Monday, October 28, 2013

Pizza Dough, Two Ways (Plus a bonus recipe!)

It is hard to believe that it’s time to start planning for Thanksgiving already, and this year is the added bonus of a joint Thanksgiving and Chanukah celebration. While I was poring over my stack of Thanksgiving themed food magazines, I came across a welcome distraction. In the November 2009 issue of Food & Wine there was an article entitled “Asia Comes to America.” Joanne Chang from Boston’s Flour Café and Bakery (and Myers and Chang) contributed a handful of recipes for traditional Chinese items made from non-traditional ingredients. The one that caught my eye was for scallion pancakes using store-bought pizza dough. Since I have been eating scallion pancakes almost every Thursday for the past few months (maybe year...), I thought I would give the recipe a try. (Recipe here, I quartered the recipe to make 1)



Does scallion pancakes every Thursday seem a little odd? Not when the delicious Mei Mei Street Kitchen truck parks across from your office every Thursday. When dumplings aren't on the menu, my next choice is whatever they are serving on a hot griddled scallion pancake. Some week’s it is braised beef, cheese, and pickles others it is roast beef, potato salad, cranberry hoisin and Swiss chard, or sometimes the double awesome. I know I can’t recreate the full Mei Mei experience at home, but the scallion pancake seemed like a good thing to try.



With a 22 oz. ball of pizza dough from the store, I didn’t need to use all of it for the scallion pancake. Earlier in the day I turned 3 pounds of local apples into an apple butter flavored with maple and pumpkin pie spice. This apple butter was packed with as much New England fall as I could find! Apples from Shelburne Farm (Stow, MA), pumpkin pie spice and apple cider from Bolton Spring Farm (Bolton, MA), and granulated maple sugar from The Warren Farm and Sugarhouse (North Brookfield, MA). I thought about making a batch of warm biscuits to slather it on, but then I remembered the leftover pizza dough in the refrigerator. Perfect for a no-fuss dessert!



I tore up the remaining dough and tossed the dough balls in a generous amount of cinnamon sugar. After arranging them in a Bundt pan they got smothered in a mix of my fresh apple butter and melted butter. Thirty minutes and a flip later, maple-pumpkin pie spiced-apple butter monkey bread! There is no recipe for this one, tear up your favorite pizza dough (or even refrigerated canned biscuits), toss in cinnamon sugar, top with melted butter and apple butter, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Cool for a few minutes, invert onto a plate, and watch it disappear in no time at all.



One ball of dough plus a few great sources of inspiration equals a delicious day in the Good Cook Doris kitchen. Hope your fall is just as tasty!

Maple Pumpkin Pie Spiced Apple Butter
Inspired by Overnight Apple Butter, Domenica Marchetti, Cooking Light, October 2004

1/2 cup granulated maple sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup apple cider
1 ½ tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
10 medium apples, peeled, seeds removed, and cut into large chunks (2 ½ - 3 pounds apples)

Add all ingredients in a Dutch oven or large, heavy bottomed pot
Cover and cook over medium-low heat 1 – 1 ½ hours or until apples are very tender, stirring occasionally
Place a large fine-mesh sieve over a bowl; spoon one-third of apple mixture into sieve. Using a spatula, press the apple mixture through sieve. Discard pulp. Repeat with remaining apple mixture.  (This took a little while to do, you want to get as much apple goodness as possible in the finished product)
Return  the apple butter mixture to the pot and cook over medium low for approximately 15 minutes, or until desired thickness.

Time: 
10-15 minutes prep time, depending on your apple peeling speed
10-20 minutes sieve time, depending on your arm strength
Total cook time: 1 ¼ hour – 2 hours

Equipment:
Peeler, measuring spoons and cups, knife, Dutch oven or heavy pot, and spatula

Notes:
This recipe is not sweet – if you like your apple butter sweeter you can add up to double the amount of sugar and honey. I prefer a less sweet apple butter, to let the apples’ natural sugars determine the final sweetness.  

I used a variety of apples from our recent apple picking outing: Cortland, Red Delicious, Empire, Golden Delicious, Rome, and a few others I can't remember. 

1 comment:

  1. I think farro may be my new obsession. These look like a delicious, healthier version of one of my favorites!

    ReplyDelete

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