Do you have an Apple Tree that is a mass producer? Or do you have friends with Apples that they are trying to get rid of? If the answer to either question is yes, then here is what you can do with them. If the answer is no and you need to purchase apples, you can still use the recipes below. For convenience the recipes are listed in alphabetical order.
To make the Apple Braid you will need Puff Pastry Sheets – Sliced Apples as prepared for Apple Turnovers, a Baking Sheet and a knife.
- Peel, slice and dress the Apples as for the Turnovers.
- Lay out a large sheet of Puff Pastry (alternatively use Pie Crust) on a pastry board.
- Arrange the prepared Apples down the middle of the Pastry leaving about 2 inches at either end.
- As pictured, cut the exposed pastry into 2″ strips.
- Lap each piece over the middle, working from side to side. Fold in the ends so that the Apples are completely covered.
- Transfer to a baking pan that has been covered with baking parchment or a silpat sheet.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is heating, brush the Pastry with a beaten Egg White and then sprinkle with Demarara Sugar. (Coarse, brown Sugar)
- Bake on the lower shelf of the oven for 25 minutes or until the pastry has puffed up and is a dark golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool before transferring to a serving platter or cutting board.
- To serve, cut into pieces at least 2 inches long. Best when eaten warm and is very good with Vanilla Ice Cream or Whipped Cream.
Angel Food Cake is like it’s name implies – ‘light and heavenly’. Angel Food Cake is the perfect summer dessert. It can be eaten plain (and not make you feel too full or sugared out) or it can be topped with Strawberries and Whipped Cream or filled with Ice Cream and covered with a Baked Meringue for a faux ‘Baked Alaska’.
The main structure of an Angel Food is Egg Whites whipped full of air which in turn provides the leavening for your cake. Because it has no fat, an Angel Food Cake has fewer calories than most other shortened cakes. There are three main ingredients in Angel Food Cake – Egg Whites, Sugar & Flour. Add a little salt for balance and Vanilla for flavor and lots of air for your leavening agent.
To have your Angel Food Cake come out like it should, just follow a few important rules:
1. Separate the Egg Whites from the Yolks and make sure that not a speck of Yolk gets into the White portion. Egg Whites are mainly Protein and Egg Yolks contain a good portion of Fat. The Whites will not beat up like they should if you get even a tiny bit of yolk into them. So, when you separate your Whites from the Yolks, follow a few simple rules.
- Separate the Eggs when they are still cold from the refrigerator. There is less chance of getting the yolk into the white this way.
- Have a clean bowl for the Whites and another bowl for the Yolks. Have a second smaller bowl to separate the White into before adding to your larger bowl. This way, if some yolk gets into the white by mistake, it is only one white that you cannot use, instead of a whole bowl full of them. If you do get some yolk into the white this way, just combine the White and the Yolk and set aside for another use, such as scrambled eggs or cookies that require a whole egg.
- If you are not going to use the yolks right away, cover with a thin layer of water and then plastic wrap and refrigerate. The water will prevent the yolks from drying out. When ready to use, the water should be easy to pour off or just incorporate them into the eggs.
- Allow your Whites to come to room temperature before beating them. Cold Egg Whites will not beat up as well as the warmer ones and therefore will not be able to incorporate enough air to make a light cake.
2. Use a tube pan that is large enough to hold at least a 12 Egg White Cake. Never, ever grease the pan when making Angel Food Cake or other Sponge Cakes. The lubricant will make the batter fall down and not raise up sufficiently. The Angel Food Cake needs the ungreased walls of the pan to cling to when raising in the oven.
3. Always use Cake Flour for an Angel Food Cake. (Cake Flour is lighter than All-Purpose and will therefore give you a lighter cake. Spoon the Flour into a dry measuring cups and level off with a straight-edged spatula.
4. Sift the Flour and half the Sugar into a clean, dry mixing bowl.
5. Make sure the bowl that you are going to beat the whites into is clean and dry; any speck of grease or other residue will prevent the Whites from beating up properly.
6. Always, fold the flour into the beaten whites, DO NOT MIX – the folding process is an over and under motion. Beating will deflate the Whites and prevent the cake from raising up properly.
7. When you are ready to begin your cake preparation, lower your oven rack to the lowest setting and heat the oven to 350 degrees.
For the recipe go to angel-food-cake/. This recipe is a 12 Egg White recipe – for a taller cake increase the recipe by 1/2 – use 1 1/2 cups of Whites instead of 1 cup. Increase all the other ingredients accordingly. For the increase recipe use a 12 inch tube pan. The cake pictured in the recipe was made in a 10 inch tube pan. I prefer the large one because it make a more attractive cake.
The best and easiest way to beat your Whites if to use a ‘standing electric mixer’. A hand mixer can also be used but the standing mixer will give you the best results. As an anecdote, the very first Angel Food Cake that I made was when I was a teenager and decided to make for my Mother for Mother’s Day. We did not own an electric mixer or even a hand electric mixer. All we had was a Rotary Egg Beater and this was before they put ball bearings into the wheel. It took me so long to beat those Egg Whites that I ended up with a blister on my thumb. If we had even a wire whisk, that would have been infinitely better. But the Cake turned out fine but I don’t think I made another Angel Food until I owned an electric mixer.
Sift the Flour/Sugar mixture over the Beaten Egg Whites and use a rubber spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the Whites. Be sure and get all the dry ingredients incorporated.
Use a rubber spatula to scrape the batter from the mixing bowl to the baking pan. Level off the top and then place in the lower third of the pre-heated oven and bake for 45 minutes. The increased recipe bakes for the same time as the original one as the pan you use is larger.
There are many ways to serve Angel Food Cake – the photos below show two different ways –
At right, Angel Food Cake with Strawberries,
Vanilla Ice Cream and a Chocolate Sauce made
from Bittersweet Chocolate melted with Butter and
a little Heavy Cream, Powdered Sugar and Vanilla.
Keep it thin so it can be poured over the cake.
The photo below shows Angel Food Cake with
fresh Peaches and fresh Pitted Cherries which
have been cut in half. Add a little Whipped
Cream or just pouring Cream and you have a
delicious dessert or even breakfast.
October is ‘National Apple Month and what better time to talk about, eat and use Apples in Desserts, Snacks and Meals. Here is an Alphabetical list of some of the Apples available. There are so many, it is almost impossible to be able to keep track of them all. We all have our favorites but it may be fun to try a new one or two. Keep on eye for some of the ones listed below. There is at least one for every letter of the Alphabet except for the letter ‘X’. If anyone knows of an Apple beginning with an ‘X’, please let me know. At the end of this list are links to Apple Recipes in this Blog.
- A Ambrosia, Anna Apple
- B Beverly Hills, Burgundy
- C Crab Apples, Cameo, Captain Kidd, Candy Crisp
- D Delicious, Dawn, Davey, Dayton
- E Epicure
- F Fuji
- G Granny Smith, Gravenstein, Golden Delicious, Gala
- H Hayes, Hampshire, Hawaii
- I Irish Peach, Idared
- J jonathan, Jonagold, Jester, John, Jonadel
- K Kary, Kent, Katya, Keepsake
- L Lady, Liberty, Limelight
- M McIntosh, Maiden’s Blush, Macon
- N Nectar, Niagra, Norfolk
- O Oliver, Opal, Ontario
- P Pippin, Pink Lady, Pacific Rose, Pacific Beauty
- Q Quebec Bell, Queen Cox
- R Razor Russet, Red Delicious, Red Baron
- S Scarlet, Scarlet Surprise, Scarlet O’Hara
- T Taylor, Telstar, Tickled Pink
- W Winesap, Waltz, Wellington
- Y Yates, Yellow Transparent, York Imperial
- Z Zari, Zest
APPLE BREAD – http://www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/baked-goods/breads/apple-bread/
APPLE COOKIES - http://www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/baked-goods/cookies/apple-cookies/
CARAMEL APPLES - http://www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/baked-goods/cookies/apple-cookies/
This time I decided to make a batch of Ricotta using Rennet Tablets. It was my understanding that a quarter of a Rennet Tablet would be sufficient to curdle two quarts of milk. Unfortunately, this did not happen. When I used the Lemon Juice the heated Milk curdled within about 2 minutes. With the Rennet, I cooked and stirred with the Rennet added (after the milk came to a boil) for about 10 minutes. Getting frustrated I added Lemon Juice and it still did not look curdled so I added the rest of the Rennet Tablet. It finally curdled but did not yield as much Cheese as the Lemon Juice alone did and it was much looser and did not hold its shape. Fortunately I used the Cheese in Sweet Cheese Turnovers so the thickness did not matter as much. To add body to the Cheese I also used about half a carton of Mascarpone (thick Italian Cream Cheese). Next time I will go back to the Lemon Juice.
To make the Turnovers I placed the drained Ricotta in a medium-sized mixing bowl and added half a carton of Mascarpone, (about 4 oz.) along with 1 Egg, 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar (this should be to your taste) and some Vanilla. A pinch or two of ground Cinnamon may also be added if desired. Combine the mixture and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Turnovers I used commercial Puff Pastry but you can use Pie Crust or any other type of Dough that you prefer.
Have a small bowl of cool water at hand to help seal the pastry edges along with a fork to crimp them.
Lay out the Pastry on a cutting board and cut into 6″ squares. If needed you can use a clean ruler to measure. I usually just eye-ball it. Use a long knife or Pizza Wheel. Keep your eye on the end point and you will end up cutting a straight line. If you try to guide the knife or wheel, it is likely that your pieces will end up crooked. (I learned this little trick from my Mother who used to make all our clothes – when she cut out fabric she always said, keep your eye on the place where you want to end – this will guide your hand and keep it straight) It works every time!
Arrange the squares so that they are facing you as a diamond. Place a scoop of the filling on each square. (I used a #30 food scoop – about 1 1/2 Tbsps.) The filling should be placed just below the mid-point which will give you enough room to fold over the pastry and seal the edges without the filling oozing out the sides.
Using your clean finger or a pastry brush lightly coat the edges of two adjacent sides with the water; fold over into a triangle and then crimp with the fork.
If you plan on baking the Turnovers right away preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Place the Turnovers on the lined baking sheet with at least 2 inches between each turnovers on all sides. Even though there is no leavening agent as such in Puff Pastry, the layers formed by the Butter will puff up tremendously. Once the baking pan is full brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with Turbinado Sugar. Bake in your preheated oven for 20 minutes (DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR UNTIL THE 20 MINUTES ARE UP). The Turnovers should be a golden brown when completely baked – if after 20 minutes they are still too pale then bake for another 5 minutes or until golden brown. The Baked Turnovers are the Feature Photo above.
If you plan on freezing all or part of the Turnovers before baking them you can place them as close together on the sheet that you can as long as they don’t touch each other. Once they are frozen wrap them in plastic wrap or the parchment and place in a freezer bag. You can remove and bake as many or as few at a time as you need.
Now that I had a batch of fresh homemade Ricotta Cheese the next step was to make something with it. I decided to make a batch of Cheese Blintz to serve for Sunday Brunch with fresh Strawberries. The crepes for the Blintz are easiest to work with if the Batter is made at least 1 hour ahead of time and then allowed to rest in the refrigerator. If you try to make the Crepes right after making the Batter there will be too much air in the batter for the pancakes to form properly. Now as far as I am concerned, the thinner the crepes the better, but of course you do need to have them thick enough to hold the filling without tearing. You can use the Sweet Crepe Batter Recipe under the Recipe/Dessert Section of this Blog. deserts/sweet-crepe-shells/ Just reduce the Sugar in the recipe from 1 Tbsp. to 1 tsp.
I made the Crepe Batter with the residual Whey from the production of the Ricotta. This reduces the waste that normally would result from making the Cheese. To make the Crepes, the Filling and the topping just follow the procedure below.
#1 – Make the Batter and refrigerate for at least one hour.
#2 – Rinse, dry, slice and sugar the Berries. If using Blackberries, Boysenberries or Raspberries eliminate the slicing procedure. Place the Berries in a bowl and squeeze the juice of 1/2 of a lime (for every pint of berries) over the Berries and then toss with 1/4 cup of Superfine Sugar. Taste and add more Lime Juice and/or Sugar as desired.
#3 – Make the Cheese Filling for the Blintz. /deserts/cheese-filling/
4. Make the Crepes –
Heat the crepe pan until a drop of water splashed on it sizzles; melt the Butter and stir into the Batter.
- Use approximately ¼ cup of Batter (the exact amount depends on the size of the pan)
- While you are pouring in the Batter, tilt the pan with your other hand to cover the bottom of the pan.
- When the edges begin to dry and bubbles appear on the crepe surface, turn it over with a heat-proof spatula and cook a few seconds more on the turned side. (Cook one side to a light brown and the other just enough to set the batter. This side should still be almost white when you remove it from the pan.)
- You will be browning the Blintz in Butter before serving them so you do not want the second side to be cooked too long.
5. Filling the Blintz –
- Lay the Crepe Shells on a flat plate or work surface
- Place a scoop of the Cheese Filling in the middle
- Fold in the sides and then fold over the top and bottom. You should have a square package.
6. To Serve –
- Melt enough Butter to make a thin sizzling layer in the bottom of a medium to large frying pan. When the Butter starts to sizzle add the Blintz, leaving about 1/4 – 1/2″ between each one.
- When the bottoms brown gently turn and cook the other side.
- Serve while hot with the sliced Strawberries and Sour Cream or Whipped Cream as a Garnish.
On Day Six which was a Monday set out on our Road Trip to Mammoth. On the way there it seemed that we stopped at numerous ‘Starbucks’ to get Lattés and for Monti and Kratae to use their ‘Birthday’ Coffees from Starbucks. Starbucks has a new ruling where you cannot use an American issued card in foreign countries so they had to use up the dollars and gifts on their cards while they were here. When we got to Bishop, I had a stop I wanted to make which was at Schatt’s Bakery which makes delicious Sheep Herder’s Bread. Along with the Sheep Herder’s we also bought Cheese Bread and Croissants.
Next stop was Mammoth and our Condo in the Village. We had a two bedroom condo with a kitchen and two baths. The kitchen meant that we could make breakfast there instead of purchasing an expensive breakfast in the restaurants. Dinner that evening was at the ‘Smoke House’ where we all had ‘Pulled Pork’ Sandwiches and soft drinks. Breakfast the next day was Scrambled Eggs and Bacon and ‘Grandma’s Buns’ along with Coffee that the guys had purchased at the market. Grandma’s Buns are Cinnamon Rolls made like Croissants but in a small size. My Mother used to make these for the kids and now I do.
Ski School was on the Agenda that day for Kratae; David went along to help her and Monti was there to record the event on Camera. (Kratae had never been in snow before) After a brief time of observing the action, Quinn and I went back to the Village and visited the different shops and had lunch with the gang at the Side Door Restaurant.
For dinner that evening we did ‘Happy Hour’ at the Westin Hotel. Kratae had the Mini-Taco Trio and I had steamed Mussels. Various other small dishes were eaten by the rest of the crew. The next day was more skiing for David & Kratae and Monti decided to join the ski party. Quinn and I took the bus to town and walked around, did some shopping at the Bass Outlet and then took the bus back to the Village. We ended up for lunch at the Mexican Restaurant where Quinn had Chili Rellenos and I had the Appetizer Trio which consisted of Chicken Tenders, Mini-Corn Fritters and grilled jumbo Shrimp. That night it was dinner at the Side Bar where I had Minestrone (the strangest Minestrone I have ever had) and David and Quinn had Sandwiches. For Dessert I ordered the Crepes with Chocolate and shared them with Quinn and David.
The next morning Q and I went to the local Farmer’s Market. Along with the Vegetables and Fruit that I had purchased we also had some Tamales from the Tamale Vendor that frequents all of our local Farmer’s Markets. Uh Oh! Monti wanted to know why we didn’t let him know. Oh Well! Since he and Kratae elected to stay at his Brother’s house which was about 8 miles from us, we couldn’t go pick them up, go back to the Farmer’s Market, and then return home with the Vegies. Besides which, they wouldn’t have been ready when we went.
After we took the produce home we then went and picked up Monti and Kratae and drove to the Valley. A visit to Walmart (their request) to purchase some items unavailable where they live, to take back home (abroad) with them. After our Walmart visit, we drove to Cupid’s Hot Dogs in Canoga Park. This was one of their childhood and teen/young adult favorite places to get Hot Dogs. Cupids does not have the best Hot Dogs, but they are ‘good’ and there is a certain nostalgia attached to the place. When my parents and brother and I moved to the San Fernando Valley, the original Cupids (in North Hollywood near Lankershim Blvd.) was one of the first places that I noticed and never forgot. Never ate there as a child but did take my kids to the one in Van Nuys on Victory Blvd. and later on I ate a lot of Hot Dogs at Cupids in Northridge, across from Cal State Northridge where I returned to school to complete my degree and teaching credential. I love Cupids; we all love Cupids!
For dinner we returned home where I had Pizza Dough ready and waiting to be dressed and baked. We had a Pizza Prepping Party; Monti’s request was for Anchovies, Pepperoni and Jalapenos and I let him dress his own.
Kratae’s was for Hawaiian Pizza. Normally I put Portuguese Sausage on Hawaiian Pizza but the market we stopped at didn’t have it, so we used the typical Canadian Bacon instead.
My husband Ev wanted his normal Pepperoni Pizza and of course I put lots of Mushrooms, Olives and Bell Peppers on it as well. Quinn and David were happy to eat all the varieties that had been made. I also made a Caesar Salad to go with the Pizza.
* For a Basic Pizza Recipe go to dinner/cheese-pizza/
For Hawaiian Pizza just add some Portuguese Sausage (cooked) or Canadian Bacon Slices, Pineapple Wedges, (fresh or canned) and some Black Olives and Green or Red Bell Peppers.
The next day, Sunday, my son David who is a Real Estate Agent had a unique ‘Open House’ at one of his listings. He had engaged ‘In and Out’ to come and serve Burgers to the guests invited to the ‘Open House’. So that is what we did for lunch. Animal Style Burgers, Chips and Drinks. This was a very successful event and over 300 hundred Burgers were served.
For dinner that evening, I made Linguini with Mushroom Sauce and a Salad along with an Italian Bread. For dessert, I baked the large Chocolate Chip Cookie that Monti had requested and served that along with the Peanut Butter Fudge that Monti had also requested. It seems that Monti put in all the food requests. Quinn was just glad to eat all these items as these were ones that he loved too.
My two sons and daughter-in-law who all live in a foreign country came home to visit for 2 ½ weeks during their school vacation. Aside from visiting with friends and relatives, one of their objectives was to visit some of their favorite food haunts.
This Odyssey started right off the plane with a visit to ‘Tito’s Tacos’ in West L. A. Tacos, enchiladas, burritos and salsa were enjoyed by all, however this time I think they had their fill and said it wasn’t nearly as good as it used to be.
Hooray! Next time we won’t have to visit there. We can just go straight home from the airport and eat the delicious Lox, Barbecued Cod and Smoked Salmon along with Western Bagels, Cream Cheese and sliced tomatoes that was waiting for them. Always their first home meal of choice when returning from abroad.
The next day, Friday, I had a Teen Brownie Class at LGC and Quinn who used to help me at my classes volunteered to TA this evening. Monti and Kratae also came along as the class was not full. Kratae sat and enjoyed the evening and Monti volunteered to work with one of the students who did not have a partner that evening. The Brownies that Monti and his partner made actually turned out to be the best of the lot. It was a caramel/marshmallow creation that everyone loved. Several different types of Brownies and a light supper of Ham and Cheese Sandwiches and Salad was served to everyone.
For some Brownie recipes go to /baked-goods/brownies/