It's no secret that I'll travel for food. However, when I think of dining destinations, Princeton, NJ is not the first place that comes to mind. I went to go visit my friend Corey and was recently surprised at how much it had to offer my starving stomach.
Corey works at Princeton and gave me a tour of the campus. It was peak fall foliage time and even the ivy was burnished with the yellows and reds of the season.
After looking at all of the gorgeous buildings, we headed into town to investigate our options. It was an awkward time to eat, as brunch was ending and dinner hadn't yet started. Though several places had tempting menus, we ultimately decided on Italian at Teresa Cafe in Palmer Square.
(My tower of delicious Italian treats - crusty bread, fig spread (paired so well with my pizza to come), salty prusciutto di Parma, capicola, salumi, sharp provolone, a tangy local cheese and caramelly-sweet candied walnuts for crunch.
Quite the mouthful!)
(Note the elation on my face)
Caramel Apple Pie - 2003 1st Place Apple
Recipe courtesy Marles Riessland
- 8 servings
Pie Crust: (I still haven't conquered this baking fear, so I used good ol' Pillsbury to help me out)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter flavored shortening, chilled
- 1/3 cup ice water
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 6 cups apples (Jonathan or Granny Smith)
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purposeflour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 tablespoons heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 toffee bars or 3 ounces chocolate covered peanut or pecan brittle, crushed (I left this ingredient out and put a little cinnamon in the crumb topping because I'm such a sucker for homey fallish spices)
Chill all ingredients, including the flour and vinegar. Combine the flour, salt and sugar. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles cornmeal. In another bowl, mix water and vinegar with the beaten egg. Add the liquid mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, to the flour mixture, tossing with a fork to form a soft dough.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Peel and slice apples. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl and add apples. Toss to mix. Add vanilla and cream. Melt butter in heavy skillet. Add apple mixture and cook approximately 8 minutes, to soften apples. Turn into pie shell.
Combine the flour and sugar. Mix in butter with fork until coarse crumbs. stir in the crushed toffee bars. Sprinkle over pie. Add top crust. Seal, flute edge and vent top. Brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake 45 minutes longer.
I have to give myself some credit. There have been countless times in my life where I've said I was going to do something and gotten really excited about it, only to let the idea fade away a few weeks later without ever attempting to try it. For the past 3 years, Restaurant Week has been that something. I found out about Taste of Hartford in 2007 and always wanted to go. For one reason or another, I never seemed to take advantage of the fantastic deal (how I could pass up a 3 course dinner for $20.07, I'll never know).
Timing was off for ToH this year, too. I was home the week before it began and left just as it started. Luckily, my schedule was clear for Philly's Restaurant Week and I knew that I had no excuse not to go. I couldn't afford dinner (even though $35 is still a steal for most of the offerings), but lunch was well within my budget and a 3 course meal could easily stretch into 2-3 meals (thank you doggy bags!). With a new-found determination to do all that I had dreamed of, I set out for Percy Street BBQ on South Street.
For $20, I got a choice of appetizer....
If you hadn't already guessed by my terse description of the side dishes, my brain has already jumped ahead to dessert, so let's get on that.