Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner, Part 3

On to the best part of the meal: dessert! We had 3 choices: apple torte, carrot cake, and chocolate-covered coconut macaroons.

Pike’s Apple Torte
(This recipe recreates a dessert from the film Big Eden. Although there was not enough room for this movie in Cooking with the Movies, it's a wonderful film with delicious food.)

7 Tbsp. butter
2 c. Red Delicious apples, skinned, cored, and sliced
4 eggs, well beaten
1 ½ c. sugar
¾ c. all-purpose flour, sifted
2 8-oz. packages cream cheese
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. lemon zest
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. nutmeg
½ c. chopped walnuts

1 c. Granny Smith apples, cored, pared, and thinly sliced
½ c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small frying pan, melt half the butter and fry the apples in it until soft, about 3-4 minutes on each side. (Do not allow to burn.) Pour out into a large bowl, and mix together with the remaining butter and all other ingredients.

Generously butter a 9” round funnel cake pan. Pour the mixture into it.

In a large bowl, combine the topping ingredients. Individually place each apple slice on top of the cake mixture, in a fan shape, or some other clever way.

Bake for 60 minutes, or until the center is set. Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.

Yield: 8-12 servings

Carrot Cake
(from the film Gosford Park; our guest Judy Baker lovingly prepared this luscious cake for our repast)

4 eggs
1 c. vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk
1 c. white granulated sugar
1 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ground allspice
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
3 c. carrots, peeled and grated
1 c. canned crushed pineapple (without the juice)
1 c. slivered almonds
1 c. flaked coconut
½ c. raisins

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, buttermilk, sugars, and vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients and sift into the batter. Stir in the carrots, pineapple, almonds, coconut, and raisins until well blended. Pour into three 9" round pans that have been lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 50–60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to settle for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. When completely cooled, remove parchment paper.

Ice the top of each cake with a vanilla buttercream frosting (see next), then ice the sides until the entire cake is covered.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

½ c. butter, room temperature
1 lb. confectioner’s sugar
½ c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cream the butter, then add the sugar a little at a time until the mixture begins to resemble crumbs. Slowly add the milk, beating all the while, then pour in the extract. Continue to beat until wispy. If the icing appears to be too runny, add more sugar.

Yield: 12–16 servings

King David's Chocolate-Covered Coconut Macaroons
(This is a recipe that we used in our book Cooking with the Bible: Recipes for Biblical Meals. It is a hit every time.)

3 ½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut
¼ cup matzoh cake meal
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, separated, plus 1 egg white
6 oz. imported bittersweet chocolate
¼ cup water
1 tsp. almond extract

Cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 325°F.

In bowl, mix together coconut, matzoh cake meal, and 1 cup of the sugar. Add eggs and extra egg white and mix with fingers until well blended. Gently shape about 2 tablespoons dough into a pyramid and set on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, leaving about 2″ between cookies. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden on top. Cool completely.

In saucepan, melt chocolate with the water, almond extract, and remaining Vacup sugar. Bring to boil; then simmer slowly for a few minutes until mixture starts to thicken. Cool slightly. Holding each macaroon with 2 fingers, dip half the cookie into the chocolate so that it is half black and half white. Allow to dry for a few seconds while tilted over a dish, then place on wax paper. Repeat with remaining cookies. Cool completely.

Yield: 16 macaroons

Source: King David's Chocolate-Covered Coconut Macaroons recipe reprinted by permission of Recipe Gold Mine ( ).