I love scouting everywhere I go: tiny, eclectic (junk) shops, consignment and antique stores, fabric stores, yard sales and flea markets. I’m always on the lookout for interesting backgrounds, dishes, utensils, cutting boards, fabrics, table linens… you name it. All kinds of things that will make the photos of our food here at The Café more fun, interesting and, of course, delicious looking.
And you might find it a bit crazy, but sometimes a unique new prop will actually inspire me to create a new recipe. Really? Yes indeed, that’s how my culinary-crazed brain tends to operate.
Case in point; these fun little apple-shaped glass bowls. The minute I saw them, at a yard sale this past summer, I knew I just had to have them. I was thrilled when I inquired and the yard sale proprietor informed me that I could have all three of them for two dollars. Wooooooo hoooooooo! I toddled home feeling like a little pig in mud. I could hardly wait for Fall to arrive to pull out these little beauties and apple recipes began swirling in my mind.
I had a bit of time to think about this one, since Fall was just a hopeful thought back in the sweltering dog days of our sweltering Carolina summer. When I saw a wonderful looking butterscotch pudding recipe by David Lebovitz I decided to try it and create a Caramelized Apple topping (you know, the apple-shaped dishes?) to adorn it.
Oh, my! If you’ve never had anything besides boxed butterscotch pudding or the type you normally find in a cafeteria line, you are in for a HUMUNGA BUNGA surprise! This pudding is amazing, with deep, rich butterscotch flavor and a smooth-as-silk creamy texture. It would be delightful on its own, but add a layer of golden caramel-y diced apples and you’ve got a dessert that everyone will love.
My son and daughter-in-law stopped by just as we were finishing up these photos. I offered them a sample. I think, at first, they took a bowl to be polite. I understood, since butterscotch pudding doesn’t sound super exciting to me either – but their eyes got big as they took the first bite. “Wow, this is good!” “Really, really good!”.
Try it! And take a tiny snitch as you’re dolloping it into bowls. Your eyes will get big too and you’ll be saying “wow!” Oh darn, you don’t have cute little apple-shaped dishes!
Really……. they’re just for “prop junkies” like me. 🙂
P.S. The Café is residing “on the other side of the Pond”, in the UK for ten days where we’ve been visiting our daughter and her family in London. Scott and I snuck away for three days and visited Cornwall, located in the lower Southwestern tip of England. It’s a long peninsula surrounded by the Celtic Sea, the English Channel and the Atlantic Ocean, offering spectacular scenery. We had a wonderful time meandering tiny country lanes and hiking along the South West Coast Path, England’s longest walking trail (630 miles) with high cliffs jutting dramatically out into the pounding surf and golden-hued, sandy beaches with crystal clear waves gently lapping the shore. The trail views were spectacular!
We also enjoyed shopping in quaint little villages (of course, I found a few more fun new props), getting to know the locals and eating typical Cornish food like meat pies, pasties and freshly caught fish. We stared in amazement at velvet-green hillsides dotted with fluffy white sheep as we strolled on public footpaths that took us through farmer’s fields (complete with cows and goats), past crystal clear bubbling brooks and along narrow lanes lined with bramble-covered stone walls.
Check back tomorrow for some fun pictures from our trip to Cornwall.
- 4 tablespoons butter 60g
- 1 cup packed dark brown (180g)
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 ½ cups half and half
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons rum optional
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Caramelized Apples
Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the dark brown sugar and salt, then stir until the sugar is well-moistened. Remove from heat.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with about 1/4 cup (60ml) of the half and half until smooth and lump-free. Then whisk in the eggs.
Combine the remaining half and half with the cornstarch mixture and pour into the melted brown sugar, whisking continually.
Return the pan to the heat and bring the mixture to a foil whisking frequently. Once it begins to bubble, reduce the heat to a low simmer and continue to cook for one minute, whisking non-stop, until the pudding thickens. It will be similar to the consistency of hot fudge sauce.
Remove from heat and stir in the rum (if using) and vanilla.
Pour into 4-6 serving glasses or custard cups or dessert bowls and chill thoroughly, at least four hours, before serving. I like to bring the pudding back to room temperature before serving with a topping of Caramelized Apples and a dollop of freshly whipped cream.