September
13
Filed Under (Product Review) by Colleen on 13-09-2009

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I LOVE kitchen gadgets, imagine that!  Naturally,  one of my Printable Version of this page.
favourite stores to visit is Williams-Sonoma.  Recently I picked up a Pocket Pie Mold in the shape of an apple since Fall is now upon us and I enjoy making and eating apple pie.

Pocket Pies - Williams-Sonoma Mold

The mold comes in several different shapes – star, heart, pumpkin and the one I picked was the apple. It is heavy duty plastic and has the cutters on the outside of the mold and the press on the inside. Very easy to use.

The instructions are on the back of the box and include a recipe for pastry made in a food processor which we all thought very tasty. You let the pastry sit, wrapped in plastic, in the refrigerator for 2 hours or so and then roll it out, cut out your shapes, fill with pie filling and press together. You finish them off with an egg wash and I sprinkled mine with Demerara Sugar – a coarsely ground sugar from sugar cane not beets.  Bake for 20 minutes and get ready to eat!


I’ve decided to quickly add the recipe from the box just in case someone has damage to their box and they need it.

Ingredients

2  1/2 Cups (390g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs sugar, plus more to sprinkle on top
16 Tbs (2 sticks/250g) cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch dice
6 to 8 Tbs ice water
1/2 to 1 cup pie filling
1 egg lightly beaten with 1 tsp water for sealing pies and glazing

Method

In a food processor, pulse together the flour, salt and the 2 Tbs sugar until combines, about 5 pulses.  Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 pulses.  Add 6 Tbs of water and pulse twice.  The dough should hold together when squeezed with your gingers but should not be sticky.  If it is crumbly, add more water 1 tsp at a time, pulsing twice after each addition.  Divide the dough in half, wrap with plastic wrap and press each into a disk.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

Let the dough stand at room temperature for 5 minutes.

On a floured surface, roll out 1 dough disk into a round 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick.  Brush off the excess flour.  Using the pocket pie mold cut out 8 of each shape.  Gather up scraps and reroll to cut more shapes.  Repeat with the remaining dough disk.

Place a solid dough shape in the bottom half of the cutter and gently press the dough into the mod.  Fill the center with 1 to 2 Tbs pie filling and brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash.  Top with a matching shape which has the decorative cut out vent.  Press the top half of the cutter down to seal and crimp the edges of the pie.  Remove the pie from the mod and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough.

Preheat an oven to 400 deg F (200C).  Brush the pies with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is gently bubbling.  15 to 20 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

These pies can also be fried but use two matching pie dough pieces WITHOUT the vent hole to avoid leakage of the filling while frying.


You will find the mold at Williams-Sonoma.com where it is priced at $9.95.  Overall, even though it really is a single use product, I liked the ease and speed at which I could make these pies.  They look very festive and are a manageable size for a quick snack or dessert… Mmmm.. imagine them hot served with custard or vanilla ice-cream!

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August
18
Filed Under (Cakes, Sweet Stuff) by Colleen on 18-08-2009

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We so loved yesterday’s batch of Upside-down Caramel Apple Cupcakes that I decided to make some more but this time right way up. I had a dozen plain spice cupcakes left over to use. Click here for a printable version

This time around I peeled and chopped 2 large Pink Lady apples which are excellent for cooking with. They held their shape wonderfully and didn’t break down when stirred into the caramel even once they were tender.

Caramel Sauce

    10 oz unsalted butter
    2/3 cup brown sugar
    2/3 cup dark brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
    1 tablespoon of cinnamon
    pinch salt

Melt the butter over medium heat in a pan. Add the sugars and spices. I cooked this reducing the heat a little until it bubbled and didn’t look so watery on top. To test my caramel I place a teaspoon full of the sauce on a glass plate and pop it in the freezer for a few minutes to see how it’s setting up. You don’t want a hard toffee like caramel in your cupcakes. When you get a nice soft but not runny consistency add the chopped apples and continue to cook until the apples are tender… I wasn’t adding them to the oven this time since I was using cupcakes I had made previously, so I needed to cook them a little longer.

Cut a small cap from the top of the cupcakes by diagonally inserting a sharp knife into the cupcakes  from the edge towards the center about one inch.  Cut around until a small cap pops out.  You can see the shape of the well in the image below.  I trim off the point on these caps so they sit flat when I put them back on top of the caramel apple filling.

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Add a heaped teaspoon of the caramel apple filling to the cupcakes.  Replace the trimmed caps and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  I think these looks so festive and use colored cupcake papers to suit the season.  Great for those Fall parties, Thanksgiving and other Holiday festivities.

As always, if you have any questions be sure and drop me a line.  I love hearing from you all and will do my best to answer in a clear manner…  Often I think my instructions are clear but then again… 😉

Cheers for now,

Colleen

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