Fresh-Picked Apple Danish

Autumn is my favorite season. This weekend my family and I went apple picking at Larriland Farms in Maryland. It was a wonderful afternoon and we got a lot of goodies. Including a ton of fresh-picked apples. Pink Ladies, Granny Smith and Stayman were the varieties that my little boy picked.applesapples2apples3

I spent two days trying to figure out what to make and I settled on an apple danish. This recipe was super fun to make and actually really relaxing. I can’t wait to play around with this again with a different filling.

These were so tasty fresh out of the oven. Will keep for a couple of days in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

Ingredients:

5-7 apples (I used Pink Ladies and Granny Smith)

Half stick of unsalted butter

¼ cup of white sugar

1/3 cup of light brown sugar

¼ teaspoon of cinnamon

Pinch of salt.

 

Egg Wash

1 large egg, room temp

2 tbsp of milk, room temp

 

Follow the recipe for homemade Danish pastry dough.

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Preheat oven to 400 deg

While the dough rests in the fridge, slice your apples.danishh6danish6

Melt butter, allow it to brown not burn over medium heat.

Add apples

Add Add ¼ cup of white sugar and 1/3 cup of light brown sugar.

Simmer until crisp-tender. The apples will be soft but have some bite to them. A sauce will form.danish7danish8

Remove apples from pan and allow to cool in a small bowl.
Pour the sauce that formed into a a bowl and allow it to cool.

Remove dough from fridge

Flour your work surface and roll the dough out into a rectangle that is about 12×6-12×7”.

Slice the corners off of one side and two small triangles off of the other side.

Place dough onto your parchment lined or cooking sprayed baking sheet. (It will be very hard to move the braid if you form the braid on the counter.)

Using a sharp knife or pastry blade, create angled slices. This will form your braid.

Spread the sauce down the center of the rectangle and layer your apple slices.danish13danish14danish15

Alternate dough-strands to form a braid

Fold up the end and create a seal

Brush braid with egg wash

Bake the Danish for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. You will want to rotate the pan every 4-6 minutes to ensure the Danish browns evenly.

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The Danish will be crispy and flaky on the outside and moist on the inside. For a bit of added decadence, brush any remaining sauce onto the Danish fresh out of the oven. Super NOM!

 

 

© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Homemade Danish Pastry Dough

 

1 standard package of active dry yeast

¼ cup warm water

½ cup milk (room temp)

1 large egg (room temp)

1 tsp salt

2 ½ cup leveled all purpose flour

¼ cup sugar

14 tbsp very cold unsalted butter

 

In a large bowl, proof your yeast. Mix yeast with warm water and sugar. Once foamy, mix in egg, milk and salt. Set aside while you mix dry ingredients. (If foam does not form, your yeast is dead and you should begin again with a new packet.)

 

Pour flour into food processor and add butters, sliced into tabs. Pulse until flour butter is crumbled into flour.

Pour mixture into wet ingredients. Gently fold to just incorporate ingredients. You will see pieces of butter. Turn the dough out and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place in fridge for 2-3 hours, or overnight. (If you are in a pinch, you can freeze for about 45 minutes to an hour).

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After the time has elapsed, flour a work surface liberally. The dough will be very sticky. Flour your rolling pin, as well. Using the palm of your hand, flatten the dough into a small square. Roll the dough out into approx. a 15” rectangle. It may be necessary to continue to flour as you go along to prevent sticking. Fold the rectangle as if you were folding a letter. Roll out, flour, fold. Repeat three times. This is what creates the flaky layers.

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Fold the dough and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 30-40 minutes. (Or up to one day).

Chili Lime Peanut Noodle Salad

I love a flavor-packed dish with these flavors. You really can’t go wrong with garlic, ginger, cilantro, soy, sesame, etc. Tossing these ingredients together with brown rice noodles and veggie noodles (carrot and zuchinni), you’ve got a super light salad that can be eaten hot or cold.

It’s delicious as part of an entree, a side or a light lunch!

 

Chili Lime Peanut Noodle Salad

 

Noodle Salad

1 package of brown rice noodles, cook as directed

1 large zuchinni julienned, (invest in a mandolin slicer w/ attachments or vegetable spiralizer)

2 carrots, julienned

 

Sauce

3 tsp sesame oil

4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

3 garlic cloves, grated

1-2 inch ginger, grated

2 tbsp water

juice and zest of 1 large lime

3-4 tbsp of peanut butter, creamy or chunky

2 tsp of sambal

1 tsp of fish sauce

½ tsp of oyster sauce

1 tbsp of rice vinegar

½ tsp of sesame oil

2 tbsp of light brown sugar

 

¼ cup chopped cilantro, to finish

 

 

  • Cook rice noodles following package directions.
  • In a large bowl combine the sauce ingredients and whisk vigorously until well combined. Taste and add ingredients as needed (I wound up adding a bit more ginger and crushed red pepper).peanutpeanut3
  • Using a mandolin slicer (or vegetable spiralizer), shred your zucchini and your carrots.peanut2
  • Drain noodles and reserve ¼ cup of cooking liquid.
  • Put noodles back into pot, add shredded vegetables and sauce
  • Using tongs, toss to combine
  • This can be served hot, warm or cold.mealmeal2meal3

 

Leftover sauce can be loosened with more lime juice or water and used as a salad dressing! Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated.

 

© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Quick Pork and Cabbage Gyoza

I am madly in love with any type of dumpling. Gyoza, potstickers, shumai. You name it, I’ll eat it. Little pockets of love, if you ask me.

 

I usually make my dough from scratch….until I bought my first pack of wrappers and well, work smarter and not harder.

 

For this recipe you will want to use your seasoned cast iron skillet for the traditional steam-fry-steam technique that yields a simultaneously crispy yet soft exterior.

 

I cooked this tonight on the fly so the measurements are not exact but you can freeze any leftover wrappers or leftover filling and use it another night. I do this all of the time.

Also, the lovely thing about making dumplings is that you really don’t have to stay true to any one recipe. Use what you have on hand!

 

Gyoza

Pack of gyoza (or wonton) skins

¼ to ½ lb of ground pork (you can substitute finely chopped shrimp, ground chicken, etc)

1-2 cup of finely shredded cabbage

2 garlic cloves, grated

1 in knob of ginger, grated

1 tbsp of sesame oil

1 tsp of low sodium soy sauce

Splash of fish sauce

 

Dipping Sauce

½ c low sodium soy sauce

1 tsp rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp light brown sugar

½ tsp sesame oil

1 tsp of water

chopped scallion, crushed red pepper (optional)

 

  • Combine these ingredientsgyoza3
  • Scoop a scant tsp onto the skin
  • Dampen your finger with water and moisten the lip of the wrapper
  • Fold up the dumpling and seal. (Visit Lizzie Tilchin and check out different ways to seal these babies!)
  • Heat your cast iron skillet and using a napkin wipe it down with your preferred cooking oil and a bit of sesame oil.
  • Place your dumplings onto the hot skillet for about 10-15 seconds until the bottoms begin to crisp up
  • Then pour about 2/3 cup of water into the skillet and cover tightly
  • Let this cook for about 4-5 minutes.

gyoza2meal3gyoza

© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Super Chunky Apple Spiced Muffins

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This is by far my most favorite time of year and these muffins taste like pure autumn. They are generously spiced and packed full of granny smith apples. Happy October!!

Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Clove? You literally cannot go wrong when you combine these with apples. These muffins are moist and gorgeously golden. I swear I wish I had a piping hot cup of apple cider.

Fun bonus? Your house will smell like love and hugs and cinnamon sticks.

 

 

1 large or 2 medium Granny Smith apple

Peel half of an apple

1 cup sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon plus 2 pinches salt

2 tsp teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ tsp of nutmeg

light dash of ground clove

2 large eggs

1 cup milk, room temperature

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat your oven to 400 then turn down to 350

Line your cupcake tin

 

In a small bowl combine your eggs and milk, then carefully add your butter after it has cooled.

In a larger bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, spices, baking powder and chopped apple.muff1-copymuff2

Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. The batter will be chunky and you should be able to see all of the pretty spices suspended.muff3-copy

muff4-copymuffi7Fill the liners sparing about ¼”.

Optional: Using a paring knife or kitchen shear, create thin “ribbons” of the apple skin and decoratively place the ribbons on top of the muffins.

muffi5muffi6Bake for 15-25 minutes, or until golden brown and they pass the toothpick test.

Allow to cool in pan for 3-5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.

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Note: Extra batter can be frozen in a ziplock bag. Baked muffins can be stored in an airtight container for about 2 days at room temperature and up to 5 in the fridge, though I promise they won’t last that long.

 

 

© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved