Showing posts with label hazelnuts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hazelnuts. Show all posts

Friday, September 25, 2015

Morris House Apple Pie

by Sheila Connolly

Mixed Apple Pie with Hazelnut Crumb Crust and Maple Cream
Sometimes things just come together when you need them.

My very own apples--but this is from only
one tree!
My apples are ripening at an alarming rate, and even after sharing with the hungry squirrels I have an awful lot of them. Of course I welcome new apple recipes, but I don’t expect them to drop into my lap. Well, this one did.

This arrived in an email from Morris House, the small hotel in Philadelphia where I’ve stayed multiple times (it’s delightful, and less expensive than the nearby big chains). The last time there I ate at the restaurant (which appears in one of my Museum Mysteries), and I shared my version of the entrée recipe here on MLK (Scallops with Ginger-Soy Aioli in May 2015). They have a great chef!

The email included a detailed recipe for (drum roll) Apple Pie. Not just any apple pie, but one that called for a hazelnut crust you don’t have to roll (I’ve whined here before about my issues with pie crusts), and a crumbled topping, and best yet, it uses “mixed apples.” Boy, do I have mixed apples!

Apples come in many varieties, with different properties. Some are good for eating, others not so good to eat but great for pies. Some should go straight to cider—you wouldn’t want to eat them. If you mix up your varieties, you benefit from the best properties of all the kinds in the pie, both for flavor and for texture.

All right, I’ll get off my apple soapbox and show you how to make this delightful apple pie from Morris House in Philadelphia.

Mixed Apple Pie with Hazelnut Crumb Crust and Maple Cream
The Crust

1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup butter, melted

Combine the oats and next 5 ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Drizzle butter over top and mix well. Press mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom and sides of a 9- or 10-inch greased pie plate to form a thick crust.

The Filling

6 cups mixed apples, peeled, cored, 
Peeled with my antique peeler!
and cut into 1/4-inch slices
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus 1/2 teaspoon zest
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
3 tablespoons flour

Preheat oven to 375° F.

A note on the apples you choose: taste them! If they seem kind of tart, you can add sugar to the recipe at this point, but remember there will be a sugary crust.

Place the sliced apples in a large bowl and drizzle with lemon juice and maple syrup; mix well. In a small bowl, combine lemon zest, cinnamon, allspice, and 3 tablespoons flour. Sprinkle the mixture over the apples and toss to coat. Evenly distribute filling into unbaked crust, taking care to layer the apples. (This will ensure your pie doesn't fall apart when you cut into it.)

Yes, there's a pink apple in there

The Topping

1/2 cup brown sugar
5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 cup flour

For the topping, combine the flour, brown sugar, and butter in a medium bowl. Using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, rub in the butter until pea-sized clumps form. Sprinkle topping over filling and pat neatly into place.

Ready to bake
Bake the pie for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the apples are soft and the crust is browned on the edges. If the top seems to be browning too quickly while baking, loosely cover with aluminum foil. Remove pie from oven and allow to sit for at least 2 hours (this makes it a whole lot easier to slice!).

Tangy Maple Cream

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon maple extract OR maple syrup

While the pie is baking, chill a medium-sized glass or stainless steel bowl in the freezer.

Pour the cream into the chilled bowl and beat with a whisk or hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Beat in yogurt and maple extract or syrup until just combined. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

Another note: this topping is not sweetened, except for that dash of maple syrup. If you like things sweet, add a bit of sugar after you’ve whipped the cream.
Once the pie has cooled, cut it into slices and top with a dollop of Maple Cream before serving. Serves 6 to 8.

I have to add: this pie smelled wonderful while it baked, throughout my entire house. There really is something different about apples used the same day you pick them!

Eleven days until A Gala Event comes out!

I can't believe it took nine books for Meg and Seth to figure out they were meant for each other. Of course, nothing went smoothly in planning the wedding, and then there was this crime to solve...and some wandering alpacas to watch out for. Life in Granford is full of surprises.

You can pre-order it at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Friday, July 4, 2014


by Sheila Connolly

I was going to give you a recipe for how to cook a weed, but that didn’t sound quite right for the Fourth of July (even though it is a native species of weed!), so you may see that one in coming weeks.

Happy Independence Day! 

Between Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, I’ve been spending a lot of time (in my head, at least) with the Revolutionary War recently. Maybe it was the early influence of Johnny Tremain (written by Esther Forbes and published in 1943; Walt Disney made a movie of it in 1957), which was required reading for my sixth grade English class, but I’ve always found the whole thing romantic—those ill-equipped farmers without uniforms or decent weapons standing up to the might of the well-trained, well-supplied British Empire in defense of their homes and livelihoods and maybe even some ideals. It’s a great story with a happy ending, isn’t it?

Back to the food. Summer has finally arrived around here, and there are parties and fireworks to watch this week (plus that annoying Hurricane Arthur), and mosquitoes to swat, so I’m going to keep it simple. Here’s a nice recipe for a salad with a few little twists.

Pea Shoot and Hazelnut Salad with Mustard-Honey Vinaigrette


1-1/2 Tblsp balsamic vinegar (flavored if you like)
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp honey
1 small shallot, minced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper


1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped
5 oz. baby arugula (or any other small greens you prefer)
3-4 oz. pea shoots (available in packages at your market!)
4 large radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced (the white part only)

Right up front, I’ll give you a choice: you can prepare your own hazelnuts:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the hazelnuts on a cookie sheet and toast until they are fragrant and the skins blister (12-15 minutes).   Transfer them to a kitchen towel and let cool slightly, then rub the nuts together vigorously to remove the skins. Chop the nuts coarsely.

Or you can just buy a package at your market--much simpler! Although the toasting is a good idea because it brings out the nuts’ flavor.

In a large bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, mustard, honey and shallot. Add the olive oil and whisk until blended. Season with salt and pepper.

Arugula--looks like oak leaves, doesn't it?
Pea greens
n another bowl, toss the arugula, pea shoots, sliced radishes, sliced fennel, and chopped hazelnuts. Add the vinaigrette and toss again to cover. Serve.

As with any salad, you can add whatever greens are fresh and available. Can’t find pea shoots? Try thin slices of sugar snap peas.

Razing the Dead involves a body (or two or three) found near the site of the Paoli Massacre, a notorious battle from the Revolutionary War, fought outside of Philadelphia. The monument shown on the cover is based on the real one, in Paoli, and is the second-oldest military monument in the country (after the one at Concord, MA, naturally).

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Make Fab Fudge in your Microwave from author Cleo Coyle

“Oh, chocolate fudge I’ll eat. What I can’t swallow is fudging, as in fudging statistics, fudging results, fudging the truth. Mathematicians call it a fudge factor—putting an extra calculation into an equation just so it will work out as expected. It’s what we law enforcement types call a scam.” 

~ Detective Mike Quinn, Murder by Mocha 

Scamming does indeed play a role in the plotline of my latest Coffeehouse Mystery, Murder by Mocha, but there is no fudging in this fudge recipe. The claim that you can make it in a microwave is true, and the results are delicious.

I’m especially confident stating this because my husband is a fudge fiend. While growing up, he gobbled homemade fudge that was continually cooked up by his mom. He enjoys sampling the treat wherever he travels; and every year, for his birthday, I ship handmade fudge to our New York home from the famous fudge makers of Mackinac Island, Michigan.

Cleo Coyle, spouse to a
fudge fiend is author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries
Marc was highly skeptical about this recipe, but after tasting it—and more of it, and even more of it, he declared it to be nearly as good as his mother's. 

Microwave fudge is nothing new, of course. You will find renditions of it all over the Net. This (crunchless) chocolate-hazelnut version is simply my take on the ingredients, ratios, and process. Why do I say crunchless? Because the light note of hazelnut in this treat comes not from actual nuts but Nutella, so the fudge stays smooth, creamy, and dreamy!

I’m sure 99% of you know what Nutella is, but for the 1% who don’t it’s a delicious spread (not unlike peanut butter) that blends chocolate and hazelnuts. If you’ve never bought it, look for it in your grocery where peanut butter is sold. 

Cleo Coyle's
Smooth and Dreamy
Microwave Fudge

For a free PDF of this recipe that you can save, share, or print, hit the "print friendly" button on the bottom of this post or click here.


1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 (12-ounce) package of good quality semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup Nutella chocolate-hazelnut spread (room temperature)

Step 1 – Prep pan: Crisscross the bottom of an 8 x 8 square pan with two sheets of parchment paper. The parchment sheets should be long enough to extend, like handles, over the edges of the pan. 

Step 2 – Melt with microwave: Place the milk into a microwave safe bowl. Cut the butter into the milk. Pour in the chocolate chips, and microwave it all for 30 seconds. ONLY 30 seconds. Remove and stir. Nuke it for another 30 and remove to stir again. This should be enough time to melt the chocolate and butter. If not, continue microwaving and stirring in 20 second increments until everything is melted.

NOTE: Do not simply microwave this mixture for 2 solid minutes without stirring. You run the risk of scorching the chocolate and completely ruining the fudge. Once chocolate is burned, there is no saving it. Be sure to melt it slowly, in increments. 

Step 3 – Finish the fudge: Into the melted mixture, sprinkle the salt and measure in the vanilla and Nutella. 

NOTE: Nutella should never be cooked in a microwave (this advice is also written on its label). High heat alters the texture and flavor, which is why I'm careful how I use it in recipes. What I want you to do is simply stir the Nutella into the warm, melted mixture that comes out of the microwave. Be sure to stir from the bottom, lifting and folding to blend everything well.

Step 4 – Chill and cut: Now pour the chocolate mixture into your lined pan. Using a rubber spatula or back of a spoon, smooth the top, leveling it off. Chill the pan in the refrigerator until firm—this will take approximately 3 hours. Remove and cut into small squares. To store, place fudge in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator, and, of course...

Eat with joy!

~ 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:

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
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.