Desserts

Apple Crisp

by Nancy on December 13, 2011

in Desserts,Fruit

Fruit crisp is an easy dessert to make but one that I only make when I have fresh fruit. I use any firm fruit that I happen to have available – apples, pears, peaches, or cherries. I usually use apples though so I call it apple crisp. If my fruit is tree ripe and sweet, I don’t add any sugar to the fruit, just a little tapioca to thicken any juice that cooks out. I particularly like this topping because it has oatmeal in it for both the texture and the flavor. I pile the fruit high in the baking dish as it will shrink about half after baking.

Apple Crisp

Ingredients

  • 6 cups peeled and sliced apples
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  1. Toss apples with tapioca and place in 1 1/2 or 2 quart glass or ceramic baking dish.
  2. Mix sugar, flour, oatmeal and cinnamon in bowl.
  3. Cut room temperature butter or margarine into mixture with pastry cutter or fork until crumbly, like pie crust if you make pies.
  4. Pour mixture over apples.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees until apples bubble up around crust, about 45 minutes.

 

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Haupia

by Nancy on August 23, 2011

in Desserts,Snacks

Aloha! Carrie and I are in Hawaii so, of course, we have to feature a Hawaiian food this week. Haupia is a coconut milk pudding that is served at luaus and social gatherings. I first had haupia 30 years ago at a picnic on the Big Island hosted by some colleagues who had lived and worked there for several years. I even got the recipe!

Haupia is referred to a pudding in most recipes. It is similar to Vanilla Pudding that we published a few weeks ago. Coconut milk replaces at least half of the milk, in this recipe it replaces all of the milk but you could use up to half milk. Haupia should be stiff enough to be picked up and eaten as a finger food. This is accomplished by doubling the cornstarch. Haupia was originally made with pia – arrowroot starch – and you could use that instead of cornstarch in the same portion. Keep servings small, coconut milk is a laxative in large quantities.

Coconut milk is not the liquid in the center of a coconut, that is coconut water. The milk is made by grating coconut meat, mixing it (either fresh or dried) with equal parts boiling water, letting it sit 20 minutes and then draining. The liquid you drain off will be white and is the coconut milk you use. You can make it yourself and I have but the quality and flavor varies a lot. It’s better (and easier) to just buy coconut milk in a can if your grocery store carries it. Look in the Asian section.

Haupia is traditionally served on a section of ti leaf. I don’t have ti leaves available so I decided to use an origami leaf instead. Finding a pattern for the leaf was easy. A quick internet search turned up both written and video instructions for how to make this leaf. Finding the right paper took longer. I wanted green paper that would stand up to the moisture in the haupia square and be stiff enough so that you could pick the leaf up off of a serving tray. I finally settled on opalescent origami paper which has a somewhat water resistant coating on it.

Haupia

25 servings

Ingredients

  • 2   13.5 ounce cans of coconut milk or 1 can coconut milk and 1 can milk
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • coconut (optional)
  1. In heavy bottomed 1 1/2 quart saucepan, mix cornstarch, sugar and salt thoroughly.
  2. Add 1/2 cup water and stir to make a paste.
  3. Add milk and stir.
  4. Place on medium high heat and bring to a boil stirring constantly especially as the mixture nears the boiling point. Use a spatula so that you scrape the bottom as you stir. The mixture will thicken on the bottom of the pan first and will be lumpy if not stirred well.
  5. Remove from heat when first bubbles from boiling appear.
  6. Pour into 9″ square pan. Top with coconut flakes if desired. Chill. Cut into 5 sections each way.

 

 

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When summer comes, I think about this strawberry refrigerator dessert from my youth that is light, fluffy, and cool.  I’ve been trying to find the recipe or remember how to make it for several years. It features angel food cake pieces, strawberries, whipped cream, and strawberry gelatin. My mom didn’t remember it at all. Eventually I asked my sister and she did remember it. She said it was made with Dream Whip and suddenly how it was made all fell into place. I wondered if Dream Whip (a powder that you mix with milk to make a whipped cream substitute) was still made but when I went to the store it was right there on the shelf next to the gelatin and pudding mixes.

As you know, I’m big on taking a basic recipe and varying it according to what’s on hand. In this recipe, the Dream Whip could be replaced with Cool Whip (a frozen whipped cream substitute) or real whipped cream. Using real whipped cream seems like a good idea but Dream Whip is lighter and lightness is what I want in a summer dessert. Also this recipe makes a large batch and I suspect that prepared Dream Whip has a longer refrigerator life than whipped cream. Frozen strawberries could be replaced with fresh strawberries but fresh strawberries often aren’t available in summer. You could also substitute the strawberries and strawberry Jello with another fruit.

I grew up in a family where eight people usually ate together. I’m trying to cut all of my old family recipes down to serve about 4 but this recipe doesn’t reduce well. It uses a whole angel food cake which is hard to divide. If you can’t use the whole dessert in a few days put part of it in the freezer.

Strawberry Angel Cake Dessert

makes one 13″ x 9″ pan, 12 to 16 servings

  • 1 angel food cake
  • 1  3 ounce box strawberry gelatin
  • 2 cups water
  • 1  10 ounce box frozen sweetened strawberries
  • 2 envelopes Dream Whip
  • 1 cup milk
  1. Make gelatin according to package directions. Refrigerate until a thick syrup, not fully set.
  2. Break angel food cake into bite sized pieces and place in large bowl.
  3. Prepare Dream Whip according to package directions.
  4. Beat gelatin with electric mixer until fluffy. Add thawed strawberries.
  5. Fold Dream Whip into gelatin mixture.
  6. Fold into angel food cake. Place in 13″ x 9″ cake pan and refrigerate.

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Vanilla Pudding

by Nancy on May 31, 2011

in Desserts,Snacks

Here we have three different flavors of pudding: chocolate with chocolate chips, butterscotch with toffee bits and vanilla with toasted coconut. So you would think that I would use three different recipes, right? I actually use the same basic recipe for all three! Only slight changes to the recipe change the flavor and other slight variations change this into pie filling, like a nice coconut cream or banana cream, or into frozen pudding pops. I’m just going to talk about pudding here, I’ll post about cream pies and pudding pops in the summer.

This pudding has only three basic ingredients: milk, cornstarch and sugar. Starch thickens the milk and sugar adds sweetness. You can vary the milk substituting whole, lowfat or nonfat milk, soy milk or almond milk. You can vary the sugar: white sugar makes vanilla pudding and brown sugar makes butterscotch pudding. You could even vary the starch using something like arrowroot starch. I haven’t tried this but if someone in your family is allergy to corn you might want to. You would have to play with the ratio of starch to milk to get a nice consistency.

Once you have your basic pudding, you can flavor it or add other ingredients. I always add salt and vanilla both tastes are “expected” and you don’t hardly notice them – unless they aren’t there. You might also want to add some extract: wild cherry with vanilla or butter rum with butterscotch, or food coloring. Finally, you might want to stir in a special ingredient at the end: sliced bananas for banana cream or coconut for coconut cream. And I always add a topping! It tastes better if it look appealing.

Basic Vanilla Pudding

  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  1. In heavy bottomed 1 1/2 quart saucepan, mix cornstarch, sugar and salt thoroughly.
  2. Add 1/2 cup milk and stir to make a paste.
  3. Add remainder of milk and stir.
  4. Place on medium high heat and bring to a boil stirring constantly especially as the mixture nears the boiling point. Use a spatula so that you scrape the bottom as you stir. The mixture will thicken on the bottom of the pan first and will be lumpy if not stirred well.
  5. Remove from heat when first bubbles from boiling appear.
  6. Stir in vanilla and pour into custard cups or dessert bowls.

I’m putting the variations for chocolate and butterscotch puddings in their own posts so they index. Here are the links:

Chocolate Pudding

Butterscotch Pudding

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Chocolate Pudding

by Nancy on May 31, 2011

in Desserts,Snacks

Chocolate Pudding is a simple variation of basic Vanilla Pudding. I just add 1/3 cup cocoa and increase the sugar from 2/3 cup to 1 cup to counteract the bitterness of the cocoa.

Chocolate Pudding

  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  1. In heavy bottomed 1 1/2 quart saucepan, mix cornstarch, cocoa, sugar and salt thoroughly.
  2. Add 1/2 cup milk and stir to make a paste.
  3. Add remainder of milk and stir.
  4. Place on medium high heat and bring to a boil stirring constantly especially as the mixture nears the boiling point. Use a spatula so that you scrape the bottom as you stir. The mixture will thicken on the bottom of the pan first and will be lumpy if not stirred well.
  5. Remove from heat when first bubbles from boiling appear.
  6. Stir in vanilla and pour into custard cups or dessert bowls.

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