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October 16, 2013  | Everyday Recipes
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October 16,  2013  |  Messages and Recipes

This is a great dessert for all who enjoy any dessert with apples. It is also nice, as it can be assembled the day before you bake and serve it.
Robbie In

Caramel Apple Pudding

2 cups tart apples, such as Jonathan or Granny Smith
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsps light-colored corn syrup
2 Tbsps margarine or butter
1/4 cup pecan pieces
3 beaten eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
8 to 10 1/2-inch-thick slices Italian or French bread

Peel, core, and slice apples (should have 2 cups). In a small saucepan combine apple slices and 1/4 cup water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cook, covered, over medium-low
heat for 5 to7 minutes or till apples are tender, stirring occasionally. Drain in a colander. Transfer apples to a small bowl. Gently stir cinnamon into cooked apples. Set aside.

In the same small saucepan combine brown sugar, light-colored corn syrup, and margarine or butter. Cook and stir over medium heat till mixture just comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Pour mixture into a 2-qt square baking dish. Sprinkle pecans over all.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, and nutmeg. Arrange a layer of half the bread slices in the baking dish atop the caramel mixture, trimming bread to fit. Spoon cooked apples evenly over bread layer. Arrange remaining bread slices on top. Carefully pour the egg mixture over bread, pressing the bread down gently to moisten the slices completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.

Remove the plastic wrap, when ready to bake. Bake, uncovered, in a 325 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes or till a knife comes out clean. Remove from oven; run a knife around edge to loosen. Let stand for 15 minutes. Carefully invert pudding onto a platter. (Spoon any remaining caramel mixture in dish over pudding.) Cut into triangles. Serve warm or cool.
Makes 8 servings.
Robbie IN
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Is it Doneis it done yet custard pies Yet?
Are my breads, cookies, or cakes baked and ready to come out of the oven yet?

The ability to tell when products are baked seems to cause more consternation than almost any other phase of baking. And of course, it is important. Over baked cookies are dry and hard; under baked bread is soggy. But you can get it right. In this article, we will give you the techniques and pointers for baking your goods to perfection.

Yeast breads
The tendency is to under bake yeast breads. The internal temperature of yeast breads should be 210 degrees and must be at least 185 degrees. The only way to reliably tell what is going on inside that loaf is with a probe type thermometer. Remove the bread from the pan and insert the thermometer through the bottom crust into the center of the loaf.

(If you are going to bake bread and you don’t have a thermometer, we strongly recommend that you purchase one. You will need it to test the temperature of the water, the dough, and the finished bread. You can buy one on our site.)

When the bread is done, the crust color will range from a golden brown to a deep brown for artisan breads baked in a hot oven. Breads with a higher sugar content or in a hot oven will tend to brown more rapidly as the sugar caramelizes. If the bread is browning too rapidly, make a tent of aluminum foil and cover the top of the loaf.

In light colored pans, the bottom crust is the last to brown. With a done loaf, the bottom will color even in a light-colored pan.

My mother was a bread baker. She tested doneness by tapping the loaf with her finger--a done loaf will sound hollow when tapped. I don’t remember her ever making a mistake. Though she taught me to do the same, I’m not as good as she was. Out of habit, I still tap the loaf but I nearly always follow with a thermometer probe and sometimes the thermometer proves me wrong.

If the tendency is to under bake breads, the tendency is to over bake cookies. Take them out just before you think they are done; you won’t be wrong often.

My father is a consummate cookie baker. If you ask him what his secret is, he’ll tell you: “I don’t over bake cookies.” The difference between a just right cookie and an over baked one is dramatic.

Make cookies uniform in size. Not only are they more attractive but different sizes of cookies take different times to bake.

Most recipe writers tell you to leave the cookies on the sheet for a minute or two. Cookies continue to bake on a hot baking sheet. Sometimes that’s necessary for an easy release but for most recipes, we remove them as quickly as we can.

If the cookies look a little soggy in the middle, then leave them on the sheet for a few minutes and they will firm up.

Most cookies should be gold in color, not brown. Both the amount of sugar and soda in the recipe will affect how fast a cookie browns.

Chocolate cookies represent another challenge: you can’t tell if they are browning. If you are baking with a new recipe, bake a few cookies and check them for doneness before baking the entire batch. Chocolate cookies will tend to lose their “wet” look when done.

Many bar cookies will have a dry, shiny crust when done.

For most baked goods--but especially cakes--it is best to set the timer for a few minutes less than directed in the recipe—different ovens or even different positions in the oven bake differently. A dark pan bakes more quickly than a light pan. When you find your cake not quite done and continue baking, set the timer for three or four minutes and check again.

A toothpick inserted in the center of the cake will come out clean when done. “Clean” means a few crumbs. If there is wet looking batter clinging to the toothpick, it’s not done.

If you don’t want to poke a whole in the center of the cake, check for doneness with your finger. There should be some resiliency to the touch and the cake should spring back. When done, the cake will usually have a golden brown color to the top though different recipes will brown more or less quickly. When done, the cake will tend to pull away form the edges.

Quick Breads
Quick breads are basically cakes in a loaf pan. The same tests that you use on cakes can be used with quick breads. Stick the toothpick or skewer right in the open crack in the center of the bread. The area under that crack seems to be the last area in the loaf to set up.

Incidentally, quick breads release from the pan easier if left to cool for few minutes before removing. Because of the larger mass, a loaf does not continue cooking as quickly as cookies do.

Custard Pies
Custard pies—including pumpkin pies—are a special problem. It takes quite a while for the protein in the eggs to set and make the pie firm. Often, the crust is becoming too brown before the eggs set. If so, cover the crust with strips of aluminum foil to retard further browning.

When a custard pie is done, a knife inserted in the center of the pie will come out clean. If you don’t want a cut mark in the center of your pie, use the jiggle test. Pick the pie up with two hot pads or mitts and gently shake the pie back and forth. If done, all but the center should be firm—there will be a little jiggle in the center. The center will continue to cook and firm up after you remove the pie from the oven.

We hope these guidelines help. With practice and observation, you’ll soon become very proficient at judging when your bread or cookies are baked to perfection. Your baked goods will then be irresistible.
Dennis, the Prepared Pantry  
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Enter the Fisher Nuts My Fresh Twist Recipe Contest for a chance to win a trip to NYC and meet Chef Alex Guarnaschelli! Click Here 

I am sure I got a wonderful recipe from your web site a few years back, It was called Autumn Apple soup and was delicious. Does anyone recall this? I keep searching thru Google but haven't found it. Thanks for any help.
Maryann from MN

Good Morning Nancy and all Landers,
I have a request for all our good cooks and bakers in Nancyland. I received some Sugar Pumpkins from my DIL and would love to make them into pumpkin to use in pies etc.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to process them? I would like to know how to either freeze the pumpkin or can it to be used later.
Dianne in Wisconsin

Jose Ole' 

It is Wednesday and I remembered.

I love the little messages sent to me about remembering today.
At my age, "getting lucky" means walking into a room and remembering what I came in for.

I have a brain like the Bermuda Triangle. Information goes in. never to be found again.

I hate it when I'm singing a song and the artist gets the words wrong.
Nancy Rogers

Pumpkin Spice Mug Cake recipe
1 Serving

2 Tbsp flour
3 tsp brown sugar
2-3 dashes nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp milk
1-1/2 Tbsp canned pumpkin
1-2 drops vanilla extract
a few white chocolate chips/nuts, optional

Note: I used a soup mug which was overkill and I added the chips and nuts.

In a mug, mix together the flour through the baking powder. Add the oil, milk, pumpkin, vanilla and mix well. Drop in a few white chocolate chips, if you feel so inclined. You could also pop a handful of pecans or walnuts in there. Mix to cover the chips or nuts. Microwave for 1 minute. Top with whipped topping, if desired.
Frugal Foodie Mama
Denise in the Villages, FL
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I am anxious to try Denise in The Villages, FL recipe (October 15th) for the banana butterscotch pudding made in the microwave. These are ideal for single servings. I need to know what is golden syrup. I am guessing it might be Karo/cornsyrup but am not sure. I also considered it might be a pancake syrup. Please clarify.
Thanks, Nana in SE Ohio

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The past several days have been spent trying to speed up the loading of this page.  Many have asked for the search box to return to the page. 
Nancy Rogers


Halloween Recipes 

Halloween Red Candied Apples

6 small apples (McIntosh, Jonathan Red Delicious, Stayman, Winesap, or Baldwin are
6 Popsicle sticks
3/4 cup red cinnamon candies (red hots)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Few drops red food coloring

Wash and dry apples and insert sticks into stem end of each. Apples should be room temperature to prevent moisture from forming inside the taffy. Mix remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat in a small saucepan until it reaches 300 degrees F on a candy thermometer (hard-crack stage), about 12 minutes. It takes a while to reach this stage but it occurs quickly, so do not leave the area while the syrup is boiling. As it
nears the 280 degrees F mark, watch closely as it may burn if you do not take it off the heat.

Quickly dip each apple into the hot syrup, covering it completely, and place it on a greased cookie sheet to dry. Store on wax paper in a dry area. If they are stored in a moist or refrigerated area, they will weep and become sticky.
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Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds (fresh)
2 tbsp. melted butter

Scoop out the seeds from a pumpkin. Wash the seeds. Put on paper towel to dry. Grease
cookie sheet with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Spread seeds on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Bake in 300 degree oven for 1 hour or until seeds are golden brown.
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Pumpkin Custard recipe

1 c. evaporated skimmed milk
2 c. canned pumpkin puree
2 lg. eggs, lightly beaten with 2 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 c. whipped topping
Ground cinnamon to garnish (optional)

Place milk in a 1 quart measure or casserole. Microwave on High 2 minutes, or until boiling. Stir in remaining ingredients except whipped topping and garnish. Spray eight 6 ounce custard cups with nonstick cooking spray. Pour custard evenly into cups. Place cups in circle on round tray. Microwave on Medium 20 minutes, rearranging cups every 4 minutes. Custard is cooked when knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean and center is thickened, but not set. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, or until completely cooled
and center is set. To serve, top each custard with 1 1/2 tsp. whipped topping. Sprinkle with cinnamon, if using.
Makes 8 servings.
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Lubbock, Texas 79416

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