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Deconstructed Apple Crisp with Buttermilk Ice Cream

cream

This recipe was created by Liz Williams, Pastry Supervisor at Blackberry Farm. She gives the classic apple crisp a creative makeover: The topping is transformed into oatmeal cookies that are served on top of the apple filling in individual bowls. A scoop of buttermilk ice cream adds the perfect finishing touch.

 

To get a head start on this recipe, you can make the apple filling a day in advance; let cool, then cover and refrigerate. The cookies can be baked the day before and stored in an airtight container at room temperature. The ice cream can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and stored in the freezer.

Deconstructed Apple Crisp with Buttermilk Ice Cream

 

For the apple filling:

1 cup (250 ml) water
2 Tbs. dark rum
Wide strips of zest from 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup (185 g) golden raisins
1/2 cup (90 g) currants
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 cups (750 g) peeled, cored and chopped Granny Smith apples (about 6 apples)

1/2 cup (105 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. sea salt

 

For the oatmeal cookies:

3 cups (280 g) rolled oats
1 1/2 cups (235 g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sea salt
20 Tbs. (2 1/2 sticks/315 g) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (185 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (105 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Whole pecan halves for garnish (optional)

 

For the buttermilk ice cream:

2 cups (500 ml) half-and-half
1/2 cup (160 ml) corn syrup
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 egg yolks
2/3 cup (155 g) sugar
1 cup (250 ml) buttermilk

 

To make the apple filling, in a saucepan, combine the water, rum, lemon zest strips, juice of 1/2 lemon, raisins and currants. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the pan and add the pod. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and let steep for 30 minutes. Drain the fruit, reserving the cooking liquid. Discard the lemon zest and vanilla bean pod.

 

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the apples, brown sugar, the rehydrated fruit, 1/2 cup (125 ml) of the reserved cooking liquid, grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, nutmeg and sea salt. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, then uncover and simmer until the apples are tender, about 5 minutes more. Serve the filling warm or at room temperature.

 

To make the cookies, position 1 rack in the upper third and 1 rack in the lower third of an oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

 

In a bowl, using a fork, stir together the oats, flour, baking soda and salt.

 

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the butter and brown sugars on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes, stopping the mixer to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low, add the oat mixture and beat until incorporated.

 

Scoop 2 Tbs. dough for each cookie onto the prepared baking sheets, staggering the cookies 8 to a sheet. Flatten the cookies with the palm of your hand, then press 4 pecans in a row on top of each cookie. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 13 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from front to back and 180 degrees halfway through baking. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the racks and let cool completely. Repeat to bake the remaining dough. The recipe makes 32 cookies, so you’ll have some left over for later enjoyment.

 

To make the ice cream, in a saucepan, combine the half-and-half and corn syrup. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the pan and add the pod. Set over medium heat and bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat.

 

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until thick. Slowly add the hot half-and-half mixture, whisking constantly until fully incorporated. Pour the mixture back into the pan, set over medium-low heat and cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, 9 to 10 minutes; do not allow it to boil. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve set over a clean bowl. Nestle the bowl in a larger one filled halfway with ice water and cool the custard to room temperature. Refrigerate until chilled.

 

Whisk the buttermilk into the cold custard. Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container, cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.

 

To assemble, divide the apple filling among 8 individual bowls and top each with a scoop of ice cream. Place a cookie, whole or crumbled, on top. Serve immediately. Serves 8.

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Bake Bunny Surprise

bunny

We flipped for the playful cake shown in our latest catalog, a whimsical treat in the shape of the season’s signature rabbit. All you need to pull it off is our easy-to-use nonstick pan, plus a few everyday baking essentials — then, decorate any way you like. Whether you sprinkle your bunny with sugar, drizzle him with a chocolate glaze or adorn him with colorful icings, this magical cake is guaranteed to make everyone at the table smile.

 Bake Bunny Surprise

There are two ways to serve the cake: You can build a 3-D bunny cake following the directions below, or simply bake one half and serve it, flat side down, directly on a platter. Surround it with festive Easter candies for a pretty presentation.

Add the batterAdd the batter

Grease and flour the pan, then divide the batter made from our Bundt cake mix between two halves.

Bake, then cool downBake, then cool down

Place pan on a wire cooling rack and let cool 10 to 15 minutes.

Turn outTurn out

Invert pan onto rack and lift it off. Let cakes cool completely.

Trim topsTrim tops

Using a serrated knife, trim the domed top of each cake to create a flat surface.

Sneak a sampleSneak a sample

Enjoy the cake scraps with whipped cream to tide you over!

Fill with frostingFill with frosting

Spread a 1/4-inch layer of buttercream frosting on the flat side of one cake.

Bring it togetherBring it together

Top with the other cake half and let sit for 30 minutes so frosting can stiffen.

Add a finishing touchAdd a finishing touch

Dust with confectioners’ sugar or pipe buttercream frosting to decorate.

Serve up a surpriseServe up a surprise

Stand bunny upright and transfer to a plate or cake stand to serve.

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Buttermilk and Chive Biscuits

buttermilk

Buttermilk biscuits are always a hit when served with a weekend breakfast. Here they are made even
more special by the addition of chives. Guests will be especially impressed if you use a vegetable peeler
to shave curls of top-quality butter and place them on a small platter near the biscuits. Or, if you prefer, whip softened butter with a little maple syrup, spoon into a ramekin and place alongside the biscuits.

Buttermilk and Chive Biscuits

4 cups (20 oz./625 g) all-purpose flour

4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) cold unsalted butter, diced, plus 2 Tbs. melted

1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) finely snipped fresh chives

1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) plus 2 Tbs. buttermilk

 

Preheat an oven to 450°F (230°C).

 

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Add the cold butter and, using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut it into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the chives and toss to distribute, then stir in the buttermilk just until the dry ingredients are moistened.

 

Lightly flour your hands, gather the dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Using your hands, form the dough into a rectangle about 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick and roughly 11 by 9 inches (28 by 23 cm). Using a dough scraper or a knife, cut the dough into 20 equal-sized pieces. Transfer to an
ungreased baking sheet, leaving a little room in between the biscuits.

 

Brush the tops with the melted butter and bake until pale golden and puffed, about 14 minutes. Serve warm. Makes about 20 biscuits.

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Blueberry Hand Pies

Blueberry

Happy Blueberry Pie Day! You may have memories of finding small, individually wrapped pies tucked into your school lunch box. And while everyone has his or her favorite pie, surely blueberry is at or near the top of most lists. Be sure to have plenty of napkins ready, as part of the appeal is the delicious fruit juice that runs down your hands.

Blueberry Hand Pies

For the crust:

2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 oz./390 g) all-purpose flour

2 Tbs. sugar

1/2 tsp. fine sea salt

8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) plus 2 Tbs. chilled unsalted butter

2 Tbs. chilled vegetable shortening

About 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) ice water

 

For the filling:

2 cups (8 oz./250 g) blueberries

1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) plus 1 Tbs. sugar

1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

2 tsp. cornstarch

1 egg

 

To make the crust, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Cut the butter and shortening into chunks and scatter over the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the butter and shortening into the flour mixture just until the mixture forms large, coarse crumbs the size of peas.

Drizzle the ice water over the flour mixture and toss with a fork until the dough forms moist clumps. If the dough seems too crumbly, add a little more ice water.

Form the dough into a disk (some flat flakes of butter should be visible), wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

In a saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups (6 oz./180 g) of the blueberries, the 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) sugar and lemon juice over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the berries begin to give off their juices. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until all of the berries have burst, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and 2 Tbs. water. Add the cornstarch mixture to the blueberry mixture and cook until the juices come to a boil and thicken. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) berries. Place the saucepan in a bowl of ice water and let the mixture cool, stirring frequently.

 

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Have ready an ungreased rimmed baking sheet.

 

Place the unwrapped dough on a lightly floured work surface and dust the top with flour. (If the dough is chilled hard, let it stand at room temperature for a few minutes until it begins to soften before rolling it out.) Roll it out into a rectangle about 20 by 13 inches (50 cm by 33 cm) and 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. Using a 6-inch (15-cm) saucer as a template, use a paring knife to cut out 6 rounds.

 

Place about 3 Tbs. of the blueberry filling on one-half of a round, leaving a 1/2-inch (12-mm) border uncovered. Fold the dough over so the edges meet, then crimp them with a fork. Transfer to the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough rounds and filling. Refrigerate the pies for 15 minutes.

 

In a bowl, beat the egg with 1 tsp. water to make an egg wash. Lightly brush the pies with the egg wash, cut an X in the top of each pie, and sprinkle with the remaining 1 Tbs. sugar. Bake the pies until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let the pies cool on the pan on a wire rack, then serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 6 hand pies.

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Blackberry Coffee Cake with Pecan Streusel

coffee with blackberry

A moist streusel-topped coffee cake is the perfect canvas for fresh blackberries, creating the perfect breakfast or brunch treat for late summer mornings.

Blackberry Coffee Cake with Pecan Streusel

2 cups (10 oz./315 g) plus 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. fine sea salt

16 Tbs. (2 sticks) (8 oz./250 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 3/4 cups (14 oz./440 g) granulated sugar

Finely grated zest of 1 orange

2 eggs, beaten, at room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup (8 oz./250 g) sour cream, at room temperature

1 pint (8 oz./250 g) blackberries

2 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

 

For the pecan streusel:

3/4 cup (4 oz./125 g) all-purpose flour

1/3 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) (3 oz./90 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup (4 oz./125 g) coarsely chopped pecans

 

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly butter a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) baking dish. Dust the pan with a little flour, tapping out the excess.

 

In a bowl, sift together the 2 cups flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat together the butter, granulated sugar and orange zest on high speed until light in color and texture, about 3 minutes. Gradually beat in the eggs and then the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream and beginning and ending with the flour, beating until smooth. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

 

In another bowl, combine the blackberries, brown sugar, cinnamon and the 1 Tbs. flour. Spread half of the batter in the prepared pan. Top with the berry mixture, taking care that no berries touch the sides of the pan. Spread the remaining batter over the berries, smoothing the top.

 

To make the streusel, in a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and butter. Using your fingers, work the ingredients together until just combined, then work in the pecans. Press the mixture together into a ball and then separate it with your fingers into coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the cake.

 

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Cut the cake into squares and serve. Serves 12.

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Recipe Roundup: Pancakes!

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It’s National Pancake Day! What better excuse to treat yourself to your favorite childhood breakfast? A big stack of fluffy, comforting pancakes — complete with your favorite topping — is an easy way to please the whole family (and they’re just as good for dinner). Here are some of our favorite recipes.

 

Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry SyrupButtermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup
Buttermilk makes these pancakes light and fluffy — you can also add fresh blueberries to the batter for double-berry flavor.
Sweet Potato Pancakes with WalnutsSweet Potato Pancakes with Walnuts
Here, vitamin-rich sweet potatoes star along with crunchy walnuts in a modern take on traditional pancakes, dense with nutrition and full of flavor.
Bacon-and-Cheddar-Cornmeal-JohnnycakesBacon-and-Cheddar Cornmeal Johnnycakes
The subtle crunch of cornmeal gives johnnycakes a bit of heft. Our version, embellished with crisp bits of bacon and sharp cheddar cheese and served with honey or syrup, makes a delicious sweet-and-salty treat.
Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes with Berry CompoteLemon-Ricotta Pancakes with Berry ompoteC
Ricotta cheese lends a delicate, airy texture to these mini pancakes, and freshly grated lemon zest adds a hint of citrus flavor. They’re served with a warm compote of fresh tart-sweet berries.
Caramelized Pear Oven PancakeCaramelized Pear Oven Pancake
This beautiful oven pancake makes an impressive presentation, but it’s actually super simple to prepare. It’s also a quick way to make pancakes for a group! Tip: you can serve the pancake as a dessert, too — just add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Banana PancakesBanana Pancakes
This recipe features bananas in two ways: a ripe one is mashed into the batter for added texture and flavor, and slices of fresh bananas are served on top. It’s a great meal to make with kids.
Apple PancakesApple Pancakes
These apple pancakes are flavored with warm spices like ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. Grated apple is blended into the batter, then a thin apple slice is cooked inside each pancake for a pretty presentation.
Buckwheat-Blueberry PancakesBuckwheat-Blueberry Pancakes
Buckwheat flour lends flavor and whole-grain goodness to this classic pancake recipe, while tart-sweet blueberries give the tender pancakes bursts of fruit flavor.
Sweet Potato Pancakes with Pecans and Brown Sugar SauceSweet Potato Pancakes with Pecans and Brown Sugar Sauce
These gently spiced sweet potato pancakes represent the best of Southern down-home cooking, with a topping of toasted pecans and a drizzle of buttery brown sugar sauce. They’re the perfect treat for a cozy weekend morning with family.
Oatmeal PancakesOatmeal Pancakes
These pancakes get an extra boost rolled oats and buttermilk, and you can use whatever mix of fresh and dried fruits and toasted nuts you like. Try sliced strawberries, chopped dried apples and almonds.