The next time you're in charge of the cake, ditch the candles or icing tips and embellish it yourself using either flowers, citrus, or candy. In this episode of Picture Perfect Food, we're showing you three easy ways to take the celebratory dessert from canvas to masterpiece — and they're all so easy that you'll be left wondering, "Why didn't I ever think of that before?" The end result is such elegant simplicity that no one will guess your cake came from the market just around the corner.
I'm about to tell you something that may shock you: in culinary school, instructors recommended using canned pumpkin over making homemade pumpkin purée. The reason? No matter how much you process fresh pumpkin, it still has a bit of stringy, gritty fiber that can take away from the texture of your recipes, particularly in baked goods. I'm of the belief that there's room in the world for both fresh and canned pumpkin. What matters is how and when you're using pumpkin.Learn when to use one over the other in recipes.
Brown butter is my go-to trick for adding nutty flavor and depth to everything from moist and flaky fillets of fish to carrot cupcakes, but my first go-around with this classic technique was, admittedly, a bit intimidating. Feeling just as daunted? Don't worry: it's simple, as long as you follow a few key steps, and entirely worth the effort.
Recently, a co-worker came to me with a number of questions about canned, solid pack pumpkin: Is it sweetened? Does it have spices in it? What is it used for?
If you're also curious to know, here's the answer you've been waiting for. Solid pack pumpkin is exactly that: just pumpkin, and nothing else (despite the misleading pumpkin pie that is often on the label). It's sometimes called pumpkin puree or "100% pure pumpkin" to distinguish it from the similarly named pumpkin pie filling, which contains sugar and spices.
Although you can make it yourself, buying solid pack pumpkin — which is free of preservatives — saves you the effort of seeding, roasting, scooping, and blending pumpkin flesh until smooth. The puree can be used as a time-saving measure when making recipes for the likes of pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin soup.
Do images of gray canned green beans and soup that stands up on its own volition come to mind when you think canned food? Think again. Time and time again we turn to the pantry when looking to pull together last-minute meals or set the foundation for an elaborate weekend project. From the classic to the exotic, here's what we keep in our cupboards.
- Tomatoes: While few things beat a juicy peak-season tomato, the rest of the year, canned tomatoes are the way to go. We're partial to whole over diced: whole tomatoes tend to be higher quality and are more versatile.
- Fish: Keep tuna, anchovies, and sardines on hand to add briny bite to salads, or even eat straight out of the tin. Look for those that are packed in their own juices or olive oil, although the best anchovies tend to be packed in salt.
- Pumpkin: As a general rule of thumb, fresh pumpkin is a better choice in savory applications, but canned is the way to go for baked goods, thanks to its consistent moisture levels and smoother texture. Just make sure to choose plain pumpkin over pumpkin pie filling, which is already sweetened and spiced.
- Beans: Canned beans reign supreme when it comes to whipping up speedy weeknight meals. Just make sure to thoroughly rinse away the briny liquid before using.
- Condensed and evaporated milk: Both of these cooked dairy products are baker's staples, essential for key lime pie, dulce de leche, and fudge.
Brewing a cup of tea seems like a no-brainer proposition on the outset, but as anyone who has suffered through a bitter, oversteeped cup can tell you, to do it well requires a pinch of know-how. If you have the packaging for a particular variety of tea, reference that first to determine its ideal brew time and temperature; otherwise, try our handy reference guide below.
Want to reference it next time you're brewing a pot of tea? Download it, print it out, and post it on your refrigerator so you'll never have to look it up again (or, just bookmark this page)!
After taking the time to bake and frost a luscious chocolate layer cake, sloppily serving up a ragged slice is like stopping 10 yards short of the finish line in a race; that extra bit of effort makes all the difference. With that in mind, we're demystifying the art of plating dessert like a pastry chef. Watch the video for tips and tricks, then try out your newfound skills.
Have a hankering for sweet-tart cherry pie, but find yourself intimidated by the process of making pie crust from scratch? Look no further! Not only do we have a near-foolproof pie crust recipe to share, but we've broken the procedure down into a few simple steps sure to elucidate the process for visual learners. So stop fretting (it's easy, we swear!) and start baking.
Before you unceremoniously plop tonight's dinner onto a plate, consider that with a few easy steps, your meal can be elevated into a restaurant-quality presentation. Watch the video for a few pro-level plating tips, then get creative. (Share your handiwork with us on Instagram by using the hashtag #SavorySight.)
It's an ultracomforting sign of Fall to have the scent of cooked apples floating in the kitchen. These three methods of cooking apples are required for everything from a quick snack to preserves to an elaborate dessert.
For an easy dessert, cut an apple, like Gala, in wedges, and sprinkle it with cinnamon, salt, and the sweetener of your choice (cane sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, or agave). Every microwave will differ, but typically the apple will cook in about one and a half to two minutes. Eat it immediately as is, or serve it à la mode.