Apple Tart

AppleTart-Square

Radmila posted a picture on Facebook of a gorgeous apple tart with the apple peels rolled into roses and embedded in the custard. She expressed concern that it looked a bit dodgy without photos to follow with since the link didn’t supply any, so I did a fast and dirty version to show her it’s really not.

the version I decided to base my tart on called for making your own shortbread crust and made from scratch custard, but since I was doing this on the fly with limited time and apples, I used a sheet of store bought puff pastry dough, created trough ridges along all the edges and made a boxed white chocolate instant pudding for the filling. I only had two apples in the house, so I made 6 small apple roses for the tart. Again, fast & dirty.

So, in a pictorial for her, here we go:

1. I used my ravioli cutter to make crinkled edging by cutting off a small section all around the dough’s perimeter, then placed that same dough over top of the main edge, taking care to match the shape, and cutting off the excess where necessary. This is all extra work that one probably doesn’t need to do, but can if they want a nice edge. It only adds a few minutes to the final time, so if you want to, go for it.

AppleTart-Before-Dough

2. I cooked and cooled the instant pudding before spooning some of it into the middle. I didn’t use a lot because it filling isn’t the main event, the roses are. A little goes a long way. A thin layer is all it takes to make this tart tasty. Don’t worry about making a smooth layer with the custard because baking will cause it to smooth out nicely.

AppleTart-Before-Pudding

3. I formed the apple roses and let them dry on paper towels before gently placing them into the custard in select places and pushing them into the dough a bit. That seems to help hold the roses pedals in place so they don’t unfurl. (Obviously you’ll have way more roses to fill up this space than I did, but 6 is enough to give you an idea of how it’s done, right?)

AppleTart-Roses

4. I baked this tart at 350 degrees for 15 minutes and let it cool for another 15 minutes to allow the pudding or custard to finish setting. I suppose in the future when I make this again (all from scratch, none of this instant stuff), I will add simple syrup or some thinned out jam to the tops of the roses to give them gloss, and a bit of an egg wash will be applied to the dough for golden colour. I will probably dust the tart with a bit of powdered sugar, too.

AppleTart-Done

Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments.

Enjoy!

Pho

Pho. It’s what was for dinner today.

Red onion, carrot, celery, chicken stock, S&P, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, leftover corned beef, spaghetti noodles and fresh parsley.

Dee-licious!

Pho

Making Vanilla Extract at Home

I’m out of vanilla extract. ACK!!

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Homemade Vanilla Extract

I know, right? This is a baker’s worst nightmare, and a total disaster. {sigh}

Guess this means a trip to the booze store across the street tomorrow morning is in order. I’ll head over the second they open just like the booze hounds.

(I shouldn’t joke. Have you ever talked to anyone who works at a liquor store? Their stories are all achingly depressing, and they hate serving those so desperate for their fix because there will be a line up before the store opens every day, regardless of the time of year or economy, and the customers are fairly belligerent and unpleasant to deal with if their drink of choice isn’t in stock.)

But, since I don’t drink, my pilgrimage will be for the purpose of picking up a small bottle of vodka for the express purpose of pouring it into a jar over the vanilla beans I have so it can ferment over two months and turn into a jar of lovely vanilla extract. This method is all the rage with the bakers online. Just do a quick Google search for ‘homemade vanilla extract’ to see what I mean. And since I’m sensitive to all the other gunk manufactures may put into their commercial vanilla extracts, this is my safety plan.

If you’re into making your extracts or even your own booze, check out my Pinterest Füd: Extracts & Booze board:

 

Pinterest Extracts & Booze Board

I should have planned this better. I will have to rely on almond extract for all my baking needs for the foreseeable future. I guess things could be worse. I could be suck using that stuff from Costco that burns the back of my throat and makes me all dry heave-y. That would be what I call dire. Yikes.

Table Top Mannequin

Every time I buy a bra, it never fits. That’s because I’m between an A and a B cup. I have to take fabric in by pinning it till the cup is tight and is still covering and lifting where it should.

I have a pile of bras I’ve been putting off altering for lack of time and pinning buddy. Now that I have time, I dusted off that pile as well as my table top mannequin buddy that oddly enough has the very same body proportions I have in terms of where my boobs and waistline to my hip crease fall. All I have to do is attach some padding here and there, and this buddy will be my physical twin.

I mean, what are the chances someone’s body would match a table top mannequin to a tee like mine does? With my short odd waist spacing, it’s such a stroke of luck! This buddy is going to make creating and pinning pattern muslins sooooooooooo much easier.

Table Top Mannequin

Table Top Mannequin

Vincent Talleu, Master Baker

I am a huge fan of these four Vincent Talleu‘s youtube videos showing him in his bakery making bread, chocolate pastries, etc. I could watch these all day long if I had time.

Check out this bread making marathon one. This one if my favourite. It’s 11:38 minutes long, but worth every second you spend watching it. I’d be highly surprised if you don’t drool or exclaim from five new tricks you pick up watching him.

Master bakers. Bless their hearts. They’re not only awesome to work with, but awesome to stand back and watch if they let you.


MSL’s Dutch Blueberry Pancake

Years ago I used to collect the small Every Day Food digest mags from the supermarket. Not all of them, but the ones that had enough interesting content to justify the purchase.

And in their March 2009 issue, they introduced their cast iron skillet dessert called Warm Berries ‘N’ Dumplings as well as the this scrumptious Dutch Blueberry Pancake, and they went hand-in-hand with Martha’s version of the classic, Blueberry Grunt. I have been drooling ever since. I always say I’m going to make each of these desserts during blueberry season, but I never do.

This year I will! Will you? (I know Dr. Maggie will. :-))

Blueberry Dutch Baby Pancakes Recipe

 

(All pictures and recipes are courtesy of MSL.)

Giada’s Nonna’s Lemon Ricotta Muffins

Lemon Ricotta Muffins by Giada
Lemon Ricotta Muffins by Giada

Giada’s Nonna’s Lemon Ricotta Muffins recipe. If you haven’t tried or tasted these, you MUST. This one is a favourite of my husband’s. I didn’t toast the slivered almonds on top, but I bet if I had, that would have simply added another dimension of flavour to these babies. And believe me, they’re already bursting with amazing flavours and sport a texture that will think you’re eating part of a cloud.

Why are you still reading this post? Go make these muffins. NOW!