Thursday, March 10, 2016

Rustic Apple Cobbler in a Cast Iron Skillet

I love cooking in Cast Iron. I have a great collection of Cast Iron Cookware and Accessories . This is a simple, rustic, down-home comfort food dessert! I included my recipe for Homemade Whipped Cream for serving.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
1 - 10" Cast Iron Skillet

Rustic Apple Cobbler in a Cast Iron Skillet.

Here's what you'll need:

Apple Filling
2 pounds of Jonagold Apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped into medium sized pieces.
3 TBS Butter
3 TBS Dark Brown Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Allspice
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
A pinch of Salt
1 TBS Fresh Lemon Juice
1 TBS Cornstarch

Cobbler Dough
1 C Flour
3 TBS Granulated Sugar, divided.
1 1/4 tsp Cinnamon, divided.
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
A pinch of Salt
1/4 +2 TBS Heavy Cream
3 TBS Butter, melted
1 tsp Vanilla

Filling Directions:
In the Skillet on the Stove, Medium Heat:
Brown Sugar
Stir well and cook until Apples are just tender. Don't over cook them.

In a Small Bowl:
Lemon Juice
Whisk well.
Add to the Apple, stir to combine well.
Remove from Heat.

Cobbler Dough Directions:
In a Small Bowl:
2 TBS Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
Baking Powder
Whisk well.

In a Small Bowl:
Heavy Cream
Melted Butter
Whisk well.
Add this to the Flour/Dry Ingredients.
Stir with a Blending Fork just to combine and create a dough.

In a Small Bowl:
1 TBS Granulated Sugar
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
Mix well.

In the Skillet with the Apples:
Spoon the Dough randomly over the Apples. Cover most of the Apples leaving areas of Apples exposed. This is the Rustic process. Don't overthink it.

Sprinkle the Dough with the Sugar/Cinnamon mix.

Bake for 20 - 25 minutes.
Remove the Skillet to a rack.
Serve Hot from the Skillet.

Serve with Homemade Whipped Cream or Vanilla Ice Cream.

Peace in the Kitchen!

This is my favorite recipe for homemade Whipped Cream.

Homemade Whipped Cream:

1 C Heavy Cream
1 tsp Vanilla
1 TBS Confectioner's Sugar.
Whip the Cream in a Stand Mixer with a Whisk Attachment.
Beat to Soft Peak.
Confectioner's Sugar
Beat to Stiff Peak.
Transfer to a Serving Bowl to serve.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Scones, A Best of the Best Recipe plus Homemade Clotted Cream and Clotted Cream Fudge

When I write a recipe that's referred to as The Best of the Best, it's because I've researched many recipes, found something in all of them and adapted them to become what I consider the Best. For example, my Original Sangria, Bread Pudding,  Original Salsa, Banana Pudding, and the list goes on. This is just another adaptation of a recipe from Ina Garten that Anne customized and perfected using Ina's base recipe for the dough. After testing many Scone Recipes, these have become A Best of the Best!
One other recommendation would be Dried Cranberries and the Zest of 1 Orange, to make for Christmas. With the Basic Dough Recipe you can be creative by adding your favorite ingredients to the Dough. (Any Dried Fruit, Any Roughly Chopped Nuts and the Zest of any Citrus Fruit.) The combinations are endless. Here are some suggestions:

Blueberries/Almonds/Lime Zest
Apricots/Grapefruit Zest

In this adaptation, the Dough was divided in half with one half  using (3/4 C Dried Cherries + 3/4 C roughly chopped Walnuts.)
The other half was (1 C Dried Blueberries and Zest of 1 Lemon.)
Mix the Dried Fruit and Nuts with 1 TBS of Flour.  Do the same with the Dried Fruit and Zest. Toss them together in small bowls.


You can serve them with Fruit Jam and Clotted Cream. I've included my recipe for Homemade Clotted Cream and I decided to add my recipe for Clotted Cream Fudge, just incase you'd like to make that too. Make ahead and keep refrigerated until served with the Scones.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the Oven to 400 degrees.
Cookie Sheet Pans lined with Parchment Paper.
1 - 4" Plain or Fluted Biscuit Cutter.

4 C + TBS Flour, additional for the Dried Fruit and Nuts.
2 TBS Granulated + additional for Sprinkling .
2 TBS Baking Powder
2 tsp Salt
3 Sticks of Butter (24 TBS), Cold and Diced into small cubes.
5 Extra Large Eggs (make sure they're Extra Large) , Divided.
1 C Heavy Cream
2 TBS Whole Milk

1 of the Eggs is mixed in a small bowl with the 2 TBS of Milk for an Egg Wash.

In a Stand Mixer with a Paddle Attachment:
Baking Powder
Mix just until combined.

On Low Speed:
Gradually add pieces of Butter until it's combined and resembles a Pea Sized Mixture.
In a Small Mixing Bowl:
Heavy Cream
Whisk well.
Immediately add this to the Flour in the Stand Mixture just until well combined.
At this point you would divide the Dough in half and place each half in a medium mixing bowl.
Fold in the Dried Fruit and Nuts into Half of the Dough with a Silicone Spatula.
Fold in the Blueberries and Zest into the other Half.
The Dough may be sticky and that's OK.

Work the two halves of Dough separately on a well-floured work surface.
Roll the Dough 3/4" thick. This is an important step.
You should see some pieces of Butter in the Dough.
Cut the Dough with the Biscuit Cutter and then cut them in half, diagonally, creating triangles.

Brush the tops with the Egg Wash.
Sprinkle with additional Granulated Sugar.
Place them 2" apart on the Sheet Pan.
Bake for 20 - 25 minutes. Anne's were baked for exactly 20 minutes. The outside will be crisp and the inside completely baked.
You can test the center with a toothpick until it comes out clean.

Remove the Pan to a rack to cool completely.

Serve with Fruit Preserves (I only use Bonne Maman Fruit Preserves) and  Homemade Clotted Cream.

Peace in the Kitchen!

I've been to England several times and I've recently become interested in Clotted Cream. It's served in the afternoon for the traditional Cream Tea which consists of a Pot of Tea, Fruit Scones, (usually made with dark and golden raisins), a pot of Clotted Cream and a pot of Strawberry Jam.

Clotted Cream is referred to as a scalded, clouted Devonshire or Cornish Cream. It's a thick or "clotted" cream made by indirectly heating full cream cow's milk using steam or a water bath, or heating it overnight in an oven on a very low temperature, then leaving it in shallow pans to slowly cool.
During this process, the cream content rises to the surface and forms clots or clouts. It has become an essential part of a Cream Tea.

On a recent trip to England, my wife and I enjoyed afternoon Cream Tea at various Tea Shops in London and Windsor. I had it for the first time at the outdoor Cafe of Kensington Palace in London while my wife was walking through the gardens. I was quite impressed with the entire concept of a Cream Tea. We discovered Limes Bakery in Windsor and it became our favorite Tea Room. The best Scones and Jam and Clotted Cream. We went everyday for Cream Tea.

This was my first taste of Clotted Cream at Kensington Palace in  London.

Kensington Palace, London, England

Limes Bakery in Windsor

Limes Bakery across from Windsor Castle.

This is Lime's Tea Room in Windsor it was our favorite Cream Tea.

Limes Bakery Fruit Scones with Clotted Cream and Strawberry Jam.
Ridiculously Good!

Clotted Cream:

I prefer Promised Land Heavy Cream.

This is absolutely delicious.

Homemade Clotted Cream:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
1- 9" X 13" glass baking dish.
2 - pints (1 quart) of Heavy Cream

Pour the Heavy Cream into the 9" X 13" pan. It should be about 1" deep. Mine was perfect.

Place in the oven and allow to heat overnight. At least 10 - 12 hours. My oven turned itself off at 12 hours, I started it at 7pm.
It should reduce by about 40% and become a golden color on the top.
It was perfect!

Remove from the oven after 12 hours and allow to cool on a rack for about 15 - 20 minutes.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely cooled. I think we chilled it for 4 - 5 hours.

It will become thick and buttery.
Use a large spoon and scoop it gently, (keeping the top clots of cream together) into small glass canning jars. The liquid left behind can be discarded.
Cover and keep refrigerated.

Serve on Homemade Raisin Scones with Strawberry Preserves and a Pot of Tea.

Clotted Cream Fudge

1 - 9" X 9" pan.
Line it with Parchment Paper. Cut 2 pieces and place them overlapping in the pan. Allow enough of an edge to be able to lift the fudge out of the pan when it's finished.

1 1/4 C  of Granulated Sugar
1 C of Homemade Clotted Cream
1/2 C of Lyle's Golden Syrup
1/2 tsp Vanilla

This is not a complicated process but it takes time. You'll need a heavy bottom saucepan.

Pour all of the ingredients in the pan.
Heat on low or medium low and gently stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir constantly.
Allow it to get to a soft boil for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
Check the temperature with a candy thermometer (240 degrees).
After it reaches that, remove from the heat and continue stirring for up to ten minutes.
It will begin to thicken and will take on a matte finish. The shine will go away.

Continue stirring until thick and almost difficult to stir.
Pour it into the pan and spread evenly with an offset spatula.
Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 2 minutes.

Refrigerate until completely cooled.

If you like your fudge thick, you can pull the tops sheet of paper to the opposite side until the fudge creates a second layer.

Pull it out of the pan by lifting the paper.
Unwrap it.
Use a Chef's Knife and cut into strips and then into squares.

Serve individual pieces and refrigerate and remaining in an air tight container.

If you'd like to give it as a gift, you can melt some dark chocolate and drizzle the Fudge before cutting it.
Wrap the individual pieces in waxed paper or parchment paper and put them in decorative cellophane gift bags.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Pineapple Pie in a Springform Pan

Here's another variation of Pineapple Pie, Cake, Cheesecake....... I wasn't sure what to call it. It's a variation of my Mother's famous Pineapple Cream Pie. This one is made in a Springform Pan.
My favorite Springform Pan is from Pampered Chef and it has a tempered glass bottom.

Here's what you'll need:
1 - 9" or 10" Springform Pan lightly sprayed with a Vegetable non stick Cooking Spray.

2 C finely Crushed Vanilla Wafers
8 TBS Butter, melted.
Mix well in a small bowl and press evenly into the bottom of the pan. Not up the sides.
Refrigerate while preparing the filling.

In a Large Mixing Bowl:
1 - 14 oz. Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 C Fresh Lemon Juice
Whisk well.

2 C Drained Crushed Pineapple
Fold in with a Silicone Spatula.
Set aside.

In a Large mixing Bowl:
Whip 1 1/4 C of Heavy Cream to Stiff Peak.
Fold into the Pineapple Mix.

Spoon into the Crust and smooth the top with an offset Spatula.
Refrigerate for 4 hours.

Release the Springform Pan and transfer the Pie onto a serving platter. Leave it on the base of the pan.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Lime Bundt Cake

When Spring arrives, I start thinking of recipes with Lime. Here's a great Lime Pound Cake made in a Tubed Bundt Pan and brushed with a simple Lime Glaze.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
1 - 12 C Tube Bundt Pan brushed well with Pan Release Mix. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour) I start with 1 C of each mixed well and refrigerated in a jar. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.

16 TBS Butter, softened to room temperature.
1/2 C Crisco
3 C Granulated Sugar
6 Eggs
3 C Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/8 tsp Salt
1 C Whole Milk
21 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Fresh Lime Zest
1/4 C Fresh Lime Juice

Lime Glaze:
1 C Confectioner's Sugar
2 TBS Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 tsp Vanilla

In a Stand Mixer with a Paddle Attachment:
Beat until Creamy Smooth .

Beat just until combined.

In a Medium Mixing Bowl, Sift together:
Baking Powder
Add Dry ingredients to the Wet ingredients alternating with Milk.
Mix on Low just until combined after each addition.
Remove the Bowl from the Stand Mixer.

Fold in, by hand with a Silicone Spatula:
Lime Zest
Lime Juice

Pour Batter into the Pan.
Bake 1 hour and 20 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
Remove Pan to a rack to cool for 10 minutes.

Prepare the Glaze.

In a Small Bowl:
Whisk together all of the ingredients until well combined and smooth.

Invert the Cake onto the Rack over a Sheet Pan.
Brush the top and sides with the Glaze.
Refrigerate the Cake for 1 hour.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Pineapple Pie with my Homemade Whipped Cream.

I have many Pineapple Recipes. Here's a delicious simple Pineapple Pie.

Here's what you'll need"
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 - 9" Pie Pan with an unbaked Crust. I cheat, buy a crust and transfer it to your Pie Pan. However, my wife makes the best Pie Crust and she prefers a homemade crust. I'm lucky!

1 1/2 C Granulated Sugar
8 TBS Butter, melted
1 C drained Crushed Pineapple
3 TBS Flour
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Eggs, beaten

Garnish individual slices with my Homemade Whipped Cream, recipe at the end.

In a large Mixing Bowl with a Blending Fork:
Mix well, just until combined.
Pour into the Crust.
Bake 50 minutes.

Remove from oven to a rack to cool completely.
Serve individual slices with  my Homemade Whipped Cream.

This is my favorite recipe for homemade Whipped Cream.

Homemade Whipped Cream:

1 C Heavy Cream
1 tsp Vanilla
1 TBS Confectioner's Sugar.
Whip the Cream in a Stand Mixer with a Whisk Attachment.
Beat to Soft Peak.
Confectioner's Sugar
Beat to Stiff Peak.
Transfer to a Serving Bowl to serve.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Pistachio Nut Cake

I'm a Texan and we love Texas Pecans. Pecans are probably my favorite Nut followed by Cashews, Hazelnuts and then Pistachios. This is a favorite Easter Dessert at our house.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2 - regular sized Loaf Pans brushed well with Pan Release Mix. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour) I start with 1 C of each mixed well and refrigerated in a jar. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.

1 - 15.25 oz. Box of Yellow Cake Mix
1 - 3.4 oz. Box of Pistachio Instant Pudding Mix
1 C finely ground Pistachio Nuts + additional Pistachios roughly chopped for the Garnish.
1/2 C Sour Cream
1/4 C Vegetable Oil
4 Eggs
1 1/4 C Water

Roughly Chopped Pistachios
Confectioner's Sugar.

In a Large Mixing Bowl with a Hand Mixer:
Dry Cake Mix
Instant Pudding Mix
Finely Ground Pistachios
Sour Cream
Beat on Low Speed, just until well combined. (approx. 30 seconds)
Increase Speed to Medium and continue mixing for 1 - 2 minutes.
Divide the Batter evenly into the pans.
Sprinkle evenly with reserved, chopped Pecans.
Bake 30 - 35 minutes. (a toothpick in the center should come out clean)

Remove pans ro a rack to cool completely.
Invert Cakes, (right side up) onto serving platters and dust well with Confectioner's Sugar just prior to serving.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Nelly's "Greek Festival" Spanakopita

This is a great recipe adapted from Food 52. It's a traditional Savory Pastry. It would make a nice entrée for Easter Dinner.

"Nelly started cooking at the age of six, when she joined her mother in the kitchen. “There was nothing else to do in my village!" she told me. All of her recipes come from her childhood home on the Peloponnese peninsula in southern Greece."

Nelly's "Greek Festival" Spanakopita

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
1 - 9" X 13" Metal Baking Dish (you can use glass but I like metal for this recipe)


4 Pounds of Frozen Chopped Spinach, drained and squeezed thoroughly in paper towels.
4 TBS Butter
5 Green Onions, thinly sliced.
1/2 C of Chopped Fresh Dill
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
5 Eggs, beaten
24 oz. of Cottage Cheese
1 1/2 pounds of Feta Cheese, broken into small pieces.
1/2 C Olive Oil


1 - Package of Phyllo Dough #4 (Apollo brand)
1 - Pound of Clarified Butter

In a Skillet on Medium Heat:
Green Onion
Cook for 3 - 5 minutes.
Transfer to a Large Bowl.
Cottage Cheese
Olive Oil
Fold together with a Silicone Spatula just until combined well trying not to break up the Feta pieces. Try not to over mix.

Butter the Casserole Dish with 4 TBS of Butter.
Unroll the Dough onto a flat surface.
Have a damp Tea Towel available to cover the dough while you're prepare the recipe.

Gently peel back 1 sheet of dough and lay it in the Casserole Dish. It should be placed "crumbled", not stretched out flat. This creates a textured layer.

Brush generously with clarified butter.
Continue this process until you've used half of the Dough, approximately 10 - 15 sheets.

Evenly spread the Filling over the Phyllo making sure to get it into the corners.
Continue buttering the remaining sheets of dough (reserving 3 sheets) with butter and lay them crumpled over the filling.
Tightly wrap the final, buttered layers on top and brush the top layer with butter.

Score the top of the dough about 1/2" deep with a sharp paring knife. Cut into the dough 6 lines X 4 lines creating squares.
Brush again with butter to allow the pieces to remain intact while baking.
Tuck some of the border dough neatly into the sides of the pan using a knife and brush the border with a final coating of butter.

Bake for 1 1/2 Hours until golden brown.

Remove the pan to a rack to cool for 5 minutes.
Cut the squares deeply to serve.
Serve warm.

Peace in the Kitchen!