Tag Archives: Dessert

Apple Dumplings

I’m a big fan of baked fruit desserts.  I enjoy a good cobbler, streusel, pie, tart, etc.  Anytime you have a flaky crust/crumble + fruit you can’t go wrong.   I’ve wanted to try apple dumplings for a while and figured I’d give it a shot.  I made a sweet potato pie a few weeks back and still had some pie dough laying around.

You’ll notice the pie crust is a bit splotchy, not it’s usual buttery looking color.  I kept the dough in the fridge a little too long and it started to turn grey.  It’s not at all bad, just discolored so don’t be alarmed.  It’s just butter and flour so there’s not much that can go wrong.

I picked up a couple apples at Trader Joe’s and decided it was time to bake.  It was bad timing on my part, because we had already been cooking and preparing all day for Easter Sunday but I went ahead and made my dessert.   The Mrs. questioned my timing but was still my supportive photographer.

Pie crust + apples would be ok by itself, but to make it worthwhile you need suger and butter.  I found this quick recipe for the sugar/butter mixture and went with it.

Step 1: Combine the following in sauce pan over high heat.

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoons butter,
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Step 2:  Combine the following and stuff it in the middle of the cored apples.

1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoons butter, softened

The Filling

Step 3: Wrap the pie crust completely around the apples and put them in a baking dish.  Pour the heated sugar water over the apples and bake for 45 minutes at 375.

Before Cooking

I usually pride myself on following instructions but I got too big for my britches and thought I’d overlook a particular instruction.  I will not do that again.  It is imperative that you place the dumplings seam-side down in the pan.  The weight of the pie crust as it heats will cause the dough to FALL OFF the apple and then you’re just left with a naked apple with it’s pants around its knees.

Apple Dumpling

I poured some of the sugar water (it baked in) over the top and added a few scoops of vanilla ice cream.   I admit it was quite a sugar rush after eating the whole thing.  I may cut down on the sugar next time… or maybe I’ll just eat slower.


You’re My Sweet Potato Pie

Tomorrow night our small group from church is getting together and we’re having a “Snackluck”, the combination of the traditional Potluck but with snacks. Get it?   What started as a casual idea turned into an unspoken (out loud) competition to see who would bring the best food item.  Heidi is making a mushroom spread and I’ve decided on a Sweet Potato Pie.

Let me first start off by saying that this pie is made from scratch.  Let me pause on the word scratch for a second.  I’m going to assume most of you just thought to yourself, “store bought crust, can of sweet potato puree, and followed the recipe on the can.”  And you’d all be wrong.  When I say from scratch, I mean it.

The crust, which is a simple flour, butter, sugar, water combination, was lovingly made by hand.  By yours truly. NBD.  I use the pie crust recipe explained in the first couple minutes of this video from Cookology.  Off Topic:  That video is about making a pumpkin pie from scratch, which I also did last Thanksgiving and my name has been recorded in the history books forever.

Dough Ball

The dough is kind of the focal point here but also notice the pastry mat underneath.  See the awesome measurements and pie rings?!  It was a Christmas gift from The Mrs. and it’s wonderful.  I recommend having one. No more rulers and a lot quicker cleanup.

This is for a 9″ pie pan but you can see it’s rolled out to ~11″, this is because the crust goes up the sides of the pan and should overlap the edge as well.

Rolled Dough

The sweet potatoes are the real deal (garnet yams).  Cans (and box mixes for that matter), let’s just say, are for posers.   I first peeled the potatoes, cut them in slices and boiled them until soft and tender.

Lesson Learned #1:  Boiling adds water to the potatoes and thus can make it a runnier puree which may cause it to cook funny.   So make sure to really drain those potatoes.  The alternative is to wrap the potatoes in foil and bake them for a really long time and scoop out the insides.


Then you puree them until they’re as smooth and soft as… a baby’s bottom…. sure, we’ll go with that.  I used an immersion blender for those who are curious.


After that it’s just blending in the rest of the ingredients: butter, sugar (white and brown), eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla.


Did someone say nutmeg?  Fun Fact for the Day:  Nutmeg in large quantities turns out to be a nasty hallucinogen.  Feel free to peruse these Google results if interested.

Once all the ingredients are combined, you fill a 9″ pie pan.

Oven Ready

It’s goes into the oven at 350 for 50-60 minutes.

Lesson Learned #2:  A handmade buttery pie crust once heated will melt the butter and cause it to start dripping onto the oven floor. This results in a little smoke and possibly a smoke detector going off.  Put a baking sheet on the rack below it to catch the falling butter droplets. Problem solved.



I’ll let you know when I win the Snackluck.

Food Wishes – Rice Pudding

I went cooking crazy today.  I usually do on the weekends.  After church I ran to the grocery store and picked up the ingredients for my “Pioneer Woman Week” of meals.  I also decided to make a few new things.

1) I dismantled a whole chicken as described in a previous post and made chicken stock.

2) Homemade Corn Tortillas

Very simple masa corn flour + water + salt.  Then flatten as best you can and on the griddle for ~1 min on each side.

3) Chicken Taquitos w/ Corn Tortillas – Shredded chicken + salsa + cheese wrapped in tortillas. Bake at 400 until lightly brown.

4) Coconut Milk Rice Pudding – Watch the video play by play.  It took a while but was worth it.

5) Fish Tacos (Tilapia) w/ Corn Tortillas

Seasoned tilapia, homemade chipotle tarter sauce (mayo, sour cream, chipotle power, paprika, red pepper, to taste), plus the usual lettuce, tomato, shredded cheese.  I failed to take a picture of this masterpiece.

Food Wishes – Blueberry Shortbread Bars

I’m a big fan of Chef John and thought his blueberry shortbread bars looked really good.  I whipped up two batches this weekend, one for my wife and I and the other for a group of friends.

Glazed Donuts

I’m a sucker for donuts. I used to get donuts instead of birthday cake.  I’m always on the prowl for a mom and pop donut shop because the chains just don’t make them the way they should.

There are two types of donuts: cake vs yeast.  It’s a battle for the ages.  Last year I took a stab at cake donuts and they turned out pretty good.   This time I went for a yeast based dough.  I’m a big fan of dough/bread making and felt a yeast based donut was something to tackle.  We had our wonderful assistant Dominique help us out and she did an excellent job blogging about it, so I’ll just redirect you over there.

The recipe we used was from the Pioneer Woman and here’s the result.