Showing posts with label cherry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cherry. Show all posts

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




Sunday, June 1, 2014

Cinderella Pink Fairy Tale Fudge

Once we saw the lovely pink fudge, how could we at MLK not ask Christine DeSmet to be our guest? 



by Christine DeSmet

Thank you for inviting me to share a recipe from the Fudge Shop Mystery Series. The recipe for Cinderella Pink Fairy Tale Fudge is my original recipe that you’ll find in Book 1, First-Degree Fudge.

A second Fairy Tale Fudge Flavor is featured with a recipe in Book 2, Hot Fudge Frame-Up, published on June 3, 2014.

Each book also features other original fudge recipes, including those from my Fisherman’s Catch Tall Tale Fudge line for men. Beer fudge anyone? Beer chocolates are served at a local bar in Madison, Wisconsin, along with a local craft beer or two flavored with chocolate.

Belgian chocolate gets its due in my series. Belgian American Ava Oosterling and her Grandpa Gil, operate Oosterlings’ Live Bait, Bobbers & Belgian Fudge & Beer in Fishers’ Harbor, Wisconsin.

The village is in the real Door County, known as the Cape Cod of the Midwest. Door County is that thumb of land in Lake Michigan surrounded by 300 miles of coastline.

It’s a quaint place where fast food chains are banned in the picturesque upper half of the county. Because the county is a top producer of cherries in this country, I knew the first flavor of fudge my character had to make was cherry-vanilla. Ava’s fudge is used to hide diamonds and choke a famous actress to death in First-Degree Fudge.

For the crime in Book 2, Hot Fudge Frame-Up, one of the 11 lighthouses dotting the shorelines comes into play, and contributes to ideas for fudge recipes. .

Why are Belgians featured in my book? Well, Poirot was a Belgian and I figured it was time for a female Poirot. But the Belgian heritage is strong in Door County. It’s in a region that courted the Belgians in the 1850s with land for sale at $1.25 an acre. As a result, over 15,000 Belgians came to the area. All of Door County’s population today is just 28,000. The area is said to have the largest rural population of Belgians in the United States.

You’ll learn about the history of fudge, too, and other sweet treats throughout my series.

I hope you visit Oosterlings’ Live Bait, Bobbers & Belgian Fudge & Beer soon! Enjoy the fudge with a frothy, frosty Belgian beer!  


Cinderella Pink Fairy Tale Fudge (with Diamonds) Recipe



This easy, microwave recipe for a cherry-vanilla fudge is a favorite with my friends and coworkers. They like the “diamonds” they find in the fudge. (Leave out the diamonds if you don’t like the crunchy texture.)

Before you cook:  Prepare an 8x8-inch pan by lining it with wax paper so that the wax paper comes over the edges. Spray the paper lightly with nonstick vegetable cooking spray.

3 cups white chocolate chips (Use 2 cups if you like softer fudge.)
14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup dried cherries (or can used canned whole tart cherries, chopped)
Red food coloring  
½ cup edible white or clear glitter (large size) for “diamonds” (optional)
Pink or white luster dust (optional)

Special note for Mystery Lovers Kitchen readers:  This recipe can be mixed either on the stovetop in a heavy pan or in the microwave in a glass dish. The sugar crystals love to be “handled” by the cook, so I prefer whipping all the ingredients together at once in a pan on the stove and then constantly beating the mixture from the moment the chocolate starts melting until its glassy and ready to pour into the pan.

Microwave method:

Mix the chips and milk together and melt at medium power in the microwave for about 5 minutes. Stir and return to the microwave until fully melted. Stir in the vanilla and four or five (or more) drops of red food coloring to turn it pink. Just before pouring it into the pan, blend in 1/4 cup of the glitter if you want diamonds inside the fudge. Then pour it into the pan. Sprinkle the top of the fudge with the rest of the “diamond” glitter.

Optional:  Before you sprinkle on the diamond glitter, first brush on luster dust, which is a very fine glittery edible powder you can buy in various colors. It’s best to apply luster dust with a small artist’s brush so that you don’t waste it; don’t try to shake it directly from its container onto your fudge or use your fingers. Sprinkle the rest of the “diamond” glitter on top of the luster dust.

Let your fudge sit for a few hours or overnight. When ready to cut, transfer it from its pan to a cutting board. Peel off the wax paper completely. Use a knife with a smooth blade or a fudge cutter. Cut into one-inch squares or any size you prefer. 


About Hot Fudge Frame-Up (Book 2, Fudge Shop Mystery Series)

Ava is gearing up for the First Annual Fudge Festival—a huge celebration that could draw national attention to her old-fashioned fudge shop in Door County, Wisconsin—known as the “Cape Cod of the Midwest.” She’s invited two celebrity chefs to go head-to-head with her in a fudge contest. Everyone is having a tasty time…until a judge for the festival is found dead.











About the author

Christine DeSmet writes the Fudge Shop Mystery Series (Penguin Random House/NAL/Obsidian). She is also the author of a romantic suspense, Spirit Lake, and several romantic mystery short stories and screenplays. She teaches writing at University of Wisconsin-Madison Continuing Studies, where she’ll be teaching novel writing at the Write-by-the-Lake Writer’s Workshop & Retreat June 16-20. Her pink fudge was a hit at the breakfast tables at the recent Malice Domestic conference for readers and authors in Bethesda, MD.

Christine is a Belgian American who was born among a large clan of Belgians in Moline, Illinois, then grew up on a farm near Barneveld, Wisconsin.

She visits Door County often and encourages anyone to stop by the Belgian kermis (harvest festival) in Namur, Wisconsin, on September 21, 2014.


You can write to her at UW-Madison, cdesmet@dcs.wisc.edu.  


Fudge photo credit:  Laura Kahl

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Insanely Easy Cherry Streusel Coffee Cake for Mother's Day from Cleo Coyle





Cleo Coyle, who aspires to
wear purple, is author
of The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Happy Mother's Day!

(A little early.)

I'm putting on the coffee and
baking up a favorite...


Shirley Hunt Jackson,
Red Hat Queen




Courtesy of a beautiful mom
and grandmom, 
who wrote to me two years ago
and shared this recipe.

Thank you to Red Hatter...

Shirley Hunt Jackson 





Insanely Easy
Cherry Streusel Coffee Cake

Courtesy of Shirley Jackson

Note from Shirley: "I made this coffee cake for the first time at Pam's home in Houston for a group of Red Hat friends. This coffee cake tastes just like a yeast bread that has taken you a long time to make. Sure does make your kitchen smell cozy."

Note from Cleo: "Shirley is absolutely right about the yeast and the coziness of this coffee cake. Over the years, I've seen many cake recipes with a cake mix as starter. I've seen many 'pie-filling-over-cake-mix' recipes, too. But I've never seen yeast used as an ingredient (have any of you?). The use of yeast in this recipe gives the streusel a sweet bread-like flavor and texture, but without kneading or rising time. It's also fantastic chilled, so it makes a great summer cake, too. Thanks again to Shirley!"



To download this recipe in a PDF file that you can print, save, or share, click here.





INGREDIENTS

For dough base:
1 package yellow cake mix
1 cup all-purpose flour, unsifted
1 packet (1/4 ounce) dry yeast
2/3 cup very warm tap water
2 eggs

For topping:

5 Tablespoons butter (salted is fine)
1 can (1 pound 5 ounce) cherry pie filling
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar


Step 1 - Make dough base: First preheat your oven to 375° Fahrenheit and coat a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with cooking spray (or grease and flour it to prevent sticking). Then, in a large mixing bowl, measure out 1-1/2 cups of the dry cake mix. (You are reserving the remaining mix for the topping.) Add the flour and dry yeast. Now add the 2/3rds cup of very warm tap water. Allow the yeast to come alive and bubble for a minute. Finally, add the 2 eggs. Beat everything for 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping bowl often. Dough will be thick. Using a rubber spatula or back of a spoon, spread it across the bottom of your coated baking pan.



Step 2 - Make streusel topping: Melt butter in a saucepan and pour it over the remaining cake mix. Mix the butter in well with the dry mix. It should be lumpy and crumbly. (See photo.)


Step 3 - Assemble coffee cake: Spoon the cherry pie filling evenly across the top of the dough in the baking pan. Sprinkle sugar on top of the filling. Finally, using your fingers, crumble the streusel topping over it all. (There is quite a bit of topping in this recipe. I decided to hold back some of mine so the bright redness of the cherries would really show through.)

 

Step 4 - Bake and glaze: Bake the coffee cake for 30 minutes in your preheated oven (375° F). Cool the coffee cake on a rack (to allow air to circulate under the hot pan bottom). When the top is fairly cool, drizzle with glaze. See my Quick Glaze recipe below. After cake is served, refrigerate leftovers to keep fresh. This cake is also delicious chilled!


 

CLEO'S FAVORITE
QUICK GLAZE:

Cleo's note: Shirley's cherry streusel coffee cake glaze used corn syrup, water, and powdered sugar. With her indulgence, I am giving you my favorite butter glaze instead, which is what I use when I make this cake. Here is the simple recipe...

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons butter (salted is fine)
2 Tablespoons whole milk (cream or half-and-half)
1 cup confectioner's (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted

Over medium heat, warm butter and milk in a saucepan. Do not let this mixture brown, burn, or boil or you will have a scalded taste in your glaze. As soon as butter has melted, stir in the sifted confectioner's sugar, a little at a time, until it is completely melted. You must work with the glaze quickly, while it is still warm. Using a rubber spatula or spoon, drizzle the warm glaze over the coffee cake. If the glaze hardens up on you, place the saucepan over the heat again and whisk until liquefied and smooth once more.




CARE FOR A SLICE?




Happy Mother's
Day!


~ Cleo Coyle, author of 

To get more of my recipes, enter to win
free coffee, or learn about my books, including
my bestselling 
Haunted Bookshop series, visit my online coffeehouse: CoffeehouseMystery.com



The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 
 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.