THE RECIPE BOX – Local bakery owner shares her apple pocket recipe

THE RECIPE BOX – Local bakery owner shares her apple pocket recipe

LINCOLN – “Gingersnaps just seemed like the perfect name,” Kayla Morris said about the name of her bakery. Her aunt had nicknamed her “Ginger” after a character on the sitcom “Gilligan’s Island” because of Kayla’s ginger-colored hair, bubbly personality and a flair for entertaining.

Having grown up with her mom (Kathie), owner of Kats Dance Centre in Pawtucket, Kayla and her older sister Jessica danced, entertained and even taught classes. “I saw my mom as a businesswoman,” Kayla said. Her dad is a comedian and she attributes her artistic leanings and wanting a business of her own to those examples. And there was never a shortage of dance costumes and props for her to play dress-up.

When Kayla was a child, her mother had always baked from-scratch cakes for all occasions. “No store-bought cakes for us.” When she showed an interest in baking, her mom let her help. “At first she’d let me watch, then add a couple of ingredients, then when I was about 15 she let me do the whole thing.”

Kayla, a lifelong Lincoln resident, attended Johnson & Wales for her culinary education. “I had the baking down, I had a knack for that,” Kayla shared. After completing two years there, she decided to go to Dean College where she could earn a bachelor’s degree in business management as well as take advantage of their dance program.

Sadly, Kayla lost her older sister, Jessica, to ovarian cancer while a student at Lincoln High School, and she felt it in her heart to dance more and follow her sister’s passion. “It pushed me to dance for her,” Kayla said. (See the story about Jessica and the Heavenly Gingers fundraiser on page 1.) In that small school environment (at Dean) she found tremendous support from her professors. “Once I expressed my goal to start a business they were there to help me figure out a way,” she said.

She served an apprenticeship developing her creative training as a baker and cake decorator through work at Silver Spoon Bakery in East Greenwich and later at Sweet Indulgence in Cranston. Her job was strictly decorating cakes for some big clients, and it was a paying job, too!

Soon though, “I felt like it was time,” (to make the move) while I was young enough to have a little fearlessness, but still have the energy to do it,” Kayla said. Last September, she began the process of creating her space in the Lincoln Front Street Plaza.

She knew the neighborhood – she grew up here – and wanted that “neighborhood” feel. “My business is all run by my family. I get to know people” and she wants them to know her, she added. “It is a bakery, we make everything on site and use only fresh ingredients.”

“My dad zests and squeezes real lemons for the lemon juice used in my recipes, such as the French lemon macaroon and lemon bars,” she said. This attention to detail is what makes the difference. Yes, it takes more time, but the end result is better quality and flavor, Kayla shared.

Gingersnaps is closed on Mondays and open Tuesday through Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Sundays, they open at 7 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. Sweets and coffee and tea are available and the pleasant space has some tables where you can sit and stay awhile. “We have Wifi available, if you want to do some work while you’re here,” she said.

If you’re in the mood for a sweet treat, stop by and try an apple pocket, a cinnamon bun, or some cookies and cupcakes. Occasion cakes should be ordered at least two days ahead (birthday) and special event cakes such as weddings should be booked well ahead. You can reach Kayla at 401-475-2587, or stop by to say hello.

And yes, you may just hear some commotion coming from the back room where all the baking is done and it is most likely the sound of a family sharing some laughs and an impromptu dance party while working.

“My family is great – Mom, Dad, aunts, uncles and cousins – they all show up in the kitchen after working their own jobs all day and help me if needed. I want that love to come through in the food,” she said. “It doesn’t take much to be kind – in business or in your personal life – and that always comes back to you,” said “Ginger.”


Gingersnaps Bakery’s Apple Pocket Pie

Ingredients

Pie Dough:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (cold & cubed)
2 tsp. salt
Cold water

Filling:
6 apples (Granny Smith recommended!)
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
Egg Wash:
1 egg
1 tbsp. milk

Directions
Peel, core and dice apples and place into a large bowl. Toss lemon juice onto the apples before moving on; It keeps them from browning while you prepare everything else.
In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, place 1 stick of butter and brown sugar. Stir until the butter is melted and it combines with the brown sugar. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cornstarch. Mix constantly until the mixture begins to boil lightly.

Turn off the heat but leave the pan on the burner. Add the apples to the saucepan and stir until all of the apples are coated in the mixture. Pour the apples back into the large bowl to prevent them from cooking longer. Let it cool while you make your crust.

In a large bowl add the flour, salt and cubed butter. Using your hands, mix until it becomes a thick sandy consistency. Slowly add cold water (a few tablespoons at a time) and mix until the dough comes together. There should be visible chunks of butter in the pie dough. This makes your crust flaky.

Once the pie dough comes together, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Using a large circle cutter (about 4 1/2 inches in diameter or larger) cut out circles and place half of them on a parchment lined sheet pan spaced about 1-2 inches apart. Cut an even amount of circles since you will be pairing them up.

Scoop about 2 tablespoons of the apple filling into the center of the pie crust circles.

In a small bowl, beat the egg wash ingredients with a fork. Use a pastry brush to brush around the outside of each pie crust (where there isn’t filling).

Place the other pie crust on top of each one and press down around the edges. Use a fork to go around the pie and seal it shut. Brush the entire top and edges with more egg wash and make a small hole with a knife in the top of the pie crust to allow steam out during baking.

Put the sheet pan into a 350 degree oven and bake until the pies are golden brown. Allow them to cool before removing them from the parchment.

Kayla Morris in her bakery Gingersnaps, located in Front Street Plaza in Lincoln, displays an apple pocket and shares her recipe.