Sunday, October 24, 2010

An Apple A Day...

We went to Centennial Farms and got a bag of apples. While it was a fun family activity, on the drive back I kept thinking that I had just filled up my weekend and evenings coming up because I would have to do something with them quickly. Fortunately I had several easy, yummy apple recipes stashed away and we successfully ate them all before they even had a chance to think about going bad!

Topsy-Turvy Apple Pie

Glaze & Crust:
1/4 c brown sugar
1 T butter, melted
1 T corn syrup
1/2 c pecan halves
1 box refrigerated piecrusts, softened as directed on box

2/3 c sugar
2 T all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 c sliced apples

Heat oven to 425°. In 9" glass pie plate, mix brown sugar, butter and corn syrup. Spread evenly in bottom of pie plate. Arrange pecans over mixture. (I left the pecans off b/c I didn't have any on hand and it still tasted YUMMY.) Make piecrusts as directed on box for two-crust pie, placing bottom crust over mixture in pan.

In small bowl, mix sugar, flour and cinnamon. Arrange half of apple slices in crust-lined plate. Sprinkle with half of sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining apples and sugar. Top with second crust; seal edge and flute. Cut slits in several places in top crust.

Place pie on sheet of foil (or baking sheet) on middle oven rack; bake 8 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°; bake 35-45 minutes longer or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown. Immediately run knife around edge of pie to loosen. Place serving plate upside down over pie; turn serving plate nad pie plate over. Remove pie plate. Serve warm or cool with whipped cream.

The only thing I would do differently next time is to spray the pan with oil first. My bottom pie crust stuck to the pan in places, making it a little messy on top when I flipped it over. Maybe this is because I didn't use the pecans, but better safe than sorry, especially if I was making it for something other than just our house.

Glazed Cinnamon Apples

6 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut in 8 wedges
1 T lemon juice
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c packed light brown sugar
2 T flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
6 T butter, melted

Place apples in a slow-cooker; drizzle with lemon juice. Mix sugars, flour and spices in a medium bowl. Sprinkle mixture over apples; stir gently to coat apples. Drizzle with butter. Place lid on slow-cooker. Cook on low for 3 hours or high for 2 hours until apples are done. Carefully remove lid to allow steam to escape. Serve warm apple topping over ice cream.

My apples were Winesap, not Granny Smith - as long as they're a good cooking apple they'll be fantastic. Also I substitued pumpkin pie spice for nutmeg since I used the last of my nutmeg a few days earlier. And the first time I made this (I actually made the recipe twice in one week, once for my family and then later for some friends who came over) I used the full 6 T of butter and it seemed unnecessary. The second time I reduced it to 1 1/2 T and that even seemed unnecessary. I think next time I'll leave it out entirely.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cake Balls

I had these for the first time at a baby shower a few weeks ago. They were SOOO good (and Olivia ate almost all of mine) that I had to try to make them myself. Super easy, and Olivia even got to help me with the destruction of the cake.

Cake Balls

1 cake mix, plus ingredients to make cake
1 container frosting
chocolate for dipping

Make the cake according to the box's directions, using a 9x13" pan. Let cool. Destroy the cake and tear into crumbs. Mix in the frosting and stir until completely combined. At this point I put the mixture into the freezer for awhile, because it was too sticky to form. Once it hardens slightly, roll into balls (mine were about ping pong ball size). Melt chocolate and dip centers into the chocolate. Let harden.

I used french vanilla cake and a seasonal orange frosting with brown chips, and dipped them in white almond bark. They were super sweet but oh so good. Someday I'll try red velvet & cream cheese frosting, chocolate cake with German chocolate frosting, yellow cake with chocolate frosting...