Showing posts with label apple. Show all posts
Showing posts with label apple. Show all posts

Friday, October 21, 2016

Apple Crumble Shortbread Bars

I bet you thought there was no such thing as a “new” apple recipe. Just take a look at the backlist of apple recipes we’ve collected on Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen! But I’m always watching for a new twist. This recipe was inspired by a cookie/bar I discovered at the Moon Dog Café in Chester, Vermont this month. (If you’re in the neighborhood, try the café’s meat-loaf sandwich—it’s amazing, and enough for two meals.) I decided to try to reproduce it, and this is the result. It combines elements from a variety of other of my recipes, with a dash of common sense in combining them.



The Crust:

1/2 lb butter (1 cup/2 sticks) at room temperature
1/4 cup soft brown sugar
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

In a stand mixer, mix the first three ingredients.



Roll the dough into a ball, wrap, and refrigerate for 15 minutes (this makes it easier to handle).



Press the dough into the bottom of a baking pan (I used a 9” pan with a removable bottom—you do need something with sides to contain the filling, but the overall dimensions aren’t critical).

Bake in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes (this will be cooked, but don’t let it brown). Let cool partially.

The Apple Layer:



Peel, core and thinly slice two or three cooking apples (depending on size). I used locally-grown Empires, which weren’t very large, so it took four apples to cover the crust.



Arrange the apples on the crust in a single layer (some overlap is okay, but it shouldn’t be a thick layer). Taste the apples, and if you think they need it sprinkle with a little sugar, and some cinnamon.

The Topping:
 
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder

Raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Mix the  ingredients together to make coarse crumbs and sprinkle over the apple layer.



Bake for about 20 minutes or until the apples are soft and the topping begins to brown.




As you might guess, the apples will make these bars a bit soggy after a short while—so enjoy them quickly!

Here's the Cafe's version
Here's my version. Pretty close!












Seeds of Deception (Orchard Mystery #10) was #10 among Barnes and Noble's Mass Market Paperbacks in its first week! Thank you all (and for those of you who haven't bought it yet, what are you waiting for?).

Find it at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


Friday, December 4, 2015

Apple Cherry-Marzipan Pie

by Sheila Connolly

I know I keep promising NO MORE APPLE RECIPES, but today is Meg and Seth’s wedding day, and also my grandmother’s birthday (no mere coincidence there), so there must be a dessert, and this one is definitely different. My grandmother was a confirmed dessert lover, and she believed that the sole reason for the existence of cake was to support the frosting. A lot of frosting. She kindly passed this trait along to me. (She lived to be 94, so apparently it did her no harm.)

This recipe is a bit different than most apple pies. For one thing, it includes dried cherries (which are both tart and a little sweet); for another, there’s marzipan! Bet you haven’t seen that in an apple pie! Marzipan is almond paste with added sugar, so it counter-balances the tartness of the cherries. All good!


Apple-Cherry-Marzipan Pie


Crust:

8 oz (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1 lb plain white flour
1/4 cup white sugar
Pinch of salt
Water (about 5 Tblsp), chilled




Place the butter and flour in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles crumbs. Add the sugar and salt and pulse again.




Place the water in a cup or pitcher and add slowly until the mixture holds together to form a dough (you may not need all the water, but it shouldn’t be crumbly).



Knead on a floured surface long enough to combine. Wrap it in plastic wrap or put in a plastic ziplock bag and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Filling:


Zest of 1 lemon
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1/3 white sugar
4 Tblsp cornstarch
6 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2” slices (I used the last of my home-grown Cortlands)




7 oz marzipan, cut into small cubes
1 cup dried cherries (or you could substitute cranberries)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, combine the lemon zest, cinnamon, sugar and cornstarch.

Flour a board and a rolling pin. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator. Divide into two portions, one half the size of the other (bottom and top). Roll out the larger piece and fit it into a 9” pie pan (the pastry should overlap generously), pressing it against the sides of the pan. Place in the freezer to chill for 10 minutes.


An aside: this recipe worked better than most of my pie crusts. For a 9” pan, this must be rolled fairly thin, but it held together well and was elastic enough to fit into the pan. When baked, it was nicely crumbly and light. It’s a keeper!
Arrange a layer of apple slices in the pie dish and sprinkle with the marzipan cubes and cherries. Repeat in layers until the pan is nearly full at the edges and heaped in the middle.



Roll out the smaller piece of dough to make a lid that fits over the apples. Crimp the edges of the bottom crust over this to seal. Make a hole in the center of the crust to let the steam escape.



If you like, beat an egg yolk with a little water and use as a glaze over the crust.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the pastry is golden-brown (test to make sure the apples are soft). If it’s getting too brown after 25 minutes, cover the top with foil to keep the edges from burning.






In honor of Meg and Seth's special event, and the coming holidays, I'm giving away a copy of A Gala Event--and an alpaca! No, not a real one, but a very cute stuffed one. If you know someone who would enjoy it as a Christmas gift, here's your chance to win one. (And if you want to keep it for yourself, that's fine too--I had to have one of my own!) Just leave a comment here and I'll pick one lucky person.



And if you don't win, A Gala Event is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and bookstores everywhere.

www.sheilaconnolly.com




Friday, October 9, 2015

Apple Scone Cake


by Sheila Connolly

I was going to give you a break from apple recipes, but ‘tis the season, and I’ve still got lots of apples on the trees. The Northern Spy variety isn’t supposed to finish ripening until November, so there’s still a ways to go. I’ll admit I’m craving something savory—meat! Fat! Salt!—but you’ll have to wait just a bit longer. Besides, it’s launch week for A Gala Event, so there must be apples!

I came upon this recipe in the Boston Globe. As an aside, when I first lived in the Boston area, the food pickings were kind of slim. The Grand Old Restaurants, like Locke-Ober’s, were still producing traditional meals that would make grandparents happy. I knew of Savenor’s Market in Cambridge only because Julia Child said she shopped there (I got hooked on her TV series early). Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, out in Sudbury, was turning out more or less the same dishes as in my great-great-grandfather’s time (he ate there in 1910). Ken’s Steak House was thriving. And I’ll confess, in my first apartments, with roommates, kielbasa appeared in about half our meals. Gourmets we were not, although a friend did introduce me to homemade bouillabaisse.

Things have changed! Now the Boston Globe has a weekly section devoted to all things food. New restaurants have sprung up like mushrooms both in the city and in the burbs, as have farmers’ markets. It’s a good time to be a foodie! (Which came first, the food or the foodie?)

One note about this recipe: as original given, it called for mixing the ingredients by hand, rubbing in the butter, etc. In general I support this, because if you use machines you risk over-processing your recipe, which can toughen dough. However, this recipe lends itself to using a food processor, as long as you limit yourself to pulsing the ingredients until you reach the right consistency. You can choose whichever method you want.


Apple Scone Cake

1-2/3 cup flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg
1/3 cup whole milk
1 large apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
Cinnamon sugar
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tsp milk or water (for glaze)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan.

In a bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt to blend them. Add the butter and with your fingers or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse meal. [Note: this can all be done in the bowl of your food processor.]



In another bowl, whisk the whole egg and milk. With a fork, stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture [or add to the food processor and pulse a few times]. Mix until it forms a dough.



Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter and knead briefly until it’s smooth (it won’t take long). Divide the dough in half. Roll one piece of the dough to a 10-inch round and slip it into the pan, pressing it up along the sides.



Note: rolled to the right size, the dough will be very thin. Don’t worry—it puffs up in cooking!

Arrange the apple slices, slightly overlapping, in circles over the layer of dough. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.



Roll the second piece of dough to a 9-inch round. Lay it on top of the apples and press the edges of the two layers of dough together to seal them. 



Brush the pastry with egg-yolk glaze.



Bake the cake for 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Set the cake on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Take the cake out of the pan and finish cooling. 



This isn’t a very sweet cake. You could easily serve it for breakfast or afternoon tea. For dessert, you could dress it up with some powdered sugar or a dollop of whipped cream.

My apologies if I don't respond quickly to your comments. Today I'm attending Bouchercon, the mystery conference, and I'm not sure when I can check in. 


It's here! A Gala Event is available everywhere. (Spoiler alert: it has a happy ending.)

Find it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and independent bookstores (I hope!).

www.sheilaconnolly.com

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Seven Minute Apple Doughnuts for #Passover by Cleo Coyle #PassoverRecipe

These quick and easy Passover apple "doughnuts,"
made from matzo cake meal are absolutely delicious,
like a cross between a hot apple pie and an apple croissant.

Monday evening at sundown began the feast of Passover, a Jewish holiday rich in tradition. Like so many cultures around the world, the foods eaten (and not eaten) during this eight-day holiday help define, explain, and celebrate it. 

The Seder, for example, a dinner eaten on the first night, includes specific foods in the telling of the Exodus story. Nice post about "The Seder Plate" here.

One of the most important and ubiquitous foods of this holiday is matzo (aka matza or matzah), basically an unleavened cracker. While it's part of the ritual of this holiday, it's also a wonderful ingredient to cook with. 

Matzo Meal makes a delicious breading. (Matzo) "Cake Meal" is more finely ground and powdery like cake flour. See the difference in my photo below...

Matzo Cake Meal is much finer
than Matzo Meal, more like flour. 

Today’s recipe uses (matzo) Cake Meal. It's my own step-by-step rendering of a popular Passover treat. It’s delicious, easy, and fun to make. 

Please note that raw flour will not give you the same amazing results so do not sub it. Cake Meal is not raw. It's an already-baked product made from finely ground matzos, and that's what you need for this recipe. 

May you eat it with joy and have a good Pesach!

~ Cleo






Author Cleo Coyle writes
culinary mysteries with her
husband. Learn about their
bestselling books
 here.
Seven Minute Apple
"Doughnuts" for Passover



This Passover recipe will give you an amazingly delicious hot pastry that tastes like a cross between a hot apple pie and an apple croissant. 






Click here for free pdf
To download this recipe in a free PDF that you can print, save, or share, click here.


Serves 1 or 2 people
(double or triple for a larger group)


Ingredients:

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and sliced into thin rings (about 1/8-inch in thickness)

1 large egg

1/2 cup water (or plain, unflavored seltzer)

2 teaspoons vegetable or canola oil 

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (or generous pinch of table salt)

1/3 cup (matzo) Passover Cake Meal (do not substitute flour*)

        + a little extra Cake Meal for Step 4

*As mentioned above, note that raw flour will not give you the same amazing results. "Cake Meal" is not raw. It is an already-baked product made from finely ground matzos, and that's what you need for this recipe. 

Directions:

(1) Peel and core apple. For best results, I suggest a tart, firm apple like a Granny Smith. A sweeter apple will taste cloying. A mushy apple may not stand up to the high heat of frying.




(2) Cut into rings of about 1/8-inch in thickness. You'll get about 8 rings out of an average Granny Smith apple.




(3) Make Batter: Crack the egg into a mixing bowl. Add water, oil, and salt. Whisk well. Add the (matzo) Cake Meal and whisk very well, until you have a smooth batter. Now judge the thickness. The batter should be somewhat thick, but thin enough to pour—like a pancake or cake batter. See my photo. 


Be sure to get the thickness right...
Too thick? If the batter is too thick (like frosting), you’ll need to thin it out. Add 1 tablespoon of water and whisk again until smooth. (Continue adding small amounts of water until you get the consistency you need.) On the other hand…

Too thin? If the batter becomes too thin, add a bit more Cake Meal, and whisk well until smooth.


Sitting batter will thicken over time: As the Cake Meal sits in the liquid, it will absorb the liquid, expand, and thicken the batter. If you are not frying right away or if the batter sits for some time between batches, be prepared to whisk in a little more water to thin out the mixture again.

(4) IMPORTANT - Lightly coat apple rings with the (matzo) Cake Meal. This step is often missing from similar recipes, but it's important to prevent the batter from sliding off the slippery surface of the apple ring. Place a few extra tablespoons of dry Cake Mean into a bowl. Drop in apple rings and lightly coat both sides (as shown).


If you don't coat the apples with
the powdery Cake Meal, the batter will
have nothing to cling to and
slide off the apple ring...

(5) Coat the apple ring with batter. Drop apple ring in batter and coat well. Hold the ring through the hole and allow excess batter to drip off. Then bring it to the pan of hot oil and gently lay it into the pan.



(6) Foolproof Frying...

IMPORTANT - Is the oil hot enough? Sprinkle a bit of dry Cake Meal into the pan. If the Cake Meal sizzles and dances, it's hot enough. If the Cake Meal sinks to the bottom, the oil is too cold.

Fry apple rings until golden brown, flipping the pastry halfway through the cooking process. You should see the oil bubbling up around the doughnut. If the oil is not bubbling, it's too cold. 

Do not crowd the pan. If you try to fry too many apple rings at one time, you will rapidly bring down the temperature of the oil, and you may need to adjust the temperature back up again to see those all-important bubbles.

If your oil is not bubbling around the frying apple doughnut
(as shown) it is not hot enough. (Click on my photo to enlarge.)


(7) Drain, cool a bit, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Drain doughnuts on paper towels for a minute or so. You want to cool off the finished doughnut a bit before sprinkling with sugar or the sugar will melt. 

Make cinnamon sugar by mixing ½ cup white, granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Sprinkle liberally on the warm doughnuts and...





Click here for free PDF
of this recipe, and...




Eat with joy!
~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
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