Sometimes your apple pie just needs an upgrade...and what's a better upgrade than artisan cheese and lavender caramel? We'll report back if we ever find one.
To celebrate the season, I wanted to bake a non-traditional apple pie using only New England products (and, sneaking in one sweet addition from Brooklyn). The end result was an apple pie with a caramel lavender sauce and cheese crust. And to drink? Mystic Brewery’s Mystic Descendant, a dry stout just bitter enough to offset the sweetness of the pie, with notes of caramel and toffee to complement.
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Photo by Alyssa Persinger
Your answer will likely be "no," but Serious Eats writer Chris E. Crowley urges you to change that. Essentially a dried sour milk, laban kishk is a staple dairy product in many areas of the Middle East, including Turkey and Pakistan.
Sold in irregular blocks or as a powder, kishk has a strong odor, like a well-aged cheese. When reconstituted in water, the kishk from Israel smells very much like pecorino—though the aroma obviously depends on the type of milk used to make it. I found the kishk to be rich and umami-blasting, with a mild saltiness and citrusy sourness, immediately calling to mind a supercharged Parmigiano. Grate some over a plate, dab your finger lightly, and take a lick. You won't regret it.
Photo by Chris Crowley
When did we start dyeing cheese in the first place? The answer dates back further than you probably think. NPR has the story on cheese-dyeing's seventeenth century origins, and if that sounds intriguing, check out our blog real cheese product for more on the history and science of process cheese!
Believe it or not, the holidays are right around the corner. Start of the season off right with these fresh herb and gruyere cheese puffs. Dinner with your in-laws suddenly got a whole lot more enjoyable.
I like to serve these puffs, slightly warm with a big wedge of Brie cheese, and whole grain mustard and jam for serving. They make lovely little bites. Tender, light, and eggy. They make a great appetizer, especially since you can freeze the baked puffs, and simply reheat them in a warm oven just before serving.
Photo by Joy the Baker
Pumpkin bread is fall perfection, whether you're eating it for breakfast, as a snack, or an after dinner treat. You may have slathered cream cheese on it in years past -- but not this year. This year, you're going all out, and topping it with slabs of buttery brie.
A thick slice of pumpkin bread layered with a few thin slices of Brie cheese is one of my great guilty pleasures for breakfast or lunch. If it sounds like a weird combination to you, just think about the interplay of warm autumnal slices and creamy tang you find in a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. You get the same hit from pumpkin bread with Brie, but with -- in my opinion -- a little more elegance.
Photo by Emily Vikre
The great thing about wine is it's the one thing you can prep weeks in advance for Thanksgiving. Just store it in a cool, dark place and you're good to go. But how much should you buy per person? What if a bottle is corked? Do you need a decanter? Don't worry -- the answers to those questions and more live in the link below.
If you have a wine fridge, a cool spot under your stairs, a basement, or a safe closet that isn't anywhere near a heater, you can stock up on wine now, and not have to worry about it for the rest of the month. In fact, if you can afford it, it might make sense to buy enough wine now for not just Thanksgiving, but any parties you have planned for December, too.
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A great fondue is hard to improve upon. That is, unless you add truffles (which by law make everything better...right?). This classic Italian recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser this holiday season.
While the Swiss like a hint of garlic with their fondue, made of gruyère melted with wine, the Piemontesi save their wine for drinking. Fontina, egg yolks and milk are warmed together over a bain marie. The melting mixture is then laced with shavings of fresh, pungent truffle. Use black, if you can't get white, but steer clear of truffle oil, which is usually a chemical concoction. Keep the fonduta warm. Then take a nice baguette or loaf of ciabatta bread, toast it if you like, and watch it happily disappear.
Photo by Emiko Davies
Are you flustered at the cheese counter? Do you forget the name of that delicious bloomy number you tasted last week? Keep a cheese journal! It'll help you remember and differentiate between cheeses, making the whole selection process easier. Make sure to include several categories in your journal, a few of which include the origin, producer, milk style, where you had it, and any accompaniments. You'll be a turophile in no time!
Wine professionals keep journals all the time. Doing so serves as an exercise not only to recall what you've had, but also to flex your descriptor and palatal muscles. What does this cheese really taste like? What kinds of flavors remain, even after you've swallowed? Cheese journaling—like other kinds of more conventional journaling—is a way to be more introspective and thoughtful about your actions.
Homemade yogurt is a beautiful thing. And with only two ingredients, this recipe makes it super simple to try some for yourself. So remind me, why are you eating store-bought yogurt again?
And yet, when embarking upon a new life, why not explore new(ish) culinary techniques as well? Even if you're not moving anywhere out of the ordinary, the feeling of satisfaction from making something yourself is worth the effort. Besides, it's not as if making yogurt from scratch is difficult — it's actually incredibly easy, almost laughably so. For control freaks like me, the ability to know exactly what's going into it is another bonus.
Photo by Nicole Spiridakis
We are all aware that cheese, as a dairy product, is an excellent source of calcium. And that calcium is great for building bones—but did you know it can also contribute to a healthier diet, too? News from the Cheese Caves gives us the skinny on cheese, calcium, the National Dairy Council, and the occasionally funny phrasings of WebMD—check it out!