When a fashion magazine asked me to share a spin on a breakfast recipe, inspired by the trend of pajama dressing, I wanted to create something cozy and familiar, yet modern and interesting – much like the fashion trend. Growing up in LA, I rarely saw my Grandma Markle, as she hailed from New Hampshire and spent much of her life in Pennsylvania and Florida. To bridge that gap, she would always send scrapbooks, care packages, and boxes of treats made from family recipes. One of my most favorite was her apple butter – simple and satisfying, and made in the crockpot to truly let you set it and forget it. To update my grandma’s classic, I thought a topping of whipped ricotta flecked with lemon zest and ginger + a drizzle of crushed marcona almonds would make it just Chef-y enough. For me, this recipe is a walk down memory lane – a reminder of holding my grandma’s hand and having sing-a-longs with her. For you, let it be the dish that makes you the ultimate babe who brunches. Enjoy!



Apple Butter:

  1. Place all ingredients in slow cooker. Toss to mix.
  2. Turn to high heat. Heat until bubbling. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 8 to 10 hours (perfect to do overnight).
  4. Remove lid; cook, uncovered, for an additional hour.
  5. Whisk until smooth. Makes 2 ¾ cups; leftovers will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for two weeks.

Whipped Ricotta:

  1. Using a stand or electric mixer with whisk attachment, beat cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add ricotta and milk. Beat over medium until fluffy (4 to 5 minutes).
  3. Stir in honey, zest, ginger and salt.
  4. Taste and drizzle with more honey, if you like. Makes 2 + 1/3 cups; leftovers will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for one week.

To prepare, smear Whipped Ricotta over slices of toasted seeded country bread, and then spread each slice with Apple Butter. Scatter with coarsely crushed Marcona almonds. Sprinkle with more fleur de sel, if you like.

*Originally posted in Flare Magazine, November 2015

Images via: Jaclyn Locke for Flare