Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Adept Autumn Apple Butter

No need to imagine me out in the yard over a large kettle stirring the apples for hours. My last batches were put in a slow cooker on high, cooked till reduced by half and blended.  Apples, cinnamon, allspice and cloves are the only ingredients-no sugar is needed. The smaller batches cook in just a few hours, giving enough for one recipe and leftovers to mix in yogurt or spread on toast.

Apple butter makes an excellent sauce for meatballs. Here is my link for those we made for the local farmers market demonstration a few years ago. These meatballs are made with Italian Sausage, but you can make them with beef or poultry.

The Apple Butter Cinnamon Rolls have only 4 grams of added sugar per roll. I topped the dough with just a little brown sugar and no butter. The apple butter oozed out the dough when rolled up and cut prior to baking, so the process was messy but the results after baking were superb. 

Apple Butter

Mix all ingredients in slow cooker.  Cook on high for 3 hours or until reduced by 1/2.  Blend until smooth.
12 apples, peeled and chunked
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice

Egg Dough

(Makes 24 filled rolls)

Combine whole wheat flour, dry yeast (active dry or bread machine) and sugar in bowl of electric mixer with dough hook in place.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon yeast
2 teaspoon sugar
Slowly add warm milk to the bowl and beat for 2 minutes on medium speed.
1 cup skim milk, heated to 125F.

Add flours, oil, egg and salt to bowl.  Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl down.
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup olive oil
1 egg (warmed to room temperature)
2 teaspoon salt

Gradually add additional flour to the mix, beating on low speed after each addition until the dough forms a ball and leaves the side of the mixer.  Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula throughout the process to combine the flour.
1 cup all-purpose flour

Mist a large bowl (twice the size of the dough bowl) with an olive oil spray.  Turn the dough ball so that all sides are greased.  Cover.  Let rise until double in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Turn onto board sprinkled with flour. Divide dough in half,  Roll to 14 X 8 inch rectangle.  Brush apple butter over dough to about 1/2 inch from ends.
1 cup apple butter
Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.
1 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Fold in short ends of dough. From long end of dough, roll and seal seam.  Cut roll into 12 pieces.  
Repeat with remaining dough.
Cut dough rounds can be arranged individually on a baking sheet or in a round cake pan.
Bake at 375F for 25 minutes.  Cool slightly on a cooling rack.

Mascarpone Icing

Process icing inn bowl of electric mixer with whip attachment, whipping until smooth.
5 tablespoon confectioners sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
8 ounce mascarpone cheese
Store icing in refrigerator, spreading icing on rolls just prior to eating.




Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Tantalizing Tomatillos

Sometimes referred to as the "Mexican green tomato", the tomatillo has it's own distinct taste. I love the way it grows-beginning with a yellow bloom that hummingbirds love, extending into a parchment paper like packet where the fruit develops and expands to fill the covering. Here in West Virginia, they have a long growing season that extends into the cooler fall months. When picked and covering removed, they are have a sticky sweetness on the outside. Inside they are firm and acidic.

Tomatillos are often diced into salsas. Cooking softens the skin and enhances the taste. I like to combine them with other green vegetables (peppers, parsley and green onions) and saute before adding to enchiladas or casseroles. Some folks add these to guacamole. 

In this recipe, I highlighted the tomatillo uniqueness by inserting the green tomatillo sauce into the center layer of the tortilla casserole.

Chicken Tortilla Casserole with Tomatillo Sauce

(Serves 4)

Tomatillo Sauce
Combine vegetables in small saucepan on stove top. Saute over medium heat for 10 minutes. Drain.
5 ounce tomatillos, parchment covering removed and diced
1/4 cup green onions, diced
1/4 cup green pepper, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced

Grease a small baking dish (mine is 9 X 6 1/2 inch) with olive oil spray.
Bake chicken in a 325F oven for 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165F. Dice.
9 ounce chicken breast, boneless, skinless
Rotisserie chicken is a speedy substitute!

On stove-top, heat tomatoes and spices.
2/3 cup canned diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon cumin
2/3 teaspoon chili powder
Dash oregano

Add corn and cooked diced or shredded chicken breast to pot.
1/2 cup corn
Cooked, diced or shredded chicken breast

Mix cornstarch into milk. Add milk to pot.  Heat over medium low heat until mixture begins to thicken, about 15 minutes.
2/3 teaspoon cornstarch, non GMO
1/2 cup skim milk 
Cut each tortilla into quarters.  Arrange 1/3 of tortillas in bottom of baking dish, greased with olive oil spray
 4 corn tortillas
Add 1/2 of vegetable-chicken mix. 
Cover with 1/3 of tortillas.  
Top with tomatillo sauce.
Add 1/2 of cheese.
3/4 cup shredded cheese (mine has parmigiana and cheddar)
Top with 1/3 of tortillas.
Add rest of vegetable-chicken mix, then remaining cheese.
Bake at 325 F for 30 minutes.
Tomatillos are rich in Vitamin A and contain a good amount of vitamin C.



Thursday, September 10, 2020

Teff Cake in a Pumpkin

When I saw the Food Network Magazine cake baked in a pumpkin , I knew I'd have to try it.  The edible vessel seemed a perfect baking mold for my teff cake recipe, as it offers the gluten free cake a structure and adds moisture to an otherwise dry and crumbly pastry. My hunch proved right and the finished dessert was perfect. First my cake recipe, then a modified version of the magazine's butterscotch sauce and baking instructions.

Teff and Cocoa Sponge Cake

(10 servings)

Sift cocoa in bowl.  Mix with flour.
5 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa (not the Dutch processed kind)
1/2 cup teff flour

Combine eggs, sugar and salt in bowl of electric mixer with whisk attachment.  Beat on high speed 5 minutes.  
4 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Heat buttery sticks, melt and pour into deep reserved bowl.
3 tablespoon vegan buttery sticks

Remove mixer bowl with whipped egg-sugar-salt mix.  Fold in 1/3 of the flour-cocoa mix.  Repeat with half the remaining flour, then the rest of the flour.  

Scrape 1/4 of the batter into the hot butter.  Fold until butter is completely blended.  Scrape batter over the remaining butter and fold just until blended. 

Spoon batter into prepared pumpkin. Do not place lid on pumpkin! Bake at 350 F for 40 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 F and bake for another 40 minutes. Allow to cool for 3-4 hours.

To prepare pumpkin for baking, cut off the top. Remove pulp and seed. Place pumpkin onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Butterscotch Sauce

Melt butter over medium heat. 
4 tablespoon butter

Add sugar.
1/3 cup brown sugar.

Cook for 2 minutes, stirring.

Whisk in the milk and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.
1/2 cup evaporated skim milk.

Remove from heat. Stir in spice, salt, vanilla and bourbon.
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoon scotch

Serve with vanilla ice cream.



Monday, September 7, 2020

Sourdough Dried Fruit Bread

The mixture of dried fruits is first ground, steeped in a spicy brew, drained then combined with the flours prior to making the dough. This prevents the fruit from floating or sinking and helps to keep the bread moist. This bread is whole grain, with whole rye, wheat and spelt flours. The softness of the spelt also helps keep the bread moist.

Aromatic Fruit

Grind fruits in mini food processor.
1 cup dried fruits (mine has apricots, raisins and dates)

Bring liquid to a boil.
2 tablespoon 2 teaspoon water
2 tablespoon 2 teaspoon wine
Add spices to the liquid.
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
5 cloves
Pour spices and liquid over ground fruits.  Soak for 30 minutes. Drain fruit. Remove cinnamon stick, star anise and cloves.  Squeeze liquid from fruit. 


Mix together flours, sugar, baking powder and salt.
14 tablespoon whole rye flour
14 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1/2 cup spelt flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt 
Add lemon zest and drained ground fruit.
Zest from 1 lemon
Ground, soaked and drained fruit

Beat egg into sourdough starter.
1/2 cup sourdough starter
1 egg

Mix together milk and yogurt.
11 tablespoon nonfat milk
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
Add melted butter to milk and yogurt.
3 tablespoon butter

Add flour blend to bowl with sourdough-egg mix, alternately with liquid blend. Mix only until dry flours are not visible.

Pour dough into prepared pan.
8 1/2 inch X 4 1/2 inch loaf pan, greased with olive oil spray.

Bake at 350 F. for 45 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.