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Bringing Home the Bakin'

bake my cake and eat it, too

Category Archives: Fruit

This is easily one of the best apple desserts I’ve ever made.  It was tart, but not sour; spiced, but not spicy; soft, but not mushy; in other words, it was near perfect.  Food and Wine recommends serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but I opted to serve it with a generous scoop of Jeni’s ‘Salty Caramel’ ice cream instead — it was a fantastic addition.

Apple Crisp with Sweet Ginger and Macadamia Nuts – Food and Wine Magazine

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Salt
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 3/4 cup macadamia nuts, finely chopped
  • 3 1/2 pounds large Granny Smith apples (about 7)—peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger (2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° and position a rack in the lower third. In a food processor, pulse the flour with the brown sugar, ground ginger, cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Add the butter and pulse until it is the size of small peas. Add the macadamia nuts and pulse twice, just until combined.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the apples with the crystallized ginger, granulated sugar, lime zest, lime juice and a pinch of salt. Spread the apples in a shallow 3-quart baking dish. Sprinkle the topping over the apples and press gently. Bake the crisp for 50 minutes, until bubbling and the top is golden. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving with ice cream.
MAKE AHEAD The crisp can be refrigerated overnight. Rewarm before serving
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My mom and I are constantly searching for new recipes, and coincidentally, we both sought out the same side salad last week.  I took that as a sign that it would be delicious, and I was right — this salad is not only delicious, but also it’s a beautiful, colorful addition to any plate (and it’s perfect for fall, as the colors of the salad mimic the colors of the changing fall leaves)!

Beet and Pomegranate Salad – LA Times

serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 3 to 4 medium beets
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate concentrate or molasses
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 small, dried red chile peppers, crushed
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup lightly flavored olive oil

Directions:

1. Cook the beets in a covered medium saucepan of boiling water until tender, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool, peel and cut into very small dice. Place in a medium bowl.

2. Add the pomegranate concentrate, lemon juice, peppers, one-eighth teaspoon sea salt, or to taste, and combine. Set aside for about 15 minutes.

3. Toss the beets with the cilantro leaves and pomegranate seeds, drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Each serving: 118 calories; 1 gram protein; 9 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 9 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat;0 cholesterol; 24 mg. sodium.

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This post is slightly belated, but the stretch from Thanksgiving to winter break was filled with long nights in the library, and early morning final exams.  This year, other than my staple pies (pumpkin and key lime), I made two delicious desserts.  The first dessert that I made was Dorie Greenspan’s Tourtley Apple Tart, a delicious combination of apple and almond, paired with a crumbly shortbread-esque crust.  This tart could definitely replace a more traditional apple pie. The second dessert I made was a chocolate pie with a chocolate and pretzel crust.  It, too, was delicious,  but had a much more mellow chocolate flavor than I had expected.

 

Tourtely Apple Tart – Dorie Greenspan,  for the recipe visit: http://thewhimsicalcupcake.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/a-tourtely-apple-tart-twd/

 

Chocolate Pie with Chocolate Pretzel Crust – Food Network

Chocolate Pie 
MAKES: one 9-inch pie
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons brewed coffee, cooled
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

Heat the milk in a large saucepan until hot but not boiling. Whisk the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl, then whisk in the egg yolks, coffee and vanilla. Whisk half of the hot milk into the egg mixture until smooth, then gradually whisk the egg mixture into the pan with the remaining milk. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture boils and thickens, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate until melted. Transfer to a bowl and cool slightly, stirring a few times to prevent a skin from forming.

Pour the filling into the crust; press plastic wrap directly onto the surface and chill until set, at least 4 hours. Top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate.

For the Crust:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ground chocolate cookies
  • 1 cup finely chopped pretzels
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grind the cookies, pretzels and sugar in a food processor. Add the melted butter and pulse until moist. Press into a 9-inch pie plate and bake until firm, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool before filling.

 

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BHTB is off to camp!  I’ll be in the woods for the next 8 weeks, but stay tuned — I’m sure I’ll find some culinary inspiration while I’m there.

Koci’s Favorite Granola Bars – La Kocinera

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds (I substituted pecans)
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (I substituted apricots)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine oats, flour, dry milk, and cinnamon in a food processor, mixing until finely ground. Add sunflower seeds, almonds, cherries, and cranberries; pulse until slightly chopped, about 10 quick pulses.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the beaten egg and maple syrup. Pour out onto a baking sheet covered with non-stick aluminum foil or cooking spray and cover with a piece of cling wrap. Using your fingers, press down on the mixture to spread it out along the baking sheet to desired thickness.
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned. After cooling, cut into bars and package in an airtight container and store for several days either at room temperature or in the refrigerator or freeze for several months.

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In my opinion, lemon bars are nothing to get excited about.  Fortunately, this lemon bar is not your average lemon bar.  To start, there’s no chalky, tasteless crust; even better, there’s no filling that is simultaneously lip-puckeringly tart and cloyingly sweet; my favorite part, they’re not drenched in powdered sugar. Instead, the crust is perfectly buttery and crumbly, its warmth only enhanced by the presence of the toasted coconut, and the lemon filling is smooth and delicate.  These bars were not what I was expecting, but let me assure you, I was pleasantly surprised.

Lemon-Coconut Bars – Bon Appetit

Ingredients:

CRUST:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted, cooled
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

FILLING:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon (packed) finely grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

For crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan with foil, leaving overhang. Butter foil. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in processor; blend 5 seconds. Add coconut and butter; process until mixture resembles fine meal and begins to clump together. Gather dough into ball. Press dough evenly over bottom of prepared pan. Bake crust until golden at edges, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare filling:
Combine 3/4 cup sugar, eggs, lemon juice, lemon peel, flour, baking powder, and salt in processor. Blend filling until smooth.

Remove crust from oven. Pour filling evenly over hot crust. Return to oven and bake until filling begins to brown at edges and is just set and springy to touch in center, about 30 minutes. Transfer pan to rack; cool lemon bars completely.

Using foil as aid, transfer lemon bars to work surface. Flatten foil edges. Cut into 16 bars. Sift powdered sugar over. (Can be made 5 days ahead. Store airtight in single layer in refrigerator.)

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I knew I had the recipe for these cupcakes tucked away and when my dad came home with a flat (12 pints) of strawberries one evening, I figured it was the perfect time to resurrect it.  As evidenced by the photos, the cupcakes were SO pretty, and yeah, they were just as good as they look.  The strawberry flavor isn’t super strong, but it is a nice undertone… it’s more like a vanilla cupcake infused with fresh strawberries, as opposed to a completely strawberry cake.

Strawberry Cupcakes – Sprinkles Cupcakes

Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup fresh or frozen whole strawberries (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour , sifted
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup whole milk , room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter , room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg , room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites , room temperature
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
  2. Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about 1/3 cup of puree. Add a few more strawberries if necessary, or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla and strawberry puree; set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.
  5. With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
  6. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.
Strawberry Frosting – Sprinkles Cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup frozen whole strawberries , thawed
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter , firm and slightly cold
  • Pinch coarse salt
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar , sifted
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Directions
  1. Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners’ sugar; beat until well combined.
  3. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended. Do not overmix, or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.

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According to Oprah Winfrey, “at age 19, Maya [Angelou] knew one thing for sure—that her banana pudding was the best.”  At age 19, one thing I know for sure is that Maya Angelou’s banana pudding is one of the best desserts I have ever made.

Banana Pudding – Maya Angelou

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cups milk (whole milk, no cutting calories here!)
  • 8 eggs, separated
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups vanilla wafers
  • 4 ripe bananas, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large saucepan, combine 1/3 cup sugar, cornstarch and salt; stir until blended. Mix in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened and boiling. Boil 1 minute, then remove from heat.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks, then whisk in about 1/2 cup of hot custard until blended. Pour yolk mixture back into saucepan of custard; cook over medium heat, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in butter and vanilla until blended.
  3. Place vanilla wafers on bottom of a shallow 2-quart casserole dish. Top with layers of banana slices and custard. Repeat layering, ending with custard.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites and 1/4 cup sugar at low speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar; increase speed to medium and gradually beat in remaining sugar. Beat until egg whites hold stiff peaks.
  5. Spoon meringue over hot custard immediately, making sure that meringue touches baking dish on all sides (this prevents it from shrinking). Transfer to oven and bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Remove pudding from oven and cool 1 hour. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.

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