Bran Muffins

From Jeb, at YAAPS.

Bran Muffins

1.5 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup bran (I like oat bran best)
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup oil

Mix dry ingredients. Mix bran and milk and let stand for 2 minutes then add oil and egg and beat well. Add dry ingredients. Spoon into cupcake pan. Bake 25 minutes at 400F.

Fruits of the Earth Cheesecake

From King Arthur; I haven’t tried it yet but want to.

Fruits of the Earth Cheesecake

This creamy cheesecake features an incredibly simple, four-ingredient filling. But it’s really the crust, the pan it’s baked in, and the topping that make it stand out (and make it outstanding!)

First of all, the crust. “Give me great-tasting whole grains” is the call heard throughout the land these days, and why not? We could all use more fiber and natural vitamins and minerals in our diets, and we might as well enjoy them in a familiar, sweet setting. This whole-wheat-and-oat cookie crust rolls out beautifully, and bakes to a lovely deep gold. What’s more, it tastes great: nutty and full-flavored.

Next, the preparation. Unlike most cheesecakes, which call for a springform pan and a water bath in the oven, this one is baked, simply and easily, in a pie pan set right on the oven rack. Finally, the topping: all-natural, no-sugar-added fruit jam. Pick your favorite flavor; we prefer (of course!) our brand new, made-in-Vermont King Arthur all-natural fruit jams. Why? Because they’re made without pectin, meaning they have a more intense fruit flavor, AND they’re very easy to work with: there’s no need to heat these jams to make them spreadable: they just flow beautifully onto your cake.

So, if you’re looking for a late-summer, feel-good, taste-good treat, here it is. We won’t go so far as to say that cheesecake is GOOD for you, but adding whole grains and unsweetened fruit to your life is a positive thing. And what’s more, this cake tastes great. It’s a flavor-and-diet win-win!

5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup + 2 tablespoons King Arthur Traditional Whole Wheat Flour or White Whole Wheat Flour
1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese (low-fat is fine)
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

one 8 to 10-ounce jar all-natural, no-sugar-added fruit jam or preserves (King Arthur preferred)

To make the crust: In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, baking powder, salt, and vanilla until the butter and sugar are combined. Add the egg, beating until smooth. Mix in the flour and oats.

Gather the dough into a ball, and flatten it into a thick disk. Transfer it to a well-floured work surface, and roll it into a 12” round, about 1/8” thick. Don’t worry; this dough rolls our beautifully, despite its whole-grain makeup. Transfer the crust to a 9” pie pan that’s 1 1/4” to 1 1/2” deep. Trim any edges that extend more than 1” beyond the rim of the pan, then fold the edges under, and press down with the tines of a fork.

Blind-bake the crust in a preheated 375°F oven for 10 minutes. Use your favorite method to keep the crust flat: a lining of parchment, foil, or waxed paper filled with dried beans or uncooked rice; a pie chain; or one of our favorites: the double-pan method. This requires two identical pans without any interior ridges or other folderol. We’re talking just two plain metal or clear glass 9” pie pans. Once the crust has been fitted into one of these pans, nest the other pan inside, atop the crust. Then, turn the whole thing over, and set it on a baking sheet. The pull of gravity will keep the crust from sliding down the sides of the pan as it bakes, and the second pan will keep the bottom flat.

To remove the inner pan once the crust is baked, slip a fork under the rim of the pan and, using the fork and your potholder-protected hand, carefully turn both pans upright. Use the fork to lift the rim of the inner pan enough to grab it, and carefully remove it. Some of the crust may have spread over the rim of the pan; trim it off if it bothers you. Cool the crust completely before filling.

To make the filling: In a medium-sized bowl, slowly beat the cream cheese and sugar until no lumps of cream cheese remain. It’s important to do this slowly; beating at high speed will incorporate air into the cheese, making a light and fluffy cake, instead of a typically dense one. Add the egg and vanilla, again beating slowly until smooth. Spoon the filling into the cooled crust.

Place a piecrust shield, or strips of aluminum foil, over the edges of the crust to prevent over-browning. Bake the cheesecake in a preheated 350°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until it appears set all the way through. Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely on a rack, then cover and refrigerate. About an hour before you want to serve the cake, remove it from the fridge to take the chill off. Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

Oatmeal Pie Crust?

From the King Arthur Flour Company, as part of a recipe for Blueberry Cream Pie that calls for things we don’t use (like marshmallow fluff), but I think the crust looks intriguing, if a bit labor-intensive.

1 1/3 cups old-fashioned or quick rolled oats (not instant oatmeal)
1 cup diced pecans or walnuts
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the oats in a shallow layer in an ungreased 9” round cake pan. Spread the nuts in a shallow layer in another ungreased 9” round cake pan. Bake the nuts for about 8 minutes, until they smell toasty and are beginning to brown. Bake the oats for 15 to 18 minutes, until they’re starting to brown. Watch both the nuts and oats carefully; they go from brown to burned quite quickly. Remove them from the oven, and set aside.

Melt the butter. Transfer the oats and nuts to the work bowl of a food processor. Add the butter, sugar, and salt. Process until oats and nuts are finely ground, and the mixture is cohesive. Remove it from the food processor, and press it into the bottom and up the sides of a 9” pie pan. Bake the crust in a preheated 350°F oven for 14 minutes, or until it’s just barely beginning to brown. Remove it from the oven, and set it on a rack to cool.