Posts Tagged ‘Apples’
Wednesday, October 30th, 2013
How many of you will admit to sneaking some of your kid’s Halloween candy when no one is looking?
I don’t have kids (yet!), but yeah, I’d be guilty as charged.
It’s the stuff we won’t buy for ourselves, but if it’s just hanging around, it’s fair game. If you didn’t buy it for yourself, the calories don’t count, right? ;)
I like to have healthier treats that will still satisfy a sweet tooth at the ready. (more…)
Monday, September 24th, 2012
Once the familiar crisp chill of autumn settles in, my mom eases back into her routine of making big traditional comfort meals for our Sunday suppers, instead of casual dinners cooked on the grill. A few years back she started making a dish called Lazy Pierogies that she learned from an old friend of the family. I was recently craving this dish and as my mom was reading me the recipe over the phone, I saw my next project materialize. (more…)
Wednesday, October 19th, 2011
Before I tell you about this cake, I want to give a huge, heartfelt thank-you to all of you who commented on my last post…your kind thoughts and words of encouragement meant the world to me. Thank you for your support and for reading my blog! XOXO, Faith
And now for the cake…I have found my ultimate autumn cake. (Which, oddly enough, does not contain pumpkin…I know, I’m a little surprised too!) And if you’re a fan of New York-style crumb cake (you know, the coffee cake with the mile-high layer of streusel on top), this will likely be one of your favorites as well. (more…)
Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010
For the full recipe for my Apple-Pumpkin Breakfast Polenta, please see my post on All Through the Year Cheer.
November is here and Brandy and I are thrilled to announce our Thanksgiving All Through the Year Cheer Event! You can submit as many recipes as you want that say Thanksgiving to you (see our Rules page for more info). Don’t forget, there will be a great prize for the winning recipe (you can click here and scroll down to see what it is)!
Tuesday, October 12th, 2010
The very kind people at CSN recently contacted me to sponsor a giveaway; the prize is a $65 gift card to use on any CSN website. I’m excited to host this giveaway since CSN has anything a girl (or guy!) could want…including everything from cute handbags, to cookware, to console tables!
International readers can participate and as always, you don’t need to have a blog to enter. To participate, you can do any or all of the following (the more you do, the greater your chances of winning!). Please leave a separate comment for each so I can count it as another entry:
1) Go to any CSN site, pick your favorite item, and leave a comment here letting me know what it is.
2) Add me to your RSS feed and leave a comment here letting me know.
3) Link back to this giveaway on your blog and leave a comment here letting me know.
4) “Like me” on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know.
5) Post a link to my giveaway on your Facebook page and leave a comment here letting me know.
This giveaway ends October 19 at 9PM EST; after that I’ll use a random number generator to determine the winner. Good luck to all!
And now a little bit about apples. I’ve been drowning in them, but with my at-least-an-apple-a-day obsession you won’t hear any complaints from me. This sandwich is nice sweet twist on grilled cheese. I like to serve it alongside a salad of baby greens, chopped apples, raisins, and a sprinkle of walnuts, dressed with apple cider vinaigrette.
Camembert, Apple, and Walnut Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
(Yield: 2 servings)
2 large slices country bread, cut in half so that you have 4 pieces
2 oz Camembert cheese, thinly sliced
1 small sweet-tart apple (such as Cortland), washed, dried, and thinly sliced
2 tsp chopped walnuts
1 TB butter
2 tsp honey, to drizzle on top
On one piece of bread, arrange 1 oz cheese and top with 1 tsp walnuts; arrange 1/2 of the sliced apple on top and place another piece of bread on top of the apple. Make the second sandwich in the same way.
Add the butter to a medium-sized skillet over medium heat; once the butter is almost all melted, add the sandwiches and turn down the heat to medium-low. Cook until golden brown on both sides (about 2-3 minutes per side), gently pressing the sandwiches down while cooking.
Serve with honey drizzled on top.
Homemade Chewy Country Oat Bread…I couldn’t resist making it again. :)
Sunday, March 21st, 2010
I’ve been dying for apple fritter donuts. Apples, as one of my favorite fruits, are always abundant in my house. I had a little leftover Guinness in my fridge from making this stew. Saturday morning was free for me to experiment in the kitchen. Did I really have any choice but to make these little beauties?
As these were baking, the whole house smelled like a pastry shop. The floral scent of apples filled the air and was heavenly combined with the warming scent of cinnamon. These fritters tased phenomenal – the dough was yeasty and slightly chewy, the apples fruity and floral, and the sweet glaze a nice contrast to the slightly bitter beer.
The main difference between these apple fritters and the deep-fried ones you would buy at a bakery is that the exterior of these isn’t quite as crisp; in the end this didn’t make any difference to me because they were so incredibly delicious (with significantly less fat than their deep-fried counterparts).
Baked Apple Fritter Donuts with Honey-Cinnamon Glaze
(Yield: 18-20 donuts)
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
2 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour (plus up to a cup more for kneading)
2 tsp fine salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2/3 c flat, room temperature beer (I used leftover Guinness stout; if you don’t have this on hand you can substitute water)
1/3 c lukewarm water
1/4 c honey
2 TB canola oil
1 large egg
2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and finely diced (I used Empire apples)
Honey-Cinnamon Glaze (see below)
Butter (to grease the pan)
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 TB honey
1-3 tsp water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
In a large bowl, mix together the yeast, whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the beer, water, honey, oil, and egg; stir the diced apple into the wet ingredients. Slowly combine the wet ingredients into the dry – you can use a stand mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment) to do this, or you can use a large wooden spoon and do it by hand.
Once the wet ingredients are just incorporated, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead about 6-10 minutes; the dough should be smooth, and when you press it with your finger, an indentation should remain. Let the dough rest for about 5 minutes; lightly spray a large bowl with cooking spray, place the dough inside the bowl, and lightly dough with cooking spray. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size (about 90 minutes).
Preheat the oven to 400F and lightly butter two baking sheets. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface; knead the dough for a couple of minutes, then let it rest for another 5 minutes. Divide the dough into 18 to 20 pieces (I like to do this freeform, since most apple fritter donuts have a freeform shape) and arrange the dough evenly on the baking sheets. Bake for 16 to 19 minutes (rotating the trays once) until the bottoms are light golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Whisk together all ingredients for the honey-cinnamon glaze except the water; whisk in the water 1 tsp at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Once the fritters have cooled, drizzle the glaze on top. Leave the donuts uncovered for a couple hours so the glaze can harden and set.
Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009
If ever there was a dish that blurred the lines between breakfast and dessert, this recipe is it. The three main ingredients – apples, oats, and seeds/nuts – are the makings of a healthy start to your day. But in this recipe these ordinary ingredients are transformed into something truly decadent, sure to please dessert lovers. I used a little molasses and organic pure cane sugar for a caramel flavor, but feel free to use any sugar you have on hand. The texture of this is luxuriously smooth, and the egg gives it a custard-like quality, which is why I decided to caramelize a little brown sugar on top (crème brûlée, anyone?…no torch needed! ;) )
This sort of double-duty recipe is perfect for the holidays. It can be served for breakfast or dessert, and tastes great at any temperature. (Served warm it’s more reminiscent of oats and served chilled it feels more custard-y.) Reheating is a snap too…just pop it back in the oven until warm.
I’m taking a short break from blogging until next Sunday to spend some time with my family, but then I’ll be back to my regular posting and commenting. I wish you all a safe and happy holiday! Merry Christmas Everyone!
A Note on the Apples: There’s no need to peel the apples before cooking them down, since they’ll be pureed anyway. In the final product any pieces of peel that may be there aren’t noticeable.
Baked Caramel-Apple Custard Oats
(Yield: 10 servings)
8 c apples, washed, cored, and chopped but not peeled (or 3 c unsweetened applesauce)
2 c rolled oats
1 c sunflower seeds, toasted (you can use any nuts you like, such as walnuts, pecans, almonds, etc.)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
2 TB molasses
About 1/4 c organic pure cane sugar (or any sugar you have on hand; you can use more or less, depending on how sweet your apples are)
2 1/2 tsp brown sugar (for topping)
Butter, to grease the ramekins
10 (6 oz) oven-safe ramekins
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease the ramekins with butter. Heat the apples on medium heat (covered) for 20-30 minutes, until they turn into a chunky applesauce (you should end up with about 3 c applesauce). Once the applesauce is cooled slightly, transfer it to a blender or food processor and process until smooth (there will still be small bits of apple skin; don’t worry, they won’t be noticeable in the final product).
Pulverize the oats and sunflower seeds in a blender or food processor until they form a fine powder; pulse in the salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg to combine. Transfer the applesauce and the oat mixture to a bowl; add the molasses, then add sugar to taste (start with about 1/4 c sugar). Beat in the egg. Divide the mixture between the ramekins and place 1/4 tsp brown sugar on top of each. Bake for about 12 minutes until they’re set, then broil for about 2 minutes until the brown sugar on top is caramelized (watch them closely while they’re in the broiler).
Serve hot, warm, or chilled.
The Ground Oats & Seeds (or Nuts) Should Look Like This
Monday, December 7th, 2009
Chaya (of Sweet and Savory Says It All) was kind enough to host our All Through the Year Cheer Hanukkah, so I’ll be sending this dish over to her. She is now accepting recipe submissions!
According to History.com, “On each night of Hanukkah, the menorah is lit to commemorate a miracle which occurred after the Jews proclaimed victory over the Syrian armies in 165 B.C.E. When Jews came to rededicate the Temple-which had been defiled by the Syrians-they found only one small flask of oil with which to light the menorah. This flask contained only enough oil for one day, yet the lamp burned for eight days (by which time a fresh supply of oil was obtained).” Due to the miracle of the oil, for Hanukkah it is traditional to eat foods that have been cooked in oil…like latkes!
These cheese latkes were so incredible, they took my breath away. Who knew that something so delicious could be made so quickly with ingredients that I already had on hand? Although these cheese latkes look like pancakes, they’re sweeter, denser, and chewier. Their flavor is actually similar to a cheese pastry. The best way I can describe them is cheese pastries in pancake form.
Susan Portman’s applesauce recipe is brilliant. She makes an apple liquid by boiling the cores and peels in water and uses that to enhance the applesauce. Not only does it add incredible flavor, but it also gives the applesauce a rich, rosy color.
I’m so glad that I made this Hanukkah recipe. It was interesting and a lot of fun to use food as a tool to learn about Jewish customs and traditions. I had no idea what I was missing before! If you’ve never had these, I would definitely encourage you to give them a try.
Cheese Latkes (Inspired by Recipe Goldmine’s Hungarian Cheese Latkes)
(Yield: About 8 (2 to 3-inch) latkes)
1 large egg
1/4 c sugar
4 oz Neufchatel cheese
3 TB cottage cheese
1/4 c plus 2 TB flour (or more if you need it)
Canola oil, for shallow frying
In a blender or food processor, combine the egg, sugar, and cheeses until smooth. Next add the salt and pulse, then process in the flour. You might need a little more flour to get your batter to the right consistency…it should have the consistency of a thick pancake batter.
Pour in enough oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet, and preheat the oil on medium heat. Add the batter (about 2-3 TB of batter per latke) and cook until light golden brown on both sides, flipping once. (They’re ready to flip when they start to bubble like pancakes and they’re golden on the first side.) Transfer the cooked latkes to drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
Applesauce (Inspired by Susan Portman’s Recipe for Mother’s Homemade Apple Sauce)
3 large apples (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
Sweetener to taste
Cinnamon to taste
2 whole cloves
Wash, peel, and core the apples. Put the peels and cores in a medium pot, cover with water, and cook (covered) over medium heat about 20 minutes until the peels are soft and the water looks like apple juice. Strain out the peels and cores and reserve the liquid. (This made about 1 c of apple liquid for me; if you didn’t get 1 c out of this, add enough water to make it 1 c.)
Chop the peeled and cored apples (you should have about 5 to 6 cups of chopped apples) and place them in a medium pot along with the apple liquid. Add the cloves, and then add cinnamon and sweetener to taste (or you can wait and add cinnamon and sweetener after cooking to see how sweet the applesauce is). Cook (covered) on medium heat for about 20-25 minutes, until the apples are tender and much of the liquid is gone (stirring occasionally). Remove the lid and cook uncovered for about 5 minutes to thicken it (stirring constantly).
Tuesday, November 10th, 2009
Right now I have more apples to use up than I know what to do with! I’ve already made applesauce (post coming soon), baked apples, dehydrated apples, apple butter, and toasted apple-cheese sandwiches. Later this week I’m planning to make a savory soup with apples and cheddar, and if I get a chance I want to try my hand at Spiced Apple French Macarons. (So many apples so little time!)
Anyway, back to my Individual Apple Cheesecake Pastries. I wanted a way to use up some of my abundance of apples…I had puff pastry in my freezer that wasn’t earmarked for anything…I’ve been craving a good apple-cheese pastry…and I always have cottage and Neufchatel cheeses in my fridge. There was really no way around it, I had to make these pastries! ;) Like many of my sweets, these aren’t overly sweet (so feel free to add more sweetener if you like things a little sweeter), which means they work well as a breakfast or dessert.
What To Do With the Extra Apple-Cheese Filling: Butter an oven-safe ramekin and cook the extra filling in it. Don’t forget, depending the size of your ramekin, it could take less or more time to cook than the pastries.
Individual Apple Cheesecake Pastries
(Yield: 12 pastries, plus a little extra filling)
1 sheet puff pastry, cut into 12 equal pieces
Butter, to grease the pan
2 c diced apples (about 2 medium apples)
½ c cottage cheese
6 oz Neufchatel cheese
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp lemon juice
¼ c brown sugar
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Muffin tray that holds 12 muffins
Lightly butter your muffin tray. Place one piece of puff pastry inside each well of the muffin tray and mold the pastry up the sides of the well (see picture below). (Don’t worry if this looks messy, the filling will completely cover it up.) Use a fork prick the bottom of each pastry. Chill the dough like this in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400F. In a blender or food, process the cottage cheese until smooth (a few lumps are ok), then add the Neufchatel cheese, egg, vanilla, and lemon juice and purée until smooth. Add the brown sugar, a pinch of salt, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, and ¼ tsp cinnamon and process again until smooth. Transfer the cheese mixture to a bowl.
Wash, peel, core, and dice the apples, then mix them into the cheese mixture. Once the dough has chilled spoon the apple/cheese mixture into each muffin well, so that each well is about 2/3 to ¾ of the way full. Sprinkle just a pinch of cinnamon on top of the filling. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until the pastry is lightly golden and the apple-cheese mixture is mostly set (it will set more as it cools).
Cool completely on a wire rack, then run a knife along the edge of each pastry and gently remove them from the muffin tray.
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009
As you may know, apples are closely related to roses (I only found this out recently, and I thought it was so interesting!). This might seem strange, but bake an apple and it won’t seem so odd. Baked apples have a distinctive sweet, floral aroma just like roses. You’re probably thinking that this scent would make a lovely perfume, right? This is exactly why I love the DKNY Be Delicious fragrance collection! As edible (or food-based, I should say) scents go, this is the only one I like to wear…but vanilla is my favorite candle scent! It makes the house smell like fresh baked cookies.
There are so many different variations on baked apples I decided I wanted to share at least two of my favorites with you. The second recipe with the crumb top is the one I make more often…but the first recipe with the custard sauce is my favorite. If you’ve got the time to make the custard, it is well worth the effort, and if there’s extra custard, you can use it for any number of things (topping for ice cream/froyo, oats, or cereal…dipping sauce (fondue-style) for pieces of fruit…all-in-one sweetener and cream for coffee/tea, etc.).
Baked apples are the perfect dessert for any fall meal (and I’ll admit, I like to eat them for breakfast/brunch on occasion!). You can serve them hot, cold, or room temperature and you can add whipped cream or ice cream if you really want to gild the lily.
Baked Apples with Vanilla-Nutmeg Custard Sauce
For 1 Baked Apple (can be easily adjusted for however many you want to make):
1 apple (I like Cortland or another sweet/tart apple for this)
1 TB water
1 tsp butter
1 tsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Vanilla-Nutmeg Custard Sauce (makes about 1 cup, or enough for about 6-8 apples):
2 TB butter
½ c sugar
2 large eggs
½ c milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the apple: Preheat the oven to 325F. In a small pan, heat together the water, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Wash and core the apple (but don’t peel it), place it in an oven-safe dish (I like to use individual dishes), and pour the butter/sugar/spice mixture over it. Cover the apple with aluminum foil and cook for 35 to 55 minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on your oven and the type of apple you use. The apple is done baking when it can be pierced easily with a fork.
For the custard sauce: Prepare a double boiler. Scald the milk by heating it in a small pan until small bubbles form around the edges, then taking it off the heat (don’t let it come to a boil). Cream together the butter, sugar, and nutmeg; beat in the eggs one at a time. Heat the egg mixture over a double boiler and very gradually pour the scalded milk into the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Heat the custard until it reaches 170F or until it coats the back of a wooden spoon, stirring constantly. Strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve, then add the vanilla extract.
Serve the apples with 2-3 TB of custard sauce poured on top.
Baked Apples with Walnut-Oat Crumb Topping
(Yield: 2 servings)
1 TB butter
1 TB all-purpose flour
3 TB rolled oats
1 TB chopped walnuts
1 TB brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 350F. In a small bowl, use a fork to cut together the butter, flour, oats, nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until it forms a crumbly mixture. Wash and core the apple (but don’t peel it), then cut it in half along its equator. Transfer each apple half to an oven-safe dish (I like to use individual dishes) and sprinkle the crumb topping on the each apple half. Bake the apple (uncovered) for about 30 to 45 minutes until the topping is golden and the apple is tender (i.e., when it can be easily pierced with a fork). Cooking time will vary depending on your oven and the type of apple you use.
(Click on an image to enlarge)