Making a Harvest Melt Sandwich with Lola's Delicatessen
Welcome back to Tree to Table with Shenandoah Valley Orchards! This month we are joined by Logan, of Lola’s Delicatessen in Downtown Harrisonburg. He will be sharing his recipe for a delightful sandwich called the Harvest Melt. This mouthwatering creation features our vibrant Fuji, tangy Granny Smith, and sweet Honey Crisp apple varieties. Get ready to savor the taste of autumn with every bite!
The Fuji Apple
Fuji apples, known for their exceptional flavor and versatility, are a culinary treasure here in the Shenandoah Valley. With their firm and crisp texture, they provide a delightful crunch in every bite. What truly sets Fuji apples apart is their unique flavor profile—sweet, yet with a hint of refreshing tartness. This balance makes them ideal for cooking, as their natural sweetness enhances the taste of baked goods, sauces, and desserts.
The Granny Smith Apple
Granny Smith apples have a firm, crunchy texture with green skin, sometimes with a slight pink blush. Their tart flavor makes them good eating apples, and they are especially popular for use in apple pies. The tartness of Granny Smith apples adds a refreshing and tangy flavor to dishes, providing a delightful contrast to sweeter ingredients.
The Honey Crisp Apple
The Honeycrisp apple has a wonderfully sweet/tart flavor and the cream colored flesh is explosively crunchy and juicy. It can be recognized by its bright red and pale green outer skin. The apple was developed at the University of Minnesota and is a hybrid of the apple cultivars Macoun and Honeygold. Honeycrisp apples are wonderful for eating fresh, as a snack, but they are also great in salads, for baking and cooking.
Harvest Melt Sandwich
Logan prepared an apple bacon jam using a variety of Shenandoah Valley Orchards apples including: Fuji, Granny Smith, and HoneyCrisp. He used onions, bacon, ground cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg, brown sugar, and apples to create a flavorful fall sandwich that your taste buds are sure to love.
- 2 whole onions, small dice
- Assorted apples (Fuji, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Ever Crisp), peeled and chopped
- ¼ cup of bacon grease
- Leftover bacon or 4-6 slices of bacon, crushed
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground clove
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- Seeded rye bread or bread of your choice
- Mayonnaise or condiment of your choice
- Monster cheese or Swiss cheese
- Boar's Head Mesquite smoked turkey, or meat of your choice
- Butter (for grilling)
Step 1: Creating the Apple Bacon Jam
- In a large pan, heat the bacon grease over medium heat.
- Add the diced onions to the pan and sauté for 10-15 minutes until translucent and caramelized.
- Add the chopped apples to the pan and continue cooking for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Sprinkle the ground cinnamon, ground clove, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, and brown sugar over the apple and onion mixture. Stir well to combine.
- Add the crushed bacon to the pan and mix it in with the apple mixture.
- Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for 5-7 hours. You can cook it in the oven, on a flat top, or on a burner. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Once the apple bacon jam is done, remove it from the heat and let it rest for a while to allow it to set.
Step 2: Constructing the Sandwich
- Preheat a griddle or skillet over medium heat.
- Spread mayonnaise on one side of each slice of rye bread.
- Place a slice of bread, mayo-side down, on the hot griddle. Top it with a slice of Muenster cheese or Swiss cheese.
- Layer the Boar's Head Mesquite smoked turkey on top of the cheese.
- Spoon a generous amount of the apple bacon jam on top of the turkey.
- Place another slice of cheese on top of the jam, followed by another slice of rye bread, mayo-side up.
- Spread butter on the outer sides of the sandwich.
- Grill the sandwich on the griddle until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted, flipping once to cook both sides evenly.
- Remove the sandwich from the griddle and let it cool for a minute or two.
- Slice the sandwich diagonally and serve hot.
Our visit to Lola's Delicatessen was a delightful experience, thanks to Logan's creativity! The Fuji, Granny Smith, and Honey Crisp varieties shine in the Harvest Melt sandwich, bringing out the best of autumn flavors. Whether you're a fan of apples or simply seeking a taste of the season, this culinary creation is well worth the effort. Join us next time as we explore the endless possibilities of Shenandoah Valley Orchards apples with our next featured creator.