Monday, November 24, 2014

Fruit Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing

Photo courtesy of the Cooking Corner.
     All of the kids big and little at my house like fruit, so some kind of fruit salad is on the menu every holiday. I came across the idea of making a dressing with honey and lime to lightly coat the fruit. I was afraid it would be too much pucker or sticky sweet to touch but was pleasantly surprised that this fruit salad had neither. It was a perfect balance and the kids of all sizes liked it. This is an easy way to give fruit a new twist.

Fruit Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing
1 qt. strawberries
1 pt. blueberries (or about 1 cup)
1 bunch (about 1- 1/2 lbs.)
green seedless grapes
1/4 cup honey
3 T. limes juice (about 2 limes)

Rinse strawberries, blueberries and grapes. 

Gently pat dry the fruit. Hull strawberries, then cut each in half; if large, cut into quarters.

Remove stems from berries and grapes, if any.

Gently combine all three in a large bowl or aluminum tray. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together honey and lime juice. Pour over fruit.  

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Caramel Nut Torte

      Despite caramel drizzled over a cream frosting, this cake is light in texture and not overly sweet. All of the ingredients are perfectly balanced so that no component is over powering. This was a perfect pick for a finalist in a recent holiday recipe contest.

Caramel Nut Torte
Eva Payne, Princeton
Cake Finalist  
3 eggs, separated
1/4 apple cider
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2/3 cup sugar divided
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup ground almonds
Caramel Sauce:
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp. cornstarch
3 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons plus 2 tsp. apple cider divided
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Line (2) 8” pans with parchment paper coat with cooking spray. 

Lightly beat eggs, yolks set aside. 

Mix 1 tablespoon apple cider , vanilla, baking powder, cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar into remaining yolks. 

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites on medium until soft peaks form. Beat in remaining sugar until dissolved. Fold in 1/4 of whites into batter, then remaining whites, crumbs and almonds. 

Pour into pans. Bake at 325 for 20 - 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pans.

In sauce pan combine brown sugar, cornstarch, butter and 2 Tablespoons cider. Bring to a boil, cook for 2 minutes or until thick. Stir into reserved yolks and return to pan, bring to boil, cool. 

In small bowl beat cheese add 2 tablespoons caramel sauce until smooth.

Spread over cake top, with remaining cake add remaining cider to caramel sauce for drizzling. 

Beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add sugar and vanilla, beat until soft peaks form.

Frost top and sides of cake. Drizzle the frosting with caramel sauce.
Serves: 6

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

     Cheesecakes by nature or ingredients are one of the truly decadent desserts and this Caramel Apple Cheesecake is no exception. The rich cream cheese, resting on a graham crust, is covered in caramel and topped with chopped apples and pecans. It's very moist and perfect for an amazing fall dessert.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake
Nora Miller - Patoka
Dessert Winner
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1 lb. caramels
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup pecans - chopped
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cup golden delicious apples, chopped
1 T. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup melted butter, mix together and press onto sides and bottom of a 9” springform pan.

Unwrap caramels place in a 2 quart heavy saucepan, add evaporated milk, melt caramels over low heat, stirring until smooth. Reserve half cup melted caramels mixture.

Pour remaining caramel mixture over crust in pan. Sprinkle half of the chopped pecans over caramels in crust. 

Beat cream cheese and half cup sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. 

Toss together 1 cup chopped apples, flour and cinnamon, fold into cream cheese mixture. Spoon cream cheese mixture over caramel crust. 

Bake 40 minutes. Combine reserved caramel and remaining 1/2 cup apples, 1/2 cup pecans. Spread over cheesecake, bake 15 minutes. Loosen cake from rim of pan. Chill before serving.

Taste Of Home Recipe of the Day