Tarte Aux Pommes #CakeSliceBakers
This is the perfect time of year for baking with apples and here in Michigan we’re blessed with an abundance to choose from. Some tart varieties are:
Granny Smith – have a sweet/tart flavor which makes them great for snacking as well as sweet and savory dishes. They hold their shape very well when cooked.
Braeburn- these don’t turn brown easy, and are tart and juicy. Great for snacking too.
Cortland- tart, dense, juicy and also holds it’s shape. Nothing worse than an apple pie that’s too mushy.
Jonathan- another tart variety that retains its shape.
Ginger Gold – doesn’t turn brown easy and also tart, sweet and juicy.
Fried Fruit Pies
It’s been years since I made fried pies and I thought it was time we became reacquainted. Fried pies are also called hand or pocket pies and are a perfect single serving dessert. The filling can be sweet or savory and the crust can be homemade, from a mix or even canned biscuit dough. If the thought of these tasty treats taking a hot oil bath doesn’t appeal to you, they can be oven fried. Uncooked pies can be wrapped securely, frozen and fried another time. Once you try these, be prepared for the temptation is grab a few from the freezer and treat yourself. They can be addictive. [Read more…]
Friday evening I heard the sound of a UPS truck out front; yes I do know the sound. Shortly after the truck pulled away the Mr. brought in two packages, one for me and one for Charisse. I didn’t remember ordering anything and I knew the delicious cookbook I had won from Ann’s giveaway wouldn’t arrive until next week. A quick peek at the return label let me know that it was from San Francisco, which means, FoodBuzz. Still I didn’t have a clue and I’d just received an offering from the Tastemaker program a few days earlier. Naturally I tore into like a kid on Christmas morning. And what to my wondrous eyes did appear? As a part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker’s program I’d received a sampling of olive oils from Crisco. Ho, ho, ho was I tickled. I was even more tickled when I read the letter that always comes with these goodies that states I should post about the product by August 31st. Now it felt more like April Fools than Christmas. Unless I was in a time warp, I’d missed the posting date by 16 days. I fired off a quick email to the editorial team at Foodbuzz, alerting them to the deadline discrepancy. Beth replied very quickly letting me know that there’d been a delay in shipment. Thankum Beth!
Now what to make; or bake is what I really thought. I’ve substituted olive oil in lots of cake recipes so a cake would be right up my alley. The only thing is that I wanted something with more of a challenge. I’d already had my mind and heart set on baking an apple pie or apple tart this weekend so that I could use my new rectangle tart pan. You know I’m a sucker for a new and different pan, and I’ve told you before that pie crusts are also my nemesis. Thus began the search for a piecrust with oil. It didn’t take long to come up with tons of possibilities. Piecrusts rank right up there with yeast breads, they scare the holy bejeebies out of me. However, out of my comfort zone I must go. After narrowing it down to two recipes that I found on cooks.com I visualized the end result. Proceeded to clear my chakras and took a shot of vodka, for medicinal purposes only of course, (wink-wink).
The first batch of dough was the biggest hot mess I’d ever seen. One thing I do know is that you can tell a good pie dough right off the bat. This one was greasier than the Gulf Coast oil spill and couldn’t be rolled out. Still working with the same recipe I tried it again. I wasn’t doing the happy dance but it was better. By the time I got the dough into the pan, Gabbi rushed downstairs with a major announcement; she’d learned to ride her bike. Stop the presses and cease all activity, Nanni and Poppa had to go outside and watch this amazing feat. After 15 minutes of cheering I thought I’d better get back to the blue ribbon pie I was making. I hope you caught the sarcasm in my voice. The pie had been in the oven for about 5 minutes and I remembered the container of crunch that was leftover from my Strawberry Crunch cake. It was just enough to cover the top of the pie. Yummies! When I took it out of the oven I was worried, and kind of happy all at once. The top was bubbly and the side crust was so pretty and it smelled like fall in my kitchen.
Has the jury reached it’s verdict? Yes your honor we have. We the jury find this Apple Pie Tart, just so-so. The apples were perfectly cooked, the crunch topping was out of this world, and the side crust super flaky and tender. However, the bottom crust didn’t fare as well. It was gummy and undercooked. This I attribute to baker’s error. The only way I’m going to improve my piecrusts is to make them more than once every 6 months. The Crisco light Olive oil doesn’t have a strong taste or odor like it’s heavier counterparts and I’m certain that it had nothing to do with the end result of the pie. So my friends, get ready for a regular posting of pies from Sweet Sensations. Piecrusts and I shall become one. May the force be with me!
Easy Piecrust (Very Flaky)- adapted from cooks.com
2 cup flour
½ cup oil
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup milk
These are the directions for the original recipe. I used Crisco Light Tasting oil and rolled the dough out in a rectangle to fit the sides and bottom of my tart pan. Sift flour and salt together. Beat oil and milk with a fork; add to flour, blend well. Divide in half. Roll between 2 sheets of waxed paper until size for pie tin.
8 Jonamac apples
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup white sugar + 2 TBS
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
2 tsp lemon juice
Peel, core and slice the apples. Place them in a large bowl filled with water and the lemon juice. After they are all sliced, pour the contents of the bowl into a large pot, add 2 TBS white sugar, and bring the mixture to a boil. Next drain the apples and add them back into the bowl and mix with the remaining white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Filled pastry lined pan with the mixture and bake in a preheated 350° for 40 minutes. I like a bit of a bite to my apples so I didn’t want them to overcook. And I added the crunch topping for a some lagniappe. Lagniappe is a Creole word that means a little something extra.
Compliments of my daughter Charisse, we have another Weight Watchers recipe. Bless her heart she keeps trying to balance all the sugar and fat that’s been floating around here. Her/our tiny diva, the on again off again Easy Bake Oven queen, even comments on whether, or better yet, when I’m going to put something in the oven. And seeing how the diva doesn’t really care for anything other than Oreo’s and glazed doughnuts, she’s merely making conversation.
Fresh out of the oven this time is Apple Crisp. According to Charisse it’s kind of low on points and it won’t throw her maintenance plan into a tailspin. I will admit that it tastes pretty good, and with what I’m planning for the next couple of days, it’s the calm before the sugary storm. The recipe was fairly simple and I did make one change. I’m not a big Granny Smith apple fan, so I stayed with my apple of choice; Fuji’s. This took the sweetness level up a notch but that’s not a problem with me. One thing I really liked is that clean up was kept to a minimum. I adore being in my kitchen/laboratory but clean up sucks blue eggs on a Monday.
May I interest you in some Apple Crisp?
½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cups sugar
¼ cups packed light brown sugar
¼ cups butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
7 medium Fuji apple(s), peeled and sliced
1/3 cups apple cider
2 TBS sugar
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
1 TBS all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Non stick spray
Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine first four ingredients in a blender or food processor; pulse four times or until crumbly. Set aside. Combine apple and next five ingredients in a large bowl; toss gently to combine. Spoon apple mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with crumb mixture. Bake at 375°F for 40 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm. Short, quick and to the point. Yield: 8 servings.