Thursday, October 21, 2010

This post is not about pumpkins!

Don't get me wrong, I love fall (which has finally arrived in DC!!!).... but it seems that every time I check my blog feeds, someone else has posted a recipe using pumpkins. I love seasonal eating, but I think every now and then the fall internet world needs something not made out of squash.
So I made lemon bars! Everyone needs a little buttery, lemony, sugary goodness to round out their fall afternoons. (Of, course, if you're looking for pumpkin, I'd recommend trying these, or these... or these.)

Confession: I forgot to take a picture of the cut bars before they were gone. What can I say? They were really good...

Lemon Bars
A fair warning: This recipe contains a lot of eggs, butter, and sugar (Especially if you make 1 1/2 times the recipe, like I did -- I shared, I promise!). That is why it is sooooo good. Just run and extra mile tomorrow, and don't tell anyone you serve these to the caloric secret to their amazingness ;).

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
3/4 cup butter

4 eggs
2 cups of sugar
1/3 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
zest from one lemon
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine crust ingredients and cut with a pastry blender until butter is in pea-sized clumps. Press crust evenly into the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan.
3. Bake crust for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned.

4. While crust is baking, beat together eggs, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest with a wire whisk. Mix together flour and baking powder, then gently stir into egg mixture. The mixture should have just a thin layer of bubbles on top. This will give you the nice flakey crust on top of your bars, but be careful not to overmix it.

5. Pour filling over warm crust and return to the oven for 20-25 minutes until filling is set and edges are slightly brown.
6. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 mins. Sprinkle powdered sugar and lemon zest on top. When pan is cool enough to handle (but still warm), cut the bars. You can remove them from the pan or leave them in there for the rest of the cooling. 

Generally, you cool lemon bars before serving them. But sometimes I'm impatient and eat them while they are warm O:-).

Monday, October 18, 2010

Easy Apple Crisp

If you are lucky enough to be swimming in freshly picked fall apples in varieties with names like Ambrosia and Senshu, give this a try... homemade apple crisp with just 5 other ingredients!

Peel, core, and slice five large apples for a 9" x 9" pan. Toss them with sugar (1/2 cup or to taste), flour (2 or 3 tablespoons will do), and cinnamon (to taste). Add a dash of lemon juice or water if you need to thin it out.

The topping is just as simple...  Mix some flour and sugar together and cut in some butter.

Then just spread your streusel topping over the apples and bake for about 30 minutes.

Top with apple ice cream... but that's another post.

Easy Apple Crisp

5-6 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
few dashes of cinnamon
2-3 tablespoons flour + 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter

Toss apples with 1/2 cup sugar (or more to taste), 2-3 tablespoons flour, and cinnamon to taste. Use a splash of lemon juice or water if you need to make it coat the apples. Arrange apples in 9" x 9" pan. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 cup brown sugar, cut in butter. Spread topping over apples. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown and apples are at desired softness.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Apple Fritters

Our swelteringly hot summer finally decided to leave on the second day of October. Yes, October. On the third day of October it was 55 degrees and raining, so I guess winter is here now.

I miss Fall!

The weather forecast, at least, is giving me a small glimmer of hope -- it's supposed to be 70 degrees and sunny this weekend. So in holding out for a least a little fall weather, I'm making some apple fritters.

So for those of you who still live in New England and get to experience this wonderful season... go out and pick some fresh apples and make these:

Apple Fritters

1/2 c. milk
1 egg
2 T. butter
grated rind and juice from 1/2 an orange
1/2 c. finely chopped apples
1/2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. cake flour*
1/4 t. salt
1 T. baking powder

*(I used regular flour that I sifted a few times... this would probably be even better with cake flour!)

Whisk together milk, egg, and melted butter in a large bowl. Add orange juice, rind, apples, and vanilla. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to large bowl, stir until just combined. Let batter sit while oil heats up (I just used about 1/2" of canola oil in a deep-sided pan on the stove). Drop batter by spoonfuls into hot oil and deep fry until browned (make sure you keep your oil between 350 and 375 degrees, otherwise the fritters will absorb too much oil as they cook). Remove from oil and pat dry with paper towel. Toss in cinnamon sugar, if desired. Makes about 8 large fritters.

Enjoy warm! They tend to get a little soggy after a day or so, but they still taste good ;).