“The woman that was helping me showed me the craziest apple!” This was my husband, Ben, around this time last year. I had asked him to stop by Specialty Produce, a local produce warehouse that I adore, to pick up some apples for pies. He’s often the one running my SP errands. He works near downtown San Diego and we live north of the city so it’s easy for him to go on his way into work. Anyway, I will never forget him calling me after this trip, “It was totally red, on the inside! I bought you some, you won’t believe it! They taste like tart green apples.” Both Ben and I get excited about food but, and I think he’d agree here, it was unusual for him to be this excited about an APPLE. I knew this was a big deal.
The apples he brought home were so beautiful on the inside, I had never seen anything like them. I went to high school and college in Washington state. I lived in Chelan, part of the apple valley of the state. Dear friends of mine are generations deep in the apple business. I jump for joy when I see Chelan apples in local markets. And yet, the Hidden Rose apple had remained a mystery to me. I did what any baker would do, I put them in a pie (click here for that pie).
A glimpse of my life in Chelan…
My family moved to Chelan, from La Jolla, when I was 12 (heading into 8th grade). My grandparents had lived there (and had recently bought a home on the lake), my mom was born there, there was history. It is a gorgeous lake town in north central Washington. When I lived there, the surrounding hills were filled with apple orchards. Since then, the land has proved to be a boon for vineyards. Either way, the valley is absolutely beautiful. The lake itself is 50.5 miles long, fed by the Cascade and Chelan Mountains and is the third deepest lake in the country. In the summer, the people come. Towing boats, jet skiis, bbqs, beers, teenagers, and toddlers. At 14, I worked at Lakeview Drive-In, a burger joint open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The summer I was 16 (and until I was 21), I worked at the local waterslide park, Slidewaters, also open for summers only. After I graduated from Chelan High School and went off to Washington State University, I went home for the summers to lifeguard at the “Slides”. We all did.
I remember someone once saying, “Chelan has a population of 3,000 but in the summer it bumps up to 30,000.” I’m sure even when I lived there those numbers were grossly inaccurate, but I think you can picture what I’m describing. We had “summer friends”, those people who showed up every summer, year after year, and just kind of came back into our lives as if we’d seen them yesterday. They just kind of fit. Summers there were amazing and went by so quickly, like a glorious, sparkling blur.
It snowed in the winter. We’d sled at the golf course, meet up at the local pizza place. The entire town would show up for the high school basketball games (at least, it felt like it), even when they were on the road. It was that kind of town. I loved living there, I’m so happy my parents decided to give us that experience.
While Chelan will always be a home, and so dear to me, southern California is where I’m supposed to be. My heart and soul belong right where I am now. You can try to take the girl out of California, but she’ll always come back;).
This song makes me think of beautiful Lake Chelan, a place I also consider home. Golden by Lady Antebellum.
Back to the apples…
So this year, when Specialty Produce tweeted that the Hidden Rose were back in stock, Ben headed there on a mission. I already knew what I wanted to make, I had seen the recipe in my newest Bon Appetit, an apple galette. This dessert showcases the fruit beautifully.
For this post, I am going to link you to the Bon Appetit recipe here. I followed the recipe perfectly, omitting the Maple Whipped Cream (I don’t feel like it was necessary, but if you love whipped cream, you should definitely include it) and, obviously, replacing the Pink Lady apples with Hidden Rose.
Below are my step by step pictures.
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