Holiday Sweets

The following are the recipes as seen in Liz Crenshaw's Holiday Sweets piece with the Blue Duck Tavern:

Blue Duck Tavern Apple Pie

5 Granny Smith Apples (peeled, cored, cut into 8 wedges)
2 oz. Butter
2 Cinnamon Sticks
½ cup Brown Sugar

Pie Dough
1 lb Butter (cold) Chopped into Small Pieces
1 lb All Purpose Flour
4 oz. Cake Flour
1 oz. Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
4 Egg Yolk
1 cup Heavy Cream

2 oz. Apple Sauce

Egg Wash
2 Eggs and 2 tbsp. Milk Combined

In a sauté pan, melt butter, add brown sugar and cinnamon sticks. Cook until caramelized, and then add apples. Cook just until they are soft but retain their firmness

Pie Dough
In a mixer with a paddle, mix butter, flour, sugar and salt until combined. Do not overmix. In a bowl, mix egg yolks and cream together. Add to the flour mixture. Mix very quickly just until everything comes together. Chill dough before using.

Roll pie dough to 1/8 inch thick and line the pie tin with it. Add apple sauce at the bottom, spread it out with a spatula, then fill up the pie with the cooked apples. Cut out one round piece of pie dough and place on top. Brush with egg wash. Sprinkle some brown sugar on top. Bake in 350 F oven for about 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

TRICK: Chill apples before cooking to help retain their shape
TRICK: Make extra pie dough ahead of time and freeze it (as extra)

Pumpkin Crème Brulee

1 qt heavy cream
6 oz sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 cinnamon stick
8 oz roasted pureed pumpkin
1 cup egg yolks
2 T Grand Marnier

Scald the cream with the sugar, vanilla bean, and cinnamon. Cover and let steep for 2 hours. Mix with the pumpkin, yolks, and Grand Marnier. Strain and divide into baking cups. Bake at 200 degrees until set, about 45 minutes. Chill, sprinkle with granulated sugar, and caramelize with a propane torch.

TRICK: Baking in a low oven for a longer time eliminates the use of a water bath, and guarantees a smooth custard

TRICK: Use a propane torch from the hardware store instead of the broiler or a kitchen torch, for more even results with less chance of burning the sugar

Blue Duck Tavern Sugar Cookies

8 ounces unsalted butter, melted
6 ounces granulated sugar
6 ounces light brown sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
13 ounces sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda

Mix the butter with the sugars. Stir in the vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time, beating until combined but do not over mix. Mix the dry ingredients together and then stir in the flour, mixing until just combined. Scoop rounded teaspoons, using a small ice cream scoop, onto cookie pans lined with parchment paper, and bake at 375 degrees about 10-12 minutes, until starting to brown.

TRICK: Melt the butter for dense, chewy cookies
TRICK: Do not overmix the dough to keep the cookies tender
TRICK: Portion the cookies with a small ice cream scoop to for consistency
TRICK: Freeze the scooped dough and bake only as many as you need for fresh cookies every time

Candy Cane Ice Cream

1 qt milk
8 oz sugar
1 cup egg yolks
10 oz honey
1 qt heavy cream
2 t peppermint extract
4 oz crushed candy canes

Scald the milk with the sugar, stir slowly into the yolks, and cook over medium heat to thicken. Stir in the honey, cream, and extract. Chill overnight and turn in an ice cream freezer. Stir in crushed candy canes and freeze.

TRICK: Use honey to make a smooth texture
TRICK: Crush the candy canes in a plastic bag with a mallet or rolling pin

Chestnut Honey Cheesecake

1 1/2 lbs. oz cream cheese
½ lb. sugar mixed with 1 oz cornstarch
1 T vanilla
1 lb. chestnut puree mixed with ¼ lb. honey
1 cup cream
Mix the cream cheese with the sugar/cornstarch mixture. Stir in the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the chestnut/honey mixture and finally the cream. Pour into a well buttered 10” cake pan, and bake at 200 degrees for about an hour, until puffed and set.

TRICK: Bake the cheesecake at a low temperature to guarantee a smooth texture and eliminate the need for a water bath
TRICK: Make sure the cream cheese is room temperature to avoid lumps

For the topping: 1 8oz jar candied chestnut pieces in syrup
1 cup mixed dark and golden raisins
2-4 T rum

Mix ingredients together and let marinate overnight.

Sweet Potato, Cranberry, and Walnut Upside Down Cake

4 oz butter
4oz dark brown sugar
1 t cinnamon

Melt butter and stir in cinnamon and brown sugar. Spread in the bottom of a well greased 10” cake pan.
Place cranberries and walnuts on top of the sugar mixture.

8 oz all purpose flour
8 oz sugar
1 ½ t baking powder
½ t salt

Mix dry ingredients together.

4 oz melted butter
8 oz baked sweet potato, skin removed and mashed
2 large eggs
¼ cup buttermilk
1 t vanilla

Whisk butter with wet ingredients. Stir in dry ingredients. Pour mixture over fruit in pan. Bake at 325 degrees about 45 minutes, till set. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minures, then turn upside down onto a serving platter.

TRICK: Bake the sweet potato in its skin for better flavor
TRICK: Let the cake rest for 15 minutes before inverting so it holds its shape

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