Eckert’s Italian Sausage and Asparagus Cream Pasta

It's asparagus season in the Midwest and I am eagerly digging through my files of asparagus recipes. I came across this one and decided it just had to be dinner this week.

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 On the Belleville farm, we are in the midst of preparing 5 acres of ground for our first ever asparagus plantings. Although it will take about 3 years to get a sizable crop of asparagus spears, I am already excited to the moon and back because it is my favorite spring veggie!!

 Asparagus is a perennial plant which means, once it is established, it will produce for us indefinitely. Our farm guys will be learning a lot as they plant the first roots next week. I am sure we will be sharing video and shots on Instagram soon, so stay tuned!!

 Back in my kitchen, I decided to bring fresh asparagus, pasta and Eckert's sausage together. I started by choosing a cone-shaped pasta called Gigli (also called Campanelle) because its ruffled edges hold thick sauces so well. Other pasta choices worth substituting are fusilli or farfalle. Gigli is a fun one to use if you can find it, because of its story (of course it is available at Eckert's Country Store in Belleville). Gigli is shaped like a lily which is the symbol of Florence where this pasta is made. (cool huh?)

 This recipe is fairly simple and it really allows the flavors of the sausage and asparagus to stand out in a basic white cream sauce. Be careful not to overcook the asparagus or it really loses its nice texture and snap. When making this recipe, I used Sauvignon Blanc, a dry white wine. Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favorite white wines when the temperatures warm up and it compliments spring vegetables perfectly.

 I hope you will give this recipe a try the next time you pick up some fresh asparagus and be sure to check out our asparagus planting progress at Eckert's soon on social media!

Eat well this spring, Angie

Eckert’s Italian Sausage and Asparagus Cream Pasta

1 pound Gigli or Penne uncooked pasta
1 pound hot or mild fresh Italian sausage, casings removed and meat crumbled
1 Tbsp. olive oil
½ to ¾ cup frozen chopped onion, slightly defrosted
1 garlic clove, minced
½ tsp. red pepper flakes, optional
1/3 cup dry white wine
¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
2 to 3 cups fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into ¾-inch pieces
¾ to 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

Boil water and prepare pasta according to package directions.

Brown sausage in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until lightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer sausage to plate.

 In the skillet, add oil and heat over medium heat until oil is shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened about 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and pepper flakes and cook about 1 minute. Add wine and simmer until almost evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes.

 Increase heat to medium high, add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; add 1 cup cream and asparagus pieces. Simmer for 4 to 6 minutes* or until asparagus is slightly tender, but firm and sauce is slightly thickened. Mix in sausage and grated cheese; continue to cook 1 to 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

 Place cooked pasta and cream sauce in a large warm serving bowl. Toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

 * exact cook time may vary based on thickness of asparagus

 

Sweet Cherry Mojo Sauce (for Ham)

Easter is around the corner and I have a fun twist for your traditional holiday ham to share! Mojo sauce is a classic sauce in Cuban cooking that uses garlic, olive oil (or lard) and citrus. And since Chris’ parents were in Cuba earlier this year, I think this sauce will be a fun addition to the Eckert family Easter table!!

Mojo sauces are used as marinades for meat, most commonly pork, or they are served as condiments for vegetables or breads.  In this version, we have added Eckert’s honey and sweet dark cherries to sweeten up our sauce and add texture. A little heat infuses the oil with intense garlic flavor making it an amazing topping for ham! You will want to taste your version and doctor the sweetness and acidity to meet your preferences.

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We recently served this sauce in a wine class in mini bowls with crostini and goat cheese and we paired it with Velvet Devil Merlot by Charles Smith Wines. It was so well received we decided to taste it with ham this week and it was just incredible. If you are looking for a way to put an International spin on your holiday ham, give this Sweet Cherry Mojo Sauce a try!

Eat well this Easter, Angie

Sweet Cherry Mojo Sauce (for Ham)

16 garlic cloves, peeled and very thinly sliced lengthwise
1 cup onion, finely slivered (1 medium)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt, divided
1 cup olive oil
1 ½-2 cups frozen Nature Blessed sweet dark cherries, defrosted*
1-2 cups fresh orange juice, divided (from 3 or 4 oranges)
Reserve zest from 1 orange, finely mince
½ cup fresh lime juice (from 2 or 3 limes)
Reserve zest from 1 lime, finely mince
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
2-3 Tbsp. Eckert’s Pure Honey

In a medium bowl, combine garlic, onion, cumin, ½ teaspoon salt. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan over low heat. Add onion mixture and cook about until softened, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

*In a microwave proof 1-quart bowl add cherries; microwave on high heat about 2 minutes; stir. Microwave another 1 to 2 minutes until fully defrosted. Cut each cherry in half. Set aside.

Add 1 cup orange juice, lime juice, orange and lime zest, and vinegar to onion mixture. Over low heat, cook another 10 minutes for flavors to blend. Add dark cherries. Stir in honey and ½ teaspoon salt to taste and cook 4 to 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Taste, adding additional honey as needed for sweetness. Add tablespoons of reserved orange juice to balance the flavor. (You may not use all the orange juice.) Remaining orange juice can be added to the ham roasting pan. 

Serve as a side condiment to warm ham.

Makes about 3 cups of sauce.  Sauce can be make 3 or 4 days ahead of time. Pour sauce in 1-quart canning jar, cover and refrigerate. Heat thorough before serving. 

Mexican Crustless Quiche

A few weeks ago, I hosted a breakfast for a dear friend and her new baby boy! I needed an easy dish that would feed a group of 12 so I pulled out an old favorite called Mexican Crustless Quiche. I forgot how much I love this crustless dish! In fact, I am going to make it again for Easter since it came together so easily and it was enthusiastically received.

I have learned a new kitchen hack with cottage cheese. I love to puree it in my food processor to create a smooth texture. The resulting smooth cheese is more similar to ricotta cheese making it great for quiches and lasagnas!

The combination of cottage cheese and shredded cheese gives this dish its intense cheesy flavor while Nature’s Blessed white corn adds texture and a hint of sweetness. I tossed in sweet pepper and green onion in this version but I have also swapped the corn, pepper and onions with other veggies and sometimes I toss in a half a pound of browned Eckert’s sausage (FYI pork sausage and mushrooms make a tasty combination).

I don’t think you will have many left-overs but just in case you do, this dish reheat well too. I hope you will give this recipe a try for your next breakfast or brunch celebration! Easter is around the corner, what are you serving?

Eat well this spring,

Angie

Mexican Crustless Quiche
1 ½ cups Nature Blessed super sweet white corn kernels, defrosted*
2 cups (16 ounces) cottage cheese, pureed**
12 large eggs
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
1 large bell pepper any color, small diced (about 1 cup)
4 spring top and bottom green onions (scallions), small diced (about ¾ cup)
1 lb. Mexican style grated cheese blend (about 4 cups)
About 2 cups Eckert’s Fresh Tomato Salsa

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.  In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs about 1 minute with electric mixer or large wire whisk until well blended. Mix in pureed cottage cheese.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.  By hand, using a large mixing spoon, fold flour mixture to eggs mixture until well blended.
Add bell pepper, green onions and corn; stir to combine.  Mix in grated cheese. Pour mixture into butter baking dish. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until center slightly firm and top is golden brown.
Allow to set about 5 to 6 minutes before cutting into 8 to 10 pieces. Serve with Eckert’s Fresh Tomato Salsa on side.
*In a microwave proof 1-quart bowl add corn, microwave on high about 1 minute; stir. Microwave about another minute until slightly defrosted. Set aside.
**Using food processor or immersion blender, puree cottage cheese until smooth about 30 -40 seconds. Set aside.
This recipe may be made the night before; refrigerated and bake the next day. Bake about 5 to 10 minutes longer.

Make 8 to 10 servings

Fresh Chive Cheese Drop Biscuits
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I couldn’t wait to get my hands in the dirt this week after our second delivery of herbs arrived from Kaiser Hill Farms. We have been working with Kaiser Hill for more than 10 years now and they are just terrific! Mark and Beth grow our custom herb selections in their greenhouses located in New Haven, Missouri. They are terrific herb growers and dog lovers so we hit it off from the very start!

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We have 40+ kinds of herbs in our greenhouse in Belleville which made it a little challenging to narrow down the choices for my first planter. Chives are a must have herb for me though! After a little herb inspiration, I couldn’t wait to get into the kitchen to cook something with herbs.

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Our classroom staff made this recipe for Fresh Chive Cheese Drop Biscuits in a recent cooking class. It was an instant hit with men and women alike. As you might guess, the fellas did prefer the version with bacon. Even though we baked a few extra biscuits, there was not a crumb to be found by the end of class.

Since baking requires exacting techniques, Lana, our culinary instructor, shared hers with the students:

1.       Fluff your flour with a fork or spoon before measuring.
2.       Check the dates on your baking powder and baking soda to make sure they will produce           the desired leavening.
3.       Be sure to use cold butter.
4.       Don’t substitute anything else for the buttermilk.

 After the class Lana and I were discussing how versatile this recipe is! You can try it with many different herbs and experiment with your favorite cheese. I am sure we will be making this again soon for the classroom or in our home kitchens. Wouldn’t these be great for Easter Brunch??

Eat well this Spring,

Angie

 Fresh Chive Cheese Drop Biscuits

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, stirred before measuring
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (check expiration date)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda (check expiration date)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon regular table salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
4 ounces (1 1/2 cups) large-hole grated aged sharp cheddar cheese, slightly packed (For example: 1833 Barber's - England)
1/2 cup fresh onion or garlic chives, washed, patted dry and snipped
1 1/4 cups cold buttermilk, well-shaken before measuring

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt in a medium mixing bowl.  Cut in cold butter with pastry blender until mixture is like coarse meal.  (You may see tiny pieces of the butter).  Gently stir in cheese and chives.  Add buttermilk and stir until just combined, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.  Do not over stir.

Drop dough in 12 equal mounds about 2 inches apart onto a parchment-lined or greased shiny baking sheet.  Bake in middle of oven until golden brown about 12 to 15 minutes.  Remove from baking sheet to cool slightly before serving.  Serve hot with Amish butter and an Eckert's savory jam of choice.  You may need 2 baking sheets since these biscuits are so large.

Another herb combination:  1/2 cup fresh snipped dill fronds (no stems or seeds) and 3 slices cooked Eckert's bacon finely chopped; reduce salt to 1/2 teaspoon.

Makes 12 (3 inch) biscuits.

Note:  Any biscuits remaining have the best taste and texture, when split in half and toasted.  Serve warm.  A smaller biscuit size can be made.  Baking time will be slightly reduced.

Herb Marinated Mozzarella

Planting season is just getting started at Eckert’s Garden Center in Belleville and our team couldn’t be more excited. Plants are arriving daily and our staff and I can’t wait to share our passion for plants with our guests!! This weekend we have two fairy gardening classes and a cooking class featuring herbs. With longer days and warm weather on the way, I simply cannot contain my plant enthusiasm!!

My senses went into overdrive when I saw all the herb plants in our greenhouse. I just had to make this recipe for Herb Marinated Mozzarella. It is a highly adaptable recipe and it’s fun to experiment with different combinations of your favorite herbs. The recipe begins by infusing the oil over low heat with fresh cut herbs. After the herb oil has cooled, it can be poured over the mozzarella. A period of time in the frig allows the bright herb flavors to infuse the mozzarella. This is a nice appetizer or side dish for pasta night and a great way to show off your herb growing skills!

Eat well this spring! Angie

Herb Marinated Mozzarella

1 Tbs. chopped fresh chives
1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
3 strips of lemon zest, about 1” long
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 8oz ball of fresh mozzarella

Combine first 7 ingredients in a small pot over low heat. Cook 20 minutes, turn off the heat. Let oil mixture come to room temperature in the pot.

Slice cheese into 1/4” thick slices. Pour about 1/4 cup of the oil into an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 glass or ceramic dish. Place cheese rounds in dish in a single layer. Pour another 1/4 cup of oil on top of slices. Repeat with another layer of cheese. Pour all remaining oil on top of the second layer of cheese. Cover pan and refrigerate 8-24 hours. Serve cheese with crusty bread. Reserve remaining oil for brushing on chicken before baking or tossing on cooked pasta or steamed vegetables.

 

Spanish Rice with Salsa Rose

This cold spell has sent my kitchen into a tail spin! Ella and I tend to cook when we are worried so when we saw the forecasted temperatures in the teens we fired up the oven and started baking. In the past five days, we have made chocolate chip cookies, brownies, beef brisket, pizzas, pasta, pancakes and Spanish rice! If we can’t control the weather, we might as well eat good food, don’t you agree?!

A couple of nights ago we had Taco Tuesday on Wednesday and thanks to the Lego movie, my kids think that is so much fun. Our taco night consisted of bowls of Eckert’s homemade salsa, Eckert’s taco dip, Eckert’s hydroponic lettuce and freshly grated Mammoth Cheddar. I removed Eckert’s chorizo from the casing before browning it in a skillet and serving it along with this recipe for Spanish Rice with Salsa Rose. We enjoyed this comforting meal around the dinner table while overlooking a frosty orchard.

The big hit of Taco Tuesday was my newly concocted Spanish Rice recipe. I love the Salsa Rose products from the folks at Reinneck Ranch because they are delicious and LOCAL! The owners of Reinneck Ranch live in Mascoutah, Illinois and they are always a pleasure to work with. Recently they sampled their salsas at our Wine and Food Festival and as usual, they sold their shelf clean.

I thought it would be fun to experiment with their salsa in a rice dish and now I know, I will never buy the packages of instant Spanish rice again. This dish gets it savory flavor from the onions and garlic and a hint of sweetness from the salsa. My kids topped off their plates with shredded cheese before eating their body weight in rice. Yes, I will be making this recipe again very soon.

Fingers are crossed these temperatures won’t harm the peach crop. In the meantime, I will keep my apron on and my oven full.

 Eat well this winter,

Angie

Spanish Rice with Salsa Rose

 2 Tbs. canola oil
½ white onion, chopped (about ¾ cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups white rice (I used Basmati)
3 cups water
¾ cup Mild Salsa Rose

 Add oil to 10” skillet over medium heat. Heat until shimmering. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 2 more minutes. Add rice and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Pour in salsa and water. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is done and liquid is fully absorbed. Makes 8-10 servings (or only 6 if you have rice lovers).

 

Baked Havarti with Apple Slices

If you are looking for a delicious appetizer to pair with an ice cold glass of local beer, here ya go! I love this simple appetizer and it is on my mind as we assign tasting tables to all the breweries that will be attending our biggest and best Wine and Food Festival this weekend!! The weather looks perfect and our outdoor seating area is already calling my name. CLICK HERE for more details..

Just a couple nights ago, Chris’ parents were over for an impromptu happy hour and I served up this baked Havarti. It was simple to toss together in a matter of minutes and the apple slice tie-in is fun and different.

Eckert’s pie shells are thin and flakey adding just the right amount of dough to this recipe. You can get creative with your own favorite mustard. I had a hard time deciding between Eckert’s Honey Mustard, Eckert’s Horseradish Mustard and Eckert’s Hot and Sharp Mustard. I really think they all would be delicious choices. Shine up your presentation with a little brushed egg (you could also use milk) and a sprinkling of poppy or sesame seeds. It is important to bake the cheese in a small dish with sides. I used a 3 cup oven-safe container but anything small will work. The cheese will run and ooze out of the pie crust but that is what I like most of all.

We will be sampling our baked Havarti recipe this weekend. Come on by the festival and give it a try!

Cheers, Angie

Baked Havarti with Apple Slices

1 Eckert’s frozen pie shell (9”)
8 oz. block Havarti cheese
1 1/2 Tbs. Eckert’s Hot & Sharp German Mustard
1 egg, beaten
½ Tbs. poppy seeds
apple slices for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the frozen pie shell on a cutting board or flat surface. Allow shell to thaw at room temperature for 15 minutes. Spread mustard in the center of the shell. Top with block of Havarti cheese. Make four cuts (about 4 inches in length) around the edges of the pie shell towards the center. Pull outside edges of pie shell up and towards the center of the cheese, pinch dough shut over the top of the cheese. Once edges are well sealed, brush outside of dough with egg, sprinkle with poppy seeds and place in a small baking dish*. Bake 20 minutes or until dough is golden brown. Rest five minutes before serving with apple slices.

 *Note: The baking dish must be a snug fit to prevent the cheese from running outside of the pie shell. I used an 3 cup Pyrex container (7” x 5” approximately).

Chef Lou's Blue Cheese Zinfandel Butter

Eckert’s Wine and Food Festival is approaching quickly and I am getting more excited by the day because we are going to have more tasting opportunities than ever before! Click here for details

At last year’s festival, it was a thrill to have the acclaimed Chef Lou Rook from Annie Gunn’s in Chesterfield, Missouri as our guest chef. Chef Lou shared recipes in our cooking classroom and signed copies of his cookbook called Rook Cooks, Simplicity at its Finest. This recipe is called Domestic Blue Cheese Zinfandel Butter in the cookbook and it can be found on page 141.

This week, we made Chef’s butter recipe and decided to freeze it for tasting during this year’s festival. This recipe is packed with interesting flavors and would make a great topping for grilled steaks, hot pasta and fresh bakery bread. After whirling some up, we decided to serve it on toasted bread with sautéed mushrooms and a slice of cured sausage. Wow, was it delicious! Needless to say, our demo samples only lasted a couple minutes as the store staff gobbled them all up!

This recipe comes together quite easily using a couple of tips from Chef Lou. First of all, take your time cooking the shallots and garlic over medium to low heat. The wine is used to deglaze the pan and capture the flavors that adhere to the skillet. Next, it is a slow reduction process to thicken the wine adding more richness to the butter. After cooling the wine mixture and combining it with the butter, we tasted it before adding small amounts of salt and pepper. I remember Chef saying “salt is not a flavor, it is a flavor enhancer.” He cautioned the crowd to use salt sparingly and to let the natural flavors be predominant. After the butter was seasoned to our liking, we placed it on waxed paper and rolled it into a log before placing it in an air tight container. This butter can be refrigerated or frozen for future use. In our case, we will be freezing it for a couple weeks. 

Chef Lou’s Blue Cheese Zinfandel Butter is truly a WOW recipe. It is exploding with flavors that will instantly add complexity to grilled meats, pastas and more. Give it a try when you are looking to add a gourmet twist to your next dish. Please consider this an official invitation for you to come to Eckert’s and taste it for yourself during our Wine and Food Festival!

Cheers, Angie 

Chef Lou's Blue Cheese Zinfandel Butter

1 Tbs. minced shallots
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1 stick plus 2 Tbs. unsalted whole butter, room temperature and cubed
2 tsp. honey
¼ cup red zinfandel
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 Tbs. minced chives
1 Tbs. minced Italian parsley
Kosher salt, to taste
Peppermill, to taste

In a medium sauté pan, sauté the shallots and garlic in the 2 Tbs. butter over medium heat until they are lightly toasted.Add the honey to the pan, then deglaze with Zinfandel. Reduce wine by three quarters and allow to cool at room temperature or in the refrigerator. When the reduction has cooled, combine the stick of butter, blue cheese and the reduction in a food processor or blender. Blend on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes.Finish the butter with chives, parsley, salt and pepper. Blend until incorporated, about 1 minute

Melted Manchego Cheese, Rosemary and Honey Wedges

We are less than a month away from one of my favorite events here at Eckert’s, our annual Wine and Food Festival!! This year’s festival will be held on March 4 & 5th, 2017 in our Country Store in Belleville from 12-6pm. I am excited to announce our new partnerships that will make our festival bigger and better than ever!!!

First of all, we will be sharing $5 from each wine/beer tasting arm band sale with Belleville’s Art on the Square. We are thrilled to be supporting Art on the Square’s youth outreach programs with proceeds from our event. We are also partnering with Angela Ortmann, St. Louis’ very own “wine girl.” Angela will be at Eckert’s both days of the Festival to interact with wine tasters and share her robust wine knowledge. In addition to our wine tasting tables featuring more than 40 wines, we will also have beer from local breweries. Local vendors including Salsa Rose, Thompson Farms, Ropp Dairy and more! Click HERE to learn more about tickets to our wine festival.

All of this event preparation has me daydreaming about wine friendly food! So, when it was time to select a recipe for my next Show Me St. Louis episode on KSDK, coming up February 16th, this recipe for Melted Manchego Cheese, Rosemary and Honey Wedges instantly came to mind. It is a nice and light bite to pair with a variety of dry whites or light bodied red wines. The honey can be dialed up or down according to taste and wine preference. It also features, a personal favorite of mine, Manchego cheese! Aged Manchego is a spectacular cheese for pairing with dry red wine and it can be sliced with a potato peeler to create small shavings that are packed with flavor.

In addition to all the wine and beer being served during our Wine and Food Festival, Eckert’s culinary educators will be sampling a variety of wine friendly foods and sharing tips on how to create a cheese board for pairing with wine and beer. Come taste this recipe for yourself by stopping by our classroom during our 7th Annual Wine and Food Festival. I look forward to seeing you there!!

Cheers! Angie

Melted Manchego Cheese, Rosemary and Honey Wedges

1 Eckert's pizza round, defrosted
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 ounces Manchego or another semi hard cheese,* cut into curls with vegetable peeler or cheese plane
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons pure honey

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Place pizza crust on parchment-lined baking sheet.  Brush pizza crust with olive oil.  Bake about 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned.

Arrange cheese on the top and return baking pan to the oven.  Bake about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Sprinkle melted cheese with rosemary.  Drizzle honey over crust.  Cut into wedges.

Makes appetizers for 4 to 6.

*Marisa, Dry Jack, Gruyere are other cheese examples

Super Chicken, Apple & Butternut Stew

I rediscovered this recipe when I was sorting through my old Cooking Light magazines and I was thrilled to find it because it will be a perfect fit for my Super Bowl gathering! I love the idea of a yummy chicken stew to go with all the typical party appetizers and I think it will pair perfectly with beer as well.

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I also love that I can use Eckert’s cider, homegrown butternut squash and Granny Smith apples to put a local spin on this recipe. Lana and I tested the recipe in our cooking classroom to make sure all the cook times were accurate and they were, so we really didn’t change Cooking Light’s recipe version much. I did switch to chicken breast instead of thighs because our chicken breast is excellent at Eckert’s and knew it would be able to handle the heat without getting tough.

This stew is perfect comfort food for game day or cold winter nights. It is hearty enough to stand on its own or it can be a nice compliment to appetizers when served in mini jam jars or mini bowls. Whichever team you are cheering on this weekend, I hope you will consider this recipe for your game day fixins’!

Eat well this winter,

Angie

Super Chicken, Apple & Butternut Stew
2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1” pieces
1 ¼ tsp. kosher salt, divided
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 ½ cups chopped yellow onion
2 Tbs. fresh sage or 1 Tbs. dried sage
1 Tbs. peeled and minced fresh ginger
3 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
1 cup peeled and diced parsnip
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 ½ cup Eckert’s apple cider
1 ½ cup chicken stock
2 cups chopped Granny Smith apples

 

Sprinkle chicken with ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Heat 4 quart Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add half of chicken to pan; saute 6 minutes or until browned. Remove chicken from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken.

 Reduce heat to medium; add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Add onion, sage and ginger; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add squash and parsnip; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle vegetables with flour; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Stir in cider and stock, scraping pan to loose browned bits. Stir in chicken, remaining ¾ teaspoon pepper; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer 25 minutes. Stir in apple; cook 5 minutes. Serves 6.

 Recipe adapted from Cooking Light Magazine November 2015

 

Meatloaf Italiano

Now that I am a parent of two busy pre-teens, I find myself in sheer amazement that my mom made dinner for three kids almost every night while we were growing up. And that she found a way for us to eat around the table on a regular basis in spite of all of our activities. That was my normal!

In today’s busy world, I am sure you agree, it is increasingly difficult to juggle kid activities, full work days and putting a good dinner on the table. I love to spend time cooking in the evenings while the kids work on homework but sometimes I just need a quick and easy recipe so we can get back out the door. This recipe for Meatloaf Italiano is an answer to that call and it happens to be one from my childhood.

My mom made Meatloaf Italiano for us regularly and when she brought me a dish of it a few weeks back (after inhaling it!), my mind went spiraling back to the dinner table in my childhood home! I hadn’t eaten this recipe in years but now it is going to be at the top of my “speed dinner” list because it so easy to make and oh so good. My mom formerly used bread crumbs when she made but she recently tried it with oatmeal and found that oatmeal works even better and makes the recipe gluten-free.

I am going to have to start doubling this recipe for my family because I am sure it makes great leftovers but I have yet to find out! Every morsel of this meatloaf is devoured every time I make it. I hope you will give this recipe a try soon and let me know what you think! 

Eat well this winter,

Angie

NOTE:
Eckert’s Country Store will be featuring Ground Beef for $2.99 on Fridays in February 2017! Come on in and take advantage of this great promotion!!

Meatloaf Italiano
¼ cup finely chopped onion
2 Tbs. butter
½ cup oatmeal (regular or quick cook) or breadcrumbs
½ cup beef bouillon
1 lb. ground beef
1 Tbs. chopped parsley
3 Tbs. freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
8 oz. marinara sauce
1 tsp. oregano

Sauté onions in butter until tender. In a large bowl, combine oatmeal and bouillon. Add all but the last two ingredients. Mix lightly until well blended. Shape into a loaf and place in a shallow baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Pour sauce over top and sprinkle with oregano. Bake 30 minutes longer.

Recipe from Angie’s Mom, Janet

Hamburger Pie Pockets
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National Pie Day is coming up soon and I can’t wait to celebrate with all kinds of pie…. sweet and savory! This recipe for Hamburger Pie Pockets is a kid-favorite in Eckert’s Cooking Classroom. Kids love the familiar flavors and the opportunity to make their own masterpiece. Hamburger, ketchup and corn makes a yummy filling for our flaky humble pie dough. If you can’t swing by Eckert’s to get our 6” round pie dough pieces, substitute homemade or regular-sized pie crust. I made these pie pockets this week on Show Me St. Louis at KSDK Channel 5. They are a perfect finger food for National Pie Day or for your upcoming Super Bowl party.

What is your plan for National Pie Day? Will you be making a pie or pie pockets or will you take advantage of our best pie deal of the year at Eckert’s Country Store? On Monday, January 23, 2017, Eckert’s Bakery will be offering all pies “Buy 1 Get 1 FREE.” Call today to place your order 618-233-0513 x 2!

Eat well this winter,

Angie

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Hamburger Pie Pockets

3/4 lb hamburger, browned
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
3 tablespoons ketchup
1/3 cup frozen corn, thawed & drained                                                                                        
1 egg
4 Eckert’s frozen humble pie crusts (5” pie crust circles)

Hamburger Pie Pockets Plated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Brown hamburger and drain.  Stir in salt, granulated garlic, ketchup and corn.   Place 2 tablespoons of meat filling on circle.  Fold dough in half over top of the filling.  In a small bowl, whisk egg.  Brush edges of pie dough with egg. Crimp edge closed with fork to seal. Brush top of dough with egg wash.  Cut a couple of slits in top.  Bake 20 minutes.  Makes 4 hand pies. 

Overnight Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole

With an epic ice storm forecasted for our area, I can’t help but plan delicious lock-in meals to get my family through it all. I have no idea if it will get as bad as the weather experts are forecasting, but I do know I will be PREPARED for my family to eat well!

 I have been aspiring to make this Overnight Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole for months and this is the perfect occasion to accept winter for what it is and get baking.

 There are several things I love about this recipe. Number one, it calls for our delicious frozen strawberries in the Natures Blessed line. We buy this product line directly from Michigan where the Coloma Company packages top grade fruits and vegetables picked at optimum ripeness. Their strawberries are divine.

 The second thing I love is that I can use Eckert’s Bakery’s Irish Soda Bread. Our Irish Soda Bread is very popular and nothing like it can be found in our region. We make scones out of it for our restaurant and we slice loaves of this unique bread daily in our Country Store.

 Third, this recipe calls for a sweet cream cheese to be spread on top of the Irish Soda Bread and then topped with strawberries. After that, the dish is soaked with creamy custard. I think you will find a slice of this yummy breakfast casserole to be a little piece of heaven on a plate.

 I must admit, this recipe requires a bit more time to prepare than most of mine. But, with the forecasted ice storm, you might just be looking for something to do and to warm the souls within your household.

 Stay warm and eat well this winter,

Angie

 

French toast ingredients
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp lemon juice
1 loaf of Eckert’s Irish Soda Bread (about 12 slices)
20 oz or 3 cups frozen strawberries, sliced

Custard ingredients
¾ cup milk
¾ half and half
10 eggs
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Optional: Eckert’s Strawberry Syrup or Jam for topping

Butter a 9x13 baking dish. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add cinnamon and nutmeg and beat to incorporate. Beat in sugar for 1-2 minutes. Then beat in 1 egg and lemon juice.

 In a large bowl, whisk together custard ingredients: milk, half and half, ten eggs, maple syrup and vanilla. Set aside.

 Spread cream cheese mixture on one side of each slice of bread, then top cheese with sliced strawberries. Repeat with all bread slices. Using a serrated knife, cut bread (with topping) into one inch cubes. Place 2/3rds of the cubes in the baking dish. Top with remaining strawberries and remaining cream cheese. Top with remaining bread crumbs. Then pour custard mixture over the top. Lightly press the mixture down with the back of a spoon. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove plastic wrap and cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 30-40 minutes or until nicely browned. Serve with Eckert’s Strawberry Syrup or Jam. Serves 12.

20 Minute Italian Chicken Breast

Back to school, back to work, and back to healthier eating is not nearly as much fun as Christmas! However, I must admit, I was craving a little more routine in my house this week. As we ease back into the schedule of early out the door, piles of homework and party-less nights, I am finding the need to rely on my simplest recipes to get on the dinner table. This week I made a super quick, clean chicken recipe using our hand-trimmed chicken breast from the meat department in our Belleville Country Store.

 I wanted to compliment (not overpower) the mild flavor of the chicken so I chose three simple ingredients: extra virgin olive oil, Italian bread seasoning and parmesan cheese. Bread seasonings are sold in tins or grinders at Eckert’s and while they are designed to be added to a bowl of olive oil for bread dipping, they can also provide great flavor to meats, pizzas, noodles and potatoes. If you don’t have access to bread seasonings, don’t worry, you can make your own seasoning mixture and customize it to your preferences.

I paired the chicken with Eckert’s bake at home bread, some of Ella’s homemade noodles (more on that in a later post!) and a salad made with our home-grown hydroponic lettuce. Believe it or not, I had dinner on the table in less than thirty minutes and that felt like a major accomplishment of 2017!

 Our chicken breast are on sale at the butcher counter in Eckert’s Belleville Country Store the whole month of January. If you haven’t tried them already, I bet they will be the most tender chicken breasts you’ve ever had! And, you can have this simple and delicious dish on your table in under thirty minutes!

 Eat well this new year,

Angie

20 Minute Italian Chicken Breast
4 trimmed chicken breast (8 oz each)
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. Italian Bread Seasoning*
4 Tbs. parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a 9x9 baking dish with foil. Drizzle 1 tsp olive oil on the foil. Place chicken breast in dish. Drizzle remaining oil on top of chicken. Top chicken with seasonings, then parmesan. Bake 20 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees.

 *To make your own Bread Seasoning combine these ingredients in a small bowl:
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Few grinds of fresh cracked pepper

5 Fabulous Appetizers for New Year's Eve

New Year’s Eve is just a couple days away and I am finally finding myself with enough gumption to plan a menu! I needed a few down days after Christmas to reset my brain after the shopping and celebrating frenzy. Thanks to some warm and cozy sweater time spent on the cushy couch, I am game for hosting another party!

There is no need to reinvent the wheel, so I simply selected the appetizer category on the blog and scrolled through my past recipes to find these fabulous five! We are looking forward to a small get together with a few friends and kids. I think these recipes will suit a variety of ages and food preferences with a little wiggle room for creativity from the consumer!­

First of all, Queso Fundido makes a large dish of cheesy, meaty deliciousness. Eckert’s homemade chorizo sausage is a stand out with our homemade tortilla chips for dipping. This dish is fun to serve and filling.

Our recipe for Loaded Baked Potato Appetizers can be completely personalized to your liking. I am planning to prebake the potato slices and serve the toppings a la carte. A DIY station comprised of little bowls of shredded cheese, chopped scallions, bacon pieces, bacon jam and sour cream in a piping bag will attract the attention of the kids and adults alike!

Next up, I love the Apple Butter Meatballs because they have a sweet and savory-ness to them. They can be made ahead, then warmed up and held in the crock pot. Love that!

Apple nachos are easy and fun to make! Dress them up with your favorite toppings as well. I think I will let the kids help me make this one. I will give them choices of chocolate chips, granola, marshmallows, melted caramel, chocolate sauce and slivered almonds. (Don’t forget to dip your apple slices in a bowl with 2 cups of water and 1/8 tsp of salt to prevent browning.)  

And last but not least, Mac and Cheese Bites are perfect for all ages. This recipe turns a favorite comfort food into a two-bite appetizer.

Now that I have my menu planned, I need to get working on my sparkling and still wine selections. I will be strolling around our wine department at Eckert’s to see what is new. I know I want to pick up an inexpensive sparkling wine to serve with cranberry juice and frozen, sugared raspberries. My sister-in-law served this on Christmas Eve and I am still thinking about it!!!

Hope you give one or more of these recipes a try this new year. Wishing you a tasty start to 2017!!

Eat well in the New Year,

Angie

Baked Oatmeal with Apples and Raisins

Merry Christmas everyone! Are you busy shopping and wrapping? Of course you are, but I also hope you have time to whip up a few heart-warming dishes during this big week! I am planning to keep it simple for sure. With lots of running (thankfully we have lots of local family members to visit) I can’t be delving into difficult recipes on top of my cookie baking projects.

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 I fell in love with this recipe at a my friend Heidi’s house in early November. She assigned me to make it for a baby shower that she hosted for a dear group of friends. It was a breeze to toss together and that is when I decided it was going to be my Christmas breakfast casserole this year! I have stocked up on the ingredients and printed out the recipe so I will be ready to assemble Christmas morning. I can already imagine the house filling with scents of cinnamon and baked apple while we are unwrapping gifts.

 Another big bonus is that I will be able to incorporate Eckert’s Granny Smith apples which are still available in our produce department in the Belleville Country Store. I am not planning to peel the apples- another time saver for me. If you are looking to make this recipe gluten free, just be sure to check the label on the oatmeal.

 I would love to hear what your favorite go-to Christmas breakfast recipes entail. Please share!!

 Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas from the entire Eckert Family!!

 Eat well this holiday season,

Angie

Baked Oatmeal with Apples, Raisins and Pecans
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
½ cup brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped pecans, divided
½ cup raisins
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
2 large eggs
2 cups milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
2 tart apples, cut into chunks

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, ½ cup pecans, raisins, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix well.
In a medium bowl, whisk eggs then add in milk and vanilla. Whisk until incorporated.
Add milk mixture to oat mixture. Pour in melted butter.
Place apples in baking dish. Pour oat mixture on top and spread evenly. Sprinkle remaining pecans on top. Bake 40-45 minutes until the top is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Balsamic Deviled Eggs with Serrano

Every year our Christmas Eve celebration table includes deviled eggs and no matter how many are made, there are none left by the end of the night! So when Lana and I were planning our holiday menus for the classroom, I immediately thought of deviled eggs! A few months ago, I came across this recipe from Eggland’s Best called Balsamic Deviled Eggs and I tucked it away in the “to try” folder on my desk. This week we are whipping it up for our Lunch and Learn Cooking classes where it has received 5-star reviews!!

Usually I mash egg yolks by hand for deviled eggs but this recipe calls for a food processor and WOW does that make a difference! After whirling the filling around the food processor, it becomes ultra creamy and smooth. (Full disclosure: I did have to lick the bowl and the spoon!)

This recipe also calls for an extraordinary garnish. We are so lucky to have two kinds of internationally cured gourmet meats here at Eckert’s. In our specialty cheese and meat case in our deli, we offer Serrano ham and Prosciutto de Parma. Both of these meats can be sliced paper thin by our deli staff. These cured meats are guaranteed flavorful accents for your holiday appetizers and platters. In this recipe I chose to use Serrano but you could easily substitute Prosciutto. 

Serrano ham is imported from Spain where it is salted, air dried for cured for more than 8 months. This curing process intensifies the flavor which is why a little goes a long way! When we receive our Serrano ham, it comes with a certification of authenticity proving it has passed the rigorous quality standards in Spain.

While you can enjoy Serrano without cooking it, this recipe calls for a little time in the skillet to crisp it up. Then we used it as a garnish for our deliciously creamy deviled eggs. The result is a home run for the holiday table. I hope you will give this recipe a try for one of your next holiday gatherings.

Eat well this holiday season,

Angie

Balsamic Deviled Eggs with Serrano

12 large eggs
¾ cup regular mayonnaise
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. granulated sugar
½ tsp. celery seed
2 tsp. chopped chives
2 oz Serrano ham, sliced paper thin

Hard cook eggs. When cooked and cooled, peel eggs and set aside. Cook Serrano in a large skillet over medium-high heat until slightly crispy. Remove the Serrano from the skillet to a plate lined with paper towels and gently blot dry. With a scissors, snip pancetta into small pieces.
Halve the eggs and place the yolks into the bowl of food processor. Add the remaining ingredients except the pancetta. Process until smooth.
Spoon egg mixture into a large plastic bag. Snip off the end and pipe filling into egg whites. Garnish the filled eggs with the cooked Serrano.

Note: Prosciutto or Pancetta may be substituted for the Serrano
Recipe adapted by Eckert’s from Eggland’s Best Eggs

 

Toasted Quinoa & Farm Vegetable Soup
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When I saw this recipe in Cooking Light magazine, I just knew I would love it! I am a big fan of veggie soup and this recipe allows a lot of room for creative alterations. What really caught my attention was the technique of toasting the ever-popular quinoa grain. I had never heard of that before! I decided to make a batch and include Eckert’s home grown squash instead of celery root, and I also tossed in some Eckert’s homegrown garlic that I had curing in my pantry.

After sampling the soup to our classroom team, we came to the consensus that this recipe needed to be part of our Holiday Wine and Food class. This soup is an excellent pair for Sauvignon Blanc and we just happened to have one in our wine lineup for the class. Most Sauvignon Blancs have herbaceous notes and as a result they pair well with veggie dishes ranging from steamed asparagus to summer salads. Sauvignon Blanc is my go-to summer patio wine because I find it refreshing on a hot day with lighter summer meals. I am thrilled to have discovered this pairing with a soul-warming soup. 

Another bonus about this recipe is that it’s gluten-free and vegan. You can make this recipe for friends and family members following these special diets but I can guarantee it will also appeal to your whole guest list. I can’t wait to see what our classroom guests think about our version of Toasted Quinoa & Farm Vegetable Soup!

Eat well this holiday season,

Angie

Toasted Quinoa & Farm Vegetable Soup

1 cup uncooked quinoa*
2 Tbsp. olive oil
¼ cup small diced onion
¼ cup small diced carrot
¼ cup small diced bell pepper
4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary leaves (or 1/2 tsp. crushed dried)
¾ tsp. ground cumin
6 to 7 cups unsalted vegetable broth, divided
¼ cup small diced unpeeled gold or russet potato
¼ cup diced peeled sweet potato
½ cup large diced Eckert’s peeled butternut squash
½ cup small diced zucchini
½ cup thinly sliced Brussels sprouts
½ tsp. kosher salt, optional
¼ cup roughly chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Spread quinoa in a thin layer on a rimmed baking sheet; roast until lightly browned about 20 to 25 minutes; stirring every 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside. 

 

 

Pinot Noir Cherry Bruschetta

Happy December All! After baking 14,000 pies in our bakery last week my mind has officially shifted to full-blown Christmas mode. I must admit here I had a lot of help from my 12 year old daughter with the transition. I was ready to crash and she had a bee in her bonnet to get the house fully decked and two live trees decorated to the hilt. Needless to say, the holiday season has arrived in full force at the House of Eckert thanks to Ella. 

This week in the cooking classroom, we are getting ready for another one of my favorite classes here at Eckert’s, our annual Holiday Wine and Food Class! This class is so popular we host it two nights and it is the perfect time to celebrate delicious food and wine pairings with friends. Yesterday, Lana, my dad and I tried a variety of foods with wines and I think we are very close to a perfectly paired menu.

One of the recipes I am really excited about is called Pinot Noir Cherry Bruschetta and I found it on a blog site called barefootwine.com. But as always with recipes we are inspired by in the classroom, we put an Eckert’s spin on the details. This recipe uses Pinot Noir wine to create a savory sauce for the cherries. I fell in love with the idea of a cherry topping for goat cheese and crusty bread, who wouldn’t? This delicious appetizer and a glass of jammy Pinot Noir are downright delightful!

 If you are making this recipe at home, be sure to use our frozen sweet cherries from Eckert’s produce department. They are grade one fruit and they are frozen quickly to lock in the maximum fruit flavor just after harvest. We used sweet cherries but our tart cherries are also super popular with cherry pie bakers.

I can’t wait to see what our classroom guests think of this appetizer and wine pairing. I think it might be my favorite of the night!!

Eat and drink well this holiday season,

Angie

Pinot Noir Cherry Bruschetta

2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. minced onion
½ cup finely chopped pecans
¼ tsp. dried crushed thyme leaves (or ½ tsp. minced fresh)
¼ tsp. dried finely crushed rosemary leaves (or ½ tsp. minced fresh)
1 Tbs. Eckert’s Pure Honey
2 cups Nature Blessed Individually Quick Frozen Dark Sweet Cherries slightly defrosted and drained*
¼ cup Pinot Noir wine
Fresh thyme leaves for garnish, optional
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, remove from refrigerator about 20 minutes before using
1 Eckert’s Bake at Home French Bread, sliced ½-inch thick (about 30 slices)

Cherry Compote:

1.      In a 10-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat.
2.      Add onions and cook about 2 minutes or until they start to soften.
3.      Add pecans, spices and honey. Stir to combine.
4.      Turn heat to medium high and add cherries; cook until cherries are soft about 4 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Use kitchen scissors to cut cherries in half. Note: Seems more logical to cut cherries in half before adding to the mixture. May release a little more juice; however, I suggested draining juice in ingredients listing.
5.      Stir in wine. Increase heat to medium high for 2 to 3 minutes.
6.      Cook mixture until liquid cooks down to a syrupy texture about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir during this cooking time.
7.      Remove from heat.
Yield: about 1 cup.

Bruschetta:

1.      Take a slice of baguette, thinly (if using 4 ounce package) spread on soften goat cheese. Top with a spoonful of cherry compote.
2.      Garnish with a couple fresh thyme leaves.
Makes about 30 appetizers.
Can make Cherry Compote 2 or 3 days before serving; cover and refrigerate. Appetizers can be assembled 3 hours before serving. Serve at room temperature.

 *Note: If the cherries are totally defrosted there is lots of juice. Takes too long to cook down. And the cherries cook so long they lose their identity. Draining helps this problem.

Caramel Apple Walnut Pie

It‘s pies, pies and more pies at Eckert’s this week!! We have begun our round-the-clock shifts for our annual baking for QuickTrip convenient stores, pie fundraisers sales and Thanksgiving pie pickups. The sweet aroma of pie baking is permeating every nook and cranny at Eckert’s Country Store, I think even the commuters on Highway 15 can catch a whiff of our pies as they drive by!

This is the time of year I literally have sweet dreams about the nearly 10,000 pies we will be preparing at Eckert’s. Even in my subconscious state I am thinking about making, baking and boxing pies. Last night I dreamt about a Caramel Apple Walnut Pie and so here it is! This sticky sweet version of a classic apple pie will impress every guest at your Thanksgiving gathering.  

As always I am using Eckert’s frozen pie shells as my base. We still have some homegrown Eckert’s apples in the Country Store and I chose Granny Smith because the tartness will complement the sweetness of the caramel (other varieties­ of tart apples can be substituted).­

This week on Show Me St. Louis, I demonstrated how easy it is to assemble this delicious pie. I hope you will give it a try soon….. and don’t forget to add a heaping scoop of Eckert’s Frozen Custard!

With the Thanksgiving holiday around the corner, I want to take the opportunity to thank you for reading the Eckert Family Blog. Our family is grateful for you and your interest in feeding your families with fresh and local ingredients. We wish you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Eat well this holiday season,

Angie

Caramel Apple Walnut Pie

2 unbaked Eckert’s 9 ½-inch frozen pie crusts, defrosted (Reserve 1 empty aluminum pie pan to cover baking pan after 30 minutes).
1 jar (12 ¼ -ounce) Stonewall Kitchen Sea Salt Caramel Sauce, divided (or other similar brand)
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
8 cups baking apples, peeled, cored, sliced ¼-inch (6 to 8 medium)
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp. milk, divided
1 tsp. granulated sugar
8 scoops Eckert’s frozen vanilla custard

Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a 2-cup mixing bowl, mix ½ cup caramel sauce topping with 2 tablespoons flour. Spread evenly over uncooked bottom pie crust. Set pie crust aside.

In a large 4-quart bowl, mix apples, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Spoon apple mixture over caramel covered bottom pie crust. Sprinkle with walnuts. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface gently roll top pie crust to about 10 inches in diameter. Cut 4 to 5 slits in top crust to allow steam to escape.   Brush edges of the bottom crust with ¼-teaspoon milk.

Place top crust over apples. Flute edges. Brush top crust with remaining milk. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake 60 to 70 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown. (After 30 minutes of bake time, cover the entire pie with the empty reserved aluminum pan to prevent overbrowning). Cool 2 hours before serving.

In a 1-cup microwave proof measuring cup, microwave remaining ½-cup caramel topping on medium about 30 to 45 seconds. Stir. Add additional 10 to 20 seconds until warm.

Cut slices of pie and top with  Eckert’s Frozen Custard. Drizzle the remaining Caramel Topping over custard.

Serves 8.