If there’s one dessert I can’t have just one piece of, it’s definitely baklava. Typically, I only indulge in this honey-soaked goodness of a pastry while I’m picking up some late night eats at a shawarma place after the bar. I mean, clearly, six pieces of baklava is definitely the correct thing to eat at 3 a.m. right? Right!
My Start From Scratch program wrapped up for the spring a couple weeks ago and our final class is always, always desserts! After ten weeks of learning in the kitchen, it’s only appropriate to end on a sweet note. Aside from making some chocolate souffles, which kicked ass, I decided to make baklava with my class.
This rendition is by no means traditional, but was a hit with the entire group.
1 yellow onion (chopped)
1 garlic clove
1 gala apple (peeled, 1” cubed)
1 red potato (peeled, 1” cubed)
2/3 cup cherries (pitted, halved)
3 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock to stay vegan)
1 TBSP freshly grated ginger
1 TBSP lime juice
1 TBSP sriracha
2 TSP chili powder
salt and pepper
radish and cucumber (thinly sliced, for garnish, optional)
The first time I put an apple in a soup, I was like: ‘Holy shit! This is awesome!’. Ever since that day, I’ve been throwing fruit into everything. Well, not everything, but it’s always interesting to find the balance between sweet and savoury using some of your favourite fruit. Since we’re still, thankfully, a few months away from hearty soup weather, this bisque is light, spicy and smooth. Perfect for a summer night that’s a bit overcast. Who says soup can’t be fruity?
Start off by cooking the onion and garlic with a drissle of olive oil in a medium-sized pot until softened, about 5 minutes. Next, add the chopped apple, potato, and cherries to the pot and let cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour the stock into the pot and stir in the ginger, lime juice, sriracha, and chili powder. When mixture comes to a boil, reduce to low heat and let simmer on stove for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper
Remove pot from heat to let cool slightly. Next, puree soup until smooth using a food processor or blender. Return to pot and keep warm until ready to serve.
Top with some thinly sliced radish and cucumber to chill out the spicy soup!
Total cook time…35 min
1 yellow onion (chopped)
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 fuji apples (cored, chopped)
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup brown sugar
1 TSP cayenne pepper
1 TBSP lapsang souchong tea (crushed…also optional if this freaks you out!)
salt and pepper
Over the past couple summers, I’ve become slightly addicted to creating my own BBQ sauces (see espresso or root beer versions) simply because they’re quick to make, and much more pat-on-the-back appropriate than anything that you can buy out of a bottle. This apple BBQ sauce is awesome as a marinade for anything you’re wanting to pop on the grill, except for apples…with apple BBQ sauce? That would be inappropriate, too much apple. Anyway if you’re unfamiliar with lapsang souchong tea, it is a strong black leaf that has a nice hickory-esque flavour to it. Throwing a tablespoon of this dried black tea into the mix will give it an awesome smokey taste. Trust me!
Alright, start things off by cooking down the onions and garlic in a large pan with some olive oil on medium-high heat. Once the onions have softened, about 5 minutes, toss in the apple chunks. Season with some salt and pepper and let cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now, add in all remaining ingredients and stir until the brown sugar has dissolved.
Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce to low heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Place contents of pan in a blender and puree until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. The cayenne should give the sauce enough of a kick, so I’d lay off on adding a pile of pepper.
This BBQ sauce should last up to three weeks in a covered container in your refrigerator. Slather on whatever you please, and enjoy!
Yields 3 cups of sauce
Total cook time…35 min
3 apples (thinly sliced, skin on)
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
1/4 cup honey
2 TSP cinnamon
1/4 TSP nutmeg
1/2 TSP chili powder
12 prepared tart shells
Everyone needs a little bit of spice in their lives, and since the Spice Girls have not put out any new tunes for a while, it’s a pretty safe assumption that the only way left to spice things up is with some chili powder. Anyway…I don’t really know how to follow a Spice Girls reference so…Just make these, ok? They’re very tasty.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Place the apple, orange juice, and brown sugar in a large pan. Bring to a simmer on medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves completely. Reduce to medium heat, stir in the honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chili powder. Let everything cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
After 10 minutes, if the mixture has not thickened up, whisk together some corn starch and a small amount of water. Pour into the pan, stir, and you’ll have a better consistency in about a minute. Remove from heat.
Spoon the apple mixture into each one of your prepared tarts and bake for 15 minutes, or until the pastry starts to turn golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes before serving. Tarts and pies are best devoured warm!
Yields 12 tarts
Total cook time…35 minutes
1 golden delicious apple
1 red potato
1/2 yellow onion (sliced into half moons)
1 cup ground sausage (I used Spolumbo’s chicken sausage for a bit of a change.)
3 garlic cloves (minced)
2 TBSP sun-dried tomatoes (finely chopped)
3/4 cup half and half cream
2 TSB curry powder
salt & pepper
1 9″ pie shell, or 18 3″ mini-tart shells
1/2 cup brie cheese (rind removed, cubed)
Nothing like some quiche a brand new episode of Glee to really make one’s night complete. Did I actually just say that? Anyway, making a quiche is pretty simple, and almost always delicious, so I feel as though everyone should have the quiche-making skill under their belt. It’s not a piece of cake, but it is a piece of baked egg-y goodness.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Take the apple, core it, then halve it, and, finally, thinly slice it. Toss the pieces with a little olive oil and some salt & pepper, then place into a small baking dish. Cover with lid or tin foil. While you’re waiting for the oven to finish heating up, cut the potato into 1/2″ cubes and place into a small pot with some salted water. Let that come to a boil on medium-high heat and let bubble away for 10 minutes. Pop the apple slices into the oven now as well and let them roast for 15 minutes.
Now, let’s caramelize some onions! Place the sliced onions in a medium-sized pan on medium-high heat and drizzle with some olive oil. Let them cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to turn colour, about 5 minutes or so. Reduce to low heat and continue to let the onions cook for another 8 to 10 minutes when they turn a nice, golden brown. Remove from pan and place into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Let cool.
In the same pan, add the sausage meat and cook on medium-high heat until it has cooked completely. Add to the same bowl as the onions. At this point, the potatoes should be cooked through and the apple slices can come out of the oven (leave the oven on though). These items can join the mixing bowl as well. Add the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and cream to the bowl, and give everything a couple stirs.
Crack the eggs into a separate bowl, whisk, then pour into the mix. Also add the curry, a bit of salt, and a healthy amount of black pepper (I do like my pepper). Stir gently until everything has combined. Now, pour mixture into the pie shell, or portion evenly into mini-tart shells. Store any leftover egg mixture in the fridge to fry up for breakfast in the morning.
As a final touch, take the brie cheese cubes and sprinkle on top of the pie shell. If you’re making mini-quiches then 1 cube per tart is more than enough!
Pop into the oven and let bake for 20 minutes. Enjoy!
Total cook time…40 min
4 medium-sized gala apples
3 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup plain oats
1 1/4 cups butter (or margarine if vegan)
3/4 cup whole milk (or soy/almond milk if vegan)
3 TBSP cinnamon
2 eggs (or egg replacer equiv. if vegan)
1 TBSP baking powder
1 TSP salt
So, this is kind of like if a bear claw was not deep-fried, or covered in glaze, and better for you. Ok, maybe not THAT much better for you, but what did you expect? It is cake after all…
First things first, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. This dough is going to fit into a 12″ rectangle dish, so grease that up before you start making the dough.
Using an electric mixer, mix the flour, white sugar, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 2 TBSP of cinnamon, baking powder, and the salt. Now, add in 1 cup of the butter (or margarine) and mix on a medium-setting, until everything is nicely combined. Gradually pour in the milk, and then the eggs (or soy/almond milk and egg replacer). Let it mix until the dough starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
*Since soy milk is on the sweet side, you may want to put in a tad less sugar if you’re going this route.*
Before putting the dough into the baking dish, finely chop (core first) one apple. Gently fold the apple pieces into the dough. Now you can flatten the dough into the dish. Slice the remainder of the apples as thinly as possible and place on top of the dough. If cut thinly and placed evenly, this should be about 3 rows.
Now for the topping…melt the remaining butter and combine with the oats, leftover cinnamon and brown sugar, then spread on top of the apples using a spoon or spatula. Place in your preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Topping with vanilla ice cream is deliciously recommended.
Total cook time…1 hour
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