Last weekend my friends and I had planned a camping trip to northern Georgia. I was to meet them after I finished my field work. Due to a series of unfortunate events, ie: no cell phone service, I couldn't get a hold of them for directions and chose to drive the five hours back home after my day of hard work. I had all sorts of camping food, but no camp fire, so instead of having a nice charred hot dog from the open fire, I had a nice boiled hot dog. Things started looking up, however, when I realized I could sleep in my comfy bed instead of on the ground. Long story short, one of my purchases for my camping weekend was a huge bag of apples. Seeing as I only have myself, I didn't figure there was any way to eat all those apples. I decided to put them to use in a dessert for an early Thanksgiving party some of my friends are having this weekend. I had every intention of making an apple pie, but there's nothing interesting about making and eating something I had made dozens of times. I recalled a recipe by Ina Garten of Food Network where she made a simple pastry that was cut into a square and decoratively filled with thin slices of apple. Along the same principle, I skipped making the crust and opted for a package of puff pastry. Instead of topping the apples with just plain sugar, I added cinnamon for more Thanksgiving flavor. She used calvados, which is an apple brandy, mixed with apricot jelly for a glaze. Considering calvados is really expensive, I opted for a glaze of apple jelly to accentuate the apple flavor.
French Apple Tart
1 sheet puff pastry (about 9 x 9 -in), thawed
3-4 small baking apples, such as Rome or Granny Smith, peeled, halved, cored and cut into thin slices
1/8 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp apple jelly, or other light colored jelly such as apricot or peach
1/2 tbsp water
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. On a lightly floured surface and with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the puff pastry a little bit to remove any creases it had formed from the package. Arrange the pastry on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Using a fork, gently poke the surface of the pastry to dock it---it will keep the pastry from puffing too much. About 20 pokes is enough
3. Arrange the apples into concentric slices. I discarded the bottom slices to make the slices lay flat together.
4. Blend the cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkle it evenly over the surface of the apples and exposed pastry. If there are large spaces of exposed pastry, add a few extra fork pokes to dock those down.
5. Place the tart in the oven and bake 30-35 minutes, rotating once during the cooking time. Bake the tart until it is golden brown. If the exposed pastry becomes too brown, place small pieces of aluminum foil over top and continue baking until the apples are done.
6. Blend the jelly and water in a microwave-safe container. Heat for about 30 seconds in the microwave. With a pastry brush, brush the jelly glaze over the tart once it comes out of the oven.
Servings per recipe: 9
Fat: 9.7 g
Saturated fat: 2.4 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 65 mg
Carbohydrates: 23.8 g
Fiber: 1.6 g
Sugar: 10 g
Protein: 2 g
This apple had some really cool pigmentation.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
I hope you all had a lovely Halloween. While I didn't host a party myself, I did make one thing for a party I was invited to. For my October birthday friends, a friend and I decorated a chocolate cake with a cemetery scene. We colored cream cheese frosting with green food color for the grass of the cemetery. We used candies to add ghosts and black cats and pumpkins. The fun part was cutting cookies to look like graves. We found 2 big chocolate tombstones (we called them Savannah mausoleums) that we set into the cake, and then used crushed cookies to give them the freshly-laid-to-rest look. Unfortunately, we forgot the candles...they would have looked really cool because they were black-and-white with dots or stripes on them.
My costume was so fun to make. I was the Corpse Bride from the Tim Burton movie Corpse Bride. I made my dress out of slips and a set of curtains, which were dyed blue with spray paint. I think I looked pretty close to the real deal, especially with the sad eyebrows!