Jack Daniel’s Caramel Apple Pie

December 1, 2011

Jack and I have been at it again! I just can’t seem to stay away from Mr. Daniels. Especially when it comes to baking! This time I saw a recipe for a Southern Comfort Caramel Apple Pie at Pink Parley’s site. It looked fantastic and seemed to be getting rave reviews. I decided I just had to make it for Thanksgiving, but it needed to be with Jack Daniels rather than Southern Comfort. Nothing against Southern Comfort, I’m sure it is great. However, Jack and I have an established relationship and all seems to be better when he makes an appearance. So off I went!

To be honest, I really am not a big pie fan in general. I like apple pies, since apple is a favourite fruit. I like pecan pies. But it pretty much stops there. Blueberry pie? Peach pie? Cherry pie? I just have to say “Errr…Thanks, but no.” My husband on the other hand, loves fruit desserts as I may have mentioned. I knew this pie with not only a fruity filling but also a good helping of bourbon could not go wrong.

I had never actually made an apple pie before. I have done rustic tarts and the like, but this was my first pie. I must say, I’m very happy my first attempt was such a great success. This pie is every bit as delicious as the various rave reviews had declared. The apples had a lovely firm texture. The cinnamony caramel bourbon sauce in which they rested was to die for! And if that wasn’t enough, then there is the topping. It is a streusel sort of topping usually found on fruit crisps or crumbles. Gives the pie a nice buttery, crunchy finish. Fantastic pie altogether. You really must give it a try!

Jack Daniels Caramel Apple Pie

recipe slightly adapted (I switch Southern Comfort for Jack Daniels) from Pink Parsley. Full original recipe found on 20-Something Cupcakes.

Basic Pie Crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2/3 cup (10-2/3 tablespoons) chilled unsalted butter
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

In your food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Cut butter into 1/2-inch cubes. Add butter to flour mixture and pulse several times until mixture looks crumbly, with bits of dough the size of peas. Add 4 tablespoons ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing a few times after each addition. After final addition, dough should begin to clump together in a ball. Gently mold dough into a disk, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Transfer unwrapped dough to a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 1/8-inch-thick circle large enough to cover bottom and sides of a 9-inch-diameter deep-dish pie pan; do not use a regular (shallow) pan. Transfer dough to pie pan, crimping edges with your fingers or a fork. Prick bottom with a fork.

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons firmly packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (5-1/3 tablespoons) chilled unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange pecans on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast until a rich brown, 7 to 9 minutes. Coarsely chop nuts and set aside.

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process sugars, cinnamon, salt, and flour for about 1 minute. Cut butter into small pieces and add to sugar-flour mixture. Pulse 10 to 15 times until mixture is crumbly. Remove from processor and stir in pecans. Refrigerate topping, covered, until ready to use.

Apple Filling:

  • 5 to 6 medium-sized tart apples, such as Braeburn, Cortland, or Winesap ( I used 3 granny smith/3 honey crisp)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup Jack Daniels bourbon
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream

Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees. Peel, core, and cut apples into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When butter starts to foam, add apples and sauté for 5 to 8 minutes. In a small bowl stir together cinnamon and sugar; sprinkle on apples, and stir to combine. Simmer apples over medium-low heat for about 1 minute longer. Remove apples from skillet with a slotted spoon, leaving as much of butter-sugar mixture in skillet as possible. Transfer apples to a baking sheet and arrange in a single layer until ready to use. (If heaped in a pile, they will become soggy.)

Pour Jack Daniels into butter-sugar mixture in skillet. Simmer mixture over medium heat until alcohol burns off, at least 5 minutes (sniff mixture at close range; if it burns your nostrils, the vapors are still burning off). Add cream and continue simmering until mixture is quite thick but still pourable, 5 to 10 minutes. Return apples to skillet and stir to coat.

Pour apples and cream mixture into unbaked piecrust (do not fill to more than 1/2 inch below top of crust) and sprinkle evenly with topping. Place pie pan on baking sheet to guard against a caramel filling bubble over. Bake until filling is bubbling and topping is brown, 50 to 60 minutes.

Enjoy!

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Corn Pudding

November 28, 2011

This year I cooked Thanksgiving dinner completely on my own. Ordinarily, we go to my Mum’s house and she makes an awesome dinner with every possible dish imaginable. I usually only contribute a side dish and a dessert. This year due to extenuating circumstances, we were not able to attend her feast and I was faced with having to cook one for us all by myself! (Yikes!) Although it was somewhat daunting, I think I did fairly well once all was said and done (or eaten as the case may be). One of the dishes my Mum always prepares for Thanksgiving is corn pudding. Now that I think of it, Corn Pudding is usually available on every holiday. I think it is a classic Southern dish. Certainly very popular on both Tilghman Island ( a little island in the Chesapeake Bay where I grew up) as well as Smith Island ( a more isolated island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, where my Da grew up). Both Jay and I really like it, so I wanted to give it a whirl. Although I didn’t achieve the level of yumminess that Mum’s pudding does, it was still pretty tasty. Mum doesn’t actually add vanilla to hers, but we are both huge vanilla fans so into the mix it went. I also only used two tablespoons of sugar, whereas Mum says you can add up to four. As with most recipes handed down in families, the amounts of any given ingredient were not given to me in cold, hard fact form, but in “add it to taste” and “oh, about a tablespoon or so”. You know how it goes. Mum usually bakes it in a square baking dish (8″x8″), but an oval gratin pan works as well as little ramekins. Though with ramekins the cooking time will be reduced. Just watch them and remove them from the oven once the top is set. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Corn Pudding

recipe from: My Mum!

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 15 oz. can creamed corn
  • 2-4 Tablespoons Sugar (to your taste)
  • 2 Tablespoons Bisquick
  • 2 eggs-lightly beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract
  • 1- 12 oz. can Evaporated Milk
  • 1/2 stick ( 4 Tablespoons) of butter-melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F

In medium-sized bowl combine creamed corn, eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract.

Place Bisquick in small bowl and add a small amount of pet milk, stirring until it is smooth and no lumps remain.

Add Bisquick mixture to corn mixture.

Add the rest of the can of Evaporated milk to corn mixture and stir until combined.

Place 1/2 stick of butter in dish you wish to bake the pudding in. Microwave the butter until melted. Swirl the butter mixture around the inside of the dish until sides are coated.

Pour corn mixture into buttered baking dish.

Place corn pudding dish on baking sheet to protect your oven should it boil over.

Bake for 75 minutes or until top of pudding is set.

Enjoy!


Pumpkin Pie Ebelskivers filled with Vanilla Whipped Cream Cheese

November 10, 2011

Just in time for the decadent food-laden Thanksgiving Holiday, here you have a delicious recipe for Pumpkin Pie Ebelskivers filled with Vanilla Whipped Cream Cheese. “Ebelskivers?” you may ask. Ebelskivers are round pancakes which originated in Denmark and are perfect for breakfast, appetizers or snacks. You will of coarse need one special piece of equipment to make these goodies-namely the Ebelskiver Pan. My husband received one for his birthday a couple of years ago. The ebelskiver turners, long, carved wooden sticks, are great to have, but you could possibly get by with chopsticks, wooden skewers or even knitting needles in a pinch.

Ebelskivers are incredibly versatile. The batter can be savory or sweet and the sky is the limit as far as what you would like to stuff inside the little guys. I have made Nutella & Banana filled Peanut Butter Ebelskivers as well as Cadbury Egg Stuffed Easter Ebelskivers in the past. For Thanksgiving, I wanted to work pumpkin into the mix so I made a pumpkin / graham cracker batter (for those of you in Ireland and the UK you could substitute digestive biscuit crumbs for the graham cracker crumbs if graham crackers are difficult to come by) and decided to stuff each wonderful morsel with a dollop of vanilla whipped cream cheese.

But I wasn’t finished there. Oh no. Then I dusted confectioners’ sugar over the tops of these gorgeous stuffed pancakes. The results were wonderful, a sweet pumpkiny taste followed by the soft, creamy tangy cream cheese filling. Mmmmm….Perfection!

If you didn’t want to bother stuffing the ebelskivers with the cream cheese mixture, you could add a bit of superfine sugar to the cream cheese vanilla mixture and maybe thin it down a bit with some milk and then drizzle it over the top of the ebelskivers as a frosting. I dare say, maple syrup would also be quite tasty over these little gems. Surprize folks over the Thanksgiving holiday with this tasty treat!

Pumpkin Pie Ebelskivers filled with Vanilla Whipped Cream Cheese

Yield: 20 Ebelskivers

Ingredients:

For the pancakes:

  • 1/2 Cup ( 1 1/2 oz./45 g) Graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 Cup ( 1 1/2 oz/45 g) All-purpose flour
  • 1/4 Cup ( 2 oz/60 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 can (14 oz/440g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted  and slightly cooled
  • 1 can ( 15 oz/470g) pumpkin purée
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

For the filling:

  • 1 Cup whipped cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 200°F (95°C).

In a large bowl, whisk together the graham cracker crumbs, flour, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and salt.

In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks, then whisk in the condensed milk and 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Add the yolk mixture to the flour mixture and , using a wooden spoon, stir until well blended. The batter will be lumpy.

In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff, but not dry, peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter alternately with the pumpkin purée in 2 additions, just until well blended and no white streaks remain.

In a separate bowl, mix the whipped cream cheese and the vanilla extract together until well blended.

Brush the wells of the ebelskiver pan with some of the melted butter and place over medium heat. When the butter starts to bubble, add 1 tablespoons batter to each well.

Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of cream cheese mixture into center of each ebelskiver.

Add 1 Tablespoon of the batter to each well, covering the dollop of cream cheese completely.

Cook until the bottoms of the pancakes are lightly browned and crisp, 3-5 minutes. Use 2 short wooden skewers to turn all the pancakes and cook until lightly browned on the other side, about 3 minutes longer.

Transfer the finished pancakes to a platter and keep warm in the oven while you repeat to make 2 more batches. Dust the warm ebelskivers with confectioners’ sugar and serve right away.

Recipe from “Ebelskivers” by Kevin Crafts


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