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Sunday, May 26, 2024

CRL Recipes Series: Pork Belly, Walnut Butter Cake and Pumpkin Pie

Make these delicious dishes in the comfort of your own Capital Region kitchen.

Award-winning Apple Walnut Butter Cake
Courtesy of The Local Flavor Cafe, Watervliet

Makes up to 16 dessert-sized slices
1 c butter
2 c sugar
3 eggs
3 c sifted all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 c peeled chopped NYS apples
2 c chopped walnuts

Sherry Glaze
1/2 c dry sherry
1 c granulated sugar

  • Cook medium-high heat stirring constantly.
  • Bring to boil and for about 2 minutes.
  • Pour on cake while still warm, and it will absorb in leaving a shine.
  • Dust with powdered sugar to finish.


  • Beat melted butter and sugar together.
  • Add eggs one at a time; beat well after each addition.
  • Add sifted flour, soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Stir in vanilla.
  • Fold in walnuts and apples.
  • Pour into greased Bundt or tube cake pan, and bake 1 hour and 20-25 minutes at 325 degrees.
  • Let stand on baking rack for 15-25 minutes, and turn onto cake plate.
  • Ladle sherry glaze onto warm cake and allow to cool completely.
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

Santa Fe Pumpkin Pie
Courtesy of Love Apple Farm, Ghent

2.5 cups flour
1 cup butter
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
Ice water


  • Put dry ingredients in a food processor.
  • Cut the butter into chunks.
  • Place in food processor with dry ingredients.
  • Process until butter is blended into the flour
  • Add one tablespoon water.  Process.
  • Dough should hold together when pinched, but not form a ball.
  • Turn out dough onto a lightly floured counter.
  • Take a rolling pin and roll dough into a big circle.
  • Place big circle of dough into your pie pan.

4 cups pumpkin or butternut squash
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1.5 cups whole milk
3 eggs
1/4 – 1/2 cup chipotle peppers in their sauce


  • Put everything into your food processor.
  • Process for 5 minutes, until everything is completely mixed together.
  • Pour into pie shell.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.
  • Remove and sprinkle pine nuts on top of the pie and bake for 10 minutes until they are toasted and brown.
  • Cool pie completely.
  • Serve with plenty of whipped cream and ice water!

Braised Pork Belly
Courtesy of Brian Bauhofer, Executive Chef, Boathouse Grille, New Baltimore

Salt & pepper
6 stalks lemon grass
2 heads fresh ginger
3-5 pints dark beer
4 pounds pork belly
1 c. brown sugar
2 c. hoisin (can be found in the ethnic aisle in your favorite supermarket)
Thai chili sauce
Arugula and peppadews for garnishes
You will also need a 4” hotel pan and an ice-filled cooler


  • Rub the pork belly with salt, pepper, and brown sugar. Let the pork belly sit overnight.
  • Chop the fresh ginger and lemon grass and place on the top and bottom of the pork belly in a 4” hotel pan. Fill the pan with dark beer (just until the pork is covered).
  • Place in a 300 degree oven for 9 hours
  • After 9 hours, set in cooler.
  • Once chilled, remove belly from pan and slice into portions 3 inches long and ½ inch thick.
  • Strain and reserve the liquid from the pan.
  • Add the hoisin & chili sauce to the reserved liquid—bring to a simmer and let thicken.
  • Garnish a plate with arugula greens and chopped peppadews.
  • Pan fry pork belly until golden brown
  • Place on garnished plate and drizzle with hoisin and braising liquid reduction.

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