halibut paired with Lady Alice Apple Chutney. Seasonal eating at its finest!
Roasted Halibut with Apple Chutney
1 tablespoon butter
2 Lady Alice apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1/4 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 jalapeno chili, minced
1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 (6-ounce) Alaskan halibut fillets, about 1 inch thick
4 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and add the apples. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, about 5 minutes or until the apples begin to soften.
Add the orange juice, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, salt, ground coriander and ground cloves. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, sitting occasionally, until the apples are tender and juice is thick, about 10 minutes.
Add the mango and cook about 5 minutes or until the mango softens. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
Place the halibut in a lightly greased baking dish. Drizzle each piece with olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cook 18 to 20 minutes or until halibut is cooked in the center. Serve with the chutney.
Cook’s Hint: Large pieces of halibut will require additional cooking time.