Tag Archives: dessert

Caramel Cinnamon Apple Tart




This is an all-calorie creation.
Do not look for carb substitutes here.
This is for when your sweet tooth is really aching.

I like to make this in a deep baking dish — less likely to bubble over in the oven.

Also, my pie crust box said to put in an ungreased dish but it stuck after baking so next time I’m prepping with cooking spray.


1 9″ pie crust (make your own or use refrigerated premade)
2 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin (I used Fujis)
1/4 c flour
1/2 c sugar
dash salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/2 jar caramel ice cream topping, heated until pourable
Aluminum foil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Center your pie crust in a glass baking dish or a deep dish pie plate.
If the crust is too big just let the edges hang over the sides.

Put sliced apples in a large mixing bowl.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon.
Pour over apples and stir until each slice is well coated.
Spread apples evenly over pie crust.
Drizzle first with melted butter, then with caramel topping.

At this point, if you have pie crust hanging over the sides of your dish, just fold the edges over the top of the filling.

Cover with foil.
Bake for 20-30 min or until crust is brown.

Serves at least 4 if you’re polite.


simplest loaf cake by Dorie Greenspan


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup flavorless oil, such as canola

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and generously butter an 8x4x2–inch loaf pan (6-cup capacity). In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

2. Whisk the eggs, sugar, sour cream, and vanilla together until well blended. Add the dry ingredients and stir until smooth. Finally, pour in the oil and use the whisk to gently but thoroughly fold it into the batter.

3. Put the batter in the loaf pan and bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then unmold and cool to room temperature right-side up.

Serves 8. Per serving: 360 calories, 44g carbs, 5g protein, 18g fat, 85mg cholesterol.

Lemon Coconut Bread Pudding


lemon, coconut, buttermilk, etc.

My little kitchen gets so hot that I had to come up with something that would bake quickly when I was craving something lemon-coconut.

Since all lemons are not created equal, you can add the glaze as you wish.  Mine came out pretty tart, so I dumped in the whole batch.


1 small sourdough baguette — about 6-8 cups of bread chunks
3/4 c powdered sugar
1 1/4 c buttermilk
1/4 c lemon juice
1 c coconut
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 c soft brown sugar (not packed)

Preheat oven to 325.

Grease or oil spray a 2 qt baking dish.

In a large bowl, break up the bread into 1″ chunks. I prefer tearing the bread to cutting it with a knife.  The irregular pieces soak up the liquids better, I think, and make a nice texture for the pudding.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and then add buttermilk and lemon juice and toss.

Add coconut and mix well.

Allow 5 minutes or so for the bread and coconut to moisten.

Pour melted butter over the bread and then sprinkle with the brown sugar.  Toss well, just until brown sugar is dissolved. Spoon into baking dish.

Cover and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until top starts to brown.  Time isn’t exact — it depends on the softness of the bread you started with.

This results in a very moist bread pudding. If you like a firmer pudding, leave in another 5 minutes.


Heat 2 T butter with 2 T milk in a 1-quart bowl until butter is melted. You can do this in the hot oven or in the microwave.  Then stir in 1-2 cups powdered sugar until you get the consistency you want.  Pour over the hot pudding and toss briefly, or serve alongside as a sauce.

Lemon Coconut Tea Loaf


20140303_131914Make this when there are other people in the house
o you won’t just eat the entire thing.

Preheat oven to 350.

2 eggs
1/2 c oil
1/2 milk
2 t lemon juice
1-1/2 c flour
1/2 t salt
1 t BP
1/2 c chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 c grated coconut

With a hand mixer gently beat the eggs, add oil and mix, add milk and mix, add lemon and mix.

I used an old-fashioned non-electric mixer for this. It keeps the batter from becoming too frothy.

Sift the dry ingredients together and stir into the liquids with a wooden paddle, then stir in the nuts and coconut.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.

While loaf is baking, make glaze.

1/2 to 3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 T lemon juice
milk if needed

Stir lemon juice into sugar and then add milk one T at a time until glaze is runny enough to pour.

Run a knife down the sides of the pan and punch holes in the loaf every 2-3 inches. Spoon glaze over top of loaf and let sit for 20 minutes or as long as you can stand it. Pop loaf out onto wax paper and close edges unless you plan to cut it right away.

*Note: wax paper is easier to unwrap than plastic wrap or foil. The acid from the lemon will also break down the foil and no one likes it when that happens.

You can store in a plastic bag or foil to keep it moist, but ours won’t last long enough to dry out.

There for the Taking


Jones Orchard is just a nice drive into the country since they put Highway 385 into place. We, my daughter and I, had dragged her son along that afternoon to pick peaches with us. Elijah is a child of video games and books and the occasional jigsaw puzzle.  He wondered, as I would have at his age, why we were going to pick peaches when we could have bought some at the store and been back home in less than 30 minutes.

We prepared admirably for the excursion:  insect repellent, gardening gloves, a large Thermos full of ice water and plastic cups. Rachel slathered Elijah with sunscreen and I brought along a long-sleeved shirt just in case I was overwhelmed by sun, insects, peach fuzz or the outside chance of a cooling breeze.

What ensued was a memory in the making, the stuff of family folklore.  We had picked the hottest day of the season so far, and had gone out in the hottest part of the day. The Thermos had overturned en route and all our ice water was in the floor of my car. And somehow we’d managed to pick twice as many peaches as we could afford to take home. The guy in charge agreed to keep the ones we didn’t want. It seemed like he was getting a great deal. They were the prettiest peaches we could find among 50 trees.

We brought home 30 pounds of peaches. We’d eaten many, given away many more. Now we were down to the last bowlful, past their peak and facing a moldy demise without prompt attention.

During a summer of feast and famine we were solidly in the famine part. Pennies were scarce in the household, dollars even scarcer. We had slowly, slowly stopped treating ourselves to fountain Cokes and frozen custard.  We were trying to satisfy those cravings with PB&J and cereal.

The pantry was full of odds and ends that seemed mostly unrelated.  There was a Mason jar with a handful of old-fashioned oats, not enough for a decent bowl of oatmeal.  Some freakish sense of frugality had ensured the survival of a tablespoonful of butter-flavored Crisco. It was flanked by half a pound of flour, some sugar and some pancake mix.

While looking through the freezer for hope one hungry afternoon, I noticed a bag I’d stashed the summer before. It was a quart of wild blackberries.

Before moving in with my daughter, I lived near the University in a sweet old neighborhood.  During work breaks I’d walk to school and back to stretch my legs. I was keeping an eye on a clump of wild blackberry bushes growing at the edge of a campus parking lot.  One day when the mood was right I drove over to see them.

I stepped into the blistering sun wearing a dress shirt, jeans, tennis shoes and a baseball cap. I ignored the stares of passersby and picked as fast as I could, dark berries that bruised easily and bled purple onto my gloves. By the time I was dizzy from the heat I had a pailful, which I washed and promptly froze, forgetting all about them. And here they were, remembered on a day when I needed to remember them.

Cobbler takes hardly anything at all to be a wonderful dessert.  And we had plenty of hardly anything at all. But we also had hand-picked peaches, just waiting in the bowl, and wild blackberries.

In our refrigerator, amid two dozen jars of pickled and preserved things, I spotted a lonely pat of real butter.  And we had milk.  Thank God, we still had milk, for cereal and for coffee and today, for cobbler.

I set a pot of water to boiling so I could blanch the peaches, and filled the sink with ice water. I examined each peach for doubt. I melted the Crisco with the butter, and poured it over the oats. I tossed in enough flour to make a pea-sized meal. I padded this out with pancake mix and stirred in milk until I had a nice-sized ball of dough. Flattened out between two sheets of waxed paper it yielded a generous top crust.

I diced up the fresh peaches and sprinkled them with sugar, then added the frozen berries and added sugar to them as well. Something reminded me to throw in a little flour for thickening. This pile of fruit, shiny with its own syrup,  completely filled my old Corning casserole. The crust went on and curled up on the sides, almost running over the edge.

It seemed like a celebration sliding that cobbler into a hot oven. I reasoned that no matter what I did, I couldn’t have messed up such spontaneous bounty.  And cobbler is very forgiving, as long as you add enough sugar and don’t let the thing burn.

And so we were forgiven. The crust was perfect, rustic and crunchy, the berries and peaches singing with juice and sunshine. I may never make another such perfect dessert, because I may never again be so broke and bent toward improvisation. But I hope I remember that I was able to find everything I needed and more — it was all right there for the taking.

©27 July 2010 Stormy Bailey





One time Winky gave me a box of marshmallows.

“Here,” she said.  “These will make your panties too small.”

What she handed me was about the size of a corsage box and heavy as a grapefruit. I looked at the label.

“Handcrafted Marshmallows,” it said.

I wondered about marshmallows that weighed so much.  There must be a bunch of them in that box.  No chocolate or pecans, just pure marshmallows, except they might have had a chance encounter with peanut products.

It was hard to miss the price tag:  $18.50.  I knew Winky must have a good story yet to tell.  I already had a list of questions, beginning with:  “How did you happen to come by a $20 box of marshmallows?”

Williams-Sonoma’s ad agency certainly earned their paycheck.  The box itself was a work of art.  It told all about the marshmallows, how it took three days to make them.  I imagined an apple-cheeked man with a tall white toque, stirring a shiny copper cauldron with a big wooden paddle.

Sometimes when these fantasies erupt, it’s 1932.  But I digress.

First there was a heavy cellophane wrapper to peel off the box.  Then there was a wide cardboard ribbon to slide off.  The face of the box opened like shutters, and inside was another box.  But not just any box.  It was like a small safe.  It had a little hiding place for the marshmallows, which were also wrapped in more cellophane, not once, but twice.

I looked at the block of perfect marshmallow cubes, cut three-by-three like a nine-piece quilt square.  There were two layers of them. I pulled out the first marshmallow that would let go of its family.  It was like nothing I’d ever tasted.  It was light yet substantial, and you could taste something besides sugar and air. This was a marshmallow you could depend on.

As I chewed and chewed, I read the rest of the marshmallow story.  It said you could heighten your marshmallow experience with a cup of cocoa or a pot of chocolate fondue.  Was I supposed to wait for chocolate fondue?  I couldn’t think of anyone who might have some handy, so I took mine straight.  I would think about fondue another time.

Standing at the kitchen sink in near-dark, in my nightie and houseshoes, I popped a second marshmallow.  For just a minute, I thought about the unpaid bills I had on my desk, and the ones that I knew Winky also had on hers.  I thought about other friends and family who lately were adding more beans and rice and noodles to their meals. Here I was, eating a marshmallow that cost over a dollar.  Sometimes life is so wonderfully strange I have to write it down.

© 2008 Stormy Bailey.  Excerpt from “A Day with Gustav,” My Mother’s Sinful Child