I would never have thought of putting these two delectable treats together to create one memorable dessert. But that’s exactly what happens when you combine Greek Baklava with New York cheesecake. What you get is a delicious, creamy cheesecake filling in a sweet and crunchy phyllo dough cup. The individual servings can be made in a cupcake pan, but are much more suited for muffin tins. Got a special event coming up? The Baklava Cheesecake Cups, with their sweetened raspberries and sugared rosemary twig garnish will provide the wow factor on your dessert plate both in flavor and presentation!
Homemade fresh-out-of-the-oven apple pie ala mode. Pretty hard to beat. When I got a letter this week from Sun City resident Eva Meeks, it included a recipe for an award-winning apple pie that she had clipped from a magazine a few years ago. Here’s part of Eva’s letter:
“During the 4th of July holiday I hosted a pot luck for my family and decided to bake my favorite apple pie. I’ve been making it for several years now, and it’s always a big hit. Apparently this pie won some blue ribbons at state and county fairs. All I know is it wins hearts every time I make it for friends and family. It has a surprise filling that really adds a nice flavor. I thought you’d like to try it.”
Well, Eva, you thought right! I wasted no time peeling the Granny Smith apples and mixing up the “surprise” filling. I’m so happy Eva “blind bakes” (also known as pre-baking) her bottom crust. I’ve always done that as well because the bottom shell stays somewhat crispy after filling and baking. I’m also a fan of cooking my apples just to soften before filling the pie shell. Eva softens her apples in the microwave and then adds the rest of the ingredients. If you’re an apple pie lover, dish this one up with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream and you’ll be in for a big surprise!
After Halloween, when our carved-out pumpkin jack-o-lanterns start to shrivel, we usually toss them into the trash or compost pile and then head to the pantry for the canned pumpkin puree to make our holiday pies, cakes and cookies. But in the Early New England settlements, colonists considered the pumpkin a staple and culinary treasure:
“For pottage and puddings and custards and pies,
Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies
We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon;
If it were not for pumpkins, we should be undoon.”
Now that trick-or-treating is over, all things pumpkin leads the way to Thanksgiving and our holiday baked goodies. Here to kick things off is a deliciously moist and delicate fall favorite, The Pumpkin Roll. This tasty spice cake rolled around a sweet cream cheese filling is a lovely way to not only satisfy our sweet tooth, but to pay tribute to the pumpkin, one of the first wild plants cultivated for human consumption in America.