Thursday, March 22, 2007

Dulce de Leche Ice Cream

Dulce de Leche is a fancy, fashionable name for a very simple thing - caramelised condensed milk. You can buy it ready-made, or make your own by boiling an unopened can of condensed milk in a pot of water for an hour and a half. However, you need to take care when boiling it, that the water level remains high. Here's a recipe to make into no-churn ice-cream.

300mls cream
1 x 395g can of caramelised condensed milk, chilled
sliced peaches or nectarines to serve

Whip the cream until medium-stiff peaks form. Gently fold this into the caramelised condensed milk in 3 batches, taking care not to lose all the air from the cream. Pour into a container and freeze overnight. (The high level of sugar will slow the freezing process.) Scoop into bowls and serve with sliced peaches or nectarines.

Serves 6-8.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Cinnamon Crumble Apple Pie

A thick layer of finely textured crumb topping crowns a tall mound of apple filling.

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup frozen solid vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 tablespoons (or more) ice water
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

3 1/4 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Vanilla ice cream

For crust:
Mix flour, salt, and sugar in large bowl. Add butter and shortening; rub in with fingertips until coarse meal forms. Mix 3 tablespoons ice water and vinegar in small bowl to blend. Drizzle over flour mixture; stir with fork until moist clumps form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate 30 minutes. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch; turn edge under and crimp decoratively. Refrigerate while preparing filling and topping.

For filling:
Mix all ingredients in large bowl to coat apples.

For topping:
Blend first 5 ingredients in processor. Add chilled butter cubes; using on/off turns, cut in until mixture resembles wet sand. Toss filling to redistribute juices; transfer to crust, mounding in center. Pack topping over and around apples. Bake pie on baking sheet until topping is golden, about 40 minutes (cover top with foil if browning too quickly). Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake until apples in center are tender when pierced and filling is bubbling thickly at edges, about 45 minutes longer. Cool until warm, about 1 hour. Serve with ice cream.

Makes 8 servings.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Cookies and Cream Cheesecake

1 pound chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookies, finely crushed
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
6 large eggs
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9-inch spring form pan. Use a food processor to crush the cookies or place them, 3 or 4 at a time inside a sturdy plastic bag. Roll over them with a pie roller until crushed. Mix half of the crumbs with melted butter and press into the bottom of the prepared spring form pan. Refrigerate pan while preparing the filling.

Filling: In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese with the sugar and whipping cream; mix until no lumps remain in the batter. Add eggs, flour, and vanilla and beat until just smooth. Pour half of the filling over the prepared crust and scatter the remaining cookie crumbs over the top. Pour remaining filling over the cookie crumbs. Bake until the cheesecake is golden on top and the center is almost solid, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Remove cheesecake from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Run a table knife around the outside edge of the cheesecake to loosen cake from the pan. Remove the spring form and place cake on a serving platter. Decorate the cheesecake with whipped cream and chocolate sandwich cookies.

Makes 12 servings.