Alton Brown's Pumpkin Pie

In order to develop a successful blog, you need to know what is bringing your readers to your site to begin with. Once a month I like to see what has been bringing people in. I do this using Google Analytics – one of the best tools available for anyone that runs a website. I was researching what key words or phrases brought readers to the site around Thanksgiving. One of the things someone typed into a search engine last season was the question “Should Pumpkin Pie Be Jiggly”. I thought that would be a great question to fully address this year.

Should Pumpkin Pie Be Jiggly?
So you pull your pie out of the oven, because you think it’s done. Your heart is then struck with terror, the center is still somewhat jiggly. Your fear over serving a raw pie to your guests, start to overcome you. You reach to put that pie back into the oven. Then hopefully after reading this post you hear my voice inside your head telling you to stop! Instead of being fearful you should be rejoicing. If your pumpkin pie is set on the edge, yet the center is still just a bit jiggly, then you have cooked your pie to perfection. If there is a best pumpkin pie contest you can enter into, you might want to start clearing off your trophy case.

As your pie cools, the center will firm up. You will avoid a dry overcooked filling that may crack on you – nobody wants to bring a cracked pie to Thanksgiving dinner. You have to treat your pie like you would if you were baking cookies. If a cookie looks completely done in the oven, it will be burnt when it’s cool enough to eat. This is because things don’t immediately stop cooking when you remove them from an oven. There is carry over heat. This is especially true with large chunks of meat (prime rib, turkey, etc). Smaller things still do have a carry over effect, just for a short period, enough to burn cookies or overcook a pie.

My Favorite Pumpkin Pie
As a little added bonus I will share with you my favorite pumpkin pie recipe. It has got to be Alton Brown’s Pumpkin Pie. I love it with it’s ginger snap crust. The texture is spot on and with a little additional spice (cinnamon and clove), the flavor is exactly what I want.

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Mulling Spiced Cranberry Sauce

One of my favorite parts of the Thanksgiving meal has always been the cranberry sauce. I spend years eating that stuff, straight from the can. As I grew older I learned how to make it myself. It’s so incredibly easy. Once I mastered the basic sauce, I have had a chance to play around with it. First I replaced making it with water, because let’s face water brings no additional flavor to the party. A nice strong ginger ale does. The ginger ale gave it a mild kick of ginger as well as the carbonation seem to improve the texture. I have also used orange juice which is a classic combination. I wasn’t ready to leave well alone. Last year I experimented with using mulling spices to make my cranberry sauce. I was inspired by a post shared by Frieda’s Specialty Produce on their facebook page. I was amazed at how that turned out. The spices add a wonderful dimension of flavor that elevates the sauce from ordinary to extraordinary. I just had to do it for the blog this year.

What are in Mulling Spices
While mulling spice blends can vary they normally include cloves, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, or orange peel. Star anise pods are sometimes included, even fenugreek. They are a combination of spices that really bring me into these cooler days, particulary since the weather here in Michigan decided to jump ahead about 8 weeks! Most often they are found in hot cider, a good choice. Going outside the boxes, I decided to brew some in some water, extract those flavor, and add it to my cranberry sauce. You can buy mulling spices at any grocery store. I recommend Frieda’s blend if you can find it.

The best thing about this sauce is that you can surprise your guests on Thanksgiving. The sauce doesn’t appear to be anything different by just looking at it. Once that get that first taste they will know you have done something, I almost guarantee it will be something that they will love.

If you need to make a double batch, just make sure to double everything. For best consistency the water and sugar need to be in a 1:1 ratio. If somehow you have leftovers (which I highly doubt) you can try make Cranberry BBQ Turkey Sliders the next day. It’s a Giada recipe and one of her best in my opinion.

Mulling Spices Cranberry Sauce
 
Ingredients
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 heaping tablespoon mulling spices
Instructions
  1. Bring the water and mulling spices to a boil in a large pan. Once you reach a boil, remove from the heat. Allow the spices to seep for 30 minutes. Strain out the spices.
  2. Add the sugar and bring back to a boil. Add the cranberries.
  3. Turn the heat down until the mixture is boiling gently. If you let the mixture boil too hard you may get burned.
  4. Let it boil for 10 minutes. You can check if the sauce is done by putting a little dab on a plate and placing it in the freezer. Wait one mintue. If it's firm then it's done.
  5. If you wish to make whole cranberry sauce, just pour it into a bowl.
  6. For jellied sauce: push the mixture through a sieve to strain out the skins. This will produce a sauce just like from a can.

 

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Roasted Applesauce

What I really love about cooking is that it never gets boring. There is always a new technique to try. I have made applesauce dozens of times. Most of the time I cook it in a slow cooker. It’s easy to throw the apples in it and forget about, without having to worry about the apples burning on the bottom of a pot. This has been the method I have used the last few years. Then one day it hit me. What would happen if I tried roasting the apples to make applesauce? I Googled the idea immediately and yes this is a thing people have done. I felt it sounded like something that I needed to do and once you taste it you will see why.

Roasted Applesauce

Why Roast Applesauce?
If the method I have been using works, then why change it up? What advantages is there to roasting the apples? There are two reasons why I like this method better now – the apples caramelize in the oven bringing out more flavor and the ending texture is better.

The dry heart of the oven help to brown the apples in a good way. The sugars in the fruit turn brown (which means they will turn black if you overcome them, so watch out!). You can get that added dimension of flavor any other way.

The texture is smooth, almost velvety. The sauce is thick, without being watery at all. The oven pulls away all the excess moisture. To get the peels off I simply run the apples through a food mill. Why bother peeling?

What Temperature Do You Roast the Apples at?
You want to get some nice carmelization, don’t be scared to turn that oven up. I would roast them at 425 degrees for about 30 to 45 mins. This is the same temperature that Martha Stewart uses for her roasted sauce. I tested it out and it worked perfectly. I did not agree with her about adding sugar. If you use the right apples it is not necessary (read my post on How to Select Apples for Applesauce Without Having to Add Sugar)

Roasted Applesauce

What Do You Roast the Applesauce In?
Try to pick your largest oven safe vessel. Last time I used a ceramic baking dish I picked up from Cost Plus World Market. I prefer cast iron as it dosages out the most even heat. A dutch oven is a good choice as you can fit tons of apples in it. If you have not cured or seasoned your dutch oven in a while, I would recommend doing that before. Curing involves rubbing the entire thing, top to bottom, with a coat of oil and then placing it in the oven empty. Even if yours comes already cured over time that wears out. Like with mine I ended up having my applesauce take on an unwanted black color – a telltale sign of a pot needing to be cured. I have just the standard jet black American made Lodge dutch oven. It’s nothing fancy but gets the job done. If you interested on how to restore and take care of a cast iron pan, watch this informative video below.

Spice It Up!
If you want to really put this sauce over the top thing about adding some spices. Feel free to add a stick of cinnamon or a piece of ginger. They can be easily removed when the sauce is done cooking. Cardamon, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg are also excellent additions. For ease use the powdered forms, but freshly grind whole spices if you can. The ground spices can just be stirred in at the end.

Roasted Applesauce
 
Ingredients
  • Mix of apples (at least 3 pounds), cored (peeled if you have no food mill)
  • Spices (optional)
  • Water (1/8 to ¼ cup)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Core apples and peel if you don't own a food mill.
  3. Add the apples to a large oven safe vessel.
  4. Pour in a tiny amount of water to keep the apples from burning on the bottom before they start to soften. Use no more than a ¼ cup water. You just want to barely cover the bottom of your cooking vessel.
  5. Add whole cinnamon sticks, ginger, or ground spices (optional)
  6. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes until apples are soft. The apple should be easily smashed with the back of a spoon.
  7. Run through a food mill to smooth. You could also use a food processor if you like.
  8. Serve warm or refrigerate for up to 5 days.

 

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Blood Orange Granita

Many of us have had this experience – walked into a convience store, saw a brightly colored machine with lot of fun logos, drawing us to buy a frozen neon colored slush that is full of corn syrup and fake fruity flavors that tastes good and give us a sugar rush. From time to time that sounds tempting and even fun. But there is a better way. If you have not been introduced before, let meet granita. Just like the 7-Eleven experience this too is a frozen slushy treat. Where 7-11 has ingredients made in a lab, granita uses real fruit and has a texture that is much more sificated.

I found a really cheap deal on small Moro Blood Oranges (6 for $1). The Moro variety is the most commonly found blood orange in the United States, it’s usually the only one most people will find. Any blood orange variety will work in any recipe. I planned on using them to make a sweet frozen treat. I have done sherbet in the past (see my recipe for Blood Orange Sherbet). I thought how about sorbet? I had enough cleaning to do in the kitchen, where I didn’t want to get out the ice cream maker that I would have to clean all the parts. I picked granita. Clean up is easy and it’s a great way to highly the flavor of the blood orange.

Blood Orange Granita

Blood oranges are in season from late December to roughly April. They are their peak of flavor usually later in the season. I find the first ones to hit the market in December to be rather lackluster in flavor.

Blood Orange Granita

How to Make Granita
Making granita is a simple process. Just three ingredients needed – fruit juice, sugar, and water. The sugar is dissolved completely first in the water, then the juice is added in. Here is where technique comes in. You place the liquid into a dish, I like using metal as gets cold very fast Place it in the freezer and then every 30 mintues you take a fork and scrap it, until completely frozen. This will create really small ice crystal, which gives the dessert an excellent mouth feel. The granita is best enjoyed the day, or within a couple days of making it.

Blood Orange Granita
 
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces freshly squeezed blood orange juice
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
Instructions
  1. Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Warm the water up just until all the sugar dissolves.
  2. Remove from the heat. Add the blood orange juice. Mix to combine.
  3. Pour into a shallow, wide aluminum square or rectangle baking pan. Place into the freezer.
  4. Every 30 minutes, use a fork to scrap the mixture. Scrap both vertically and horizontally.
  5. Repeat the process until completely frozen about 2 to 2½ hours.
  6. For best results, serve the day of, or within a couple days.

 

 

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Mini Chocolate Peppermint Donuts

This past fall, I made these mini pumpkin donuts that tasted so yummy and looked so cute. It was the first time I used the Mini Donut Pans I got from a friend when they were ridding themselves of items in preparation for a move across country. When I bite into that first donut it helped lessen the sadness of them moving away. It also got the creative juices flowing. I thought I have to make a Christmas version. That could only mean two things – chocolate and peppermint. I love, love, love that combo. I eat beyond my fair share of chocolate peppermint treats in the month of December. It was the first treat I made for this year’s Christmas season.

Mini Chocolate Peppermint Donuts

When I was searching out recipe inspirations for the base for these donuts one thing I had in mind is I wanted to use oil, not butter. Not just because I was currently very low on butter at the moment, but butter doesn’t make for moist cake and these donuts are in fact cake. Oil does a better job, even though butter tastes better, I am all about using oils in my cake. It’s what I do when a make Devil’s Food Cake. The recipe I liked the most I found on the blog, Delicious Shots, I used that as a guide to making my peppermint version.

Mini Chocolate Peppermint Donuts

Here are some notes to read before trying this recipe:

1. SPRAY THE PANS! I cannot express this enough. They need to be sprayed really well or your donuts will not come out whole. I don’t care if your pans are non-stick that isn’t enough. I like using the Coconut Cooking Spray you can get from Trader Joe’s

2. To crush the candy canes, I put them into a zip top plastic bag and then smashed them with a rolling pin until they are pretty much dust. You can do less if you want larger chunks.

3. For the glaze I always just eye ball it. I pour powdered sugar into a bowl, then add enough water to make it into a glaze. The amount of humidity varies so much that it is hard to really give exact measurements, plus it’s easy enough not to screw up. It it’s too thin add more sugar, too thick, add more water.

Mini Chocolate Peppermint Donuts
 
Ingredients
For the donut batter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup cooking oil, vegetable, canola, sunflower
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ¼ teaspoon peppermint extra or a few drops peppermint oil
  • ½ cup hot water
For the glaze
  • water
  • powdered sugar
For the topping
  • One box of candy cane, crushed
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Start by mixing together the brown sugar, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  3. In another bowl combine the oil, egg, and milk, stir to combine.
  4. With the mixer running, slowly add the liquid to the dry ingredients, when just combine, slowly pour in the hot water. Then add the peppermint. You can taste to make sure you have the right strength if you like. The batter will be thin, don't worry that is what you want.
  5. Spray very well your mini donut or muffin pan. Add enough batter to come about ½ to ⅔ ups. If using a min donut pan, don't go above the grove that makes the hole.
  6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until a tooth pick comes out clean.
  7. Wait for at least 10 minutes before de-panning. They should come out easily if you sprayed the pans enough. Allow to finish cooling on a rack before glazing.
  8. Make your glaze by mixing powdered sugar and water until the right consistency. Dip the donuts in the glaze. Then immediately into a bowl of crushed candy cane. Allow the donuts to sit for a few minutes for the glaze to harden before enjoying.

 

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Peach Blueberry Buckle

They are some culinary combos that work so well together – chocolate and peanut butter, strawberries and rhubarb, rice and beans, oil and vinegar (I know they don’t mix but when you shake them together they make for some great dressing). One combo that I am discovering more and more work so well together is peaches and berries. The flavors of any type of berry seems to work well with the flavor of peaches. I have done several experiments with peach-berry jam mixture. So I thought it was time to take that combo to the baking world.

One of my favorite desserts of the summer is a buckle. A buckle is simply fruit baked into a yellow cake batter and topped with a streusel topping. I like the moist cake with the fresh fruit and the crunch the topping adds. It’s a well balance dessert. I have made buckles before with blueberries and I have made them with peaches. This year, I decided why not do both at the same time! So I took my favorite buckle recipe from Alton Brown and replaced half of the blueberries with peaches. The best part about using these two fruits together is that they are both in season here in Michigan at the same time. So they are both flavorful and plentiful together.

 

Peach-Blueberry Buckle
 
Ingredients
For the batter
  • 9 ounces cake flour, about 2 cups
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 5¼ ounces sugar, about ¾ cup
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1½ cups fresh whole blueberries
  • 1½ cups fresh sliced peaches
For the topping:
  • 1½ ounces cake flour, about ⅓ cup
  • 3½ ounces sugar, about ½ cup
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 ounces cold butter, cut into cubes
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and ginger. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Then add in the egg and mix until fully incorporated.
  4. Take turns adding the milk and flour mixture with the mixer set to low speed.
  5. Do about ⅓ of each at a time. Let them fully incorporate and then do the other.
  6. Stop the mixer and gently stir in the fruit, Don't mix it in with the mixer.
To make the topping
  1. Combine the flour, sugar, and nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Using your hands rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
To bake the buckle
  1. Pour the batter into 8 or 9 inch baking dish. Round or square whatever you like. I prefer round, so I can cut it into wedges. Make sure you spray the baking dish with non-stick spray before adding the batter.
  2. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the batter.
  3. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown on top.
  4. Allow the buckle to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
  5. Will be good for a couple days after baking.

 

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Mini Apple Pies

Have you ever had this problem – you wanted to make an apple pie (or your daughter was asking really nice for you to make one). You wanted to test out different apples in the pie but didn’t want to mix them up. While pretty much everyone doesn’t have this problem, a food blogger does. I wanted to do my own personal testing of how some apples held up in baking. I didn’t want to bake several huge pies to test these apples out. So instead I thought small – mini pies made in ramekins. A nice single serving which no additional dishes needed to serve them up.

The apples I used this time around in my test were Gala, Blondee, Cox’s Orange Pippin and Ribston Pippin. The last two I got in a shipment from Frieda’s Produce. Both of these are heirloom varieties. Other varieties you can use include: Honeycrisp, Jonathan, Granny Smith, Rhode Island Greening (my favorite for pies), Northern Spy, Empire, and Ida Red.

All of the apples I used this time around held their shape well. The Cox’s Orange Pippin baked up the softest but not too soft, my wife liked that texture. Galas are just too sweet in my opinion for baking. Yes they held their shape but the pies baked with those lacked acidic to round out the flavor. Blondee is a relatively new yellow apple are related to Galas but have a better flavor with a floral quality. These had a little more acidic which made them a better choice. The Ribston Pippen was the most acidic one I baked with on this occasion. It worked just fine. Not as well as my favorite baking apple – Rhode Island Greening which actually taste better when baked.

You can pick whatever pie crust recipe you like. I personally am a fan of Alton Brown’s Pie Crust. It uses both butter and lard for a nice one-two punch of flavor, tenderness, and flakiness. I found that baking these small pies made for a more delicious flaky crust!

I used 5 inch creme brulee ramkeins that I got from Cost Plus World Market I could get 3 mini pies out of 1 pie dough recipe, with having to re-roll the dough out once.  You can also buy a set that comes with a torch from Amazon.


Mini Individual Apple Pies
3
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pie dough recipe
  • 3 medium sized apples (1 per pie)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar (more or less depending on the sweetness of the apples)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the topping
  • 2 tablespoons cold, butter, cut into cubes
  • ⅛ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Follow your pie dough recipe
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Roll out your pie dough. Place your 2 ramekins on top of the dough. Trace around each one leaving about 1 inch of space between your trace and the ramekin.
  4. Flip the ramekins and dough over at the same time. Form the dough to fit the ramekin. Dock the dough with a fork.
  5. Re-roll the dough once to fit an additional ramekin.
  6. Bake the empty pies in the oven for 5-7 mintues until slighty brown. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 375.
Preparing the apples
  1. Peel and core 3 apples. Place them in a bowl and add the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Mix to combine.
  2. Evenly distribute the apples into the ramekins.
To make the topping
  1. Combine the flour and brown sugar. Add the butter. Rub with your finger tips to work in the butter. It should look like cornmeal when your done. Evenly distribute the topping over the apples.
  2. Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until they are browned and the apples are cooked. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before eating. You can remove the pies from the ramekins if you want to serve, they should pop right out.

 

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Cherry Cobbler

Apple crisp, apple cobbler, what is the difference? Is there even one? You hear people use those two words interchangeably. They also make thrown in the world crumble. It’s fine to use the names as you would like – to get technical here we need to look at what each of these terms really means.

What is a Cobbler? | Check out my recipe for Cherry Cobbler
A cobbler is fruit mixed with some kind of dough and it is then cooked or baked. Simple as that. That’s all you need to have a cobbler. The reason it is called a cobbler, is because it’s just cobbled together. It’s not the more precise, more time consuming pie method. It’s meant to be just thrown together.

What is a Crisp?
A crisp is a type of cobbler, but more specifically it is one that is topped with nuts or oats giving it a topping that has a crisp texture. While all crisps are cobblers, not all cobblers are crisps. Got it? So if put some nuts on top of your cobbler you have the right to call it a crisp.

Peach Blueberry Buckle

What About a Buckle?
Besides crisp and cobbler there are other terms you might have heard such as a buckle. A buckle is fruit that is baked in a yellow cake batter, typically topped with a streusel topping of brown sugar, butter, and flour. In the past I have seen baked goods that were more sconce or muffin like passed off as buckle. Really a buckle is cake and should taste like such.

What About a Brown Betty?
I first heard of a brown betty through watching episodes of the cartoon King of the Hill. Peggy Hill like to make apple brown betty. What makes a cobbler a brown betty is having layers of bread crumbs with fruit between.

What About a Pan Dowdy?
In this case the dough is actually pressed right into the fruit. It is uneven, hence it has a dowdy appearance.

Blackberry Grunt

What is a Grunt? |Check out a recipe for Blackberry Grunt
This one I just tried for the first time. It is fruit with a biscuit like dough on top. It is usually cooked on a stove top but can be finished in the oven for better browning. The dough gives a dumpling like appearance. The name grunt comes from the sound it makes when cooking.

Whether you are eating a grunt, crisp, or buckle, know that all of these are really different forms of cobbler. Call it what you want, whatever way you have cobbler will taste good.

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Blackberry Grunt

When life gives you blackberries make grunt! You never heard of that one? Well it may not be an official saying but this is just what I did with the blackberries I found in my backyard. We have a ton of thorny blackberries bushes planted by some previous owners. They are overgrown yet still are producing great sized blackberries. One of the recipes I have been wanting to try for quite a while is Alton Brown’s Blackberry Grunt. So what is a grunt anyway? It is fruit topped with a biscuit dough. It is cooked on the stove top and it called a grunt but it sounds like the word when it cooks (although in a house full of screaming kids I never heard it!). The reason blackberries make for an especially good grunt is that they contain a lot of pectin, so they jell really well without much effort.

To learn more about different types of baked fruit desserts, read my post on What is the Difference Between a Cobbler and a Crisp?

Blackberry Grunt

My Recipe Notes | Print the recipe

1. The dough is really easy to make. If you have ever made biscuits this is a snap. You don’t even have to roll the dough out and punch out the biscuits. Just dispense the dough on top of the fruit using a disher – makes it so easy.

2. When cooking the fruit, be patient. Make sure your blackberries have thickened before adding the topping. If you play your cards right you will have thick fruit beneath your dough and not a soupy mess. If you are not confident that the berries are thick enough, then it cook it longer. Stir often – you don’t want blackened berries.

3. I love that this dish is cooked in cast iron. Makes for an excellent table presentation as well as a photo. I used my Lodge Cast Iron Skillet.
Lodge makes high quality American made products that I highly recommend and they are affordable.

4. You can finish this dish on the stove top if you want to be traditional. But you can also stick it in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. This will brown up the dough on top, which is something you won’t get on top of the stove.

5. I recommend eating it all in one day. The leftovers aren’t nearly as good. The biscuits dough will soak up too much liquid in the fridge and just become unappetizing. Safe this dish to make when you have enough people coming over to eat it. Alton says this feeds about 6-8 people.

I was very pleased with the way this came out. The fruit was delicious. The texture was jam like. The dough on top was a nice change of pace from my standard cobbler topping. Overall very happy with this dish and would make it again. The only thing I would change was making sure not to save any for another day.

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Honeycrisp Cobbler

Can Honeycrisp Apples Be Used for Baking?

It’s September and the apples are rolling in! I have already had all sorts of varieties and many more to come! I wanted to take a moment to look at one apple that has been gaining in popularity over the last decade – the Honeycrisp. I first have to state this isn’t my favorite apple. Please resist the urge to hit the back button on your browser. I am just not a fan of the skin. The flavor can still be good, but the quality can vary from apple to apple as would be expected with an apple grown by so many sources some for flavor, some just for profit. As it is a popular apple I felt I needed to spend more time with it so I can help my readers understand how this apple can be used. So the first question to address is can you bake with Honeycrisp? I will answer that question by answering a series of questions.

Honeycrisp Apples on Tree

Do Honeycrisp Apples Hold Their Shape? | Answer: YES
The most important factor for me when it comes to baking with an apple is can it hold it’s shape when baked. I don’t want to bake a pie and have it filled with applesauce. The Honeycrisp does in fact hold it’s shape and does so quite well. Actually it came out perfectly in terms of texture.

Are Honeycrisp Too Sweet to Bake With? | Answer: NO
When baking with an apple you want some tartness. Since you will be adding sugar either to the apples or the topping or both, you want to balance out that sweetness. Honeycrisp does have enough in the way of tartness to satisfy this requirement.

Do Baked Honeycrisp Apples Have Good Flavor | Answer: YES
Again not being my favorite apple, I think there are apples out there that bake up with better flavor, the Honeycrisp does retain some good flavor when baked. I was pleased with the results.

The Final Verdict – Can You Bake with Honeycrisp? | Answer: YES
Honeycrisp meets all the criteria for a baking apples, so feel free to use them in any apple baking application. The best baking apples typically come in October, so having Honeycrisp around to use in early September is a nice perk as they aren’t a lot of good baking apples at the start of the primary season.

Individual Honeycrisp Apple Cobbler
I tested Honeycrisp out by making individual apple cobblers. I used oven safe tea cups. Going the individual route helps control the portion you eat as well as makes for less cleanup as you are eating the cobbler right out of what you cook it in. I sweetened the apples (and added more flavor) with just a touch of maple syrup and added standard crumble topping (flour, brown sugar, and butter) along with some cinnamon and Demerara sugar for a little crunch.

Find out where you can purchase apple cider made with Honeycrisp apples

Honeycrisp Apple Cobbler
 
Ingredients
  • 3-4 Honeycrisp apples, cored, peeled, and sliced
  • 1½ tablespoons maple syrup (grade B if you can find it)
For the topping
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • sprinkling of Demerara sugar (optional)
Instructions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  1. Peel, core, and slice the apples.
  2. Distribute them evenly among 3 oven proof ramekins or cups.
  3. Add about ½ tablespoon of maple syrup to each cooking vessel.
To make the topping
  1. Mix together the flour and the brown sugar.
  2. Add the butter. Using your hands rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles cornmeal.
  3. Evenly distribute the topping. Sprinkle the cinnamon and Demerara sugar (if using) on top.
  4. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.
  5. Serve hot, room temperature, or cold whatever floats your boat!

 

To learn more about different types of baked fruit desserts, read my post on What is the Difference Between a Cobbler and a Crisp?

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I'm Eric. I live in Ann Arbor, MI with my wife, 3 kids, and a flock of ducks. I love grocery shopping, trying new fruits, farmer's market, and traveling.
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