Tag-Archive for ◊ apple ◊

27 Nov 2012 Mini Apple Pies

I hear mini pies are all the rage now. Bye-bye cake pops and chocolate with bacon, hellooooooo mini pies!  Here’s a great recipe with which to start.  Having made this recipe a few times, I now know a few things things about mini pies.  1.  The filing needs to be seasoned more than that of a regular pie 2.  The filling needs more “syrup”.

At first, I questioned this recipe; why put that much flour into the filling (I thought would taste, well, flour-y, and, having baked many a pie before, I was sure cornstarch or tapioca would be a better choice) and HOLY MOLY, I like cinnamon but a heaping tablespoon of cinnamon to 8 cups of apples?  In a weak moment, I did something completely out of character,  questioning the recipe all the way to the taste test,  I baked it,  “as is”.   (Did ya faint?!)

The recipe worked beautifully!  The filing is not flour-y nor is it too cinnamon-y. The recipe works because the extra flavor and the extra syrup is needed  in order for the filing to stand up to extra crust of a mini pie!  Well, of course!

I made these Mini Pies for the 22 members of my Dining For Women group who came to my house for a meeting last night.  I lost count of how many people asked me for the recipe, so that has prompted me, at long last, to post another recipe.

I found this recipe at Little Bit Funky.  There are lots of nice, helpful pictures posted there.  The picture showing the size of the cut apples is especially helpful (dice don’t slice!).

Mini pies are great to take to potlucks.  No knife or pie slice needed to serve.  No plate or fork needed to eat (just pick the mini pie out of the cupcake liner and bite! If there are any crumbs, a well placed cupcake liner catches them), and no one seems to even think of wanting whipped cream or ice-cream with mini pie. Whooo HOOOO!

 Mini Apple Pies

  • 8 cups of chopped fresh apples (I like granny smith or pippin mixed with jonagold or golden delicious…but in a pinch I use whatever I can get my hands on), diced to about ½” by ½” by ½”.
  • ¾ cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups sugar (yes, it’s a lot, but again, the extra syrup is needed)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into 24 small chunks
  • 2 boxes Pillsbury pie crusts (that’s 4 crusts), or if you are fabulous, 2 recipes of homemade pastry
  • a tiny bit of milk, cream or half-and-half
  • a tiny bit of white or raw sugar
  • decorative cupcake liners to display and serve, if desired

 Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Unroll the pie crust and cut to fit into the bottom of 24 cupcake tins (no need to spray or line the tins).  I used a 3 ¼” round cookie cutter, but the ring from a mason jar, and probably a ring made from a well washed tuna can with the top and bottom removed would work too.  Save the pastry scraps to re-roll for the top crust.
  3. Refrigerate the dough in the tins while you prepare the apples.
  4. Peel,  core, and dice the apples.
  5. Pour prepared apples into a large bowl and completely coat with the flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  6. Remove the pie crusts from the refrigerator.
  7. Divide the apples between the 24 bottom crusts.  You should have enough apple filling to “mound” into the pie crust.
  8. Top each mound with a piece of butter.
  9. Re-roll the leftover pastry and cut circles (or shapes if you want to get fancy) to form the top crust.
  10. Use you fingers to press the top crust into the bottom crust.
  11. Brush each top crust with a bit of milk, half-and-half, or cream and then sprinkle with sugar.
  12. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes  (check at 20 minutes, then every 2 minutes after that until the pies are perfectly browned).
  13. Cool in pans.  You should have no trouble removing the pies from the cupcake tin.  I like to put each pie into a decorative cupcake liner at this point.

Enjoy!

I have made mini mincemeat pies for years, but now I have another mini pie to add to the platter for all the mincemeat haters of the world! (BTW, in my experience, mincemeat haters are usually people who have never even tried mincemeat).  If there is a loud ruckus from the mincemeat lovers out there I just might share my recipe for mini mincemeat pies (with my personal secret ingredient) in another post!

Happy baking!  Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today (I’ve missed you…)

 

23 Sep 2011 Apple Pie Cake

With a name like “Apple Pie Cake,” how could I not try this recipe?  I saw a picture of this Apple Pie Cake on Pinterest a few days ago.  (OMG have you visited Pinterest?   I happily waste a lot of time on that website.  I love, love, love it!  It’s like I am writing my own magazine.  I choose the subjects, the articles, and the pictures and have the whole thing saved so I can flip through the pages whenever I want…, but I digress 🙂 Onto this fabulous recipe…!

This is a Martha Stewart recipe.  I have never been a big fan of Martha. To be honest, she scares me.  Doesn’t she seem a bit abrupt?  And imperial?  I get the feeling she’s looking  down her nose at me.  I feel frumpy and incompetent when she’s on TV.  It’s a surprise I tried this recipe actually!  I’m so glad I did though.

I love fruit based desserts.  Mix some fruit with flour, butter, sugar, and cinnamon, bake it until it all melts together and I’ll fall all over myself getting to the table. This recipe results in sort of an apple crisp turned pie that looks like a cake!  De-licious! Easier-than-pie and much easier-than-cake. It’s best eaten the day it’s made, the crust softens a bit after a night in the refrigerator, but no one would turn down a leftover slice. No one.

I tried a slice of this with whipped cream, and a slice of it without whipped cream.  I can’t believe I am saying this, but I liked it better without the whipped cream.   I haven’t tried this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream yet.  I guess I should make another,  just to test that out 😉

I found the recipe at MarthaStewart.com.  And I did make a few changes to the recipe…  The original recipe called for 5 lbs of apples (about 12).  I bought that many, but only used about 3 ½ lbs (6 large apples).  I added a bit of sugar, 1/3 cup, to the apples with the cinnamon, but Martha didn’t.  You can leave the extra sugar out if you’d like.

Apple Pie Cake

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon (divided use)
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 3-4 pounds (about 6) tart apples, such as Granny Smith
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • dash of nutmeg (optional, I added this, I love nutmeg…)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Using a food processor, electric mixer, or pastry cutter, cut in butter until the mixture forms pea-size pieces.
  3. Press 2/3 of the mixture onto bottom and 1 inch up the side of a 9-inch spring form pan.
  4. Peel apples, cut into thin slices, and place in a bowl. Pour off any accumulated liquid.  (I didn’t have any)
  5. Toss apple slices with remaining teaspoon cinnamon and lemon juice, and optional 1/3 cup granulated sugar.
  6. Place prepared apples over the “crust” in the prepared pan, pressing down gently as you pack them in.
  7. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture on top of the apples.
  8. Put the pan on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
  9. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and let the cake cool in the pan to set.
  10. Dust the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar. Remove the sides of the spring form pan and place on decorative plate to serve.
  11. Serve at room temperature.

I’ll be making this again on Monday night for my Dining For Women meeting.  I know the women will appreciate it.  I also think I will make this for Thanksgiving.  It’s so EASY, and delicious.  I hope  you try this recipe and like it as much as I do.  Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today…, and stop by my Pinterest pages, too!!

12 Jul 2011 Apple Fennel Salad

I have some very, very strange friends.  They get up early.  To go running. Sometimes, on a weekend, for fun, they’ll run like 26 miles.  To get a T-shirt.

Sometimes these strange friends invite me over for dinner.  I usually offer to bring dessert.  (If left to their own devices these strange friends of mine would probably serve apple peels with grape nuts and flax seed.  I think one of them ate an M&M two years ago.  She still talks about it as if it were yesterday.)

These strange friends of mine eat a lot of salad.  I don’t much care for salad.

A few weeks ago these strange friends of mine swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco to get a T-shirt.  Then they thought they’d throw a party to celebrate.  I took ice cream sundaes.  With whipped cream.  One of the men told me white liquids were evil. My friend Barb brought this salad. Fennel? Really?

My little secret is, that up until this party with the strange T-shirt people, I had never tasted fennel.  I couldn’t think of a less appetizing way to try it for the first time than raw. In a salad. But Barb was smiling, and the other T-shirt people were ohhhing and ahhhing, I couldn’t not put any on my plate.

Manohmanohman, was it ever good! I’ve bought four fennel bulbs since that party, and learned to cut, core, and slice them.  I’ve served this salad to my daughters, my son, grandson, a boyfriend and a vegetarian friend.  I’ve eaten the leftovers while washing the dishes. It’s a yummy, crunchy, sweet, savory salad that’s both refreshing and light.  You’ll feel very healthy eating it, and happy.  Maybe those t-shirt people know a thing or two about salad. Shoot, I hope there aren’t any adverse side effects to eating this salad. I wouldn’t want to wake up at 5 AM one Saturday morning  thinking it would be a good idea to run 26 miles for a T-shirt…

This is my friend Barb.  I am helping her make quilts out of her T-shirts…. <sigh>

Barb says she clipped this recipe from “O” Magazine in January of 2005.  I reduced the olive oil and added in some lemon juice. It’s a very easy salad to make, very easy.  I made it tonight after my daughter had started making Turkey burgers.  We had both the burgers and the salad on the table at the same time.  (BTW, my daughter and I were wearing T-shirts from Old Navy, they cost about $7.00 each, we got to choose the size and the color,…and we didn’t have to run 26 miles to get them...)

Apple Fennel Salad

  • 2 med fennel bulbs
  • 2 Granny Smith apples (I found the Granny Smith apples to be a bit too tart for my liking, I used Fuji apples)
  • 1/2 cup thinly shaved Pecorino Romano Cheese (I’ve substituted Parmesan)
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  1. Remove fennel tops and chop 1 tablespoon of the green, feathery fronds. Trim root ends, halve, core and thinly slice fennel bulbs.
  2. Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples.
  3. In a large bowl, combine sliced fennel bulbs, sliced apples, shaved cheese, olive oil, parsley, lemon juice and zest, salt, and pepper; toss gently.
  4. To serve, arrange salad on a large, chilled serving pate. Sprinkle with reserved fennel fronds.

Makes 4-6 side dish servings.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.  I know this recipe isn’t what you usually expect from me, but it’s a very, very good recipe.  I hope you try it.  It’s lovely.

11 Jan 2011 Cracked Sugar Pumpkin-Apple Muffins

Pumpkin isn’t only for October and November you know.  I hope you have an extra can or two of pumpkin puree on hand for the other ten months of the year.  This isn’t a pumpkin muffin, and it isn’t an apple muffin, it’s a bit of both, so it should please everyone.  I like the pumpkin, I like the diced apple, but I especially like the cracked sugar on top!

These muffins stay moist and tasty for at least three days.  I’ve never had one around longer than three days, so I don’t know what happens on day four or five. (If I had expected to have extras around that long, I’d freeze them.  It only takes a few minutes to defrost a muffin, especially if you slice or quarter it.)

In muffin recipes I often substitute half the oil in the recipe for applesauce.  Oddly, it doesn’t work well in this muffin. The texture suffers quite a bit.  If you are out of Pumpkin pie spice, as I am, use ¾ teaspoon ginger plus ½ teaspoon nutmeg, plus scant ½ teaspoon ground cloves OR allspice,  instead of the 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice.

This recipe makes 18-20 muffins.  I know that’s a lot. But you’ll make a lot of people happy!

Cracked Sugar Pumpkin-Apple Muffins

For the muffins

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
½ cup vegetable oil (or ¼ cup oil plus ¼ cup applesauce)
2 cups peeled, cored and chopped apple (about 2 apples)

For the cracked sugar topping

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ cup white sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons butter

Preheat oven to 350º. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, sift together 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, pumpkin and oil.

Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stirring just to moisten. Fold in apples.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons flour, ¼ cup sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle topping evenly over muffin batter (about 1 teaspoon of topping per muffin)

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today! I hope I’ll see you again tomorrow!

03 Nov 2010 Acorn Squash with Cranberry Apple Stuffing

This is one of those recipes where the end product is greater than the sum of its parts.  It’s really tasty!  Who would have thought a little onion, carrot, celery, apple and some dried cranberries baked in a butternut squash would taste so good?   I did!!! (Have I mislead you before?)  This would be great for a fall dinner, all you’d need on the side would be a bit of  roast chicken (see John’s recipe for roast chicken) or maybe a few medallions of (maple glazed…, mmmm) pork tenderloin. When the kids aren’t home, I don’t make anything on the side.  I just enjoy this for dinner (makes enough for two days in a row), in front of the TV, with full and absolute control of the TV remote, and know I am in heaven!

I made this squash today when a friend came over and a light lunch was in order because we had some Maple-Bacon-Pecan Sundaes to taste test after lunch!  I skipped the part about brushing the squash with butter and drizzling butter over the top, and I didn’t miss it.  Feel free to save yourself a a few calories, if you are so inclined (or if  you have Maple-Bacon-Pecan ice cream sundaes to taste test after lunch).  BTW, since I have now mentioned the Maple-Bacon-Pecan Sundaes twice, now THREE times, let me just say bacon just does not belong on ice cream.  Nope.  Not at all.  I found the recipe for the Maple-Bacon-Pecan Sundaes in the November issue of Bon Appetite. I was expecting an amazing taste sensation. Didn’t happen.  I only want to know “Why?” Why print this recipe?  There is absolutely no reason to put bacon on ice cream.  Don’t get me wrong.  I understand, and enjoy, that sweet-salty thing going on right now.  But bacon on ice cream? No.  Just say no.  You probably feel your arteries clogging just reading this post…, time to whip up some Acorn Squash with Cranberry Apple Stuffing.  Veggies.  Tasty.  Good for you.

I found this recipe at My Kitchen Addiction about a year ago, and have been enjoying it ever since.   I hope you have a good time with it, too!

Acorn Squash with Cranberry Apple Stuffing

1 acorn squash
1 tablespoon oil
½ cup celery, diced
½ cup onion, diced
½ cup carrot, chopped
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
1 cup tart apple, unpeeled, diced (Granny Smith is my choice)
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup dried cranberries
2 cups stale bread cut into cubes (I use sourdough from Le Boulangrie)
1 tablespoon melted butter
Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Slice the acorn squash in half lengthwise.  Scoop out and discard the seeds.  Place the squash cut side down in a glass baking dish.  Add about 1/2 inch of water in the bottom of the dish and microwave on high for 10-15 minutes or until soft. While the squash is in the microwave, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add the celery, onion, and carrot and saute until soft, about 5 min.  Add the cider/juice, apple, and brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to the veggies, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Turn off heat and stir in the cranberries and bread cubes, toss to combine and to evenly moisten the bread cubes. Remove the squash from the glass dish, pour out the water, wipe any excess moisture from the baking dish and the squash, and then return the squash to the dish, cut side up. Brush squash halves with some of the melted butter and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon half of the stuffing mixture into each squash half.  Pour any remaining butter over the top. Bake at 375º for 25-30 minutes, or until the filling sets up slightly and is golden on top.  Serve immediately.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today,  I always appreciate your visits!