Tag Archive | dessert

Bottled Cherry Pie Filling with Thick Gel

Technically cherry season is past, since most cherries including pie cherries come on earlier in the year. However, they’re not hard to find frozen. You can even visit places like the Rowleys Red Barn and get them frozen in bulk, so it’s not too late to can cherry pie filling! Especially with the holidays around the corner (Pies, cakes, cookies!) having beautiful bottles of pie filling on hand is a very good thing.

Our recipe for pie filling is a recipe which is thickened before it goes into the bottle, which raises a lot of concerns for some people. It is true that you should NOT use thickeners such as flour or traditional corn starch to thicken product which will be canned. These thickeners do not thicken evenly or hold up to the temperatures of canning. However products such as Thick Gel are approved for home canning as tested by the Utah State Extension service and the labs at Cornabys.

I use tart pie cherries for this recipe, though you could use pitted bing cherries or a combination of sweet and pie cherries. It’s all down to what you like. And while we give you measurements for both Thick Gel and Ultra Gel I have to admit that I like Thick Gel the most for this use, especially in this large recipe. Thick Gel thickens a little more evenly and has a smoother finish. Price per ounce Thick Gel is also a little less expensive. As a reminder Thick Gel has to be heated to thicken but in all of our pie filling recipes this happens anyway, so it’s not an issue.

pie-filling

Bottled Cherry Pie Filling with Thick Gel

 Utah State University Extension

6 quarts fresh or thawed sour cherries

7 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups Thick Gel (2-2 1/2 cups Ultra Gel)

9 1/3 cups water or juice from cherries

2 teaspoons almond extract (opt.)

1/2 cup bottled lemon juice – Do NOT use fresh lemon juice. Bottle juice is mixed to get a specific repeatable pH which cannot be guaranteed with fresh.

2 teaspoons red food coloring (opt.)

Rinse and pit fresh cherries or thaw frozen cherries.  Combine sugar and Thick Gel in large kettle with water or juice from cherries.  If desired, add almond extract and food coloring.  Stir mixture and cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and begins to bubble.  Add lemon juice and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Fold in cherries and fill jars with mixture, leaving 1-1 1/2″ headspace.  Adjust lids and process immediately in water bath canner for 30 minutes (sea level). Increase processing time for by 5 minutes for elevations of 1,000 to 3,000 feet and ten minutes for elevations from 3,000 to 5,000 feet.

Amazing Marshmallow Fondant with Ultra Gel

Between a big family and lots of friends and family catering I’ve made more than my fair share of cakes over the years and worked with a lot of different kinds of fondant. I have to admit commercial fondant has never really done it for me. There’s something about the combination of texture and flavor that’s just kinda…well…blah. So I wanted something better and we’ve come up with two recipes which I’m really rather fond of.

The first one is a cream cheese base and the second a marshmallow base. Both use Ultra Gel to help maintain moisture and workability and both, I’m happy to say, are easy to work with and taste fantastic.

If you want to color either of these recipes I highly advise using gel or powdered colors as liquid ones are weak and can change the consistency of the final product.

rowancake

Ultra Gel Fondant

8 ounce light cream cheese

1/2 cup butter – softened

3-4 lbs powdered sugar

1/4 cup milk

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

Beat cream cheese and butter well.  Add half of the powdered sugar and mix to combine.  In a separate container mix together milk and Ultra Gel.  Add to powdered sugar mixture and beat well.  Add additional powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.  Use powdered sugar or corn starch on rolling surface for easier use, but be careful not to dry mixture out.

Marshmallow Ultra Gel Fondant

3 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

2/3 cups white baking chocolate

1/4 cup water

4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

Combine powdered sugar, salt and Ultra Gel in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a dough hook and mix until well combined. Make a well in the center. In a large microwave safe bowl combine marshmallows and water. Microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between until smooth. Add white chocolate and stir until melted. This may require a brief stint back in the microwave. Add food coloring at this point.

Pour marshmallow mixture into the powdered sugar mixture and mix until you have a paste and all the powdered sugar has been incorporated. Scrape onto a sheet of plastic wrap and wrap tight. Let stand over night. You can add more powdered sugar if you want to use this immediately, but I found that the over night sit helped everything to hydrate and made it easier to work with.

Roll out using normal fondant tools and methods. Wrap and refrigerate unused portions for upto 4 months. Bring to room temp before rolling.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies

I’m not going to give this recipe a lot of lead in. It’s decadent. It’s marvelous. It was a hit at an event with about 50 women who all wanted a piece. It’s that good.

It’s not for those on a diet. So use this knowledge responsibly.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies

1 family sized brownie mix

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

8 ounces light cream cheese

1 egg

1/3 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

6 ounces fresh raspberries

Mix 2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel and 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips into brownie mix. Prepare brownie as per the box. Spread 2/3s of the brownie mix in the bottom of a glass 9×13 inch pan. With an electric or stand mixer beat cream cheese, egg, sugar and 2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel until smooth. Add raspberries and beat until well mixed. Spread cream cheese mixture over brownie mixture. Top with remaining brownie mixture and swirl. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-40 minutes until tests done with a toothpick. Cool and serve with a sprinkle of powdered sugar or a light layer of chocolate buttercream to push it right over the top!

Vanilla Ice Cream Base

Note: This was supposed to publish last week. Technology and I had a falling out, so I apologize to anyone who was miffed it didn’t show up, but I think we’re good now.

When it comes to homemade ice cream I think it is vital that everyone has a really really good vanilla ice cream base. Not only because vanilla ice cream is yummy on its own, but also because once you have a good vanilla base you can add all sorts of stuff to it to make a million flavors. But if your base isn’t good it doesn’t matter how many beautiful raspberries you add, or chunks of double brownie it just won’t have the quality you want.The Thick Gel in this recipe helps to create a really smooth ice cream that freezes with small crystals to retain a superior mouthfeel.

So…that said here is my favorite recipe, for now, for vanilla ice cream base.

vanilla ice cream

Vanilla Ice Cream Base

2 cups half and half

1 cup whipping cream

1 cup white sugar

3 Tablespoons Thick Gel (5 Tablespoons Ultra Gel)

2 Tablespoons peach jam (I use my Jam in a Jiffy Jam. And yes it needs to be peach as that flavor is very delicate and highlights the vanilla. If you don’t have peach then omit entirely. The flavor won’t be as rich, but it will work out)

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine sugar and Thick Gel and mix thoroughly. Move to a large saucepan and combine with all remaining ingredients. Stir well to make sure all ingredients are completely integrated. Warm over medium heat until mixture just starts to thicken. You need the heat to activate the Thick Gel but you do not want to boil the mixture to avoid scorching. Remove from heat and pour into a container. Refrigerate over night. Remove vanilla bean before pouring mixture into a churn and processing as per manufacturer’s directions.

When it comes out of the churn the ice cream will be soft. This is the perfect time to stir in any extras you want, then move the ice cream to the freezer for at least 4 hours before serving.

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies with Thick Gel

Today (May 15th) is National Chocolate Chip Day. This whole food holiday thing always amuses me, but the very most when the food in question is something I really love, and chocolate chips are something I really love.

So in pondering a recipe to share for such a wonderful food holiday I went back to the classic chocolate chip cookie. What I want in a chocolate chip cookie is a delicate balance of a crisp edge that gives with a satisfying chew and a soft chocolatey center. Then, just to make things hard, I want a cookie that I can keep over night or freeze while maintaining the same qualities because as much as I love my chocolate chip cookies I know better than to eat the whole batch at once. With all of this in mind I went to work with a few adjustments to the recipe, again. Often I put Ultra Gel in my cookies and I do love what it does, but this time I worked with Thick Gel. I get the cookie I want and a cookie that will keep, all good things in my book. And I’m never unhappy to find another recipe to use Thick Gel in.🙂

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies with Thick Gel

2 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons Thick Gel

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

3/4 cup sugar

2/3 cup unsalted butter, soft

1 large egg + 1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla

1 bag chocolate chips (I prefer semi-sweet, but if milk chocolate is your thing I’m not judging)

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, Thick Gel and salt and set aside. Cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Seriously, give it 3-4 minutes, even as many as 10, light and fluffy! Add egg, additional yolk and vanilla and mix well. Add dry ingredients in three batches, mixing to combine. Fold in chocolate chips. Now the hard part: put the whole thing into the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Some folks will say as long as overnight. I personally don’t like that and find the resulting dough to be very stiff to work with without getting much benefit from that much chilling. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. I like these cookies big so I use a two ounce disher and can put about 8 per batch. Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes until just barely golden brown around the edges. Allow to cool on the pan for 2 minutes and then remove to cooling racks. Serve warm, or cold, or freeze any option is a good one!

Easy Whipped Key Lime Pie

I got a few questions asking for more information about my key lime pie, so I thought I’d expand on the wonders of key lime pie a little. A traditional key lime pie is made with egg yolks, key lime juice and sweetened condensed milk. The idea is that the acid ‘cooks’ the egg and the whole thing forms a delicious emulsion which sets in a graham cracker or crushed nut crust. I like traditional key lime pie. However, it takes a bit to set and if you are at all concerned about the raw egg it can be a turn off. So a few years back I created a key lime pie that is based off of the flavors of the original but with a lighter texture and no egg. In this case Ultra Gel steps in to hold the emulsification together and whipped cream adds lightness.

Now, one of the other fun things with this recipe is that you can get creative with other citrus flavors. I’ve replaced the lime juice with lemon juice and a couple drops of food coloring for a fun pink lemonade pie (pictured below), and substituting orange juice makes for a fun orange dream flavored pie. I expect pineapple would be good too, but I haven’t tried that one yet.

So here’s something a little different for your next Christmas party. I particularly like to serve it up in tart sized crusts for a great appetizer that is a little sweet and a whole lot of sassy.

pink lemonade pie IMG_2097

Easy Whipped Key Lime Pie

1/4 cup key lime juice (or other concentrated citrus juice)

1 can sweetened condensed milk

2 Tbsp Ultra Gel

2 cups whipped stabilized whipping cream (I always use the Ultra Gel recipe 1 pint cream, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, vanilla to taste, 1/2 tsp salt and 1-3 tsp Ultra Gel)

Combine juice, sweetened condensed milk and Ultra Gel until well blended. Fold in whipped cream and pour into a graham cracker pie crust. Top with additional whipping cream. Refrigerate until ready to serve. This is also really good frozen.

Cornaby’s Apple Pie Bars and Perfect Pie Crust

When it comes to fruit filled pies there are many opinions about how much pie crust there should be in relationship to how much fruit filling. My sweet husband is a filling man. He wants a thick layer of fruit filling and enough crust to carry it along. I’m more of a middle ground girl. I want enough pie filling to be interesting but I hate it when all my fruit filling spills out of my crust because there’s not enough crust or the pie crust is too weak.

This is where apple pie bars, or other slab pies really, enter in. This recipe takes advantage of the Apple Pie Filling recipe we gave you a bit ago for a wonderful pie filling that bakes up perfectly, and uses Ultra Gel to help give tenderness and hold to a flaky, buttery crust. This recipe cooks very evenly and the resulting pieces keep the apple pie filling in place and are the perfect eat with one hand breakfast! For a lovely compliment try a little caramel ice cream or a poof of Ultra Gel Whipping Cream.

apple pie bars

Cornaby Apple Pie Bars

6 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp salt

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

1 cup cold butter, cut into cubes

1 cup shortening

3/4 cup water, + a little as needed

2 quarts (4 -4.5 cups) apple pie filling

egg white

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and Ultra Gel, mix well. Add butter and shortening and cut into dry ingredients until the consistency of coarse meal. Add 3/4 cups ice water and toss until water is incorporated. Add additional water if necessary to bring dough together. Turn out and knead 5-10 times. Do not over knead. Split into two pieces and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

When cooled roll out the first piece of pie crust large enough to form to the bottom and sides of an 11×17 inch jelly roll pan. Transfer dough to pan and trim sides. Prepare top pie crust as bottom crust. Fill bottom with prepared apple pie filling, add top crust and crimp edges to seal (use a little water or milk if needed, but generally the dough sticks together really well). Whip egg whites to a froth and brush pastry surface. If desired sprinkle with coarse sugar or cinnamon sugar. Vent top crust by making decorative holes with a sharp knife. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes until top begins to brown. Lower temperature to 350 degrees and bake another 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving. Refrigerate anything that doesn’t get eaten the first night and serve cold for breakfast!