Farmhouse Apple Pie Cake

May 4, 2016 § 2 Comments

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Although I’ve tried, I just can’t garden when it’s been raining for 5 days. Even with rain gear on I turn into a cold, muddy mess. You gardeners out there know how hard it is to stay out of the garden once spring has arrived!

So it’s to the kitchen I go. There’s a big bag of apples in my fridge that need to be used so I decided on this great recipe that a friend had sent me. It’s become one of my favorites now. As usual I substituted some of the ingredients for healthier ones and cut down the sugar by half. That’s something I do automatically now, things are way too sweet these days don’t you think?

The original recipe calls for vegetable oil and I never use that now. Instead I used healthy coconut oil and butter and added some lemon zest too.

Farmhouse Apple Pie Cake

6 to 8 Granny Smith apples ( I used half Empire)

1 TBL sugar, 1/4 tsp cinnamon for topping

3 eggs

1/2 cup sugar or 1/4 cup maple syrup

3/4 cup coconut oil, melted

3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

2 tsp vanilla extract

zest from a large organic lemon

1 1/2 cup flour (I used Einkorn. White spelt or regular all purpose flour is fine too)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 or 10 in. springform pan.

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Layer apples neatly in pan until almost to the top. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture and lemon zest.

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Mix batter by beating eggs and sugar until thick and fluffy. Add the melted oil, butter and vanilla. Mix well then add flour and beat all together.

Pour over the apples, then tap the pan on the counter so the batter gets to the bottom.

Bake about 1 hour and 15 minutes, checking as you get to the end of the baking time by testing with skewer, it should be dry.

Cool completely in the pan. This is important as the cake will fall apart if you try to remove it while it’s warm.

Serve with really good vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream. And it’s even better the next day after everything settles and melds together.

Happy spring!

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Here’s the original recipe:

Einkorn Apple Walnut Crumble

February 5, 2016 § 6 Comments

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Some of you may be familiar with Einkorn, and some may be thinking “What kind of crumble?”

For those of you not familiar with it, Einkorn is nature’s original wheat. It is the only wheat out there that hasn’t been hybridized, which allows many gluten intolerant people to eat it without experiencing the sometimes severe reactions they have to “regular” wheat.

Although neither I or Kevin have a gluten sensitivity, we do feel better not eating it. So I had switched to spelt flour when baking. Spelt has less gluten but what really appealed to me was that Einkorn hasn’t been messed with. It is the same wheat now as it has been for thousands of years. So it’s what I bake and cook with now all the time.

That said, baking with it can be a challenge sometimes. I highly recommend Carla Bartolucci’s book Einkorn. The owner of Jovial Foods, Carla has worked out how to cook and bake with Einkorn flour. The recipes are delicious and easy to follow.

Hopefully I didn’t scare you away from trying it. I simply substitute Einkorn flour for regular wheat flour and the results have worked out just fine. If you’re going to try bread I suggest following Carla’s recipes.

Here’s a simple recipe to try. I used Empire apples, MacIntosh would work well also, you want a softer apple as the baking time is short and you want the apples to soften into a applesauce consistency.

Apple Part

3 to 4 large apple, peeled, cored and cut into medium size chunks

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 TBL unsalted butter

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Mix all together and place in greased pie dish

Crumble Part

6 TBL unsalted butter

2/3 cup Einkorn all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

2 TBL milk or cream

2 to 3 TBL chopped walnuts

Cut butter into flour with either your hands or a Dough and Pastry Blender, add sugar, then add the milk. Blend it all together with a fork then spread it over the apples. Sprinkle with the walnuts.

Bake in a 350 degree oven and bake 35 to 45 minutes, until lightly brown and bubbly.

Serve warm with freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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This is great for breakfast!

 

Honey Roasted Pears

March 2, 2013 § 5 Comments

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Today was another gray day here in Vermont. We have a lot of them, one day blue skies, the next it’s overcast. But that usually doesn’t stop me from getting outside for a walk into the forest. I take the dogs and go down the trail to see what I can find that’s new, maybe the stream that was covered with snow will now be visible again. Today the ravens were sailing overhead making a lot of racket. It was probably me they were groaking about.

 

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As I was walking along, my mind wandering, I thought about the pears I had sitting on the counter. Don’t know what prompted that!  I’d been waiting for them to ripen and forgot about them sitting there day after day. When I came back in the first thing I did was check them.

When I buy pears I usually have all these great intentions for using them. I love them in a salad with blue cheese and walnuts, add them to a pork roast as it’s finishing up cooking, or bake them into a tart with slivered almonds. But the problem with pears is they are never ripe when you buy them. This is because they must be picked green. The sugar turns to starch very quickly and they’ll turn mealy and mushy if left to ripen on the tree.

So I buy them and promise myself I will use them before they’re spoiled. The thing with pears is they can go from green and unripe to mushy and brown while you’re not looking. And that’s what happened to me again!

They were past the point where you slice them into a salad or bake a tart but I did find a way to use them. One more day and they’d be chicken food!

So I peeled them, squeezed some lemon juice over them to prevent instant browning, mixed up a filling, stuffed and roasted them. They held up just fine.

Here’s a simple dish that’s a great dessert as well as a great breakfast.

 

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Honey Roasted Pears

3 pears, I used Bosc but any type will do

2 TBL walnuts

2 TBL raisins

2 TBL unsalted butter, soft

1 TBL honey

1 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

lemon juice

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a shallow baking dish.

Peel the pears, cut them in half and scoop out the core. I used a melon scooper to do this, works great. Try to leave the stem on if you can, it makes a nice presentation. Squeeze lemon juice all over them.

Chop the raisins and walnuts together finely. Put in a bowl with the butter, honey and spices. Mix it all up together and fill each pear with it. Place the pears cut side down in the baking dish and bake about 25 minutes.

Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or some vanilla yogurt. Shave some chocolate on top too if you wish.

 

I reheated one the next day and put it on top of my oatmeal with some Greek yogurt. Delicious!

 

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Rhubarb Clafouti

May 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

Whenever I need to make a dessert at a moment’s notice, this is the one I usually go to. Clafouti is a delicious custard-like dessert and you’ll probably have all the ingredients on hand: eggs, milk, cream, a little sweetener. Just use whatever fruit you have, either fresh or in the freezer. This time of year strawberries are just ripening and so is the rhubarb. You can use peaches or apricots, and of course the fruit that clafouti is most known for in France, cherries.

Rhubarb is particularly good, the tartness of the fruit matched with the sweet custard batter, it’s délicieux!

Ingredients:

2 Tbl butter for the baking dish

2 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2 in pieces

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup heavy cream

3 eggs

1/2 cup sugar or 1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract ( you don’t need this if you are using maple syrup)

1/3 cup flour

Steps:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put an ovenproof baking dish in the oven with the butter while you do everything else.

Blanch the rhubarb in a small amount of boiling water about 1 minute. Drain.

Put milk, cream, eggs, sugar or maple syrup and vanilla (if you are using it) in a blender and mix well. Add flour, blend.

When oven is preheated and the butter in the hot dish is sizzling, put the blanched rhubarb into the dish. Pour the batter over it, sprinkle with the cinnamon and bake about 30 to 40 minutes, until puffed and golden. It will sink a few minutes after taking it out of the oven, this is normal. Since all ovens are different and temps can vary, make sure to check this and all baked things after the minimum required time. I usually set the timer for 5 minutes or so less just to be safe.

If you really want to go over the top (good to do once in awhile) serve with the best vanilla ice cream you can find, and you’ll have a  dessert everyone will rave about!

In the fall, try using apples, just saute them a few minutes in a little butter and sprinkle with cinnamon.

If you want to try a gluten free clafouti, substitute the flour with an equal amount of almond meal, or there are now gluten free “flours” available almost everywhere.

Coconut oil Poundcake

April 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s delicious, really. I know it sounds like it might be a heavy, greasy lump of brick, but trust me, it’s the opposite. And besides that, coconut oil is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. It’s a great substitute for the un-healthy oils that line supermarket shelves, like corn, or safflower. This recipe is one I adapted from Mark Bittman’s NY Times recipe. I substituted maple syrup for sugar, and I use white spelt flour instead of all purpose white. There is less gluten in spelt and it bakes pretty much the same. I use it in all my baking. You can try all kinds of variations with this recipe, try orange zest instead of lemon, add some blueberries to the batter at the end, toss in a tablespoon or two of poppy seeds….you know.

Here’s a link to the benefits of coconut oil.

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup melted virgin coconut oil

1/4 cup maple syrup ( or 1/2 cup sugar)if you like it sweet add 1/2 cup of maple syrup or 3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup milk

3 eggs

zest of one lemon

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour ( or same amount of white spelt flour)

1 3/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan with a little butter.

Melt oil, pour into bowl and add sugar or maple syrup, milk, eggs, and zest. Whisk until well combined. In separate bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Add this dry mixture to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Pour into loaf pan, sprinkle with almonds and bake for about 45 to 60 minutes. Check after 30 minutes, ovens are all different.

Great with a steaming cup of coffee!

the best blueberry cake recipe

August 4, 2009 § 2 Comments

This is the best recipe I’ve found for anything blueberry. It’s an old Gourmet magazine recipe from 1984! I’ve tried dozens of different recipes as I have my own blueberry bushes so I’m always looking for ways to use them.

Blueberry cake

For the blueberry mixture

2 cups blueberries, 2/3 c sugar,  1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp grated lemon rind, 1/4 c fresh lemon juice, 1 Tbl flour, 3 Tbl unsalted butter, melted

For the batter

1 c flour, 1/2 c sugar, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 large egg yolks, 1/4 c milk, 1 Tbl unsalted butter,melted

make the blueberry mixture: spread the blueberries in the bottom of a buttered 9-inch round cake pan. In a bowl blend the sugar, cinnamon, lemon rind, lemon juice and flour and sprinkle this over the blueberries. Drizzle the melted butter on top.

Make the batter: mix together the flour ( the original recipe says sift but I rarely do this) sugar, baking powder, salt, stir in the egg yolks, milk, and butter, stir until smooth. Drop onto the blueberry mixture and bake in a 425 degree oven for 20 minute, or until brown and bubbly.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

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