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Irish Apple Cake

Irish Apple Cake

Ingredients

For the Streusel Topping
6 tbsp cold salted butter, cut into small cubes
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup rolled oats
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
For the Cake
1 stick salted butter, room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
cup salt
3 tbsp milk
2 granny smith, pink lady or gala apples sliced thin

Directions

Preheat oven to 350˚F with the rack in the middle. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with butter & parchment to line the bottom.

Assemble the streusel topping. In a medium bowl mix together the flour, oats, sugar and salt. Rub the butter into the flour mixture until the streusel resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Store in the fridge until ready to use.

For the cake: Using a stand mixer & paddle attachment, cream the butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until light & fluffy. Add the vanilla, then beat in the eggs one at a time. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt. With a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet along with the milk.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Layer the apples over the top, then sprinkle the streusel over the apples.

Bake the cake for 60 to 70 minutes. The top should be golden brown and crisp. A toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake should come out virtually crumb free. Remove from the oven, let cake cool a bit before flipping it onto a cooling rack or cake platter.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Blue Corn Pancakes with Vanilla Crema & Raspberry Sauce

Recipe: Blue Corn Pancakes with Vanilla Crema & Raspberry Sauce

Ingredients

Blue Corn Pancakes
1 ½ cups fine-ground blue cornmeal
1 ½ cups boiling water
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 ½ cups all-purpose unbleached flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp Kosher salt
¾ tsp baking soda
4 large eggs, beaten
¾ cup whole milk (or unsweetened coconut milk)
½ cup unsalted butter, melted (let cool a bit) plus more for the griddle
Vanilla Crema
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
¼ cup Mexican crema, sour cream, or plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
¼ cup pure maple syrup
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
Berry Sauce
2 cups raspberries (fresh or frozen)
¼ cup granulated sugar, taste

Directions

Combine the blue cornmeal with the boiling water and maple syrup. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and melted butter. Add the egg mixture and the cornmeal to the flour mixture. Whisk until just combined (there will be some lumps in the batter.)

Melt a pat of butter in a large cast iron skillet or griddle over medium heat. Place 1/3 cup portions of batter onto the hot skillet. Cook until bubbles appear on the tops of the pancakes and the sides look cooked, about 2-3 minutes. Carefully flip and continue to cook for about 2 minutes. Continue until the batter is used up. Pancakes can be kept warm in a 200˚F oven up to 30 minutes. Serve the pancakes with the vanilla cream and raspberry sauce.

Vanilla Crema

Place ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, mix on low speed until the cream starts to thicken then increase speed to medium and whip until soft peaks form 2-3 minutes.

Berry Sauce

Place the berries and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook about 5 minutes and mix with a wooden spoon, the berries will start to release their juices. Add some water to the sauce if needed.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Homemade Strawberry Pop Tarts

Recipe: Homemade Strawberry Pop Tarts

Ingredients

Pastry Dough
2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ tsp Kosher salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
½ cup ice water
Strawberry Filling
1 lb fresh strawberries, stems removed and quartered
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 pinch Kosher salt
For Assembly
1 large egg
1 tbsp milk
¼ tsp Kosher salt
1 tbsp strawberry filling for each pop tart
Vanilla Frosting
1 cup powdered sugar
34 tbsp milk
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
food coloring and sprinkles if desired

Directions

Pastry Dough

Place the flour salt and salt in the bowl of a food processor, pulse briefly to combine. Add the butter and water. Pulse until just combined. At this point you should be able to pinch the dough together with your fingers. If it’s too crumbly add the tiniest bits of ice water until the dough just sticks together. Transfer the dough to a large, clean work area. Divide dough into two portions and press into flat disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour or up to two days.

Strawberry Filling

In a medium saucepan combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and salt. Heat over medium high heat, stirring constantly with a spatula or wooden spoon until the strawberries start to sizzle. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook and mix for 10-15 minutes, until the berries release their juices and become saucy. Transfer the strawberries to a heat proof container and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, place in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Assemble the Pop Tarts

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two sheet trays with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Remove the dough one disk at a time from the fridge. Remove the plastic wrap and let the dough sit out a few minutes on a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough to 1/8 inch thick. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, trim the dough to 4 X 2 1/2 inch rectangles. Save any scraps and continue to roll until you don’t have enough dough left to continue. Do the same process with the second disk. You should end up with 22 rectangles.

Make the egg wash: whisk together the egg with the milk and salt.

Spread one tablespoon of the strawberry filling onto the center of eleven rectangles. Brush some egg wash on the edges of the dough. Place the other eleven pieces of dough over the ones with the filling. Crimp the edges with a fork to seal the tarts. Using a paring knife, cut three small slits or “X’s” in the top of each pop tart. This will ensure that the pop tarts don’t explode while baking. Place the filled pop tarts onto the baking sheets with and inch in between each tart.

Brush the egg wash on the tops of each pop tart. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Frosting the Pop Tarts

While the pop tarts are cooling make the frosting. Whisk together the powdered sugar with milk and vanilla. Add a few drops of food coloring if desired. Drizzle the frosting over the pop tarts and add sprinkles while the frosting is still runny. Let the frosting set for a few minutes. Serve at room temperature.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container. Enjoy within 3 days.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Baked Cinnamon Apple French Toast

Recipe: Baked Cinnamon Apple French Toast

Ingredients

3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 cups chopped apples (1/2 inch pieces)
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon, divided
1 lb brioche or sourdough bread, cut into cubes
8 oz (1 package) full fat cream cheese, cut into cubes
12 large eggs, beaten
1 ½ cups half and half
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
cup pure maple syrup
½ cup raisins
2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp Kosher salt
½ cup chopped pecans

Directions

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the apples and cook about 5 minutes until fragrant and slightly softened. Stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon. Continue cooking until the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl to cool.

Butter or spray a 9X13 casserole dish. Place 1/2 of the bread cubes in the bottom of the baking dish in an even layer. Top with 1/2 of the apple mixture and cream cheese cubes. Layer again with the rest of the bread cubes and then the rest of the apple mixture & cream cheese.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, half and half, orange juice, maple syrup, raisins, vanilla, rest of the cinnamon and salt. Pour over the apple/bread mixture. Cover the casserole, set in the fridge and let soak for at least 2 hours to overnight.

Remove the casserole from the fridge 30 minutes before baking. Top with the pecans.

Pre-heat the oven to 350˚ F with the rack in the middle. Bake the casserole covered with foil for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the center is cooked through.

Serve immediately with more maple syrup and whipped cream.

~ Marla Meridith

Cranberry Hand Pies

Cranberry Hand Pies

Ingredients

For the Pastry
2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
20 tbsp cold unsalted butter, preferably a high-fat, European-style butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4-6 tbsp ice cold water
Filling and Assembly
1 lb fresh cranberries
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp corn starch or instant tapioca
1 egg, beaten
coarse sanding sugar for topping

Directions

For the Crust

Pie crust: In a food processor, briefly pulse together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse until mixture forms chickpea-size pieces (3 to 5 one-second pulses). Be sure the butter is cold at this step. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until mixture is just moist enough to hold together. You should be able to pinch it & it stays together.

Form dough into two balls, wrap with plastic and flatten into disks. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to 24 hours before rolling out and baking.

For the filling

Combine the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, vanilla and starch in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a simmer. Cook another 6 minutes, some cranberries will burst and mixture will start to thicken. Transfer the cranberries to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Sauce will thicken as it cools. DO AHEAD: You can make this filling up to 5 days ahead of when you want to use it.

Assembly

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit with the racks in the middle. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Remove the dough from the refrigerator & let it sit out a few minutes until just pliable. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one dough disk into 1/8 inch thickness. Punch out heart or round shapes I used a 4 inch heart cookie cutter.

Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of the cranberry mixture onto the middle of a dough heart. Wet the rim of the disk with some egg wash Place another heart on top. Crimp the edges with a fork or your fingers. Continue with the rest of the dough and filling. Place shapes on 2 cookie sheets. Refrigerate pies for 45 minutes.
You will likely have filling left over, it’s great on pancakes or mixed into oatmeal.

Remove pastry With a sharp knife, make a X on the top to vent. Brush on egg wash and dust with some sugar.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

~ Marla Meridith

Skillet Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Walnut Crumble

Skillet Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Walnut Crumble

Ingredients

For the Cake
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup full fat sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
For the crumble
½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup light brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 pinch salt

Directions

For the coffee cake

Pre heat oven to 350˚ Fahrenheit. Grease a 10 inch cast iron skillet with butter or vegetable oil.

Using a stand mixer and the paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the sour cream, eggs one at a time and vanilla.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and the salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 3 additions. Combine well but don’t over-mix.

Spread 1/2 of the batter into the prepared pan, smooth with a knife or offset spatula. Sprinkle 1/2 of the crumble onto the batter. Spread and smooth the rest of the batter over the crumble. Top with the rest of the crumble, pressing in very gently.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out virtually crumb free.

For the crumble

Whisk together the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Add in the butter and mix with clean hands or a pastry cutter. The crumble should stick together and the pieces of butter should be no larger than peas.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Raspberry Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Muffins

Recipe: Raspberry Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Muffins

Ingredients

2 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ cup pure maple syrup
½ cup brown sugar (light or dark brown) loosely packed
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 2 large)
¼ cup full fat sour cream
1 large egg, beaten
¾ cup milk (any milk you prefer)
½ cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
1 ¾ cups fresh raspberries (frozen ok too)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350˚ Fahrenheit (177°C) with the rack in the middle. Grease a 12 count muffin pan with baking spray. If using muffin liners, spray them first so they don’t stick to the liners. This will make 15 muffins, if you have an extra muffin pan handy prep that as well.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the maple syrup and brown sugar getting out as many lumps as possible. Fold in the mashed banana, sour cream and beaten egg. Add the wet into the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Batter will be thick. Mix in the milk. Fold in the chocolate chips, then carefully the raspberries. Be very gentle with the berries so they don’t turn the batter pink. Do not overmix the batter as it will toughen the muffins.

Evenly divide the batter between the muffin tins, filling to the top. Top with more chocolate chips if desired. Bake for 17-18 minutes, until you see light brown edges. A toothpick inserted into the centers should come out virtually crumb-free. If you are using the same pan for the three extra muffins, fill the empty muffin time halfway with water so the muffins bake evenly and your pan doesn’t warp.

Let the muffins cool for 10 minutes before removing from the muffin pan. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Skillet Banana Bread with Double-Crumb Topping

Recipe: Skillet Banana Bread with Double-Crumb Topping

Ingredients

Banana Bread
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
3 medium sized very ripe bananas, mashed (to equal 1 1/4 cups)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
Double-Crumble Topping
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350˚ with the rack in the middle.
Grease a 10″ cast iron skillet (or any heatproof skillet) with butter or vegetable oil.

For the Banana Bread

Melt the butter and let it cool to room temperature. Mix the cooled butter with the brown sugar in a large bowl. Mix in the egg, mashed banana and vanilla.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in another bowl.

Add the banana mixture into the flour mixture, combining well. Do not over mix.

Transfer the batter into the prepared skillet, smooth with top with the back of a spoon or spatula. Top with the crumble, pressing the crumble gently down into the batter with your fingers. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out virtually crumb free. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.

For the Double-Crumble Topping

Combine the sugars, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Add the flour and stir with a rubber spatula until mostly combine. Using clean fingers, mix until everything is well combined.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Triple Berry Muffins

Recipe: Triple Berry Muffins

Ingredients

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp Kosher salt
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 ¼ cups whole milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ lb 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 cup fresh blueberries
½ cup chopped strawberries
½ cup raspberries
turbinado sugar for topping

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with liners.

Whisk together the dry ingredients: both flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. In another bowl mix together both sugars, melted butter, milk, eggs and vanilla extract. Fold in the berries.

Place 1/3 cup batter in each muffin cup. Top with Turbinado (coarse sugar) Bake for 20-25 minutes. Insert a wooden skewer in the center and if it comes out virtually crumb free then the muffins are done. Let cool a few minutes then transfer the muffins to racks to cool completely.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Lemon Coconut Ricotta Pancakes

Recipe: Lemon Coconut Ricotta Pancakes

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest
unsalted butter for skillet or griddle
Serve with
pure maple syrup
whipped cream
fresh berries

Directions

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, coconut, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl, whisk the eggs. Mix in the milk, ricotta cheese and vanilla extract.

Add the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix quickly to combine. Mix in the lemon juice and zest. Do not over mix the batter.

Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Melt some butter in the skillet. Using a measuring cup, pour 1/3 cup portions of batter onto the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes until the tops are bubbling and the edges start to turn golden brown. Gently flip the pancakes and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add more butter to the skillet as needed. Repeat with all of the batter. Serve warm with maple syrup, whipped cream and berries.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Homemade Blueberry Pop Tarts

Recipe: Homemade Blueberry Pop Tarts

Ingredients

Pastry Dough
3 ¼ cups AP unbleached flour
1 tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp Kosher salt
¼ cup granulated sugar
8 oz unsalted butter
½ cup corn syrup
Fruit Filling
850 g fresh, frozen, chunks, sliced fruit
cup (75 g) light brown sugar or granulated sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon or ginger
1 pinch Kosher salt
2 tbsp (25 g) cornstarch
Egg Wash
1 large egg
2 tsp water
Glaze / Royal Icing
1 ¾ cups powdered sugar
34 tbsp milk
tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp any extract flavor (vanilla, lemon, orange, etc)
of color if desired

Directions

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the sifted dry ingredients. Add the butter and mix until it combines with the dry ingredients. Add the corn syrup and mix until a ball is formed. Let the dough rest for 2 hours in a cool place.

Make the filling while the dough rests. In a saucepot, bring the fruit to a boil. Combine the dry ingredients. Once the fruit has released its juices and has come to a boil, add the dry ingredients. While whisking, bring the mixture to a boil and hold at a boil for 3 minutes. Let cool.

Roll the dough onto a floured surface until it is 3 mm thick. Cut the rolled dough in half. Cut one half of the dough into the 3 x 5 inch rectangles. Cut the second half of the dough into 3¼ inch x 5¼ inch rectangles – these slightly larger rectangles will be the top of the pop tarts. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the bottom pop tart dough rectangles on a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet. With a pastry brush, paint the egg wash around the outside edge of the dough. Put the cooled pop tart filling inside of the egg wash rectangle. Add the larger rectangle dough on top of the filling. On one side of the rectangle, press the two pieces of the dough together, fastening them with a fork. Brush the top of the pop tart with egg wash.

Combine the egg and water with a fork or a whisk.

Bake until a light golden brown 15-20 minutes. Let cool. Using a spoon, knife, brush, palette knife or hands, spread or dip the cooled pop tart. Let dry and enjoy.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Cast Iron Skillet Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Recipe: Cast Iron Skillet Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Ingredients

¼ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup light brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
3 medium ripe bananas, mashed (to equal 1 1/4 cups)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided

Directions

Pre heat the oven to 350˚ with the rack in the middle.
Grease a 10″ cast iron skillet (or any heatproof skillet) with butter or vegetable oil.

Make the brown butter. In a small skillet, heat the butter over medium high heat until it starts bubbling. Swirl the pan and continue to cook and swirl. After a few minutes the butter will begin to foam. Reduce the heat to medium. This will subside and you will start te see brown flecks and you will smell a nutty aroma. Cook about one more minute, more flecks will appear. Continue to swirl the pan so the butter doesn’t burn too quickly. Transfer the butter to a heat proof bowl. Let cool to room temperature.

Mix the cooled butter with the brown sugar in a large bowl. Mix in the egg, mashed banana and vanilla.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in another bowl.

Add the flour mixture into the banana mixture in two additions, combining well. Do not over mix. Fold in one-half of the chocolate chips.

Transfer the batter into the prepared skillet, smooth with top with the back of a spoon or spatula. Top with the remainder of the chocolate chips.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out virtually crumb free.

Remove the banana bread from the oven and let cool at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

~ Marla Meridith