Showing posts from September, 2009

Recipe for Naturally Sweetened Apple Butter

So get out the butter and put away the sugar, we're going to make apple butter, real apple butter, the "slow food" approach to homemade apple butter. In this recipe, the apple butter is naturally sweetened with apple cider, dotted with a little butter for richness and spends a long (loooong!) time in the oven or in a slow cooker. So yes, this apple cider is "sugar free" – or better put, has "no added sugar" and "no sugar substitutes" like Splenda and the like. It's just gorgeous, very apple-y, what apple butter is "supposed to taste like" – I hope you love it! My two burning questions about apple butter. First, why doesn’t apple butter call for – um, well, you know – butter? My recipe does, just a touch, which gives this lovely butterscotch-colored apple sauce, an unctuous mouth feel. After several hours in the oven at low temperature, it’s so smooth, so creamy, it’s on the verge of something akin to custard, al

Banana Nut Cake with Caramel Frosting

The Recipe: My mom's famous recipe for Banana Nut Cake, a great special-occasion cake yet simple and rustic enough to make often. The Conversation: Plus, bakers, you've just got to try this new banana technique: no more waiting days and days for bananas to ripen! The Boy, He Wanted Banana Cake for His Birthday Panic! How in the world would I fulfill the birthday cake request from my favorite eight-year-old? He wanted banana cake, more particularly “banana cake with vanilla ice cream” thank you very much, exhibiting much promise as a child-prodigy foodie. Trouble was, I had no ripe bananas and it takes a good week or ten days for bananas to ripen properly, that's until the bananas are almost black . Even the usual “ripen bananas in a paper bag on the counter” trick wasn’t going to produce ripe bananas in 18 hours. That famous mother of invention, Necessity, stepped up to the cake plate and sure enough, I figured out a great way to make banana cake (and likely