Monday, October 27, 2008

apple strudel

the goods:

flour, for rolling
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 Gala or Fuji apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees; line a baking sheet with foil. On a lightly floured work surface, unfold pastry; roll out to a 12-by-14-inch rectangle. Place on sheet. Repeat with second pastry sheet; refrigerate.

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium; reserve 1 tablespoon in a small bowl.

To skillet, add apples, 1/2 cup sugar, and cinnamon. Increase heat to medium-high; cook, tossing occasionally, until apples are tender and liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

With one short side of dough facing you, mound half of filling horizontally in a strip across the center, leaving a 1-inch border on both long sides. Repeat with second pastry.

Fold top part, then bottom part of dough over filling (like a letter). Turn pastry over, seam side down. Repeat with second pastry.

Crimp edges and brush both pastries with reserved melted butter; sprinkle with sugar. Using a paring knife, cut steam vents in center of pastry.

Bake until golden brown, 35 minutes.

Let rest 10 minutes, slice and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Monday, October 20, 2008

plum oatmeal crisp

the goods:

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
8 to 10 plums (depending on size) cut into 1-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together 1/2 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, oats, and salt.

Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until coarse crumbs form.

In a shallow 2-quart baking dish, toss plums with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and tablespoon flour.

Sprinkle with oat topping.

Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until topping is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes.

Let cool 20 minutes before serving.

Don't count on leftovers...

Monday, October 13, 2008

vanilla pound cake

the goods:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
2 cups flour, plus more for pan
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a loaf pan; set aside.

Using and electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; add vanilla and salt.

With mixer on low, gradually add flour, beating just until combined. Do not overmix.

Spoon into prepared pan and smooth top.

Bake until a toothpick inserted at center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool in pan 15 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack and turn upright to cool completely.

This is a very basic recipe and once sliced, the bread is wonderful with fresh fruit and whipped cream, or whatever concoction you can come up with!

Monday, October 6, 2008


the goods:

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
3 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 bag (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts coarsely chopped (optional)

Butter and 8-inch square baking pan; line with 2 crisscrossed pieces of parchment paper, leaving and overhang. Butter paper.

In a large saucepan, combine butter, marshmallows, sugar, cream, and salt; cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until marshmallows are melted, 8 to 10 minutes.

Off heat, stir in vanilla, chocolate chips until chocolate is melted.

Pour fudge into prepared pan, and smooth top. At this point you can spread the walnuts over half, all, or none of the fudge.

Press some into the still warm fudge with your finger.

Let cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.

Using overhang, lift fudge onto a cutting board; cut into squares.

Store in the refrigerator.