All posts filed under: best basics

Foolproof Apple Pie

After a fun morning picking apples at Sunset Orchards we are ready to make some delicious apple pie. Precooking the apple filling makes this pie foolproof and fun to make with kids! My 9-year old twins always love to sneak a taste of the filling while it’s cooling down. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 ½ pounds apples, peeled and cored, then cut into thin slices ¼ teaspoon ground allspice ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon kosher salt ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons cornstarch 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 1 recipe all-purpose pie dough 1 egg, lightly beaten Melt butter in a large saute pan set over medium-high heat and add apples to the pan. Stir to coat fruit with butter and cook, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, whisk together the spices, salt and .75 cup sugar, and sprinkle this over the pan, stirring to combine. Lower heat and cook until apples have started to soften, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle the flour and cornstarch over the apples and continue …

Maple-Oatmeal Scones

These scones are simply the best and they can be made & cut out ahead of time – then stored in the fridge, wrapped in plastic (up to 2 days) before baking. The recipe is from the first “Barefoot Contessa” book Ina Garten published in 1999. 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup whole-wheat flour 1 cup quick-cooking oats, plus additional for sprinkling 2 tbsp baking powder 2 tbsp sugar 2 tsp kosher salt 1 lb cold, unsalted butter, diced 1/2 cup cold buttermilk 4 extra-large eggs, slightly beaten 1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water, for egg wash for glaze 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar 1/2 cup maple syrup 1 tsp pure vanilla extract Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flours, oats, baking powder, sugar and salt. Blend the cold butter in at the lowest speed and mix until the butter is in pea-size pieces. Combine the buttermilk, maple syrup and eggs and add quickly to the flour-and-butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The …

Irish Soda Bread

My kids love Irish soda bread and I make it often (not just on St. Patrick’s day)…this version turns up the volume by adding freshly grated orange zest and a bit more sugar than usual. 4 cups all-purpose flour 6 tbsp sugar 1 tsp baking soda 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk, shaken (in a pinch I use 6 tbsp of dried buttermilk powder mixed into dry ingredients and 1 3/4 cups cold water) 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten 1 tbsp freshly grated orange zest 1 1/4 cup cried currants Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour. With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest together in a measuring cup. With the mixer …

Rotkohl (German Red Cabbage)

1 red cabbage, shredded 2  tsbp unsalted butter 1 medium onion, finely diced 1/2 – 1 tsp kosher salt freshly ground pepper to taste 2 tbsp organic lingonberry jam 1 bay leave 1 1/2 cups vegetable bouillon 1 medium apple, shredded (use Gala or another sweet variety) 2 tbsp cider vinegar 1/2 tsp dried thyme 1 tbsp cornstarch In a large saucepan melt the butter and sauté onion until tender. Add the shredded cabbage and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and bay leave. Stir in the lingonberry jam and add the vegetable bouillon. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add the apple and vinegar, stir and re-cover. cook for another 10 minutes. Mix the cornstarch with 2 tbsp of cold water and add to the cabbage. Bring to a boil and cook for another 2 minutes. I like to serve this with pretzel nuggets and mashed potatoes. Use this recipe and replace the breadcrumbs with crushed pretzels.  

The Ultimate Birthday Cake

Yesterday was my son Matteo’s birthday and I made this cake based on a recipe from Giada’s kitchen. There are a few steps to this recipe, but they are all lots of fun – like making your own hazelnut crunch brittle (which by itself is a delicious candy and makes a great gift). cake ingredients and instructions 1 box of chocolate cake mix Prepare the cake mix according to package instructions. Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans and divide batter evenly between the two pans. Bake as directed on package. When done invert to wire rack and cool. hazelnut crunch and instructions 1 cup hazelnuts (toasted in 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes and rubbed in a towel to remove skins) 2/3 cup sugar 1/3 cup water Place the toasted nuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook over medium high heat until golden – about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and wait a few minutes until bubbles subside and …

Best Basics: Old fashioned Pancakes – customized

Best basic recipe for old fashioned pancakes. Each one of my sons likes different kinds of pancakes: Massimo likes plain, Matteo likes blueberry and Marco likes chocolate chips. I just whip up a batch of this recipe and customize. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon coarse salt 2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder 1 large egg, lightly beaten 1 1/4 cups milk 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for serving Vegetable oil, for the griddle Pure maple syrup, warmed, for serving Place a heat-proof platter into a warm oven (at 200 degrees). In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add in the egg, milk, and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Whisk from the center, slowly incorporating the flour. Rest the batter for 10 minutes. Heat a large well-seasoned cast-iron skillet or favorite griddle over medium-high heat. Swirl the remaining tablespoon of butter in the skillet (or use oil to coat the griddle) and immediately pour …

Brownie Pie

This pie is quick to put together (I only use a whisk) and is just as good at a picnic as it is after a fancy dinner. Serve it on a puddle of créme anglaise (which is French for melted Häagen-Dazs Vanilla ice-cream) and fresh strawberries. 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter 3 1/4 cups (20 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips 3 extra-large eggs 1 cup sugar 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1 cup (4 ounces) chopped walnuts (I roast them for 5 minutes at 350 degrees F before I chop them for better flavor) Grease and flour a 9-inch pie pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the butter in a bowl set over simmering water. Add 2 cups of the chocolate chips, remove from the heat, and stir until the chocolate melts. Set aside to cool completely. In a large bowl whisk the eggs, sugar, coffee, and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Stir in …