With work, I don’t have as much time to cook as I’d like. So, when I have a couple days in row off, I cook a lot. This time, it was quiche, apple dumplings and two types of cookies. The chocolate chip/toffee cookies have been blogged about earlier here. The other cookies are a result of me having the ideal of making platefuls of cookies for the holidays, though I’ve yet done so.
These are a slightly modified version of the Cinnamon Orange Coconut Cookies from “The Christmas Cookie Book” by Knipe and Marks. These stay pleasantly soft even after a few days. I think it’s because of the coconut. The odd amounts are from me halving the recipe.
1.25 cups AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 cup butter softened
1/8 cup vegetable shortening
½ c sugar
1 large egg
½ tsp orange extract
¾ cup flaked coconut( I use flaked sweetened since I use it in other things)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees celcius). Line cookie sheets with parchment or grease.
Cream shortening, butter, sugar together. Add egg and orange extract and beat until mixed. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl, mix and then add to creamed mixture. Beat until smooth. Mix in coconut.
Scoop into 1 inch balls. Roll in cinnamon sugar. Place on cookie sheets and flatten slightly. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cookies will puff slightly and will be pale and soft when you remove them from oven. They will firm as they cool. They can be dipped in chocolate but I find that is just gilding the lily.
Apple Dumplings a la Betty
Apple dumplings are essentially apple galettes or crostadas, where pie dough is rolled out, filled with apples and then the sides of the pie dough are just brought up and over, not using a pie pan. These ones are different in that the dumplings are placed in a 9” x 13” baking dish and hot sugar syrup is poured around them *before* baking. This is my mother-in-law’s recipe and I was sure that it could not possibly work and that the dough would simply disintegrate. But it doesn’t.
This is a bit more of a procedure than a recipe. Preheat oven to 425 degree Fahrenheit (218 degrees celcius). Take your favorite pie dough (my favorite here. I haven’t tried it with refrigerated pie dough, but it should work). Make rough circles of dough about 1/8” thick and around 10 inches in diameter. Take sliced raw apples coated in a mix of sugar, cinnamon and a little flour and place them in the center of each circle, enough to be a small pile but that will allow a couple of inches of dough to wrap up and around them (I usually use about 6-8 baking apples. I prefer Winesap apples but they are nearly impossible to get). About six will fit in a 9” x 13” pan. Then make a syrup of 1 cup sugar, one cup water and three tablespoons of butter, boiling for 3 minutes until slightly thickened. Pour *hot* syrup around dumplings and place in oven for approximately 45 minutes. Test doneness by poking apples with a knife to see if they are soft.
Quiche a la Velkyn
Finally, I made a quiche, aka a savory custard pie. This is my take on the Quiche Lorraine from the “Joy of Cooking”. It came out wonderfully, as light and silky as could be. I used the above pie crust as the shell.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees celcius).
Prepare a 9 inch pie shell of your favorite pie crust. Prick it well and brush it with egg white which will seal it and keep the crust crisp.
Scald 2 cups of whole milk or cream (I use whole milk, since cream is way too rich in this for me). Scald means bring just up to boiling and then removing from the heat. Let cool to just warm to the touch.
Fry ¼ pound of bacon until crisp and crumble. Fry ½ cup of finely chopped onions in vegetable oil or butter until translucent and tender but not browned. Grate ½ cup of swiss cheese.
Beat together cooled milk, 3 eggs plus the yolk left over from the egg white used to brush the crust, ¼ tsp of salt, 1/8 tsp of black pepper, a pinch of nutmeg (it really does make a difference). Make sure this is very well mixed.
Sprinkle grated cheese, bacon crumbles and onions on bottom of pie crust and pour custard mixture over it gently. Bake 35-40 minutes until top is golden and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. You just want this to be barely set in the center. Overcook it and you will get a watery custard because the proteins in the eggs and milk constrict and force the water out.
The quiche was quite good with the JR Dill Jabber Waulkie semi-sweet Riesling from our peregrinations round the Finger Lakes. Sorry no photos this time. Maybe I’ll get a new camera for a present….