Aunt Wheezie’s Rum Cake

Lane_Ring in the Holidays_MMReady for a family favorite from the McPhersons (Hunk for the Holidays series)? Katie Lane is letting us in on the secret of Aunt Wheezie’s Rum Cake…although Aunt Wheezie always adds a little more rum when she makes it.

Ingredients

1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix

1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix

4 eggs

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup dark rum

Glaze:

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup water

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup dark rum

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.
  • In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix. Mix in the eggs, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 cup rum. Blend well. Pour batter in the pan.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let sit for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto serving plate. Pierce cake all over with a long-pronged fork or wooden skewer. Brush glaze over top and sides. Allow cake to absorb glaze and repeat until all glaze is used.

To make the glaze: in a saucepan, combine butter, 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat and continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup rum.

Great-Grandma’s Shortbread

Bowen_I've Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm_MMKelly Bowen, author of I’VE GOT MY DUKE TO KEEP ME WARM, shares with us her favorite holiday recipe, which her great-grandmother brought over from Stirling, Scotland. This is the sum total of Kelly’s Christmas baking, but as she says, 10 pounds of shortbread goes a long way…

Shortbread 

1 pound butter

1 cup sugar

4 cups flour

  • Combine the sugar and butter.
  • Mix in flour.
  • Roll and cut out shapes, adding sugar sprinkles for decoration.
  • Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • Buy a treadmill and enjoy!

Delectable Frozen Sweet Cherry Pie

lee.delectable.mm

Frozen Sweet Cherry Pie

Pie Filling Ingredients

5-6 cups frozen and pitted Bing cherries

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup instant tapioca pudding mix

1 tbs lemon juice

1 tbs butter

All-Butter Basic Crust Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling

1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

6-8 tbsp ice water

  • Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Pulse until mixed. Add cubed butter. Pulse 6 or 8 times until the butter is pea-sized and the mixture looks like coarse meal. Next add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time. Pulse until the mixture just begins to clump. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough doesn’t hold together, add a little more water and pulse again. Caution: too much water will make the crust tough.
  • Place the dough in a mound on a clean surface. Shape the dough mixture into two disks, one for the bottom crust, one for the top. Work the dough gently to form the disks. Don’t over-knead. They will result in a flakier crust. Sprinkle a little flour around the disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate from 1 hour to 2 days.
  • Place frozen cherries in a large bowl and let them thaw for about an hour. Next combine sugar and tapioca pudding mix in a small bowl. Then pour over the Bing cherries, add lemon juice, and toss to blend. Let the filling sit about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove a crust disk from the refrigerator. Let it sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes. This will soften it enough for easier rolling. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 12-inch circle, about 1/8 of an inch thick. If the dough begins to stick to the surface below, sprinkle some flour underneath. Carefully place the bottom crust into a 9-inch pie plate, pressing the dough gently into the bottom and sides of the pie pan. Trim excess dough, leaving about 1/2 inch more than the edge of the pie pan.
  • Pour the filling into the piecrust and spread evenly. Dot with butter.
  • Then repeat the above process for the top crust and gently place it over the filling. Pinch the edges of the top and bottom crusts together, then trim the excess dough, leaving an overhang of 3/4 inch. Flute the edges using thumb and forefinger, or press with a fork, or try something darling like Quint did and use a chopstick for an artistic touch. Slice the top crust in 4 places to allow steam to escape while cooking.
  • Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 40 to 50 minutes. Fruit and juices should be bubbly around the edges.

Decadent Chocolate Meringue Pie

lee.decadentDecadent Chocolate Meringue Pie

All-Butter Basic Crust Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling

1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar, plus extra for final sprinkling

6-8 tbsps ice water

1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon of water

  • Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Pulse until mixed. Add cubed butter. Pulse 6 or 8 times until the butter is pea-sized and the mixture looks like coarse meal. Next add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time. Pulse until the mixture just begins to clump. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough doesn’t hold together, add a little more water and pulse again. Caution: too much water will make the crust tough.
  • Place the dough in a mound on a clean surface. Shape the dough mixture into two disks, one for the bottom crust, one for the top. Work the dough gently to form the disks. Don’t over-knead. They will result in a flakier crust. Sprinkle a little flour around the disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate from 1 hour to 2 days.
  • Remove a crust disk from the refrigerator. Let it sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes. This will soften it enough for easier rolling. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 12-inch circle, about 1/8 of an inch thick. If the dough begins to stick to the surface below, sprinkle some flour underneath. Carefully place the bottom crust into a 9-inch pie plate, pressing the dough gently into the bottom and sides of the pie pan. Trim the edges to about 1/2 inch over the edge all around the pan and place in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutess.

Pie Filling Ingredients

3/4 cup sugar

5 tbsp of baking cocoa

3 tbsp cornstarch

1/4 tsp of salt

2 cups of milk

3 egg yolks, beaten

1 tsp of vanilla

  • In a saucepan, mix sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt; gradually add milk. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat, then cook and stir for 2 more minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Stir about 1 cup of the hot filling into the egg yolks. Return the mixture to the saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla. Pour the hot filling into the pie crust.

Meringue

3 egg whites

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

6 tbsp sugar

  • Beat egg whites with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until stiff and glossy. Spread evenly over the hot filling, sealing the meringue to the pie crust. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden.

Delightful Caramel Apple Pie

Lee_Delightful_MMMolly McCoy’s Granny Smith Caramel Apple Pie

Pie Filling Ingredients

35 caramels

1 tbsp water

6 or 7 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

3/4 to 1 cup sugar

2 tbsp flour

1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon

dash of nutmeg

dash of salt

2 tbsps unsalted butter to dot on the top

All-Butter Basic Crust Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling

1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar, plus extra for final sprinkling

6-8 tbsp ice water

1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon of water

  • Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Pulse until mixed. Add cubed butter. Pulse 6 or 8 times until the butter is pea-sized and the mixture looks like coarse meal. Next add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time. Pulse until the mixture just begins to clump. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough doesn’t hold together, add a little more water and pulse again. Caution: too much water will make the crust tough.
  • Place the dough in a mound on a clean surface. Shape the dough mixture into two disks, one for the bottom crust, one for the top. Work the dough gently to form the disks. Don’t over-knead. They will result in a flakier crust. Sprinkle a little flour around the disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate from 1 hour to 2 days.
  • Remove a crust disk from the refrigerator. Let it sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes. This will soften it enough for easier rolling. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 12-inch circle, about 1/8 of an inch thick. If the dough begins to stick to the surface below, sprinkle some flour underneath. Carefully place the bottom crust into a 9-inch pie plate, pressing the dough gently into the bottom and sides of the pie pan. Trim excess dough, leaving about 1/2 inch more than the edge of the pie pan.
  • Melt the caramels and water in a double boiler or metal bowl over simmering water; heat for 10 minutes or until the caramels are partially melted. Cover and set aside, keeping the caramels in the pan over the heated water.
  • Peel and core the apples, then slice thinly so they will be soft when cooked. Combine the sugar, flour, spices, and salt. Mix with the apples. Add the melted caramels and stir to mix. Pour into the pie shell. Dot butter across the filling.
  • Remove the other crust from the refrigerator, let it sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes, then roll it into a 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Add the top crust to the pie, then crimp and flute the edges. Lightly brush the top crust with an egg wash made by whisking 1 large egg with 1 tablespoon of water, sprinkle sugar on top for sparkle, and then score the top crust with 4 slices.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the pie on the middle rack of the oven with a cookie sheet beneath to catch any filling that bubbles over. Bake for 50 minutes.
  • Let the pie cool before serving. Serve cold, or warm the pie and serve with ice cream.

Delicious Big Sky Blueberry Pie

lee.Delicious.mm

Big Sky Blueberry Pie

Pie Filling Ingredients

6 cups fresh blueberries, stemmed and rinsed

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp lemon zest

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp unsalted butter to dot on the top

All-Butter Basic Crust Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling

1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

6-8 tbsp ice water

  • Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Pulse until mixed. Add cubed butter. Pulse 6 or 8 times until the butter is pea-sized and the mixture looks like coarse meal. Next add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time. Pulse until the mixture just begins to clump. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough doesn’t hold together, add a little more water and pulse again. Caution: too much water will make the crust tough.
  • Place the dough in a mound on a clean surface. Shape the dough mixture into two disks, one for the bottom crust, one for the top. Work the dough gently to form the disks. Don’t over-knead. They will result in a flakier crust. Sprinkle a little flour around the disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate from 1 hour to 2 days.
  • Remove a crust disk from the refrigerator. Let it sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes. This will soften it enough for easier rolling. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 12-inch circle, about 1/8 of an inch thick. If the dough begins to stick to the surface below, sprinkle some flour underneath. Carefully place the bottom crust into a 9-inch pie plate, pressing the dough gently into the bottom and sides of the pie pan. Trim excess dough, leaving about 1/2 inch more than the edge of the pie pan.
  • Gently mix all of the pie filling ingredients, except the butter, in a large bowl, and then put the filling into the chilled bottom crust and dot the top with the butter. Add the top crust and flute the edges. Place the pie into the refrigerator to chill for approximately 30 minutes. At the end of that time, remove the unbaked pie from the refrigerator, lightly brushing the top crust with an egg wash made by whisking 1 large egg with 1 tablespoon of water, and then scoring the top crust with four cuts. Pour the filling into the piecrust and spread evenly. Dot with butter.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the pie on the middle rack of the oven with a parchment paper- or Silpat-lined baking pan positioned on the lower rack to catch any filling that bubbles over. Bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 30 to 40 minutes more, or until juices are bubbling and have thickened.
  • Let cool completely before serving.

Feel the Heat

Meader_FeeltheHeat_massFeel the Heat is the first in Kate Meader’s Chicago-set Hot in the Kitchen series about an Italian restaurant owning family and the sizzling, sexy chefs who love them. The hero of Feel the Heat is British celebrity chef Jack Kilroy, who knows just how to take his kitchen skills and translate them to other areas of his life in all sorts of sexy ways. One of Jack’s tools for seduction of his heroine, Lili DeLuca, is goat cheese caramel gelato. Here’s a very simple recipe for this tangy, almost cheesecake-like frozen treat.

Goat Cheese Caramel Gelato

For the gelato:

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2/3 cup sugar

8 oz. fresh goat cheese (crumbled)

6 large egg yolks

  • Prepare an ice bath and set aside
  • Place the goat cheese in a bowl with a mesh strainer over it
  • Mix the sugar and milk over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves
  • Whisk the egg yolks lightly until thickened
  • Add the milk/sugar liquid to the egg yolks slowly, stirring constantly to prevent the egg from scrambling
  • Return the egg/milk/sugar mixture to the pan and heat, again with constant stirring. When the liquid steams and the custard coats the spoon, it’s ready.
  • Add the hot mixture to the goat cheese through the strainer. Stir until the goat cheese is melted and the combination is smooth.
  • Set the bowl over the ice bath and stir until cool. Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours.
  • Make the ice cream/gelato in your ice cream maker

Salted caramel sauce

2 cups granulated sugar

12 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces

1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature

1 tsp sea salt

  • In a heavy-bottomed 2-3 quart saucepan, cook the sugar over medium-high heat. It takes a few minutes but it will start to melt and clump. Whisk it until it is completely melted, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the butter (stand back, it will spatter) and whisk until smooth.
  • Remove from heat and add the cream
  • Add the salt and stir through
  • Allow to cool for about 15 minutes in the pot, then pour into a jar and refrigerate
  • Sauce will keep for 2 months in the fridge.
  • Make the sauce ahead of the gelato so it is cool enough to mix with the frozen deliciousness.