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Deconstructed Apple Pie…

Well, as you know from the previous blog we went a little apple crazy and I had to use up those beautiful fresh picked gems!!
I did the Candy Apples and we ate those until we were sick and then I made these, A warm baked Apple Crumb dessert with Homemade Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream! I can actually hear myself gaining weight! But seriously when you eat these you will not care 🙂 Its like an apple pie ,just lazy with out the pretty crust, instead you put on a crumb topping and it is delicious!
The Weck Jars are my favorite things right now and they have made my desserts look exactly as I imagined them. (Its weird I am really not a dessert person and this blog has really brought out my SWEET side) I think desserts must look prettier then regular meals because there are so many on my Blog?! The Weck Jars are available on the Weck website and are much less then ordering them on other sites so if you are getting them go right to the source. I think it’s around $12 to $15 for 6 of them, maybe less…
This is another easy one so get your peeler and your pen, you will really be a Kitchen Queen when you serve this one. Anything served a little different really makes people impressed.

WHAT YOU NEED:
4 Cups chopped peeled apples, I use a variety so there is great flavor and textures
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1 1/2 Cups flour (any type will work)
1/2 Cup packed brown sugar (this is a must for the flavor regular sugar won’t have the richness)
1/2 stick butter melted (go get the good butter! Homemade from Vermont)

WHAT YOU DO:
PREHEAT YOUR OVEN TO 350 DEGREES
~Peel the apples and cut them into bite sized pieces and slices (They will cook down a little)
~Set them aside and sprinkle with a few tablespoons of lemon juice to keep them from turing brown
~In a mixing bowl add all the ingredients except the apples.
~Mix it well until it becomes a gravel type consistency, you want it to stick together if you squeeze it in your hand.
(If you do not have the Weck jars you can use any type of baking dish just follow the same steps)
~Spoon in a few Tablespoons of the crumb mixture into the bottom of the Jar and press it down to create a “crust” it should be about an inch thick.
~Scoop in 1 cup of chopped apples (more or less as need to get to about 3/4 of an inch from the top
~Top with 2 or 3 more Tablespoons of the crumb mixture this time just spoon it on and do not press it down.
~Place the jars in a baking dish and place in the oven for 45 minutes until baked crumbly and brown.

Whip up some fresh whipped cream with fresh vanilla bean and serve a dollop on top!
ENJOY -T


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An Apple a Day……

Keeps the Doctor away but 4 or 5 candy apples in one night may actually keep the Doctor in business!!

If you here at our house, gorging yourself on delicious creations is pretty much ” business as usual” and these gooey, delicious, sugar drenched apples were no exception.
We Went APPLE PICKING!! It was so much fun!  We drove out to a Apple Picking Farm in Little Compton, Not only did I pick more apples then I could actually carry,  we ate them….A Lot of them. We ate them while we were picking them and ate them on the way home and then…..Dun, Dun, Dunnnnnn… Yep, we ate them covered in Ooey Gooey caramel and chocolate  🙂

Because I had huge baskets full of them when we got back I had to come up with what to make with them so first, CANDY APPLES. YAY!!  HALLOWEEN!! CANDY APPLES!! FUN!!
This is actually easier to do with chocolate then with caramel because the caramel oozes down the apples and turns to tar and sticks them to the plates, wax paper, & the Silpat… BUT the caramel were my favorite as far as taste goes. Herb on the other hand loved the chocolate and to prove it he ate 3 regular sized ones right off the bat, followed by the 3 mini “cake pop” style ones I did and continued to eat them for the next 3 days. He got sick hahaha but it didn’t stop him. On NO, he kept on eating them. I think he over eats and then builds up a tolerance and then can just do it all over again!!  This was so much fun, from the apple picking to creating them and eating them. I love my life!

This makes me laugh because this is right after I said “Make sure you don’t pick ones with holes or bad spots” He emptied most of his basket.

(Ok I’m not loving the fact that I have decided to get my Real Estate License and it has taken up all my cooking time and I have to study for 8 hours a day to get this stuff. Its like learning a new language and I have not studied in over 20 years so I am not good at it BUT….I have a good teacher and I get to learn at my own pace so I can get a full understanding and it really is going to be a great career Plus!….I was already offered a place at at a very beautiful, upscale Broker’s office upon completion so I had better study!!- Now that you know why I have not been blogging, let me get back to it)

WHAT YOU NEED:
CARAMEL APPLES
I did them 2 different ways I did these so I will separate it so you can see how to do both the caramel & Chocolate.
10 Apples any type just be sure they are firm and pristine (easy, just don’t pick ones that have dents, holes or fruit flies make sure they look pretty)
10 Wooden Dowels (Michael’s Craft Store)
1 cup Chopped Cashews
1 Cup Chopped Macadamia Nuts
1 Cup shredded Coconut
1 Cup White Chocolate
Flaked salt of some kind, I had Hibiscus salt
(The toppings are totally optional and you can use what ever you like. My Favorite was the Caramel with a little Hibiscus Salt. But have fun use what you’ve got,,,,,,Crushed up Oreo’s would work and candy cereals & M 7M’s !!)
For the actual caramel: Its super easy
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Light Corn Syrup
1/2 cup Heavy Cream at room temperature
WHAT YOU DO:
Set up a dipping station with your selected goodies in bowls,
Put your apple sticks into your apples and have them ready for dipping.
On Medium High heat add the sugar and the light corn syrup and mix in a heavy sauce pot and cover (Although this is fun and easy this gets crazy hot and the sugar can burn so have your oven mitts handy and be sure your pot handle is turned inward, use your brain this can be really dangerous to pets and children) 🙂
Once the sugar has melted, remove the lid and let it continue to cook until it starts to turn a golden color. Carefully stir with a wooden spoon to ensure it doesn’t stick (This took about 15 minutes)
Once it is golden in color remove from the heat and drizzle in the cream while stirring. Do not pour it all in at once it will bubble up and over flow.
Mix with a whisk until smooth, transfer to a large bowl and let it sit to cool for a few before dipping about 5 minutes
Test the consistency by dipping an apple, it the caramel runs right off then let the caramel sit a few more minutes to cool. You want it to be thick enough to hold on to the apple but also able to hold the toppings.
(If it gets too thick just reheat it over pot of simmering water)
Once you have the right temp, simply dip in your apple, gently scrape the heavy dripping caramel from the bottom with a spoon or drag it on the edge of the caramel bowl and then dip into your favorite toppings!!
If you look closely at the apple photos you will see I did several different styles:
-I held the toppings in one hand and angled the apply upside down and pressed nuts into the top and then changed the nuts for the bottom.
-I did 1/2 and 1/2
-The Slated Caramel (MY FAVORITE) were easy just pinch some good quality salt (I did Hibiscus salt) and sprinkle onto top rim of caramel. Salt is to enhance the flavor so go easy with it.
Michael’s craft store had the eyeball ribbon, the dowels and the bags to put them in. The Caramel ones do not slide into the bag, you have to wrap them with cellophane, the bags won’t work…trust me!
WHAT YOU NEED FOR CHOCOLATE APPLES:

2 Cups Good Quality Chocolate (I used Ghirardelli chips milk chocolate and Semi-sweet mixed)
Using a “make shift” double boiler, melt the chips over indirect heat. (You can do it in the microwave also). Once they start melting turn the heat to very low and stir until smooth. There is no need to add anything to the chocolate and it will harden beautifully.
Once it is melted and smooth dip the apples in the same way you did for the caramel. Scrape off dripping chocolate and dip into your toppings.
Get creative! Do half nuts, half coconut and other fun combinations>
WHITE CHOCOLATE TIPS!!
White chocolate does not melt the same as regular chocolate and therefor does not work as well but, it does work you just have to add a couple teaspoons of cream as it is melting. it will not dry has hard so just be aware of that when you go to make them. I used the white as a glue for my coconut and covered the apple completely.
A good way to utilize white chocolate is to chop it up finely and use like you would the other toppings

ENJOY-T

Im Sorry I’ve been busy

So Hopefully you don’t mind I am using an old recipe because it’s perfect for this weather, I am starting a new direction in my career and need to study and it is so, so  hard I am trying to get  into a good swing were I can get back to blogging.It should only be a few more weeks. I have so many recipes stored up and photos still in the camera it’s killing me BUT!…. I will be back in action soon and I will figure out how to schedule both 🙂

WHAT YOU NEED:

3 Tbls olive oil
2 16 oz cans of whole peeled tomatoes (the best kind you can find)
1 Cup of slow roasted tomatoes (from a previous post or sun dried tomatoes, not in oil)
1 Cup fresh basil leaves torn into large pieces
3 cloves of garlic minced (on a micro-plane if you can)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbls fresh pepper
good pinch of red pepper flakes or Aleppo Pepper
1/4 cup cream or half & half heated (optional)
Toppers:
Fresh ciabatta croutons with parmesan
Panko Parmesan crumbs
chives

WHAT YOU DO:
Heat Oil in stock pot and add the minced garlic, heat on med for just a few minutes to cook out the raw garlic flavor.
add salt, sugar, & pepper and cook for 3 to 5 minutes
Add in the tomatoes (cans)
Add in 2 cans of water making sure to get all the tomato left in the cans
stir in basil and bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and continue to simmer for 1 hour. You really want to cook down and intensify flavors it starts out very plain but really ends up very tasty.
once you have cooked it all down use and immersion blender  and blend the whole tomatoes, trying to leave some of the slow roasted ones in tact. if you can’t that’s ok too.
When you are ready to serve temper cream by adding a ladle of the soup to the cream to keep it from curdling and then mix into pot. this adds a nice smooth taste.

For toppings, cut up some bread drizzle with olive oil, parm cheese, salt & pepper and toast in the oven at 425 till crunchy. Put in a bowl on the table
in a small saute pan put in 1 Tbls butter, 1/4 cup parm cheese & 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs and brown. Also put in a bowl for the table
cut some chives and be sure to add them to the soup for that light onion flavor & bright green contrast of color!