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Darienne

Home Made Ice Cream (2015– )

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1 hour ago, mgaretz said:

I have used peanut butter powder with great success. 

I thought of that (especially every time I go to Costco and see the giant tub they sell ;) ) but I’ve never used PB powder and I had no idea how much to start with of if there are different kinds that would behave differently. I’d love to hear more details if you are willing to share :)  

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13 minutes ago, kayb said:

I was going to suggest either that (I keep some on hand to use in Asian sauces, baking, etc.) or going that way your own; dry-roast some peanuts, grind them, and add them.

Grind them like a powder or like a homemade PB? Thanks! I appreciate all the suggestions!

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16 minutes ago, Pastrypastmidnight said:

Grind them like a powder or like a homemade PB? Thanks! I appreciate all the suggestions!

 

Like a powder. I haven't tried this, but seems like it'd make sense.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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9 hours ago, Pastrypastmidnight said:

I thought of that (especially every time I go to Costco and see the giant tub they sell ;) ) but I’ve never used PB powder and I had no idea how much to start with of if there are different kinds that would behave differently. I’d love to hear more details if you are willing to share :)  

 

For 16 ozs of liquid, I use 1/4 cup of peanut butter powder. 


Mark

My eG Food Blog

www.markiscooking.com

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On 3/4/2018 at 6:04 PM, JoNorvelleWalker said:

"...I dusted off the KitchenAid PHMB and made up a batch of mix.  Sitting in the ice bath at the moment..."

 

Never tried that.... seems pretty hard-core and uncomfortable.  I usually just go sit on the couch instead. ;)

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11 hours ago, sweettreateater said:

 

Never tried that.... seems pretty hard-core and uncomfortable.  I usually just go sit on the couch instead. ;)

 

Helps with the arthritis.

 

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My friend who went to Japan recently wanted to make black sesame ice cream in my machine.  It was quite the experience.  Made from the Serious Eats website.  One has to make the sesame paste from scratch.

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Hi everyone can i ask the experts a couple of questions please

 

In Jeni's book, she asks the reader to boil the mixture for 4 minutes and says it is critical to do so.  Although i understand that it was written so that the average home cook can follow it without the necessary details, it would have been nice if they included some sort of quantifiable measure apart from the 4 minutes akin to Ruben's method.  So, my question is has anyone been able to "decipher" that 4 minute instruction to something a little more scientific??

 

An offshoot question is - is there some sort of table that tells us the temperature and time relationship that we require in ice cream making to denature the proteins and get the lovely creamy texture and body? 

 

In Ruben's method i distinctly remember reading a comment from him (not sure where though) that the important piece is really the time of the cook and not the overall reduction.  If the person cooking finds that he has already hit the 15% reduction but still hasnt completed the 25 minute requirement then he should go ahead and continue cooking until 25 minutes completed (please correct me if i am wrong though)

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10 hours ago, ccp900 said:

Hi everyone can i ask the experts a couple of questions please

 

In Jeni's book, she asks the reader to boil the mixture for 4 minutes and says it is critical to do so.  Although i understand that it was written so that the average home cook can follow it without the necessary details, it would have been nice if they included some sort of quantifiable measure apart from the 4 minutes akin to Ruben's method.  So, my question is has anyone been able to "decipher" that 4 minute instruction to something a little more scientific??

 

An offshoot question is - is there some sort of table that tells us the temperature and time relationship that we require in ice cream making to denature the proteins and get the lovely creamy texture and body? 

 

In Ruben's method i distinctly remember reading a comment from him (not sure where though) that the important piece is really the time of the cook and not the overall reduction.  If the person cooking finds that he has already hit the 15% reduction but still hasnt completed the 25 minute requirement then he should go ahead and continue cooking until 25 minutes completed (please correct me if i am wrong though)

 

I believe in Jeni's commercial ice cream she uses osmotically concentrated milk.  For home production there are at least three considerations of heating the mix:  removing water, conditioning proteins, and achieving pasteurization.

 

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7 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

I believe in Jeni's commercial ice cream she uses osmotically concentrated milk.  For home production there are at least three considerations of heating the mix:  removing water, conditioning proteins, and achieving pasteurization.

 

Thanks Jo for chiming in and totally understand that but have we ever de-mystified this magic 4 minute number for us who are more inclined to temperature and actual time?  I can do the crude way of putting a thermometer in the pan and reading the temperature after 4 minutes but of course that is going to be very dependent on a ton of factors like pan size, intensity of heat being applied etc

 

 

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1 hour ago, ccp900 said:

Thanks Jo for chiming in and totally understand that but have we ever de-mystified this magic 4 minute number for us who are more inclined to temperature and actual time?  I can do the crude way of putting a thermometer in the pan and reading the temperature after 4 minutes but of course that is going to be very dependent on a ton of factors like pan size, intensity of heat being applied etc

 

 

 

I don't understand the question.

 

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I have a feeling that the 4 minute instruction is a way to achieve some of the benefits of Ruben's method, while keeping things ultra simple. Not sure why it's 4 minutes vs 5, though... that might be the amount of time she found achieves the texture she likes.

 

I definitely think that Ruben's method results in a super creamy ice cream. However, I have not found a way to separate the effect of evaporation from the effects of the protein denaturing. 

For instance, what percentage of the improvement is due to evaporation and how much due to denaturing? Is it 50/50, 70/30, or something else? 

 

Or do they work at different rates throughout the 25 minute period? For instance, does denaturing play a bigger part at first and then evaporation takes over towards the end? Or is it equal throughout?

 

It could matter because if, for example, denaturing is the bigger player and it happens mostly at the beginning, the heating time could be reduced a lot, and still achieve most of the benefits.

 

One equation and two variables... 

 

It's all also a bit subjective because some people (ie, my girlfriend) does not like how "chewy" it comes out, whereas that's exactly what I like about it. So I could heat it less and achieve less "chewiness" which would result in her being happy but me getting less ice cream.

 

Funny how Ruben seems to now have a method named after him... ;) He does sometimes post here so hopefully he will chime in. He's the expert on this!

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2 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

I don't understand the question.

 

sorry about that - i was rambling.

 

i wanted to know a more exact number that translates Jeni's "keep boiling for 4 mins - this is critical" step to something more scientific - for example heat the mixture until 175 degrees which should take 4 mins on a medium-high heat

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4 minutes ago, sweettreateater said:

I have a feeling that the 4 minute instruction is a way to achieve some of the benefits of Ruben's method, while keeping things ultra simple. Not sure why it's 4 minutes vs 5, though... that might be the amount of time she found achieves the texture she likes.

 

I definitely think that Ruben's method results in a super creamy ice cream. However, I have not found a way to separate the effect of evaporation from the effects of the protein denaturing. 

For instance, what percentage of the improvement is due to evaporation and how much due to denaturing? Is it 50/50, 70/30, or something else? 

 

Or do they work at different rates throughout the 25 minute period? For instance, does denaturing play a bigger part at first and then evaporation takes over towards the end? Or is it equal throughout?

 

It could matter because if, for example, denaturing is the bigger player and it happens mostly at the beginning, the heating time could be reduced a lot, and still achieve most of the benefits.

 

One equation and two variables... 

 

It's all also a bit subjective because some people (ie, my girlfriend) does not like how "chewy" it comes out, whereas that's exactly what I like about it. So I could heat it less and achieve less "chewiness" which would result in her being happy but me getting less ice cream.

 

Funny how Ruben seems to now have a method named after him... ;) He does sometimes post here so hopefully he will chime in. He's the expert on this!

 

thanks sweettreateater! - I think Ruben also posted somewhere in here that if you do decide to not evaporate the mix then you can already up the total solids to mimic the evaporation (i think it was around the possible use of a sous vide machine which has the mixture in a closed bag which will stop evaporation).

 

another tack on question to yours above is how long is the time to just denature the proteins? is that the reason why 25 mins seems to be the magic number at 72 degrees


Edited by ccp900 (log)

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3 minutes ago, sweettreateater said:

 

 

JoNorvelleWalker is a close second...

agreed - lots of people and a great helpful community

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2 hours ago, sweettreateater said:

While we're at it, this is an awesome ice cream blog:

 

https://underbelly-nyc.blogspot.com

 

Amazing info there, along with some pretty witty writing. He also posts here with very insightful suggestions.

i got that bookmarked hehehe

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On 4/3/2018 at 4:10 PM, ccp900 said:

Hi everyone can i ask the experts a couple of questions please

 

In Jeni's book, she asks the reader to boil the mixture for 4 minutes and says it is critical to do so.  Although i understand that it was written so that the average home cook can follow it without the necessary details, it would have been nice if they included some sort of quantifiable measure apart from the 4 minutes akin to Ruben's method.  So, my question is has anyone been able to "decipher" that 4 minute instruction to something a little more scientific??

 

An offshoot question is - is there some sort of table that tells us the temperature and time relationship that we require in ice cream making to denature the proteins and get the lovely creamy texture and body? 

 

In Ruben's method i distinctly remember reading a comment from him (not sure where though) that the important piece is really the time of the cook and not the overall reduction.  If the person cooking finds that he has already hit the 15% reduction but still hasnt completed the 25 minute requirement then he should go ahead and continue cooking until 25 minutes completed (please correct me if i am wrong though)

 

I'd recommend against this method entirely. It overcooks the milk proteins, it's terribly imprecise (as you've noticed) and it's a pain. Just figure out what nonfat milk solids level you're going for, and get there by adding nonfat dry milk. The key is to use good quality dry milk that's 100% skim milk, that's very fresh (no off-odors when dry or mixed), and ideally, that's been spray-dried at low temperature. I use Now Organic brand. There are some other good ones. I keep mine double-bagged in the freezer.

 

Jeni knows what she's talking about, but I think the method she's recommending is a misplaced attempt to mimic her industrial process. She'd get raw milk from the farm, centrifuge it into cream and skim milk, and then concentrate the milk by reverse osmosis. This is great if you have industrial dairy equipment. At least in theory. It turned out to be too problematic even for her; now she has all this stuff done off-site at the dairy. 


Edited by paulraphael (log)

Notes from the underbelly

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2 hours ago, paulraphael said:

 

Just figure out what nonfat milk solids level you're going for, and get there by adding nonfat dry milk. 

 

 

I agree completely with that. For me, adding nonfat dry milk seems like the single biggest thing which improves my ice creams, even more than the heating... 

 

Also, very interesting what you said, paulraphael, about Jenni's commercial production solution...

 

I was going to try what she does but my reverse osmosis machine is in the shop. ;)

 


Edited by sweettreateater (log)
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51 minutes ago, sweettreateater said:

 

I agree completely with that. For me, adding nonfat dry milk seems like the single biggest thing which improves my ice creams, even more than the heating... 

 

Also, very interesting what you said, paulraphael, about Jenni's commercial production solution...

 

I was going to try what she does but my reverse osmosis machine is in the shop. ;)

 

 

 

Until you get your equipment fixed, one may purchase osmotically concentrated milk at my local supermarket:  Fairlife.  I experimented with Fairlife for ice cream as reported earlier in this thread.  Not as good in my hands as Ruben's method.  However, as far as convenience is concerned there may yet be promise here.

 

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11 hours ago, sweettreateater said:

I definitely think that Ruben's method results in a super creamy ice cream. However, I have not found a way to separate the effect of evaporation from the effects of the protein denaturing. 

For instance, what percentage of the improvement is due to evaporation and how much due to denaturing? Is it 50/50, 70/30, or something else? 

 

 

That's the real question. Without having done the necessary experiment, I'll bet that protein denaturing has very, very little to do it. There are two significant things that distinguish his recipes: extremely high total solids, and gobsmackingly high milk fat. He's also got a lot of yolks in there. Duplicate these solids and fat and egg levels by any other method, you'll get basically the same result.

 

Personally I don't like ice cream that's so high in fat. I find the mouthfeel (and stomach-feel) off-putting, and I don't like the way it mutes flavors. You may disagree. If so, be confident that you can a similar texture by just about any method that gives you those proportions. When the solids and fat and custard levels are so high, the texture is going to be very robust. It won't be messed with easily by small changes in process. 

 

Manipulating proteins through cooking is an interesting topic. I've built my own process around taking advantage of the possible benefits. I believe these benefits are relatively subtle, though ... not enough to take the place of conventional thickening and emulsifying ingredients unless you're running a very sophisticated process. In my conversations with Jeni of Jeni's homemade, she said she was able to get enough emulsification to go egg-free because she used raw milk. Then she regretted telling me this, because she was afraid I'd encourage people to try this at home, leading to all kinds of carnage. 

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Notes from the underbelly

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2 minutes ago, paulraphael said:

 

That's the real question. Without having done the necessary experiment, I'll bet that protein denaturing has very, very little to do it. There are two significant things that distinguish his recipes: extremely high total solids, and gobsmackingly high milk fat. He's also got a lot of yolks in there. Duplicate these solids and fat and egg levels by any other method, you'll get basically the same result.

 

Personally I don't like ice cream that's so high in fat. I find the mouthfeel (and stomach-feel) off-putting, and I don't like the way it mutes flavors. You may disagree. If so, be confident that you can a similar texture by just about any method that gives you those proportions. When the solids and fat and custard levels are so high, the texture is going to be very robust. It won't be messed with easily by small changes in process. 

 

Manipulating proteins through cooking is an interesting topic. I've built my own process around taking advantage of the possible benefits. I believe these benefits are relatively subtle, though ... not enough to take the place of conventional thickening and emulsifying ingredients unless you're running a very sophisticated process. In my conversations with Jeni of Jeni's homemade, she said she was able to get enough emulsification to go egg-free because she used raw milk. Then she regretted telling me this, because she was afraid I'd encourage people to try this at home, leading to all kinds of carnage. 

 

And here I thought Ruben's problem was that his recipes were too high in sugar!  My ice cream is much higher in butterfat.

 

Not to kick her while she's down but didn't Jeni's process already lead to all kinds of carnage?

 

 

P.S.  If you boil your milk you are going to get a boiled milk taste.

 

 

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      Then I place the top piece of the silicone impression on top, and roll it like crazy with a rolling pin. With the top part of the impression still in place, I pull off as much of the excess as I can.

      Then I remove the top piece, and pull all the ragged edges back in......

      Then I brush a little water on the back of the piece, and adhere it to the pot. I keep making them until the pattern has gone all the way 'round.

      I use a different lace mold to make a pattern on the top pot. Now it's time to do the rims. When I did the lace impressions around the pots, I used fondant, because I needed the stretchability of it to conform easily to the shape of the pot. A little stretchiness in this case is good. But when it's time to do the rims, I don't want ANY stretching going on whatsoever.....I want uniformly thick and perfectly straight strips, so for this I'm going to use modeling chocolate, which of course has been colored the same color as the fondant. See the neato embossing on my strip? I found that little embossing wheel at Seattle Pottery Supply, believe it or not, and it was cheap too. The embossers are interchangeable and it came with about 10 different patterns! I rolled out my strip, then embossed the pattern twice (one next to the other) then used my pizza wheel to cut nice straight even edges. I made two top strips and two bottom strips....the bottom strips are just plain.

      And here are the pots with all their details.....

      These guys are going into the walk-in for a while while I work on the other details. Gotta make the baby! First I start with a styrofoam core. The reason for this is for stability and less weight. There was a time in my career when I thought I shouldn't use ANYTHING that wasn't edible, but talk about making life hard. I've made things out of solid modeling chocolate, but they were very heavy and hard to support. Then over the years, I realized that people really don't eat the decorations anyway (except for a few overzealous kids), so I decided to reduce my chocolate expenses and weight by using styrofoam to bulk things out more and more. I pat out a disk of flesh colored modeling chocolate, and place my styrofoam ball in the middle.

      Then I bring the edges up around the ball and squeeze the chocolate together so that no seams show. I stick a couple of skewers in it so that I can hold it in one hand and model it with the other. Then I manipulate it in my surgeon-scrubbed hands to model the face, add a little nose, eyes, mouth, ears, hair and of course, a dimple. The baby head needs to go somewhere while I work on other stuff.....oh, here's a good place.....right in the edge of my equipment box.

      I've been so good about taking pictures at nearly every step! But here's where I fail you.......when I get "in the zone"......meaning that I'm so intent on my little details....I sort of forget about the camera! Here's what I did in between this picture and the next two:
      *made the baby's shoulders and neck and arms out of modeling chocolate
      *sprinkled my cookie dirt inside the pots
      *dusted the centers of my flowers with luster and color, made the calyx's (sp?) and mounted *them on my green skewers
      *rolled modeling chocolate onto a skewer to form the umbrella stem
      *made the bottom banner and wrote on it
      *made the baby's flower bonnet
      I modeled the baby's neck and shoulders, then stuck that right on the top pot. Then I cut the skewers that are coming out of his head to the right length and pushed it down through the neck and shoulders.

      I placed the arms and formed the hands. I stuck my umbrella stem through the arm and down into the cake so there would be adequate support......but darn, I wasn't watching carefully, and the skewer came out of the side of the pot because my angle was a bit off. Oh well, I'll cover that up with a leaf. At least you can see where the umbrella stem is on the skewer. On top of the umbrella stem is a little half dome of modeling chocolate, to support the gumpaste umbrella. I dab a bit of melted white chocolate on that, and stick the umbrella on top. Now all I have to do is place my flowers, mount the banner, and put his little bonnet on.

      And here we have the finished product. It's sort of hard to read the banner....it says, "May Showers Bring Adorable Flowers". One thing I always seem to to do.....I'll shoot the picture of my finished cake and I'm always tired.....so I'm too lazy to find a good backdrop. Then I curse myself later when there's that yukky kitcheny background. God, in one picture I took, my cake had a dirty mop bucket behind it! All I can say is, thank god for Photoshop......I can always "fix" it later.
      It took me 8 hours to put this together and that's not counting all the prep I did the whole week prior. I don't think a whole lot of people realize the time that goes into this stuff.....and it's also why you don't see it very often.
      Anyway, the girl that's getting the baby shower has NO IDEA this is coming. Surprising her is going to be the best part!
      Fast forward to the next day. My boss's wife and I are bringing the box inside the house, then removing the cake from the box. Kids are dancing around us....."is that a CAKE? Is that a CAKE?" People gather round, and the girl who's getting the shower sees it and starts crying. She gives me a big hug and says "I don't know how to thank you!" I told her she just did.
      The shower went on, presents were opened, food was eaten, champagne was sipped.......and then.....it was time......the part that the kids almost couldn't wait for.....time to eat cake! Which of course, means, time to cut cake. And guess who gets to do it. Yep. Me. I don't have to cut my own cakes very often, and that's a good thing. Usually I'm nowhere in the vicinity when my cakes are cut and consumed.....I have only the memory of a photograph and my labor. This time I also do the deconstructing.....and I gotta say it was bittersweet. Especially since knowing it took me 8 hours to build it and only 15 minutes to take it apart. May I say.......wah? Yes. Wah. Luckily I'd had a couple glasses of Mumm's so my "pain" was numbed a bit.......
      Hope you all have enjoyed this bit of cake sculpting. Now back to our regular programming.......
    • By Nn, M.D.
      I'm very excited to share with you all a recipe that I developed for a double crust apple pie.  I had been inspired a few weeks ago to come up with a series of 3-ingredient recipes that would focus on technique and flavor but still be simple enough for the unseasoned chef.  I decided to make an apple pie as a challenge to myself--never having made one before--and as a way to show those who might find pastry intimidating how easy and adaptable it can be.
       
      Basic Shortcrust Pastry
      Ingredients:
      - 300g flour
      - 227g salted butter, cold
      - 2 lemons, zested with juice reserved
       
      1. Cut butter into small chunks.  Beat butter, zest of the 2 lemons, and flour together with an electric mixer OR combine with pastry blender OR rub together with fingers OR blitz in a food processor until it resembles sand.
      2. Add just enough water to bring the mix together into a dough (about 20g for me).  You'll know your pastry is ready when you can press it together and it stays in one piece.
      3. Divide dough in two and wrap tightly with plastic.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
      4. When ready to use, roll out each portion to 13 inches in diameter. (I do this between two sheets of parchment paper.  Don't worry too much if the parchment sticks to the pastry. I periodically placed mine in the freezer to help keep everything cold, and the butter will separate from the parchment when frozen.)
      5. Take 1 portion of rolled dough and place it in a 9-inch tart tin with a removable bottom.  Gently press into the sides to ensure even coverage.  Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.  Freeze the other portion of dough in-between the parchment pieces.
       
      Apple Filling (and Assembly)
      - 1 kg apples (I used about 7 apples for this recipe.)
      - 220g dark brown sugar, divided
      - 1 egg, separated
       
      Making the apple butter: 
      1. Cut and core 500g of your apples, but do not peel.  Add cut apples, juice of the one lemon, about 100g or so of water, and 170g of sugar to a large saucepan.
      2. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer and cover.  Let the apples cook for 20-30 minutes or until tender.
      3. Remove from heat and blend until smooth.
      4. Return puree to saucepan and simmer uncovered over low heat, stirring occasionally, for an hour.  Color should deepen and the mixture should thicken slightly, but do not allow it to scorch.
      5. Remove from heat and refrigerate until cool.
       
      Apple filling:
      1. Peel, quarter, and core the remaining 500g of apples. Slice on a mandolin to about 1/8th inch thickness. Place sliced apples in a large bowl of cold water while slicing remaining apples.
      2. Once apples are sliced, drain water and add the juice from the remaining lemon, as well as the remaining 50g of sugar, over the apples. Stir to coat.
       
         
       
      Assembly:
      1. Remove pie base from the freezer.  Dock with a fork and brush on egg white.  Place back in the freezer and allow to set for for about 5-10 minutes.
      2. Pour the entire recipe of apple butter into the pie base and even out with an offset spatula.
      3. Arrange apple slices over the apple butter.
      4. Remove remaining pie dough from the freezer and cut designs in while still cold. Transfer to the surface of the pie and seal overhanging edges.  Trim excess dough.
      5. Brush top pastry with egg yolk (beaten with any remaining egg white) and bake in a 365˚F oven for 60-70 minutes.  Crust should be shiny and golden brown.
      6. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before removing from tin.
       
      Some notes:
      The reason for using salted butter is I think the flavor incorporates a little better into the mix than if I were to use unsalted butter and added salt.  That being said, you could do that instead, though your recipe would then have 7 ingredients The addition of apple butter here takes the place of the normal apple pie filling, which is usually thickened with cornstarch and is typically quite sweet.  By using the apple butter, I push the flavor of apple forward beyond what you would find in a typically apple pie.  Also, the apple butter acts as a glue of sorts so that my slices are always clean, so no need to resort to adding thickeners or extra sweeteners. I'm always looking for a way around blind baking, and using an egg white seal has worked out very well for me. The egg white creates a water-tight layer between the crust and the filling, so no matter how wet my filling is, the crust will always bake crispy and won't get soggy for as long as the pie is around. Feel free to change this up as you see fit.  Obviously you can spices to this (I recommend cinnamon, clove, and cardamom) but the beauty of this pie is that it's really not necessary.  Although at first blush it may seem one-noted, the harmony between the flaky, almost savory crust and the bright and refreshing filling is one that doesn't need any help, in my honest opinion.  

       
      So there you have it! My 6-ingredient apple pie, sure to become a go-to for me, and hopefully for you as well!
       
    • By ResearchBunny
      Posted 6 hours ago Dear EGulleters,
      ResearchBunny here. I've just found you today. I've been lolling in bed with a bad cold, lost voice, wads of tissues, pillows, bedding around me. I spent all of yesterday binge-watching Season 2 of Zumbo's Just Desserts on Netflix from beginning to grand finale. I have been a hardcore devotee of Rose Levy Beranbaum since the beginning of my baking passion -- after learning that she wrote her master's thesis comparing the textural differences in cake crumb when using bleached versus unbleached flour. I sit up and pay attention to that level of serious and precision! While Beranbaum did study for a short while at a French pastry school, she hasn't taken on the challenge of writing recipes for entremets style cakes. That is, multi-layer desserts with cake, mousse, gelatin, nougatine or dacquoise layers all embedded in one form embellished with ice cream, granita, chocolate, coulis. After watching hours of the Zumbo contest, I became curious about the experience of designing these cakes. Some of the offered desserts struck me as far too busy, others were delightful combinations. I was surprised that a few contestants were eliminated when their offerings were considered too simple or, too sophisticated. So I'd like to hear from you about your suggestions for learning more about how to make entremets. And also, what you think about the show. And/or Zumbo.
      Many thanks.
      RB
      ps. The show sparked a fantasy entremet for my cold. Consider a fluffy matzo ball exterior, with interior layers of carrot, celery, a chicken mince, and a gelatin of dilled chicken broth at its heart!
    • By TexasMBA02
      After batting about .500 with my previous approach to macarons, I came across Pierre Herme's base recipe online.  After two flawless batches of macarons, I've been re-energized to continue to work at mastering them.  Specifically, I want to try more of his recipes.  My conundrum is that he has, as far as I can tell, two macaron cookbooks and I don't know which one I should get.  I can't tell if one is just an updated version of the other or a reissue or what the differences really are.  I was hoping somebody had some insight.  I have searched online and haven't seen both books referenced in the same context or contrasted at all.
       
      This one appears to be older.

       
      And this one appears to be the newer of the two.

       
      Any insight would be helpful.
       
      Thanks,
       
    • By pastrygirl
      Anyone have a favorite recipe for chocolate cake using semisweet chocolate?  My usual chocolate cake recipe uses cocoa, but I have some samples of chocolate I want to use up for a workplace party.  Yes, I could make brownies or ganache frosting, or chocolate mousse or chocolate chunk cookies, just feeling like cake this weekend ...
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