Archive | September, 2011

IKEA Apple Cake re-creation

27 Sep

The illusive IKEA apple cake recipe is not to be found on the internet. What I did find is a recipe for a dried apple tart. I made some changes to the recipe and used the crust from a  Bavarian apple torte recipe and came up with a cake very similar to IKEA’s apple cake. It’s been a while since I tasted the IKEA cake and I wish I remembered the taste of it better. Without further ado, here is my version.

+  filling  +
14 C apples, peeled and sliced
1 C apple juice or water
1 Tbsp lemon juice
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp cardamom
½ C brown sugar

(Yes, I used 14 cups of apples, they cook down to fill the pan nicely)

In a heavy 5 quart pot bring filling ingredients to a boil then lower to a simmer till juices form a syrup (time will vary—up to an hour). Stir occasionally and watch carefully as the juice thickens. 

+  topping  +
½ stick cold unsalted butter
½ C flour
1/3 C granulated sugar

Cut butter into flour and sugar mixture to combine. Chill until ready to use.

+  pastry dough  +
¾ C cold butter or margarine
¾ tsp vanilla
½ C sugar
 1 C flour

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together; blend in flour. Press dough evenly onto bottom and sides of a 10″ spring-form pan. Bake in 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes till set.

Immediately spoon filling into shell, crumble topping evenly over filling. Bake cake on middle rack in a 425 degree oven for 10 minutes; lower temperature to 375 and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until topping is golden. Cool in pan on a wire rack. When cool remove side of pan.

I couldn’t wait for the cake to cool, so sliced it while still warm and enjoyed every bite. In doing so I discovered that it slices much better when thoroughly cooled.

Let me know what you think. I have thought about making the syrup first, then adding the apples, and cooking for a shorter time. The IKEA cake has a vanilla sauce drizzled on top which I did not make, but it was still delicious. If you like a sweeter dessert, you can add more sugar to the filling. Enjoy!

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Windfall apples

22 Sep

Lots of apricots (see here and here), plums, and now apples. So far the windfall apples have provided plenty of fruit.

We have not picked any apples off the trees yet, but I have already canned sliced apples and applesauce that can be used this winter. I even made some desserts. Since we do not spray our fruit trees (organic) we find plenty of surprises in these windfall apples. That means there’s a lot of work that goes in to using them, but the end result is just as good as from perfect apples.

little girls love purses

20 Sep

There are three little grand nieces in my family who live in the north woods of Minnesota. One fall I crocheted a small purse for each these special little ladies.

Each purse was white with flecks of color…from whichever white plastic bags with a printed store logo I cut into plarn.

The first mini purse had bits of red sprinkled throughout, the second had green and red flecks of color, and the third had red and blue sprinkles. All three had a long and narrow single shoulder strap, a flap that folds over the top opening, and cute recycled buttons (from my sister-in-law’s button box) sewn on for the closure on the flap.

Sadly, I have no pictures of these cute crocheted purses. I gave them to their happy little owners before I ever thought of taking photos so I could show them off. Next time I crochet a Little Girl purse I’ll make sure to post pictures.

Bags2Bags Donations

13 Sep

I first experimented with crocheting mini snowmen on a trip to Minnesota one fall.

When we arrived at my sister-in-law’s home, I had a couple of the little fellows completed. She was gathering things for a church bazaar and thought the snowmen would be a great item to sell there. So I offered to donate my first 2 snowmen, along with a small blue & white crocheted handbag.

Two Bags2Bags purses were also donated to Grace Christian school in Utah for a fundraiser for playground equipment after moving into their new building. Alas, I have no pictures of these donations.

FAQ: what’s in a name?

6 Sep

Way back when I first began crocheting (with a couple attempts at knitting plastic) purses out of plastic bags, I made quite a few purses, handbags, and totes for family and friends as gifts.I even received lots of compliments and curiosity from strangers. Eventually I started getting requests and orders from friends, family, and strangers. My daughter, Lisa, encouraged me to come up with a name for my fun recycled creations. After lots of ideas were considered (including Bag Lady), I settled on Bags2Bags. The full name being Plastic bags 2 Hand bags as you can see in the logo Lisa designed for me.