Well Dined

5Jan/151

Apple Galette with Salted Bourbon Caramel

Well Dined | Apple Galette with Salted Bourbon Caramel

Last month I posted about a Cranberry Custard Pie using my favorite dough recipe.  I typically use a deep dish pie plate, but for that recipe I used a shallower one.  So I had a lot of leftover dough to make something else with.  I grabbed some apples that were on their way to getting old, and made a galette.

Well Dined | Apple Galette with Salted Bourbon Caramel

An apple galette in and of itself is not that exciting, but this caramel sauce - with bourbon and fleur de sel - so luscious.  It really takes a basic tart over the top.

23Dec/140

Holiday Round-up

If you are starting to panic because Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate) is closing in and you don't have a dinner plan yet, fear not - I have you covered!  I have a round-up of all of my holiday recipes, from protein to sides to dessert, and even breakfast!  So please enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Well Dined | Holiday Meal

Perfect Roasted Turkey, Apple Sausage Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Cider Gravy

Well Dined | Brined and Roasted Pork

Brined and Roasted Pork

Well Dined | Slow Cooked Cider Ham

Slow Cooked Cider Ham

Well Dined | Dr Pepper Glazed Ham with Prunes

Dr Pepper Glazed Ham with Prunes

Well Dined | Garlic and Herb Crusted Rib Roast with Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus

Garlic and Herb Crusted Rib Roast with Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus

1May/140

Brioche French Toast with Bruleed Bananas, Vanilla Cream, and Salted Caramel

Well Dined | Brioche French Toast with Brûléed Bananas, Vanilla Cream, and Salted Caramel

Oh. My. Goodness.  This is the most deliciously decadent thing ever.  I don't even know whether to call it brunch or dessert, or both.  Buttery brioche french toast, sweet pastry cream made with vanilla bean, and crunchy brûléed bananas topped with a drizzle of salted caramel.  Total epic ridiculousness.

Well Dined | Brioche French Toast with Brûléed Bananas, Vanilla Cream, and Salted Caramel

Step one is to make the vanilla pastry cream.  Bring cream to a simmer with a vanilla bean and then let steep before adding to a mixture of egg yolks, sugar, and flour and cooking until thick and creamy.  It needs to cool completely and then chill, which is why we make it first.

The next step is to make the salted caramel sauce, which is a bit tricky if you have never made one before (I hadn't).  You have to leave the sugar alone while it melts and colors, and watch carefully for the right moment.  Then you add butter and cream.  The caramel with pop and splutter like crazy, and ball up on the end of your whisk.  You just have to keep whisking over low heat until it all comes together.  Then add in your sea salt and let it cool.

While that is cooling, make your French toast using big, thick slices of brioche (a little stale is better).

Well Dined | Brioche French Toast with Brûléed Bananas, Vanilla Cream, and Salted Caramel

BLOW TORCH TIME.  This is seriously so much fun.  Sprinkle banana slices with sugar and brown with a blow torch.  Easy.  If you don't have a blow torch, I'm pretty sure that you can use a broiler.

9Jan/142

Raw Tahini Date Salted Caramels

Well Dined | Raw Tahini Date Salted Caramels

I'm about to get all raw food, vegan, and healthy on you.  If those words make you cringe, don't worry - these things are addictively delicious no matter what diet you follow!  Let's talk about dates - they are naturally super sweet and packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  They are also low calorie compared to processed sweets.  In other words, they are nature's guilt-free candy.  Now let's talk about Barhi dates. Oh. My. Gosh.  These dates have a really short season and can be hard to find (I order them from here), but they are totally worth the hunt.  They taste like butterscotch candy or caramel, just on their own!  There is seriously a world of difference between Barhi and other dates, believe me.  And in this recipe?  Killer.

Well Dined | Raw Tahini Date Salted Caramels

Now that we've established that you should totally use Barhi dates because they are way more delicious than any other kind, what else do you need to make these caramels?  Tahini, coconut oil, cardamom, and that's it!  Blend it all up in a food processor and press into a lined pan.  I had trouble getting all the coconut oil to incorporate, which didn't make any difference taste-wise, but made them less pretty.  Sprinkle liberally with sea salt and freeze until firm.

Well Dined | Raw Tahini Date Salted Caramels

Once they are firm, cut them into little squares and that's it!  You have to keep them in the freezer so that they stay firm, but that's not so much to ask, is it?  They are rich, sweet, and complex with the flavors of caramel, tahini, cardamom, and coconut coming together, and the sea salt just takes it over the top.  Good for you, delicious, fits any diet, and makes great gifts - why are you not making these yet?  Get on it!

Raw Tahini Date Salted Caramels
adapted from The Kitchn
*I made double

1 cup pitted dates (Barhi highly recommended)
1/2 cup tahini
2 tbsp coconut oil (room temperature)
1/2 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
1/8 tsp fleur de sel or other finishing salt

Combine the dates, tahini, coconut oil, and cardamom in a blender or food processor. You should have a very smooth, creamy, and thick paste.

Transfer the mixture to a parchment-lined loaf pan (or another equivalent container) and use a spatula to press it down evenly. Sprinkle with salt.

Freeze until firm. Remove from the pan and cut into bite-size pieces.

Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to a month.

One Year Ago - Glazed Figs - 2 Ways
Two Years Ago - Carnitas
Three Years Ago - Winter Soups

6Nov/130

Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies

Well Dined | Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies

Hand pies are so much fun.  You just pick up your own personal mini-pie and munch away.  No sharing!  And when those flaky pies are filled with cinnamon spiced apples and gooey salted caramel, you won't want to share.

Well Dined | Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies

Putting these together is pretty easy - divide up your apple mixture among the circles of dough, top with a few bits of caramel candy, sprinkle with sea salt, place another round of dough on top.

Well Dined | Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies

Crimp the edges with a fork to seal, but the dough is going to puff up like puff pastry so it doesn't have to be perfect.  Egg wash and coarse sugar make the crust a beautiful golden brown.

Well Dined | Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies

The one issue with these is that you do have to eat them warm or the caramel will re-solidify.  If you don't eat them all immediately (which, good luck with that) you will need to reheat them before serving.  There is also quite a bit of dough in proportion to filling.  If that is not your style, make sure to roll it out extra thin.