We took Louie on his birthday trip. (He shares a birthday with Dennis.)
The three of us in a packed car, the bike on top, drove to Martha’s Vineyard. We visited my friend Katrin’s ancient cottage, built in 1680, where I have had many meaningful times in our multi-decade friendship. This is not a photo of her cottage (below.)
Dennis has been there a few times, too, but not for two years, when we escaped during our renovation, when Louie was a brand new member of the family.
For Dennis’ birthday, I made a giant brown butter pastry pop tart, inspired by Abby Dodge’s #BakeTogether for September. I just have to share the gorgeous pastry and this easy project. It’s the easiest thing in the world if you happen to have spiced apples on the shelf (if you don’t, and want to, now is the perfect time to can a few pints. Here’s the recipe link.)
Abby’s brown butter pastry is fantastic and caramel-y and rich. With the all-ready apple filling in a jar, carried up to MV, I knew I could get this pastry on the table. Finding some large crystal sanding sugar on Katrin’s shelf? That was a bonus.
Now we’re home and I’m a little under the weather (my sinus infection married my allergies) but there is still so much preserving to do before the season is over. I decided to make my life easier. I bought myself a new toy.
Get a box of grapes.
Pile in the washed fruit, stem and seeds and all.
When the steam comes through the fruit, start your clock. It takes between 45 and 60 minutes of serious steaming to suck the life out of grapes, leaving skins, stems and seeds behind.
Stream the juice into jars via genius tube that runs from middle (juice collecting) section. This requires a lunatic set up to get the jars at the right height. (Any of you experienced juicers have a hint about set up? This is crazy and kinda Rube Goldberg, right?)
Process in a waterbath 15 minutes.
Apple juice. Pear juice. Cranberry juice. Try and stop me.