I’ve been MIA due to rehearsals for Miracle on 34th Street that are taking over my life.  So, now that I have a little bit of free time here during the day, I’m going to write a quick post with 2 recipes that I think are pretty great.

Apples and pumpkins.  Those are, to me, the symbolic fruit/vegetable of fall.  When fall rolls around, all of a sudden, people are going crazy over apples and pumpkins.  So, I will feature 2 recipes that I brought to our family Thanksgiving get together (of course, I volunteered to bring dessert…).

Prepped apples

Philadelphia-Style Apple Cake
Be sure to grease the Bundt pan really well to avoid sticking!

6 cups peeled and thinly sliced Granny Smith apples (about 3 large)
1/2 cup plus 4 T. granulated sugar, divided
1 T. cinnamon
3 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
4 eggs
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1 c. vegetable oil (or 1/2 c. veg. oil + 1/2 c. apple sauce)
1/2 c. orange juice
2 1/2 t. vanilla

1.  Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt or tube pan.
2. Combine apple slices with 4 T. sugar and cinnamon, set aside.
3.  Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, set aside.
4.  Beat eggs with remaining granulated sugar and brown sugar.  Add veg. oil, orange juice and vanilla, beat well.  Gradually blend in flour mixture and mix until well blended (about 1 minute).
5.  Pour 1/3 of batter into pan.  Top with half the apple slices, draining off any liqui.  Pour in half the remaining batter and top with remaining apple slices.  Top with remaining batter, making sure apples are covered.
6.  Bake 55-60 minutes until top is golden brown and a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Let cool 10 minutes in pan.  Turn out onto wire rack and let cool completely.  Serves 16

(adapted from AmericanProfile, courtesy of Carolyn Wyman, PHiladelphia, PA)

Tube pan Apple Cake

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Pie pumpkin

Crust (from Trout Point Lodge Cookbook, makes seven 9-10 inch tart crusts)
1 3/4 c. sugar
3 1/2 c. (7 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
8 1/2 c. flour

1.  Combine sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla in large bowl and mix with whisk or electric mixer on low speed.  Mix until ingredients are just combined; do not overwork.
2.  With vigorous whisking motions or on med. speed, add flour a bit at a time, until mixture is combined and smooth (small chunks of butter may remain).  Do not overmix., or the dough will become tough and mealy.  Stop mixing as soon as the dough forms a cohesive mass and can be formed into a ball.
3.  Using a scale, divide the dough into 7 equal parts.  Shape each one into a ball, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate.  The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 wks or in the freezer for up to 1 month (thaw in refrigerator before rolling out).
4.  When you are ready to use the dough, remove plastic wrap and place dough on a floured work surface.  Press on the ball to form a 1 1/2 in thick disk.  Roll it out according to instructions in the pie or tart recipe.

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees C (175 degrees C).  Roll crust out and press into 9×13 pan and set in freezer while making filling.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk, then remaining two eggs, pumpkin, remaining 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, and salt; mix well. Pour over crust; sprinkle with pecans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until set.
  4. Cool, then chill in refrigerator. Cut into squares. Store covered in refrigerator.

*option:  top each bar with a pecan.