As you may already know, I’m Canadian BUT I have a ton of family and friends who live in the USA. I also feel that any excuse to celebrate and eat is fine by me. To commemorate the 4th of July, I thought it would be fitting to give you two sweet treats all dressed in RED, WHITE and BLUE. I couldn’t resist ordering some of these custom made donuts by miniliciousbyrachelle again AND I baked up an outta control cheesecake from an old recipe that is tried and true.
When I wrote my blogpost on Canada Day, I gave you the top 11 things I love about Canada. Let me share my top 10 list of things I love about the USA in the eyes of a Canadian.
Here ya go:
1. The Star Spangled Banner – which I like to sing ……..out loud at the start of every ball game….which is fine because it’s so loud no one can hear me.
2. Walgreens – because they have just about everything you need in the makeup department without having to ship it through Amazon/Paypal to a US only address
3. REAL TARGET STORES – I can’t even begin to tell you how much ours (which lasted here for like a New York minute) sucked.
4. Cereal Selections – at the grocery store – they have Chocolate Chex™ Cereal for goodness sake.
5. Bloomingdales – right?
6. Restaurant portions – I can’t control myself
7. Dolla Dolla Bills – Love the US greenback single dollar bill – no loonies to weigh down your handbag
8. Hollywood – where all the stars come out at night (and during the day)
9. The Imperial System vs The Metric – I’m sorry fellow Canadians, but I still think in pounds, quarts, tablespoons and MILES!!
10. McDonalds™ Orange Pop – huh? Well, we stopped selling it here in Canada and it is the ONLY drink I can have with my Filet O’ Fish™ meal.
Mildred Stone’s 4th of July Cheesecake
For the Crust
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tbls sugar
5 tbls unsalted butter (if using salted butter, omit the pinch of salt), melted
For the Filling
4 pkgs cream cheese(8 oz/250g each), room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 tbls flour
6 eggs separated
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1 jar of cherry preserves (you can use any flavour here – strawberry and blueberry is delish too)
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Prepare crust by mixing graham crumbs with sugar, salt and melted butter.
Prepare 10 inch springform pan buy wrapping the bottom with foil so that no liquid leaks through when you place the filling in. I like to place the foil wrapped pan on a baking sheet that is lined with foil as well.
Press crumb mixture into pan and slightly up the sides. Bake crust for 10 minutes and let cool completely. You can place the cooled crust in the fridge while you make the filling. It will ensure that it is nice and firm.
Cream the cheese, sugar and flour until all ingredients are well blended.
Slowly add egg yolks and beat until light and fluffy.
Add vanilla and sour cream and continue beating until blended.
Beat egg whites to soft peaks and gently fold into cheese mixture just until it is incorporated
Pour into prepared graham crust
Take 2 tbls of cherry preserves and dot onto the top of the cheesecake gently.
Now take a knife and make a marbled swirl through the preserves.
Bake at 350F for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Turn oven off and leave cake in oven with door ajar for 1 hour.
When cool, serve with mixed berries.
So I bet you’re wondering who Mildred Stone is.
She was a lovely lady who my mom was friends with a long time ago. Honestly? I’m not sure why I have a bunch of her hand written recipes. One of which is a cherry cheesecake that I’ve been making since I was a teenager.
I think it’s okay to share this with you. Right Mildred
Happy 4th of July!
I remember growing up in an area where there were donut shops on almost every block. Not an ideal neighbourhood for a teenager who wore skin tight bell bottom jeans. Eventually my butt started looking like a donut so I limited myself to one a month for a special treat and started playing tennis to burn off “donut” calories.
You may or may not know how REAL donuts are made. Let me break down the steps for you.
1. START WITH A YEAST DOUGH
2. ADD A TON OF SUGAR
3. THEN DEEP FRY
4. GLAZE WITH MORE SUGARY STUFF
5. TOP WITH AN OBNOXIOUS AMOUNT OF SPRINKLES
Sound good? OF COURSE IT DOES!! That’s why skinny jeans may be out of the question if you are writing your memoir ” diary of donut addict”.
Well, don’t fret my friends. There is a way to healthy up your little donut passion. That’s right….YOU CAN BAKE EM’
Okay, so maybe they are still laden with sugar and are totally not “healthy healthy” ……….but they are better than fried.
My son’s girlfriend and I decided it would be a fun project to make mini donuts together. First we needed to equip ourselves with “donut gear”…..baking pan, cake mix, icing sugar and loads of sprinkles. Yes we used a ready made mix due to time constraints and the fact that I needed to bake up a babka on the fly. It’s fine. You can always substitute the real McCoy with a cake mix if you want to. Just so you know. I am not perfect. I know you are shocked by this confession. I have had my share of kitchen disasters and this my friends was one of those times. We followed a recipe we found on Pinterest and what we ended up with was this……..FLATNUTS. Translation? A donut that looked like a pancake. We have no idea what happened….my guess it was the pan. My other guess was that we were not patient and my final excuse was ……..I had blow-dry scheduled for 3:00 p.m. and there was no time to fiddle diddle with these stupid flatsie donut thingies.
I quickly messaged my new friend who started a donut biz called MiniliciousByRachelle. I mean ….are they not the cutest?
Here’s how the conversation went:
ME: “Hi Rachelle….do you think you can make me one dozen donuts in an “ombre” series from white to pink to orange”?
ME: “okay thanks”
To be honest, the conversation was about 3 days long but do you really want to waste time reading about how, what and why when you can get right down to the donuts?
Let’s do this.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup whole milk
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
For the cinnamon-sugar mixture (optional):
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
For the glaze (optional):
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 Tbs. whole milk
To make the donuts, preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the wells of a mini donut pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. In a measuring cup, stir together the buttermilk and whole milk. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and beat on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute.
Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk mixture and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition until just blended.
Pour a scant 1 Tbs. batter into each prepared well. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the donuts comes out clean, about 8 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes, then invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan.
Wash and dry the pan and repeat with the remaining batter.
If making the cinnamon-sugar mixture, place the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and whisk until combined. While the donuts are still warm, toss them in the mixture and transfer to a wire rack.
If making the glaze, place the confectioners’ sugar and milk in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Let the donuts cool completely, then dip them, top side down, into the glaze. Transfer the donuts, glazed size up, to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Makes 24 donuts.
There is something about Apple Pie. Maybe it’s just because it’s APPLE or maybe it’s because it’s PIE. You know the old saying “it’s as American as Apple Pie”? Well, seeing as that I’m Canadian with relatives in the United States who are dual citizens it was only fitting to dedicate this post to them today.
By the way, did you notice that I like to celebrate other people’s countries holidays? Why not? This is a great recipe for a 4th of July celebration and besides, it’s a great excuse to bake, eat and get together with family. Especially the CanaMericans I know and love.
Okay, back to the pie. Mom’s Apple Pie has a standard pie crust base with a yummy crumble topping. I’m obsessed with crumbles of any sort so this is right up my pie alley. The pie crust recipe was shared by a lovely lady who was friends with my Mom. She also gave me her recipe for cherry cheesecake which is out of control good…..which reminds me…..I need to make one…..tomorrow sounds like soon enough for me.
I know that salted caramel is the new butterscotch sauce so I created a recipe that blends a bit of Canadiana and Americana into one fine drizzle shnizzle. The secret ingredient is pure maple syrup. I served up the pie with plain ol’ vanilla ice cream dripping with this heavenly warm sauce and just look at it. I mean really……..JUST LOOK!
And now the steps:
For the crust
2¼ cups pastry flour
¼ cup chilled butter
½ cup chilled shortening
⅓ cup ice cold orange juice
pinch of salt
For the filling
5 – 6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced ¼ inch thick
⅔ cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the topping
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar – packed
1¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
For the Salted Maple Caramel Sauce
¼ cup butter, unsalted
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup real Canadian maple syrup
¼ tsp sea salt
How to put this apple pie baby together:
With a pastry blender, or in stand ,mixer with dough hook, blend all ingredients until you get a nice ball of dough. Don’t over mix. You can flatten into a disk and keep in firidge until ready to roll on a lightly floured board.
Roll dough out to fit pie pan ( I usually spray with non-stick coating or line with parchment paper).
Position rack in centre of oven and preheat to 400°F.
Mix all ingredients in large bowl to coat apples.
Blend first 5 ingredients in processor. Add chilled butter cubes; using on/off turns, cut in until mixture resembles wet little crumbs.
Toss filling to mix up the juices; transfer to crust, building it up towards the centre.
Press topping over and around apples.
Bake pie on baking sheet until topping is golden, about 40 minutes (cover top with foil if browning too quickly).
Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
Bake until apples in centre are tender when pierced and filling is bubbling thickly at edges, about 45 minutes longer.
Cool about 1 hour. Serve with ice cream and sauce if desired.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Stir in brown sugar
Add cream and cook until thick, constantly stirring
Once thickened – about 2 to 5 minutes, add maple syrup and salt.
Use warm or cool and keep in fridge for up to a week.
See ya next week!
Simply Beautiful Eating