M. Andrew Gordon

Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category

Random Pictures from Polynesian Dinner

In Appetizers, Baked Goods, Desserts, Dinner Party on December 20, 2010 at 10:58 pm

Molasses-ginger marinated wing with pineapple glaze

The makings for a Suffering Bastard

A Baked A(laska) Bomb: ginger-lemongrass ice cream, angel food cake, and meringue

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Cranberry Pie, part 2

In Desserts, Pies, Uncategorized on November 23, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Last year I made an all cranberry pie that I thought was spectacular.  The reviews, however, were mixed.  Mostly they were split into one of two camps: those who reveled in the bracing tartness of the cranberry and those that just felt the tartness was too overbearing.  Although I firmly fell in the former camp, I do see the perspective of the too-tart crowd.  Cranberries are an exceptional little fruit for their exceedingly tart flavor with only a slight hint at the sweetness they offer at the back of the mouth.  That’s what I like about them – they’re just a little different, they’re not super-sweet and they damned sure taste like New England to me.

I was going to revisit this pie for the all-cranberry dinner party I was cooking.  For a dinner where cranberries would be featured in every dish, it seemed fitting to finish it off with a big celebration of cranberry in the form of a pie.  But I wanted to dress it up.  Originally I had made it as a two crust pie.  For the 2010 edition, I would top it with a towering layer of meringue.

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Autumn Harvest Affogato

In Desserts on November 1, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Why it is that affogato hasn’t caught on with the masses is beyond me.  The more famous espresso-soaked dessert, tiramisu, which does little for me, is damn near the universal “Italian” dessert and yet affogato suffers anonymity.  To recap, affogato at its simplest is vanilla gelato with espresso poured over it.  A more luxe version would be to plate chocolate semifreddo topped with vanilla gelato and then the espresso, which is how Parson’s Table in Winchester makes theirs.  The sweet chocolate flavors are melded with the vanilla and then amped up by the bitter roasted flavor of espresso.  I really enjoyed this dessert.

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(Just add bacon?) Ice Cream

In Desserts on May 20, 2010 at 6:30 am

Finally, I am ready to write a post about ice cream, just in time for the summer season (for those in areas where seasons are readily differentiated).  Back in the winter I had posted about the habanero-ginger ice cream from the Dr. No dinner party.

Mint Chip Ice Cream

Since then, I have made several different types of ice cream using two main recipes as the base.  One recipe I cribbed from Jeni Britton in the June 2008 Food & Wine.  That recipe uses cornstarch and cream cheese to help make the ice cream even creamier.  Another recipe I have used, which is slightly more traditional, was pulled together from several sources and uses egg yolks as the thickener to make custard.  At this point, I can’t really say one is better than the other, but the Britton recipe base seems easier to make.

The beauty of making ice cream is that, for the most part, the base recipe stays the same and you can tweak additions.  This can come in the way of another liquid, like the Stout Ice Cream, as an addition that gets strained out like in the coffee, basil, and mint ice creams, or with a pureed fruit like in the raspberry ice cream.

And despite the title of this post, I have not made bacon ice cream.  But I’m sure it’s only a matter of time…

Britton Vanilla Ice Cream – adapted from Jeni Britton’s recipe in June 2008 Food & Wine

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 ½ ounces cream cheese, softened (3 tablespoons)
  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1.     Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch. In another large bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth.

2.     In a large saucepan, combine the remaining milk with the heavy cream, sugar, and corn syrup. Bring the milk mixture to a boil and cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Off the heat, gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

3.     Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla extract and the salt. Set the bowl in the ice water bath and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes.

4.     Strain the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Freeze the vanilla ice cream until firm, about 4 hours.

Traditional Ice Cream base

  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups cream
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a large bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until light yellow and thick. Set aside.
  2. Combine the cream and milk in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Slowly stir into the egg mixture. It is important to add the milk slowly and stir so you don’t end up cooking the eggs. Return to the saucepan and cook while stirring until the mixture is slightly thickened. Pour into ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s directions.

¨      Raspberry Ice Cream: Make Britton Ice Cream.   Combine one quart fresh raspberries, ¼ cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice in a food processor.  Pulse until well mixed.  Strain to remove seeds, reserving raspberry juice.  After cream mixture is poured into ice cream maker, pour in reserved raspberry juice and make ice cream per directions.

¨      Basil-Pine Nut Ice Cream: Make Britton Ice Cream, adding two cups fresh basil leaves to cream after the cornstarch has been added.  Toast ½ cup pine nuts until golden brown.  Strain out basil before pouring cream into ice cream maker.  After 20 minutes of churning, add pine nuts and continue per directions.

¨      Mint Chip Ice Cream: Make Britton Ice Cream, adding three cups packed mint leaves to milk/cream mixture once sugar is dissolved.  Strain out leaves after cooling and 20 minutes into churning; add 4 ounces of chopped semi-dark chocolate.

¨      Coffee Ice Cream: Make traditional ice cream.  Roughly chop 5 tablespoons coffee beans.  Add to cream and half & half.  Strain before pouring into ice cream maker.

¨      Oyster Stout Ice Cream.  Make traditional ice cream. Reduce 2 cups of Harpoon Oyster Stout to one cup.  Reduce cream by half and add to cream and proceed as directed.  If desired, mix in 4 ounces of chopped semi-dark chocolate.


S’more Bread Pudding

In Desserts on March 16, 2010 at 8:07 pm

When rain starts falling by multiple inches per day over several days, one of the first things I think to do is to cook.  This weekend was the perfect opportunity to spend time in the kitchen and I made homemade pasta, yeast-risen bread, an incredibly flavorful ragú, and s’more bread pudding.  Only the latter item, however, was a new recipe and thus fitting the criteria for being shown on Just Add Bacon.

Bread pudding is one of my favorite desserts but I do not really care for the traditional bread pudding that is full of raisins (though I do enjoy raisins).  Instead, I like the blank slate that crusty bread baked in a custard provides: I’ve made delicious coconut bread puddings; pumpkin and cranberry; apple and walnut.

The other thing about bread pudding, or what I call bread pudding, is that I’m not necessarily a fan of recipes that yield an almost molten pudding.  I like the bread to retain its shape, which is handy, because the only way to get that pudding-like consistency is to let the bread soak overnight.  My recipe calls for soaking for only a matter of minutes.  Maybe it isn’t traditional, but I like it and think it’s pretty delicious.

In this case, Lena and I had the leftover ingredients for S’mores and some leftover bread.  On Sunday I combined the two into what I think is my definitive s’more bread pudding.  The trick is to roll each piece of soaked bread in graham cracker crumbs, there by coating each piece in graham cracker.  Then you can just mix in chunks of marshmallow and chocolate.  The final flourish, which was Lena’s suggestion, was to add some peanut butter, which is practically second to bacon on the order of things that you can just add to any recipe!

S’more Bread Pudding – Yields 2 Servings

  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 2 cups chopped bread
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs, about 4 sheets
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup packed marshmallows, chopped
  • 1 bar chocolate, chopped
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of peanut butter

1.    Preheat oven to 350° F.  Use butter to grease a large ramekin or two 1 cup ramekins.

2.    Place crumbled graham crackers in large shallow bowl.  In mixing bowl, whisk eggs and milk to combine.  In small batches, dip bread chunks in milk mixture and then coat in graham crackers.  Place in empty mixing bowl.  Repeat until all bread has been dipped.

3.    Add marshmallows and chocolate to bread chunks.  Pour any remaining graham crackers into dish with bread.  Add peanut butter to remaining milk mixture and whisk to combine.

4.    Pour milk mixture over bread, chocolate, and marshmallows.  Stir to combine and pour into the prepared dishes.  Bake for 35 minutes.

Dr. No Dinner Party

In Appetizers, Desserts, Main Dish, Sauces, Side Dishes on January 22, 2010 at 7:56 am

"that's a Smith & Wesson and you've had your six."

Combining two of my favorite things, dinner parties and James Bond movies, was a stroke of genius on the part of my brother.  Matching the movie’s locales with the menu might have been mine.  It’s unclear at this point.  But what was tremendously clear was how much I am looking forward to additional movie-dinners.  Starting from the beginning with Dr. No the other night, the following recipes stem from the inaugural Bond dinner party.  **Not all of the recipes are here just yet and I’ll be updating over a couple of days.  I also neglected to take any good photographs, but I backfilled with pics from the movie.  Thankfully my blog is too small for the Broccoli family to notice.

In honor of the role that alcohol always plays in the books and movies of Ian Fleming, we decided that we would need to serve vodka martinis, shaken and not stirred (although I also understand that many a mixologist also chafe at the faux pas of a cocktail without citrus being shaken).  Of interest is the first martini in the James Bond film canon, which is served sans olive and, in fact, with a slice of lime.  Wanting to be accurate, we followed suit, though we meant no disrespect to the olive.  Using Triple Eight Vodka, after some deliberation we decided on an older style proportions, using a 2:1 ratio for our martinis.

Dr. No Vodka Martini

  • 3 ounces vodka, preferably Triple Eight
  • 1 ½ ounces dry vermouth
  • 1 or 2 lime wedges
  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.  Pour in vodka and vermouth.  Shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass.  Add lime wedges to taste.

The Jamaican setting led me to the obvious jerk-seasoned dish.  Of course, I knew I wouldn’t be able to go whole hog and actually smoke anything over pimento wood but otherwise I’d puree the hell out of a bunch of scotch bonnet chiles and a pile of ginger and marinade some chicken in it.  But jerk seasoning might be nice if it was offset by something a little cool, maybe something with a little substance.  The starchy plantain might be just the ticket, I thought.  I cooked a couple of ripe plantains up and when they were getting nice and soft and golden, I poured a sweet molasses and lime mixture over them and let the sauce cook into a glaze.

Molasses-glazed Plantains

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 plantains, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • Salt and pepper
  1. In large skillet over medium heat, combine olive oil and butter.  Add plantains and toss to coat, letting cook until plantains start to turn golden.
  2. Meanwhile, in saucepan over low heat, combine molasses, lime juice, honey, brown sugar, and chile powder.  Stir to incorporate.
  3. Add molasses mixture to plantains and stir to coat plantains.  Cook for additional several minutes.

I decided I also wanted to revisit something I had tried once long ago: a pickled mango tartar sauce.  And because the the titular villain of the movie resides on the island of Crab Key, it seemed only fitting to make crab cakes.  My usual crab cakes have a solid dose of both scallions and red onion and the bread crumb filling of cornbread.  And not that sickly sweet cornbread cake nonsense, but a decently non-sweet and non-sticky cornbread (and as I’ve said in the past, there is nothing wrong with and nothing shameful about using Jiffy cornbread).  When making crabcakes, you want to take care to not shred any big chunks of crab but when you actually construct the crab cakes, I find that applying some firm pressure to the sides of the cake while patting the down builds a nice cake that won’t fall apart in the pan.  The tartar sauce was a fantastic accompaniment, although it does require that you plan a day or two in advance to pickle the mango.  But the pickled mango itself makes for a nice little side dish as well.

I wish these sunglasses had a reoccuring role in the Bond movies.

Pickled Mango

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 10 juniper berries
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 serrano chile, sliced into thick rounds
  • 1 mango, peeled and sliced thin
  1. Combine vinegar, sugar, and salt in small saucepan set over medium heat.  Stir until sugar and salt have dissolved.  Let cool.
  2. Stir in peppercorns, juniper berries, fennel seeds, serrano chile.  Pour over mangos and cover for one to two days.

Crab Cakes with Mango Tartar Sauce

  • 1 lb crab
  • 4 scallions, white parts finely diced, green parts thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoons mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup corn bread, crumbled finely and toasted
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  1. Combine scallions, red onion, mayonnaise, mustard, chile powder, black pepper, and salt in a large bowl.  Mix together well.
  2. Add crab meat and toss gently to coat, trying not to break up any large chunks of crab.
  3. Add bread crumbs and stir lightly to mix together.  Pack crabcakes together tightly.
  4. In large skillet, heat several tablespoons of olive oil.  Cook crabcakes in batches for several minutes per side, until golden brown.

Finally, because I am still experimenting with my ice cream maker, I wanted to go a little crazy and try my hand at a habanero-ginger ice cream.  The recipe is largely ripped off from a Food & Wine recipe for vanilla ice cream, although the habanero and ginger are solely my additions.  I wasn’t sure how it would work out, but the first bite sold me: the bracing flavors of ginger leaped out but then a slow, hot finish from the habanero set in, completely juxtaposed against the cold and smooth ice cream.  The only thing I have to figure out now is what would be the perfect thing to serve with this ice cream.

"Why is there a zipper in the back of your towel?"

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons pickled mango, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons pickling liquid from pickled mango
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine mayonnaise, mustard, mango, and pickling juice.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Habanero-Ginger Ice Cream

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 habaneros, seeded
  • 1 2-inch piece of ginger roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch. In another large bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine the remaining milk with the heavy cream, sugar, corn syrup, habanero, and ginger. Bring the milk mixture to a boil and cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves and the vanilla flavors the milk, about 4 minutes. Off the heat, gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
  3. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla extract and the salt. Set the bowl in the ice water bath and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes.
  4. Strain the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Pack the ice cream into a plastic container.
  5. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream and close with an airtight lid. Freeze the vanilla ice cream until firm, about 4 hours.

Cranberry Pie…with no sidekicks

In Baked Goods, Desserts, Pies on December 26, 2009 at 9:52 am

It is probably not surprising to anyone who has followed this fledgling food-blog or to anyone who knows me that I have an unabashed love for cranberries (they do, after all, pay my bills).  I will stop my soliloquy on the merits of the cranberry here before I can get on a roll.

One of the long-standing problems of cranberries as a fruit is that they seem to need a sidekick.  There is cranberry-apple pie and cranberry-orange relish; cranberry-blueberry muffins and cranberry-pomegranate compote; cranberry-pineapple salad and cranberry-pumpkin bread; cranberry-pear galette and cranberry-avocado salsa; cranberry-banana bread and cranberry-quince chutney!  Enough, I say!  Today, the cranberry will stand alone!

I have actually been interested in making a cranberry pie for some time and finally got around to it for Christmas Eve.  I had visions of a double-crust pie stacked with nothing but cranberries that would be just sweet enough to cut the inherent tartness of the cranberries.  For the sweetener, I decided I would try using nothing but honey because it seemed a good fit for the otherwise pure filling I was planning on.  My one concession to the cranberry’s tart character was adding some measure of sweetened-dried cranberries, but as this is still essentially cranberries, I decided it would not violate my goal of creating a Cranberry Pie sans any loony sidekicks.

The end result was a beautiful looking pie that held its shape remarkably well.  I filled the pie with a 5:1:1 ratio of fresh cranberries, dried cranberries, and honey.  Some comments at the table suggested that the pie was a little too tart (I, however, like most pies less sweet and really enjoyed this).  If you’re thinking this might be a touch too tart for you, I think a 4:2:1 ratio would work very well and be sweeter.  I used my usual all butter pie crust recipe for this, but of course, feel free to substitute whatever pie crust you like.  And finally, because I can never let a whipped cream be made without somehow tinkering with it, I wound up tossing in a couple of teaspoons of orange zest which lent the cream a nice citrus kick.  I guess maybe sometimes there is a need for a sidekick…

Cranberry Pie

For the dough:

  • 2- ½ cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 to 7 tablespoons ice water or more, if needed

For the filling:

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • 5 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup sweetened-dried cranberries

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 pint whipping or heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons confectionary sugar
  1. Make the dough.  Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine.  Add butter and pulse again until mixture resembles a coarse meal.  Add the water a few tablespoons at a time and pulse to combine.  When the dough is together, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly.  Separate into two disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for about an hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Combine honey and spices in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until honey becomes thin and spices are incorporated.  In a large bowl, combine both types of cranberries.
  3. Roll out one disk of dough until thin and large enough to fit into a pie dish.  Fit and trim to leave about one inch around the edge of the dish.  Roll out the other disk and reserve.  Pour honey over cranberries and stir to mix well.  Pour cranberries into dish and place second piece of dough on top.  Trim and pinch and fold the edges to seal.  Make several cuts across the top to allow steam to escape.  Brush dough with cream and sprinkle with sugar.
  4. Bake pie for 75 minutes.  Let cool on rack.  Combine whipped cream, orange zest, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl and beat at medium speed.  While machine is running, add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.  Serve with pie.

Bacon-Apple-Cranberry Crisp

In Desserts on December 14, 2009 at 9:01 pm

How good would an apple-cranberry crisp be if it had just a little bit of bacon crumbled over the top, mixing in with brown sugar and walnuts?  The tart flavors of the cranberries melding in with the smokiness of the bacon, tempered by the apple and cinnamon flavors?

The answer is pretty damned good.

More interestingly, I tried to make a bacon whipped cream.  Yeah, that’s right.  I had two thoughts but I wasn’t sure which would work better.

A) a cream that was infused with cooked bacon and included some bacon fat, or

B) a cream that simmered with smoked bacon before being cooled and whipped

Cream A never quite whipped, leading me to suspect that the extra fat included was causing some problems with the property of the cream.  I am not Alton Brown so at this moment I do not know if that logic makes even a remote amount of sense.  Perhaps I will hunt down an answer in the near future.

Cream B also seemed plagued by some whipping issues, but it did finally come together.  And it tasted like bacon.  Not really anything else.  It was a fluffy, creamy bacon.  While it was great fun to try and I think Bacon Whipped Cream has a place in this world, like atop a really good, rich waffle, I think the apple-cranberry-bacon crisp may have been better served with something like a bourbon-infused whipped cream.

Sadly this dish will for now have to share notoriety with the Yeti and el Chupacrabra as being unphotographed.  I took the dish with me to a brunch and left my camera at home.

Apple Cranberry Crisp with Bacon-Walnut Topping

  • 5 or six apples, peeled and sliced into ¼ inch slices
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 12 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup bacon, crumbled
  1. Butter an 8X12X2-inch baking dish and preheat the oven to 350°F.  Combine apples, cranberries, lemon juice, ¼ cup of flour, 1 cup of brown sugar, and cinnamon and stir together until well combined.  Let stand for five minutes before pouring into prepared dish.
  2. In another bowl, combine butter, oats, remaining flour and brown sugar, walnuts, and bacon.  Using hands, mix together until small crumbles form.  Spread evenly over apples and cover with foil.
  3. Bake for 35 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes or until crisp is golden brown, cranberries have started to burst, and the apples have softened.  Serve with whipped cream.

Bacon Whipped Cream

  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 4 slices, thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

1. Combine cream and bacon in saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes.  Strain and let cool completely in refrigerator.  Using electric mixer, beat with sugar until soft peaks form.

Rustic New England Pie

In Baked Goods, Desserts, Pies on November 27, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Threatened way back in October, here it is: a dessert pie with beets in it.  I took to calling this the rustic New England pie, as it’s flavors of apples and cranberries, beets and maple syrup call to mind the flavors of autumn in New England.

Surprisingly, this was a lot sweeter than many thought it might be.  And coupled with the beet-infused whipped cream, made for a different take on an apple-cranberry pie.  While I almost always like a cup of coffee with dessert, I have to say that Mayflower Brewing’s Porter was a fine accompaniment.

You can use whatever apples you like here so long as they are a firm apple suitable for cooking.  I believed I used Hampshire and they worked fine; more common varieties that would be good substitutes include Macoun or Braeburn.  As for the dough, I use a slightly sweet all butter dough.  I know there are proponents on either side of this divide.  I intend to experiment more with lard in dough but this is a  pretty good dough and since I always have butter on hand, it has become my default recipe.

Rustic New England Pie

  • 2- ½ cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 to 7 tablespoons ice water or more, if needed
  • 2 large beets, peeled and shredded in a food processor
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 4 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thinly
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup

1. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine.  Add butter and pulse again until mixture resembles a coarse meal.  Add the water a few tablespoons at a time and pulse to combine.  When the dough is together, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly.  Separate into two disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for about an hour.

2. Place shredded beets in a colander and set over a bowl.  Sprinkle salt and sugar over beets and toss.  Let stand for at least 15 or 20 minutes to draw out moisture.  Reserve beet juice.

3.  Preheat oven to 375°F.  Place a heaping cup of beets, the apples, and cranberries in a bowl.  Add brown sugar and maple syrup and stir to combine.

4. Roll out one disk of dough until thin and large enough to fit into a pie dish.  Fit and trim to leave about one inch around the edge of the dish.  Roll out the other disk and reserve.  Pour fruit mixture into dish and place second piece of dough on top.  Trim that and pinch and fold the edges to seal.  Make several cuts across the top to allow steam to escape.  Brush dough with cream and sprinkle with sugar.

5. Bake for about one hour.  Let cool and serve with beet-maple whipped cream.

Beet-Maple Whipped Cream

  • 1 pint of whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons beet juice (from pie recipe)
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup

1. Place whipping cream in a stand mixer and begin beating.  As cream starts to thicken, pour in beet juice and maple syrup and continue beaten until stiff peaks form.

Squash Cake with Squash Butter-Cream Frosting

In Desserts on November 17, 2009 at 10:26 pm

I was treading down a slippery path toward squash overkill with this one, but I had visions of a moist cake, almost like a carrot cake but with squash, topped with a bright and not-too sweet buttercream frosting which would also be laced with squash.  Pilfering a recipe from The Cape Cod Cookbook for a pumpkin cake and substituting squash for the pumpkin, I had my cake.  It yields an airy, moist cake that was just sweet enough and nicely spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.  Adding chopped pecans yielded just enough texture and the flavor played well against everything else.  But just to make sure it is on the record: I did not create this recipe; I merely substituted squash for pumpkin.

Cake:

  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups sifted flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup pureed squash
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Cream butter in a large mixing bowl.  Gradually add the sugar, beating until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.  In another bowl, combine the milk and squash.  Stir in the baking soda.
  3. Add the flour and pumpkin mixtures to the butter-sugar mixture, beating well after each addition.  Fold in the pecans.
  4. Turn batter into a greased 9x9x2-inch pan lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 50 minutes or until set.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then turn onto rack and remove parchment paper.

I really liked this frosting because it was not very sweet, although I may admittedly be in a minority camp who does not like frosting to be very sweet.  It is pretty easy to adapt and if you like it a little more sweet, than add more sugar.  However you like it, the frosting will be a bright orange-yellow color.

Squash Buttercream Frosting

(makes enough to coat top of cake – if you wanted to make layer cake, double recipe)

  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ stick butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup pureed squash
  1. Using a mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in bowl until blended and smooth.  Add the powdered sugar and beat until combined.  Add the squash and continue to beat until smooth, about 5 minutes.