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Archive for the ‘desserts’ Category

The early fall is truly magical.

These days I love to revel in all the pleasant impressions that this time of year evokes in me.

I love the calm… as if everything is coming to rest after all the hard work.

I’m excited when I see first signs of the glitter party that nature is going to throw soon.

Also, I love to go for long walks and enjoy the nice and warm days.

And if I didn’t sleep so late I’d definitely enjoy the crisp and cool mornings.

Hm, you can’t have everything, I guess.

 

But most of all, I enjoy the fruits of this season.

Like apples, for example.

In my world, there’s nothing more wonderful than the smell of apples and cinnamon coming out of the oven.

That’s why I end up making all sorts of apple-cinnamon creations these days each year – Apple Crisp being one of my favorite.

Yum!
 
 

The ingredients are simple and economical.

And that’s great.

 

Now I invite you to have a look at what crazy stuff was going on in my kitchen…
 

1. First, I preheated the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
 
2. I placed all the ‘topping’ ingredients into one bowl – namely the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, salt, oats and walnuts.
 
Okay, maybe it wasn’t that crazy.
 
 

3. Using a fork, I combined them all just until this crumbly mixture had formed and no large pieces of butter were visible.

The topping is finished.

Easy!
 
 

4. Then I grabbed six medium apples.

These are Golden Delicious.

Also Empire, Gala, or Braeburn are especially good in this recipe.
 
 


5. I peeled, washed, cored and sliced them.
 
 

6. And then I cut the slices into 1 inch (2.5 cm) chunks.
 
 

7. To make the filling, I placed the apples, the lemon zest (I used dried lemon zest) and the sugar in a larger bowl…
 
 

8. …and tossed it to combine.

Mmmm… can you smell that?

Instant home!
 
 

9. I am brushing a dish with vegetable oil here.

Instead, you can butter the dish or just spray it with some cooking spray.

Also, although I used a slightly larger dish, I recommend to use a 9 inch (23 cm) deep dish pie plate or an 8 x 8 x 2 inch (20 x 20 x 5 cm) baking dish.

 
 

10. Fill the dish with the fragrant apple filling.

 
 

11. And, using your fingertips, spread the topping evenly over the apples.
 
 

12. Pop it in the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until bubbly and the topping is golden brown.

 
 

13. Remove from the oven, place on the cooling rack and let cool for about 30 minutes.

Then dig into it with a spoon and check whether everything is all right.
 
 

And if everything is perfectly all right, and it definitely will be, proceed to another step – fill a bowl with some more spoonfuls of this flavorful, juicy and crispy wonder.

Add a nice, fat scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

Or two.

Or four.
 
 

And have a great time!
 

If, by any chance, you end up with some leftovers, refrigerate them and reheat them before serving.
 
 

Enjoy!

 

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Orange Granita

Mmmm…my first encounter with granita…that was something truly amazing.

It happened during my vacation in Italy a couple of years ago.

Oh, I will never forget that moment.

Actually, I was spending the holiday with my sister and her family then. One lovely morning we decided to have a proper look at the village we were staying in…so – under the burning Italian sun – we walked every street, saw every sight and met ever person possible.

Phew!

My feet still get depressed when they remember that.

After a couple of hours, as knackered as people can get, we decided to relax in a cute café sitting on top of a hill and offering a magnificent sea view.

And GRANITA.

First of all, the cup I was given amazed me with its wonderfully colorful content.

And then…wow…that first mouthful…OH, THAT FIRST MOUTHFUL…it was the most refreshing,  invigorating and memorable dessert in my whole life.

During all the years that followed, just until recently, I hadn’t even dared to think I could prepare that delectable treat at home (you know, they make it in those big ‘freezing-and-mixing’ tanks).

But now the things have changed.

And you know what?

Granita might be the simplest and easiest dessert there is.
 
 

THESE are the ingredients!
 

1. First, pour the juice into a saucepan and place it over medium-low heat.
 

2. Add the sugar and stir.
 
 

3. Add the lemon juice and continue stirring just until the sugar has dissolved.
 

4. Remove from heat.
 
 

5. Then find a larger (4 cup – 1 liter) ‘freezer-friendly’ container and pour the mixture in.
 

6. Cover with a piece of parchment paper and put in your freezer.
 
 

7. After about 2 hours into the freezing process, remove the container from the freezer and move the liquid around with a fork, breaking the forming crystal structure. Put back in the freezer.
 

8. Repeat this process about 3 more times (every 2 hours). Then let freeze for as long as you wish.
 
 

This is what I got after leaving the mixture in the freezer overnight.

Wonderful granita!

See? It’s doubled in volume.
 
 

To serve the orange granita, you can use some fresh oranges. Just cut an orange in half and, using a spoon, remove its flesh. Let freeze for a couple of hours. That way you’ll get a nice, cooling and impressive bowl.

Enjoy, dear friends.
 

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Do you like crepes?

To some of you  – who have been raised on typical American pancakes –  these might sound and look quite exotic.

Right?

Yeah, they are those delicate things that those weird, delicate Europeans eat.

… With their delicate fingers.

On the other hand, those of you who come from Europe, might perceive crepes as something very similar to oxygen you breathe. I guess they are this much common and usual all over the old continent.

And you, dear Europeans, look at the American chubby pancakes with kinda perplexed look in your eyes.

Don’t you?

Well, now that we are clear about the difference between Europe and America (which definitely lies in the preferred thickness of pancakes) we can have a look at the origin of the word ‘crêpe’.

That, in fact, comes from Latin ‘crispa’, meaning ‘curled’.

How lovely!

I guess the one who has invented this dish must have had an excellent sense for cuteness – because these beauties, with their adorable shape and their scrumptious taste, represent pure, heart-touching cuteness to me.

But hey!

What about the rest of the world?

Do you eat pancakes or crepes?

I’d really like to know…
 
 

This is what you are going to need in order to prepare you own delicious crepes.

The ingredients are very simple and easy to find in everyone’s pantry.
 
 

1. The first step is awesome, I think.

You just place the flour, eggs, milk, water, sugar and salt into a larger bowl and whisk it till it’s smooth.

You don’t even have to pay attention to what comes first.

Initially, the batter will look rather lumpy – which means some more mixing is needed.

Sooner or later there comes the point when the batter becomes perfectly smooth.
 
 

2. Pour one tablespoon of the vegetable oil into a medium sized frying pan (I used 7-inch – 18 cm pan).

3. Heat the pan over medium heat – we definitely don’t need too strong heat here.

4. Pour or scoop the batter onto the pan, using approximately 1/4 cup (60 ml) for each crepe.
 
 

5. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
 
 

6. Cook the crepe for about 30 – 40 seconds, until the bottom is light brown.

7. Loosen the edges with a spatula, …
 
 

8. … turn and cook the other side.
 
 

9. Place the crepes on a separate plate and let cool a little – just until they can be handled with your hands.
 
 

10. Then spread about 2 tablespoon jam over the surface of each crepe …
 
 

11. … and roll it up.
 
 

12. Serve warm.

Sweet crepes can be garnished with fresh fruit and whipped cream.

Enjoy, dear friends.

(This recipe makes 7 crepes.)

 

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