Friday, November 23, 2007

Cranberry Apple Crisp &
Three More Cranberry Apple Dessert Recipes

Homespun cranberry and apple deliciousness three ways: in a Cranberry Apple Crisp, as Cranberry Apple Sauce for a fruit topping or in Cranberry Apple Pie.

The crisp is one of my very favorite, ever-so-adaptable recipes. The combination of "tart" and "sweet" kissed with a touch of ginger is familiar and wholesome and yet surprising too. During cold weather, it has become my "signature" dessert for casual suppers with friends and family

Cranberry Apple Crisp, my signature dessert during cold weather. A classic sweet apple crisp, punched up cranberries, bright with citrus and ginger. It makes a great pie, too!

Half sorry, I am, to share this recipe, for if history is a guide, now that it’s in print, I’ll move on to others.

But so pleased, I am, to share this recipe. It’s such a favorite!

The fruits form a troika, each carrying a singular fruity tune but harmonizing in wintry song. The topping is bright with ginger and gives crunch to the soft, dark fruit.

For a rustic dessert, try it as shown here, in a crisp. But there are many variations on this theme.

NON-FAT LOW-SUGAR CRANBERRY APPLE CRISP For a ‘diet’ version that will leave no one hungry, substitute Splenda for sugar, skip the topping and instead finish with a couple of tablespoons of raw sugar (such as turbinado or Demerara) that will form a thin sweet layer in the oven.
NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Serving: 139 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 100mg Sodium; 33g Carb; 3g Fiber; 26g Sugar; 1g Protein; Weight Watchers Old Points 2 & PointsPlus 3


CRANBERRY APPLE PIE For a pie filling, follow the same recipe, it just needs some extra thickening. Use three tablespoons of corn or potato starch for thickening, fill an unbaked pie shell, cover with the topping and bake at 375F/190C for about an hour. Let set for several hours before serving, stays fresh for two or three days.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving (assumes 8 slices, Flaky Tender Pie Crust and filling made with Splenda/sugar): 279/366 Calories; 15g Tot Fat; 8g Sat Fat; 39mg Cholesterol; 164mg Sodium; 31/54g Carb; 3g Fiber; 21/44g Sugar; 1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 6/8 & WW PointsPlus 7/9


CRANBERRY-CURRANT APPLESAUCE Or serve the fruit, slightly warm, over ice cream or Greek yogurt. Make it with Splenda and for Weight Watchers this is just two or three points for a generous serving, not counting the ice cream, of course! Truth is, you'd probably use only a spoonful so the points really are minimal.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving (assumes 12 servings made with Splenda/sugar): 60/118 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 49mg Sodium; 14/29g Carb; 2g Fiber; 11/26g Sugar; 0g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 1/2 & WW PointsPlus 1/3


BY THE SPOONFUL Or honestly? Scoop it by the spoonful, straight from the fridge, you know, in the middle of the night.

UPDATE Turns out, I didn't stop making this recipe! In fact, during cold weather, the Cranberry Apple Crisp has become my "signature" dessert! It's so flexible. I find myself mixing fruits, though still keeping true to the mix of "tart" and "sweet". A favorite version is a mix of golden raisins (substituting for the currants) with apple, cranberry, rhubarb and sour cherries topped with a few black walnuts rather than the crumb topping or a sprinkle of raw sugar. If I'm short on cranberries, I'll use a few frozen berries from Trader Joe's, raspberries are especially good. When a crowd showed up for dinner one night, I added a can or two of drained fruit cocktail too. I even make this a "dish to carry." Mix the fruit and topping in two containers at home. Grab a baking dish and take to a friend's house. Bake on the spot, that means a warm dessert, straight from the oven. It's a conversation stopper – in this context, that's a good thing!

CRANBERRY APPLE CRISP

A wintry take on fall’s favorite
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 1-1/4 hours
Serves 6
    CURRANTS
  • 1/2 cup (60g) dried currants
  • 1/4 cup (60g) brandy or a fruity liquor or fruit juice or apple cider
  • Zest of an orange or lemon
    FRUIT
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar (Splenda works beautifully, use 25g!)
  • 1 tablespoon flour or potato starch or arrowroot
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon ground ginger, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 cups (6oz/170g) fresh or frozen whole cranberries, picked over, rinsed, and drained
  • 4 cups (12oz/340g) Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, cored and chopped
    CRUMB TOPPING
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup (30g) panko (see TIPS)
  • 1/2 cup (60g) toasted nuts, optional

Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly butter a 10-inch quiche pan or 8x8 baking dish.

SOAK CURRANTS Soak currants and zest in brandy in a small bowl. You want the currants all plump and juicy!

MIX FUIT In a large bowl, stir together sugar, flour, ginger and salt. Stir in cranberries and apple as they're ready, stirring well to distribute the floury bits. Stir in the currants, distributing well again. Turn into prepared baking dish.

ADD TOPPING & BAKE Mix topping ingredients (you can use the same bowl) and sprinkle over top of the fruit. Bake for 45 minutes or until the fruit is bubbly and cranberries have popped.

SAVOR Serve warm alone or topped with a dollop of whipped cream a scoop of ice cream or my favorite, a spoonful of sour cream or Greek yogurt.

ALANNA's TIPS I really do prefer Granny Smith apples for the apple crisp, compared to a baking apple such as a Jonathan. The Granny Smiths cook softer and thus somehow soak up the flavor of the cranberries and currants more than Jonathans, which remain more intact while baking. Tempted to add another spice? Don't be, it muddies the very-special, all-on-its-own brightness of ginger. Does your pantry hold panko (pronounced pawn-ko), the Japanese bread flakes? Panko is a staple in mine and the base of my favorite new topping for fruit crisps, crumb pies and even vegetable dishes. Panko is lighter and crispier than regular bread crumbs and best of all, it’s shelf stable so is easy to keep on hand. To make this, I put the mixing bowl on the kitchen scale and just add ingredients by the spoonful until the full amount is reached. No measuring cups to wash!

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving made with sugar and with/without topping/with topping with nuts: 308/237/369 Calories; 4/0/9g Tot Fat; 3/0/3g Sat Fat; 66/58/67g Carb; 4/3/4g Fiber; 164/99/164mg Sodium; 10/0/10mg Cholesterol; 2/1/4g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 6/4/7.5 & WW PointsPlus 8/6/10.
Per serving made with Splenda and with topping/without topping/with topping with nuts: 192/121/254 Calories; 4/0/9g Tot Fat; 3/0/3g Sat Fat; 36/28/37g Carb; 4/3/4g Fiber; 164/99/164mg Sodium; 10/0/10mg Cholesterol; 2/1/4g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 3.5/2/5 & WW PointsPlus 4/3/6.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite cranberry recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

Cranberry Apple Pie


Cranberry Apple Pie, tart cranberries, sweet apples and brandy-soaked currants with a streusel topping, bright with citrus and ginger. The filling makes a great wintry apple crisp too! Recipe, tips, nutrition and Weight Watchers points at #KitchenParade.

The brandy-soaked currants, apples and cranberries make a fine winter pie! It just needs a little extra thickener. Here's the recipe for Cranberry Apple Pie.


More Cranberry Recipes

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Fresh Cranberry Cake Fresh Cranberry Drop Cookies Cranberry Pudding with Butter Sauce

More Apple Recipes

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Extra-Crispy Apple Crisp Naturally Sweetened Apple Butter Estonian Apple Cake

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Quick Links to This Page

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~ Cranberry-Currant Applesauce ~
~ Non-Fat Low-Sugar Cranberry Apple Crisp ~





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Monday, November 19, 2007

Squash Puff

The Recipe: My favorite Thanksgiving side dish for many years but it's so good, the color is so beautiful, I really should make it more often. Plus? It's so easy to make, just roasted butternut squash, puréed until smooth with gently cooked onion, a few spices and a little cream. That topping? Buttery toasted pumpkin seeds! It's so easy to make and such a welcome savory addition to the Thanksgiving table where "sweet" and "rich" seem to preside.

The Conversation: The lessons of "Freedom from Want," the iconic Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving tableau.

Squash Puff ♥ KitchenParade.com, an old family recipe traditional at Thanksgiving, a welcome savory make-ahead casserole, just creamy winter squash topped with pumpkin seeds. Rave reviews!


COMPLIMENTS!
"My family loved this savory dish ..." ~ Carrie
"This is great, I've been making it for a few years now ..." ~ Elisia


In a world of polarity, it’s easy to discern what’s "truth" and what’s "spin". Truth? That's the stock of judgments held by folks whose ardent beliefs match our own. Spin? That's the malicious, manipulative deception spewed by the "other" guys.

Yet consider these four titles. Freedom from Fear, Freedom from Want. Freedom to Worship, Freedom of Speech.

Truth or Spin? They’re four paintings by artist Norman Rockwell, canvases inspired by the world vision of FDR, a wartime president.

Truth or Spin? Patriotic punditry or perverse propaganda? Or in gentler, less polarizing prose, perhaps only outmoded Americana?

The Thanksgiving tableau in Freedom from Want is familiar yet enigmatic. Is that three (or four?) generations gathered round? And what of the Sunday clothes and Mother’s good dishes?

Truth or Spin? It’s still hard to know for sure, even if the outcome of that war, what we call World War II, two and even three generations past, is largely known.

So let us give simple thanks, then, for what we do know today, the words we have right, and privilege, to speak.

Call it truth. Call it spin. But do call it Freedom.

And do thank God.

ALANNA's TIPS Roast the squash two days ahead, then assemble Squash Puff the day before or morning before serving. Be sure to throw an extra into the oven to enjoy that night! To yield 3 cups, start off with three to four pounds of butternut squash (my favorite); kabocha squash (also wonderful but harder to find); or acorn, Hubbard or another winter squash. Slice in half, remove the seeds and membrane, then roast face down on a baking sheet for an hour at 400F/200C until the flesh is soft, about 60 to 90 minutes. With any luck, you'll be able to simply lift up the skins, leaving soft and succulent squash beneath. For easy clean-up, be sure to line the baking sheet with foil or silicone. Not happy about cutting an unwieldy squash in half? No problem. This technique works great, How to Roast a Whole Butternut Squash. If pumpkin seeds aren’t handy, top with buttered bread crumbs. You do want something to break up that plain appearance. One year I used the Pumpkin Seed Granola that garnishes the Pumpkin Soup at Brasserie, a restaurant here St. Louis. Gorgeous! This is definitely a savory (not sweet) casserole but yes, even the squash itself is a little sweet. For something even more savory, try this very similar recipe, Turnip Puff. It's another old family favorite and can be made with either purple-topped turnips or rutabaga.

SQUASH PUFF

Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time-to-table: 65 minutes
Makes 3 cups
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 cups (675g) roasted winter squash
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup half ‘n’ half
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 cup hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas), for garnish

Heat the oven to 375F/190C.

SAUTÉ ONIONS Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and slowly soften, about 10 minutes.

MIX SQUASH Meanwhile, purée the squash with an electric mixer in a large bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute or so after each addition. Add the onion and remaining ingredients (except the pumpkin seeds) and combine well.

TOAST PUMPKIN SEEDS Add the pumpkin seeds to the hot, still buttery skillet and toast for 2 – 3 minutes on low heat. Pay close attention, pumpkin seeds turn fast!

BAKE Turn the squash mixture into a well-greased pie plate or quiche pan, it'll be about an inch thick. Smooth the top and scatter the pumpkin seeds over top. Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

LEFTOVERS This Squash Puff reheats beautifully, wonderful to have leftover after Thanksgiving. One year, we formed the leftovers into patties, dusted them with flour and then fried 'em up for breakfast. Nice!

MAKE-AHEAD TIPS Make the Squash Puff the day before serving, cover and refrigerate. Toast the Pumpkin Seeds too but refrigerate separately. It's best to bring the Squash Puff back to room temperature before going into the oven, at Thanksgiving, my cue is to get it (and other premade casseroles) out when the turkey goes into the oven. But if it's put in the oven cold from the refrigerator, no problem, just allow at least an hour to cook clear through.

DOUBLING THE RECIPE For small dinners, I bake this in a shallow quiche pan that holds four cups, that means it's about an inch thick. But at Thanksgiving, I usually double the recipe to serve our crew of about twenty and bake it in a two-quart Corning baking dish. That means the casserole is quite a bit thicker than one inch! So I allow extra time for bringing it to room temperature and for baking, about double for each.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Half Cup: 147 Calories; 8g Tot Fat; 3g Sat Fat; 63mg Cholesterol; 118mg Sodium; 14g Carb; 1g Fiber; 1g Sugar; 7g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 4 & PointsPlus 4 & SmartPoints 5

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite family Thanksgiving recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

The Familiar Tableau:
Freedom from Want by Norman Rockwell


Freedom from Want by Normal Rockwell

Hmmm ... This Squash "Puff" Isn't Really "Puffy"


Squash Puff ♥ KitchenParade.com, an old family recipe traditional at Thanksgiving, a welcome savory make-ahead casserole, just creamy winter squash topped with pumpkin seeds. Rave reviews!

I inherited this recipe from my Canadian family – wow, way back in the 1980s, that's how long I've been making it! I inherited the name too. But please know, "puff" is a bit of a misnomer, this definitely is not a poofy souflé. It's not heavy but it's not light and airy either. The next time I make it, I think I'll try giving it a little poof, another egg and double the half & half. I'll report back!


More Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

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Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple Bodacious Brussels Sprouts Fresh Creamed Corn

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