Quince and Apple Tart with Half White Flour Crust

January 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4 to 6


For the crust

2 cups Cayuga Organics farmer ground half white flour
½ teaspoon sea or kosher salt
½ cup sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small dice, and very well chilled
¼ cup ice water


Combine flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine.

Add butter, and blend 15 to 20 seconds.

Start the blender and immediately start pouring water in a slow, steady stream. Should take 10 to 15 more seconds. Stop motor. The dough should appear dry, but hold together when pinched. If it falls apart, add another couple of tablespoons of ice water.

Turn dough out on to a sheet of plastic wrap, form into a 1 inch thick square, wrap, and refrigerate 1 hour to hydrate.

For quine

3 ripe quince
2 cups apple cider
2 cups sugar
1 stick of cinnamon
2 allspice berries
2 slices of lemon
Pinch sea or kosher salt


Peel quince, slice into 6ths, and then core. Place in a sauce pan with the remaining ingredients, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, drop to a simmer, and cook partially covered until the quince is very soft when pierced with a paring knife. Carefully remove the quince to a sheet tray and chill.

For the apple puree

2 Granny Smith or other tart apples
½ stick butter
½ cup sugar
Generous squeeze lemon juice
¼ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons corn starch


Add apples, butter, sugar, lemon, and salt to a small pot. Add water to barely come up to the tops of the apples. Bring to a boil, drop to a simmer, and cover with a parchment paper hat. Cook until the apples are very soft – about 30 minutes.

Dissolve corn starch in 2 tablespoons water, and then add to apples. Return to a boil, and then remove from heat, and transfer to the bowl of a blender. Puree well on high, scraping down the sides as necessary, and strain. Refrigerate.

To assemble tart

Cut dough in half, and roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 18” thick. Dust again with flour then transfer to a parchment lined sheet tray, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Once crust has chilled, place into a 12″ x 4″ rectangular tart mold sprayed with PAM. Work crust into corners, then trim, leaving ¼” of crust above edge of the tart mold. Refrigerate ½ hour to prevent it from shrinking. Preheat oven to 375°F.

Place a sheet of parchment over the tart shell, fill with baking beans, and blind bake in the oven on a sheet tray until golden brown – about 40 minutes.

Remove from the oven, carefully remove parchment, and pour off baking beans (save for another use). Spread ½ to ¾ cup apple puree evenly along the bottom of the tart shell.

Cut quince pieces on a hard bias into ¼ inch slices. Arrange on top of apple puree in an overlapping pattern.

Return to the sheet tray, and bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until the apple puree starts to bubble at the edges, and the crust is a darker golden brown on the edges.

Chill 1 hour, cut, and serve with caramel ice cream, and diced apples cooked in bourbon.

Recipe Property of Gabe McMackin

Fall Stuffed Mushrooms

December 16th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Makes 40 stuffed mushrooms


40 medium sized crimini mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium shallot, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon of each of the following fresh herbs: thyme, rosemary, parsley, sage, marjoram; chopped fine
½ medium tart apple, cored and chopped fine
½ cup walnuts, chopped fine
½ cup kashi whole grain nuggets cereal or whole wheat bread crumbs
¼ cup asiago cheese, shredded finely
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper


Preheat oven to 375°F.

Gently separate mushrooms caps from stems and place cap-side down on a baking sheet. Next, chop stems super fine and set aside. In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt butter and olive oil. Sauté shallots and garlic and cook, 5 minutes. Add the herbs, apple, mushroom stems, and walnuts and cook, 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat and place all ingredients in a bowl. Add kashi cereal or bread crumbs and asiago cheese. Mix well. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Using a teaspoon, stuff mushroom caps until full. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Apple Mustard Mint Glazed Ham

December 6th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Wine Pairing: Domaine Zind Humbrecht, Riesling Gueberschwihr – Organic 2008, Germany.
This almost perfect German Riesling has smoke and stone notes lached with white peach, apple, and lemon zest. It’s zesty and snappy with a white pepper-tinged finish. It is perfect for this ham! Retails for around $18.


For the Brine

One whole bone in fresh ham, skinned and trimmed, slashes cut, leaving a thin layer of fat
6 quarts water
1 cup sea salt
1 cup light brown sugar
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 whole nutmeg, cracked and broken

For the Glaze

1 medium tart apple, peeled and seeds removed
½ cup fresh mint leaves
1 small red onion
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon salt

For the Spice Rub

3 tablespoons black pepper, cracked medium fine
2 tablespoons sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil



In a large pot, bring all items for brining to a boil, stirring occasionally until all the sugar and salt is dissolved. Cool mixture, and add ham to pot- mixture should completely cover the ham, if it does not than make more brine! Refrigerate for 1 to 2 days, turning the ham a few times. Drain the brine, and let the ham rest on a roasting pan with a rack, allowing the brine residual to drip down into the pan. Pat the ham dry with paper towels.


In a blender, blend the apples, red onion, sugar, salt, and the mint. Add the honey and the mustard, and mix well. Set aside, and let rest for at least 30 minutes.

Spice Rub

Pre-heat oven to 375°F.

In a medium bowl, mix up all the spice mix ingredients. Rub mixture all over ham. Place ham in the pre-heated oven, and bake according to weight based on the table below. A 15-pound ham with the bone intact should take a total of 3 to 4 hours. Let the ham bake uninterrupted, and then in the last hour begin the glazing process. Glaze every 10 minutes until entire ham is browned. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, turn the oven temperature up to 425° F, and let the ham get a bit crispy and caramelized.

Spiced Apple Cider with Dark Rum

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes one gallon


1 gallon fresh apple cider
1 tart apple, sliced horizontally
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 whole cloves
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1-2 cups dark rum (can be omitted for non-alcoholic version)


Place all ingredients in a large pot and simmer for about 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Kale & Apple Sausage Pot Pie with Apple Parmesan Whole-Wheat Phyllo “Beggars Purses”

November 22nd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 Casserole Size Pie

Here is a great seasonal family meal, filled with nutrition and fit for a fancy potluch. Don’t be frightened by the beggar’s purses either – they’re a cinch.


For the Pies

1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 pound or about 3-4 links of turkey or chicken apple sausage
2 medium tart apples, cored and chopped
3 cups purple kale, chopped coarsley
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 cup fresh apple cider
1 cup chicken broth

For the Beggar’s Purses

8 sheets phyllo dough
1 stick butter, melted
½ cup parmesan cheese
1 tart apple, peeled cored, and chopped fine
8 fresh chives, blanched


In a large sauté pan, over medium high heat, add oil. Sauté onions, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 7 minutes. Add sausage, apples, and kale, cook until sausage is cooked through and greens are wilted. Add apple cider, chicken broth and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce is reduced by half. Set aside.

Cut each phyllo sheet in half to equal 16 squares in total. Make sure to cover phyllo that you’re not using with a damp cloth or paper towel.

On a flat surface, place one phyllo sheet, and brush entire surface (especially the edges) with melted butter. Place a second sheet on top in the opposite direction, creating an “X” pattern. Brush with butter again; repeat with 2 more sheets – which will equal 4 sheets in total.

In the center of the top sheet, place 1 tablespoon of apples on top, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Pull all the sides of the phyllo up towards the center to make a purse. Tie the top with a blanched chive. Brush outside with more melted butter. Continue until 8 purses are assembled.

Place purses on top of casserole, and bake.

Moroccan Chicken Curry Pot Pies with Puff Pastry

November 22nd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 8 Mini Pot Pies

Exotic Middle Eastern spices give these individual chicken pot pies, a sultry edge, while filling your kitchen with intoxicating scents!


1-2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed into 1 inch pieces
Salt/white pepper
2 medium tart apples, cored and chopped
½ cup golden raisins
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 package frozen puff pastry


Pre-heat oven to 400°F.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat, cook garlic and onions until slightly cooked or translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add chicken, and sauté until cooked through. Season with salt and white pepper. Add the apples, raisins, and spices, and sauté, stirring well mixing in all the spices. Add the flour, and mix thoroughly making sure the flour dissolves into the mixture. Finally, add the chicken broth, mix well and turn butner to low and allow to simmer, 15 to 20 minutes. Take off burner, set aside and allow to cool slightly.
Lightly greased ramekins (8-10 ounce size) with butter. Pour the chicken mixture into the ramekin until ¾ full. Cover with a square of puff pastry just larger than the ramekin, pushing down slightly so it adheres to the ramekin. Cut some slits into the top of the puff pastry and sprinkle with a little cinnamon in top.
Place all ramekins on a baking sheet and place in oven and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Apple Cider Gravy with Ginger Apple Bits

November 19th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Makes 2 cups of gravy


1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 medium shallots, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 cup tart apples, chopped fine
1½ tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped super fine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, chopped fine
½ tablespoon fresh sage, chopped fine
1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1 cinnamon stick
2 fresh bay leaves
1 cup apple cider
½ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons apple brandy or Lairds applejack (optional)
½ cup heavy whipping cream


Preheat oven to 400ËšF.

In a medium sauté pan, heat butter and oil over medium high heat. Sauté shallots and garlic and cook, 5 minutes. Next, add apples and ginger, cook 3 minutes longer. Remove 2 tablespoons of the mixture and place on a lined baking sheet and place in the oven and cook until until crispy, 7 to 10 minutes. Once cooked, remove from oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, add the fresh herbs, nutmeg, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, apple cider, chicken broth and apple brandy to the rest of the sauté mixture, combine and cook, 30 minutes or until liquid is reduced by a quarter. Remove pan from heat and add heavy whipping cream and add cooked crispy apple bits.

Apple Ginger Cranberry Sauce

November 19th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Makes 3 cups

This is an extrmely versatile cranberry sauce, pleasing the palettes of most everyone, while tasting delightful and fallish with a unique, subtle and spicy gingery twist! Also a delicous accompaniment to pork!


3 cups fresh cranberries
2 medium tart apples, peeled and cored and chopped super fine
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon allspice
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped super fine
½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped fine
1 cup apple cider


Place all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat and cook until cranberries begin to burst. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until sauce is thick and chunky, about 25 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick. This can be kept chunky or blended until smooth.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Apples & Mint

November 19th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Here is a simple & tasty way to enjoy winter’s hearty vegetable with a new and unique twist optimizing our love of herbs and seasonal ingredients, brightening us up in the dead of dark winter.

Serves 4


2 pounds Brussel sprouts, cleaned, trimmed and halved lengthwise
2 tart apples, cored and chopped into bite size chunks (peel on)
1 medium red onion, chopped medium
½ cup fresh mint leaves, torn into small pieces
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon almond oil (optional)


Pre-heat oven to 400°F and place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Next, place in a heavy bottom ceramic or glass baking dish. Bake for about 20 minutes, making sure to shuffle and toss brussel sprouts, apples and onion around the pan while baking to allow for even brownness.

©Nissa Pierson, Ger-Nis Culinary and Herb Center

Apple, Blue Cheese and Bacon Salad

October 18th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4


1 head of butter leaf lettuce (or mesclun mix), leaves roughly torn
1 to 2 tart apples, seeds removed, chopped medium
2 oz, Oregon sweet blue cheese, crumbled by hand
3 pieces thick-cut bacon, cooked and chopped
1 medium red onion, sliced in rounds
Red Wine Vinaigrette, recipe follows
Salt and freshly ground pepper


In a large bowl, combine all ingredients up through vinaigrette. Next, add just enough vinaigrette to coat lettuce leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper and mix well. Serve immediately.

Red Wine Vinaigrette

Makes ¾ cup


1 shallot, chopped fine
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup Pinot Noir red wine vinegar
¼ cup walnut oil
¼ cup olive oil


In a small bowl, combine shallots, Dijon and red wine vinegar. Next, drizzle in oils until emulsified.

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