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Entries in apple (2)

Thursday
Oct272011

Apple Pie Pillow Puffs

  

These pillow puffs are just the cutest little things to make!  They’re perfect to whip up if your short on time but longing for an apple pie.  Cooking the apples for about 15 minutes or so before hand makes certain the apples are tender, not too mushy and the pastry has a chance to brown, not burn.  Using the pre-made pastry cuts down on the prep time so these can be whipped up in about 45 minutes…tops!

 

Ingredients

Makes 5 pluse a few more little ones

4 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and diced

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 tablespoons butter

2 nine inch ready made pie crusts

cold water, a few tablespoons

Confectioner’s sugar

 

Special equipment:  4 ¼ inch round cookie cutter

 

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Melt the butter in a medium sized skillet.  Add the apples, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.  Cook over medium heat until the apples are very tender but not mushy (you don’t want applesauce!).

Un-roll crusts on a floured surface, cut out ten “pillows” using the cookie cutter, place five  on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Spoon apples on to  “pillows.” 

 

Roll out the remaining five “pillows” so they are slightly larger than the bases.  Brush a little water around the edges of the “pillow” bases.  Top with remaining pastry and use a fork to crimp down the edges of each “pillow.”  Bake for 15-20 minutes until the “pillows” are golden brown.  Cool then sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.  Serve with ice cream!!!

 

It’s All Delicious notes:  I used my ravioli cutter and made little apple squares with the scraps of pastry.  They were so cute too! 

 

Saturday
Feb262011

Buttermilk Blue Cheese Biscuits with Walnuts and Apple Thyme Butter

 


  

Walnuts, apples, and blue cheese – it’s a great combo and these yummy little biscuits are as flakey as can be thanks to the secret ingredient!  I’m already picturing them as part of our Easter dinner. 

 I hate to admit that the biscuits I’ve made before turned out like little cement blocks and then if you did bite into one, it was like chewing talcum powder - hence no recipe until now re: biscuits.

 I think certain dishes and techniques are in your blood.  For instance, I can roast potatoes, but according to my kids, I can’t roast them like my BF Debbie, in London, can – must be a British thing.  I can make potato salad, but not like my BF Terri, can – must be a Southern thing and that’s why her recipe’s on this website. I had almost given up on the biscuit process putting it down to me not being a born and bred Southerner.  I won’t even bore you with my red velvet cake story.

With some things there seems to be that little je ne sais quoi which goes hand in hand with your geographic cooking DNA.  I hate to think about my original geographic cooking DNA pointing to bologna sandwiches and hot dogs.  But, having said all that, there are some amazing things now being done to alter DNA of all sorts...after all...look how far I’ve come. I can make biscuits now!

Ingredients

Makes 16 biscuits

For the biscuits:

2 ½ cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

2/3 cups vegetable shortening, chilled and cut into cubes (the secret ingredient!)

1 ¼ cups blue cheese, crumbled

¾ cup walnut pieces

1 cup buttermilk, plus a little more for brushing

 

For the butter:

2 sweet apples, like Fuji or Braeburn, peeled, cored and diced

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped

1 cup water

1 stick of butter, room temperature

 

First make the butter...

Sprinkle the apples with sugar and thyme.  Cook over medium low heat in a small skillet until the apples soften, collapse, and turn into a chunky sauce, about 20 minutes. 

Add water as necessary to the skillet so the apples don’t scorch and burn.  Smash down any stubborn pieces that refuse to sauce-ify.  Cool completely.  Blend the butter and apples together using an electric hand mixer or whisk.  Chill until ready to use. 

 

Now make the biscuits...

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl.  Work shortening into flour using a pastry blender or fingertips until you have course looking crumbs and the shortening is distributed throughout the flour mixture. 

 

Add walnuts and 1 cup of the blue cheese, again using a pastry blender or fingertips work dough until blended.  Make a well in the center and add buttermilk, stir using a spoon or spatula until a dough forms. 

Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until combined.  The dough will not be completely smooth, like a pie crust but should hold together and be a little elastic.  Form into a rectangle about ¼ inch thick and use a pizza slice to cut into 16 squares (if you prefer round biscuits...have at it!). 

Place biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Brush with a little buttermilk, sprinkle with a little blue cheese and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.  Serve warm or at room temperature with apple butter. 

 

It’s All Delicious notes:  The dough can be made a few hours ahead and refrigerated until ready to bake.