Thanksgiving is next week. I am in amazement as to how quickly this year flew by. Last year at this time I was starting to clean out our pantry in preparation for experimenting with a gluten free diet. That experiment turned into a way of life and everyone in our home has greatly benefited from it.
With the change in diet and lifestyle, I promised myself that I would savor the little moments(Levi and I walking hand in hand to school), embrace my accomplishments, no matter how great or how small, and to try and be in the moment as much as possible.
I have been gradually planning my Thanksgiving menu. Gradually, because I am in denial that it is next week. Pie has never been my dessert of choice. It wasn’t something I enthusiastically raised my hand to make. In the past, when I did indulge in a piece of pie, it was always the center that I savored, discarding the crust.
Having 5 egg yolks on hand, with a day left before they had to be tossed, it was this cinnamon ice cream recipe that inspired me to create, what I am calling, a deconstructed apple pie – a la mode. A big bag of raw pecans and some homemade graham cracker crumbs were incentive to help this idea grow. Last month I had made a batch of Aida’s walnut-maple graham crackers. Although they were delicious, mine were no where near as pretty as hers (I think I rolled them out too thin and they spread). After we ate all of the pretty ones, I pulverized the leftovers in the Cuisinart and stuck the crumbs in the freezer for future use.
I had all the elements of a pie, but no filling. Thus the apple compote was conceptualized. It worked on my first try (that never happens) and it was the first spoonful that confirmed the birth of a new holiday dessert. This condiment will become a welcome kitchen staple and accessory to many future creations.
Homemade caramel sauce, as well as chocolate sauce are fridge staples. Both can be found on the door of the fridge for those impromptu sweet treats like chocolate egg creams, smoothies, even a cut up Honey Crisp Apple with a dollop of caramel, satisfies any ones sweet tooth.
Last Sunday night an old fashioned, self-serve sundae bar was set up…just because. The above was Eli’s creation. Levi simply had ice cream and graham crackers, and Isaac preferred his topped with a few nuts (and stashed the rest away for his lunch box the next day).
What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dessert? I admit to occasionally liking a piece of pecan pie with a small scoop of ice cream. However, this could easily take it’s place!
Cinnamon Ice Cream
1 cup broken cinnamon sticks
8 ounces | 1 cup whole, organic milk
16 ounces | 2 cups organic, heavy cream
5 1/4 ounces | 150 grams |3/4 cup maple sugar
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
5 egg yolks
• in a heavy duty pot, combine milk, 1 cup of cream, cinnamon sticks, maple sugar, Celtic sea salt. bring to a simmer.
• in a medium glass bowl, whisk egg yolks
• pour additional cup of cream into a large glass bowl. set a strainer over the bowl. set aside.
• when milk mixture is warm to the touch, remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 1 hour.
• using a small japanese strainer (or slotted spoon), remove cinnamon sticks. slightly reheat milk mixture over medium heat.
• remove from heat and ladle small amounts of milk mixture into egg yolks – whisking the whole time. keep adding mixture to egg yolks until the egg yolk/milk mixture reaches the same temperature. once that happens, pour the egg mixture back into the original saucepan. whisk all to combine.
• stir the mixture constantly over medium heat. it’s best to use a heat proof spatula, scrapping the bottom of the pan as you stir (to avoid making scrambled eggs). the custard is ready when the mixture thickens and completely coats the back of the spatula. if you run your finger across the coating on the spatula and your finger mark remains, the custard is done.
• pour the custard through the strainer set over the one cup of cream. stir until cool. cover and place in the fridge over night.
• place mixture in your ice cream maker according ot the manufacturer’s instructions.
• original recipe from here
yield: 1 quart
Apple Bourbon Compote
9 ounces | 255 grams | 3 cups (2 large apples) Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
2 ½ ounces | 72 grams | ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated ground nutmeg
pinch of ground ginger
zest of one lemon
juice of ½ lemon
½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 ½ teaspoons arrowroot
2 tablespoons filtered water
• heat a non stick skillet over medium heat.
• in a glass bowl, toss the apples, coconut sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, lemon zest, lemon juice, and celtic sea salt. Pour into skillet.
• cook over medium heat until all of the ingredients comes together and the sugar has dissolved. Cook until apples are tender, about 10 minutes.
• turn heat up to high. Add bourbon. Stir constantly until liguid is almost all reduced.
• in a small bowl, whisk the arrowroot and water. Add to apple mixture and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes.
• set aside to cool.
• store in a glass container, in the fridge, for 2 weeks.
• yield: 1 1/2 cups
1 pound raw pecan halves
1 egg white, whisked
¾ cup maple sugar
½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
¾ teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon filtered water
• preheat oven to 300*.
• line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Brush a tiny bit of coconut oil onto foil.
• in a medium bowl, whisk the egg white.
• add the maple sugar, celtic sea salt, cinnamon, and water. Add nuts and coat completely.
• in an even layer, spread on prepared pan.
• bake 1 hour, tossing every 15 mnutes.
• can be stored in an airtight container for 1 month.
More Thanksgiving Desserts:
Pecan Pie sans the corn syrup – Delicously Organic
Peach Frangipane Tart – Eclectic Mom
Gluten Free Rustic Apple Tart – The Urban Baker
Apple Tartlets with Salted Caramel – Family Style Food