In medium pot over medium-low to medium heat, heat butter until golden brown, stirring frequently and making sure to scrape bottom of pan. Remove from heat and pour into bowl when golden brown to stop more coloring. Set aside.
Whisk together sugars, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk in butter in steady stream. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and pecans. Stir until evenly blended.
Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.
Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 20-30 minutes.
Do not overcook or bars will be dry. Let cool to room temperature then cut into bars.
Blind-baking causes the shell to shrink a bit, so account for this when lining the pan. Follow the simple steps outlined above the next time you’re rolling in the dough for a sweet custard pie, berry or apple pie and even a savory one.
If you don’t have any light corn syrup, you can substitute it for 1 cup sugar mixed with 1/4 cup warm water. Then measure out 3/4 cup as you would if you had corn syrup.
Roll dough into a 12-inch circle on a floured countertop. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and gently unroll it onto a 9-inch pie plate.
Ease dough into pie plate by gently lifting edge of dough with your hand while pressing into bottom of pie plate with your other hand.
Trim overhanging dough. Press edges around pie plate with a fork. Wrap pie plate in plastic wrap and put in fridge until dough is firm about 30 minutes. After removing from fridge, prick holes over bottom and sides with a fork.
Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 425 degrees.
Lime pie shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or beans. Place in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven. Place on a cooling rack. Remove weights (beans) and paper. Note: pie crust must be warm when adding filling.
While crust is baking, melt butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan filled with 1-2 inches of barley simmering water. Make sure that the water doesn’t touch bottom of bowl. Do not worry about condensation.
Off heat, stir in sugar and salt until butter is absorbed. Next, whisk in eggs, then corn syrup and vanilla, until smooth.
Return bowl to saucepan and stir until mixture is shiny, hot to the touch, and registers 130 degrees. Off heat, stir in toasted chopped pecans.
Place nuts in an empty skillet and turn heat on to medium. Toast nuts, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2-5 minutes. Toast 1 cup at a time. Or toast both cups in a 350 degree oven on a cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let nuts cool before chopping.
As soon as the pie crust comes out of the oven, adjust rack to lower middle position and reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees. With pie still on cookie sheet, pour pecan mixture into warm crust.
Bake until filling looks set but yields like gelatin when gently pressed with back of spoon, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Rotate pie half way through baking.
Remove from oven and let pie cool completely on a cooling rack, for about 4 hours before serving.
Note that it is important to remove pie when it is just set (50 minutes to 1 hour) but soft in the middle. This prevents over baking and filling will continue to set while cooling.
Give these pie recipes a try – there deliciously yummy as well.
When using apples for cooking and baking does it matter the apples you choose to use? It does matter. As all apple varieties have their own flavor and texture.
All apples are made to eat fresh. But to use an apple to make apple pie, apple sauce and even apple juice, the apple you choose matters.
As noted, each variety of apple has its own flavor and texture. And each of those varieties react differently to heat.
In the United States alone, there are 2,500 different varieties of apples. And for that reason it can be challenging to know which apple to use for what kind of recipe.
What Apple To Use For Cooking & Baking
The following are some of the more popular apples available to buy at the market.
These apples have a sweet-tart flavor. The texture remains firm when it’s baked. Braeburn is an all-purpose apple, as if bakes well in pies and tarts where you don’t want the filling to be overly juicy.
This apple is a cross between McIntosh and the Red Delicious. It has a firm texture and a sweet-tart flavor. The Empire is a fine all-purpose apple good for juicing, making apple sauce, baking, salads, eating fresh, and drying.
The Fuji apple is firm, crisp, and juicy. It’s the most popular apple for eating fresh and for baking as they hold their shape when they cook.
The Gala is a mildly sweet apple. It’s among one of the best apples to use for making applesauce, juicing, adding to salads, and eating fresh
This apple is mildly sweet, and is a good all-around cooking apple that maintains its shape when baking.
The Granny Smith is a crisp sour or tart apple. It’s an all-purpose cooking apple, and the apples flavor is enhanced when paired with sweeter, spicier apples in pies and tarts.
Honeycrisp apples deliciously yummy eating apples. As the name would indicate, they are crisp and juicy, with a honey-sweet tart flavor. They are good for baking and making applesauce.
Ida Reds have a tinted rosy pink flesh that has a tangy flavor. These apples are good for making applesauce and they keep their shape during baking and are also excellent in salads and for freezing.
Jonathans are very tart, and they have a slightly spicy flavor. They hold their shape well when baked. They are also good in salads and for making applesauce.
These apples are crisp and juicy. They tend to break down when cooked so are great for making apple sauce. The are delicious eaten fresh and are best paired with Golden Delicious or other apples in pies and other baked goods.
Different kinds of apples are better suited for certain kinds of recipes than others, but you don’t have to limit yourself to using just one variety of apple when cooking or baking.
Many experienced cooks like to use a mixture of apples to get more complex flavors and textures.
Here are some deliciously yummy recipes using apples.
The pineapple upside-down cake is classic. But other juicy fruits like peaches, berries, bananas and even blood oranges are just waiting to take center stage.
The pineapple upside-down cake is a favorite American dessert since the roaring 1920’s.
It has been entrenched in our sweet pastry consciousness. So much so that an upside-down cake made with any other fruit seems like a mere afterthought.
An upside-down cake doesn’t require unblemished fruit that you’d want for a shortcake or tart.
No matter how wrinkled the fruit maybe or you may consider undesirable, once they’ve been caramelized and baked under batter, they’ll become syrupy and colorful, a glistening crown without further need of adornment.
An upside-down cake is easy to put together. The batter is whisked up in one bowl, the fruit is placed at the bottom of a baking dish and the batter is pour over it.
To bake one would be to follow in the footsteps of a long line of pastry chefs and cooks, who have inverted fruity desserts for thousands of years before rings of pineapple were stacked in cans.
One example is the French tradition of apple tartes renversées, created in the 19th century from apples caramelized in sugar, then baked beneath a pastry.
In the United States during the 18th and 19th century with limited access to an oven, cakes were cooked in skillets over hot coals.
A skillet of fruit would be simmered in a syrup or butter before adding the batter.
If the the cake was flipped for serving or offered directly from the skillet after being baked isn’t known, but the concept of caramelized fruit and cake was the same then as it is now.
One of the earliest upside-down cake recipes was published in 1923 in the Syracuse Herald (no longer in print).
Dole popularized pineapple as the go to fruit for a sponsored recipe contest in 1926. There were 60,000 entries of which 2,500 of them were for the pineapple upside-down cake.
The recipe for an upside-down cake is simple, there are some best practices for the most tender crumb and a fruit topping that’s sweet and deliciously yummy.
The first step is to caramelize the sugar before adding the fruit. Deeply caramelizing the sugar before adding the fruit tempers it, bringing out a mild bitterness and adding layers of nutty complexity, and it takes only a few minutes. No worries if the sugar clumps and seizes, it will melt again when the cake is being baked.
These type of cakes take longer to bake because of the moisture in the fruit, particularly stone fruit and berries, which have high water content that can make the cake soggy.
The cake surface should be well browned all over, with dark edges that yield a slight crunch. When a toothpick is inserted in the middle of the cake it should emerge without any unbaked batter.
Always let the cake cool for 10 to 15 minutes allowing the fruit and caramel to firm up a bit before inverting it onto a serving platter.
Warning though, do not let it go longer than that, or the caramel may cool and glue the fruit to the skillet or baking dish.
Just follow the recipes instructions and you will have a perfectly deliciously yummy upside-down cake to slice, serve and fall head over heals for.
Preheat oven to 350°F (325°F if using a glass pan) and adjust oven rack to center position. Lightly grease bottom, sides and corners of a 9×9 inch baking pan.
Peel bananas and place in medium bowl. Mash with a fork until they form a mostly smooth pulp. Next drizzle buttermilk directly on bananas and mix in until well combined. Set aside.
Add brown sugar and softened butter to a medium bowl. Use a handheld electric mixer on high speed to cream butter and sugar. Use rubber spatula to scrape sides of bowl a few times during this process.
Next add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, continue to beat for another minute or two, until everything is well combined. Set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
Next, mix buttermilk mixture with egg mixture until well combined. Add of the wet mixture with the dry mixture stirring with wooden spoon. Repeat with last half of wet mixture to dry mixture and mix, stirring from bottom of bowl after each addition, just enough to thoroughly blend without overmixing.
Transfer batter to prepared pan, taking care to scrape all of it in with rubber spatula. Use spatula to spread batter evenly.
Bake 50 to 70 minutes, or until sharp knife inserted all the way into center comes out clean. Allow bread to cool in pan for at least 15 minutes before removing it.
After you have removed bread from baking pan, to avoid crumbling when preparing to frost bread wait at least 20 minutes.
Banana Coconut Frosting
2 medium bananas, still yellow, no green or black in skin
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract.
Add flour mixture to egg mixture and combined together. Stir in bag of toffee bites until evenly distributed.
Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls or using a cookie scoop (.50 ounce) 2-inches apart onto cookie sheet. Repeat until all dough is used.
If your cookies don’t drop from the cookie scoop easily, the likely reason is because the butter was too soft. Cover your raw cookie dough with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour then try again.
As a Side Note: The Heath bar is an American candy bar made of English-style toffee covered with chocolate. It was marketed by L.S. Heath beginning in 1928, and since 1996 by Hershey.
Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool slightly, remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.
Assembling Ice Cream Sandwiches
For each ice cream sandwich, place 1 scoop of ice cream (about 1/3 cup) between 2 cookies. Gently press cookies together (ice cream should spread to edge of cookies).
Eat immediately, or wrap sandwiches individually in plastic wrap. Place in resealable freezer bag, and freeze until ready to eat.