These finished apples get smoky are a wonderful fall treat!

These finished smokey baked apples are a wonderful fall treat! Easy to do on the gas grill with a two-zone cooking method with wood chunks.

SEASONAL SMOKEY BAKED APPLES WITH SWEET STUFFING

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Listen to the smokey baked apples blog!

The apples we bought at the Farmers Market

Apple season is here and I’ve found some beauties to make a simple but super sweet and flavorful recipe.    And of course, I’m taking it to the grill to let the apple get a kiss of smoke while tenderizing.  With so many varieties of apples available, you can pick your favorite and use this filling for the perfect stuffed apple.

In my home state of New York, there are over 25 varieties of apples.  Since these can be cold stored, they are available year-round but there is nothing like the fresh harvest.  In fact, controlled atmosphere storage was pioneered in New York State.

Whether served as the dessert or a sweet side dish is up to you but either way, you’re going to love the ease of making this dish and consuming all its seasonal goodness.  Pick your favorite variety of apple and get ready to stuff them with goodness everyone is going to love!  Smokey baked apples done on the grill, cleanup is a breeze!

Apple Preparation

Smoke coming from our wood chunks! Using a two zone cooking method

 

I’ll be using my gas grill for this recipe so I start by lighting only half the burners on my grill which I’ve added a smoker box that contains 3 hardwood chunks.  This will provide for the great smoke flavor to the apples.  While the grill heats up to about 375°F, I prepare the Macintosh apples.  First, wash and pat dry the apples.  You can use an apple corer to remove the core but note you do not want to produce a clean hole through the entire apple.  We want to produce an opening for adding the stuffing but we don’t want it to run out of the apples.  I like to use a small, sharp knife, cut into the apple stem end about ¾-inch from the stem making a circle.  Remove the core membrane and seeds leaving a firm base to the apple for filling.

Tasting Notes: Although I’ve selected Macintosh apples to know any variety will do.  Just note, if the apples are significantly larger, you will need to make an additional filling.

Sweet Stuffing

our sweet stuffing in the mixing bowl

With our apples cored, it’s time to make the sweet filling before heading to the grill.  First, know I like to use a disposable foil pan to make clean up a breeze.  In that pan, I place a roasting rack so the apples will be exposed to radiant heat all the way around the apple.  I’m making ten stuffed apple but I will give you the ingredients needed for making eight apples.

Place 1 stick of softened butter in a bowl.  Add 1 cup of light brown sugar, ½ cup chopped pecans, and 1-1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon.  I prefer to mix this with my hand to ensure good distribution of the ingredients.  Taking a small amount of the mixed filling, I form a log shape and insert into the apple opening, pressing down to make sure this is filled to the top of the apple.  Once all the apples are filled, I head to the grill with my pan.

 

Tasting Notes: The stuffing for this apple recipe can be easily modified.  Feel free to swap the pecan for another nut like walnut, hazelnut or almond.  For spices, consider adding ginger, allspice, and clove either in addition to or in place of the cinnamon.

No Fuss Grilling

Our Smoker box with wood chunks for smokey flavor

Once at the grill, I check to ensure my wood chunks are smoking well.  I place my pan of prepared apples on the unlit side of the grill and pour enough water into the pan to coat the bottom by about 1-inch.  This will allow moisture into the cooking area to get the apples very tender in a short amount of time.  I usually check the apples after 45 minutes and rotate the pan if needed.  When the apples are tender and the filling browned, these are ready and can be removed from the grill-#grilledapples.

Tasting Notes:  Note that if you elect to use a charcoal grill the smoke infusion produced will be stronger.  You are encouraged to still use a two-zone set up on the charcoal grill to keep the sugars from burning.

 

Serve ‘Em Up

Once the apples are tender and the filling browned, it’s time to remove the apples and prepare to serve them.  There are many options for an accompaniment to the apples.  Today, I’m using a vanilla bean ice cream that I’ve sliced into wedges.  Certainly, the apples can be served with whipped topping, another flavor of ice cream, a vanilla custard or pudding, or even a slice of hard or rind cheese.    These are best if served warm.  Don’t forget, if any filling is left, add to a pureed squash for another great recipe.  That’s why I always make extra!

our finished smokey stuffed apple!

our finished smokey stuffed apple!

SmokinLicious® Products used in this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

For more reading related to winter squash and other grilling/smoking techniques- #wintersquash

For more reading related to smokey #stuffedapples and another grilling/smoking techniques

Related reading:

-WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE

-Smoked Strawberry Napoleon

-ACORN SQUASH- SWEET & SMOKY

-STRAWBERRY SEMIFREDDO GETS SMOKY

Dr. Smoke-Seasonal Apple cake with a special smoky twist!

Dr. Smoke-Seasonal smokey baked apples with wood chunks on the gas grill!

We served our Best Gingerbread from the Grill as a dessert! The grilled smoky flavor was too good for a Gingerbread house!

We served our Best Gingerbread from the Grill as a dessert! The grilled smoky flavor was too Tasty for a Gingerbread house!

BEST GINGERBREAD MEETS THE GRILL

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Gingerbread is one of those terms that are generic in the definition for a broad category, in this case, something made from ginger, cinnamon, clove, and a sweetener like molasses and sugar.  Although “bread” is in the name it can produce great cakes, cookies, bars, and of course, bread.

One of the reasons gingerbread is ideal for cooking on the grill is because it contains bold flavors of spices and molasses.  I’ll be taking a traditional recipe for gingerbread and introducing the cooking to the grill that I’m equipping with wood chunks for a unique wood flavoring.

You’re going to love the dense, flavorful result that is the perfect recipe to keep on hand for those unexpected and expected guests.

Smoke coming from our wood chunks! Using a two zone cooking method

#Two-Zone Cooking

If you follow my gas grill recipes, then you know I am a fan of the two-zone cooking method.  By lighting the burners on only half the grill and placing the food on the unlit side, I can guarantee controlled temperature that allows me to walk away as I do with my indoor oven.

I start by preheating my grill by lighting the burners on just one side.  I want a cooking temperature of 325°F so I’ll set the dials to low.  On the lit side, I also add a metal smoker box that contains 3 wood chunks.  By the time my batter is mixed, the wood chunks will be smoking for the cooking of the gingerbread.

Our Batter ready for the baking pan

Quick Batter

First, I butter and flour an 8-inch square cake pan and set aside (you can use the non-stick cooking spray if you prefer).  There is only one mixing bowl needed for this recipe to combine the following ingredients and beat until combined well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed:

 

 

2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup shortening

1/3 cup sugar

1 cup molasses

¾ cup hot water

1 tablespoon crème Fraiche

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¾ teaspoon salt

1 egg

Once mixed, pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and get ready to put it on the grill.

Tasting Notes: My non-traditional ingredient is the addition of the crème Fraiche.  I use this only when making a cake or loaf as if used for cookie batter, this would be too thin.  Remember, there are many variations to a gingerbread recipe.  Bolder flavors can be produced through the addition of ground clove and nutmeg.  For sweeter versions, adding honey or condensed milk.  Remember, molasses was used in baking centuries ago as a means of saving money due to the high cost of sugar.

Gingerbread Grilling

Our Batter on the grill cooking and absorbing smoke

With the batter poured, we are ready to wood grill the cake.  Place the prepared pan on the unlit side of the grill, making sure that the grill’s temperature is close to 325°F.  Now you can walk away for about 35 minutes.   Return at that point to simply rotate the cake pan and ensure the cake is cooking evenly.  If the wood chunks are completely black, you may want to add a couple of more.  Total grill-baking time will be 50-55 minutes.  Remove from the grill and cool the cake on a wire rack.  Cut into squares and serve warm or cold.

Tasting Notes:  I prefer to serve this version of gingerbread with butterscotch sauce and whipped topping but other choices include melted semi-sweet chocolate, orange sauce, and even a cream cheese frosting.

 

SmokinLicious® products used in this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

Hope you tried our best gingerbread recipe! If you like more grilling, smoking or ember cooking recipes go to our blogs!

Hope you tried our best #gingerbread recipe! If you like more grilling, smoking or ember cooking recipes go to our blogs!

Additional reading:

-CHOCOLATE WAR CAKE BAKED ON THE GRILL

-WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE

-Our Smoked Carrot Cake

-RICH PUMPKIN BUTTER YOU’LL CRAVE!

Dr. Smoke-Our Best Gingerbread Recipe! Try on the grill this holiday season

Dr. Smoke-Our Best Gingerbread Recipe! Try on the grill this holiday season

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The classic Chocolate War Cake baked on the Grill- cut in pieces

The classic Chocolate War Cake Baked on the Grill

CHOCOLATE WAR CAKE BAKED ON THE GRILL

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I’m going to show you how easy it is to cook a cake on the gas grill using wood chunks for added flavor.  I simply love how chocolate reacts to smoke vapor and this chocolate recipe of mine is simply outstanding for the grill.

The gas grill was originally intended to provide for a quick cook method but I view this as an extension of the indoor kitchen as the grill really is an oven.  I’m going to turn my grill into a wood-burning oven by incorporating a smoker box that I’ve added cherry wood chunks too.

simple ingredients for this recipes

Why is this referred to as a “war” cake?  During World War I and II, eggs, butter, and milk were rationed.  Although I am including one egg in this recipe, I still consider this a variation of the “war” cake.  You certainly can make any variation you find as there are lots of options available online.

Let’s gather our simple ingredients, heat up the grill, and make perfection in a chocolate cake!

 

Two-Zone Cooking

If you follow my gas grill recipes, then you know I am a fan of the two-zone cooking method.  By lighting the burners on only half the grill and placing the food on the unlit side, I can guarantee controlled temperature that allows me to walk away like I do with my indoor oven.

I start by adding two cherry wood chunks to a metal smoker box.  I place this box under the grill grate, directly on a burner heat shield.  Next, I turn those burners on to medium and allow the grill to warm up while I make my cake batter.

The Unusual Batter

The Chocolate Batter mixed and ready for baking

First, I butter an 8-inch square cake pan and set aside (you can use the non-stick cooking spray if you prefer).  I start with the dry ingredients: 1-1/2 cups (7-1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar, ½ teaspoon baking soda and ¼ teaspoon table salt.  Whisk all this together in a large bowl and set aside.

With the dry ingredients prepared, it’s time to start on the wet.  In a medium bowl, combine ½ cup (2 ounces) Dutch-processed cocoa powder and 2 ounces high quality, bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine.  Pour over the chocolates 1 cup of hot coffee, whisking to aid melting.  Allow cooling then whisk in 2/3 cup mayonnaise, 1 egg, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.

Tasting Notes: Whenever you bake on the grill, it is important to use a two-zone cooking method rather than direct heat cooking.  This will reduce the risk of burning the batter or producing off flavors, especially if you use a charcoal grill.

Grilling the Cake

With the beautiful chocolate batter finished, it’s time to pour this into the prepared dish.  Note you can use disposable pans or glass, ceramic – any high heat pan works just fine.

I check the cake about ½ way through the 35-minute cooking time.  If I see that there is some uneven cooking occurring, I simply rotate the pan and position where there are no cold spots.  An infrared thermometer will help locate any cold/hot spots.

grilling two zone with wood chunks

After grilling until firm to the touch or, you can do the toothpick test – insert a toothpick in the center and if it comes out clean, the cake is done – I remove the pan from the grill and let cool for 2 hours untouched.  After the cooling time, I invert the cake onto a cutting board.  At this point, you can sift some powdered sugar over the top of the cake or serve with a side of whipped cream.  Any way you serve this, it is going to be loved, with the serving plate cleaned quickly.  Baked on the Grill is fun!

Tasting Notes:  This cake can also be served with some additional fruit flavoring pairings like cherries, figs, raspberry, pear, and strawberryYou still will maintain a 350°F grilling temperature.

 

SmokinLicious® products used in this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

Additional reading:

-WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE

-Our Smoked Carrot Cake

-AVOCADO CHOCOLATE PUDDING

Dr. Smoke Baked on the Grill the classic Chocolate War Cake is a real keeper of a recipe!

Dr. Smoke Baked on the Grill, the classic Chocolate War Cake is a real keeper of a recipe!

The finished slices of our ZUCCHINI BREAD & CAKE ON THE GRILL

The finished slices of our ZUCCHINI BREAD & CAKE ON THE GRILL

ZUCCHINI BREAD & CAKE ON THE GRILL

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Listen to The finished slices of our ZUCCHINI BREAD & CAKE ON THE GRILL

I love making traditional baking items on the grill especially when wood is added for a kick of flavor that can make some normal recipes totally unique.  That’s how I feel about this recipe for zucchini-coconut-lime bread/cake.  It has to have two names as I’m giving you two finishes so you have something more savory like a bread and something sweet like a dessert.  Don’t ignore large, fresh zucchini that you see in your garden or farmer’s market or even the local store.  Pick up a beauty and come to the grill with me for this great two loaf recipe.

Two Bowls & One Grill

There’s minimal preparation that needs to be done for this bread/cake combination.  One thing I love about zucchini bread/cake is there’s nothing complicated about it.

two batter pans on the grill for baking

To start, head out to the grill and light the burners on only half the grill.  On the lit side, place wood chunks directly on the heat shields or burner covers.  This will produce that fantastic wood vapor that is going to super flavor our bread/cake.  I’ve set my burners to medium which should bring them to 325°F, the perfect temperature to bring these two loaves to the finish.  For the loaf pans, simply spray with non-stick cooking spray or butter generously.  Now, let’s get the batter made.

Tasting Notes: If you’re leery about putting wood pieces directly on your heat shields than you can use a metal smoker box to hold the wood.  Try to get one that will still fit between your grill grate and the heat shield, otherwise, you’ll have to put the box on the grill grate which will take longer to heat up and start the wood smoking.

The Double Duty Batter

To start our batter, get a large bowl to combine the dry ingredients first.  Add 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1-1/2 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 cup shredded or flaked coconut.   Combine well and set aside.  Next, we’ll prepare the wet ingredients.

In a medium bowl combine 2 cups of raw, unpeeled, grated zucchini, 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, ¾ cup oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 3 beaten eggs, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and 2 teaspoons lime zest.  This batter will be quite thick.  Here’s a trick with the zucchini: be sure once you grate the zucchini you place it between paper towels and remove the excess water.  If you leave the excess moisture, the batter will become watery and affect how the bread/cake rises.

Mixing the ingredients

 

 

With the dry and wet ingredients made, it’s time to combine them.  Place the dry ingredients into the wet and mix well by hand.  Divide the batter in half and pour into the prepared loaf pans.  Place the filled loaf pans on the unlit side of the grill and c

lose the lid.  This batter will take 75 minutes to cook so I check the cake about ½ way through and rotate the pans.  I also make sure the wood chunks are still producing smoke.  If not, I add new wood.  Once cooked, I remove the pans from the grill and cool on wire racks.

Tasting Notes: Whenever you bake on the grill, it is important to use a two-zone cooking method rather than direct heat cooking.  This will reduce the risk of burning the batter or producing off flavors, especially if you use a charcoal grill.  This recipe can be altered to fit your taste.  If you don’t like coconut but still want something sweet, feel free to swap out the cup of coconut for chocolate or butterscotch chips. 

When a Bread Becomes Cake

Once cooled, I remove the loaves from the pans and place on a serving platter.  I take 1/3 cup of flaked coconut and toast in the oven or on the grill until lightly browned.  Time to make a glaze that will sweeten up this loaf some more, turning one loaf into a cake.

close up of the finished loaves on the grill

For the glaze, combine 1 cup powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of lime juice.   Using a fork, I drizzle the glaze over the loaf in a rapid side-to-side motion.  While the glaze is still wet, I sprinkle on the toasted coconut and additional lime zest.  That’s it!  Now you can sample both loaves and decide which is your favorite.  As a bread or a sweet cake.

 

 

 

Tasting Notes:  If you prefer a lemon flavor you can swap out the lime juice for lemon and the lime zest for lemon zest.  Orange works well too!

SmokinLicious® products used in this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

Related reading:

-CHOCOLATE WAR CAKE BAKED ON THE GRILL

-WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE

-EMBER FIRED ZUCCHINI & RICOTTA GALETTE

 

Dr. Smoke great dessert recipe- our ZUCCHINI BREAD & CAKE ON THE GRILL

Dr. Smoke great dessert recipe- our ZUCCHINI BREAD & CAKE ON THE GRILL

Strawberry Semifreddo gets smoky is a "cool" treat with a little smoky taste for your BBQ!

Strawberry Semifreddo gets smoky is a “cool” treat with a little smoky taste for your BBQ!

STRAWBERRY SEMIFREDDO GETS SMOKY

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My favorite fruit season is here!  Strawberry picking and eating season.  I’ve worked on a trio of recipes to take full advantage of the short seasonal harvest we have here in Western New York State.  My first was a Smoked Strawberry Hand Pie.  The second is another dessert option – Creamy Smoked Strawberry Semifreddo.  The perfect slice of smoky, cool goodness on a hot day.

Just grab a couple of quarts of fresh strawberries or even store bought when they are out of season in your area and pick your smoke technique: we have three options – the charcoal grill which is how I did my strawberries, the gas grill or the handheld food smoker.  Be sure to make plenty of extras so you can enjoy our other recipes.  Let’s get started.

Ingredients & Prep

Smoked Strawberries are the feature and the other ingredients are very few

 

Once you’ve smoked your strawberries using one of our easy techniques, you’ll just need six ingredients to make the actual semifreddo.  For a single semifreddo, you’ll need a standard bread loaf pan and either plastic wrap or press ‘n seal wrap.  Line the loaf pan with the wrap so it hangs over the ends.  This will allow you to easily remove the semifreddo from the pan once it sets up in the freezer.  For the actual semifreddo, you will need 1-1/2 cups of whipping cream, 2 cups of smoked strawberries, 1/3 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice, ½ teaspoon of vanilla, and ½ cup of Greek plain yogurt.  You will also need a hand or stand mixer for whipping the cream, two medium size bowls, and a small saucepan.

Start the semifreddo by whipping the 1-1/2 cups of whipping cream using a hand or stand mixer until stiff peaks form.  Fold in the ½ teaspoon of vanilla.  I do this step first and place the entire bowl in the refrigerator to keep it chilled while I work on the rest of the recipe.  Next, you’ll need to get your saucepan, smoked strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice ready as this step will be done on the stovetop burner or the grill’s side burner. 

Smoke Meets Sweet

While the whipped cream is chilling, time to take the previously smoked strawberries and sweeten them up.  Place the 2 cups of smoked strawberries in a small saucepan.  Add the 1/3 cup of sugar to the pan and stir constantly.  Allow the mixture to come to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for just about 5 minutes, again stirring constantly.  The strawberries will thicken up and infuse the smoky, sweet flavor.  Remove from heat and place in a bowl or container to cool.  You can do a quick chill to the mixture by placing in the freezer for about 10 minutes or in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.  Be sure the mixture is cool before working it into the cream.

Semifreddo Time!

pouring the smoked strawberries into the mixture

Once the smoked strawberry and sugar mixture is completely cool, time to fold it into our whipped vanilla cream.  Take the whipped cream from the refrigerator and pour the strawberry mixture into the cream bowl.  Gently fold the strawberry mixture into the cream until completely combined.  This will produce a beautiful pink coloring with speckles of the red strawberry seeds.  Next, you’ll need the prepared loaf pan as we get ready to mold the semifreddo for freezing.

Pour the strawberry cream mixture into the prepared loaf pan ensuring that the overhang of the liner remains intact.  Place the loaf pan in the freezer for a minimum of 3 hours.  Once set, remove the semifreddo from the loaf pan by gripping the liner overhangs and lifting the entire loaf out of the pan.  Place on a serving platter and slice into 1-inch thick slices.  This can be served as is, or with additional whipped cream and mint leaves.  Full of sweet and smoky flavor that is a great cooling dessert when the days are hot.

Tasting Notes

For mild smoke flavor infusion, try using a handheld food smoker.  For medium smoke intensity, a gas grill or stovetop smoker pan works perfectly.  For those who prefer a bold smoke flavor, the charcoal grill is the answer.

We hope this recipe inspires you to try wood-fired grilling techniques with your favorite foods.  Tells us what is your favorite fruit to smoke or grill with wood and the perfect recipe to make?  Bringing innovation to wood-fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®. wanting you to “cool” off with our BBQ desert-Try our recipe–Strawberry Semifreddo gets smoky!

Purchase products:

Charwood

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

Related reading:

STRAWBERRY HAND PIE

Smoked Strawberry Napoleon

Smoked Strawberries with Hand Held Smoker

Try our recipe--Strawberry Semifreddo gets smoky

Try our recipe–Strawberry Semifreddo gets smoky

SMOKED STRAWBERRY HAND PIE being filled with the Stawberry mixture with the final result in the middle! yummy

SMOKED STRAWBERRY HAND PIE is a great recipe for fresh or frozen Strawberries. The smokiness will add a special twist

THE MAKING OF A SMOKED STRAWBERRY HAND PIE

Summary:  This strawberries recipes for smoked strawberry hand pie using cooking wood chunks; is the art of wood fired cooking with a two-zone cooking method is easy!  Using pie dough and strawberries fruit! Add this to your strawberry dessert recipes or to smoked strawberries recipes so something to delight your guests.

listen to the audio of this blog posting

It’s one of my favorite times of year – strawberry picking season!  As my area of Western New York State has such a short strawberry season, I literally am consuming strawberries for three weeks straight.

Good thing they are packed with vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C and K, folate, potassium, magnesium, as well as being low in calories and fiber-rich.  They sure are great at filling you up which makes you eat less.

This season, I’ve got a trio of recipes all using the smoked strawberries that I’ve done on my charcoal grill.  Get yourself a flat of strawberries, follow our easy smoking technique (we do have 3 to choose from that offer various levels of smoke flavor), and prepare to make simple hand pies, perfect for the hot days of summer or frankly anytime you can find strawberries.

Grill and Strawberry Prep

As I’m using a charcoal grill, I get that started first as I want a temperature of about 300°F or slightly more when the strawberries are placed on the grill.  My grill has an insert system making it a bit easier to light my fuel.  I place my Firestarter at the base of my chimney starter in the charcoal pan that has been filled with SmokinLicious® Charwood.  I’ve also foil covered a brick to radiate additional heat to the strawberries, and placed that on one side of the charcoal area.  I will use a two-zone set-up so I don’t burn the sugars in the strawberries.  I light the Firestarter, place the chimney of charwood on top, and go to the kitchen to prepare the strawberries.

I’ll be preparing about 6 quarts for all three recipes I plan to make.  Start with strawberries that are at their peak.  Gently wash them and then trim the stem end.  I cut smaller strawberries in half and larger in quarters to ensure the smoke vapor can penetrate easily.  Tiny ones, I leave whole.  I place my clean, trimmed strawberries into a disposable foil pan for the actual cooking on the grill, which makes clean up so easy.

pan of strawberries on the grill with Charwood

Smoking

Once the strawberries are ready for the grill, I place one chunk of hardwood on the charwood coals.  This will add smoke flavor.  I’ve used a double filet wood chunk to control the boldness of the smoke.  The actual smoking process will only take about 15 minutes to know about halfway through, you will want to rotate your foil pan to prevent the pectin from burning.  I’ll be collecting all that thicken juice after the cook and save it for a cocktail I’m making.  Be sure to keep in mind that you’ll still have hot coals left when the smoked strawberries are done so use them for another cooking: maybe some charred peppers or onions, or even cook some meats as you’ll have plenty of heat left.

The Recipe

With the strawberries all smoky good, the juices thickened and rendered, it’s time to take these to the kitchen and make our hand pies.  First, drain off as much of the juice as possible and capture in a container to use for other recipes.  We have a great one for a strawberry marinade you should check out.

ingredients for our recipe

 

Next, you’ll need about 1 cup of the smoked strawberries, pie dough either homemade or store bought; 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 2 tablespoons sugar, sanding or turbinado sugar, and one egg plus 1 teaspoon of water.  You’ll also need a rolling pin if making your own dough and flour for rolling out the dough, as well as 4-5-inch round cookie cutter.  Cut 10 rounds from your dough and refrigerate them on a parchment lined sheet pan while you prepare the filling.

The dough cut outs ready for the filing

The Filing

Take the cup of smoked strawberries and add the tablespoon of cornstarch and the 2 tablespoons of sugar, mixing gently but well.  If additional juices have rendered, pour off.  Taking one dough round at a time while keeping the others refrigerated, add about 1-2 tablespoons of strawberries to one half of the round maintaining a dough border.  Brush egg “wash” around the edge of the filled side of the dough round.  Gently fold over the dough to make a crescent shape and seal the edges by pushing lightly with your fingertip to form a crimped edge.

filing and closing up the dough

Finishing

To finish the pies for cooking, after folding and crimping the edge, brush the surface with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar.  Make a small slit in each hand pie top to allow the steam to release during cooking.  Make sure the hand pies are spaced out on the sheet pan to allow for juice spillage.  Bake in a 400° F oven for 20-25 minutes or until crust browns.  Remove from oven and allow to rest on the sheet pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.

Super Outcome

close up of the final baked hand pie

After a simple smoking of 15 minutes on a charcoal grill using a two-zone cooking method, pouring off the beautiful juice, and producing a pie filling, we stuffed 4-inch dough rounds with our smoked mixture producing the perfect size hand pie.  After baking in the oven for about 25 minutes, although you can do that step as well on your grill of choice, we let them rest and then served them up a-la-natural though these are fabulous with a bit of fresh whipped cream or even a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.  Smoked Strawberry Hand Pie will be your easy dessert or snack recipe to whip up when those short-lived fresh strawberries come to town!

Tasting Notes: 

The equipment you use will reflect the boldness of the smoke.  If you want a mild smoke flavor infusion, use a handheld food smoker.  Medium boldness will be produced on the gas/LP grill, and Bold will be produced on the Charcoal grill.

We hope this recipe inspires you to try wood-fired grilling techniques with your favorite foods.  Tells us what is your favorite fruit to smoke or grill with wood and what kind of recipe do you make?  Bringing innovation to wood-fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®. Please try and leave a comment on our Smoked Strawberry Hand Pie recipe!

Purchase products:

Charwood

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

Additional reading:

-WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE

-STRAWBERRIES GET SMOKY FOR AN AQUA FRESCA COCKTAIL

-Smoked Strawberry Napoleon

Dr. Smokes favorite- SMOKED STRAWBERRY HAND PIE is a great recipe for fresh or frozen Strawberries. The smokiness will add a special twist

Dr. Smoke’s favorite- SMOKED STRAWBERRY HAND PIE is a great recipe for fresh or frozen Strawberries. The smokiness will add a special twist

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!

Purchase products:

Charwood

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

Additional reading:

-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”!

Ember Fired Eggplant on the rack cooking above a bed of hot coals. This technique provides the heat for cooking and the aroma of the wood smoke

Ember Fired Eggplant on the rack cooking above a bed of hot coals. This technique provides the heat for cooking and the aroma of the wood smoke

EMBER FIRED EGGPLANT WITH FETA TARTS

You’ve heard me mention before how great it is to ember or coal fire certain foods, with a good majority of those items falling in the fruit category.  One of the best fruits to use this technique with is eggplant.

Not of Nutritional Value

we selected two nice and plump eggplants for our ember cooking Eggplant, also called aubergine, is part of a flowering plant grown for its edible fruit.  This is a thick-skinned fruit that has a meaty quality to its flesh.  In fact, it can make for a filling meal.  Eggplant contains a lot of water – 92% to be specific!  It is not known to be a contributor for daily nutritional intake.  Despite all that, Eggplant remains a favorite ingredient to cook with.

Nestling is Key

When cooking in the coals, it is best to use medium sized eggplant.  It doesn’t matter what variety you select, the technique for cooking in the coals will remain the same.

Starting the fire

First, you need to start with a good wood fire, using clean hardwood.  In order to do this technique successfully, you need to ensure that there are no flames left in the fire, just hot coals.  You’ll know the coals are ready for the cooking when they are completely grayed over.  If your grilling area is large enough, you can stage a couple of burning wood pieces to provide additional heat to the area.  Just don’t cook directly in those flames.

preparing the hot coals for the eggplant. you want these to burn down leaving only the heat and no flame to burn the eggplant. Ember cooking is only over hot coals.When the coals are ready, make sure the embers are in an even layer and then place the eggplants side by side in the embers.  I like to use a fine screen in the bottom of my charcoal area to aide in heat retention.  Now, leave these untouched for about 10 minutes.  After that time, you can turn the eggplant to ensure all sides get evenly charred.  If you make a large enough fire, you can bury the eggplant completely in the hot coals and not have to do any turning.  That technique will require about 30 minutes of cooking time.

Blackened, Charred Skin Makes It Ready

Once the Ember Fired Eggplant has tenderized in the coals, it’s time to carefully remove it. Cool the eggplant, so it won’t burn and can be handled.  Then, slice each eggplant open from end to end, and gently scoop out the flesh.  Be sure to leave all the charred skin behind.  If you’re ready to use this in a recipe, then no need to do anything more to the eggplant.  If you plan on using it later, you must prevent the eggplant flesh from turning dark by incorporating 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and enough water to cover the flesh.  When finished, it’s best to store the Ember Fired Eggplant in a glass jar, bowl, or other container.

6 Needed Ingredients

To make the Ember Fired Eggplant with Feta Tarts, you’ll need a muffin pan and the following food ingredients:

  • Flesh from 1 medium size coal-fired eggplant
  • ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped pistachios, plus 2 tablespoons for topping the tarts
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 5 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
  • Extra virgin olive oil for brushing dough and preparing muffin pan

Wood Flavored Eggplant Mixture

removing any char from the fire and then chopping up the eggplant to be added as the tart fillingRoughly chop the wood fired eggplant.  Then transfer to a medium bowl and add feta, 3 tablespoons chopped pistachios, coriander, red-pepper flakes, and mint.  Season with salt and fresh ground pepper and stir gently to combine.

Making the Tarts

Lightly oil the muffin pan cups.  Lay 1 sheet of phyllo dough on a board and lightly brush with oil.  Stack 4 more phyllo sheets on top, brushing each with oil.  Cut the stacked sheets into 6 equal squares.  Carefully, pick up each square and place in a muffin cup, gently pressing in place.  Fill each dough cup with about ¼ cup of eggplant mixture.  Gently fold over the corners of the dough to enclose the filling as a tart.  Brush tops with oil and sprinkle with crushed pistachios.  Then Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve.

showcasing the finished product! Our ember roasted eggplant within the feta tart- yummy

 

 

 

 

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Additional reading:

-EMBER FIRED ZUCCHINI & RICOTTA GALETTE

-SUCCULANT WOOD FIRED STUFFED TOMATO WITH HERB RICE

TOP 10 VEGETABLES TO COOK IN HOT EMBERS

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Single Filet

Dr Smoke- "Try this because it's a really tasty appetizer and easy to make."

Dr Smoke- “Try this because it’s a really tasty appetizer and easy to make.”

Avocado chocolate pudding kissed by "fire" and "smoke" for an extra boost of flavor! In this series we explain how to smoke an avocado and then mix it into your chocolate pudding.

Avocado chocolate pudding kissed by “fire” and “smoke” for an extra boost of flavor!

AVOCADO CHOCOLATE PUDDING GOES SMOKY

Taking chocolate pudding up a notch by adding wood-fired avocado

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Grilling avocado is a great way to intensify their flavorAvocado has been known for its health benefits for some time and has gone beyond the simple slice or dice and add to your favorite salad.  It has become the new replacement for butter in many recipes.

Now, I’m going to do a similar approach to chocolate pudding by incorporating avocado instead of dairy but first, I add a wood-fired flavor to the avocado to bring out a flavor level to this fruit that is distinctly different from its raw flavor.  You can see our previous article on the technique we used on the gas grill.

Flavor Affinitiesthe simple ingredients displayed on our table

Once you’ve wood fired your avocados on a gas or charcoal grill, you need to gather the following ingredients:

 

  • 2 wood fired avocados
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder- ¾ cup
  • Pure maple syrup- ½ cup
  • ¼ cup- fresh orange juice, plus ¼ cup additional reserved
  • Hot water (not boiling)- ¾ cup
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup chopped hazelnuts
  • whipped heavy cream

In addition to the above ingredients, you’ll need a blender.

Blending Flavors Is All That’s Needed

Using a standard mixer for the blending of all the ingredients.

Whenever I wood-fire avocado, I usually remove the flesh from the shells and store in a container in the refrigerator for my recipes.   Take the flesh of two previously wood-fired avocado and place in the blender.  Carefully split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds adding to the blender.

Now comes the cocoa powder, maple syrup, agave nectar, orange juice – ¼ cup to start – and salt.  Turn on the blender and incorporate everything until a coarse puree forms

With the blender running on medium, gradually stream in the hot water and blend until smooth and creamy.  The hot water will produce a very shiny, ganache like appearance to the pudding.  If you feel the pudding mixture is too chunky or thick, blend in additional orange juice from the ¼ cup reserve but do not exceed the additional ¼ cup amount.

Chill It Before Serving

refrigerate the Chocolate Avocado pudding before serving. Once you’ve reached the perfect consistency for your pudding, it’s time to divide the mixture into 6 serving bowls and chill for at least 2 hours.  You can make this up to 3 days ahead of time but be sure you do not cover the pudding while it chills.  This is not like older recipes that contained dairy and could form a “skin” on the pudding.

Once chilled, top with whipped cream and chopped hazelnuts – I prefer to crush my hazelnuts using a canned good with the nuts in a sealable storage bag.  Super rich, creamy with a distinct extra flavor that mixes so well with the sweet syrups and fresh flavors of orange and vanilla.  Smoky Avocado Chocolate Pudding – a star finish to any meal!

In conclusion, we hope you found inspiration with this recipe.  We’d love to see your photos of your take on the recipe.  Leave a comment and subscribe.  Keep following us as we bring you innovative tips, techniques, and recipes on working with wood for cooking, grilling & smoking.

You may also enjoy:

Smoked Strawberry Napoleon

SMOKED BANANA DOUBLE BITES

THE KISS OF FIRE TO GUACAMOLE

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double and Single Filet

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke- “Smoked avocado gives a flavor boost to traditional chocolate pudding.”

Avocado kissed by “fire” for an extra boost to flavor will add something special to a Chocolate pudding

 

Ember roasted zucchini & Ricotta Galette is a superb recipe to entertain your guests palette

Ember fired zucchini & ricotta galette is a superb recipe to entertain your guests palette

EMBER FIRED ZUCCHINI & RICOTTA GALETTE

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We are going French with a zucchini & ricotta galette that is simply out of this world.  With ember fired zucchini we previously cooked on our charcoal grill with straight wood, this is one recipe worth making any time of year.  Get 2 zucchini ember cooked and prepare yourself for the ultimate in wood fired flavors featuring summer zucchini!

Gather the Ingredients

For our zucchini & ricotta galette, there are two separate ingredient lists needed; one for the pastry and one for the galette’s filling.

For the pastry:

1-1/4 cups flour, chilled in the freezer for 30 minutes

1/8 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons cold butter, cubed

¼ cup sour cream

2 teaspoons lemon juice

¼ cup ice water

For the zucchini & ricotta galette filling, you will need

2 ember fired zucchini sliced into ¼ inch thick rounds

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil

1 garlic glove, minced

Ricotta cheese- ½ cup

Grated Parmesan- ½ cup

Shredded mozzarella- ¼ cup

1 tablespoon slivered basil leaves

Egg Wash: 1 egg yolk and 1 teaspoon water combined

Don’t Let the Word Pastry Scare You

Pastry is the first step and our recipe is very simple, so no need to get scared by the word “pastry”.  For the pastry dough, combine the flour, salt, and then cut in the butter. My technique is to use 2 butter knives to produce even mini chunks of butter.

Mix the sour cream, lemon, and water in a separate bowl, then add to the flour mixture until just combined.  Be sure not to overwork the dough.  Now refrigerate for 1 hour.

Cheesy, Creamy Goodness

While the dough chills, let’s get the filling ingredients ready that include our ember fired zucchini rounds.

First, we’ll need to combine the olive oil and garlic so we have an infused oil to add to our cheese filling.  Next, mix the ricotta, parmesan, and mozzarella cheeses together.  Add one teaspoon of the garlic oil and season with salt and pepper.  You can set this mixture aside as you wait on the dough to finish chilling.

Next up, get the rolling pin at the ready, as the dough will be rolled into the galette shape.

Perfect Balance Comes Together

With our dough chilled and then rolled into a 12-inch round, it’s time to start assembling our galette.  Place the dough on parchment lined baking sheet.  Spread the ricotta mixture over the dough leaving a 2-inch border.  The ember fired zucchini slices are next, which I add in a layered “wheel” formation, followed by a generous drizzle of garlic oil.  It’s important that everything stay even for our dough to fold over and hold in all that fabulous filling.

With the cheese filling, ember fired zucchini and garlic oil added, the final ingredient of fresh basil strips is placed on top.  Time to fold over the dough to trap all the filling inside the pastry while it cooks.  A brushing of egg wash to the pastry will ensure everything gets golden during the 40-minute cook time.  Into a 400° oven, setting the timer for 25 minutes to rotate the baking tray.  That will guarantee a consistent color to our galette.

So Good, You May Not Want to Share

With the smoky, char flavor of our coal fired zucchini, the creamy filling of 3 cheeses plus basil and garlic oil, it doesn’t get any better than this!  Our buttery galette pastry adds that sweet undertone that perfectly balances out the flavors.

Whether you serve this as an appetizer, snack or even a lunch or entrée, you’ll love how the zucchini becomes the star without tasting overly smoked.  Feel free to add a side of marinara sauce for an acid kick.

We would love to hear about your version of this recipe or even learn what you do with coal fired zucchini!  Leave a comment, like us, and subscribe, as we bring you recipes, tips, techniques, and science behind wood fired cooking technique.

Looking for more items to ember fire?  Take a look at these articles:

-Ember Roasted Garlic in a Skillet

-Ember Fired Sweet Pepper

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

Dr Smoke

Dr Smoke- “Ember roasted zucchini has a unique flavor and when you add Ricotta for a Galette. It is a superb recipe to entertain your guests palette.”

Ember roasted zucchini has a unique flavor and when you add Ricotta for a Galette it is a superb recipe to entertain your guests palette

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