I am truly enjoying this Fall season. I especially loved picking up these apples on my way home from Bedford Springs, Pennsylvania a few weeks ago. My husband scouted out an apple orchard and with the help of our GPS we found it. There were so many choices of apples to pick from. I can’t even remember all the names. We got a bag and just started filling it with different varieties of baking apples and a few extra for eating. I always use a variety of apples when baking pie, cobbler, or crisp. The flavor is just unbeatable. I used a special family recipe it’s just the best! The ride home was just beautiful with all the colors of the changing leaves. I made my apple crisp the day after we arrived home. I couldn’t wait! It took a while to get this posted, I do hope you give it a try.
As you can tell this recipe was used many times. I used some of my crisp mixture to make a few extra little servings. They get tucked in the back of the refrigerator for late night snacking.
The crisp may be served warm or cold. It is so rich in flavor from all the apples you can skip the customary scoop of vanilla ice cream. But if you must go for it!
I was at the book store one day last week and to my delight my eyes came upon a new magazine: SIFT, a King Arthur Publication. As I thumbed my way through I saw beautiful pictures of bread, muffins, cakes, biscuits, pizza, sandwiches, gluten free baked goods, and a section on a Mediterranean feast. The photos all looked so appealing, but one picture really had my attention: hot cross buns. I was hoping to make hot cross buns for the upcoming Easter season this year to share with my Mother-In-Law Helen. She just loves hot cross buns and buys them every year. I read over the ingredients and method for preparing the dough and the baking. I happily purchased my new magazine and couldn’t wait to bake the buns. Later that week we had a snow storm and I knew it was the perfect day for baking. The recipe called for either apple juice or rum, and I had rum on hand so I used that. It also called for mixed dried fruit, and I used a mixture of golden raisins and California raisins. I chose to mix the dough by hand instead of the mixer. When baking bread at home in such a small batch I love to get my hands in it. The dough was easy to mix and the process was relaxing. I did some reading during the rise times. It was so hard waiting for those buns to cool, but I wanted to enjoy the little taste of icing piped on the top to get the whole experience of the tasting. It was worth the wait! The bun was soft and tender. The fruit was tasty with the infusion of the rum, and who doesn’t love the taste of icing? I love the buns and the magazine. I will be patiently awaiting the next issue, but ‘till then there’s lots more great recipes in this issue to try.
It’s the perfect time of year for my favorite pumpkin bread recipe. These loaves were prepared and baked by my son Timothy. We have been working through some of our favorite family recipes together. I have been baking this pumpkin bread recipe long before he was born. The bread is moist and delicious. A real family favorite. Tim is enjoying cooking as well as baking. His goal is to be able to cook familiar recipes that he grew up with and loves. His beautiful loaves taste every bit as good as mine.
Heat oven to 350 degrees, grease the bottoms of 2 loaf pans.
Mix the shortening and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer, or in large bowl using a whisk
Add the eggs, pumpkin, and water
Blend in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves
Add the nuts, and raisins
Pour into pans about 2/3 full
Bake 1 hour and 10 minutes, cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes. Then turns the loaves out to cool completely before serving. Store in a zip lock bag or air tight container. The bread gets moister as it ages a day or two. You can also safely freeze the bread.
If your not a fan of the nuts and raisins you can leave them out.
¾ up to 1 Cup granulated sugar, if you want a sweeter muffin use 1 cup of sugar
½ Teaspoon fine sea salt
1 ½ Teaspoons baking powder
¼ Teaspoon baking soda
1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ Teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ Teaspoon ground cloves
1 Cup solid packed pumpkin puree, Libby’s, or organic
¼ Cup buttermilk or evaporated milk
¼ Cup sour cream or plain yogurt
4 oz. Butter (1 stick), melted
2 Large eggs
¼ Cup raisins
¼ Cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Sift the dry ingredients in a medium size bowl; you can use a whisk to sift if you like. Melt the butter and set aside. In a separate bowl lightly beat the eggs. Add the pumpkin puree, sour cream, and buttermilk or evaporated milk. Add the melted butter and wet ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon just to combine the ingredients. Fold in the nuts and raisins. Spoon 2/3 of batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake 20 minutes or till cake tester comes out clean.
Bakers note: I used organic pumpkin for my muffins. If you use Libby’s the muffins will be a darker color.
4 Tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
2 Tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
Stir the confectioners’ sugar and maple syrup together, add more of either ingredient to get a not to thick not to thin mixture. Drizzle over cooled muffins.
I work with a really sweet lady named Joyce. We have become really good friends over the last seven years; her birthday was a little over a week ago. Joyce had passed a comment at work that she didn’t want birthday cake this year she just wanted a pumpkin pie. I instantly was dreaming of that yummy creamy, spicy pumpkin pie I love to bake for Thanksgiving. Joyce and our dear friend Danny, and I always get together and celebrate each others birthdays. I would have no problem surprising our birthday girl with the pie. While I’m at it I thought I’ll make two, I have to have one to taste to make sure it’s just right! I met Joyce in the parking lot before we went in and surprised her with the pie. I loved seeing the smile on her face. It’s so fun to surprise people! I’m sure she never thought her wish for pie instead of cake would come true. We all had a lovely dinner and gave Joyce gifts to celebrate her birthday. When I saw Joyce at work that week she told me she really loved the pie. Well so did my husband, son, and I. Our pie was gone in 24 hours I guess we love pumpkin pie! This will be one of the creamiest pumpkin pies you’ve ever had and the spices put it over the top.
Yields double crust
12 oz. Flour, 1 ½ cups
½ Teaspoon salt
4oz. Ice cold butter in cubes, 1 stick butter
4oz. Ice cold solid shortening, ½ cup, I use Crisco
2-4oz. Ice cold water
In a medium size bowl add the flour and the salt. Whisk together with a wire whisk to incorporate the flour and the salt. Add the ice cold butter, and shortening. Cut in with a pastry blender till pea size pieces appear. Add 1 tablespoon of the water at a time into the flour butter mixture. Only use enough water to bring the dough together into a ball. Shape the dough into 2 discs. I used the entire dough for my pie. I have a large pie plate and I like to have lots of dough to work with. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-1 1/2hours. Remove from plastic, flour a large cutting board or your counter top. Dust the rolling pin and roll out the dough it should fit your pie pan with at least 2 inches hanging over. Trim up the dough around the pie plate tuck it under all the way around and crimp the edges. Place the pie crust in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to get it cold again. This will help you get a flaky crust. Add your filling.
Pumpkin Pie filling
2 Extra-large eggs
1 1/3 Evaporated milk, 1 12 oz can
½ Cup whole milk, or heavy cream
2/3 Cup granulated sugar
1/3 Cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 ½ Teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 Teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 Teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 Teaspoon ground cardamom
½ Teaspoon salt
2 Cups solid packed pumpkin, I use Libby’s
In a large bowl beat eggs with a wire whisk. Add the evaporated milk and the milk, or heavy cream whisk gently together. Add the sugar, spices, and salt whisk gently. Add the pumpkin and whisk again to combine all ingredients together. Pour into your prepared pie crust. Bake at 425 degrees for the first 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for 40-55 minutes. Cool on a wire rack completely. Refrigerate the pie for 3-4 hours before serving. I serve the pie with whipped cream with a sprinkle of sifted cinnamon.