Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Apple Pie

Now, who doesn't like apple pie? Who doesn't like apple pie that was possibly cooked a few minutes too long like the one in this picture? Don't worry. It still tasted great. Just note, when it suggests bake 30-40 minutes. The 35 mark didn't cut it. 

Apple Pie (from the Lion House cookbook)
Pastry for 9-inch two crust pie
4 to 5 cups tart apples; peeled, cored, and sliced (*Read my notes below)
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
1 to 2 T flour
1/2 to 1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
1 T lemon juice
2 T butter or margarine

Steam or simmer apples gently in water until they wilt and begin to become transparent. (This is a partial cooking only so that apples will cook thoroughly in the pie.)
Combine the sugar and other dry ingredients. Mix well. Spread half over the pastry-lined pan. Lift apples from cooking liquid into crust. Add 1/4 c. of the cooking liquid. Sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture. Sprinkle pie filling with lemon juice and dot with butter. Roll, fit, and seal top crust. Brush with mil and sprinkle with sugar, if desired. 

Bake on lower shelf of oven at 425 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes (again, I would just put the timer at 30 and watch it)

*My notes. Our family LOVES Gravenstein apples. It's not one readily found in the stores. Luckily we get some given to us by David's parents each fall to make this and an apple crisp. We don't use any other apples. Hence the reason we are trying to grow our own Gravenstein tree on our property.

These apples have a tart taste and aren't the best to eat just plain. They make great cooking apples. They don't keep their flavor for long, so we prepare batches of this filling in advance to bake up later in the winter to enjoy. So, to make the freezer filling, do all of the ingredients as if you were preparing the pie (of course, not the pie crust), and don't add the butter. Just put it all into a gallon-sized freezer bag and lie it flat until it cools. Label it and remind yourself to add 2 T butter to the top when you're ready to bake it. Then place the bag flat into the freezer for a "rainy day"! 

If you really love apples, you have to try this Cheddar Apple Bread. Yummy!!! 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Triple Layer Carrot Cake

Triple Layer Carrot Cake
adapted from Martha Stewart

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans 
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 3 large eggs 
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 1 pound carrots (8 to 10 medium carrots), peeled and shredded on a box grater or in a food processor (about 2 3/4 cups)
  • Directions:

  • Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper, and butter parchment. Dust with flour, tapping out excess. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg.
  • Beat butter and sugars with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat 3 minutes. Add vanilla, water, and carrots. Beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture, then finely chopped pecans.
  • Scrape batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cakes to loosen, and turn out cakes onto rack. Turn right side up, and let cool completely.
  • Using a serrated knife, trim rounded top of 2 cakes. Place one trimmed cake, cut side up, on a serving platter. Spread 1 cup frosting over cake. Top with second trimmed cake, cut side down. Spread 1 cup frosting over cake. Generously spread the frosting on. You will have pleeeennnty. Top with remaining cake. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides. Gently press coarsely chopped pecans onto sides of cake. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.
  • Frosting:
  • 16 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks (16 Tablespoons) ucutter, cut into small pieces and brought to room temperature
  • 2 pounds (roughly 7 1/2 c.) confectioners sugar, sifted
  • Beat cream cheese and vanilla with a mixer on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add butter, beating until incorporated after each addition.
  • Reduce speed to low, Gradually add confectioners sugar and beat until fluffy and smooth. Frosting can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 days; bring to room temperature and stir well before using. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Coming Soon

In a perfect world I would bake a treat again for you every Tuesday. However I have seemingly lost hours in my day and can't resurrect that time anymore. My intent someday is to share a recipe of the treats each Tuesday so that perhaps one can make them at home. We will see if this goal comes to life soon.

In the meantime, feel free to check my other blog where I sporadically add recipes for the heartier meals such as dinners and lunches.