Sourdough Aebleskiver Recipe (With a Super Amateurish Video!)

I wanted to post this the first week in December, as I hear this is a popular Danish holiday food. However, it turned out that making a stop motion animation super low-budget video is a lot more effort than one would think. I had fun with it though, I laughed out loud at how cheesy it was more than once. I do wish I had a better microphone, but I’m quite happy with the graphics. Yes, you heard me. I actually like how it turned out.

You will need an aebleskiver pan, and a pastry brush. You will need to know how to make clarified butter or ghee. You need a sourdough starter and if you don’t have one yet, I had great results with the pineapple juice starter (scroll down for a day by day breakdown). You need to know how to fold egg whites into batter, and if you don’t believe me about the necessity of whipping the egg whites, you should. Take a look at 2:30 on the same video, he’ll show you. In aebleskiver, that puff on flipping the pancake translates into the aebleskiver becoming nice and round.

If you don’t want to follow my recipe and would rather not do sourdough, there are plenty of recipes for aebleskiver online (or check out the book Ebelskivers by Kevin Crafts). You’ll still need everything else but the starter though.

My recipe for aebleskiver (makes between 18 and 25 ‘skivers):

2 cups (500g) sourdough starter
2 eggs (separated)
1 tsp (7g) salt
1/2 cup (125g) water or milk (if using powdered milk add 1/8 cup or 15g powder)
2 Tbsp (30g) sugar
2 Tbsp (18g) oil, ghee, or bacon drippings (in addition to the ghee to oil the wells)
1 tsp baking soda

These really are a wonderful treat, I haven’t yet found anyone who didn’t prefer them to pancakes. They go fast, but if you wish to make a large amount of them, they do freeze well (or so I hear). I keep my extras in the refrigerator and warm them up at about 300°F in the oven, they don’t hang around long enough to need freezing in this home.

This recipe is nothing more than my usual sourdough pancake recipe, but I do have a cookbook full of seriously tasty looking recipes (that I mentioned earlier). I’ve made a few of his recipes, including lemon poppy seed and peanut butter and jelly. The chocolate chip ones are good as well, though I found it works better to dump the chips in the center as a filling and not to mix them into the batter. One of these days I’ll try more of his suggestions (especially garlic bread with a mozzarella filling and a mariana dipping sauce).

I’ve also seen recipes around the web that suggest fillings such as jam, flavored cream cheese, nutella, custard, and various berries. I’ve heard of people making muffins, cake or brownies in them as well, though I don’t know if they used the stove top or the oven. I’ve heard that cake balls made in this pan are good to dip in icing.

You certainly don’t have to just make aebleskiver in this skillet. This is what happens when you hand me two boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix. One of these days I’m going to make a more savory cornbread from scratch and make these filled with cheese. I’ve also heard of making popovers in this skillet, hush puppies, jalapeno poppers, crab cakes, salmon cakes, and meatballs. If the thought of meatballs appeals to you, try doing a search on kofta recipes (there are so many versions from various cultures, I just don’t trust myself to pick one out for you!)

Cornbread aebleskier

The list of other foods that can be made in this skillet is probably way beyond my ability to list. Perhaps if I was an avid student of worldwide culinary culture, I might be able to tell you more. For one thing, aebleskiver may be the same thing or just very similar to poffertjes, I’m not entirely sure.

When I purchased mine, I browsed through the comments on Amazon and quickly saw that several cultures have their own versions of round breads, often made in very similar pans. The Japanese have takoyaki (filled with octopus, tempura, pickled ginger, and green onion). The Vietnamese have bánh khọt, which isn’t a round bread but can be made in this pan, and it looks like it would make an excellent appetizer that would serve as a conversation piece for us uncultured Americans, with rice flour, coconut milk, saffron, shrimp, pork, mung beans and a dipping sauce (here’s another page with a different recipe that includes beer, and a video).

Thailand has kanom krok, which is a coconut bread with rice flour and may include onions, corn, or cilantro as a filling. Several Indian recipes include bonda (with black pepper and curry in the rice flour and dipped in a coconut chutney),  ponganalu (filled with onions or corn and dipped in peanut chutney), and unni appam (which looks good and includes rice, banana, coconut, and sesame).

There is a Tamil (India, Sri Lanka, and South Asia) dish called kuzhi paniyaram that uses the same batter for dosa and idli, which is super fabulous news for me as my new copy of Wild Fermentation totally has this fermented lentil/rice batter given as a recipe, and a large part of my diet is already made up of lentils and rice. I already was thinking of making dosas soon, but knowing that I can use my nifty aebleskiver pan for my new fermented food kick is giving me quite a thrill. It’s nice to be so easily entertained, it really is.

Plus, if you have a super fancy grocery budget (can I come over for dinner?) I hear that the escargot pans are similar (though usually made of copper). I hear you put butter and perhaps a bit of garlic in the wells and sautée the little snails. I’ve never tried them, but I tend to be fairly adventurous with my foods and would certainly like to sample the recipe, though I doubt it will be in my near future.

Anyway, as you can see, this pan is no more a “one trick gadget” than a muffin tin is. Sure, I mostly use my muffin tin for muffins, but I’ve also made potato stacks in them and I know there’s a popular trend to use muffin tins for a variety of tiny casserole-type foods. And yes, I’ve only made aebleskiver and cornbread in my little skillet, but I know the potential is there to make more if I wish to break out of a culinary rut (and I so will be making trying that kuzhi paniyaram soon).  Get you one of these pans, use it, enjoy it, and your family will thank you for it :).

Related pages:

The Care and Feeding of Cast Iron

Ebelskivers: Danish-Style Filled Pancakes and Other Sweet and Savory Treats by Kevin Crafts.

Misadventures in Homemade Butter

How to make butter with a mason jar or blender, including homemade cultured butter or culinary and healing herbal butters for a butter bell, and how I did it wrong from Dryad In The Elm at This was a lot of fun and I loved it, the butter tastes great, and thankfully we all learn from our mistakes ;).

I can’t think of a more satisfying feeling than biting into warm, buttery, homemade bread. I love my bread, and I should. I spend a couple of years developing my mad bread-making skills. Every bite of my bread is a reminder of my hard work and success, and my family knows this effort has been out of love. Even when a loaf fails miserably, we still manage to love it somehow, like a family pet that’s all wonky in the brain. Something has been bothering me though. Why do I work so hard and then turn around and smear regular “whatever was on sale” butter on my bread? This must be stopped.

Thankfully, The Magic Teaspoon has some great suggestions for herbal butters, and simple instructions on making your own butter with a blender. I had that, and I also had a brand new little butter bell that hadn’t even been taken out of the box. Butter bells keep your butter fresh while out on the counter at room temperature, allowing you to have spreadable butter whenever you want it. The butter is kept fresh with an air tight seal of water when the bell is closed. I don’t know why it took me so long to get one.

If you like it when newbies post about their clumsy attempts, you are going to love this.

How to make butter with a mason jar or blender, including homemade cultured butter or culinary and healing herbal butters for a butter bell, and how I did it wrong from Dryad In The Elm at This was a lot of fun and I loved it, the butter tastes great, and thankfully we all learn from our mistakes ;).

My first attempt was a pumpkin spice flavored butter with the blender. With the cold weather, I love this spice to help soothe my joints and help me face the horrors of chilly air when out running errands. So, I added 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Next I added some cream (1 cup), and some filtered water straight from the refrigerator (1/2 cup).

After a couple of minutes of blenderizing, I lifted the lid and smoothed it down with a spatula then blenderized again. I also figured out that if I kept the lid tipped ever so slightly and lightly used the spatula to smooth the butter as it was spinning, I could keep he butter churning more easily and the process went much more smoothly. This is how I ended up with butter in my hair.

Next step: drain out the buttermilk.

How to make butter with a mason jar or blender, including homemade cultured butter or culinary and healing herbal butters for a butter bell, and how I did it wrong from Dryad In The Elm at This was a lot of fun and I loved it, the butter tastes great, and thankfully we all learn from our mistakes ;).

I had my pretty little butter bell all clean and waiting, and I ended up with fresh buttermilk. Once it drained for a little while, I smoothed it in to my happy little bell, and it promptly fell out. This made me sad. A look at my recipe showed me that I wasn’t supposed to put the water in until the cream was whipped. Oops. I think I ended up whipping a bunch of water into my butter. Sigh.

Later on, browsing for other blender butter recipes on the web showed me that The Magic Teaspoon uses a method where the blender washes the butter for you, which is very convenient. (When I made the mason jar butter, washing the buttermilk out with that chilled water was not very nice to my winter-tender joints.)

Next time I try making butter, I think I’ll use this method again only I’ll do it right this time, and see if I can get my butter to stay in the bell. It might be that the entire method of washing in the blender isn’t right for my butter bell, but I’ll certainly give it a try.

Once chilled the butter was quite firm, though it does dent with a finger pressed into it a little more easily than my store-bought butter.

How to make butter with a mason jar or blender, including homemade cultured butter or culinary and healing herbal butters for a butter bell, and how I did it wrong from Dryad In The Elm at This was a lot of fun and I loved it, the butter tastes great, and thankfully we all learn from our mistakes ;).

In the meantime, I had in my hands the first real buttermilk that I had ever seen. Even better, it was pumpkin spice flavored. I saved it for pancakes the next day. This buttermilk was a little watered down due to adding water before draining; recipes that call for buttermilk may need to be adjusted. I used it instead of water in a pumpkin pancake recipe that didn’t call for any buttermilk, and they turned out very nummy and fluffy. You can wash blender butter in a later step and still get buttermilk out of it just like you can with mason jar butter, that just wasn’t the process I used.

By the way, The Magic Teaspoon had several recipes for herbal butters that you can make with store-bought butter, none of them were pumpkin spice but I’ll keep this chapter in mind when playing around with different flavors. The easiest way to make an herbal butter would be to put your ingredients into a blender or a food processor with a stick or two of butter and then blend it all together (or mash the herbs in with the back of a fork), I’m sure I’ll try this as well when I don’t have time to whip up my own butter.

If you want cultured butter (the cream is cultured first with healthy probiotic bacteria), I don’t know if I would add spices. I know that cinnamon and some other spices or herbs with antibacterial properties  may interfere with yeast rising (this is why cinnamon breads have the bulk of their spices swirled in the center, so the areas between the swirls are able to rise more). If bread yeast doesn’t like it, probiotic bacteria might not like it either. Who knows though, I’ve seen sourdough starter recipes that include antibacterial herbs and people say they seem to work fine, even though lactobacteria are a part of a sourdough culture. Experiment and see how it goes for you (and maybe let me know).

My next adventure was the cardiovascular muscle toning exercise of mason jar butter. I made butter by shaking a jar and I didn’t even smack myself in the face with the jar. This is a proud moment for me.

How to make butter with a mason jar or blender, including homemade cultured butter or culinary and healing herbal butters for a butter bell, and how I did it wrong from Dryad In The Elm at This was a lot of fun and I loved it, the butter tastes great, and thankfully we all learn from our mistakes ;).

I gotta say, this was a lot of fun. Then again, maybe that’s because I loaded some Harry Belafonte onto my mp3 player and danced to the tune of “Jump in the Line”. This had the added bonus of annoying my son by singing “Shake, shake, shake, señora” while he was trying to play video games. It is the right of every mother to annoy their child, and I take my rights as a duty to perform with utmost enthusiasm.

It didn’t take very long before the cream stopped sloshing. I peeked at my whipped cream.

How to make butter with a mason jar or blender, including homemade cultured butter or culinary and healing herbal butters for a butter bell, and how I did it wrong from Dryad In The Elm at This was a lot of fun and I loved it, the butter tastes great, and thankfully we all learn from our mistakes ;).

A couple of verses of Belafonte later, my fat began to separate from the buttermilk.

How to make butter with a mason jar or blender, including homemade cultured butter or culinary and healing herbal butters for a butter bell, and how I did it wrong from Dryad In The Elm at This was a lot of fun and I loved it, the butter tastes great, and thankfully we all learn from our mistakes ;).

It might be a little tricky to see here, but what I had appeared to be a smooth island of butter floating in a milky pond. I thought it was supposed to look more broken up than that, so I kept shaking, hoping to get little clumps of butter and lots of buttermilky goodness.I was really looking forward to that buttermilk too, seeing as how it wouldn’t be thinned out by the cold water like it was with the blender method I used.

But that is not what happened.

How to make butter with a mason jar or blender, including homemade cultured butter or culinary and healing herbal butters for a butter bell, and how I did it wrong from Dryad In The Elm at This was a lot of fun and I loved it, the butter tastes great, and thankfully we all learn from our mistakes ;).

Instead, the buttermilk ended up being whipped right back into the butter. Live and learn. I think I must have shaken for half an hour trying to get my little clumps of butter (and my biceps are a little bit bigger for the effort).

Now I know; when the fats start smacking together and the butter falls from the cream, the time is right to drain and wash even if my butter doesn’t look all clumpy. I might use a bigger jar next time, or leave more room at the top, and see if that helps everything go more smoothly. The next step is to strain out the buttermilk, but mine was all mixed in so I went straight to washing.

How to make butter with a mason jar or blender, including homemade cultured butter or culinary and healing herbal butters for a butter bell, and how I did it wrong from Dryad In The Elm at This was a lot of fun and I loved it, the butter tastes great, and thankfully we all learn from our mistakes ;).

All you have to do is pour in some chilled water then squish the water around through the butter with your fingers, and work the butter in a way that is similar to kneading bread. Pour out the milky water, then add more. Repeat this until the water is clear.

Get all the buttermilk out, or as much as possible, as it might make your butter turn rancid more quickly. I had to repeat this step a lot from my newbie clumsiness, but I did end up with clean butter eventually. This time my butter stayed in the bell.

How to make butter with a mason jar or blender, including homemade cultured butter or culinary and healing herbal butters for a butter bell, and how I did it wrong from Dryad In The Elm at This was a lot of fun and I loved it, the butter tastes great, and thankfully we all learn from our mistakes ;).

I did have to smooth it level after each use for it to stay in the bell properly, but I was able to use this nice soft butter on my bread for a few days. I had enough to put some in the refrigerator as well.  It was light and tasty, and very fun to make (even if things didn’t go exactly as planned).

Somewhere in there, somewhere around when things started becoming solid and started shaking less, I suddenly looked at my jar in amazement. Wait a minute, what magic is this anyway? I know that friction causes heat, and heat can sometimes help certain things dissolve, but I wasn’t trying to make two substances combine in a solution, was I? This was an entirely mechanical process with only one ingredient. How could this be happening? So, I Googled.

It took me about three seconds to find The Science of Whipped Cream and Butter from Food Retro. Apparently butter is made by smacking fat globules together until they stick, and then the water gets pushed out.A little less simplified: water repelling phospholipids surround the fat triglycerides in a layer, keeping the fat in a water repelling bubble. Agitation causes the phospholipids to release their hold on each other (in my head I see something similar to the kid’s game of crack the whip, only the poor phospholipids are screaming in abject terror as they are ripped apart from their friends and loved ones).

As the layer is broken, the fat (triglycerides) in the center break out and seek other fat molecules and cling together for dear life (they so saw what happened to the phospholipids, I don’t blame them for sticking together one bit). When they cling they do so tightly, and the water molecules are forced out.

Serious Eats gets even more nitty gritty, with molecule diagrams and discussion of colloids, and happy or sad faces where the science books usually put a boring positive or negative symbol instead. Man they make science look cute. Also, I didn’t even think about the fact that chemistry might be involved in the process of making a foam for the whipped cream stage, I just chalked it up to mechanical incorporation of air. But oh no, it’s all about the triglycerides.

Hopefully soon I’ll try this again, only I’d like to try culturing my cream first for a probiotic butter. I’m still learning about probiotic cultures, and I’m trying a few things that I’ll share when I’m ready. My first ginger ale didn’t quite turn out like I thought, but my son has frequent stomach issues and last night he tried some. About half an hour later, he said he felt great. I am encouraged, and might be looking at a few methods for getting more healthy bacteria into our diets. Maybe it was just the ginger goodness and its marvelous effect on the digestive system, but I’m hoping that the bacteria can help prevent him from getting so many stomach upsets in the future. Time will tell.

Plus, if I can keep this butter-making up (cultured or not) that’s another area of my life where I’ll be skimming out some preservatives and additives. Also, most of the time when you cut a machine out of the process, you end up with a more sustainable option. It’s a busy world though, and time does get frittered away. I bet though that I find the time every now and then to make a special flavored homemade butter.

There are butter churns that you can put on top of a mason jar, then you spin a crank instead of shaking. I was really tempted to put one on my wishlist and and then drop hints to my man, but looking more closely at the reviews I thought that the ones that hold up well are likely the ones that are way out of the budget. Actually, the less expensive ones were also out of the budget. I suppose if you made a large amount of butter on a regular basis one of these might be a nice tool (perhaps if you owned the cow it came from), but I think I’ll stick to my low-budget options.

There are also molds for homemade butter, both the shape we are familiar with (the rectangle sticks for putting in a butter dish) and cute little shapes like lambs and hearts. Candy and soap molds can be used too, as long as they are food safe materials. Those can be adorable and perhaps one day I’ll get one, but I’ll stick with my butter bell for now.

And some more buttery goodness from other fabulous people:

Karen made an awesome video of mason jar butter making on The Art of Doing Stuff. She seems like a fun kind of lady.

Dana Velden at The Kitchn has a wonderful article with lots of tips, it’s so worth the read that many of the pages I read referenced her.

Here’s a straight from the cow cultured butter kind of article from the lovely people at Mother Earth News. It was a sad day when thrift meant I had to cancel my magazine subscription, but I still enjoy their newsletter emails.

Jill Winger at The Prairie Homestead mentions that the reason store bought butter is so hard is due to a high water content (which also means that you’re buying less butter than you think and spending money on water, but I guess it also means less calories per tablespoon) and uses raw milk from her own cow for her cultured butter. One day I aspire to be so hard core. Very worth the read.

If you’re the kind of person who enjoys reading the first few chapters of cookbooks, where they keep the history and interesting bits about the food (a kindred spirit), you’ll like the article by Jonathan S. White about Churning Cultured Butter at Home.

Ris Lacoste at Fine Cooking has a great looking recipe for Three-Herb Butter. The recipe calls for store bought butter, but of course you can use your own homemade goodness.

Leigh Anne at Your Homebased Mom has a few suggestions for flavored butters, including gift wrapping ideas for the holidays. She’s made some very pretty butters, this is a popular post on Pinterest.

Sonia at The Healthy Foodie has a run-down on making ghee or clarified butter. Besides lasting longer and being easier to use when a recipe calls for softened butter, ghee has a higher smoke point than regular butter. This is important to me because I use a cast-iron aebleskiver pan. When I was using regular butter to brush the wells, my pan got kind of gummy and sticky over time. Switching to ghee made my skillet more clean, and my aebleskiver browned better as well. I’m sure it is also superior for sautéing, I just tend to grab olive oil for that.

I love Lehman’s, and you can find some very old-school supplies in their online shop (not an affiliate link). Their catalog makes great browsing.

If any love of my life might be looking at this and contemplating a special gift for me sometime in the future, those wooden butter molds with the little carved decorations sure do look fun… They’re currently out of stock so you’re likely off the hook for now.

The Health Benefits of Homemade Pumpkin Spice Blend

It turns out that winter spices are probably some of the most appropriate things to use in all of our seasonal treats. Pumpkin spice turns out to have many winter related benefits. Allspice, clove, and nutmeg all soothe pain from indigestion, gas, and overeating. That’s a nifty thing to put in meals designed to encourage people to eat until their buttons pop off and they pass out on the couch watching football.

Ginger and cinnamon help to boost circulation, bringing warm blood to cold hands and feet. They also soothe achy joints that flare up in cold weather. There is also some anti-inflammatory action in this blend to further reduce joint pain (and other pains).

During cold and flu season, this blend boosts immunity, but if you do get ill these spices may help you recover quickly and reduce some symptoms (like fever, sore throat, cough and nausea). Plus this blend can have a tonic effect upon the system, helping the body to break down and remove toxins while supporting organ function.  There are anti-oxidant properties as well.

Pumpkin Spice: this recipe tries to lower cinnamon amount and rely on ginger as a base for a safer winter herbal boost.

Mix 1/8 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp allspice, 1/2 tsp clove, 1/4 tsp cassia cinnamon or  1 Tbsp Ceylon cinnamon, and 1 Tbsp ginger (powdered – use 1 tsp if using Ceylon cinnamon). Note: Don’t give your pets treats with this spice mix in it. Both cinnamon and nutmeg may cause your pet harm.

Why yes, there is something odd about this recipe. Most pumpkin spice recipes are cinnamon based, and  this recipe is mostly Ginger, depending on what variety of cinnamon you have. Confusing, I know. Or, perhaps you’ve heard this one before, about how grocery store cinnamon actually has a toxin (click the “side effects” tab).  Safe levels are said to be lower than what we typically eat, especially in our baked goods.

I’m not sure where I stand on the issue right now, but I do plan on keeping my cinnamon levels low until I get my hands on some Ceylon cinnamon. Ceylon is a different plant in the same family and has microscopic levels of the toxin (much safer). Therefore this spice mix is Ginger based, with an alternate version for Ceylon users. This makes it more similar to gingerbread, it’s kind of a hybrid.  Try to use this in recipes that call for cinnamon instead of using pure cinnamon.

I have information pages up on ginger, cinnamon, allspice, clove, and nutmeg; these pages should be looked at for individual cautions, drug interactions, and uses. My pages will be kept up to date to show my studies and experiences. Also, if you are curious about herbalism but haven’t gotten into it yet, the herbalism page may help.

And now that we’re done with the business part, here’s the bits that I saved for the end so people who didn’t feel like reading could move on with their busy lives.

October and November are harvest months that turn cold. The family (and sometimes it feels like the entire village) gets together and stuffs themselves silly before the lean winter times begin. Celebration of plenty becomes a celebration of each other, a time to reconnect with family members that you never have the chance to see in your busy life. We also tend to look at other harvests. Giving thanks often means looking at what we have nurtured and tended to in our lives, what have we “grown” that we enjoy the results of now.

There can also be a spiritual aspect to the winter solstice, across several cultures and faiths. There is a reason for this, it’s a time when we all need each other and our faith. The sun moves further away from the earth in autumn, and the nights grow long. Without the sun to stimulate serotonin levels, depression becomes far more common, and we long for the sun.

Thankfully the winter solstice is the halfway point. The sun then begins its journey back to the earth and the days get longer. The cold times are halfway over. That is something to celebrate, and celebration with shared feasts means the family celebrates their bond with each other through the difficult times. We lift each other up through the long nights, and cherish the creation of lifetime memories through gifts, food, and drink. We feast despite the lack of growth around us and put our worries aside.

Once upon a time, winter meant death. Hunger and illness were harder to fight against. If you ever wondered why we celebrate the birth of Jesus in the winter when he was born in spring, consider this: when the solstice happens the sun is at an apparent standstill for about three days at its furthest point from the earth. On the twenty-fifth of December, the sun begins to return to us bringing hope, joy, and light. Seems about right to me.

I know, I know. You came because I drew a colorful picture of a popular spice mix, what’s with all the preachy? Well,  I have problems getting through winter. I like to remember what the holidays mean while I sip my pumpkin spice tea or cocoa.

Also, this spice mix has a scent to it. Scent has strong associations with memory. I let the scent bring me associations of people coming together to feast, and all the bonding and nurturing that brings. Even during the holidays when “my family” will mean just me and my son, or when it means the family gathering might contain some drama, and I may have to face some sad facts about who is no longer with us, I can still let the best parts of what this holiday should be wash over my mind with that scent.

Sometimes my holiday experience doesn’t quite fit the way it should, so sometimes this scent is a reminder of what to strive for when my family isn’t making me feel especially generous. Then the scent of this spice is motivation.

I like to think the warmth of the sun does not go away in winter, that it comes inside to my home and heart, and is shown through generosity, togetherness, and above all: food. Food with lots of baking. Warm fresh breads and pies made with my hands to tell my family that I love them. This makes winter better for me, and I hope that if you struggle with winter that maybe you can find a way to let the scent of this spice bring your sun inside to your home and heart as well.

Seasonal Treats: Bloomin’ Apples For Fall.

Baked bloomin' apple

Well, this is interesting. I’ve thought about starting a blog for a few months now, but on the day I happen to have something worth saying, it just happens to be Halloween. That makes my blogiversary Halloween too, my celebratory contests should be fun. Now on to the show. This one features my version of a caramel baked apple recipe that’s been bouncing around Pinterest.

How to make a Bloomin' Apple, baked and drizzled with a butter deglaze sauce and buttery caramel.

I recommend this be baked with the apples placed in a glass or enamel casserole dish. If you don’t have a double boiler, I recommend a stainless steel bowl set on a pot of boiling water. If you don’t have a steel bowl, use the thickest metal sauce pan you have. Preheat your oven to 350°F.

How to make a Bloomin' Apple, baked and drizzled with a butter deglaze sauce and buttery caramel.

How to Cut a Bloomin’ Apple

Bloomin’ Apple (for four apples)

  • 4 apples (I like how Gala apples work with this recipe) that have had their tops cut off and have been cored, then cut in a grid pattern like the picture shown.
  • 8 Tablespoons (one stick, or 1/4 a cup) butter
  • 4 Tablespoons brown sugar, or a natural and unprocessed sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Corn Starch (this thickens the sauce so it dribbles more slowly as it melts over the apple, allowing for even seasoning)
  • 1 teaspoon each of powdered ginger root and cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon each of salt, nutmeg and allspice.

Caramel Sauce (use either)

  • 20 pieces of caramel candies with 2 Tablespoons of butter melted on low or in a double broiler.


  • In a double broiler, melt: 1 cup brown sugar (packed), 1/2 cup whipping cream or half and half, 4 Tablespoons of butter (chopped), and a pinch of salt together. Stir frequently until sauce thickens. Remove from heat. For a butterscotch twist, stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract while cooling.

Bloomin’ Baked Apples (from is a fantastic baked apple recipe, especially for this time of the year. It is simple, and seems easy enough. I love seasonal treats, I love the holidays, and I love alleviating my boredom by pretending I’m Donna Reed.  So, I decided to indulge my domestic side and make this the feature treat for the autumn and winter holidays. Naturally I had to add my own personal touch to things as well, and I ended up with something so different from the original you might wish to see both and decide what fits your style best.

Unfortunately, I do not have a narrow, thin knife that the original recipe called for. I have an apple corer that I’d never used before, so I enjoyed that part of the prep, but carving the circles around the hollowed out center proved to be impossible with my thick little paring knife. My cuts would not allow my apple to bloom, meaning it wouldn’t take in heat evenly or brown properly. Also, I don’t own a microwave, and I think this changed part of the recipe as well. My apple took forever to cook, didn’t seem properly seasoned, and the caramel did not spread. So I fixed it for the tools I have available and some of my favorite seasonings. The best change was to slice the apple in the grid like pattern shown above. I found that having no circles made this much simpler and quicker to cut with my clumsy knife.

In the next step, as I said, I do not have a microwave. Odd of me, I know. I’m quite happy being behind the times. So, I took two tablespoons of butter per apple and let it set on the counter for twenty minutes. Then I used the back of a fork to blend in the dry goods, mashing the mixture to an icing like consistency, and then I smeared it on to the top of my apples as if I were icing a cupcake. Save a tablespoon or two of the butter mixture for later, to loosen the sauce on the bottom of the pan after baking.

How to make a Bloomin' Apple, baked and drizzled with a butter deglaze sauce and buttery caramel.

Notice how the back one is missing a sliver from a slice being cut too far, causing the piece to fall off. My knife skills need some honing up.

I bake them at 350°F for twenty minutes. Some varieties of apples may take longer. When the apples are done, remove them from the oven and use a fork and a spatula (trust me, the fork helps) to place the apples in individual bowls and arrange the “blooms”. Take the rest of the butter that you set aside before baking and add the rest of the seasoned butter to the pan or dish the apples baked in. Loosen the browned bits with a spatula and pour this sauce over the apples as they wait for the caramel.  Save some of this apple butter sweet deglaze for sauces you might be making soon, it seems like it would go well with citrus sauces, or maybe some dessert cream cheese sauces could have a bit of it whipped in.

The final step is, naturally, to top with the sweet caramel sauce. Yes, I could have stuck candies inside the apples, but I wanted to make sure that my apples were evenly distributed with caramel goodness. Since I couldn’t melt them in the microwave, I tried both versions of the caramel sauce. The sauce with the candies has more of a traditional caramel apple flavor, but it seems a bit simple for the baked apples. It was good, I’ll probably make it again if serving kids, but the brown sugar and cream sauce makes a perfect version for adults at a festive setting. I bet some rum in the deglaze would be interesting, or cider.

These methods make very buttery caramel, and this was possibly the best homemade dessert I believe I have ever put into my mouth. It actually rivaled something I might expect to find in a restaurant. It was like heaven punched me in the face. I was tempted to try topping with something like coarse sea salt, crushed graham crackers, homemade vanilla whipped cream, melted dark chocolate, or vanilla ice cream… but then I thought I didn’t know if I wanted to mess with perfection.

Update: I’ve been having fun the last few days using my leftover caramel and heavy cream. I splurged and got a full quarter gallon. A spoon of cream and a spoon of caramel added to hot chocolate or fresh coffee is seriously brightening my chilly fall weather. I also spooned the caramel over pumpkin biscuits, I hope I have enough the next time I make pancakes or muffins. I may be splurging on cream for caramel more often.

Update again: Okay I fully admit that the success of this apple stunned me. I did not expect it to go that well, and I seem to have really impressed myself. Over the last two days I’ve actually found myself stressed out at a couple of points and stopped and told myself, “Hey, it can’t be that bad. I made the shit out of that apple, didn’t I?”