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Tag Archives: spices

Apple Pie Perfection

8 Feb

Sarah’s 18th birthday is today!!! How did the time go so quickly? I think it went quickly because she has been so much fun. She likes to bake and craft, so of course we had to make a special treat to take to school. Sarah has IB Calculus first block and it is a small class with a great teacher–not just because she let’s the girls bring in goodies, but she loves math and helps the girls love math too (it is an all girls school in case you were worried about the boys being ignored.) I linked this up over at Hollie Rogue’s Photo Friday link up party. It is a great place to see and be seen. click on over there to see what’s new.

So what should we make? One of Sarah’s favorite desserts that I make is an apple custard tart. I’ll definitely be making that for the blog sometime, but we have been seeing these adorable apple pies baked in the apple on Pinterest. We saw one at Testado, Provado e Aprovado , it looked both easy and wonderful, so I only changed it a little. Our test Pie was delicious, even though it broke open. I think we carved the inside out a little too much. Here is our version:

Pie crust: adapted from the kitchenaid manual.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup shortening –I use coconut oil, which is solid instead of Crisco solid.
1/3 cup  cold  salted butter
5 or 6 Tbs. cold water, add a very little bit more if the dough won’t hold together.

Put all ingredients except water in bowl. With either the paddle attachment on the kitchen aid, or a pastry cutter, cut shortening into flour until it is  like crumbly pea gravel. Then slowly add water and blend until the dough just holds together. Gather it in a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge to chill.

Now cut the tops off the apples, not too far down. Cut the apple top up and peel the skin off those pieces. Now leaving the apple skin intact with about 1/4″ of apple left to give it some strength. First cut out the core, throw out the core pieces, and save the rest. We sprinkled lemon mixed with a little water on the apple pieces to keep the brown down. Make sure your apple pieces are cut up into small pieces. You will have more apple than you need, so don’t worry about doing it perfectly.

Mix in a bowl, not with apple yet:–for 8 apples, obviously less for fewer more for more!

1/2 cup sugar –I like raw sugar it has more flavor.
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1  tsp vanilla

In a small bowl put a heaping 1/2 cup of apple bits and 2 Tbs. of the sugar flour mix. Mix them until the apple is completely covered. Put the coated apples in one of the hollowed out apples, add some bits of butter on top about 1/2 Tbs per apple. Repeat with the other apples and set aside while you roll out the pie crust dough. Pre-heat the oven to 375*

   

Separate the dough into two pieces, on a floured surface roll out half the dough until it is about 1/8″+ thick. Try to roll and handle the dough as little as possible, so that it stay flaky. We used a circular plastic container that was about 5″ in diameter as a cookie cutter, cut out as many tops as you can with the first batch of dough. Add the leftover dough to the second half, and roll it out again and cut out the rest of your tops.

 

The tops need a small vent to let steam escape. We use a mini flower cookie cutter and then put the scrap back on the crust as decoration. Put the tops on the apples, don’t worry about pressing them in place they will naturally fold around the top as they bake.

Bake for about 40 minutes, when the crust looks golden brown in a bubbling syrup they are done. Let them cool for at least ten minutes  before serving.

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From Cold Kernels to Kettle Corn in 5 Easy Minutes: Why I Love my Whirley-Pop

5 Jan

Perfect kettle corn, which is lightly sugared popcorn, is a wonderful treat. I like mine with a few spices. Caution, this popcorn is addicting! Here is the place for disclosures—to the best of my knowledge—no one at Whirley-Pop has ever heard of me, and I am receiving no money for writing this—although I would love it if someone wanted to pay me! Here is a link to Whirley-Pop, they cost about $25, and you will need one to make this tasty treat. The Whirley-Pop is also a great gift for families with young kids, or any popcorn lover.

http://www.popcornpopper.com/

FIRST:

My secret recipe:

salt, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves

Mix together:

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. cloves

1 tsp. cardamom

1 tsp.vanilla

Stir together all ingredients and then sift to remove clumps. I suggest a sift with a spinning handle, this will save you from sore hands. The “Secret Recipe” can be made days in advance and stored in a plastic tub or clean jar. This is also a great topping for strawberries or toast. The longer the sugar sits the better it tastes, because the spices’ flavors meld together.

SECOND:

To make the delicious popcorn, you will need:

3 Tbs cooking Oil

½ cup popcorn

½ cup “Secret Recipe” sugar

If you have an electric stove, turn it on to medium heat while you get your ingredients out.

virgin coconut oil

Also, Instead of cooking oil, I used virgin or unrefined coconut oil. It adds a faint coconut flavor and smells like the beach when you open the jar. If you don’ like coconut, don’t use coconut oil. It is a solid, so I melt it in the microwave for about 30 seconds. It is also, a poly-unsaturated fat, one of the good ones.

Put the oil, popcorn, and “Secret Recipe” in your Whirley-Pop. Turn the handle at a slow constant pace. When the corn stops popping, after about 2 to 3 minutes, pour it onto your cookie sheet (I put parchment paper on mine) to cool, then into a bowl to serve.

Popcorn is a great movie night treat, and if your children are old enough and safe around the stove, they can even turn the handle for you. If you don’t like sweet popcorn, don’t add the “Secret Recipe,” just add salt and/or your favorite spices.

Lucky for us, Sarah’s first video didn’t work out, so we had to make a second batch, YUM! I still don’t know how to edit or post a video, but luckily my son is home. In exchange for some Kettle corn, he helped.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MDMwOjXUzc&feature=g-upl&context=G25749f4AUAAAAAAAAAA

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