Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Apple Pie Caramel Apple

Look at this beauty. So simple and delicious. 
Making them isn't hard, once you know the process, well my process.

Here are your ingredients needed to make these autumn time (or any time) treats
Granny Smith apples, some good caramel, wooden dowels (or popsicle sticks), white chocolate chips, cinnamon sugar and parchment paper.

First, let's talk about caramel.
I highly suggest using a good quality caramel, like this Peter's brand which can be purchased at kitchen stores such as Orsen Gygi or Kitchen Kneads. I buy a 5lb loaf and that will make about 20-25 apples, depending on the size of the apples.
The regular wrapped caramel are totally acceptable though and a good option for making just a couple at a time. Just have to unwrap them all :)

Start by washing your apples well and drying them. Then place the wooden dowels into the apple.
You'll want Granny Smith green apples because they're a nice tart flavor that compliments the sweet caramel and toppings. They also are good and crisp, not mushy.

Cut up your brick of caramel into smaller pieces, using a little less caramel than you think you'll need.
(you can always melt more as needed)

Simply melt your caramel in a microwave-safe bowel in 30-seconds increments until smooth. Like this:

Take a rubber scraper, preferably a curved one, and just apply the caramel to the outside of the apple, scraping downward to remove excess and smooth the caramel.

Then just smooth the caramel a bit with your hand so it's nice and smooth and pretty. If you want plain caramel apples, you're done. Just place them on parchment or wax paper until set up.

If you want to take it to the next level and go for the "Apple Pie" flavor apple,
Melt some white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowel until smooth.

Just dip your apple, swirling it a bit to get up the sides and edges

Then remove excess with a rubber scraper by scraping downward...makes it look pretty too.

Just place on parchment paper until they set up completely. 
The chocolate takes much longer to harder, so you can put the the parchment on a cookie sheet and stick them in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to make them set up quicker.

If you want to give them away, (but WHY would you?)
They look very cute and festive in a cellophane bag.

Also, you may choose to do any topping you choose. I personally enjoy the white chocolate and cinnamon sugar combo the best, but I did make some a few days later with a friend and we did white chocolate with crushed oreo, which was good too. I also drizzled plain milk chocolate over one too.
The possibilities are endless!

Friday, September 24, 2010

How many?

Just many food blogs do you follow?  I just counted and I follow 23.  And I'm sure there are even more out there I need to be following too.   Oh, I thought there was one mentioned at our club night that I should be following, anybody remember?  Love being a foodie! 

This Creme Brulee  from "Pioneer Woman" looks SO good!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Crème Fraîche

Let's talk for a moment about crème fraîche. It's one of those fancy food terms you hear about and see on the Food Network, but would never even think about attempting to make, so you search high and low for a place that serves it so you can at least try it once before you die. Then you find a Belgian waffle shop that serves it atop their waffles, so you drive for like 40 minutes to get there and of course order your waffle topped with it and immediately decide that you want it on all your waffles and desserts forever and ever because you love it so much and can't live without it. So at that point you realize that you have no choice but to figure out how to make it yourself. Then you read like six different online recipes, which are all basically the same, and realize it's 100 percent easier than you, almost too easy, so obviously the internet must be lying to you. But, alas, you try it anyway and realize the internet was right all along, because it really is that easy. I think that's how the typical story goes anyway...

Okay, so basically crème fraîche is a thick soured cream with a really smooth texture.
Making it will require you to throw some of your old notions out the window and trust that the food sites are correct in their knowledge of how bacteria works, because apparently there's good bacteria and bad bacteria, and crème fraîche implements the use of good, special, something like that.

Okay, so here's what you need:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 TBSP buttermilk
  • 4-5 TBSP powdered sugar, to taste (optional)
And that's it folks.

So here's what you do:

Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it reaches approximately 105 degrees. Remove it from the heat and add the buttermilk. It's this next step that might be hard to stomach, but you're just gonna have to trust me on it. You then transfer the cream/buttermilk mixture to a bowl and let it sit out at room temperature for at least 24-48 hours (mine took roughly 24 hours). And, like, the warmer the better apparently. You'll know it's done when it's roughly the consistency of sour cream and has a slightly tangy, nutty flavor (kinda like sour cream, but different...). You'll then want to cover it and place it in the refrigerator so it can continue to become more and more crème fraîche-y.

At this point you have two options. You can either eat it as know, add it to sauces, put a scoop in your bowl of soup, or top some sort of savory French crepe with it (much like you would do with sour cream). Or you can do what I did and add roughly 4 TBSP powdered sugar (more if you want it sweeter, less if you want it not so get the idea) and then beat it until it resembles thick whipping cream. The end result is something epic and can pretty much be eaten as a dessert by itself. Or you can generously top desserts, waffles, french toast, etc. with it. And I mean generously, do you understand? This will last anywhere from 7-10 days in the refrigerator, but this is really a moot point for me.

An empty blog is just too sad...

So, I've decided to post the recipe for that rockin' Banana Cream Pie I told you about.

I found this, after searching many websites, because I wanted to make real-deal Banana Cream Pie. You know, one that didn't include instant pudding in the recipe. Don't get me wrong. Those are good too. This just takes the whole this up another level. The filling is a custard-like filling, similar to Creme it. I found it on and it was featured in Bon Appetit Magazine.


  • 2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup mashed banana
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 pounds total), peeled, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices          (I didn't use them all, it was a lot)

For crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and mashed banana in large bowl to blend. Add unsalted butter and stir to moisten evenly. Press onto bottom and up sides of 10-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
Bake crust until set and pale golden, about 15 minutes. Cool completely. (It will smell DIVINE)

For filling:
Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt in heavy medium saucepan to blend. Gradually whisk in whipping cream and whole milk, then egg yolks. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add vanilla bean. Whisk over medium-high heat until custard thickens and boils, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in unsalted butter and vanilla extract. Discard vanilla bean. Transfer custard to large bowl; cool completely, whisking occasionally, about 1 hour.
Stir custard to loosen, if necessary. Spread 1 cup custard over bottom of prepared crust. Top with half of sliced bananas, then 1 cup custard, covering bananas completely. Repeat layering with remaining bananas and remaining custard. Chill banana cream pie until filling is set and crust softens slightly, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day. Cut pie into wedges and serve.

One tip: After you're done boiling your vanilla bean in your cream, don't throw it out. Do what Alton Brown would do! Dry it off, put it into a ziploc or container with a cup or two of sugar. Ta-da! Vanilla sugar.... heavenly to adorn the top of your next Creme Brulee before.

There you go! We've all got plenty of time to master this before Thanksgiving rolls around.