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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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!

Our Grilled Peaches for the perfect salad addition with sweet onion, Tomatoes, and fresh herbs!

Our Grilled Peaches for the perfect salad addition with sweet onion, Tomatoes, and fresh herbs!

GRILLED PEACHES FOR THE PERFECT SALAD ADDITION

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If you’ve been a follower of our recipes and techniques for a while, then you’re aware of our preference to grill, smoke, coal cook, and ember fire in-season produce.  Peaches are no exception!

I’ve got my two quarts of fresh peaches and a plan to grill these on the charcoal grill using charwood coals.  Then I’ll use my luscious smoked peaches in a salad that features two additional seasonal ingredients – tomato and shallots.

Get your chimney starter of charwood or charcoal and meet me at the grill for this quick technique and recipe featuring peaches.

Fire Up the Grill!

Whenever you use the charcoal grill, it’s always best to get it lit about 30 minutes ahead of cooking.  I’m using a kettle-style grill made by Stôk that has a removable center grate for an assortment of inserts.  I won’t be using any inserts for this cook as my peaches will stay in a disposable foil pan for easy cooking and removal.

Start by placing charcoal or charwood in a chimney starter.  Place a Fire starter in the charcoal area of the grill and place the filled chimney starter over the starter.  Lite the Fire starter and allow to remain in place until all the charwood has ignited and started to reduce to hot coals.  While that’s burning, let’s prepare the peaches.  Be sure you have a couple of wood chunks available to add to the coals when we are ready to grill.  I like to use the single filet wood chunk size from SmokinLicious®.

Tasting Notes: there are differences in charcoal so be sure to use a natural charcoal or charwood product rather than briquets as briquets will produce more heat than you need.

Perfect Peach Bites

With our charcoal grill going, it’s time to start on the peaches.  There are a few ways to remove the skin from peaches including placing them in hot water for a few minutes then removing and placing in a bowl of ice water.  The skins will just peel off.  I’m an old school so I use a sharp paring knife and just remove the skin.

Once the skin is removed, it’s time to cut the peach into bite-size pieces.  You can easily cut around the pit and cut those slices into pieces.  Place all the pieces in a foil pan in an even layer.

Tasting Notes: Try to purchase peaches that have some firmness to them if you don’t plan to grill them right away.  The peaches should have no bruising and have a slight give when touched.  Too soft and those peaches won’t hold their shape when exposed to the grill’s heat.dicing the peachs in preparation for the smoker

 

Smoking Process

With the peaches prepared, time to take them to the grill.  Pour the chimney of hot coals into the grill’s charcoal area and add the wood chunks.  Add the pan of prepared peaches and placed the lid on the grill.  Be sure the outtake vent on the lid is ½ way open.  The intake vent at the charcoal area should be ¼ way open.  Now allow smoking for 15 minutes prior to checking.  Remember, we want to add smoke without reducing the peaches to a puree.

Tasting Notes:  Since peaches contain 89% water, they take in the smoke vapor extremely well.  Keep that in mind when you select both the charcoal and wood.  Remember, oak based charcoal tends to burn hot and has a stronger undertone to fruit.

ingredients table

 

Final Salad Prep- Grilled Peaches for the perfect salad addition!

While the peaches are absorbing all that great smoke flavor, return to the kitchen and prepare the remaining ingredients for our salad.

You’ll need:

  • 1 lb. tomatoes cut into 1/2’” pieces; or if using cherry or grape tomato, halved
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for final drizzle
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin
  • fresh mint leaves torn
  • salt and pepper

I start by slicing my tomatoes in half, then add a teaspoon of salt to them while sitting in a colander so I can render some of the water.

the ingredients in the serving bowl and ready to add the dressing

While the tomatoes sit, I start slicing the shallot into thin strips.   At this point, you’ll want to check the peaches.  They should be close to or ready to remove from the grill.  I like to place them in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to cool them down for the salad.  While that’s happening, let’s prepare the vinaigrette.

I prefer to mix all the vinaigrette ingredients in a measuring cup so I can easily pour it to the salad right before serving, to keep the tomato and peach from getting too soggy.  Start with the extra virgin olive oil and add the rice vinegar.   Next, the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and fresh pepper.  Whisk it all together and set aside while you combine the salad ingredients.

Tasting Notes: you can substitute cider vinegar for the rice vinegar and any color of tomato will do though I lean toward the reds and purples to give a color contrast from the orange peach.

Smoked peaches go into the serving bowl first, following by the tomatoes, and shallots.  Pour the vinaigrette over the salad within an hour of serving and top with the torn mint leaves.  A perfect balance of sweet, tart, smoky, and refreshing.  An easy method and recipe you can have in 60 minutes.  I love peaches so try our grilled peaches for the perfect salad addition for your next dish to pass!  You will tantalize the guest taste buds!

SmokinLicious products used in this blog:

Charwood

Wood Chunks- Single Filet

Additional reading:

-PEACHES WOOD FIRED FOR A SMOKY FLAVORFUL GAZPACHO

-STEPPING UP RADISH SALAD WITH A WOOD-FIRED FLARE

-RASPBERRIES GO TO THE GRILL– FOR THE ULTIMATE MINI TART APPETIZER

-GRILLED PEACHES FOR THE PERFECT SALAD

Dr. Smoke add some mint, onions and tomatoes to Grilled Peaches for a perfect salad addition!

Dr. Smoke add some mint, onions, and tomatoes to Grilled Peaches for the perfect salad addition!

Raspberries go to the grill recipe is a mini tart with cheese and smoky raspberries on top- Yummy!

Raspberries go to the grill recipe is a mini tart with Brie and smoky raspberries on top- Yummy!

RASPBERRIES GO TO THE GRILL FOR THE ULTIMATE MINI TART APPETIZER

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our fresh picked raspberries

Known to help aid weight loss, be a cancer preventer, and assist your autoimmune system, raspberries are one of the fresh fruits that can have a short availability depending on where you live.  I like to take advantage of the fresh harvest and use them of course in desserts but I also like to blend them with savory items for a perfect bite of balanced flavors.

That’s why I’m taking fresh raspberries and smoking them first to enrich their flavor then combining them with creamy brie cheese for a great, five-ingredient appetizer.

Take a trip to your fresh produce stand, farmer’s market, or even the grocery store and pick up some raspberries for this easy recipe.

Ingredients & Prep

Beautiful fresh raspberries are going to the grill for a smoking that will turn them into a perfect jam-like consistency to be added to a tartlet.  First, gather these five ingredients for a full cook event on your favorite grill: There are not too many ingredients for this easy recipe

  • 1-1/2 cups raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 30 phyllo tart shells
  • 8 oz. Brie

If you plan to use a charcoal grill for the cooking, do the grill’s set up first so the fire can die down to hot embers.  You’ll want to remember that no matter if you use a charcoal or LP/Gas grill, you’ll be setting up a two-zone cooking method, which by now you likely know is my favorite way to grill and smoke foods.  You’ll also need a couple of wood chunks for the smoke infusion which will be placed on the hot coals of a charcoal grill or the heat shield or in a smoking box of the gas grill.

While your heating up the grill, rinse and pat dry the 1-1/2 cups of raspberries – fresh or store bought – and place in a disposable foil pan.  When the grill is ready, add your disposable pan of raspberries to the unlit side of the grill.  Leave to cook for about 15 minutes.

Turning Fruit to Fruit Sauce-Raspberries go to the grill!Raspberries on the grill with a wood chunk

After bringing the raspberries to the grill and cooking with wood chunks for about 15 minutes, you’ll find that the raspberries have softened and broken down, making for the perfect sauce-like consistency.  Time to sweeten and thicken them up.  Start by adding 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to the pan and stir to combine.  Allow the mixture to continue to cook for another 10 minutes.  Then stir again and place on the warming rack of your grill.

Tart Time

I love the ready-made phyllo tart shells available in most grocery stores.  This makes our recipe super fast and easy.  You’ll need 30 premade phyllo tart shells and about 8 ounces of Brie.

Taking the brie, cut into ½-inch slices and then cut those slices in half.  Cut the slices into ½-inch cubes.  You’ll need about 2-3 cubes per shell so prepare 90 cubes.  Use the leftovers in other recipes or eat on their own. Be sure the brie is cold when you cut it especially if you’ve purchased a double crème or you’ll have issues keeping the cubes firm.Brie cut into small squares

With the brie cubed and the tart shells laid out in a pan, it’s time to take these tarts to the grill for some melting.  Just like when the raspberries were smoked using a two-zone method, we place the tart shells on the unlit side of the grill and the raspberry filling on the warming rack.  Close the lid and allow the brie to melt and absorb the great wood flavor from our wood chunks.  As the cheese melts, you may need to rotate the pan to ensure an even melting.

After the brie-filled tart shells have melted, it’s time to take the smoked raspberry sauce that we sweetened and thickened to become our sweet-tart complement to the brie’s creaminess.  Simply spoon a tablespoon or so of smoked raspberry sauce on top of the melted brie, making sure to stay within the tart shell edges.  Allow the tarts to cook for just a few additional minutes, then remove from the grill and serve immediately.

With the crunch and lightness of the phyllo shell, the creaminess of the brie and the sweet-tart of the smoked raspberry sauce, this is the perfect light appetizer that will be enjoyed by everyone.  And don’t forget, the entire recipe can be done on the grill!

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

Related reading:

-SMOKED STRAWBERRY HAND PIE

-EMBER FIRED EGGPLANT & FETA TARTS

-Smoked Strawberries with Hand Held Smoker

Dr. Smoke you must try this recipe- Raspberries go to the grill

Dr. Smoke you must try this recipe Raspberries go to the grill with our filet wood chunks!

 

 

STRAWBERRY BELLINI BOTH SWEET & SMOKY

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I’ve worked on a trio of recipes to take full advantage of the short seasonal harvest of strawberries we have here in Western New York State.  I’ve already shared with you my Smoked Strawberry Hand Pie and my Creamy Smoked Strawberry Semifreddo.  Now, it’s time for a refreshing cocktail that also features smoked strawberry.

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.  Then prepare to make our version of the strawberry Bellini which has a trademark smoked strawberry to balance the sweetness of simple syrup and Prosecco.

Simple Syrup

the pot of simple syrup ingredients blending over low temperatures

After smoking the strawberries using either a handheld food smoker, stovetop smoker, gas grill or charcoal smoker – we have instructional videos on all these techniques – the next step for our Bellini is to make the simple syrup.  Taking 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water, I add both to a saucepan set over medium heat and stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved.  Then I remove it from heat and allow to cool.  At this point, I like to pour the simple syrup into a liquid measuring cup to make adding to our cocktail easier.

Bellini Base

Time to start making the Bellini.  I add ice cubes to a blender and pulse them into crushed ice.  I then take my smoked strawberry juice which I reserved from my previous smoked strawberries and add about 1 cup to the crushed ice.  If you’re using whole smoked strawberries, you can pulse these into the crushed ice.  After adding my smoked strawberry juice, I add about 1 cup of simple syrup.  Pulse the mixture until blended and make any necessary adjustments to ice, strawberry or syrup flavors until you have the consistency and balance of sweet and smoky that you like.  Keep in mind, you will be pouring this mixture into the glass first, then adding the sparkling Prosecco so don’t over-sweeten.strawberries and simple syrup mixture in the blender adding ice to chill

Perfect Balance

Now it’s time to bring everything together for the final drink.  First, grab a bottle of Prosecco.  Take the glass of your choice and fill it about halfway with the smoked strawberry mixture.  Fill the rest of the glass with chilled Prosecco.  I like to top my glass off with some fresh mint.  Serve immediately.  Immensely refreshing on a hot day and festive looking too. The perfect way to use less than perfect strawberries.  Cheers from SmokinLicious®!

Tasting Notes

Now, this is a drink base that easily can be adapted for other liquor content.  Feel free to add tequila, rum, even vodka.  Just reduce the hard liquor amount to 2 ounces.

Purchase products:

Charwood

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

Wood Chips- Piccolo®

Additional reading:

-STRAWBERRIES GET SMOKY FOR AN AQUA FRESCA COCKTAIL

-ELEVATE YOUR KIWI CAIPIROSKA

-SMOKED STRAWBERRY HAND PIE

-THE SMOKED PEAR BELLINI COCKTAIL

 

DR. SMOKE HAS A THREE CHEERS FOR STRAWBERRY BELLINI BOTH SWEET & SMOKY

DR. SMOKE HAS A THREE CHEERS FOR STRAWBERRY BELLINI BOTH SWEET & SMOKY

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

Listen

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

 

Wood fired guacamole by grilling the avocado's before you make the guacamole will excite your taste buds! Your quests will wonder how you did this simple recipe by adding only one small step!

Wood fired guacamole by grilling the avocado’s before you make the guacamole will excite your taste buds! Your quests will wonder how you did this simple recipe by adding only one small step!

THE KISS OF FIRE TO GUACAMOLE

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The single seeded berry, fleshy fruit we know as avocado is loaded with healthy fats, 4 grams of protein, and 975 milligrams of potassium which is nearly twice as much as a banana.  With 18 of the amino acids recommend in daily consumption, you’ll want to include avocado in your diet.

We thought we would take this fruit favorite and add a flavor level for your avocado recipes by wood-firing the avocado.  This simple step will bring all the nutritional benefits of the fruit with a bold new taste.

7 Fresh Ingredients

Once you’ve wood fired your avocados on a gas or charcoal grill (see our posting on this technique), you need to gather the following ingredients:

  • 3 wood fired avocados
  • 1 finely grated garlic clove
  • 1 finely chopped Serrano or jalapeno pepper
  • ¼ of a white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

In addition to the above ingredients, you’ll need a blender or a mortar and pestle.  I prefer the mortar and pestle so I can control the level of “mash” that occurs to each ingredient.

Layering on the Flavors

First up, you need to mash up the wood fired avocado flesh.  The best guacamole has some chunky quality to it so keep this in mind when you are mashing the flesh.  Once the avocado is mashed up, add the pepper and combine that as well.  You can select the pepper based on whether you want heat or not.  If you prefer a guacamole that has no spice, then add a sweet pepper.

Once the grilled avocado and pepper are mixed, time to add the other ingredients.  First in, chopped onion followed by lime juice, cilantro and salt.  Combine everything well ensuring that any chunks are not too big for any of the ingredients.  Soon you’ll get the aroma of all the fresh ingredients and have an idea just how this is going to taste.

PREPARE TO SERVE THE WOOD FIRED GUACAMOLE!

The best part about wood fired guacamole is just how simple it is to make yet the flavors are so fresh and intense.  Select your favorite serving piece.  Once all the ingredients are combined, scrape all the contents from the mortar and place in the serving dish or bowl.  I like to top my guacamole with some smoked paprika so it has a bit of color to the top. Keep in mind, you don’t need to just use this with taco chips.  This is a great topping for a burger or grilled chicken sandwich and even works well with salad greens.  You’ll love how the wood flavor adds another dimension to this favorite food.

We hope you found inspiration with this wood fired guacamole recipe.  We’d love to see your photos of this 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.

Additional reading:

-WOOD GRILLING AVOCADO

-HUMMUS TAKES A SPICY-CHAR TWIST

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double and Single Filet

Dr Smoke- "Shhh, don't tell your guests how you did it. This is our secret ingredient."

Dr Smoke- “Shhh, don’t tell your guests how you did it. This is our secret ingredient.”

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