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Recipe: Caramel Apple Hand Pies

Caramel Apple Hand Pies

Caramel Apple Hand Pies


Hand pies are a New Orleans tradition thanks to local business Hubig’s. Unfortunately, with Hubig’s currently not in operation due to a devastating fire (they promise to rebuild), I had to make my own hand pies to get my fix. But, all in all, I’m proud of how these Caramel Apple Hand Pies turned out.

I’m a huge fan of caramel apples so I whipped up some caramel and mixed it with the apples to create the caramel apple filling.

Ingredients:

For the Caramel:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 TBSP unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup water

Caramel Apple Hand Pies

Caramel Apple Hand Pies encompass wonderful Fall flavors.


For the rest:

  • 4 pre-made pie crusts
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, finely chopped
  • 2 Honeycrisp apples, finely chopped
  • 2 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 2 egg yolks

Directions:

For the Caramel:

  1. Heat sugar and water in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. When sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring.
  2. Boil until the liquid sugar turns a dark amber color then add all the butter. The mixture will foam up and thicken.
  3. Whisk until the butter has melted. Once butter has melted, remove pan from the heat.
  4. Add the cream (the mixture will foam up again) and whisk to incorporate cream and until mixture is smooth.
  5. Set aside caramel to cool.

For the Hand Pies:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Caramel Apple Hand Pies

    Making the caramel from scratch is worth the effort.

  3. Roll out pre-made pie crust dough and use a 4-inch circular pastry cutter to cut circles out of the dough. Repeat with each dough remains.
  4. Set dough circles aside on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Toss apples with cinnamon and remaining sugar.
  6. Once caramel has cooled, add apples to the caramel and stir to incorporate.
  7. Assemble hand pies by place a TBSP of caramel apple filling on a dough circle then placing a dough circle on top. Press edges with fork to seal. (Don’t worry if some filling spills out, keep pressing until sealed.)
  8. Using a knife, score an X into the top of each pie so filling can vent its heat out while baking.
  9. Once all pies are assembled (you may need to work in batches if you have one baking sheet), whisk egg yolks in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush each hand pie with the egg wash. Sprinkle each pie with additional sugar, if desired.
  10. Bake hand pies for 12-15 minutes or until crust turns golden brown.
  11. Place on a wire rack to cool.

While my recipe is for hand pies, you can also go the traditional route and just make a caramel apple pie using two pie crusts. Either way, the filling in this recipe is a star.

Making the caramel from scratch really makes a difference. These Caramel Apple Hand Pies are perfect for Fall and Winter parties while apples are in season. Plus, they’re easier to eat. And I guarantee you will have very few left over when all is said and done.

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Posted by on November 8, 2012 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Butternut Squash Frittata with Sage and Emmentaler Cheese

Butternut Squash Frittata with Sage and Emmentaler Cheese

Butternut Squash Frittata with Sage and Emmentaler Cheese

Butternut squash is one of my Fall favorites. It’s light, sweet and a tad earthy so it’s ideal for roasting. This frittata uses roasted butternut squash, sage and a slightly sharp Emmentaler cheese to make a dish great for breakfast, brunch or even dinner.

Use a non-stick pie dish or an oven-safe skillet to make this in the oven. Be sure to whisk the eggs well so that it turns out nice and fluffy.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized butternut squash, cut into cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • Butternut Squash and Red Onion

    Sauteeing the Butternut Squash and Red Onion

  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/3 cup milk (or heavy cream)
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh sage
  • 1 cup grated Emmentaler cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Place butternut squash and onion in a large oven-safe skillet or dish and toss with olive oil, half of the salt and half of the pepper.
  3. Roast until browned and softened (about 25 minutes).
  4. Remove from oven and set aside to cool for about 5 minutes.
  5. A Slice of Butternut Squash Frittata

    A Slice of Butternut Squash Frittata

  6. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk or cream, sage and remaining salt and pepper.
  7. Pour egg mixture into skillet and cook until set (about 8 to 10 minutes).
  8. Remove frittata from the oven and sprinkle with Emmentaler cheese.
  9. Turn on broiler and place skillet underneath until cheese melts and the top of the frittata is browned (about 2 minutes).
  10. Cool frittata, cut into wedges and serve.

Pair this frittata with a breakfast meat of you choice or enjoy it solo. The flavors are very nice as butternut squash and sage often go hand-in-hand.

The frittata should rise some while in the oven, but settle out nicely once removed. If the egg mixture isn’t fully cooked, return to oven and cook an additional 2 minutes.

Enjoy this frittata as part of a great Fall brunch.

Photos courtesy of Miguel Solorzano Photography.

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2011 in Brunch, Cookin', Recipes

 

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Recipe: Salted Caramel Upside-Down Pecan Pie

Salted Caramel Upside-Down Pecan Pie

Salted Caramel Upside-Down Pecan Pie

Pecan pie is one of my favorite desserts, but this year, my goal was to create a recipe presenting a new take on a classic. I decided to make a version that uses a salted caramel instead of a maple syrup base. It’s also baked upside down in an iron skillet. I’m of the belief that all things cooked in an iron skillet turn out better.

With the holidays just around the corner, this pecan pie recipe is one worth trying. It’s sure to be a hit because of the salty/sweet balance.

Ingredients

  • 12 TBSP unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 cups pecan halves (about 1 pound)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Salted Caramel

    Making the Salted Caramel

  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 1 pre-made pie crust (thawed)

Directions:

  1. In a 10-inch iron skillet over medium heat, melt butter, honey and sugars. Bring to a boil and boil for 4 minutes. Add in pecans and heavy cream and boil 3 more minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and set aside. Let cool about 30 minutes.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, mound pecans and caramel slightly in center of skillet, leaving space between pecans and edge of skillet.
  4. Preheat oven to 425F and place rack in the top third of oven.
  5. Roll out pie crust into a 13-inch circle. Place the crust over the skillet, tucking the dough down against the edge of the skillet and around the pecans.
  6. Place two baking sheets, one of top of the other, underneath the skillet to catch drippings while pie is baking. Place skillet in the oven and bake until dough is just turning golden brown (about 10 minutes.
  7. Reduce oven temp to 350F and continue baking until pie crust is cooked and the caramel is bubbling around the edges of the skillet (about 30 minutes).
  8. Remove the pie from the oven and let cool about 20 minutes.
  9. Salted Caramel Upside-Down Pecan Pie in the Oven

    The Pie in the Oven

  10. Carefully invert the pie onto a parchment-lined tray, baking sheet or directly on to serving plate. Do not invert into a pie dish, you should invert the pie onto a flat surface.
  11. If the pie does not release easily, heat the skillet over medium heat for about 30 seconds.
  12. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

You can always adjust the salt of this dish if you want something sweeter. I’m a big fan of salty/sweet dishes and this pie is the perfect blend. Especially, with the salty/sweet of the caramel pairing with the nuttiness and butteriness of the pecans.

Make this pie to wow your guests on Turkey Day.

Photos courtesy of Miguel Solorzano Photography.

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2011 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Pumpkin Turkey Chili Ready to be Served

Chili is a great Fall one-pot wonder. This chili recipe boosts the flavor by using pumpkin puree as the base. It’s also loaded with healthy vegetables and lean protein (this recipe uses turkey, but I’ve also used tofu) for a very balanced meal. It’s suited for most diets as the chili itself is gluten-free and dairy-free.

So next time you’re hosting a football watching party or any other Fall event, be sure and add this recipe to your must-try list.

Ingredients

  • 1 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree
  • 2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pumpkin Turkey Chili Ingredients

    Pumpkin Turkey Chili Ingredients

  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, cored and chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 ear of fresh corn, roasted*
  • 1 tomato, cored and chopped
  • 1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pound ground turkey (or other protein of your choice)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 TBSP chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumi
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Hot sauce, such as Tabasco, to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add chopped onions, peppers, jalapeños and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until tender. Roughly 5 minutes.
  3. Add turkey (or other protein) and cook until browned.
  4. Add roasted corn, tomatoes, pumpkin puree, water and spices and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and add all beans.
  6. Cover and simmer, stirring every 5 minutes, for 30 minutes more.
  7. Serve chili in bowls with garnish. Some of my favorite garnishes include sliced avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt) and cilantro.
    Pumpkin Turkey Chili in the Pot

    Pumpkin Turkey Chili in the Pot

  • *To roast corn, preheat oven to 350F. Place corn (in husks) on oven rack and roast for 30-40 minutes. Slice corn from cob.

You can mix and match the suggested garnishes as you see fit. I prefer all of them together. I also serve this chili with a jalapeño cheese cornbread and crumble it over the top. No matter how you dish it out, this is a great chili loaded with nutrients and perfect for a cool Fall day.

Photos courtesy of Miguel Solorzano Photography.

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2011 in Cookin', One-Pot Wonders, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Pumpkin Butter

Pumpkin Butter Ingredients

Only 7 Ingredients

It’s officially Fall so will someone please tell the weather gods? While we’re waiting for the temperatures to come down to the Fall conditions we know and love, here’s a simple and quick Pumpkin Butter recipe packed with Fall flavors.

Some gourmet stores have jars of pumpkin butter listed for up to $15. With this recipe you can make more than a jar for about 10 bucks. My recipe uses pumpkin puree, but you’re welcome to use a whole pumpkin to make your puree. I don’t have enough hours in the day to do so.

Apologies for the photos, while Pumpkin Butter tastes great, it’s not the easiest thing to photograph.

Pumpkin Butter in the Pot

All Ingredients in the Pot


Ingredients

  • 1 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup 100% apple juice
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP ginger
  • 1 TBSP nutmeg
  • pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients over medium-high heat in a non-stick medium-sized pot (or Dutch oven).
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring regularly.
  3. Reduce heat to let ingredients simmer, stirringly regularly, until mixture thickens (about 30-40 minutes.
  4. Cool pumpkin butter and room temperature.
  5. Once cooled, refrigerate in airtight containers for up to a week.
Pumpkin Butter on Toast

Pumpkin Butter on Toast

You may think I’m a little heavy handed with my spices, and that may be the case. I really like spices especially when they simmer in liquids infusing the flavor into the final product. So if you think it’s too much for you, adjust accordingly.

This Pumpkin Butter is a great topping for toast, yogurt, bananas, even chicken or fish. You can also use it in place of oil or butter for baked goods (similar to applesauce’s use). My personal favorite is to make a PBx2 — Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Butter sandwich.

I’m sure there are many more uses I haven’t thought of yet. All I know is that this Pumpkin Butter is truly a versatile sauce that will spice up your Fall.

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2011 in Cookin'

 

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