Since the arrival of my mom, my role in the kitchen is diminished to that of a recipe tester, not that I am complaining. I am taking this opportunity to relax, be outdoors to enjoy the mild weather, work on my bike riding skills, importune my kids and husband about paltry things and in all having a ball. Lately we have been endued with balmy eighty degree weather and I have been spending as little time indoors as possible. The bike trail that starts right outside my house has been the latest attraction of my neighborhood; people of all ages from infants to seniors along with their pets have been enjoying the scenic route. It has become my ritual to go for a four mile walk after supper every evening; my mother who has lived in the high-rise developments of Mumbai all her life is completely taken over by the trail and its landscape. The path curving in the woods dotted by blue lakes and cute little bridges, along with the crisp and pure weather has invigorated her; and she has been stretching the length of her stroll every day.
Food has not been on my mind at all, but lately my kids have been reminding me to bake some rolls and whip up their favorite desserts. Also earlier in the week my husband had bought a big bag of green apples hinting me to make a pan of apple crisp, and on the Labor Day weekend I graced the kitchen to grant everyone’s wishes.
I have always used locally produced flour for my baking needs, but with so many people touting King Arthur flours, I decided to give their all-purpose flour a try and also checked out their book, ‘The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion, from the library. The recipe for cinnamon rolls caught my eye, and I was not disappointed with the crumb or the flavor. An updated recipe with a lot of visuals can be found at King Arthur’s website; the site offers wealth of recipes and I have already bookmarked quite a few of them. Recipe for apple crisp comes from Deborah Madison’s- Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and like every other recipe that I have tried from her book, this one comes on top.
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp yeast
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp nonfat dry-milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg plus enough water to make 1 cup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp soft butter
1/4 cup soft butter
3/4 cup sugar mixed with 1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp heavy cream
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
For the dough
1. Knead all the ingredients for the dough in a mixer or by hand to form a smooth dough.
2. Place it in a greased bowl, cover and rise for 2 – 2 1/2 hours or till doubled in size. The original recipe called for instant yeast which will reduce the rising time to 1 – 1 1/2 hours.
1. Turn out the dough on a lightly greased surface and roll it into a rectangle measuring about 11 X 20 inches.
2. Spread a thin layer of soft butter over the dough.
3. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
4. Roll into a log, starting with the long end.
5. Using a serrated knife cut the log into 12 equal pieces. I like to pinch the cut side together to prevent the filling from falling out.
6. Place the buns in a lightly greased 9 X13- inch pan, cover and let them rise for 1 hour until they are quite fluffy.
7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees farenheit and bake the buns for 20-25 minutes. remove from the oven and let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
I never frost the buns as I find them cloying sweet. If you are, then turn them out of the pan and cool to just slightly warm before frosting.
To make the icing: Mix the heavy cream and confectioner’s sugar to make a creamy glaze; add water for thinner glaze. spread the icing on the buns.
About 7 green apples peeled and cored.
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
6 tbsp butter or oil or mix of the two. I used 3 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp oil.
3/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1. In a food processor pulse all the ingredients together with the exception of apples . Keep aside.
2. Thinly slice the apples, toss with 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice and 2 tbsp sugar.
3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees farenheit.
4. Arrange the apples in a 2- quart gratin dish or 9X13 pyrex pan and cover with the topping.
5. Bake until the juices from the fruit are bubbling and topping is brown. About 1 hour 10 minutes.