Sunday, September 18, 2011

One Sure Sign of Fall.....

Today was a perfect start to the Fall season. Woke up this morning to the sound of rain falling outside and a cool breeze. It was such a relief to be able to enjoy this day of rain due to the to-do list needing to be accomplished (which increased after yesterday spent with  great friends!!). 

At the top of this list, pounds of apples needing to be used. This is the exact reason why I love apple season....the choices from which apples to pick to which recipes to make!!!! There are so many options from applesauce to pie...cheesecake to turnovers. 

This time I thought we could venture back to a classic - the Tart. Let's try one with a twist - a crust containing honey and egg yolks. 

This amazing tart is currently baking right now and the scent of baked apples, cinnamon and nutmeg fill the exciting!!!! Maybe it is the weather but I think it makes Fall so much more inviting being able to enjoy desserts to match the season. 

As I have stated in previous posts, one of my trick for peeling apples is to place them in a bowl of cold water until you are ready to use them. This will keep them from turning brown before you are ready to bake. 

I hope you enjoy this recipe and I look forward to hearing your thoughts......What is your favorite thing to do with apples??
Apple Streusel Tart 
Adapted from
1 3/4 C Unbleached Flour
2 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 C Unsalted Butter, cold and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 C Honey
2 Egg Yolks
1 Tbsp Ice Water

3/4 C Unbleached Flour
1/2 C Powdered Sugar
1 Tsp Lemon Peel, grated
1 Tsp Vanilla 
1/2 C Unsalted Butter, cold and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/4 C Sugar
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 Tsp Cornstarch
1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
3 cups  Gala Apples, sliced (about 4)

Mix flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in processor. Add butter; using on/off turns, process until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk honey, yolks, and 1 tablespoon ice water in bowl. Add honey mixture to flour mixture; using on/off turns, process until clumps form. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic; chill 1 hour.

Roll dough out on floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Press dough onto bottom and up sides of pan. Fold overhang in; press to form double layer. Cover and chill 30 minutes.
Mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Using fingertips, rub in butter until pea-size clumps form. Refrigerate while preparing filling.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg in large bowl to blend. Add slicing apples; stir to coat. Transfer to crust, spreading evenly. Sprinkle streusel over. Wrap edge of pan (to cover crust) with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Then remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes until streusel is golden and filling is bubbling. Cool.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

One last day of Summer........

I love Fall....and I can't wait until the first day when it is cool and crisp.....but have you ever had a moment when you get so excited for something to arrive you forget the present?! I do this every September. I am so excited for Fall being just around the corner I forget to enjoy the last few Summer nights left. 

Having lunch the other day with a friend,  we came to the conclusion it is too easy to get caught up in all of the plans for Fall that these last pieces of summer may be overlooked. I am grateful this discussion reminded me of how easy it is to get caught up in what we need to get done.  We forget there are days when the "to do" list just needs to be set aside for the moment and enjoyment needs to be found in the last few 80 degree day of Summer.  

Take a road trip with the top down (my was fun!!!), get outside for a great hike or just enjoy your own backyard with friends or family.  Whatever you find time to do.......I hope you enjoy your time with those important in your life with who you want to share it with. 

Enjoy these Pumpkin Scones with Maple Glaze during these last few days of Summer.........and with your future plans..... just remember....everything will arrive in it's own time like the changing of the leaves ...... until then enjoy the here and now. 

Pumpkin Scones with Maple Glaze
1 1/4 C Pie & Pastry Flour (or Unbleached Flour)
1/3 C Sugar
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
3/4 Tsp Salt
3/4 Tsp Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Ground Ginger
1/4 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/4 Tsp Ground Allspice
1/2 C Butter, cold
1 C Cinnamon Chips
2/3 C Canned Pumpkin (or fresh, my preference)
2 Eggs

Maple Glaze
1 C Powdered Sugar
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp Milk
1/3 Tsp Cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices. Cut in the butter just until the mixture is crumbly. Mix in Cinnamon Chips. 

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and eggs till smooth. Add the pumpkin/egg to flour mixture and stir until combined. Place dough on floured surface and roll out into a rectangle at least 3/4 inch thick.  Cut rectangle into wedges and place wedges about 1/2 inch apart on cookie sheet. 

Place the pan of scones in the freezer for 20 minutes, uncovered. Preheat oven to 400°F.  Bake for 20 minutes and a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean.

Remove the scones from the oven. Combine the glaze ingredient together. Drizzle with whisk over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving (at least 1 hour).

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Oatmeal Oatmeal Oatmeal......(Yes, I just heard you sigh!!!)

If you have followed this blog long enough you may have caught on to one of my favorite things.....Oatmeal!

I eat it for breakfast every day and love finding a way to add it to anything I can. If you remember back to the post about the visit to the Country Store....on that trip I purchased almost 6 lbs of Oatmeal that day. My mother couldn't believe it but to her surprise I used it all up in less than two months. Crazy huh?! Now you know why I call it one of my favorite things.

I can hear you sigh right now and think I must be the only one with this love...ha ha! Yes, I know others do not have this affection for such a grain so I will stick to the classics in sharing a recipe with you. I will avoid my desire to share all of the versions of oatmeal I make on a regular basis through this blog (I think I just heard someone cheer!!! lol). Instead, I will share with you my all-time favorite cookie recipe containing oatmeal.

Every time these are baking it just makes me happy. As the title states, this is the "best" Oatmeal Cookie recipe I have ever come across - Soft and Chewy. This reason - the raisins are soaked in egg and vanilla until soft.....(This is the secret....just don't I will warn you this recipe makes 6 feel free to cut in half. If you don't want to adhere to this warning....I hope you share or you will find yourself eating them all yourself!!!

The "Best" Oatmeal Cookies
adapted from Colorado Cache Cookbook

3 Eggs, well beaten
1 C Raisins
2 Tsp Vanilla
1 C Unsalted Butter
1 C Brown Sugar, packed
1 C White Sugar
2 1/2 C Unbleached Flour
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Allspice
2 Tsp Baking Soda
2 C Oatmeal

Combine eggs, raisins and vanilla in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Cream together butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Add flour, salt, cinnamon, allspice and soda to sugar mixture until combined. Add in egg-raisin mixture and oatmeal. Drop by teaspoonful onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden.

What are your favorite things to add to Oatmeal Raisin Cookies????