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Bourbon Cinnamon Pecan Squares with The Salt Table’s Cinnamon Sugar

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table’s Cinnamon Sugar

Adapted from Damon Lee Fowler’s cookbook Essentials of Southern Cooking, these are perfect for tailgate parties. Kissing cousin to that old Southern favorite, those bite-sized pecan pie tartlets known as tassies, these get a nice lift from the Salt Table’s Cinnamon Sugar and since they don’t have to be shaped into individual tartlets are a snap to make.

Makes 2 dozen

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole pecan halves
  • 10 ounces (about 2 cups) Southern soft wheat or all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 2 tablespoons extra-fine white cornmeal
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Salt
  • 10 ounces (1¼ cups or 2½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup (tightly packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Salt Table Cinnamon Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon

How to make it:

  1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375° F. Spread pecans on baking sheet and toast in center of oven until beginning to color, about 8 minutes. Let cool and roughly chop. Reduce oven temperature to 350° F.
  2. Sift together 2 cups flour, cornmeal, ½ cup sugar and small pinch salt. Add 8 ounces (1 cup, or 2 sticks) butter and work into flour until smooth. You may do first part of this step in food processor fitted with steel blade. Put in flour, meal, sugar, and salt and pulse several times to sift. Add butter and process until mixture resembles coarse meal. Turn out into mixing bowl and finish blending by hand. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Press the dough into a 9-by-13-inch pan in a uniform layer over the bottom and about ½-inch up the sides. Lightly prick it with fork and bake in center of oven 20 minutes, or lightly browned, then remove and let cool slightly.
  4. Melt the remaining butter, let cool slightly, and beat it together with the eggs, remaining ½ cup sugar, brown sugar, Salt Table Cinnamon Sugar, and a small pinch salt. Stir in the bourbon and pecans. Sift in remaining tablespoon of flour and stir until smooth. Spread this evenly over the crust and bake until golden and set, about 25 minutes. Cool it in the pan on a wire cooling rack before cutting into 24 squares.

Cinnamon Sugar

Old Fashioned Ambrosia

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table’s Coconut Sugar

The natural coconut flavor of the Salt Table’s Coconut Sugar intensifies the flavor of fresh grated coconut and, when you don’t have a fresh nut to grate, perks up frozen flaked coconut.

 

Serves 6 to 8

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 small, fresh coconut with juice or about 2 cups unsweetened frozen coconut, thawed
  • 1 fresh, ripe pineapple
  • 6 large, sweet oranges, such as navel or Honeybell
  • Salt Table Toasted Coconut Sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • 12-15 Maraschino Cherries, pitted and halved, optional

HOW TO MAKE IT:

  1. If not using a fresh coconut, skip to step 2. Fit a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl. With a skewer, ice pick, or Philips-head screwdriver, punch out the stem scars that make the monkey face on one side of the coconut. Invert it over the strainer and drain. The juice should smell of fresh coconut: if it’s musty, discard the whole thing. Lay the nut on an unbreakable surface (a patio, bare concrete floor, front walk). Tap it firmly around the middle with a hammer, rotating, until it cracks and splits. Turn each half rounded end up, and tap until the shell breaks apart. Pry the white flesh from the shell, peel off the brown skin, and shred the nutmeat with a fine grater.
  2. Cut off the stem and sprout ends of the pineapple, and peel it. Cut out the core and slice the pineapple in 1/4-inch thick pieces. A pineapple corer, which looks like a corkscrew on steroids, makes short work of this step or if you’re lucky, some grocers will peel and core it for you. Cut the sliced pineapple into bite-sized chunks.
  3. Cut off the stem and blossom ends of the orange, cutting all the way through to the pulp. Holding the fruit over a bowl to catch the juices, peel them by cutting all the way through to the inner pulp. Slice crosswise ¼-inch-thick and remove the seeds from each slice.
  4. Cover the bottom of a deep glass bowl with a layer of oranges, sprinkle generously with coconut, a teaspoon or so of the coconut sugar, and a tablespoon or so regular granulated sugar to taste. Cover with a layer of pineapple and sprinkle with more coconut, coconut sugar, and regular sugar. If liked, scatter a few cherry halves among the pineapple. Repeat until all the fruit is in the dish, finishing with a layer of oranges and a thick one of coconut and, if using, cherry halves for garnish. Let stand 1 hour before serving or cover tightly and refrigerate until needed.

Toasted Coconut Sugar

 

Wine Jelly and Bourbon Custard (2 Recipes)

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table’s Savannah Cinnamon and Vanilla Sugars 

This old-fashioned holiday treat has lost a lot of its cachet thanks to the advent of packaged flavored gelatin, but it is a lovely, light dessert that (somewhat) counterbalances heavy holiday fare, especially when we’ve rather over-indulged ourselves.

The Salt Table’s Cinnamon and Vanilla infused sugars simplify the spicing of this traditional treat and infuse them with deep flavor without having to food with whole cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans.

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large or 2 small lemons
  • 2¼ cups water
  • 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons Salt Table Cinnamon Sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-2/3 cups cream sherry, madeira, or port
  • Bourbon Custard (recipe follows)

HOW TO MAKE IT:

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from half of a large or all of a small lemon in 2-3 pieces. Halve and juice the lemons through strainer. Bring 2 cups of water and the zest to a boil in a small saucepan. Adjust the heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, dissolve the gelatin in remaining ¼ cup cold water and let it soften 5 minutes. Add both sugars to the simmering water and stir until dissolved. Turn off the heat. Add the softened gelatin and stir well, making sure that the gelatin completely dissolves. Let it cool.
  3. Stir in the sherry and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Taste and adjust the lemon juice, stir well, and pour it into individual glass or crystal dishes such as champagne glasses or, if you happen to have them, those trumpet-shaped jelly glasses. Refrigerate until set, about 4 hours. Serve with Bourbon Custard poured over each, or pass the custard in a pitcher.

Bourbon Custard

The Salt Table’s Vanilla Sugar infuses delicate but distinctive vanilla flavoring into this traditional Southern treat without the trouble a whole vanilla bean or sharp flavor that vanilla extract often imparts.

Makes about 2½ cups

  • 2 cups half and half
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon Salt Table Vanilla Bean Sugar
  • 7 tablespoons (½ cup minus 1 tablespoon) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon

HOW TO MAKE IT:

  1. If you don’t have a really heavy-bottomed saucepan with a copper or aluminum core, prepare the bottom pan of a double boiler with simmering water. Over direct medium heat, scald the milk in a heavy-bottomed pan or top pan of a double boiler, bringing it just under the boiling point. When it’s almost boiling, if you’re using the heavy pan, lower the heat to medium-low or put the double-boiler top pan over the pan of simmering water.
  2. In heatproof bowl, beat together the egg yolks and both sugars until it’s light and smooth and runs off the spoon in ribbons. Slowly beat in 1 cup of the hot milk, then slowly beat into the remaining hot milk.
  3. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden or metal spoon (not silicone), until it thickly coats the back of the spoon, about 3-5 minutes. Remove it from the heat (if using a double boiler, remove it from over the water) and stir until cooled slightly, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the bourbon. Let it cool completely, cover, and chill before serving

Cinnamon Sugar

Vanilla Bean Sugar

Bourbon Apple Cobbler

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table’s Cinnamon Sugar

Homemade apple pies and cobblers are to fall what fruitcake is to Christmas, and The Salt Table’s Cinnamon Sugar makes putting the filling together a cinch. Since the flavor is infused into the sugar, it’s more intense than regular sugar, you wouldn’t want to use it in the same proportions that you’d use regular cinnamon sugar, which is just ground cinnamon blended with white sugar. Here it’s blended with Turbinado (raw) sugar.

Serves 6

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 large tart apples such as Granny Smith
  • 3 tablespoons Salt Table Cinnamon Sugar
  • ¼-½ cup Turbinado (raw) sugar or regular granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons instant-blending or all-purpose flour
  • Basic Pastry (Recipe Follows) or 1 package roll-out pie crust
  • 1 large egg white lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
  • Vanilla, cinnamon ice cream, or dulce de leche, for serving, optional

HOW TO MAKE IT:

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 400° F. Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples. Put them in a ceramic or glass bowl and sprinkle them with 2 tablespoons of the Cinnamon Sugar, Turbinado sugar to taste, and the bourbon. Toss gently and let stand while you prepare the crust.
  2. Roll out 2/3 of the pastry to a little less than 1/8-inch thick. Line a 9-to-9½-inch deep-dish pie plate or 9-inch round casserole with it. Trim the edges of the crust so that the pastry overlaps the sides by about half an inch. Lightly prick the bottom with a fork. Sprinkle the instant-blending flour over the apples, fold it in, and pour the apples and their accumulated juice into the pastry-lined dish. Level them with a spatula.
  3. Roll out the remaining pastry, trim it to completely cover the top of the cobbler, cut 2-3 vent holes in the pastry with a small, decorative cutter, and lay the pastry over the apple filling. Moisten the edges with cold water and fold the bottom pastry over it, then crimp the edges to seal it. If you like, cut decorative shapes out of the excess pastry, paint the backs with cold water, and lay them over the edges of the crust. Brush the entire top crust lightly with the diluted egg white and sprinkle it with the remaining tablespoon of Cinnamon Sugar.
  4. Set the dish on a rimmed baking sheet and put it into the center of the oven. Bake 25 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 375 degrees. Bake until the filling is bubbling at the center and the crust is golden brown, about 30-35 minutes longer. Let it cool on a wire rack for at least 15-20 minutes before serving, if liked, with a scoop of vanilla, cinnamon, or dulce de leche ice cream.

Basic Pastry

Makes enough to make 2 9-inch pie shells, 1 double crust pie, or to cover 4 individual potpies

  • 1¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chilled lard or shortening, cut into bits
  • 8 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • ¼ to ½ cup ice water
  1. Sift or whisk together the flour, salt, and sage. Cut in the shortening and butter with a pastry blender until the flour resembles coarse meal with random lumps of fat no larger than small peas. Stir in ¼ cup of ice water and work it in. Continue adding water by spoonfuls as needed until the dough is holding together but not wet.
  2. Gather the pastry into two balls (for the above recipe, make one a little larger than the other) press each one into a 1-inch thick flat disk, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or for up to 2 days. Let it come almost to room temperature before rolling it out.

 

Cinnamon Sugar