Cran-Apple Sauce

Kick Up The Turkey This Year!

Who does not love the tart, sweet taste of Cranberry Sauce with Turkey or Pork?   We foraged so many apples this year that we thought they should be incorporated in our annual Cranberry Sauce making.  This year was an amazing year for apples.  Since we live in the country, we have old trees right here in the yard but the road sides were abundant with “Free Food” too.

homemade cran-apple sauceWe love not knowing what we’re going to get when we forage.  Some apples were sweet and crisp, some were so very tart, others were a bit mealy.  No matter, by mixing up the apples we created so many wonderful treats. Our Cran-Apple Sauce is just one of them.

Look at that color!

We used the sweeter apples that we foraged for this recipe.  If you can get Honey Crisp, or Royal Gala they will compliment the Cranberries wonderfully. We do not make a super sweet Cran-Apple Sauce. We like it to be tart.

peeling apples

TwoFoodNuts Cran-Apple Sauce:

  • 3 cups cranberries (they can be fresh or frozen)
  • 3 cups apples, peeled, cored and cut into cubes the size of the Cranberries
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • juice of half a lemon

cran-apple mixPlace everything into a large saucepan.   Heat to a boil and then turn the heat to medium.  Cook the mixture until the berries burst and the sauce thickens. Pour into sterile jars and hand tighten the lids.

filling canning jarsYour work here is done!

Cook’s Tip: It’s vital to sterilize canning jars before filling.  Wash jars and lids well in hot soapy water or clean in dishwasher.  Next, fill each jar with 1/2 inch of water and place in Microwave for 5 minutes on full power right before filling.  Lids should be placed into a bowl and pour boiling water over them for 5 minutes before sealing the jars.  Keep in fridge to be food safe and use within 3 months.  Not a problem at our house.

sterilizing canning carsDiscover new ways to use our Cran-Apple Sauce by serving with your next bacon and cheese sandwich or better yet, spread it on the filling of a Paninni with Ham and Swiss cheese.  Your next grilled Pork chop will love being accompanied by this sauce too! Even your crackers and cheese will never be the same with the addition of a little Cran-Apple Sauce!

TwoFoodNuts Cran-apple Sauce

 

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Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp An Old Fashioned Dessert.

Homemade apple crisp

Apple Crisp is a go to recipe when we have an abundance of apples. This year we foraged so many apples  that we promised we’d share all our best recipes with you.  We like to make a batch of these crisps and freeze them so we can grab one and bake it off at a moment’s notice.

foraging for apples

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s recipe makes 4 mini crisps or it will make one family size. Lets get started.

TwoFoodNuts Apple Crisp:

The filling:

  • 3 lbs of apples, peeled, cored and sliced into thick slices
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 allspice
  • 1/1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp cold butter cut into little cubes

Peel, core and slice the apples, place in a large bowl and add all but the butter. Divide into 4 mini foil loaf pans or place in one deep casserole for a single dessert.  Dot each crisp with the little butter cubes.

apple crisp filling

For the topping:

  • 1 cup of quick cooking Oatmeal. (not instant)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup cold butter cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

Place everything in a bowl and rub the butter into the flour and sugar to form crumbs. ( you can use a food processor to do this)

Apple Crisp

Sprinkle the crumb topping onto the fruit filling and cover with cling film and foil if freezing or pop into the oven at 350F until the filling bubbles up through the crumbs. This can take from 40 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the crisp.

Top with freshly whipped cream or quality ice cream and serve.

Cooks Tip: Sometimes when we want to change it up a bit, we use a can of cherry pie filling on top of the apple filling. It bakes into the apples and gives you a most amazing Apple/Cherry crisp. It’s a great way to use a stock recipe but add variety! Try it

 

 

The “One” Tart

One Apple, Makes One Tart That Feeds Four!

Sometimes you need a quick dessert that wows the audience. This “One” is going do just that!  You don’t need much to put it together.  We love anything made with puff pastry.  The quality of a ready-made butter pastry is perfect for this dessert. We make it early in the day, pop it into the freezer, then bake it while everyone is eating the main course.   Lets face it, a warm apple tart with a dollop of fresh cold whipping cream is always welcome.

 

Total prep time for this dessert is only 10 minutes once you have the ingredients on the work table, so lets make the “One” Tart!

apple desserts

Ingredients for our TwoFoodNuts “One” Tart:

  • 1 ready made puff pastry sheet about 12  inches square
  • 1 large Honey Crisp apple, peeled, halved, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 large pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp sliced almonds
  • 1 tsp Demarera sugar or any course sugar to sprinkle over the tart.
  • 1 cup heavy cream for whipping
  • 1 Tbsp sugar to sweeten the cream

Now you see why we call this the “One” Tart!

"One" Tart

Begin by allowing the pastry to thaw.  Roll it out on a fresh sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet and prick all over with a fork.  Place in the freezer while you peel the apple.  Peel the apple and cut in half or quarters.  Remove the core and slice the apple so it’s about 1/8th inch thick.  You want enough to cover the tart in a single layer.  Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and using a pastry brush, spread the melted butter all over the tart.  It will solidify right away. That’s what you want!  Layer the apples in an interesting pattern to within 1/2 inch of the pastry edge. Drizzle the honey over the apples, sprinkle with the cinnamon, place the almonds on the apples and pinch the sugar over the top. Lightly run a butter knife around the edge of the crust about 1/2 in from the edge. This lets the crust puff a bit.

Now you can decide if you are baking it right away.  If you want it for later in the day pop it back in the freezer and the apples will stay nice and white till you’re ready.

It’s ready for the oven!  Bake for 10-15 minutes in a hot oven at 400F.  Puff Pastry does best when it’s cold before being placed in a hot oven. It causes the pastry to rise and become light and crispy.  When the “One” tart is baked, slice into 4 generous pieces and top with a heaping tablespoon of sweetened whipping cream.

French Apple tart

 

 

Plum Pie

It’s As Easy As Pie!

We’ve been serving up a lot of veggies in the recent weeks, so maybe we should treat you to a wonderful dessert. This post was written a week ago while we were still at the cottage but its not too late to give Plum Pie a try!

Plum pie 101 It’s the time of year when Damson plums are in season so why not bake up a sweet juicy pie using them.  The cinnamon in the pie makes the whole house smell welcoming!  Since Harry’s the prep guy at our house, he had the job of pitting the plums and cutting them for the pie.

TwoFoodNuts Pie Filling:

  • 800 grams or 1 3/4 lb damson plums- pitted and cut into quarters
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp cold butter cut into 1/2 pieces
  • 1 egg beaten for glazing the crust
  • 1 full pie crust and 1/2 a crust for the decorations.

Cook’s Tip: Make clean-up really fast when rolling pastry.  Wipe the counter top with a wet paper towel and then lay cling film over it in two slightly overlapping rows.  I find two rows of cling film gives you enough surface areas to roll out a large pie crust. The water helps the cling film to stick to the counter and all the flour stays on top of the cling film.  Once the pastry is rolled out, just gather up the cling film. There’s no flour stuck to your counter!

Rolling Pie CrustNext line the pie plate with the pastry.

IMG_2529Notice I use the rolling pin to lift the pastry so it doesn’t tear. Let it roll over the pie plate.

Baker's TipPlace the plums in a large bowl and add the sugar, flour, and cinnamon.  Stir well to cover the plums. Pour the filling into the pie shell and dot with the butter.  Fold the pie crust so it covers the outer inch and a half of the filling. Brush with the beaten egg using a pastry brush.

Damson Plum PieDecorate the pie by using cookie cutters to cut out pretty shapes from the pastry and add them to the edge. Brush the completed pie crust with a bit more egg wash and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 1 hour and 15 min but even up to 1 hour and 30 min at 375 F.

Damson Plum PieThe finished pie is jewel-colored from the juicy plums. The crust is light and flaky.

It’s time to get out the whipping cream and make some friends!  Enjoy the TwoFoodNuts version of Plum Pie, we know we will.

Elfie the FoodNut

 

Crepes Are An Outstanding Dessert.

Simple Crepes For Amazing Desserts!

We both love crepes!  Harry likes his with Bananas and Nutella. Blasphemy!  I like mine with lemon juice and sugar, the way they should be served!  But we both agree that filling them with a velvety cream cheese filling and topping them with fresh seasonal fruit is never wrong!

We love to make everything from scratch and share our recipes as you know,  but we do rely on the skills and knowledge of a few really great cooks.  For this recipe we like to use Martha Stewart’s Simple Crepe recipe.  It works beautifully and tastes great. What’s not to love? We can’t  improve on this one folks so trust us and try it for this or any other dish that calls for crepes.  The recipe makes 12 crepes. Our filling recipe is enough for all 12.

Martha Stewart's Simple CrepesHarry was manning the crepe pan and he stacked the completed crepes between sheets of parchment so they don’t stick.  You can let them cool, slide them into a zip-lock bag and freeze them at this point.  It makes it so easy to create a professional dessert in no time once the crepes have been made.

Cook’s Tip:  You can leave out the sugar in the crepe recipe if you want to stuff them with a savory filling such as Asparagus with cheese sauce or Chicken a la King.                            Harry used an actual  Crepe pan (a low sided non-stick pan) to make these but a good non-stick skillet about 10 inches in diameter can also be used.

We made a lovely cream cheese filling for the crepes.  It’s so easy we’re embarrassed to call it a recipe, but here goes.

Two Food Nuts Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 1 brick, 8 oz cream cheese.
  • The grated zest of one lemon
  • The juice of 1/2  of the lemon (reserve the juice from the other lemon)
  • 1 cup of icing sugar

Allow the cream cheese to soften at room temperature. Add all the other ingredients and beat until smooth.

Once the crepes are cooled follow our photos for filling them. We used a pastry bag without a tip to pipe the filling onto the crepes, then flatten the cream cheese with a spoon before drizzling a bit of the reserved lemon juice (from the second lemon half) and a bit of sugar on the crepes before folding and rolling the crepes.

Crepe recipe by Martha StewartFold the crepes from the outside to the center to enclose the filing and roll them up gently.

Martha Stewart Simple crepesWe said this dessert would look professional, didn’t we?  Your guests will just love them.

Crepes with Fresh FruitHere we used fresh raspberries and whipping cream with a dusting of icing sugar and a fresh mint sprig to complete our delicious dessert. Serve one or two crepes per person. If you have leftovers, go to the fridge at midnight and indulge your need, we certainly have!

Rhubarb Custard Pie! Oh My.

Easy as Pie!

Rhubarb is best picked in the Spring.  Once the middle stalk bears flowers the fruit is no longer used. The window of opportunity is very short but the freezer can help extend the season for this highly under-rated fruit. We love to make this pie throughout the year so we harvest the rhubarb and freeze it in portions for a single pie. Simply wash the stalks and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Tuck into freezer bags and you have fruit throughout the year.

Rhubarb Custard pieWe use a standard pie crust for this recipe.  Either a lard or butter crust will do. You can even use a quality frozen pie shell if the need arises, but we always prefer homemade if time allows.

The ingredients are usually at hand, so here’s how Two Food Nuts make our

Rhubard Custard Pie:

  • Line the pie plate with the crust of your choice
  • Pour in 4 cups of cut up Rhubarb
  • Mix 3 large eggs with 1 & 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup all purpose flour.  Blend well.
  • Grate in 1/2 a nutmeg or use 1/2 teaspoon ready grated nutmeg. Fresh grated is best!
  • Pour the egg mixture over the fruit, create a nice edge for your pie with left over crust.
  • Beat 1 egg in a small bowl and brush it on the crust to glaze.

Bake at 400 F degrees for the first 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 F for the remaining 40 -45 minutes.  The pie should still have a slight jiggle to it and the crust should be a rich golden brown.  Set on a rack to cool, then refrigerate before serving.

We do like a good topping of freshly whipped cream just to “Guild the lily”!

rhubarb custard pie

Rhubarb Custard pie

We made a braided edge and egg-washed it to the pie crust once it was filled.

Rhubarb Custard pieWe hope you enjoy our version of Rhubarb Custard Pie and that you share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Your comments are always appreciated so please use the handy form below!  Enjoy.

Sweet and Low!

Dessert under 300 Calories?  Yes!

Who does not love to enjoy something sweet after a meal, or as a treat all by itself?   The problem is the calorie count usually creates guilt.  We live in a world of plenty and that has gotten us into some trouble with our waistlines, but you are going to love this beautiful, sweet and low calorie dessert! angel food dessertNot only is this dessert delicious and low calorie, it’s so easy to make and its also versatile. We had a store-bought Angel-Food cake on hand. We also had a can of no sugar-added mandarin oranges some Greek yogurt (lemon flavor) and a few plump berries in the fridge. It took about 3 minutes to make the dessert.

By eliminating the sugar and substituting yogurt for whipping cream the result is sublime!

Assembly:

  • Tear cake slices into bite-size pieces, arrange on a plate (Use 1/12th of the store-bought cake per portion) calorie count for 1 slice of cake.
  • top with fruit of your choice
  • add a dollop of yogurt (any flavor you like)
  • decorate with a few berries or perhaps some Pecans!
  • drizzle with the tiniest bit of honey

Now sit back and savor ever morsel of this fresh-tasting, miracle of dessert! Its about the same calorie count as 20 potato chips, but so much more satisfying.

angel food dessert

You can substitute any soft  or juicy fruit. Strawberries are particularly good with Angel Food cake, but summer peaches would  be lovely topped with fresh blueberries too. Grate some lime peel on top of fresh mango.  Be a bit creative, use other yogurt flavors too.  Tell us what you did to create your own version of this dessert! We’d love to learn something new from you!