For a great Angels’ Share Book Club menu, any hearty red wine, delicious cheese with crackers and bread and sliced apples will do. If you want to get fancy have red wine from either the Russian River Valley (mostly Pinot Noir) or the Dry Creek Valley (a lot of Zinfandel is grown here, but there are many great reds). Any California Pinot Noir or Zinfandel in the $8-$18 range will be pretty safe bets to please a crowd. If you want to get even more fancy, then look for small single vineyard producers of Zinfandel in these two areas (which are adjacent). Martinelli, Seghesio and Rafanelli are three suggestions. These wines are a pricier, but if you want to taste the kind of wine Cinnamon worked on these are a good place to start.
Bread & Cheese
Sliced sourdough baguette and a triple cream cheese balance the wine. Again, any Brie type cheese will do, but West Marin and Sonoma County (Cinnamon’s stomping grounds) make some of the best in America. Try Cowgirls’ famous Mt. Tam. Allowing time to let the chcese come to room temperature will do amazing things for the flavor, this is true of any cheese. You can accompany this bread and cheese with slices of crisp apple or gild the lily by making….
Sebastopol Apple Crisp
in a 9×13 pan (half the recipe for a 8×8)
Slice apples (rinsed, with skin on) into thin slices or small chunks. Make sure all seeds and stems are out. How many apples depends on the size–start with six, you may need more. I prefer Gravensteins, but any apple with a bit of tartness will make an excellent crisp.
Put two teaspoons of cinnamon, one teaspoon of lemon juice (any citrus juice will work) and a tablespoon of cornstarch on the apples and mix thoroughly. If the apples are very tart or still somewhat green, add one or two tablespoons of brown sugar.
One half cup brown sugar
One half cup white sugar
One teaspoon vanilla
One cup softened butter (can also use same amount of coconut oil–if you do the crisp will be vegan. If coconut oil is unrefined the crisp will taste slightly of coconut, which I think is good)
One cup flour
One teaspoon salt (a little less if your butter is salted)
Two and one half cups oats
One cup walnuts (optional)
Mix butter and sugars together until they are creamy. It is okay if you need to melt the butter in the microwave, although softened butter is better–the mixture will just be a bit soupy in the beginning. Add vanilla. Add salt and flour, mix only a little. Add oats and walnuts if desired, and mix just until incorporated. Taste a little of the uncooked topping with your finger. It should already taste good. If not, tweak.
Put apples in unbuttered pan; cover evenly as possible with topping, although it is fine for an apple to stick out here or there, then tin foil. Bake in 350 oven for an hour or until the filling starts bubbling steadily. Take off foil and let topping brown (about 15 more minutes). Cool to just above room temperature before serving. Excellent with vanilla or Dulce De Leche ice cream.