Apple Kuchen from “A Sweet and Healthy New Year”
Apple Kuchen (from Smitten Kitchen)
4 tiny-to-small apples, halved, peeled and cored
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (125 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (6 tablespoons) granulated sugar
1/4 cup honey (any variety you like to eat)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs, separated
2 good pinches of salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup honey
A good pinch of sea salt
Heat oven: To 350°F. Coat a 9-inch springform with butter or a nonstick spray. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper.
Prepare apples: Place peeled, halved and cored apples cut-side-down on a cutting board. Use a knife to create parallel thin slices, but only cut halfway through each apple so that the apples stay intact. Don’t fret if you cut through, however; you can just reassemble the halves on the cake in a few minutes.
In a bowl, toss apples with lemon juice and 2 tablespoon granulated sugar.
Prepare cake base: Beat butter and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar together in a bowl with electric beaters until fluffy. Add honey and beat until combined. Add vanilla and egg yolks, beating until just combined. Sprinkle salt and baking powder over cake batter, and mix for just 5 seconds, until they disappear. Add flour, half at a time, mixing only until just combined.
In a separate bowl with cleaned beaters, beat egg whites until stiff. Stir 1/4 of them into the cake batter, to lighten it a little. Fold in the rest in three additions. It will seem impossible to fold in at first because the batter is so stiff, but it will loosen with careful folding. Only fold the last addition of egg whites until it has mostly disappeared (a couple faint streaks of egg white are fine).
Spread cake batter in prepared cake pan, smoothing the top. Arrange apple halves facedown over the cake batter. To warn, 4 tiny/small apples will definitely fit over the cake batter. When I made it with 4 small-almost-medium apples, I could only fit 3 1/2 of them. No need to press the apples into the batter. You can pour any extra lemon juice and sugar in the bowl over the apples.
Bake cake: 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick or skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let rest on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, then cut around the cake to make sure it’s not sticking to the pan at all, and unhinge the sides. Let cake cool completely. You can store it at room temperature at this point, or after you add the honey, for up to 5 days 3 days at room temperature. After that, a fridge is best for longevity. The cake is lovelier on day 2 than day 1.
Before serving, if you’d like the glaze to look glossy, or whenever the cake is cool, if you don’t mind if the honey sinks into the cake: Warm 1/4 cup honey and a good pinch of sea salt until it liquefies to the point where it makes a thin glaze — this will take less than 30 seconds. Brush honey-salt mixture over cooled cake.
I added a sprinkle of cinnamon on the top of the cake before baking.
Crispy Veggie Pot stickers from “Carol’s Feast and a Multitude of Recorders”
Crispy Pan Fried Veggie Pot Stickers
1 package small wonton wrappers
4 medium size shitake mushrooms finely chopped
1 small skein of thin cellophane rice noodles
2 scallions diced
1/4 piece from a package of firm tofu crumbled
3 pieces baby bok choy finely chopped
salt to taste
1 tablespoon canola oil
Note– you can experiment with other fillings and the amounts do not have to be exact. Leeks, cilantro, daikon or carrots would also be good.
4 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
hot sesame chili oil to taste
To make the dipping sauce:
Combine all of the ingredients, stir and set aside. Feel free to adjust amounts to taste!
To make pot stickers:
Place cellophane noodles in a bowl of very hot water. Let noodles soak until they soften and then cut the noodles into small pieces.
Heat canola oil in medium sized saute pan.
Saute scallions about one minute, then add bok choy and shitakes. Cook stirring often about 2 minutes.
Add rest of ingredients and cook about 2 minutes more. Set filling aside.
To fill dumplings:
Fill a small bowl with water.
Place a few wonton wrappers on a large flat plate. Dip your finger in the water and moisten the edges of the wonton wrappers.
Place a heaping teaspoon of the filling and fold the edges of the wonton wrapper over. Seal the edges firmly and place on another place lined with wax paper or parchment paper. Continue filling dumplings. You will have about 20 -25 dumplings.
Note: If not making the dumplings right away, sprinkle with a small amount of cornstarch, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
To pan fry dumplings:
Heat about 2 tablespoons canola oil in a large non stick pan until the oil is very hot.
Add a layer of dumplings, don’t crowd pan and cook until browned in one side. Flip and cook the same on the other side. If the dumplings are browning too quickly, you can adjust the heat. Cook remaining dumplings.
Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.
Sliced Cucumbers with Peanut Sauce from “Between the Lakes Road and a Cool Summer Treat”!
Sliced Cucumbers with Peanut Sauce
1 large cucumber peeled and cut into julienned strips
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon hot sesame chili oil
- Note- all ingredient amounts can be adjusted according to taste! Keep adjusting freely!!
To Make Peanut Sauce:
Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl and whisk together.
Add a small amount of water, whisk until smooth and keep adding water until you get a smooth consistency.
Place cucumbers and if you are using shredded chicken, on a platter, spoon sauce over and ENJOY!!
Raspberry Poppy Seed Cake with Streusel Topping from “Mosaics and Linden Trees”
Raspberry Poppy Seed Cake with Streusel Topping
8 ounces fresh raspberries
¼ cup soft white semolina
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ cups poppy seeds
½ tsp. vanilla
¼ cup almond or soy milk
2 tsp. cornstarch
¼ cup powdered sugar
1 cup unbleached white flour
½ cup butter
3 tablespoons shortening
½ tsp. salt
2 Tsb. ice water
½ cup sugar
¾ butter (8 tablespoons)
1 cup flour
½ tsp cinnamon
Cover outside of 9 inch spring form pan with heavy duty foil to prevent leaks
In food processor combine butter, shortening, flour, salt and powdered sugar until mixture has small lumps the size of peas. Add 2 tablespoons ice water and process until mixture forms a ball. Chill dough for at least 1 hour.
Make the Filling:
Grind poppy seeds in several batches in a small spice grinder. The poppy seeds may clump together- this is fine!
Mix together all ingredients except poppy seeds and cornstarch over low heat. Whisk until sugar is completely dissolved. Combine cornstarch with a small amount of water and stir until smooth. Add to mixture and bring to a boil. Add poppy seeds, stir thoroughly and let sit for 5 minutes until poppy seeds swell. At this point if the mixture is to thick, add up to ¾ cup more almond or soy milk. The mixture should form a loose pudding.
Make the Streusel Topping:
Combine all ingredients in bowl of food processor until mix until large clumps form.
Preheat oven to 350 F
1.Roll out dough and fit into bottom of spring form pan – dough should come up the sides a few inches.
2.Pour in poppy seed filling and smooth with a spatula
3. Place raspberries evenly over filling
4. Place streusel clumps evenly over top.
5. Bake aprox. 45 minutes until the top is a light golden color.
6. Let cool completely before serving.
7. The cake is excellent the next day, refrigerates well and also can be frozen.