We had a 3 pound piece of belly leftover from the pork belly with mustard greens we did the other day in the pressure cooker. I’ve done homemade bacon before but this time I wanted to try it with the pink salt cure. This one sat in the fridge with a cure of brown sugar, kosher salt, and a little pink salt. We applied the cure as a dry rub, bagged it it plastic and let it go for a week, turned over daily. Here it is after the week was up, rinsed and air drying. Overnight drying is best but 4 hours will do.After the slab dried it was rubbed with maple sugar and coarse black pepper and placed into the smoker at 175 degrees for a few hours. It still hadn’t reached an internal temp of 150 but I didn’t want it too smoky so it was finished in the oven indoors. It was cooled to room temp, bagged in plastic, and put back into the fridge for another overnighter.It wants to be chilled for easier slicing. One of the benefits of home curing is that you can slice it as thick as you want it. I’m a little disappointed in what Kroger sells as “thick sliced”.The maple sugar in the finish turns a nice crusty caramel color when frying. I have one more half slab of pork belly in the freezer, I’m tempted to pull it and start more bacon.
- 3 Granny Smith apples, cored & sliced (peeling opt)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
- 1 cup flour
8×8 glass baking dish, lightly greased, small mixing bowl
Place apples, cinnamon, raisins, nuts and ¼ cup sugar in baking dish, mix well.
In mixing bowl, cream butter and remaining sugar, add flour and oats, mix until crumbly. Crumble over the apple mixture.
Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes until top is golden brown. Let cool.
Alternately you can use this cast iron skillet method for making the crisp.
Josie, a commenter at Balloon Juice, put this recipe up in an open thread:
Graham Cracker Toffee
16 graham cracker sheets
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup chopped pecans
6 oz. milk or semi sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
Cover prepared cookie sheet with whole graham cracker sheets.
In saucepan, bring brown sugar and butter to a boil over medium heat. Boil for four minutes stirring constantly. Pour over graham crackers and bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees F.
After baking, Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over the top of graham cracker and let sit for about two minutes. Spread melted chocolate with a knife. Sprinkle nuts over the top.
I made the recipe in 2 quarter size sheet pans because they were new and I really wanted to use them for something, anything!We used Kroger’s house brand crackers and I’m thinking they were sized differently than the ones Josie wrote the recipe for, but cover the bottom with crackers and you’ll be on the right track. I used way more chocolate chips than the recipe called for, at least twice as many or more, and I’m thinking that it would be better to melt the chocolate separately and then pour it over the toffee after it comes out of the oven, but these came out OK. I did put the trays with the chips back into the hot oven to help the melting.
I’m busy baking for my annual gift boxes. These won’t be in them, because I”m working on two new cookie recipes I’ve never tried my hand at before. More on that later…
These are pretty and very tasty. They’re easy and just a touch above regular chocolate chip cookies.
Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp butter
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- dash of salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups flour
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds or peanuts), chopped
mixing bowl and cookie sheet
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla, mixing well. Sift together salt, soda, flour and cocoa, then add to butter mixture, blending well. Add nuts and chocolate chips. Spoon onto cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cool on cooling rack.
Originally posted Nov 2011
We have a city apple orchard. I’ve cycled by it for years, didn’t give it much thought except to wonder what the city did with them every year. This year I found out. Seems the weather has created a bumper crop so the city put out a reminder that these apples were there for everyone, they were pesticide free and please, please, please come pick some because there were so many they were breaking branches.
We headed over and picked a few last weekend and I decided that apples would make the perfect topic for tonight’s recipe exchange. I’ve got some old favorites and some old favorites with a new twist, including tonight’s featured recipe, Caramel Apple Crisp, pictured at top.
Let’s start with one that is perfect around this time of year when mini chocolates abound, Baked Snicker Apples, recipe here.
mouth-watering is the only way to describe, Mrs. J’s Famous Apple Pie, click here.
I have bourbon, I have apples, seems I need to make some Bourbon Baked Apples, recipe here.
Totally not apple related, the weekly menu this week was Spaghetti and Meat Sauce, recipes and shopping list here.
What’s on your menu? Now that the weekend means autumn is official, what are some of your favorite fall recipes?
For tonight’s featured recipe, I wondered what would happen if I added caramels to my favorite apple crisp. It was amazing. Great flavor without being too sweet. I reduced the sugars to adjust for the caramels. I’ll do this one again:
Cast Iron Caramel Apple Crisp
- 2 lbs apples – mix of sweet and tart (about 3 apples)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- dash of salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger to taste
- 10 caramels, unwrapped
- 2 tbsps of cream
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
- 1 cup flour
10 inch cast iron skillet and small mixing bowl
Core and cut apples into small pieces (about 1/2 inch). Peeling is optional, but with this method the peels cook nice and soft, so it isn’t necessary.
Melt butter in skillet, add apples and sugar, stir until apples are well coated. Cover and cook on medium heat until apple mixture is soft and caramelized, stirring occasionally. About 20-30 minutes.
While the apples are cooking, melt the caramels and cream over medium heat, stirring until smooth. If you spray the pan with cooking oil before melting caramels, cleanup is easier. Pour over apples just before adding crumble mixture.
In mixing bowl, stir together butter, sugar, flour and oats, mix until crumbly. Crumble over the apple mixture. Bake for 10-15 minutes in a 400 degree oven, just until top is crispy golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes and serve warm.
What makes this so good is that because the apples are cooked on the stovetop, you can use a much higher heat in the oven and get a good, crisp top without drying the whole mixture out or under cooking the apples. Really, this is one of the best apple crisps I’ve made.
Alternately, if you don’t have an oven-proof skillet, you can transfer the cooked apple mixture to a glass baking dish, add topping and bake that way.
No Bixby Diary this week, I’ll make up for it next week. Until then….TaMara
Wandering around the web today, someone posted a recipe for Bourbon Baked Apples. Hmmm, I have bourbon. I have apples. Guess I need to bake some Bourbon Apples, stuffed with oatmeal crumble.
Bourbon Baked Apple Crisp
- 4 large favorite apple
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- dash of salt
- 1/4 cup softened butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup bourbon (depending on taste – you can substitute more cider if you prefer)
- vanilla ice cream
In a bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon. Add softened butter and vanilla, and mix thoroughly. You want it to be crumbly.
Cut the top off the apple, enough to use as a lid. Scoop out core and seeds, being careful not to pierce the bottom of the apple. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon if desired and then stuff with the oats mixture, packing it in and covering out to the edges of the apple. Place the top of the apple back on and press down.
Place apples in a large baking dish. Pour apple cider and bourbon in the bottom of the pan. Place in a 400 degree oven and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until skin is soft and wrinkled and flesh is soft. During the baking period, baste every 10 minutes with the cider/bourbon mix.
Serve immediately with ice cream.