Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Loaf

I'm still on my apple kick. The stores and road side stands are spilling over with every variety of apple. Green, yellow, gold, red.. just like the colors of the turning leaves.

This recipe comes from Sarabeth's Bakery in New York. You may be familiar with her preserves. People line up at the bakery to buy this bread and at her restaurant she turns it into french toast. If you make it at home people will line up at your table for a slice. I promise.

Sarabeth's Apple Cinnamon Loaf: makes two big loaves

3 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/3 cup water (105-115 degrees f)
3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup milk (her recipe calls for whole milk but I used 2% with stellar results)
1/3 cup cold water
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus additional for the bowl and pans

Apple filling:
2 large Granny Smith apples (about 1 1/2 pounds) peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

To make the dough sprinkle the yeast over the warm 1/3 cup water and stir. Wait 5 minutes for the yeast to dissolve. Pour into the mixer bowl. Add the milk, 1/3 cup cold water, sugar, egg yolk and vanilla and whisk to combine.

Fit the mixer with a paddle attachment and on low speed gradually add half of the flour, then the salt. One tablespoon at a time add the butter. Gradually add the remaining flour to form a rough dough. Replace the paddle attachment with a dough hook and knead on medium low speed adding more flour if needed until the dough cleans the bowl. Continue kneading until the dough is soft, smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly to check the dough's texture. The dough will be slightly sticky. Butter a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.

When the dough has risen prepare the apple filling. Mix the cut apples, egg yolk, sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

Butter two 8 by 4 by 2 1/2 inch loaf pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper and dust the sides with flour. Set aside.

Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Roll or stretch the dough into a 16 by 12 inch rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough and starting at the top begin to roll up the dough, jelly roll style.

Using a bench scraper or large knife, cut the dough into 1-inch-thick slices.

Now cut these slices in half. It is going to look like a big mess. Don't worry it's going to be great.
Now pile up these pieces of dough and apple into your prepared pans.

Choose a warm spot in your kitchen for proofing the loaves. Place the pans on a cookie sheet. Fill a glass with very hot water. Place the pan with the loaves inside a big plastic garbage bag, place the glass of hot water in the bag, inflate the bag by waving the opening up and down, then close tightly. This will mimic a professional proofing oven. You can also just cover the loaves with a towel and set in a warm place but the proofing oven method works beautifully.

Let stand until the loaves have risen to the top of the pans (the dough will look lumpy) - about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the glass from the pan, then the pan from the bag.
Bake on the center rack (on the cookie sheet) for 35 minutes. Cover the loaves loosely with foil and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and an instant read thermometer reads 210 degrees F.

Transfer the loaf pans to a wire cooling rack and let stand for 5 minutes. Unmold the loaves onto the rack. Remove the parchment paper and turn the loaves right sides up and let cool completely.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Apple Season: Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Apples and Easy Apple Turnovers

When the weather turns brisk it's time to go apple picking. TBHITW and I went every year. When the kids were littles, hay rides, pumpkins, apple cider and donuts were part of the ritual of apple picking. Once they hit their teen years they lost interest in the family ritual but TBHITW and I still went together.

And yes, we still went on the hayride, picked pumpkins, drank apple cider and ate donuts. When we got home I would whip up a few treats using our stash of freshly picked apples.

Here's two recipes to get you started.

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Apples: serves 4

The sweetness of the apples is balanced with the onion and the rich, lean pork loin. The orange juice and zest adds a nice acidity.

One 1 pound pork tenderloin
Two apples (your choice) peeled, cored and cut in half
1/2 of a sweet onion (such as Vidalia), sliced
olive oil
salt pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped.
1/2 orange, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Rub the pork loin all over with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and put in a greased (use a light coating of olive oil) shallow roasting pan.
Arrange the onion slices around the roast.
Arrange the apple halves around the roast, on top of the onions.
Squeeze the orange juice over the apples and pork loin.
Sprinkle the thyme and orange zest over both pork loin and apples.

Cover and roast for about 30 minutes or until the pork registers 150 degrees on an instant read thermometer.
Remove from oven, remove cover and turn up the oven to broil.
Sprinkle the brown sugar over the apples.
Return to broiler for 30 to 60 seconds to melt and carmelize the brown sugar on the apples.

I serve this with simple steamed carrots.

Easy Apple Turnovers: yield 10 

1/2 package (1 roll) prepared Fillo Dough, thawed
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
4 apples (your choice) peeled, cored, halved and sliced very thin
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Sprinkle the apples with lemon juice and toss with the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

Unroll the Fillo dough with the long side facing you. Peel off two pieces and brush lightly with butter. Lay two more pieces of dough over the buttered pieces and butter them also. Repeat one more time with two pieces of Fillo, brush a final time with melted butter. You will have six pieces of stacked Fillo dough.

Using a pizza cutter cut the dough in thirds starting from the top of the dough piece straight to the bottom (the piece near your stomach).

Place a scant 1/4 cup of the apple slices on the end of one of the strips of fillo dough. Fold up in a triangle being careful to close any open seams. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and brush the top with some melted butter. Repeat until all the apples are used.

Back at 350 degrees F on the middle rack of your oven for 20 - 30 minutes (check at 20 minutes) until the tops are crisp and golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack. When cool drizzle the sugar glaze over the tops. Store at room temperature.

1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons milk

Using a small whisk mix the milk into the powdered sugar a teaspoon at a time until pourable. 

Do you have any autumn rituals?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Happy Day

My grandlitte, Jillian, turned four years old.

Her favorite movie is "How To Tame A Dragon". She LOVES dragons.

Jillian also knows how to get her Nani (that would be me) to do just about anything. She asked me to make her a dragon cake for her big day.

Sometimes, you just can't help but smile the big smiles.

It's good to be four.
Related Posts with Thumbnails