Stilton and apple Welsh rarebit bites

Delicious for a Holiday appetizer and SO tasty with one of my favorite cheeses, Stilton

Makes 24 bites

1/2 a thin baguette, cut into 1/2 inch slices
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled, halved, cored and thinly sliced
8oz crumbled Stilton or blue cheese, at room temperature
3 tbsp creme fraiche
1 tsp Worcester sauce
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the baguette slices with melted butter; working in batches, grill, flipping once, until golden on both sides, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Layer 2 apple slices on each toast and set aside.

Arrange an oven rack 4” from the broiler and heat the broiler to high. Mix the cheese, creme fraiche, Worcester sauce, Dijon, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Spread about 1 tbsp of the cheese mixture over each toast. Broil until topping is melted and golden brown, about 4 minutes

 

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Butternut squash, Brussels sprout and apple stuffing

A lovely stuffing filled with vegetables. This can go Gluten Free if you use a GF bread like millet.

Serves 6

1lb butternut squash, cut into 1/2 “cubes
1lb Brussel sprouts, halved
1 Gala apple, cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 shallots, thinly sliced
4 tbsp olive oil, divided into 2 tbsp and 2 tbsp
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
10 thick slices of a bread of your choice: crusty sourdough dry cornbread, whole grain, GF….
*Prior to preparing the recipe, leave the bread out for a day to become slightly dry, then cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups vegetable,chicken or turkey broth (plus extra as needed)
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tsp fresh sage, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup pecan or walnut halves, halved again
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 F

Toss the squash, Brussel sprouts, apples and shallots in 2 tbsp oil and season well with salt and pepper.
Roast till the vegetables are very tender, even until the Brussel sprouts are a little burnt at the edges and remove from the oven.

Reduce the heat to 350 F

Heat the other 2 tbsp oil in a large deep pan. Saute the onion and celery till translucent, abut 5 to 8 minutes.
Add the bread cubes and allow them to get golden brown with the veggies in the oil. Add a dash of salt and pepper.
Add the roasted vegetables, broth, cranberries, pecan or walnut halves and seasonings.
Stir the mix till the broth has almost entirely absorbed into the toasted bread.
Transfer to a baking dish or sheet and bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes.
Serve hot.

Easy Breton apple cake with salted caramel sauce

This is very easy to make, mostly in one bowl.  Very moist and the caramel sauce is divine!

For the cake:

10 tbsp butter, melted and cooled, plus 2 tbsp for the apples
1 1/4 cups of flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp Kosher salt (not regular table salt)
1 cup sugar plus 2 tbsp sugar, divided
Zest of a lemon
3 large eggs
4 firm apples (you can mix varieties too) peeled, cored and thickly sliced

Preheat the oven to 350 F
Butter and flour an 8” cake pan (It’s easier to use a spring form tin)

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, 10 tbsp of melted butter and the lemon zest.
Add in the dry ingredients and mix well to form a batter.
In a heavy medium skillet, heat the 2 tbsp of butter and add in the apple slices.
Sprinkle with 2 tbsp of sugar and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes on medium heat until the apples are juicy and caramelized.
Keep stirring, so the apples don’t stick.
Lay half the apples on the bottom of the prepared cake pan and spoon half the batter over them.
Don’t worry if the batter doesn’t completely cover the apples.
Layer with the rest of the apples, then the rest of the batter.
It’s easiest if you have a rubber spatula to spread the batter.

* It’s nice to sprinkle the cake with some cinnamon sugar before putting into the oven.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F for 35 to 45 minutes, testing with a toothpick for doneness.

Salted caramel sauce

1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cream
3 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp Kosher salt (not regular salt)

In a small, heavy saucepan, heat the water and sugar on medium boil until turning golden, about 8 to 10 minutes.
You can scrape the brown bits on the sides of the pan down with a wet pastry brush. Take the golden liquid off the heat and carefully add in the cream. It will bubble fiercely, so be very careful not to splatter yourself.
Place back on the stove and stir for 2 minutes.
Add in 3 tbsp butter and salt and cook for another minute or two until the butter and mixture is nice and smooth.

Transfer to a heat resistant vessel, and place in the fridge to cool. You can make the caramel sauce 5 days in advance


Roquefort and walnut terrine with apple salad

Another killer appetizer!

8 first-course servings

2 cups walnuts (about 7 ounces)
1 lb Roquefort cheese, at room temperature
1 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
4 medium Granny Smith apples
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup pure olive oil
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crust bread, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 F
Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool.

Line a 7 by 5 inch loaf pan with plastic, leaving 3 inches of overhang all around. In a large bowl, break up the Roquefort with a fork until slightly chunky.

Add the walnuts and creme fraiche and mix thoroughly. Scrape the mixture into the loaf pan and smooth the top.
Cover with the overhanging plastic wrap and refrigerate until very firm, at least 6 hours or overnight.

Peel, core and thinly slice the apples. In a medium bowl, toss the apples with 2 tbsp of the lemon juice.

In a small bowl combine the remaining 2 tsp of lemon juice with the olive oil, mustard and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the vinaigrette over the apples and toss well.

Unmold the Roquefort terrine and discard the plastic wrap.
Run a thin knife under hot water and wipe it off, then cut the terrine into 3/4 inch-thick slices, rinsing and drying the knife after each cut.
Arrange the slices on small plates and serve with the apple salad and bread

 

Easy chunky apple cake

This is delicious and so easy.

Ingredients for the cake

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (real)
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
6 cups chopped, peeled tart apples (I use granny Smith)

Butterscotch sauce

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions

1/ Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish with butter

2/ Cream butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

3/ Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and baking soda in another bowl. Gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well. The batter will be stiff. Stir in the apples until well combined.
Spread it into the prepared pan. bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and springs back when lightly touched. Cool for 30 minutes before serving.

4/ Meanwhile combine the brown sugar and butter in a small saucepan. Cook over a medium heat until the butter is melted. Gradually add the cream and bring to a slow boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until it turns the caramel/butterscotch color and is smooth. Remove from the heat.

Serve with the cake. Yield 12 to 14 servings

 

Caramelized onion, apple and bacon in phyllo cups with gorgonzola

This is a variation on the previous blog recipe with the addition of apple and bacon. Outrageous huh?

Ingredients

2 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large yellow onions, sliced (1/4 inch slices)
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped finely
1 packed tbsp brown sugar
4 strips hickory smoked bacon, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup good gorgonzola cheese, crumbled. (Please don’t buy that ready crumbled stuff, it’s not Italian and tastes like wallboard)
26 mini phyllo shells from 2 x 1.9 oz packages in the freezer section. Prepare/cook according to the instructions

Directions

To make the caramelized onions, heat 2 tbsp butter and olive oil over medium low heat in a large non stick skillet.
Add the onions, cover and cook for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove the lid, and cook an additional 15 minutes or until beautifully caramelized.
To make the apples and bacon, heat the chopped apples in the remaining 1/2 tbsp butter and brown sugar in a small pot over medium heat. Saute for 10 to 12 minutes or until the apples are softened and lightly browned.
Wipe the pan clean and place the bacon in it. Saute over medium heat or until crispy and browned, stirring occasionally. Drain on paper towels.

To assemble the shells, place the caramelized onions, cooked apples and bacon and salt in a small bowl and mix well.
Evenly distribute the mixture among the mini phyllo shells. Top evenly with the crumbled gorgonzola.
You can put them in the oven at 400F for about 5  minutes until the gorgonzola is melted, but you don’t have to. I rather like the melty cheese on the top. Watch them incase the pastry starts to burn though.

This recipe makes 13 servings of two phyllo cups each.

 

Pumpkin-Apple Streusel Coffee cake

This is from the food blog, “One Perfect Bite” and is gorgeous!

Apples
3 tbsp unsalted butter
4 cups diced peeled cored Granny Smith apples (about 4 large)
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Cake
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup toasted chopped walnuts
3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs

Prepare the apples; Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples; saute until apples begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
Add sugar and cinnamon and saute until golden brown, about 3 minutes longer. Cool.

Prepare cake;  Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 9 inch diameter springform pan. Combine flour, brown sugar, butter and salt in a large bowl. Using the electric mixer beat until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Place walnuts in a small bowl. Add 2/3 cup of crumb mixture to nuts and set aside.
Beat pumpkin, sour cream, 2 tbsp sugar, spice and baking soda into remaining flour mixture, beating just until smooth.
Beat in the eggs. Transfer the batter to the pan. Scatter the apples evenly over the top.
Sprinkle reserved topping over the apples.

Bake the cake;  Transfer pan to the oven and bake until the topping is golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes.
Cool cake in pan on rack for about 20 minutes. Run a knife around the pan sides to loosen cake. Release the pan sides from the cake. Transfer the cake to a platter.
(Can be made 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature)
Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream.

Serves 6 – 8