October 2019


WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE BECAUSE OF THE UNIQUE FLAVOR BROUGHT OUT BY THE SMOKING PROCESS!

Wood Fired Apple WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE

WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE

As the second most consumed fruit in the USA, apples are loaded with antioxidant benefits and have been found to have extensive benefit to the colon due to the high level of gut bacteria present in its polyphenols. Plus, this is a fruit that is readily available all year long making it an ideal choice for cooking.

We are taking the Gala variety and putting them over a coal fire for wood-fired flavor in our apple pie cake. Pick your favorite variety of apple and get out the charcoal grill for this fun and simple technique and recipe.

Fire Up the Grill

Fire up the Stok grill

After purchasing 12 apples of your choice, get the charcoal grill going, so the flames can reduce to hot coals. That’s all needed for our apple cooking! Any size charcoal grill will do, including the small portable grill. I use a chimney started to lite charwood from SmokinLicious® as this is my preferred product when I do a short cook fruit or vegetable item. The reason? It is not fully carbonized, so it still releases plenty of flavonoids from the hardwood. You certainly can use a standard hardwood charcoal but add a chunk or two of SmokinLicious® double filet wood chunks to be sure you get a wood flavor.

While the chimney starter is burning down to hot coals, I peel and thinly slice 12 apples. I use a Gala variety for my recipe and a Stôk charcoal grill, equipped with an insert system. I place my sliced apples in the insert vegetable basket for this simple method of wood firing the apples. Just be sure to spray the basket with non-stick cooking spray to ensure the apples don’t stick.

A Cake by Name

With my hot SmokinLicious® charwood producing steady heat, my 12 Gala apples peeled and sliced thin, I’m ready to place the vegetable basket over the hot coals. Remember, apples have a lot of water content, so they will steam initially. The water will attract the smoke vapor and bring great color and flavor. After approximately 10 minutes, I shake the apple slices in the basket to allow them to rotate for even cooking and color. You’ll see the edges become bronzed as they cook. In 20 minutes, these will be ready to go.

wood-fired apples make the best cake

Adding the Ingredients & Cook Time

Our wood fired apples and dry ingredients mixed in the pan ready for baking

After the apples are removed from the grill and cooled slightly, add a teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice to maintain color until baked in the oven. Set those aside and gather together 2 cups flour, 1 cup packed light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 sticks of cold butter cut into 8 cubes.

Start by combining 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of packed light brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Taking one piece of cold butter at a time, add to the flour mixture, cutting each piece using either an electric hand mixer, 2 knives or a pastry cutter. You want to have pea-size pieces of butter mixed into the flour mixture. Press 2/3 of this mixture into a 9-inch springform pan then add the wood-fired apple slices, spreading evenly in pan.

With the wood fired apple slices nestled in the simple cake batter of flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon, it’s time to top the apples with the remaining 1/3 flour mixture. Be sure all areas are covered. Set the springform pan on the foil lined sheet pan and place in a 350°F oven for 75 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to sit in the springform pan until cool. Just run a knife along the edge of the cake to ensure it will separate from the pan’s ring once removed. Remove the ring when the cake has cooled then sift a ¼ cup powdered sugar on the surface of the cake.

Cake Perfection

Our finished wood fired apple pie cake nicely golden brown

 

After giving Gala apple slices the lick of smoke from our charwood grill, mix together flour, brown sugar and cinnamon with butter for a great cake batter, and baking everything together, the ultimate in apple pie cake is born. With a light coating of powder sugar, the wood-fired apple slices pile high for perfection in the single bite. More like a cobbler batter than cake, you’ll love the simplicity of the construction and the unique flavor a wood fire gives to apples. Perfect anytime of the year, just like apples are, you’ll be the envy of your neighborhood when you fire up the grill for wood infusion to apples. Now you must also prove that Wood-Fired Apples make the best Cake – Enjoy!

The Culinary Crew wants you to know …

… that this recipe can easily be adapted with the substitution of apples with fruits like peaches, pears or even strawberries. This switch will offer more of a traditional cobbler type baking with these moisture rich fruits taking on incredible but delicate smoky flavor.

Visit our narrated video with more pictures and step-by-step instructions.

Press above to visit our narrated video with more pictures and step-by-step instructions.

SmokinLicious® products:

Charwood

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

More recipes to try:

-Our Smoked Carrot Cake

-Smoked Strawberry Napoleon

-A SAVORY TAKE ON THE PANCAKE FROM SMOKINLICIOUS®

 

Dr Smoke- "

Dr. Smoke- “This is a MUST try recipe”!

The bowl of finished ember cooked sweet peppers

everything you need to know about ember cooked sweet peppers on the outside fireplace or pit. Click To Tweet

Listen to our blog

Ingredients:

  • An Outside fireplace or pit that is clean of ashes
  • Cast iron skillet, if you prefer to cook in a container rather than directly on the embers
  • Sweet peppers- medium to large size, any color though multi colored ones provide for a better presentation, 10-18 quantity
  • SmokinLicious® Grande Sapore® wood chipsAsh wood or your favorite wood species
  • Herbs – optional
  • Drizzle of Extra Virgin olive oil

(more…)

Our Roasted onions in fireplace ashes!

Our Roasted onions in fireplace ashes!The one vegetable we can pretty much get all year long is … the onion! So, why not give this common vegetable a special, no, fabulous flavor infusion. The way to this end? Ember cooking in an outside fireplace or cooking pit.

(more…)

Our Finished Zucchini Rolls, Rolls that are easy to prepare, prepare your appetite for this great vegetable!

Our Finished Zucchini Rolls, Rolls that are easy to prepare, prepare your appetite for this great vegetable recipe!

Try these Zucchini Rolls wood fired for special flavor! Click To Tweet

Listen to our blog

Zucchini Rolls– For those of us who love to grow zucchini you know just how heavy a harvest you can end up with. Then the question is: what to do with all those zucchinis? Let me offer up a suggestion. Zucchini ribbon rolls are a super easy way to make a quick appetizer or a great side dish. In fact, if you don’t need the fanciness of the ribbons, you can modify this recipe which I’ll cover in this posting. I’ll be taking the zucchini ribbons to the gas grill which I’ve equipped with wood chunks and provide a subtle smokiness to the zucchini before filling with a flavorful ricotta-basil-Parmesan mixture that easily could be smoked as well. Pick out some of your larger zucchini and get ready to make a super appetizer or side dish with your harvest.

Become a Ribbon Maker

Making the Zucchini Ribbons

As you likely know, zucchini grows on a vine so when you start, you will find an end that has a growth nub and then a rounded bottom. Both ends need to be trimmed after the entire zucchini has been washed and pat dry.

Although you can make the ribbons on a mandolin, I’ve elected to use a wide vegetable peeler. I located the flattest portion of the zucchini and begin at the stem top down in one peel. This will produce a ribbon of about 1-inch in width. I continue peeling on this side until I begin seeing seeds. I then rotate the zucchini and begin peeling on the opposite side. You can produce as many ribbons as the zucchini will make until it begins to reach tender inner flesh that won’t support a single ribbon peel.

With the long ribbons of zucchini made, I lay them out on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. I then brush each ribbon lightly with olive oil before placing on the grill. Since my grill is set up for two zone cooking, the zucchini pan will go on the side with no direct heat meaning all burners on that side are off, while my wood chunks are smoking in the smoker box on the direct heat side. These will only take about 12-15 minutes to flavor with smoke and they do not require any flipping. Just a quick rotation of the pan about halfway through the cooking process.

Tasting Notes:

Remember, zucchini has a lot of water content which makes it ideal of attracting smoke vapor. That means, you need to use hardwoods that are more mild or medium in boldness so the intensity of the smoke flavor is pleasant and not bitter. I like maple, ash, alder, and cherry either alone or in combination.

A Creamy Filling for our Zucchini Rolls

Making the creamy filing

While the zucchini ribbons are cooking with wood flavor, I begin working on the filling for my ribbon rolls. I start by placing 1 cup of whole milk ricotta cheese in a sieve over a bowl to remove any excess liquid. Once transferred to a bowl, I work on chopping some fresh basil from my garden, until I end up with about 3 tablespoons worth. I add that to the ricotta bowl along with 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic. A drizzle of white truffle oil and some fresh ground pepper go in next. Finally, about a ¼ cup of grated Parmesan is added and mixed in well.

Tasting Notes:

You can substitute many other fillings for the one I’ve included. Other ingredients that would work well include goat cheese, chives with some chopped nuts for crunch. Even a dried fruit like cranberry or golden raisins would be a great addition.

Time to Roll

Zucchini Ribbons on the grill with wood chunks using a two zone cooking technique

With our filling well mixed, it’s time to return to the grill and remove our ribbons in preparation for filling. If the ribbons are still oily, simply take a paper towel and wipe the residual oil away. You don’t want the ribbons too wet or they won’t hold up when placed back on the grill. Working with a single ribbon at a time, lay a generous dab of the filling in the center of the ribbon and spread to within ½ inch of each end. Starting on one end, gently roll the zucchini ribbon until you have a small spiraled log. Place on a parchment lined sheet pan leaving 1-inch spacing between rolls. Continue with the rest of the ribbons until all are filled. Then return the pan to the grill just to heat the filling up.

I will tell you that you can grill smoke the ribbons to the consistency you prefer you just need to ensure that they stay flexible enough to roll. It is sometimes beneficial to dry these out a bit more before grilling so making the ribbons a day ahead of the actual grill-smoking is helpful. Once tender and warmed inside, remove from the grill and serve. I prefer to place mine on a base of vodka sauce with some fresh basil leaves. These are slightly smoky, creamy and easy to eat. They can be served easily as an appetizer or a side dish to your choice of animal protein. I like these served with a rich short rib or a nice flaky fish like snapper or sea bass. Oh, and don’t forget about that leftover zucchini you’ll have after you’ve made the ribbons. I like to matchstick cut my leftover zucchini and add the remaining cheese filling with a bit of sauce and make this for another side dish or healthy lunch.

What’s your favorite zucchini recipe from the grill? Leave us a comment to opine and subscribe to get all our postings on tips, techniques and recipes. Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.

Enjoyed this blog? Please spread the word

SmokinLicious® Products used in this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

For more reading related to Zucchini rolls and other great vegetable dishes to wood fire!

For more reading related to Zucchini rolls and other great vegetable dishes to wood fire!

More recipes to try:

-SMOKED AVOCADO LOAF FROM OUR AVOCADO RECIPES

-PAN COOK ZUCCHINI ON THE GRILL WITH WOOD FLAVOR

-EMBER FIRED ZUCCHINI & RICOTTA GALETTE

 

Dr. Smoke

Dr. Smoke- Prepare your appetite for the Ricotta filled, tomato sauced, Zucchini rolls with a touch of wood fired flavor

The smoky deliciousness of breakfast potatoes!

The smoky deliciousness of breakfast potatoes!

If you’re a fan of breakfast potatoes than you’re going to love this take on the traditional flavors of this first meal favorite. Click To Tweet

Listen to our blog

 

Give Breakfast Potatoes a Smoky Start

As with most breakfast potato recipes, this one has just a handful ingredients to make it oh so memorable at the breakfast table. It starts with a key ingredient – smoked potato – which you can find the technique for in our previous posting. This is a recipe that can certainly accommodate your specific preferences so alter it as you please. For my rendition, you’ll need the following:

(more…)

Refreshing smoked pear salad with gorgonzola and our easy to follow recipe only requires six ingredients.

Refreshing smoked pear salad with gorgonzola and our easy to follow recipe only requires six ingredients.

Try this Smoked Pear Salad With Gorgonzola Click To Tweet

Listen to our blog

 

 

When your craving salad but our tired of the same boring options, take it a step further and feed all your senses with the Smoke Pear Salad with Gorgonzola from SmokinLicious®!

This is a very simple salad once you’ve followed our segment on smoking fresh pears. With pears in season during the colder months, it’s a great time to get your serving of greens. So, let’s get started with what you will need for Smoked Pear Salad with Gorgonzola:

(more…)