Monday, November 19, 2012
As I've said over and over I love to bake! For some unknown reason I am pulled to making pies. Everything from making the pie crust, rolling it out to preparing the filling and topping is just so much fun. I once thought that I'd like to get all my collection of pie recipes together into a cookbook. I can visualize turning the pages and finding picture after picture of mouth watering pies! How would I choice which one of my pies to feature on the cover, like a mother I love them all. I do have to say that fruit pies are my favorite to make and eat.
Apple pies are the harbinger of fall with the fresh harvest apples ripe and juicy just shouting put me in a pie! With so many apple choices I find it hard to decide which delectable apple variety to use in my pies. Which apple you use in your pie set the flavor of the whole pie, from sweet, to tart, to crisp to softer, it does make a difference. For my Candied Apple and Cranberry Pie I chose Gala apples which are sweet but crisp for an over all sweet apple pie especially with the addition of dried cranberries. Top this pie off with creamy vanilla ice cream for a mouthful of heaven!
Candied Apple and Cranberry Pie
1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter
2-3 tablespoon apple cider or water
1 egg, beaten
Mix one cup flour, 1/2 cup firm butter, and 1/2 cup brown packed sugar with a fork or pastry blender until crumbly.
Heat oven to 425 F. Prepare pastry: Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in large bowl. With pastry blender cut in butter to the consistency of coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle apple cider over top one tablespoon at a time, mix until pastry holds together. Shape pastry into ball.
On lightly floured surface, roll out pastry into 11-inch round, fit into 9-inch pie plate. Turn extra dough at edge into rim and flute or crimp a raised edge.
Filling: Stir together sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt: mix lightly with the apples. Pour into pastry-lined pie plate and sprinkle with Crumb Topping.
Cover the edge with a 2 to 3 inch strip of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning, remove the foil for the last 15 minutes of baking. Bake 40-50 minutes. If topping browns too quickly, cover with foil for the last 15 minutes.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
A picture is worth a thousand words or so the saying goes. Looking at the picture of my Tiramisu cake I think that is so true. A light angel food cake soaked in coffee and liqueur with a mascarpone filling frosted with whipped cream, need I say more!
1 Angel Food Cake 8-10 inch, homemade or store bought
1 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese or 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened (I used mascarpone cheese)
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
3 tablespoon coffee liqueur or Godiva chocolate liqueur which I really like
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoon coffee liqueur
3/4 cup strong black coffee
1/4 cup coffee liqueur
chocolate fudge sauce
Chill a medium mixing bowl and the beaters of an electric mixer
For filling, combine mascarpone or cream cheese, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 3 tablespoon liqueur in a large mixing bowl. Beat with a electric mixer on medium speed until blended and smooth.
Combine whipping cream, 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoon liqueur in the chilled mixing bowl. Beat till stiff peaks form. Fold in 1/2 cup of the whipped cream mixture into the mascarpone mixture.
Using a serrated knife to cut the angel food cake horizontally into three layers. Poke holes in the top of the three layers with metal or wooden skewers. Combine coffee and liqueur in a small bowl; slowly drizzle over each cake layer allowing the coffee mixture to soak in the cake layers.
To assemble cake, place one cake layer on serving plate. Spread half the mascarpone filling. Add second layer and spread remaining filling. Add the third layer. Frost with remaining whipped cream.
Heat 1/4 cup chocolate fudge sauce till warm in a small sauce pan. Stir in enough liqueur(1-2 tablespoon) to make sauce easy to drizzle. Drizzle over the top and down the sides of the cake.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
I have to admit that I so enjoy entertaining friends and family with a spectacular assortment of appetizers. I aim for a variety of textures and taste that appeal to a variety of pallets and tastes. One of my family and friends favorites is my combination of Brie, figs, pecans and candied cranberries wrapped in flaky puff pastry. Puff pastry baked to golden perfection with warm Brie bubbling out as you cut through the delectable pastry. One of my guilty pleasures to indulge in occasionally!
Golden Backed Brie with Figs in Puff Pastry
1/2 package of frozen puff pastry (one sheet)
1 teaspoon water
1/2 cup fig spread
1/3 cup dried cranberries, softened (microwave in small bowl with 1 teaspoon water on low for 30 seconds)
1/4 cup toasted chopped pecans
1 (8 ounce) Brie Round
Thaw the pastry sheet at room temperature for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix egg and water. Unfold pastry sheet on lightly floured surface. Roll into 12" square. Cut pastry to make a 10 inch circle. Spread fig spread to within 1 inch of pastry edge. Sprinkle cranberries and pecans. Place cheese round on top. Brush edges with egg mixture. Fold two opposite sides over cheese. Trim remaining two sides to 2" from edge of cheese. fold these two side on the Brie. Press edges to seal. Place seam side down on baking sheet. Decorate top with rolled out reaming pastry. I used a mini leaf cookie cutter for a fall them. Brush with egg mixture. Bake 20 minutes or until golden. Let stand 1 hour. Serve with crackers.