Sunday, November 11, 2012

Apple Clafouti


This is a wonderful cool weather dessert. Other than the time it takes to peel and cut up the apples, it is fast and easy. The recipe is a variation on one from Saveur magazine. It is best served warm with sweetened whipped cream.  Makes 8 servings.

Apple Clafouti

For the Batter:
3 eggs
1 cup milk or cream
8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
For the Apples:
4 tbsp unsalted butter
4 large or 5 medium tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp bourbon
Topping
2 tsp sugar
ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400º
Melt the 4 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples, 1/2 cup sugar, and the bourbon and cook until the apples are glazed and warm, and the juice is syrupy.

Butter a deep 9" pie dish with 2 tbsp of butter and put the pie dish in the oven to warm. Put the milk or cream, eggs, 6 tbsp melted and cooled butter, vanilla, flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt into a blender and blend until smooth. Remove the pie dish from the oven and pour in half the batter. Add the warm apple slices, separated from the juices which should be reserved, distributing them evenly, then pour the remaining batter over the apples. Sprinkle the 2 tsp of  sugar and a little cinnamon over the batter and bake until the clafouti is golden and set in the center, 25-30 minutes. Drizzle with the reserved apple juices.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

German's Sweet Chocolate Cake

This is the cake that Len requests every year for his birthday. The card that my mother found with the Baker's chocolate bar and gave me many, many years ago is starting to fall apart so I am adding it to my blog.
This recipe is straight from Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate, no changes at all.

German's Sweet Chocolate Cake
1 package German's sweet chocolate, 4 ounces
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 egg yolks, unbeaten
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
4 egg whites, stiffly beaten
Butter 3 8" cake pans and line with baking parchment. Preheat oven to 350º. Melt chocolate in 1/2 cup of boiling wate. Cool. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each. Add vanilla and melted chocolate and mix until blended. Sift flour with soda and salt.  Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk, beating after each addition until batter is smooth. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour batter into pans and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool and then frost with the filling that follows below.

Coconut and Nut Filling and Frosting
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups sweetened, flaked coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, my mother always used walnuts but the recipe called for pecans
Combine milk, sugar, egg yolks, butter, and vanilla in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Add coconut and nuts. Beat until cool and of spreading consistency. Makes 2 1//2 cups, or enough to cover tops of 3 8" layers.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chicken Paprika

I just spent a wonderful 2 days with the friend whom I have known the longest. We met in fifth grade and I have had fantastic experiences with her. Food has always been an important part of our time together. Her mother cooked great things for us and a favorite was chicken paprika. Unfortunately her mother did not give her the recipe, but Ilse did give it to my mother. It is still a favorite of mine and it is very easy.

Ilse Steinberger's Chicken Paprika
1 chicken, about 4 lbs., cut in serving pieces
4 tbsp butter (or less if the chicken is fat)
1 large or 2 small onions, chopped
1 tbsp or more paprika (imported rose, not hot)
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp flour
1 cup sour cream
salt
Brown the chicken in butter. Salt to taste. Add onion and cook until translucent. Sprinkle with paprika and add water. Do not brown the paprika. Cover and cook until tender, about 1 hour. Remove the chicken from the pan. Thicken the gravy with flour. Add sour cream and heat, but do not boil. Pour the gravy over the chicken. Serve with spaetzle.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Welsh Griddle Cakes

Over 20 years ago I tore this recipe out of Sunset Magazine and tucked It inside my copy of "Sunset Favorite Recipes I". I decided I should add it to my blog to insure I don't lose it. The original recipe called for butter or margarine and back then I used margarine because I thought it was better for us. If one used butter then it would have been salted and so the Sunset version did not call for salt, but I add it because now I bake with unsalted butter. The original recipe did not call for the use of a processor but I have always made the griddle cakes in mine.

Welsh Griddle Cakes
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tep nutmeg, freshly grated with a microplane is best
6 Tblsp butter
1/2 cup currants
1lg egg white
2 Tblsp milk
Mix the dry ingredients except for the currants in the bowl of a processor. Add the butter which has been cut into chunks and pulse until blended. Lightly beat the egg white and milk with a fork and add to the dry mixture along with the currants. Process just until the dough holds together. Roll the dough on a floured surface until 1/4" thick. Cut with a 2 1/2" wide round cookie cutter and cook on an electric griddle at 325° or in a frying pan over medium low heat. The original recipe calls for a nonstick surface, but my griddle does not have one and I haven't needed to grease it. Cook the griddle cakes until the bottoms are medium brown, about 3 to 4 minutes, turn and cook until the other surface is also medium brown. The original recipe calls for sprinkling the warm cakes with sugar but I never have. They are as sweet as I like without the added sugar. Sunset suggested serving them with butter and jam but I have always served them plain.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Molasses Crinkles

I promised this recipe to Cindy M. This was a favorite recipe of my mother's. I don't know where it came from. I have tweaked it a bit.

Molasses Crinkles
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cup unsifted flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 cup white sugar
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes in a stand mixer, longer with a hand mixer. Add egg and then molasses. Whisk all dry ingredients, except white sugar, together in a bowl and then add. Chill several hours or overnight. Shape into balls the size of walnuts, dip into white sugar, place on ungreased cookie sheet and flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass. Bake at 375° for 11 to 12 minutes.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My New and Improved Pumpkin Pie

When it came time to make a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving this year I decided that the time had come to improve on my mother's recipe that I had been using for years. I don't like using evaporated milk like she always did and I wanted to up the spice a bit. I ended up combining recipes from Cooks Illustrated Magazine's cookbook and the Simply Recipes Blog, plus a bit of variation of my own.

Pumpkin Pie
single pie crust, partially baked if you like
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 cups pumpkin puree (16 oz)
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl. Beat the eggs in another bowl. Stir in the cream to the eggs and then the pumpkin. Stir in the dry ingredients. Pour filling into crust and bake in a preheated oven at 400º 45 to 50 minutes, until the filling is set 2" from edge. The center should still be wobbly. Remove from oven and cool on a rack. The center will finish cooking as the pie sits.