Category Archives: Holiday

A Taste of Spring!

The first week of spring here in the Smoky Mountains brought us a couple of snowy days, but now that the weather’s warming up, we’re all coming down with severe cases of spring fever. And one of the best cures we know of is cake! So for our last entry for March – which is also National Flour Month – we offer you our Blueberry and Lemon Cornmeal Cake. Lightened with ricotta cheese and brightened with fresh berries and lemon juice, the batter features not only our freshly ground cornmeal, but also Old Mill’s all-purpose Plain Flour. It makes a simple but stunning addition to an Easter buffet or any other spring or summer occasion. Come autumn, you can easily turn this versatile recipe into a holiday cake by substituting fresh cranberries for the blueberries, similar to our Cranberry Orange Cornmeal Cake we offer online. This cake also freezes well, so if you like to do all your baking at one time and give home-baked items to friends and family, this will be a hit!

Blueberry and Lemon Cornmeal Cake

Makes: 12 to 16 servings

Ingredients:

Butter for prepping the pan

2 cups Old Mill Plain Flour

1 cup Old Mill Yellow Cornmeal

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

7 ounces (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1/4 cup Old Mill Pure Maple Syrup

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Grated zest of 1 lemon (1 teaspoon)

Juice of 1 lemon (2 tablespoons)

1 container (15 ounces) whole milk ricotta cheese, about 2 cups

2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, divided use

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Directions:

  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter, and place the pan on a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. Place the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl, and stir to combine. Set aside.
  3. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy, 30 seconds. Add the sugar, and beat on medium until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each egg is incorporated, about 20 seconds each. Add the maple syrup, oil, and the grated lemon zest and juice. Blend on medium speed until well combined, 45 seconds.
  4. Turn about a third of the dry ingredients into the batter and blend on low until just incorporated. Add half of the ricotta cheese and blend. Add another third of dry ingredients and blend, then add the rest of the ricotta, and finally the rest of the dry ingredients, blending just to incorporate. Fold 1 1/2 cups of the blueberries into the batter, and blend on low speed to break up the berries a bit, about 30 seconds. Turn the batter into the prepared pan. Scatter the remaining cup of blueberries on top of the batter, and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Place the baking sheet with springform pan in the oven.
  5. Bake until the cake is well browned, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 to 20 minutes. After 1 hour, gently cover the top of the cake with foil to protect it from over-browning. Remove the cake from the oven, and let the cake cool in the pan 20 to 25 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan, and unfasten the sides of the pan. Let the cake cool completely before slicing, about 1 hour. Slice and serve with vanilla ice cream.

 

Southern Pecan Snowballs

IMG_3379

This classic, buttery, not-too-sweet cookie is a must during the holidays.  Dredge them once while warm, then again after they cool, to give them a powdery sugar coating that’s thick and even.

 

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus additional for rolling

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/3 cups sifted OLD MILL UNBLEACHED PLAIN FLOUR

1 cup very finely chopped pecans

About 3 tablespoons OLD FORGE DISTILLERY BOURBON, optional (Available at Old Forge Distillery)

Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine butter, 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl;  beat at low speed of electric mixer until blended. Add vanilla;  increase speed and beat until fluffy.  Add Old Mill Unbleached Plain Flour, in batches, beating at low speed until combined.  Beat in pecans.

Roll dough by scant tablespoons into balls and arrange on baking sheets.  Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes or until ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Working with one baking sheet at a time, bake until edges just begin to brown slightly, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, spread 1-2 cups confectioners’ sugar on a large piece of wax paper.  While cookies are still warm, brush cookies with bourbon, if using; roll in confectioners’ sugar and place on wire rack to cool completely. When cool, coat again with more confectioners’ sugar.

Cornbread Dressing

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
5 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons OLD MILL CORNBREAD DRESSING SEASONING MIX
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Buttermilk Cornbread (recipe follows)

Directions:
Butter Old Mill Pigeon River Pottery Large Casserole and set aside.

Melt butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add celery and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat;  stir in chicken broth, Old Mill Cornbread Dressing Seasoning Mix, salt, pepper, and eggs. Crumble Buttermilk Cornbread coarsely and stir into vegetable mixture.

Transfer to prepared Pigeon River Pottery Large Casserole. Place in cold oven; heat to 375 degrees F.  Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes.  Uncover and bake until lightly browned and set, 25 to 30 minutes.  Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

 

BUTTERMILK CORNBREAD

 

Ingredients:
4 cups OLD MILL SELF-RISING CORNMEAL
4 cups buttermilk (not nonfat)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or shortening, melted
3 large eggs

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 13- x 9-inch baking pan and set aside.

Place cornmeal in a large bowl;  whisk in buttermilk, melted butter, and eggs.  Scrape into prepared baking pan; return to oven.  Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Sausage Chili Bean Dip

chili Bean Dip

Ingredients:
8 ounces breakfast sausage, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons OLD MILL CHILI STARTER MIX
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Colby Jack cheese

Directions:
Cook sausage and onion in a large skillet, stirring to crumble sausage, until browned, about 5 minutes. Drain well.

Mash pinto beans in a large bowl using a potato masher; stir in black beans, tomatoes, cilantro, and CHILI STARTER MIX. Spoon into a PIGEON RIVER POTTERY MEDIUM CASSEROLE. Cover with foil.

Place casserole in oven; heat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake 45 minutes or until hot. Uncover and sprinkle with cheese; continue baking 15 minutes. Serve hot with chips.

Makes about 4 cups.