Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cherry Cake Pudding

When I logged on the The Pioneer Woman's website early one morning and saw a picture of this Cherry Cake Pudding, I immediately wanted to whip some up because licking my monitor wasn't working out so well for me.

This recipe is really easy to make, and of course you can see the wonderful step by step pictures on The Pioneer Woman's website.  I broke my cardinal rule and served a new recipe to guests, but she has never lead my wrong.  It was pretty delicious.  Ciara begged me to make another batch as soon as the last serving was gone.

I used a different brand of Cherries that I just love from Trader Joe's.  Maybe the syrup that came with these cherries was sweeter, but I thought the sauce was a little sweet.  I would definitely cut down on the sugar next time.  Oh, and I left out the nuts.  I love them personally, but since we had guests, I thought it best to leave them out.  I'm sure you could probably make this would whatever fruit happens to be your favorite.

Pioneer Woman's Cherry Cake Pudding
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ⅛ teaspoons Salt
  • ½ cups Whole Milk
  • 1 can (15 Ounces) Cherries In Syrup (NOT Cherry Pie Filling) Drained, Juice Reserved
  • ½ cups Pecans, Finely Chopped
  • 1 cup Juice From Cherries (add Water To Make 1 Cup If Necessary)
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon All-purpose Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • ½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • Unsweetened Freshly Whipped Cream

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Generously butter a square 9 x 9-inch baking dish.
Cream sugar and butter. Add egg and mix well. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt then add to mixing bowl alternatively with milk. Add cherries and chopped nuts and mix gently. Pour batter into buttered pan and smooth out the surface. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown on the surface and no longer jiggly.

While cake is baking, make the sauce by combining cherry juice, sugar, and flour in a small saucepan. Boil for 8 to 10 minutes, or until thick. Turn off heat and stir in 1 tablespoon butter and vanilla extract.

Drizzle 1/3 of the sauce on the cake as soon as you remove it from the oven. Spread to distribute over the surface and wait ten minutes before serving so the sauce will seep into the top of the cake a bit.

Spoon out pieces of warm, sticky cake and top with unsweetened whipped cream.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Brine for Turkey or Chicken

1/2 gallon water (8 cups)
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 cup salt
1 clove garlic chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1-2 bay leafs
3/4 tablespoons black pepper
orange peel from one orange

You will probably need to double this recipe for a turkey.

I have often heard TV chefs talking about brining turkeys and about how wonderful and juicy it makes the turkey.  Brining basically means soaking in a salt water solution.  I've never brined a turkey before.  My hubby is not a turkey lover, my kids only like the white meat, we rarely host thanksgiving or Christmas day, so I usually just cook a large turkey breast on the rare occasion that turkey is cooked in our house.

But on a trip to Trader Joe's we found some really nice fresh organic turkey breast and since I love Turkey I decided to get some.  I thought I would try brining it and used this recipe that I adapted from a recipe that The Pioneer Woman uses.  Since it was just a breast, I prepared mine mid morning and only left it in the fridge till evening when we cooked dinner - not overnight as you would if you cooked a large turkey.

Basically, I just took all the above ingredients, combined them in a large pot, and brought them to a boil.  (Make sure to give it a stir once in a while to dissolve the salt and sugar)  I allowed it to boil for a few minutes.  Turn off the heat and let it cool.  Once cooled I put the turkey breast into a large ziplock and poured in the brine and just let it sit in the fridge till I was ready to cook it.

When ready to cook, remove from the brine and rinse under cold water, pat dry and then prepare as your normally would.  When I served the finished dinner, the first words out of Chris's mouth were "Wow, this turkey is really juicy!"

I will definitely try this again, maybe even when roasting a chicken.