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Entries in apples (2)

Monday
Oct242016

Apple Slab Cake with Toasted Almonds & Honey

 

 

     A while ago I caught an episode of Martha Bakes where she made a Baltimore Peach

Cake. It looked lovely, old fashioned, and cozy. I immediately wanted one.

     Well, peaches aren’t in season at the moment, but it’s fall and apples are. So an Apple Slab Cake with Toasted Almonds & Honey was the dessert du jour.

     The “cake” itself has a bread like texture with just a hint of buttery sweetness. It’s more dense, less fluffy than a traditional batter cake and, as I said, not as sweet.

      I tossed apple slices with sugar and apple pie spice (like an apple pie filling) then layered them on top of the cakey dough.

     This is an easy cake to make, but not a quick one. The dough/cake needs two rises, each a few hours. It’s a good rainy day project when you’re not in a hurry to “let them eat cake,” but want to try an old traditional (Baltimore Peach Cake has been around since 1884) recipe, that’s something new to make and delicious to taste.

      P.S. don’t forget the vanilla ice cream.

 

Makes 1 cake, serves up to 12

½ cup whole milk, room temperature

1 tablespoon sugar

2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast

1 large egg, room temperature, slightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

½ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons sugar

4 tablespoons butter, room temperature

For the apples

3-4 gala apples, peeled, cored, sliced ¼ inch thick

¼ -1/3 cup granulated and brown sugar, even amounts

1-2 teaspoons apple pie spice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons honey, warmed for easier brushing

¼ cup almond slices, toasted

 

     Stir 1 tablespoon sugar and milk together in a glass measuring cup. Sprinkle yeast over top, let stand, about 5 minutes, until frothy. Add egg, vanilla, and whisk.

     Whisk flour, salt and 3 tablespoons sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add milk mixture and “stir/knead” about 5 minutes, until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Add butter piece by piece and continue to “stir/knead” until the dough is smooth and the butter is incorporated, about 5-6 minutes.

     Transfer to buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place, about 1-1 ½ hours, until doubled.

     Line a 13”x9” rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, butter paper. Punch down dough, and pat into prepared baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 1 hour until dough is level with the pan’s sides.

     Toss apple slices with sugars and apple pie spice, stir to make sure all slices are coated in mixture.

     Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange apples on dough, slightly overlapping in rows or any other pattern you prefer. Bake until edges of cake are golden brown, 40-45 minutes (check after 30 minutes), and the center is set. Do not over bake or the bottom will be burnt and tough.

     Brush apples with honey when still warm, sprinkle with almonds. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then slide cake out and continue cooling on rack. Cut in squares to serve.

Note: Adapted from Martha Bakes - Baltimore Peach Cake.

 

 

 

Thursday
Feb132014

Irish Whiskey Bread Pudding with Spiked Apples, Raisins & Vanilla Whiskey Sauce

 

Bread pudding is wonderful.  It’s comfy, warm and delicious when done right.  When not, it’s rubbery and dry.  This recipe is SO right.  Ample amounts of Challah, cream, eggs, sugar, and vanilla create a soufflé like pudding.  Apples and raisins soused in whiskey add to the texture and flavor.  The sauce is not too sweet and has a great whiskey bite.  The eggy Challah is perfect for this, but another light bread would work as well, just stay away from the pre sliced bread aisle loaves, the thin pieces would pretty much disintegrate and turn to mush.

So in honor of St. Patrick’s Day make this with a warm, peated, single malt Irish whiskey.

Ingredients

6-8 servings

For the apples and raisins:

2 tablespoons butter

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced

½ cup raisins

1-teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ cup light brown sugar

1 cup Irish whiskey

 

For the bread:

8oz of Challah bread cut into 1 inch cubes (that’s about ½ a loaf)

¾ cup granulated sugar

3 eggs

1 ½-2 cups heavy cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 

For the whiskey sauce:

2 tablespoons butter

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1 cup Irish whiskey plus 2 tablespoons

2 tablespoons cornstarch

 

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Toast bread cubes until golden.

Pour ¼ whiskey over raisins and set aside.

 Melt butter in a medium skillet; add apples, sprinkle with cinnamon and cook over low heat until the apples soften, stirring often. Add sugar, vanilla and raisins with liquid.  Continue cooking until sugar melts and apples become sticky; stir often so the apples don’t scorch. Add ¾ cup of whiskey, continue to simmer until syrupy. Cool to room temperature (can be made 2 days ahead and refrigerated – bring to room temperature before using).   

Whisk 1 ½ cups cream, eggs, ¾ cup granulated sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add bread cubes, apple mixture, stir to combine, making sure all the bread is moist – at this point you may need to add that extra ½ cup of cream. Transfer bread mixture into a greased casserole dish or 6 individual spring form pans. Let stand until the bread absorbs the custard mixture - about 20 minutes. Bake in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes. The pudding should be puffed, golden and springy/firm, moist not dry, and a tester inserted should come out clean.

While the pudding is in the oven, make the whiskey sauce – whisk sugar, cream, vanilla and 1 cup of whisky in small saucepan, bring to a simmer over low heat. Mix 2 tablespoons of whiskey with cornstarch in a small bowl, whisk into sauce. Continue cooking until sauce begins to boil and thickens. Serve warm with pudding.