I love to cook. And I love to bake. If you follow any of my social media (this blog included) you know this already. If I’m not following politics I’m probably in my kitchen throwing random ingredients together in an attempt to either fully destroy my kitchen or create another drool-worthy masterpiece. Part of the what makes the whole process a success is the right cookware. And I’ve sorely been lacking in that area since having to sell off all my original cook- and bakeware. I’m super picky about my pieces and want each one to be multi-functioning and worth the price, material, time, etc, which is probably the biggest reason I’m STILL working on my collection.
Well, this chick is three pieces closer to her dream kitchen thanks to a small company called DowntoEarthenware. The owner and earthenware creator extraordinaire, Zach Schnare, is based out of the tiny town of Collinsville, Illinois. As far as I’m concerned Collinsville is one of my favorite places on earth- 1. for the friends and their bakery, Kruta’s Bakery, and now 2. for Zach and his bakeware. I’ve been a glass and non-stick gal my whole life, but my friend, Ginny, told me about Zach’s Facebook page and suggested I take him on his offer to trade a couple Apple Bakers for a review of the product. And that I did (I snagged a sweet deal on a pie plate, too).
I’d never heard of an ‘Apple Baker’ until DowntoEarthenware and had no clue what to do with one! Google had already become a close friend since going paleo in May of 2013 and subsequently finding out I have a gluten intolerance, so I put my typing fingers to work again to figure out exactly what to do with the strange pieces of pottery. As far as the colors, ease of use and cleaning, I’m impressed. I love the bright colors and the blue/green is right up my alley! Cleaning these things seems like it’d be a chore, especially because I use sticky things like honey in my baking. Nope. Not with these pieces of pottery. They clean up almost effortlessly. Seriously, I rinsed them out with some hot water after they cooled down and nearly all the residue from use was gone. After hand-washing them (no scrubbing needed) and making sure they’ve thoroughly dried they’re ready to be stored for another day or are ready for another round of apples.
These things are the work of genius! I’m now completely in love with the Apple Bakers. Why have I never heard of them before this?! I’ve never been a big fan of apples but oh man! This is like customizing apple pie without the guilt of the crust or added refined sugars! Using the Apple Bakers is so easy. I’ve stuffed the cored apples with blueberries, cranberries, cinnamon, coconut flakes, honey, and nutmeg (not all at the same time though). So far my favorite way to prepare apples is to core them, stuff the middle with pecans, place the apple on the cone in the middle of the baker, drizzle with honey, sprinkle with cinnamon, and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees (see below for how I pair my apples for an absolutely delish Saturday paleo brunch).
Next up was the pie plate. I’ve missed my pie plate but hadn’t been able to settle on the right one (it’s taken me several years of looking at pie plates and never being satisfied for some reason or another). Overall, earthenware has intimidated me. Let’s be honest, if you’ve never before baked with pottery, it looks like you’d spend more time cleaning it or trying not to shatter it than you would actually baking with it.
This pie plate is quite different from my old trusty one I couldn’t seem to replace, but I’m good with that. The deep dish style works great for paleo apple pies:
And paleo quiche:
Practically speaking, clean up is along the same lines as the Apple Bakers- wash it when it cools down and make sure it dries completely before storing. I always brush the bottom and sides with a light coating of olive oil and nothing sticks- NOTHING, not even baked cheese. The red is beautiful and rustic and, despite the abuse of my kitchen testing, has maintained looking new- no discoloration or fading. I burned my first attempt at a paleo pie crust, but it was an even burn in the pie plate, which, color me impressed because I’ve never seen anything burn evenly in an oven (I don’t normally see anything I bake burn for that matter). We’ll chalk the burned crust up to human error because, other than that, every attempt has been a success. Not only does the bakeware burn evenly, it bakes evenly. Even baking is one of the reasons it takes me so long to pick out a new piece of bakeware, I’m skeptical of everything. I’ve seen too many companies advertise how spectacular their product works only to be wholly disappointed. Zach didn’t tell me about the pie plate would bake evenly or be easy to clean up. Those were happy surprises. Honestly, I love using DowntoEarthenware. I can’t say enough great things about DowntoEarthenware. This is my new favorite bakeware company. Hands-down, favorite and worth every penny of the price. Go like them on Facebook and grab your next favorite pieces before they sell out.