Saturday, November 28, 2009

Grandma Hastain's Apple Crisp

I was given the task of making THE apple crisp for the Hastain thanksgiving... it is a tradition and I think it turned out fantastic...(I even tweaked it but don't tell grandma!)

5-6 apples, cored and peeled (I used Roma)
1/3 cup water
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon

Place apples in a greased 9x13" pan. Mix water, brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon until combined and pour over apples. Set aside.

1/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cup flour
1/1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg plus 1 egg white
1/2 tsp salt

Mix above ingredients except the butter in a large mixing bowl with a fork or pastry cutter until crumbly. Sprinkle crust over apple mixture. Melt the butter and pour evenly over crust. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top and bake at 350 for 30 minutes, then turn the heat up to 400 and let bake an additional 10-12 minutes.
I find that giving it the additional time at high heat really caramelizes the apples and browns the top nicely. Enjoy warm with whipped topping or ice cream!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ultimate Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

What I'm bringing to Thanksgiving!

Ultimate Pumpkin Cheesecake

12 ounces gingersnaps
1/2 cup chopped pecans
6 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Dash of salt

4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese (full fat, room temp.)
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 extra large eggs
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 heaping cup fresh pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (plus some for sprinkling)
1 jar caramel topping
extra chopped pecans
extra crushed gingersnaps

Crush gingersnaps in a food processor (or a ziploc bag). Add chopped pecans, melted butter, brown sugar and salt and pulse (or mix) until combined. Press into a springform pan (9 or 10 in.) Chill for a half hour.

In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, sugar and cornstarch. Add vanilla . Blend in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. beat in whipping cream, do not overmix.
Remove 1 1/2 cups pf batter and set aside. Gently blend in pumpkin and spice to remainder of batter.

Remove crust from fridge. Pour 1/2 container of caramel onto crust. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Gently pour pumpkin batter on top of caramel and pecans. Drop small spoonfuls of plain batter and push slightly down. Swirl mixtures together in a figure 8 until swirls appear.

Place cheesecake in a water bath 1" high. Bake at 350 degree for 1 hour 15 minutes, check, if still soupy then bake an extra 15 minutes. Turn off oven and let cool for atleast 2 hours in the oven. Pour remaining caramel topping on top and crushed gingersnaps on top. Refridgerate for atleast 4 hours.