Caramel Apple Pie

20160730_131312Caramel apples are one of my favorite desserts that signify the beginning of fall. Being that we are still in the heat of summer, fall remains a long ways off (especially for Floridians). This may leave you wondering then why I’m bringing up fall already. To be quite honest, I’m secretly longing for much cooler temperatures because I’m 8 months pregnant and only a few weeks from my scheduled delivery. The heat has really gotten to me and has pretty much kept me indoors the majority of the past few months. If the weather turns cooler I’m allowed to be outside more and I’ve been going crazy being cooped up in the house on modified bed rest. A few days ago I began thinking of fall and how much fun it will be with a new little one. It was all downhill from there and I practically doomed myself into having a craving for a caramel apple.

20160730_131037Since caramel apples are scarce to find this time of year I decided to dress up an old-fashioned apple pie with the flavors of a caramel apple in order to quench my hormone induced craving (or at least that is what I like to blame it on). In a traditional apple pie, I like to add the warm spices typically associated with fall, like cinnamon and nutmeg. However, in this pie the traditional spices have been left out and I assure you with good reason. Simply put, caramel apples are not spiced with cinnamon or nutmeg and this pie is meant to be an equivalent to the sticky treat not an old-fashioned apple pie topped with a bit of caramel. If that is what you are expecting from this recipe then unfortunately this pie won’t be for you.

20160730_131602For those still willing to give it a try, I can practically guarantee this pie will disappear far too quickly. Who can really resist the perfect blend of sweet and tart apple filling drizzled with caramel and blanketed with a crunchy streusel topping? I can’t think of anyone either!

Note:

  • This recipe will yield 2 (9 inch) pies with 12 servings per pie (24 servings total).
  • If not serving immediately, do not cover pies until completely cool, otherwise streusel topping will become soggy.

20160730_131712

Caramel Apple Pie

Topping Ingredients:

  • 4.4 ounces Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
  • 8 tbsp. (1 stick) Unsalted Butter; chilled & cut into small pieces

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 (2 pk.) Frozen Traditional Pie Crusts
  • ¼ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 1 ¼ pounds Granny Smith Apples; peeled & thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 1 pound Fuji Apples; peeled & thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
  • Caramel Sundae Syrup

Preparation:

  1. To prepare the streusel topping: Combine flour, brown sugar, and butter in a food processor. Pulse the mixture until crumbly, approximately 10 to 15 pulses. Transfer topping mixture to a bowl, cover, and chill.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°. Remove frozen pie crusts from freezer and allow to thaw while preparing the filling.
  3. To prepare the filling: Place granulated sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk until combined. Add apples to bowl and toss to evenly distribute sugar mixture. Distribute and arrange apple mixture evenly among the two pie crusts, mounding apples slightly higher in the center. Drizzle caramel syrup evenly over apple mixture, using as much or as little as desired. Bake pies for 25 minutes.
  4. Remove pies from oven and sprinkle both evenly with chilled streusel topping. Bake an additional 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve with additional caramel if desired.

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: BILL JAMISON & CHERYL JAMISON
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2016

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Skinny Almond Apple Streusel Muffins

4If you were to poll a large group of people as to what their favorite fall flavor is you would likely receive one of two answers…pumpkin or apple. Apples not only have a sense of warmth and comfort that equates to fall but they are also in abundance this time of year. Personally, I love both flavors and if polled I would not be able to choose a favorite. Although I could never choose one over the other I will admit that I have been indulging my love of pumpkin more as of late. Almost every day I have been enjoying a pumpkin spice latte with breakfast so when I saw apples on sale at the market it was time to take a pumpkin break. Typically when I think of apples I lean towards my go-to pie and cobbler recipes but this time I sought something different. Being as busy as I am, muffins are a quick and simple way to snack on the go. Keeping that in mind I decided to develop a skinnier version of a typical apple muffin.

1Just as I had imagined, these muffins are to die for. Biting into one is like eating a coffee cake hinted with nutty almond and laced with surprise chunks of sweet apple. Although I have named these muffins they are technically cupcakes. The process in which the batter is prepared is the creaming method used for cakes (butter/sugar creamed, eggs/extracts added, followed by the dry and wet ingredients being added alternately, beginning and finishing with the dry ingredients) versus the traditional muffin method. Even though by definition these are cupcakes, the texture is somewhere between a cake and a muffin. They are not quite as light and airy as a cake but they are certainly no where near as dense as a muffin. Outside of texture they assimilate more with muffins than cupcakes. I ultimately deemed them muffins because they are riddled with fruit, have a streusel topping, and lack a thick coating of sweet frosting (outside of the thin drizzle of glaze) like that of muffins.

2After preparing these muffins I think the only thing I would change about them is the yield size. I would certainly double the recipe next time so that I have 24 instead of only 12 because they disappeared way to fast for all the labor involved. The actual preparation of the batter, streusel, and glaze is not all that laborious but the tall stack of dirty bowls and utensils the recipe leaves behind sure is. Despite the fact that these muffins are designed to be a skinnier option compared to other muffin recipes, you will likely be tempted to eat more than one, which kind of defeats the purpose. If you want to shave a few more calories you could certainly leave off the glaze and the muffins would still taste fine. I don’t recommend it since there is very little glaze that is actually drizzled on each muffin serving to make that much of a reduction but the difference in taste is noticeable. Just a tiny bit of glaze manages to round out all the flavors perfectly.

3Like many of my recent posts, these muffins can be enjoyed as a dessert or at breakfast with coffee or tea. This recipe will produce 12 servings with one muffin being equal to one serving. If you are following Weight Watchers, one muffin is 6 Points or 7 Points Plus.

Skinny Almond Apple Streusel Muffins

Batter Ingredients:

  • 6.75 oz. All-Purpose Flour; unbleached (about 1 ½ cups)
  • ½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ¾ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 oz. Neufchatel Cheese (1/3-less-fat cream cheese); softened
  • ¼ cup Unsalted Butter; softened
  • ½ tsp. Almond Extract
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Egg
  • ½ cup Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • ¼ cup 2% Reduced-fat Milk
  • 1 Large Gala Apple; finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour; unbleached
  • Cooking Spray

Streusel Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour; unbleached
  • 2 tbsp. Light Brown Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; chilled
  • 2 tbsp. Sliced Almonds

Glaze Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Confectioners’ Sugar (Powdered Sugar)
  • 2 tsp. 2% Reduced-Fat Milk
  • ¼ tsp. Almond Extract

Formula:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium size bowl combine 6.75 ounces flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Stir with a whisk until just incorporated. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl) combine the granulated sugar, cream cheese, and ¼ cup butter. Beat the mixture on high-speed until well blended. Add the almond extract, vanilla, and egg and beat with the mixer on medium speed until just combined.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt and ¼ cup milk together until incorporated. In another small bowl, toss the apple with 1 tbsp. flour until apple pieces are evenly covered. With the mixer on low-speed, add the flour mixture and yogurt mixture by alternating until combined. Begin by adding 1/3 of the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and beat until just combined. Add half of the yogurt mixture and beat until just combined. Repeat the process of adding the flour mixture and then the remaining yogurt mixture, being sure to end with the last 1/3 of the flour mixture. Gently fold the apples into the batter. Evenly divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups.
  4. In a small bowl, combine 2 tbsp. flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender (or fork or 2 knives), cut in the 2 tbsp. of chilled butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the almonds. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the batter in the muffin tin. Bake the muffins for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the tallest muffin comes out almost clean. Cool the muffins in the pan for 15 minutes on a wire cooling rack. After 15 minutes remove the muffins from the tin to cool completely.
  5. While the muffins are cooling prepare the glaze. In a small bowl combine the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and almond extract. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over each cooled muffin and serve.

Nutritional Information

(1 Muffin)

AlmondAppleMuffinsNutritionLabel

Weight Watchers: 6 Points or 7 Points Plus

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: LORRAINE STEVENSKI
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2015

Skinny Cherry-Walnut Streusel Cake

1Clean eating has been a strict motto of mine over the past year. It was a harsh transition at first but extremely satisfying when you can know exactly what is in your food. I have switched to buying all organic and extremely limiting my processed food intake. This lifestyle change has not only made me feel better about myself but has also made me feel like I am doing the best I can to keep my family healthy. With the many changes I have undertaken over the past year, perhaps the most daunting was becoming an independent Beachbody coach. At first I signed on only to get a discount on my monthly Shakeology, but I have recently really enjoyed helping others learn how to lead a healthier lifestyle. After speaking with several individuals who asked me about my recent successes, the one area they have difficulty with is giving up their dessert. These individuals want to lead a healthier lifestyle but they also want a treat now and then, especially for their children. They asked me for advice on healthier alternatives to popular box mixes or supermarket sweets. At first I did not have an answer for them. I have been a pastry chef for the website Honeybees Patisserie for over five years, however the job description never required me to acknowledge the healthiness of the products.

With little knowledge of healthier desserts, I elected to do heavy research and today I present you with a skinnier cake option. I use the term “skinny” because it is certainly not healthy to eat this product all of the time as you would a healthy meal. A skinny dessert is simply a healthier indulgence and should be strictly an occasional indulgence. This cherry-walnut streusel cake is designed to include healthier, organic ingredients and to keep you satisfied longer. I originally made this recipe after purchasing a fresh bunch of sweet Bing cherries from my local farmer’s market. It is best to make this cake when cherries are in season between May and July but if you want to prepare it outside of the cherry season you may use frozen cherries instead of fresh. If you do elect to use frozen cherries, be sure that you thaw them and drain any juice before measuring. I recommend selecting Bing or Rainier cherries as their flavor will concentrate while baking and help keep this hearty, coffee style cake moist.

2By now you are probably wondering how this cake is lighter than any other recipe out there. Two elements of this streusel cake differ greatly from its traditional counterpart….the lack of butter and the blend of flours. Streusels are traditionally made with a good amount of butter. The missing butter in the streusel is replaced with olive oil and a small amount of reduced-fat buttermilk, allowing more butter to remain in the cake without significantly adding calories or fat. Aside from the reduced amount of butter, half of the traditional all-purpose flour is replaced with whole-wheat pastry flour. Whole-wheat pastry flour is more nutrient dense than all-purpose flour and specifically contains more protein than cake flour. By replacing half of the all-purpose flour with whole-wheat pastry flour, the cake has added nutrients to keep you fuller longer (preventing the risk of overindulging) without becoming too dense as would be the case if you used only whole-wheat flour.

3This cake is a great option for treating you and your family to dessert without completely abandoning a healthy lifestyle. It can also be a great addition at breakfast when served with coffee or tea. One cake will yield 10 servings. Each serving should be cut into a small wedge. Total preparation time for this cake is approximately 1 ½ hours. If you are following Weight Watchers, one wedge is 5 points or 7 Points Plus.

Skinny Cherry-Walnut Streusel Cake

Streusel Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 6 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 tbsp. Old-Fashioned Oats
  • 3 tbsp. Walnuts; chopped
  • ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp. Reduced-Fat Buttermilk

Cake Ingredients:

  • 4.5 ounces All-Purpose Flour (approximately 1 cup)
  • 4.5 ounces Whole-Wheat Pastry Flour (approximately 1 cup)
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • ¾ cup Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ Unsalted Butter; softened
  • 1 Egg
  • ¼ tsp. Almond Extract
  • ½ cup Reduced-Fat Buttermilk
  • 10 oz. Fresh Sweet Cherries; pitted & chopped (approximately 2 cups)

Formula:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare streusel by combining sugar, flour, oats, walnuts, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a small bowl. Add the oil and buttermilk and stir to combine. Set the streusel aside.
  2. Prepare the cake by whisking both flours, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the sugar and butter together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat again until combined. Mix in the almond extract until just combined. Add a portion of the flour mixture and beat until combined. Add half of the buttermilk and mix again. Add another portion of the flour mixture beating until combined followed by the rest of the buttermilk. Add the remaining portion of the flour and beat until well combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently stir in the cherries by hand.
  3. Spoon the batter evenly into a 9 inch springform pan coated with nonstick baking spray. Sprinkle batter evenly with the streusel. Bake the cake for 40 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Cool cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove cake from the pan and continue to cool on the wire rack or serve warm.

Nutritional Information

(One wedge)

cherrystreuselcake

Weight Watchers: 5 Points or 7 Points Plus

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: IVY MANNING
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2015

Very Blueberry Streusel Muffins

dsc_0253For the past few days I have been plagued with the worst cold known to man. Okay maybe it isn’t that bad but it really is the first time I have been sick since having my first child and trying to balance it all has been a bit overwhelming. My first clue that I was coming down with something was when I went to drink one of my favorite beverages and it didn’t taste right. Of course if the taste buds are going then it’s a dead giveaway that a severe cold is on the horizon. What is also a dead giveaway of a poor blueberry muffin is a lackluster, watery tasting blueberry.

dsc_0245Sadly, the most readily available blueberries provided in markets across the country are very bland in flavor. If you use these in even the best muffin formula, you will be extremely disappointed. The key to the greatest blueberry muffin is starting with a great blueberry. But what is one to do if you do not have fresh, wild blueberries to pick. Most formulas will just add more blueberries. A lot of times more equates to better but in a muffin formula like this it is quite the opposite.

dsc_0265-1If you choose to add too many blueberries to the muffin batter they will simply sink to the bottom of the pan, weighing down the muffin and not evenly distributing blueberry flavor throughout. In order to properly intensify the blueberry flavor of the muffins, a mixture of fresh blueberries and blueberries cooked down to a jam consistency and mixed into the batter just before baking. By cooking down the blueberries with a bit of sugar, the watery blueberries become flavorful and able to boost the muffins much like a wild berry does.

dsc_0248I truly enjoyed these muffins. They were delicious and even with my taste buds not at their prime I was able to taste the blueberry flavor shining through. My boyfriend exclaimed they taste just as good as they look and coming from a person who is not the biggest fan of sweets that means a lot to me. This formula makes 12 large muffins so you may want to make a double batch 🙂

dsc_0242Note: If you don’t want to top the muffins with streusel you may make a Lemon-Sugar topping by mixing 1/3 cup sugar with 1 ½ tsp. finely grated lemon zest.

Very Blueberry Streusel Muffins

Streusel Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. Granulated Sugar
  • 3 tbsp. Dark Brown Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 3 ½ oz. (½ cup plus 3 tbsp.) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 5 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, melted

Muffin Ingredients:

  • 10 oz. (2 cups) Fresh Blueberries, washed & picked over
  • 8 oz. (1 1/8 cups) plus 1 tsp. Sugar
  • 12 ½ oz. (2 ½ cups) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 ½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 4 tbsp. (½ stick) Unsalted Butter, melted & cooled slightly
  • ¼ cup Vegetable Oil
  • ¾ cup Milk
  • 1 ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract

Streusel Formula:

  1. Combine sugars, salt and flour in a small bowl. Drizzle the melted butter over the mixture and toss with a fork until until evenly moistened and mixture has pea-size pieces throughout. Set aside.

Muffin Formula:

  1. Adjust oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat oven to 425°. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Bring 1 cup of blueberries and 1 tsp. sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing the blueberries and stirring them frequently, until they have broken down and mixture has thickened into a jam and reduced to about ¼ cup, approximately 6 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk the remaining 8 oz. of sugar and eggs together in a medium bowl until thick and thoroughly mixed. Slowly whisk in the butter and oil until combined. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg mixture and remaining cup of blueberries into the flour mixture until just moistened. Be sure not to overmix. The batter will appear lumpy and have a few areas of dry flour. Do not try to mix them in or the muffins will become tough.
  3. Use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to properly divide batter into the muffin tin. Batter will completely fill the muffin cups and may mound slightly. Spoon 1 tsp. of cooked blueberry jam into center of each mound of batter. Using a chopstick or skewer, gently swirl the berry filling into the batter using a figure eight motion. Sprinkle the muffins evenly with the prepared streusel topping.
  4. Bake muffins until the tops are golden and just firm, approximately 17 to 19 minutes. Be sure to rotate the muffin tin halfway through baking. Cool muffins in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool for another 5 minutes. Serve warm or store in an airtight container for 3 days.

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM YVONNE RUPERTI

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013

Sock-It-To-Me Cake

dsc_0366Sock-It-To-Me!!! If you are anything like me, the phrase jogs a need to belt out a specific tune by Ms. Aretha Franklin. In fact it was her 1967 hit “Respect” which introduced the phrase to most Americans and made it popular. Following the songs popularity, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In added a comedy skit with the same title in which an actress typically ended up being doused with water. Even Richard Nixon once used the phrase while campaigning to be president. It was that much a part of American culture. So it comes as no surprise that in the 1970’s, Duncan Hines would create a cake with the same name and place the recipe on their famous back of the box collection used to market specific cake mixes.

dsc_0351The original Sock-It-To-Me cake from the back of the box recipe is legendary and continues to be made to this day. It uses an easy dump and stir method that incorporates a few extra ingredients added to the back of the box requirements which are meant to transform the typical yellow cake mix into a moist and velvety coffee cake. Too bad the extra ingredients can’t mask the artificial flavor the store-bought mix lends.

To overcome this, a little extra work is necessary but is still simple enough to serve quick and easily at any of your March events. I personally recommend serving this for any March Madness watch parties you may host. It is simple and satisfying to even the pickiest of sweet tooths. Also what better way to root for your favorite team then to have your cake, eat it, and chant for them to sock it to the other team.

dsc_0371The easiest way to prepare this cake is using a food processor, however you can prepare it by hand if you don’t have a food processor. You will lack the finer crumb the food processor gives the cake but it will still taste delicious guaranteed. For the streusel, you will have to chop the pecans finely then mix the rest by hand in a small bowl. For mixing the cake, use a whisk by hand or the paddle attachment on a stand mixer.

This cake serves 12 and looks best prepared in a 12-cup non-stick Bundt pan, but you can also prepare it in a 12-cup non-stick tube pan like I have. No matter which pan you choose to use be sure to grease it with a baking spray made up of a combination of vegetable oil and flour. Doing so ensures a perfectly clean release from the pan. Never trust the deceiving non-stick sales punch lines on your pan products. I have had enough stuck and ruined baked goods in my day to know they are lies 😛

Sock-It-To-Me Cake

Streusel Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. Flour
  • 2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, melted & cooled slightly
  • ¼ cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ¾ cup Pecans, toasted

Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 4 Eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup Sour Cream, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 16 tbsp. (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, melted & cooled

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Milk
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Formula:

  1. For the streusel: Process flour, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer the streusel to a bowl and set aside. Wipe out food processor.
  2. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat to 325°. Grease and flour a 12-cup non-stick Bundt or tube pan. For the cake: Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In the food processor, blend sugar, eggs, sour cream, and vanilla until smooth, about 1 minute. With machine running, slowly pour in butter until incorporated, then add flour mixture and pulse until just combined.
  3. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan and top with the streusel mixture. Cover the streusel with the remaining batter and use a rubber spatula to smooth out the surface. Tap the cake a few times on the counter to remove any air pockets. Place on a sheet pan and bake until the cake is golden brown, about 50 to 60 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 20 minutes.
  4. As the cake cools prepare the glaze. Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth. Turn out the cake onto a cooling rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the glaze over the warm cake. Cool completely, at least 2 hours. Serve. (Cake can be stored at room temperature, covered, for 2 days.)

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM CALI RICH

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013