Easy Apple Butter

Easy Apple Butter

It’s fall and since I love to go apple picking at our local orchard, I’m always looking for recipes that involve apples. My main issue with apple recipes – I don’t like cinnamon! With this simple apple butter recipe, one could use or leave out the cinnamon – brilliant!

This recipe yields about 4 8-ounce canning jars and they can be kept refrigerated for a month. They make great hostess gifts!!  

I replace regular butter with this fab concoction on my toasts in the morning – it’s incredible.

Ingredients:

  • 12 apples, peeled, cored and cut into bite-size chunks (I always use my old favs – McIntosh)
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon, optional
  • ½ cup softened butter

Directions:

  1. Add the apple chunks and the brown sugar to a heavy pan over medium heat. Cook for 15 minutes partially covered, stirring occasionally. If the apple mixture gets dry, add ¼ cup water. Some apples are juicier than others are. After the 15 minutes have elapsed, add the vanilla and the cinnamon (if using).
  2. Add the cooked apples to the bowl of an electric mixer and mix until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the butter and continue to mix until fully incorporated and creamy, another minute.
  3. Add the apple butter to 8-ounce canning jars and keep refrigerated up to a month.
Salmon with Maple Glaze

Salmon with Maple Glaze

I’m Canadian – you know I have to put maple syrup on things! This is a VERY simple and delicious recipe for salmon, which can be a boring fish. Serve this with green beans or asparagus and you’re in business on busy weeknights.

Don’t have a grill? Live in the frozen tundra and don’t want to go outside? Sear the salmon skin side down in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat then finish in the oven at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped ginger
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 salmon fillets, 6 ounces each

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the brown sugar, maple syrup and butter. Remove from the heat and whisk in the mustard, soy sauce, olive oil and ginger.  Let cool.
  2. Preheat grill to medium heat.  Brush salmon skin with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Place the salmon skin side down on the grill. Brush some of the glaze over the salmon fillets.  Grill for 10 to 12 minutes to medium doneness, with the lid of the grill closed.

Serves 2.

Easy Apple Crumble

Easy Apple Crumble

Last week, I visited family in Quebec where it’s apple season. While I love a crisp apple picked right off the tree in our orchard, I’m not typically a fan of apple desserts. It’s really not the apple part I don’t like in those desserts, it’s the cinnamon that seems to always be prominent. I do NOT like cinnamon! I know, I’m weird. Come to find out my sister is also weird and doesn’t like cinnamon either, so when she made an apple crumble for dessert one night, she just left out the cinnamon – delish dessert!!

This easy dessert is best served with vanilla ice cream and warm.

Ingredients:

  • 8 medium apples, peeled and thinly-sliced (used Cortlands)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup quick cooking oats

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter (or coat with cooking spray) a 3-cup baking dish or an 8” pie plate.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the apples, sugar, lemon juice and the water. Place in the baking dish.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter for a minute. Add the brown sugar and beat for another minute. Add the flour and oats and beat until just combined. Cover the apples with the flour/oats mixture. Bake for 45 minutes, until top of the crumble is browned and slightly caramelized around the edge.

Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Yields 6 servings.

Maple Syrup Spread

Maple Syrup Spread

It’s that time of year when I get homesick for Quebec and my family….and, going to the maple sugar shack. I grew up going to the sugar shack at our ranch and get a serious case of the blues when I can’t make it up to Quebec for this sweetest season. When that happens, as is the case this year, I’m sure to come up with a few maple-centric recipes to satisfy my sweet tooth.

This easy maple spread is perfect on toast, waffles, crepes/pancakes or as a topping for ice cream. It will keep sealed in the fridge for a week.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup

Directions:

  1. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream and syrup to a simmer. Cook until a candy thermometer reads 105 degrees, whisking frequently.
  2. Pour the hot liquid in a canning jar that’s been sterilized (pour boiling water in the jar then whip dry with a clean cloth). Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the spread and allow to cool completely. Seal with a lid a chill in the fridge for a couple hours before using.

Makes about 1¾ cups spread.

Cheers,

Veronique

Dried Cherry Divinity

Dried Cherry Divinity

divinityDay 9 of my 12 Days of Christmas Baking compilation.

My mom and I were just reminiscing about Christmas earlier this week and about how her mom was such an amazing, avid baker. She loved Christmas and hosting family dinners and around Christmas, her house was filled with holiday treats. She always had her go-to recipes: fudge, peanut butter and chocolate treats, sugar pie and her famous divinity with dried cherries.

The divinity treats were my mom’s favorite and they’ve never been made since then – pure white, crisp meringues gilded with specks of red dried cherries – very festive! This year, I’m resurrecting these traditional treats with Grandma on my mind. Noe that I‘m not a fan of cherries, so mine are made using chopped pistachios.  

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • ½ cup diced candied cherries

Directions:

  1. In a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, water and corn syrup and cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil, about 3 minutes. After the mixture starts boiling, cook over medium heat, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 250 F (hard-ball stage). Remove the hot syrup from the heat, set aside.
  2. Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until stiff peaks form, 3-4 minutes. With mixer running on high speed, carefully pour hot syrup in a slow, steady stream into the beaten egg whites. Add vanilla and salt. Beat on high speed just until candy loses its gloss and holds its shape, about 10 minutes. Stir in the dried cherries.
  3. Drop the meringue by the teaspoonful onto waxed paper. Store in airtight containers.

Makes about 3 dozen treats.

Recipe by Taste of Home.

Pouding Chomeur in a Mug

Pouding Chomeur in a Mug

in-the-mugFor those of you not familiar with pouding chomeur (unemployed man’s pudding in French), it’s a majorly sweet, decadent, comforting and easy-to-make dessert that originated from Quebec.

Pouding chomeur is cakey on the surface and gooey, carameley on the bottom. It became popular in Quebec during the Great Depression and was typically made in a large baking dish to feed a ton of people using stale bread.

I was craving this delish dessert last night but didn’t want to make my usual large-format recipe, so I searched for a single-serve recipe and found one for a version made in a mug (what’s not to love about that). It came out perfect! I need to reiterate that it’s beyond sweet and really should be served with vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 2 Tbsp. whole milk
  • 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. water
Flour & Butter

Flour & Butter

Directions:

  1. In a 1 ½ cup mug, add the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine with a fork. Add the butter and stir until the batter is crumbly. Add the milk and stir until mostly smooth.
  2. In a separate small bowl, combine the syrup and water. Pour over the batter in the mug.
  3. Place the mug on a plate, in case of spills, and microwave for 1 ½ minutes. Allow to cool 5 minutes before topping with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and eating.

Makes 1 servings.

Cheers,

Veronique

Adapted from this recipe.

Chocolate, Peanut and Marshmallow Squares

Chocolate, Peanut and Marshmallow Squares

Marshmallow Treats

Day 5 of my “12 Days of Baked Goods” series!

My sister is a great cook and baker. She takes after a long line of good bakers in our family, yet, she doesn’t bake often.

One of the treats she enjoys making for her family is this simple-yet-yummy recipe for squares packed with mini marshmallows and peanuts.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 14-ounce can condensed milk
  • 2 ½ cups roasted peanuts (not salted)
  • 3 ¾ cups mini marshmallows

Directions:

  1. Line a 13×9 pan with wax paper.
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate with the butter, stirring every 30 seconds to be sure the chocolate just melts and doesn’t overheat. Remove the bowl from the microwave and add the condensed milk, combine well.
  3. Add the peanuts and marshmallows to the chocolate mixture, stir well to fully coat in chocolate.
  4. Add the mixture to the prepared baking pan. Allow to cool completely.
  5. Cover the pan with foil and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours. Cut into 24 squares.

Yields 24 squares.

Carrés aux Dattes – Date and Oatmeal Squares

Carrés aux Dattes – Date and Oatmeal Squares

Day 4 of my “12 Days of Baked Goods” series!

Carres Aux DattesWhen I was growing up in Quebec, my Grandma made these scrumptious date treats for us. They were my favorite and after a while, I think she was basically making them just for me.

The oatmeal topping recipe can be doubled if you like a thicker layer of the yummy brown sugar/oatmeal/butter toping – I sure do!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ cups old-fashion oatmeal
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 500 gram package of dates
  • 1 cup water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Butter, or coat in cooking spray, an 8×8 baking pan.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, oatmeal, brown sugar and butter until the mixture is coated in butter. Add half the mixture to the buttered pan, press lightly and set aside.
  4. In a small saucepan, cook the dates in the water over medium heat until the mixture is smooth, about 8 minutes. Add the date mixture over the crust in the baking pan.
  5. Add the rest of the oatmeal mixture over the dates, pressing lightly but not packing the topping.
  6. Cook the squares for 25 minutes.
  7. After the squares have cooled, cut into 9 or 12 pieces.

Cheers,

Veronique

Basic Crepe Batter Recipe

Basic Crepe Batter Recipe

Crepe with Maple Syrup and Brown Sugar

Crepe with Maple Syrup and Brown Sugar

This simple batter is best made the day before and refrigerated.  Great stuffed with hazelnut spread and raspberries.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Directions:

  1. Stir together flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Add milk, oil and eggs.  Mix well until the batter is smooth.  Let rest in refrigerator for at least an hour or ideally overnight.
  3. Heat large frying pan on medium-high heat.  Add 1 tsp vegetable oil.  Add ¼ of the crepe batter and swirl plan to create a thin crepe. Cook 1 minute on each side and serve with favorite topping.

Makes 4 crepes.

5 Must Try Delectable Holiday Treats

Divine Squares

Divine Squares

Homemade treats are always well-received by guests at holiday parties. Even the strictest dieters indulge during the holidays and below are top treats sure to please holiday revelers.

Please share images and comments about these holiday treats if you make them!

Cheers,

Veronique