The passing of Steve Jobs got me thinking about Apple, my first Mac and then back to apples, the kind that you eat and bake. So this blog entry is dedicated to the man who expanded so very many facets of my life by making technology accessible and utterly easy.
The year 1991. The rage—Tommy Tangs for celebrity watching, Jean-Georges Vongerichten opens Jo-Jo’s , Elephant and Castle is the my cheap hangout and across the street Roaul’s for drinks. I was working fulltime at El Teddy’s and had a full coarse load at Hunter College, hell bent on getting out of the kitchen.
I was doing most of my work on a very old-fashioned word processor that actually slowed me down more than assisted me. I started hanging out at the computer center on campus and really liked working on the much faster computers they provided. Alas, as the semester inched towards finals, term papers, etc., the computers had huge waiting lines. It was then I decided to buy my first, yet not my last Apple, the Mac Classic.
After loading software and getting used to the keyboard, I found that I could actually write directly to the computer instead of writing everything out long hand and then typing it. (Yes, it’s hard to believe that was my process. Now a pen confuses me. Although a mechanical pencil is useful when solving Sudoku and crosswords on airplanes.)
After completing my essay on King Lear, a spell check, and proof read at 11:00 pm on my only night off, I realized that I didn’t know how to get my term paper off the computer and to the nearest printer. PANIC. I did the only thing that a burnt out brain accustomed to the very mechanical process of typing what is written on a page could do. I typed. With word processor nestled under the small screen of my very first computer, I copied the words on screen to the word processor. Rewriting as I went. The twelve-page paper was done some time around 4:00 am. I slept until 8:00 am, took the subway uptown. Dropped off the paper and proceeded to the Mac store in the West Village somewhere close to 6th Avenue (Avenue of the Americas to those of you who moved there in the 21st Century) and 8th Street across from Gray’s Papaya. It was there that I learned the magic of a floppy disc. My re-typing days were over.
I took that Mac Classic with me to Los Angeles in 1994. Covered screenplays, created catering menus while I struggled to “make it in LA”. I finally got a job in the “biz” that paid enough so I upgraded to a larger desktop. With the memory of being broke still fresh in my mind, I handed that first Apple off to a worthy and poor writer.
It was on that Mac Classic that I entered all my recipes that I used for work—the basics on which to build: genoise, butter cream, flan, pastry cream, tres leches. I no longer need to make five cakes at a time, so the proportions are downsized and recalibrated in pen or pencil. Yet I am still loyal to their foundations even if they need to be up dated, just like the long gone Mac Classic.
I guess for me an Apple computer is like a really good recipe—trustworthy, comforting and always provides the opportunity to grow. Thanks Steve Jobs. Thank you.
I hope you enjoy these edible apple classics.
- 1 sheet puff pastry (I usually use Pepperidge Farms)
- 4 medium sized apples of your liking
- zest and juice of one lemon
- 1 tablespoons of butter
- 1 egg beaten
- Peel and core apples with apple corer so that the apple remains whole and has a well in the middle.
- Roll out puff pastry sheet to a 12″ x 12″ on a floured surface. Allow sheet to rest for a minute and then cut into four 6″ squares.
- Place one apple in the middle of each square.
- Pour a drizzle of honey over the apple and about 1 teaspoon into the well.
- Sprinkle cinnamon on and in the well of the apple.
- Fill the well with raisins.
- Divide the lemon zest in four equal parts and sprinkle on top of apple
- Pour 1 teaspoon of lemon juice on top of and into the well of the apple
- Slice a tablespoon of butter and cut into four equal parts. Place butter pad on top of apple.
- Paint the edges of the puff pastry squares with egg wash.
- Pull up the corners of the puff pastry so the opposite sides meet on top of the apple. Pinch seams.
- Place apples on sheet tray lined with parchment paper or grease the pan.
- Bake in 375 oven for 15- 20 minutes.
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- 5 oz goat cheese (chevre like that comes in a log)
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- zest of one lemon
- 1 persimmon peeled and diced
- 3 apples peeled and cored. Sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon course sugar
- Roll puff pastry to measure 8″ x 16″ rectangle
- Cut out 8 4″ circles. Place four 4″ circles on a lined baking tray. Brush with water a half inch border. Cut the remaining circles with a 3 1/2 cutter to form a ring. Place one ring on each circle. Score the edge and brush with egg wash.
- In a small bowl blend the goat cheese, honey, zest until it is a smooth paste. Add chopped persimmons and blend.
- Place a quarter of the cheese mixture in the middle of each tart.
- Arrange apple slices on top of filling in a decorative manner.
- Sprinkle apple slices with coarse sugar.
- Bake in 375 oven for 15 – 20 minutes. The apples should have a nice browned edge.