(OR THIRD HELPINGS!)
For some it is the best part, whether it is that first Thursday night raid on the fridge, to pick and choose amongst the delectable packages, or if you can hold off until Friday for that turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce sandwich.
Truly that is my favorite part of the meal...all of the flavors have had time to fully develop...and they evoke the feelings of the day before, when every one enjoyed together. There is something special, though, about the pleasure of making that sandwich, whether it is shared with someone special, or on your own, assembled out of the fridge in the middle of the night. However, for me there are two essential ingredients to that sandwich, the mayonnaise and fresh ground black pepper. They just help meld together all of those flavors, giving just a little moisture for the turkey, balancing out the tart of the cranberry sauce with a little spice kick.
I guess this column is that sandwich for me, left over thoughts on this special holiday. My sister emailed me that I did not say when to add the mole to the awesome gravy. That is done towards the end of the gravy preparation, or the next couple of days, when the mole enhanced gravy can add a wonderful twist to the reheating of the left over turkey meat after it is pulled off the bones (don’t forget to get some stock simmering from the bones!). I think that my mother started making turkey mole, possibly after we lived in Mexico when I was a very small child, or possibly she was introduced to it by someone in San Francisco, where we lived. It is good served any way you like it, over potatoes, pasta, rice, or even thinned out to more of a stew or a soup, maybe with some additional vegetables. It can add an extra dimension after you extract all of the wonderfulness out of the turkey and all of those trimmings.
Another message came in from a sibling, asking where his real brother was, ‘cause only an imposter would ignore the whole dessert course! Now, I am really not a baking or pastry specialist, but he is right that I would be remiss if I did not write something about dessert...it really is my favorite course. Maybe this is the year I follow the adage that “life is short, eat dessert first”. Perhaps dessert at 10am with Turkey Dinner around 2pm...and a second helping of dessert around 5pm after a gentle walk through the woods or around the block? And when it comes to checking the box for favorite dessert, it just has to be all of the above...I like them all, and want a piece of each! So instead of choosing between the traditional Thanksgiving desserts, I will go back to my French traditional training and give you a recipe for an apple and almond tarte (Bande de Pommes Normande), which can be made either in a puff pastry band, or in a round tarte pan with a removable bottom. Bon Apetit!!!
Bande de Pommes Normande
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
2 cups almonds, skinned
˝ cup sugar granulated
˝ cup butter
1 TB flour
3 each eggs
3 each apples
2 each eggs as needed almonds, slivered for as needed garnish sugar granulated for garnish
Chop almonds and sugar in food processor, adding butter in bits until somewhat smooth.
Add eggs and flour, and process until smooth. Do not over process as it will curdle if it gets too warm.
Chill and reserve. Cut sheet of puff pastry in half lengthwise.
Mix 2 eggs for egg wash. Brush pastry sheet with egg wash. Cut a strip from each side and lay one on each edge of the bande.
Brush egg wash on the top of the strip.
Chill and reserve. Peel, quarter and core the apples.
Spread the reserved almond cream down the center of each bande.
Thinly slice the apples and lay them on top of the almond cream.
Brush the apple with egg wash, sprinkle with reserved almonds and sugar.
Bake until golden brown.