Friday, October 25, 2013

Apple of my Eye

Another family recipe for you. 

I made an apple pie last week just for fun (also to celebrate Boss Appreciation Day, and also because I had a plethora of apples from my weekly fruit share). 

This is one of those recipes that I've got memorized thanks to making it with my mom a zillion times growing up, which she originally learned from her mom (and Pillsbury ). The crust recipe is all Carla though.

It's a hand-me-down that I'm very grateful for!

First, the crust - if you follow the directions it's seriously fool proof. 
  • 2 cups sifted All Purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 8 oz. butter, chilled and cubed into 1/2 inch pieces (two sticks) 
  • 1 TBSP sugar (sometimes I use honey or agave) 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup water

Dice the butter then wrap it back up and put it in the freezer for a few minutes along with the paddle for your standing mixer. In a small bowl, stir the salt and sugar with the water until fully dissolved, then add to freezer to chill. Once the butter is chilled and firm add it to your standing mixer and cut with the flour for about 45 seconds on a medium-low speed. Add the water solution all at once and run the mixer on medium until the dough forms. This should not take more than a minute to come together. With floured hands form dough into two round discs, wrap in wax paper and set aside to chill in the fridge. 

Now for the filling:
  • 6 cups (or more) peeled sliced apples*
  • 1/2-2/3 cup sugar (to your taste)
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • dash salt
  • 2 TBSP flour, divided
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1/4 cup milk 
*I like to use mostly granny smith because I looooove the tartness, but go ahead and blend whatever apples you like!

Preheat the oven to 425*F

In a large bowl, toss apples with sugar and lemon juice and let stand 5 minutes for sugar to dissolve. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and 1 TBSP flour, toss to combine. Taste and feel free to mess with my measurements if you want a little more or less of something. But don't skip the flour or your pie will be soup. 

Once the filling is prepared, roll out one crust disc on a lightly floured surface to approximately 14" diameter, no less than 1/4" thickness. Place in 9 inch glass pie dish, trim edges and return to freezer.  Roll out second disc and set aside. Remove pie dish from freezer and fill with prepared apples. Spread the remaining 1 TBSP flour evenly over apple filling and dot with little chunks of the 2 TBSP butter. With a pastry brush, spread a thin layer of milk around the edge of the crust. Set your second crust in place on top of the apple filling and crimp the edges to seal. Slice a few slits for steam to escape and brush the whole crust with the remaining milk. 

Bake the pie in the middle rack for 40-45 minutes, or until juice begins to bubble through your slits!

Have fun with it! Everyone loves pie :-) 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tiramisu For You!

Everyone needs a good pick me up* now and again. This user friendly tiramisu recipe will do just that, especially when paired with a good strong caffè latteWhile we may no longer agree about all of the aspects of this recipe, I did originally get it from my Nonna. Mine always winds up with a bit more booze in it than hers does ;-)

*Quite literally actually, the term tiramisu actually means "pick-me-up" or "to lift up") 

Made #tiramisu last #weekend (step one) #tiramisu #recipe coming soon

For the custard:
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup & 2 tsp sugar, separated
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 1 lb. Mascarpone cheese

And the rest:

  • 2 or 3 cups espresso, brought to room temp
  • as much dark liquor that you're comfortable with (lol I usually use 1 cup of brandy)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash salt (trust me)
  • 1 & 1/2 packs of lady fingers
  • cocoa powder for dusting

Set up your espresso to brew while preparing the custard. 

In a medium pot whisk the yolks with the 3/4 cup sugar, add the cream and bring to a low boil over medium heat while stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Fold mascarpone into egg mixture in three or four parts, whisk until smooth and set aside.

Whip egg whites with 2 tsp sugar until soft peaks form, then fold into custard so that there are no visible streaks. 

Add your liquor of choice, vanilla, and salt to your espresso in a shallow bowl (for dipping) and stir to combine. 

In a 10x10" deep pan alternate layers of lady fingers (quickly dipped in espresso mixture) and custard. You should be able to get three full layers, ending with custard. Refrigerate, and dust with cocoa powder just before serving.