Monthly Archives: November 2006



Serves 8 to 10

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter plus extra for greasing pan
1/2 loaf French bread or baguette, with crust, cut into small cubes
1 pound brown sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 cup almonds, chopped
1/2 pound cream cheese, chilled and chopped
Pedro Ximenez Sherry Ice Cream (see recipe), for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 13- x 9-inch glass casserole or lasagna pan.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, add the bread cubes, and stir to coat evenly. Spread the cubes on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes or until lightly brown and crisp. Remove the bread and turn the oven temperature up to 400 degrees F.

Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cinnamon and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped apples, almonds, cream cheese, and toasted bread cubes. Drizzle with the reserved sugar syrup and mix to evenly distribute. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Bake, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Then bake an additional 5 minutes, without stirring, until the top is golden brown and crusty and the liquid is almost gone. Serve warm with Pedro Ximenez Sherry Ice Cream.


Pedro Ximenez Sherry Ice Cream

Makes 3 cups

1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup half and half
1 vanilla bean
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Pedro Ximenez sherry

Combine cream and half and half in a medium sauce pan. Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the small black seeds. Add seeds to cream mixture. Bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale yellow. Stir in sherry.

When cream mixture comes to a boil, pour very slowly into egg mixture, stirring constantly, until well combined. Strain into a container and refrigerate until cold, or place in a bowl nested in a larger bowl of ice water and stir occasionally until cold. Pour chilled mixture into ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions.


Spicy Apple Chutney

A simple spice cake laden with fresh apples, this dessert can be made in no time. If guava jam is not easily found in your area, feel free to substitute plum, cherry or any preserves you have on hand. It’s also a terrific brunch cake which begs for a great cup of coffee.

2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
4 cups Granny Smith or similar apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped (about 4 to 5 apples)
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
Guava Cream Cheese Topping (see recipe)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour a 10-inch cake pan.

Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda and set aside.

In a stand mixer, beat eggs until frothy, about 3 to 4 minutes then add oil and orange juice and mix thoroughly. Add dry ingredient mixture and beat at low speed until thoroughly combined. Fold in apples and walnuts and pour into prepared cake pan.

Bake for 1 hour or until firm on top. Cover with aluminum foil if top gets too brown. Cool on rack 5 minutes, then invert onto rack and cool completely. Serve with Guava Cream Cheese Topping spread over the top.


Guava Cream Cheese Topping

1/4 cup guava jam
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
5 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

Mash all ingredients in a bowl with a fork until light and fluffy.

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