fbpx

Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce

Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce
Print
For the Apple Cake
  1. ½-¾ cups chopped dates
  2. ½-¾ cups apple brandy (or Calvados)
  3. 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  4. 2 cups white sugar
  5. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  6. 1-teaspoon ground cinnamon
  7. ½-teaspoon ground nutmeg
  8. ¾ teaspoon salt
  9. 4 cups slightly tart apples: peeled, cored and roughly chopped
  10. ½ cup melted butter
  11. 2 eggs, lightly beaten
For the Caramel Sauce (yields about 2 cups)
  1. 1-cup sugar
  2. ¼ cup cold water
  3. ½ stick butter
  4. 1-cup heavy cream
  5. ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt
Instructions
  1. About one hour before starting to bake the cake, place the dates in a small bowl and cover with the apple brandy. Stir from time to time and if they get too "tight", just add more brandy.
  2. Preheat oven to 325. Using butter, grease a baking pan (approximately 13 x 9 x 2).
  3. Into a large bowl sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  4. Add the chopped apples, dates, melted butter and the eggs. This will be a very heavy, thick batter but don't worry -- just be sure to mix it well.
  5. Spread in the prepared pan, place on a rack in center of the oven and bake for 1 hour. Test with a skewer -- if it comes out still a bit gooey, bake for another 5 to 10 minutes. You'll know when it's done. It will be a nice dark tan color and will spring back to a light touch.
Caramel Sauce
  1. In a small saucepan combine the sugar and water and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Continue to boil until the sugar caramelizes and turns a deep amber color, being careful not to let it get too dark and burn.
  4. Remove from heat and carefully pour the cream into the melted sugar. It will bubble violently and give off steam.
  5. Return the saucepan to a low heat and stir butter and sea salt. Set caramel aside until ready to serve.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Something for Everyone at the Holiday Table: What to Serve Guests with Food Allergies and Diet Restrictions by Lynn Dugan

Your family will be together in a few short weeks and you are already stressing about the holiday meal you are hosting.  Aunt Susie is newly gluten free.  You also think your brother’s girlfriend is a vegan.  What should you do to accommodate these dietary restrictions? Most importantly, how can you be a good host while managing the menu and keeping your sanity?

I can help!  As a Registered Dietitian, I know about meal restrictions and accommodations. I also love to entertain and know the challenges in meal planning and food preparation when dealing with different diet demands.  And, my oldest son has a life threatening nut allergy.  Every holiday, I work with the host to understand the menu and determine what I need to make to supplement the meal for his benefit.

So, here is your game plan in three simple steps:

  1. Understand your guest’s dietary restrictions. 2. Work out the base menu. 3. Communicate the menu and recruit help with preparation.
  1. Don’t begin meal planning until you understand the dietary restrictions. After making it clear to your guests that you look forward to being together, ask the questions necessary to best understand the restrictions. Vegan is a diet free of animal products (including meats, fish, dairy, butter, eggs) but does your vegan guest avoid honey, too? How sensitive is the gluten restriction? I have gluten-free friends who eat bread on occasion but none of my celiac friends can tolerate even cross contamination from cutting boards, knives, toasters, measuring cups, frying oil and baking sheets. The conversations you have with step one are a good place to begin as it shows your concern for your guests, that their well-being is your priority. You can also gauge how open they will be to making and bringing a dish to supplement your meal. That takes us to step #2.
  1. Plan the menu. Your guiding principle for menu planning is to have something for everyone at the Holiday table but not everything has to be for everyone. Consider what I call the ‘red light’ foods for each dietary restriction and pick a menu item that suits everyone.  Red lights for gluten free are always anything made with wheat flour: regular bread, stuffing, crackers, pasta, and rolls.  You’ll be able to offer a gluten-free side dish when using rice, wild rice, potatoes, corn or quinoa to replace wheat.

As already mentioned, the red light for vegans are any animal products – meats and poultry, fish, dairy products, honey. Make sure you offer a menu item that contains a significant protein source like adding beans or legumes to a wild rice casserole, or offering a quinoa-based dish or any dish featuring legumes or lentils. A bowl of mixed nuts on the table can also offer an additional source of protein for the vegan diet.

Side dishes that can work for everyone are typically potatoes, vegetables, salads, fruits and nuts when prepared without the red-light ingredients and prepared with dairy substitutes like soymilk and vegetable oil spreads.

  1. Share the menu with your guests and recruit help. Most people like to bring something. And they are best able to adapt to their own dietary restrictions. While sharing the menu, it is important to communicate any diet restrictions that they might not be familiar with (like telling the gluten-free aunt you have a vegan guest coming). Let your guest know you’ll need them to keep track of any ‘red light’ ingredients in their dishes so you can communicate those during the holiday meal. If your party is small, you can easily point out acceptable dishes. If your party is large, it may be helpful to mark foods as GF or Vegan using a tented name card/place card. Remember, your goal is to have something for everyone but not everything has to be for everyone! 

By following these three steps and making some easy adaptations to the traditional Holiday dinner, your guests will feel welcomed, special and included.

I have highlighted my Warm Sweet Potato Lentil and Apple Salad Bowl.  It is vegan and gluten-free.  Each step of the recipe can be made in advance and assembled warm just before mealtime.  Happy Holidays!

Warm Sweet Potato, Lentil and Apple Salad Bowl
Serves 4
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 2 pounds sweet potatoes peel and dice
  3. 1 small red onion, large dice
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  5. Salt and pepper
  6. 8 ounces mushrooms (button or cremini), sliced
  7. 2 cloves minced garlic
  8. 2 stalks celery, sliced
  9. 4 small tart apples (Jonathon or Cortland), dice
  10. 1 cup cooked lentils
  11. 1 cup balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 425 degrees.
  2. Make balsamic glaze: place balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and gently simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until the glaze is reduced by half, is thick and coats the back of a spoon (consistency of chocolate syrup). Set aside.
  3. Place potatoes and onions on baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper. Roast high in oven for 20 minutes, until tender.
  4. Meanwhile, sauté mushrooms, garlic and celery in 1/2 tablespoon oil until mushrooms and celery are softened. Salt and pepper, to taste. Add apples and cook until just warm.
  5. Pour contents of sauté pan into a large bowl. Add roasted potatoes and lentils; stir to combine. Garnish with balsamic glaze.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Maple Glazed Pork Medallions with Apples

Maple Glazed Pork Medallions with Apples
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound pork tenderloin
  2. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  3. 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  4. 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
  5. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  6. 1 red apple, cored and cut into thick slices
  7. 3 medium shallots, minced
  8. 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  9. 1/2 cup beef stock
  10. 1/4 cup maple syrup
  11. 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  12. salt and freshly ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Cut tenderloin into generous 1 inch medallions. Combine salt, pepper and sage. Sprinkle medallions with seasonings.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a sauté pan over high heat. Sear meat until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer pork to a plate.
  3. Add remaining oil to pan. Add shallots and sauté until golden. Add the mushrooms and apples and sauté until mushrooms are soft.
  4. In a small bowl, combine ingredients for the glaze: beef stock, maple syrup and cider vinegar. Pour glaze ingredients into sauté pan. Bring to a simmer and reduce by half, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add pork and any accumulated juices to the pan. Cook pork in the simmering sauce for 5-8 minutes, flipping once (final internal temperature should be 145 degrees).
  6. Serve on top of brown rice or egg noodles.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

French Apple Cake

French Apple Cake
Print
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  3. Pinch of salt
  4. 4 large apples (if you can, choose 4 different kinds)
  5. 2 large eggs
  6. 3/4 cup sugar
  7. 3 tablespoons dark rum
  8. 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  9. 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Instructions
  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter an 8-inch springform pan and put it on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and put the springform on it.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl.
  3. Peel the apples, cut them in half and remove the cores. Cut the apples into 1- to 2-inch chunks.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until they're foamy. Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or so to blend. Whisk in the rum and vanilla. Whisk in half the flour and when it is incorporated, add half the melted butter, followed by the rest of the flour and the remaining butter, mixing gently after each addition so that you have a smooth, rather thick batter. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples, turning the fruit so that it's coated with batter. Scrape the mix into the pan and poke it around a little with the spatula so that it's fairly even.
  5. Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean; the cake may pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Carefully run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the springform pan. (Open the springform slowly, and before it's fully opened, make sure there aren't any apples stuck to it.) Allow the cake to cool until it is just slightly warm or at room temperature. If you want to remove the cake from the bottom of the springform pan, wait until the cake is almost cooled, then run a long spatula between the cake and the pan, cover the top of the cake with a piece of parchment or wax paper, and invert it onto a rack. Carefully remove the bottom of the pan and turn the cake over onto a serving dish.
Notes
  1. The cake can be served warm or at room temperature, with or without a little softly whipped, barely sweetened heavy cream or a spoonful of ice cream (vanilla or cinnamon).
Adapted from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan
Adapted from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Pecorino Romano with Apples and Fig Jam

Pecorino Romano with Apples and Fig Jam
Yields 24
Print
Ingredients
  1. 6 dried figs, halved
  2. ½ cup simple syrup
  3. 2 T. brandy
  4. ¼ c. chopped toasted hazelnuts
  5. 24 baguette slices
  6. Olive oil for drizzling
  7. ½ c. freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  8. 1 large apple; Dayton, Paula Red, or State Fair
  9. ¼ lb. chunk Pecorino Romano cheese for shaving 24 pieces
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine figs, simple syrup, and brandy in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, then turn off the heat and set aside for 10 minutes to plump figs and cool slightly. Transfer fig mixture to a food processor. Add hazelnuts and blend, pulsing a few times until pureed; set aside.
  3. Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Top each slice with a teaspoon of the grated Romano. Bake until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted and golden, about 7 minutes.
  4. Cut apple into 24 thin slices.
  5. Top each toast with a dollop of fig jam, slice of apple, and a piece of shaved Romano.
  6. Plate and serve.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/