Apples and Autumn: A Cinnamon Apple Dutch Baby

Photo by Beverly Wang

Ingredients

  •  2 Tablespoons / 1 oz. butter
  • 2 small apples (use any variety you like), sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (I use My Spice Sage’s Saigon Cinnamon, which is extremely pungent and flavorful, feel free to up this quantity if your cinnamon is more delicate)
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ C / 60g all-purpose flour
  • ½ C / 4 fluid oz. skim milk
  • lemon juice, powdered sugar or maple syrup for topping

As much as I’ve enjoyed the warm weather this summer, I couldn’t be happier that autumn has finally arrived. Fall has always been my favorite season of the year, bringing about the anticipation of a new school year, heralding the changing of colors, the return of the crispness in the twilight air, and the anticipation of the holiday season. With the new crops of apples coming in, I look forward to enjoying them as much as possible.

Today I’m sharing a simple recipe for a Cinnamon Apple Dutch Baby to usher in the season, easily prepared in the morning for breakfast or topped with ice cream as a light dessert. Dutch babies, with their high ratio of eggs to flour, are akin to popovers and yorkshire pudding and puff up dramatically in the oven and collapse when cooled, allowing you to top it off with your favorite syrup or just a light dusting of powdered sugar.

cinnamon apple dutch baby / recipe and photos by Beverly Wang for dearestnature.com

cinnamon apple dutch baby / recipe and photos by Beverly Wang for dearestnature.com

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a large cast iron skillet (or any oven-proof skillet) over medium heat, melt the butter and add in the sliced apples and sauté for several minutes, until the apples begin to soften. Add in the cinnamon and brown sugar and continue to sauté until the apples are golden brown and the sugar melts and begins to caramelize.

2. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs together and add the flour and milk and whisk until combined. When the apples are softened and covered in a lovely golden brown sauce, pour the batter over the apple mixture and place the skillet into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the pancake puffs up and is golden brown.

3. Remove the pancake from the oven, sprinkle with lemon juice and powdered sugar generously or top with maple syrup and serve immediately.

cinnamon apple dutch baby / recipe and photos by Beverly Wang for dearestnature.com

About Beverly Wang

Beverly is a web applications developer living in lovely Southern California. When she's not writing code, you'll probably find her in the kitchen or out capturing moments of her daily life with her camera. Never content to sit still, she always finds herself trying to do ten things at once. She believes that good food, made with love and from scratch, is the panacea for all ills.

Peachy Keen

My favorite fruit as of late has been peaches. They have the perfect blend of sweetness and tartness and add a bit of awesome to foods I would regularly eat without peaches: bread, pancakes, pie — mostly breads, I suppose.

Here’s a smattering of mouthwatering peach recipes worth trying or at least feasting your eyes on:

peach recipes / featured on dearestnature.com

About Donaville Herrick

Donaville is the Founder of Dearest Nature and also Co-Founder and Creative Director of Hello Hello Hi. When visions of nature and web design aren't dancing in her head, she enjoys spending time with her three munchkins, baking cupcakes, and trying her hand at various crafts. Follow her on Twitter to stay updated with her day-to-day musings.

Sweet Autumn Leaves

Autumn is but nineteen days away and I’m looking forward to seeing the leaves on trees change colors from green to yellow, orange, and red … though that probably won’t happen until late October or early November in Southern California since our summers usually extend well into October.

Leave it to Andie’s Specialty Sweets in Los Angeles, California (just a hop, skip, and jump away from where I hail) to create edible stunning works of art. These edible autumn leaves are so realistic, they look like they literally fell off a tree and landed perfectly onto the frosted cupcakes.

Here are a few other cavity-inducing works of art that are almost (almost!) too pretty to eat:

edible leaves by Andie's Specialty Sweets / featured on dearestnature.com

I think if leaves tasted sweet the moment they fell from trees, I’d no longer be standing ‘neath a tree in awe, but in anticipation of a sweet treat.

 

About Donaville Herrick

Donaville is the Founder of Dearest Nature and also Co-Founder and Creative Director of Hello Hello Hi. When visions of nature and web design aren't dancing in her head, she enjoys spending time with her three munchkins, baking cupcakes, and trying her hand at various crafts. Follow her on Twitter to stay updated with her day-to-day musings.

Celebrating the Flavors of Summer: Cherry Cornmeal Pecan Cookies

Photo by Beverly Wang

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ C all purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ½ t baking powder
  • ½ t baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ C butter, room temperature
  • 1 C sugar
  • ½ C brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 C chopped, toasted pecans
  • 1 C tart dried cherries

Recently I attended a performance of Verdi’s Rigoletto at the Hollywood Bowl with a group of friends from high school. It was my first time at the bowl despite living in Southern California for most of my life, and I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to picnic in the hills surrounding the bowl prior to the performance. Naturally, I volunteered to bring some baked goods and dessert, and looked to create a portable dessert that captured the essence of summer picnics.

I turned to the Corn Cherry Scone (my favorite item from the Cheeseboard Collective, a wonderful bakery and pizza place in my old college stomping grounds of Berkeley, CA), as inspiration and modified a cookie recipe to imitate the flavors I found in Cheeseboard’s original recipe.* By modifying this excellent cookie recipe from Baking Bites; I was able to capture the flavors in Cheeseboard’s scone. What resulted was a buttery, chewy cookie that was tempered by the tartness of cherries and had an added crunch from the cornmeal. Pecans add a lovely nuttiness as well, but feel free to swap that out for your favorite nut or even chocolate for a more decadent cookie.

cherry cornmeal pecan cookies / recipe & photos by Beverly Wang / featured on dearestnature.com

cherry cornmeal pecan cookies / recipe & photos by Beverly Wang / featured on dearestnature.com

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.

3. Cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until  thoroughly combined. With the mixer on low speed, blend in the flour gradually until the dough comes together, then stir in the pecans and cherries. Note that this cookie dough will be stiff. If you have a warm kitchen and find that your cookie dough is a bit slack, place it in the refrigerator to stiffen a bit before proceeding to shaping.

4. Using a 1 ounce cookie scoop or a tablespoon, shape the dough into balls and place 2” apart on the baking sheet (I was able to fit a dozen to each sheet). Place into the oven and bake for approximately 12-14 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are lightly brown, rotating the sheets in between. When done, take them out of the oven and allow them cool for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

cherry cornmeal pecan cookies / recipe & photos by Beverly Wang / featured on dearestnature.com

In hindsight, I do wish that the corn flavor of the cookies could be amplified bit more. Maybe next time, I will add some pulverized freeze-dried corn ala Momofuku Milk Bar’s Corn Cookies to see if I can boost the corn flavor. Please let me know if you try this! In any case, this cookie was well received and received a lot of compliments. I hope you bake these for those you care about as well. Enjoy!

Notes:

*See here for an excellent article about scone-making and a recipe of the original corn cherry scone

About Beverly Wang

Beverly is a web applications developer living in lovely Southern California. When she's not writing code, you'll probably find her in the kitchen or out capturing moments of her daily life with her camera. Never content to sit still, she always finds herself trying to do ten things at once. She believes that good food, made with love and from scratch, is the panacea for all ills.

Fig, Goat Cheese & Pistachio

Photo via Styled. by A Subtle Revelry

Ingredients

  • figs
  • goat cheese
  • pistachios
  • honey + balsamic vinegar for sauce

I recently leafed through the latest issue of Styled by Victoria Hudgins of A Subtle Revelry and like all of the previous issues, it contains a goldmine of clever ideas and projects. I spent a good amount of time transfixed on one of the recipes: fig, goat cheese, and pistachio contributed by Lisa Thiele of With Style & Grace.

I love me some pistachios (they’re my go-to snack mixed with dried fruits) but I seldom eat figs and goat cheese. The last time I ate figs? Maybe a few months ago in a fig newton (hardly counts as eating a fig, I know). And goat cheese? I don’t recall ever eating the stuff. But after peering at these photos, I think I might be eating it soon … and a whole lot of it!

fig, goat cheese, pistachio recipe by Lisa Thiele via Styled / featured on dearestnature.com

For those of you in my boat, this is a recipe that looks delicious and will even have your eyes salivating — tears of joy, perhaps? Pop over A Subtle Revelry to view the latest issue of Styled to jot down the directions to create this beautiful recipe (pp 11 – 18).

About Donaville Herrick

Donaville is the Founder of Dearest Nature and also Co-Founder and Creative Director of Hello Hello Hi. When visions of nature and web design aren't dancing in her head, she enjoys spending time with her three munchkins, baking cupcakes, and trying her hand at various crafts. Follow her on Twitter to stay updated with her day-to-day musings.