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Easy Vegan Creamed Corn

Before this recipe, the MB team was divided when it came to creamed corn. But things have changed. After making this version, it was unanimously decided that creamed corn deserves a spot at every holiday meal (and beyond)! 
This rich, creamy, ligh…

Easy Vegan Creamed Corn

Before this recipe, the MB team was divided when it came to creamed corn. But things have changed. After making this version, it was unanimously decided that creamed corn deserves a spot at every holiday meal (and beyond)! 

This rich, creamy, lightly sweetened version is perfectly seasoned and undetectably vegan. It’s an easy, comforting side with just 7 ingredients and 25 minutes required. Let us show you how it’s done!

Easy Vegan Creamed Corn from Minimalist Baker →

1-Bowl Vegan S’mores Cookies

S’mores…COOKIES? They’re just as irresistible as they sound! A friend even described them as “the best cookies EVER!” We’re talking gooey marshmallows and melty chocolate held together in one incredible graham-flavored cookie. All the fun of camping, w…

1-Bowl Vegan S’mores Cookies

S’mores…COOKIES? They’re just as irresistible as they sound! A friend even described them as “the best cookies EVER!” We’re talking gooey marshmallows and melty chocolate held together in one incredible graham-flavored cookie. All the fun of camping, without having to camp! Sign us up!

Did we mention they’re undetectably vegan, optionally gluten-free, and come together in just 1 bowl in 25 minutes!? Let’s make s’mores indoors!

1-Bowl Vegan S’mores Cookies from Minimalist Baker →


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Sourdough Semolina Parchment Crackers

These ultra thin and delicately crispy parchment crackers are made with semolina flour and sourdough starter for a yeasty, buttery flavor that’s perfect for your next charcuterie board. Homemade crackers are worth the effort, especially in the case of these parchment crackers that are almost supernaturally thin and crispy, made with the help of a […]

The post Sourdough Semolina Parchment Crackers first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

These ultra thin and delicately crispy parchment crackers are made with semolina flour and sourdough starter for a yeasty, buttery flavor that’s perfect for your next charcuterie board.

Homemade crackers are worth the effort, especially in the case of these parchment crackers that are almost supernaturally thin and crispy, made with the help of a pasta roller and a pizza stone.

Side view stack showing just how thin and crispy these semolina sourdough crackers are, stack sitting on a distressed wooden bread board.

Homemade crackers bring me great joy, from cheese to more cheese to everything seasoning.

But out of all the crackers I’ve ever made, these might just be my favorite (and if you know me, you know I don’t throw around terms like best or favorite lightly).

Imagine, if you will, the thinnest, crispiest cracker you’ve ever eaten, so thin it almost melts in your mouth. Lightly seasoned with little more than sea salt, the toasty, slightly yeasty flavor of the cracker serves as a perfect foundation for infinite topping possibilities (a smear of soft, ripe cheese and a dollop of pepper jelly is my personal favorite).

(more…)

Peppermint Bark Shortbread

Classic shortbread gets a peppermint (bark) twist with a drizzle of white and dark chocolate and a flurry of crushed candy cane bits for a festive treat Santa is sure to love! As far as holiday cookies go, shortbread is a classic for a good reason: it’s ridiculously easy to prepare and delicious to boot. […]

The post Peppermint Bark Shortbread first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

Classic shortbread gets a peppermint (bark) twist with a drizzle of white and dark chocolate and a flurry of crushed candy cane bits for a festive treat Santa is sure to love!

As far as holiday cookies go, shortbread is a classic for a good reason: it’s ridiculously easy to prepare and delicious to boot. But shortbread combined with peppermint bark (another holiday classic)? That’s one marvelous holiday mashup.

Christmas-tree shaped Peppermint Bark Shortbread cookies, cut into triangles and drizzled with white and dark chocolate and crushed candy cane pieces.

I actually started this recipe last year, but didn’t have time to make it perfect and posted before Christmas. While my concept was solid (combining buttery shortbread cookies with peppermint bark is a stellar combination), the final execution left much to be desired.

My first attempt was downright messy (to say the least).

If you’ve made shortbread before you know that cutting the cookies while warm is absolutely necessary if you want clean cuts, as opposed to a crumbly mess if you try and cut into cooled cookies.

But I wanted to top the cookies with peppermint bark, which meant adding two layers of tempered chocolate to the tops of cooled cookies (cooled so the chocolate would actually set); additionally, the chocolate could not be added to already cut cookies otherwise it’d just flow into the cracks and glue the cut cookies together.

What I ended up with was sure delicious, but uglier than a Christmas sweater, with the shortbread crumbling to bits underneath the layer of snappy chocolate on top when I went to cut it. And I know, taste is the most important thing, obviously, but it wasn’t just about appearances: the crumbly mess-of-a-cookie was equally hard to handle and just not practical, no matter how good it tasted.

At this point it was two days before Christmas and really too late to post any new holiday cookie recipes anyway, let alone re-test this recipe to get it just right, so I jotted down a few notes and stuck a bookmark in my recipe notebook with the intention to revisit this recipe next year.

Rows of triangular Peppermint Bark Shortbread with white and dark chocolate drizzle and topped with crushed candy canes, and a red bowl of candy cane pieces and a few mini candy canes on the side.

Fast forward to this December… and we’ve finally brought the execution up to bar with the concept.

In short(bread, lol), it’s all about the drizzle!

Drizzling the chocolate on top of the cookies, rather than spreading on a solid layer, allowed me to cut the cookies while they were still warm, then add the chocolate and candy cane once they’d cooled, solving the execution problem entirely.

(more…)


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Apple Cranberry Pie

This homemade Apple Cranberry Pie is the perfect dessert for the holidays. It always makes an appearance at our dessert table every Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is a showstopper! The pie crust is buttery, flaky, and tender. It is a double crust pie, …

This homemade Apple Cranberry Pie is the perfect dessert for the holidays. It always makes an appearance at our dessert table every Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is a showstopper! The pie crust is buttery, flaky, and tender. It is a double crust pie, so you get pie crust on the bottom and a pretty lattice…

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Pumpkin Pie

This pumpkin pie recipe is simple but decadent. With a few of my favorite tricks, you can produce the silkiest pie with the most profound flavors.

The post Pumpkin Pie appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you’re thinking about making your pumpkin pie this year, this recipe is simple but decadent. With a few of my favorite tricks, you can produce a silky pie with the most profound flavors. And it’s so much better than store-bought! PS I even convinced Beth that the extra steps I take are worth it, and you know how no-nonsense she is!

The Trick To Silky Pumpkin Pie 

Yes, you can buy the cheapest pumpkin puree you can find, mix it with a few ingredients, throw it in a pie shell, and call it a day. But with a little extra work and about a dollar more, you can take your pumpkin pie to the next level. I even convinced Beth, who was totally against taking additional steps and spending extra money UNTIL she tasted my pie. If changing the mind of the Queen of Budgets and Practicality isn’t a mic-drop moment, I don’t know what is. What are the tricks for silky pumpkin pie?

  1. Use high-quality pumpkin puree instead of generic (we used Libby’s).
  2. Cook the filling to bloom the spices and intensify the flavor.
  3. Blend the filling to make it extra silky smooth.

The Best Puree For Pumpkin Pie

The type of puree you use matters. Many pumpkin purees are watery because filling a can with watered-down pumpkin is cheaper than filling it with 100% pumpkin. Many purees blend field pumpkins and squashes that are bitter and bland because they also cost less to produce. The best puree for your money’s worth will always be Libby’s. This is not an ad; it’s just the truth. Libby’s has low water content and is made with a pumpkin variety bred for deep flavor. It’s the only thing they put in the can. If you can’t spring for Libby’s, that’s OK. The following two steps will help make even the cheapest pumpkin puree taste amazing.

Cook Your Pumpkin Pie Filling

Pumpkins are watery beasts. Cooking down their puree eliminates excess liquid and deepens the pumpkin flavor. When you add spices to the pot, the spices bloom. To understand the importance of blooming, think of the moment you add garlic to a hot pan, and the smell goes from sharp to amazing. It’s the same thing with spices. If you add the spices to the puree, you might as well add the sugar. Heat develops deep caramel notes and dissolves the granules, so you don’t end up with a grainy, one-note filling. As you heat it, the puree will start to bubble and burp, and then it will transform into a glossy, fragrant mixture.

Blend Your Pumpkin Pie Filling

To get incredibly velvety pumpkin pie filling, you need to blend it. I know. I know. Nowhere on the back of the can does it mention cooking puree, much less blending it. Just trust me. Pumpkin puree isn’t silky; all you have to do is look at it. Even after cooking it down, it looks coarse. Let it cool for a few minutes, then blend until it lightens. Add the rest of your ingredients, and blend again. One taste, and I promise you’ll never go back to the traditional mix-and-dump method.

Keep The Pie Crust From Getting Soggy

Loads of folks will tell you that you must blind-bake or pre-bake your pie crust so it stays crispy when filling it with pumpkin puree. Feel free to do that if you wish, but I never do, and as you can see from the picture of the crispy, golden, flaky bottom crust above, I get great results.

My trick is to place a rack on the lowest part of the oven. Then I put a sheet pan on the rack and place a cast iron pan in it, bottom side up. (If your cast iron pan does not lay flat, just bake the pie in the pan.) I preheat for an hour. The bottom heating element supercharges the cast iron pan, which holds on to heat like you did your first hundred-dollar bill. Then I bake the pie on top of the over-turned cast iron. That heat focuses on the bottom of the pie, creating the crispiest of crusts. In addition, the sheet pan will collect any run-off juices so the oven doesn’t start to smoke.

Keep A Pumpkin Pie From Burning

The most important step you can take is to use an oven thermometer. Most ovens (I don’t care how fancy they are) aren’t calibrated. A cheap $5 oven thermometer will tell you exactly what temperature it is. If you notice that the crust or the top of the pie is browning early on, tent it with aluminum to prevent it from burning. Tenting is when you loosely place a sheet of aluminum that’s folded in half over the pie like a tent.

Overhead shot of a pumpkin pie.

Keep Pumpkin Pie From Cracking

You need to eliminate sudden temperature changes to prevent your pie from cracking. Leave the oven door closed as much as possible. Opening an oven door even for 15 seconds can change the temperature in your oven by up to 50°.

You also want to pull your pie out of the oven before it looks done. The magic of carry-over cooking will take it to the finish line. Just because the pie isn’t in direct heat doesn’t mean it stops cooking. That heat takes time to dissipate; while it dissipates, it keeps cooking your pie.

Pull the pie when the crust looks golden, and the outer ring of the pie has dulled and looks solid. The middle should still be jiggly. Not wet, but it should move like jello. Allow the pie to cool in a warm place so there’s no sudden temperature change. If your kitchen runs cold, turn the oven off and crack your oven door about 6 inches. Let the pie cool in the oven.

What To Do If Your Pumpkin Pie Cracks

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, the pie gods deliver a cracked pumpkin pie. You have three choices at this point. First, you can use leftover pie dough and bake a few ornamental leaves to top the pie with. You can also top it with a few dollops of whipped cream. Or you can leave it as is. like we did. If someone dares to complain about a crack in homemade pumpkin pie, they don’t get a slice. 😉

Here’s an easy recipe for pie crust cookies: 

  • Preheat your oven to 350° and line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • Dust your work surface lightly with flour and roll out the leftover pie dough (or the store-bought pie dough) to about 1/4-inch thickness. 
  • Use a cookie cutter or a knife to cut out pieces shaped like leaves. Place the cookie on the sheet pan. 
  • Whisk an egg with a tablespoon of milk and brush the cookies lightly with the egg wash. Sprinkle the cookies lightly with sugar.
  • Bake until they are light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Allow them to cool before topping your pie with them.
Side shot of a slice of pumpkin pie with a dollop of whipped cream on top of it.
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Pumpkin Pie

This pumpkin pie recipe is simple but decadent. With a few of my favorite tricks, you can produce the silkiest pie with the most profound flavors.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Total Cost ($7.49 recipe / $0.62 serving)
Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Resting Time 2 hours
Total Time 4 hours
Servings 12 slices
Calories 152kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 recipe 3-Ingredient Pie Crust* $1.17
  • 1 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (15 oz can) $2.79
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar $0.22
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon $0.12
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg $0.04
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger $0.03
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.04
  • 1 cup sour cream $1.25
  • 1/2 cup whole milk $0.25
  • 1 tsp vanilla $0.58
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature $0.87
  • 1/4 tsp butter, for greasing $0.04
  • 1/4 tsp flour for dusting $0.06
  • 1 tsp heavy cream $0.03

Instructions

  • Place a rack on the lowest part of your oven. Top it with a sheet pan. Place a cast iron pan, bottom side up, in the sheet pan. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Grease a pie dish with butter, dust it with flour, and place it in your freezer. Dust your work surface and roll your pie dough into a 9 x 3-inch rectangle about 1 1/2 inches thick. 
  • Place the long side of the rectangle vertically on your work surface. Fold the top short side towards the center of the rectangle so that the short edge touches the center point. Fold the bottom short side over the center so that it touches the outer edge of the top short side. Roll the dough into a 9×3 rectangle and repeat the folding process a second and a third time. Then chill your pie dough.
  • Set a medium heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, and salt to the pot. 
  • Stir the puree constantly until it begins to thicken and sputter and becomes glossy. Remove from the heat and cool for about 10 minutes.
  • Once the filling has cooled, add it to a blender with the sour cream and milk. Process until it has lightened.
  • Add the vanilla and the eggs to the blender. Mix until the puree is velvety.
  • Dust your work surface with flour and roll out the pie dough into a circle that is 16 inches in diameter. Press the crust into the pie plate. Fold the overhanging edges of the dough under to create a thick lip. Dock the pie crust with a fork by puncturing it about 9 to 10 times. Chill the dough for 10 minutes in the freezer.
  • Crimp the edges of the pie. Add the pumpkin pie filling. Lightly brush the edges of the crust with cream.
  • Place the pie in the preheated 400° oven on top of the overturned cast iron pan—lower the temperature to 350°F. Bake until the outer edges have solidified, but the middle of the pie still has some jiggle, about 50 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool in a warm spot for at least two hours before serving, so it has time to set.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*Make your pie crust the day before you plan on making your pie. You can also use a store-bought pie crust.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 152kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 164mg | Fiber: 1g

How to Make Pumpkin Pie – Step by Step Photos

Place a rack on the lowest part of your oven. Top it with a sheet pan. Place a cast iron pan, bottom side up, in the sheet pan. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Grease a pie dish with 1/4 tsp butter, dust it with 1/4 tsp flour, and place it in your freezer. Dust your work surface and roll your 1/2 portion of 3-Ingredient Pie Crust into a 9 x 3-inch rectangle about 1 1/2 inches thick. If you are using a store-bought crust, use a single crust, and mash it into a 9×3-inch rectangle.

Place the long side of the rectangle vertically on your work surface. Fold the top short side towards the center of the rectangle so that the short edge touches the center point. Fold the bottom short side over the center so that it touches the outer edge of the top short side. Roll the dough into a 9×3 rectangle and repeat the folding process a second and a third time. Then chill your pie dough.

Set a medium heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add 1 3/4 cups of pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger, and 1/2 tsp salt to the pot. 

Stir the puree constantly until it begins to thicken and sputter and becomes glossy. Remove from the heat and cool for about 10 minutes.

Once the filling has cooled, add it to a blender with the 1 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup milk. Process until it has lightened.

Add the 1 tsp vanilla and the 3 large eggs to the blender. Mix until the puree is velvety.

Dust your work surface with flour and roll out the pie dough into a circle that is 16 inches in diameter. Roll the dough circle onto your rolling pin and unfurl it into the greased and floured pie plate. Press the dough into the pie plate. Fold the overhanging edges of the dough under to create a thick lip. Dock the pie crust with a fork by puncturing it about 9 to 10 times. Chill the dough for 10 minutes in the freezer.

Pour the filling into the pie crust. To ensure there are no bubbles in the puree, allow it to settle for a minute, and then gently pick the pie plate about an inch off the counter and drop it. Continue picking it up and dropping it gently until no more air bubbles come to the surface of the puree.
Crimp the edges of the pie. Add the pumpkin pie filling. Lightly brush the edges of the crust with 1 tsp cream.

Place the pie in the preheated 400° oven on top of the overturned cast iron pan—lower the temperature to 350°F. Bake until the outer edges have solidified, but the middle of the pie still has some jiggle, about 50 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool in a warm spot for at least two hours before serving, so it has time to set. Slice it up, and enjoy!

More Easy Dessert Pies

The post Pumpkin Pie appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Pumpkin Bread

Lightly scented with warming pumpkin spice and moist throughout, this old-fashioned pumpkin bread comes together in minutes with just a handful of ingredients.

The post Pumpkin Bread appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Lightly scented with warming pumpkin spice and moist throughout, this old-fashioned pumpkin bread comes together in minutes with just a handful of ingredients. Bonus: the recipe makes enough for two loaves, so you can have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and a snack. (If you have self-control around baked goods, I’m in desperate need of a tutorial.)

Overhead shot of sliced pumpkin bread with two mini pumpkins next to it on a dark background.

How To Make Tender Pumpkin Bread

For a crumb that’s as tender as a love song, don’t overmix. Mixing develops gluten, the protein strands that help give your bread structure. The more you mix, the more gluten you develop, and the tougher your bread becomes.

How you combine your ingredients is also important. Mix the wet ingredients and dry ingredients in separate bowls, and then add the dry on top of the wet. Finally, fold the dry ingredients into the wet just until a batter forms. Don’t worry about lumps. Just don’t overmix.

What Else Can I Add?

This recipe is jam-packed with flavor, but it is bare bones. Add deeper flavors by substituting the water in the recipe for orange juice or apple juice. If you want to add a little texture, try mixing in a 1/2 cup of the following:

  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Raisins
  • Chopped dehydrated apples
  • Chocolate chips (dark, milk, or white)
  • Chopped walnuts or pecans
  • Orange Zest (not a third cup, just two tablespoons)

How Can I Tell When My Pumpkin Bread Is Done?

Making a quick bread with a dense batter can be a little nerve-wracking. It can rise beautifully and look like it’s ready to serve. Then as soon as you slice into it, you find it’s underbaked. To prevent that kind of crippling letdown (I take pumpkin bread very seriously, ok?), follow these tips:

  • Place a rack in the center of your oven, so air can circulate around your pan, and bake your loaf evenly.
  • Use an oven thermometer to ensure you’re baking at the required 350°.
  • Don’t open your oven door during the bake. Opening it for even twenty seconds can cause temperatures to drop by up to 50 degrees.

To test if your loaf is done, remove it quickly from the oven and place it lightly on a heat-proof surface. Touch the top of the loaf. If the surface has a springiness to it, insert a butter knife through one of the cracks in the crust. When the knife hits the bottom of the pan, remove it and look at the blade. Is there wet batter stuck to it? Put your bread back in the oven. If it comes out clean with just a whisper of moisture, it’s ready to go.

Overhead shot of pumpkin bread in a loaf pan with two mini pumpkins next to it on a dark background.

What If I Don’t Have A Loaf Pan?

No worries! Use what you have, but be mindful that the type of pan you use will affect the baking time. You’ll need to rely on visual cues and the trusty butter knife trick. Whichever pan you use, make sure you don’t overfill it. Your bread needs room to rise. ( I feel like there’s a life lesson in there somewhere.)

How To Store Pumpkin Bread

If you have leftovers, wrap them tightly in foil, plastic, or beeswax and store them in an air-tight container at room temperature. They’ll keep up to 2 days. To store your pumpkin bread for up to 2 weeks, freeze it. First, let it cool completely, wrap it in plastic, then in foil, and place it inside an air-tight freezer-safe container.

What To Serve With Pumpkin Bread

Side shot of sliced pumpkin bread.
Overhead shot of sliced pumpkin bread with two mini pumpkins next to it on a dark background.
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Pumpkin Bread

Lightly scented with warming pumpkin spice, this old-fashioned pumpkin bread comes together in minutes with just a few ingredients.
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Dinner, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine American
Total Cost $5.94 recipe / $0.37 serving)
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 16 slices
Calories 321kcal

Ingredients

  • 15 oz pumpkin puree $1.99
  • 2 cups sugar* $0.78
  • 2/3 cup oil $0.53
  • 4 eggs $1.10
  • 1 tsp vanilla $0.72
  • 2/3 cup water $0.00
  • 4 cups sifted flour $0.49
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder $0.08
  • 1 tsp baking soda $0.02
  • 2 tsp salt $0.08
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice $0.10
  • 1 tsp butter, for greasing $0.05

Instructions

  • Place a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat it to 350°F. Grease 2 loaf pans with butter. In a medium bowl, mix the sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin spice.
  • In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla, and water.
  • Add the dry ingredients on top of the wet ingredients.
  • Mix the dry ingredients lightly into the wet, just until a batter forms. Small lumps are ok.
  • Split the batter between the two greased loaf pans and smooth the top.
  • Bake for about an hour, or until a knife inserted into the crack in the loaf's top crust hits the bottom of the pan and comes out clean.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*While sugar is technically a dry ingredient, in some types of batters (like cake and quick bread batters), it is treated as a wet ingredient.  Dissolving the sugar in the wet ingredients helps to weaken gluten-forming proteins, so you don’t get chewy pumpkin bread. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 11g | Sodium: 393mg | Fiber: 2g
Side shot of sliced pumpkin bread.

How to Make PumPkin Bread – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of dry ingredients in a white bowl.
Place a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat it to 350°F. Grease 2 loaf pans with butter. In a medium bowl, mix the sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin spice.
Overhead shot of wet ingredients in a white bowl.

In a large bowl, mix pumpkin puree, sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla, and water.

Overhead shot of dry ingredients being dumped on top of wet ingredients.

Add the dry ingredients on top of the wet ingredients.

Overhead shot of whisk mixing pumpkin bread batter in a white bowl.

Mix the dry ingredients lightly into the wet, just until a batter forms. 

Overhead shot of two loaf pans of pumpkin bread. batter.

Split the batter between the two greased loaf pans and smooth the top.

Overhead shot of two loaves of finished pumpkin bread.

Bake for about an hour, or until a knife inserted into the crack in the loaf’s top crust hits the bottom of the pan and comes out clean. Allow the loaf to cool before taking it out of the loaf pan. Slice it up and enjoy!

Other Easy Quick Breads

The post Pumpkin Bread appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Apple Pie

If you’re looking for a scrumptious apple pie recipe that will make everyone at your table gasp with delight- this is it!

The post Apple Pie appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you’re looking for an apple pie recipe that will make everyone at your table gasp with delight- this is it! The filling is effortless and ridiculously tasty. Pair it with my buttery 3 Ingredient Pie Crust, and you’ll never go back to store-bought apple pie again. #forserious

How Many Apples Will I Need?

This recipe is for a standard pie pan with a volume of 4 cups. However, since apples lose up to 30% of their volume as they bake, you can’t just fill a pie pan with 4 cups of apples and call it a day. You’ll end up with a pie with a crater in the middle. You’ll need about 6 cups of sliced apples or 6 to 8 apples, depending on the size of your fruit.

How Thick Should I Slice My Apples?

It’s best if you slice apples about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick. Any thicker, and they won’t cook through by the time your crust does. Any thinner, and they’ll dissolve and leave you with a soggy bottom crust. The most important thing to keep in mind is that your apples should all be about the same thickness so they cook uniformly.

The Best Apples For Apple Pie

I divide the apple display at my grocery into two sections: great for pie and awful for pie. Apples that are great for pie hold their shape during a bake and have complex flavors. Try a combination of these for apple pie supremacy:

  • Honey Crisp
  • Granny Smith
  • Pink Lady
  • Golden Delicious

Apples that are awful for pie taste one-dimensional and fall apart faster than a reality show housewife. While great for apple sauce or apple butter, avoid the following for pie:

  • McIntosh
  • Fuji
  • Gala
  • Red Delicious

What’s The Best Crust For Apple Pie?

Apples are juicy, so you need a bottom crust that can hold up to a whole lot of liquid, i.e., a mealy pie dough. This is what it’s called because the pieces of fat in the flour are tiny and look like coarse cornmeal. They create a tight crumb that repels liquids, so you don’t have to worry about a soggy bottom.

Of course, you also want a flaky top crust, which is created with larger pieces of fat. These bigger pieces of fat take up space, and as they melt during baking, they leave behind crispy layers, perfect for a decadent first bite. Lucky for you, my 3 Ingredient Pie Crust is a hybrid between a mealy and flaky crust, so you only have to make one crust.

How To Avoid A Soggy Bottom

Avoiding a soggy bottom takes more than using the proper crust. Check out these tips for the crispiest bottom crust ever:

  • Draw out your apples’ natural juices by sprinkling them with sugar and spices. Then cook the juices until they transform into a caramel.
  • Cook the apple slices in the caramel for a few minutes, further reducing the liquids and concentrating the flavors.
  • Seal your bottom pie crust by brushing it with a small amount of beaten egg white.
  • Bake your pie on a pizza stone or baking steel. These tools trap heat and help cook your bottom crust faster, sealing it, so the juices don’t have time to soak in.

If you don’t own a baking steel or pizza stone, bake your pie on a double layer of sheet pans or in a large cast iron pan. Baking your pie in a second pan also has the added benefit of trapping any overflow of juices, so your oven doesn’t start to smoke and set off your alarms.

Overhead shot of an apple pie.
Overhead shot of a slice of apple pie on a white plate with two scoops of vanilla ice cream and drizzled with caramel sauce.
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Apple Pie

This is the easiest apple pie recipe ever! The cinnamon-scented filling and buttery crust are scrumptious and ridiculously simple to make!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Total Cost ($6.94 recipe / $0.87 serving)
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings 8 slices
Calories 383kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 double pie crust* $2.34
  • 1/2 cup sugar $0.13
  • 1 tsp cinnamon $0.10
  • 3 Tbsp flour $0.02
  • 1 pinch nutmeg $0.01
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice $0.09
  • 6 cups sliced apples (6-8 apples) $3.90
  • 1 large egg, white and yolk separated $0.26
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream $0.09

Instructions

  • Place a rack in the center of your oven, and top it with a pizza stone*. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Roll out your bottom and top pie crusts to 1/4 inch thickness. Refrigerate the top crust.
  • Line your pie pan with the rolled out bottom crust. Beat the egg white and brush the bottom crust lightly with it. Use a fork to puncture the bottom crust 9 to 10 times. Refrigerate the crust-lined pie pan.
  • Slice the 6 to 8 apples into 1/4 inch thick slices until you have 6 cups. Then place them in a colander and dress them with the lemon juice.
  • Place the colander in a large sauce pan. Mix the sugar, cinnamon, salt, flour, and nutmeg. Sprinkle the apples with the sugar mixture and incorporate thoroughly.
  • Allow the apples to marinate in the sugar and spices for a half hour. They will release their juices into the sauce pan.
  • After the apples have released their juices, remove the colander and the apples and place the pan with the juices over medium heat. Cook down the apple juices until a caramel forms.
  • Add the sliced apples to the pan and cook with the caramel until slightly softened, about five minutes. Let them cool for about 10 minutes.
  • Once the the apples have cooled, remove the pie pan and the top crust from the refrigerator. Add the apple slices to the crust-lined pie pan.
  • Cover the apples with the top crust. Fold the top crust under the edges of the bottom crust and pinch the crusts together. Flute the crusts. Beat the egg yolk and the cream together and brush the top crust with the egg wash.
  • Slice steam vents into the top crust. Place the pie pan on top of your pizza stone and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top crust is golden brown and the pie's juices are bubbling.
  • Cool the apple pie for at least 30 minutes before slicing, but preferably for an hour to allow the filling to solidify.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*You can purchase a premade double crust or for best results, use our easy 3-Ingredient Pie Crust, divided in two for a top and bottom crust.
*If you do not own a pizza stone, use a large cast iron pan or stack two sheet pans together.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 383kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 18g | Sodium: 210mg | Fiber: 3g
Overhead shot of a slice of apple pie on a white plate with two scoops of vanilla ice cream and drizzled with caramel sauce.

How to Make Apple Pie – Step by Step Photos

Place a rack in the center of your oven, and top it with a pizza stone*. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Roll out your bottom and top pie crusts to 1/4 inch thickness. Refrigerate the top crust.
Overhead shot of hand using a fork to dock pie dough.

Line your pie pan with the rolled out bottom crust. Beat the egg white and brush the bottom crust with a very thin layer. Use a fork to puncture the bottom crust 9 to 10 times. Refrigerate the crust-lined pie pan.

Overhead shot of apple in a colander.

Slice the 6 to 8 apples into 1/4 inch thick slices, until you have 6 cups. Then place them in a colander and dress the apple slices with the 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.

Overhead shot of apples macerating in a colander placed inside a pan.

Place the colander in a large sauce pan. Mix the 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon of salt, 3 tablespoons of flour, and a pinch of nutmeg. Sprinkle the apples with the sugar mixture and incorporate thoroughly. Allow the apples to marinate in the sugar and spices for a half hour. They will release their juices into the sauce pan.

Overhead shot of apple caramel.

After the apples have released their juices, remove the colander and the apples and place the pan with the juices over medium heat. Cook down the apple juices until a caramel forms.

Overhead shot of apples cooking with caramel.

Add the sliced apples to the pan and cook with the caramel until slightly softened, about five minutes. Let them cool for about 10 minutes.

Overhead shot of sliced apples in pie shell.

Once the apples have cooled, remove the pie pan and the top crust from the refrigerator. Add the apple slices to the crust-lined pie pan.

Overhead shot of brushing egg wash on a pie.

Cover the apples with the top crust. Fold the top crust under the edges of the bottom crust and pinch the crusts together. Flute the crusts. Beat the egg yolk and the cream together and brush the top crust lightly with the egg wash.

Overhead of raw pie with steam vents on it.

Slice steam vents into the top crust. Place the pie pan on top of your pizza stone and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top crust is golden brown and the apple juices are bubbling.

Overhead shot of a finished apple pie.

Cool the apple pie for at least thirty minutes before slicing, but preferably an hour to allow the filling to solidify.

Overhead shot of a slice of apple pie on a white plate with two scoops of vanilla ice cream and drizzled with caramel sauce.

The post Apple Pie appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Ricotta Pancakes

Once you taste these luscious ricotta pancakes, you’ll be making them non-stop. Ricotta transforms them into airy, creamy, custardy delights.

The post Ricotta Pancakes appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you haven’t added ricotta to your pancake game-you’re truly missing out. I know, I know. Cheese in a pancake sounds awful. But stay with me. Ricotta transforms pancakes into airy, creamy, custardy delights. Once you taste these luscious ricotta pancakes, you’ll be making them non-stop.

Side shot of a stack of ricotta pancakes with blueberry sauce on top.

Why would I add Ricotta to a pancake?

Why? Not to steal Loreal’s thunder, but- because you’re worth it. That’s precisely why you need ricotta in your pancakes. It’s still a pancake… just better. And you always deserve better. Plus ricotta doesn’t necessarily add flavor as much as it does mouth feel. It doesn’t taste cheesy, and it’s not ooey-gooey. Instead, these pancakes taste creamy, and the crumb is so moist it’s almost custard-like. The whipped egg whites lend airiness. You almost don’t need syrup. Almost. I can’t stop myself from dropping loads of blueberry sauce on each one.

Do I Have To Whip Egg Whites?

Yes, you’re going to have to whip egg whites. IT’S WORTH IT. These are birthday-breakfast-in-bed-tell-me-you-love-me pancakes. This is the recipe you use to impress your future mother-in-law. The one you trot out for that special brunch attended by the frenemy you imaginary fight with when you’re stopped at a red light. (Don’t act. We all have at least one.)

ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS YOU CAN ADD TO RICOTTA PANCAKE BATTER

In the case that you want to take this batter to the next level (I’m talking a Princess Jasmine A Whole New World MOMENT) try adding these little nuggets of goodness:

  • A 1/2 tablespoon of lemon or orange zest
  • A 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips
  • A 1/4 cup of chopped dried apricots
  • A 1/4 cup of your favorite berry
  • A 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts
Overhead shot of ricotta pancake stack with a pat of butter.

Can I make RICOTTA PANCAKE batter ahead of time?

I wish. Because it has whipped egg whites, this batter is more fragile than a Hollywood ego. (Don’t come at me if you live in LA. You know exactly what I’m talking about.) The fluffiness of those whipped whites doesn’t last forever. So as soon as you make the batter, you should cook it. The best you can do to save time is to mise everything out. (That’s just chef speak for measuring out all of your ingredients and having everything ready to go.) You can pre-mix the dry ingredients, of course. But you’ll have to make the batter the day of.

How To Store, Thaw, and Reheat Ricotta Pancakes.

I doubt you’ll have leftover pancakes. But in case you do: refrigerate in an air-tight container with parchment paper between each layer for up to four days. Do the same if you’re going to freeze them, where they will keep for a couple of months. To reheat, you can just put them in the microwave and cook in 30-second increments until they start to steam. I prefer to warm them in an oven at 350°F. Add a cup of water to an oven-safe container and place it in your oven before you start preheating. It will keep the pancakes from drying out.

What Can I Serve RICOTTA Pancakes With?

Top them with lemon curd, blueberry sauce, or strawberry syrup. Serve them with Fruit Salad or an Omelet. Or eat them with your bare hands while you watch a Handmaid’s Tale and wonder what happened to women’s rights. (Very specific, I know. But I highly recommend it.)

Side shot of a stack of ricotta pancakes with blueberry sauce on top.
Side shot of a stack of ricotta pancakes with blueberry sauce on top.
Print

Ricotta Pancakes

Once you taste these luscious ricotta pancakes, you'll be making them non-stop. Ricotta transforms them into airy, creamy, custardy delights.
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $2.29 recipe / $0.57 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 2 pancakes each
Calories 364kcal
Author Monti – Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs $0.36
  • 1 cup flour $0.09
  • 1 tsp baking powder $0.03
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar $0.01
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1 cup ricotta* $1.22
  • 1 cup milk $0.24
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract $0.29
  • 2 Tbsp oil, for cooking $0.04

Instructions

  • Separate the eggs into yolks and whites. Set the whites aside. Beat the egg yolks until they run in a smooth stream through the tines of a fork.
  • Add the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt to a small bowl. Whisk it together to incorporate it fully.
  • Add the strained ricotta, milk, beaten egg yolks, and vanilla to a large bowl. Mix to combine.
  • Add the dry ingredients on top of the ricotta mixture and gently fold it in.*
  • Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add a few tablespoons of the fluffy egg whites to the batter and stir them in to lighten it.
  • Add the remaining egg whites to the top of the batter and fold them in with a spatula. Lumps are OK; if you over-mix, you will remove all the air from the batter.
  • Place a medium-sized pan over medium heat. Add a 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Use a 1/3 cup ladle or measuring cup to add batter to the pan.
  • Cook the pancake until you see a few bubbles popping through the batter, about 3 minutes. Flip the pancake and cook another 2 minutes until golden. Repeat with the remaining batter. Add 1/2 tablespoon of oil as needed. Makes about 8 pancakes.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*If ricotta is very wet, set it in a fine-mesh strainer and press down on it with a ladle to remove excess liquid.
*Folding is a series of gentle strokes to create an airy batter. Use a wide rubber spatula to slice straight down through the dry ingredients. When the spatula hits the bottom of the bowl, scrape alongside the curve of the bowl for a few inches, scooping up the batter and bringing it towards the top, then “folding” it on top of the dry ingredients. Rotate the bowl fifteen degrees and continue the stroke until the wet and dry are incorporated.

Nutrition

Serving: 2pancakes | Calories: 364kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 19g | Sodium: 285mg | Fiber: 1g
Overhead shot of ricotta pancake stack with blueberry sauce and a fork with a slice of the stack on it.

How to Make RICOTTA PANCAKES – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of egg yolksd and egg whites in separate ramekins.

Separate the eggs into yolks and whites. Beat the egg yolks until they run in a smooth stream through the tines of a fork. Set the whites aside

Overhead shot of dry ingredients and a whisk in a white bowl.

Add the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt to a small bowl. Whisk it together to incorporate it fully.

Overhead shot of wet ingredients in a white bowl.

Add the strained ricotta, milk, beaten egg yolks, and vanilla to a large bowl. Mix to combine.

Overhead shot of wood handled rubber spatula mixing wet and dry ingredients.

Add the dry ingredients on top of the ricotta mixture and gently fold it in. Folding is a series of gentle strokes to create an airy batter. Use a wide rubber spatula to slice straight down through the dry ingredients. When the spatula hits the bottom of the bowl, scrape alongside the curve of the bowl for a few inches, scooping up the batter and bringing it towards the top, then “folding” it on top of the dry ingredients. Rotate the bowl fifteen degrees and continue the stroke until the wet and dry are incorporated.

Overhead shot of hand mixer whipping egg whites in a white bowl.

Use a hand mixer with whisk attachments to beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. If you don’t have a hand mixer, use a whisk and a whole lot of elbow grease.

Overhead shot of egg whites being mixed into pancake batter in a white bowl with a wood handled rubber spatula in it.

Add a few tablespoons of the fluffy egg whites to the batter and stir them in to lighten it. Add the remaining egg whites to the top of the batter and fold them in with a spatula.

Overhead shot of pancake batter in a white bowl with a wood handled rubber spatula in it.

Continue to gently fold in the egg whites until they’re incpororated. Lumps are OK; if you over-mix, you will remove all the air from the batter.

Overhead shot of pancake cooking in a pan.

Place a medium-sized pan over medium heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Use a 1/3 cup ladle or measuring cup to add batter to the pan. Cook the pancake until you see a few bubbles popping through the batter, about 3 minutes.

Overhead shot of cooked pancake in a pan.

Flip the pancake and cook another 2 minutes until golden. Repeat with the remaining batter. Add 1/2 tablespoon of oil as necessary. Makes about 8 pancakes.

Side shot of a stack of ricotta pancakes with blueberry sauce on top.

The post Ricotta Pancakes appeared first on Budget Bytes.


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Homestyle Egg Noodles

This homestyle egg noodle recipe is incredibly easy to make by hand in just 15 minutes with 4 basic ingredients. Flour + eggs + water + salt. ♡ Chances are you already have everything needed to make a batch of my favorite homestyle egg noodles! This simple recipe is inspired by the bags of Reames […]

This homestyle egg noodle recipe is incredibly easy to make by hand in just 15 minutes with 4 basic ingredients.

Homestyle Egg Noodles

Flour + eggs + water + salt. ♡

Chances are you already have everything needed to make a batch of my favorite homestyle egg noodles!

This simple recipe is inspired by the bags of Reames egg noodles that we always used to keep stocked in our freezer growing up, ready to toss into a simmering pot of chicken noodle soup or a quick tuna casserole at a moment’s notice. But while I’m usually down for a good freezer-shortcut, I’m here today to try and convince that it is one-million percent worth it try making homemade egg noodles from scratch instead.

First off, this egg noodle recipe is sooo simple that it’s practically foolproof, making it a fun project for even for some of the youngest sous-chefs in your kitchen. All you need are 4 basic ingredients, 15 minutes of total prep time, and zero fancy equipment (just a basic rolling pin and a pizza cutter). Just stir the dough together and give it a quick knead by hand, roll it out to be as thick-and-chewy or melt-in-your-mouth-thin that you prefer, use a pizza cutter (or a knife) to slice the dough into your desired size of strips or shapes…and voila! A delicious batch of homemade noodles will be yours to enjoy in no time.

These homemade egg noodles would taste wonderful in any number of soups, stews, sautés, casseroles, stroganoffs and more. Or if you happen to be craving some retro buttered noodle, I’m telling you, a quick toss of browned butter, Parmesan and black pepper can’t go wrong. Truly, the fresh flavor and soft texture that these homemade noodles bring to any dish is genuinely worth the extra effort if you have 15 minutes to spare. So the next time you’re tempted to reach for a bag of frozen noodles, grab your rolling pin instead and let’s make a quick batch from scratch together!

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