Tuesday, August 17, 2021
S'MORES GRAVENSTEIN APPLES: Gravenstein Apples
Gravenstein Apples have been a large part of Sonoma County history since the late 1800s when Nathaniel Griffith with the advice of Luther Burbank cultivated the Gravenstein Apple for commercial use. Nathaniel Griffith was born in Iowa in 1850 and at 24 moved West. He came to California in 1883 and bought 78 acres on Laguna Road. Griffith experimented with many kinds of apples but settled on the Gravenstein. The Gravenstein reportedly originated in Germany in the gardens of the Duke Augustenberg, Castle Graefenstein, Schleswig-Holstein.
Gravenstein apple trees once covered acres of Sonoma County, but much of those apple orchards have been replaced with vineyards. Gravensteins have been declared a Heritage food, giving the apples a much needed boost in the marketplace. The trees were discovered in 1797 but didn’t really become popular until the late 1800s when Nathaniel Griffith began cultivating them for commercial use. Over time, the variety’s use spread in the western U.S., but it was also a favorite in Nova Scotia, Canada and other cool-temperate areas.
Gravensteins are a late summer treat not to be missed.
S'mores Gravenstein Apples
6 large Gravenstein Apples (don't have Gravensteins in your area? Use Granny Smith apples)
6 strong pointed bamboo sticks (or Wilton Caramel Apple Branch sticks)
1 (10.5-oz) bag miniature marshmallows
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces chocolate, chopped (or chocolate chips)
1 cup ground graham crackers
Wash and dry apples. Remove stems and skewer each apple with stick; set aside.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Melt butter in saucepan and cook over low heat until melted. Add marshmallows and stir until melted.
Dip each apple in melted marshmallows mixture and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Place in fridge.
In meantime, melt chocolate. Put chocolate in saucepan over saucepan over simmering water. Stir until smooth.
Put ground graham crackers in bowl. Remove apples from fridge and dip apple into melted chocolate (about 2/3 way up) rotating to coat evenly.
Immediately dip chocolate-covered apple into ground graham crackers, and coat on all sides.
Repeat for all apples.
Put apples back on lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.
Tip: Twist off apple stem. If skewer is blunt, sharpen with kitchen knife on on end (make diagonal cut). Push firmly into apple. If juice leaks out, blot with paper towel before dipping.
Want to get fancy? Serve on a bed of chocolate chips, crushed grahams, and mini-marshmallows.