Categories
Dessert

‘Oui’ are in love with this French apple tart

French Apple Tart
A French apple tart is a very simple dessert with a lot of wow factor from its pretty appearance.

I said when I bought my tart pans that everyone was just going to have to deal with my experimentation, and here it is again. Don’t worry, though, because this recipe is also tailor made to become a pie.

Some fantastic friends of ours held a fun “Friendsgiving” get together last weekend. We were able to hang out with them along with both old and new friends and share a potluck meal.

I signed up to bring dessert, because I had my eye on a new tart recipe, and of course, as always, my friends needed to be my guinea pigs.

And this tart was definitely a show-stopper. It’s gorgeous and easy at the same time, which makes for the perfect combination.

The recipe I tried comes from https://mandyjackson.com/2018/12/07/french-apple-tart/. I used apple jelly instead of apricot jam in my version, substituted bourbon for rum and added just a sprinkle of cinnamon in my version.

French Apple Tart
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French Apple Tart

A French apple tart is a very simple dessert with a lot of wow factor from its pretty appearance.
Course Dessert
Keyword apple, apple butter, apple jelly, apple pie, bourbon, brown sugar, cinnamon, Granny Smith apples

Ingredients

  • 1 nine-inch pie crust
  • 1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter cubed
  • 1/4 cup apple jelly
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon or use water
  • a liberal sprinkling of cinnamon

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Roll out the pie dough to about a quarter-inch thick and place into a eight- to 10-inch tart pan, pressing it along the sides so that it fills the crevices. Trim any excess crust, and place the whole pan in the freezer while slicing apples. (If you don’t have a tart pan, use a pie pan or springform pan instead.)
  • Peel the apples, cut them in half, and core them. Slice the apples thinly—about one-quarter inch—and arrange in the prepared crust in a spiral, overlapping the slices a bit as you go. Once you’re finished, use any remaining slices to fill in gaps and make it look nice.
  • Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the top of the pie. (It will seem like too much, but it will cook down into the apples; don’t worry.) Dot the top of the tart with the cubed butter.
  • Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the tart is lightly browned and the apples are fork tender.
  • Let the tart cool for about 15 minutes or so.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the apple jelly and bourbon, along with a healthy sprinkling of cinnamon. Microwave it for just a few seconds—about 20—to get it just a bit warm, and whisk it well to combine the jelly and liquid.
  • Using a pastry brush, brush the mixture over the top of the tart.
  • When it’s cool enough to handle, remove the tart from the pan and serve right away or refrigerate in an airtight container.

We really enjoyed this tart. It was very simple but delicious. Plus, it looked awesome on the dessert table.

The other nice thing about making a tart is if you normally don’t like trying to flute your pie crust to make it pretty, you don’t have to with a tart pan. It takes care of the prettifying for you.

With pie season fully upon us, I’m sure this won’t be close to my last pastry until the end of the year. And I know it won’t be the final time I’ll be around the table with some great folks, having good conversation and sharing delicious foods. That’s what makes this the best time of the year.

This piece first appeared in print on Nov. 25, 2021.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Dessert

Don’t let supply chain issues make you snap

This cranberry orange tart is made with fresh fruit and is surrounded by a spicy gingersnap crust. The flavors are perfect for the holidays.

In 1973, late-night host Johnny Carson made a joke about a supposed toilet paper shortage during his opening monologue.

That joke, along with some press releases from a member of Congress, led to an actual toilet paper shortage as people cleaned stores out and the empty shelves reinforced the rumor.

Right now, it seems supply chain problems are causing some of those same issues. I can’t possibly be the only person this year who spent good money on some name-brand pureed pumpkin when the generic brand was out just in case there wasn’t some on the shelves before Thanksgiving.

And another victim of current shortages is one I wouldn’t have been able to predict: gingersnaps.

Now, I have no official data to back up my claim that there’s a shortage of gingersnaps out there, but I can tell you I ended up at four different local stores before I finally found some for this week’s recipe. They’re out there. You just have to do a little sleuthing to find them.

But I will tell you that this week’s recipe is not only a dessert tailor-made for the holidays, but it’s worth driving all around town to find the ingredients.

The recipe I tried comes from the blog “All Purpose Flour Child” by Taylor Harbin. You can find her original post at http://www.allpurposeflourchild.com/blog/cranberry-orange-curd-gingersnap-tart. I added extra cinnamon in my version.

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Cranberry Orange Gingersnap Tart

This cranberry orange tart is made with fresh fruit and is surrounded by a spicy gingersnap crust. The flavors are perfect for the holidays.
Course Dessert
Keyword Christmas, cinnamon, cranberry, fresh fruit, gingersnaps, orange, tart, Thanksgiving

Ingredients

Crust Ingredients

  • 12 ounces gingersnap cookies
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon molasses

Filling Ingredients

  • 12 ounces whole fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • zest of 1 large orange
  • 4 tablespoons butter

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place the gingersnaps in a food processor and process until they are in fine crumbs. Pulse in the cinnamon and salt. In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Stir in the molasses until it’s smooth, and then add the mixture to the food processor. Pulse until everything is well combined.
  • Dump the crust mixture into a 12-inch tart pan (you can substitute a deep pie pan or a springform pan). Press the mixture with the bottom of a glass or measuring cup to spread it evenly, making sure to press it up the sides of the pan.
  • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the crust is golden. Set it aside.
  • For the filling, combine the cranberries with 1/4 cup water and the orange juice in a saucepan. Cover the mixture and let it cook for about 15 minutes or until the cranberries are soft.
  • Position a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and drain the cranberries into it, pressing to get the puree into the bowl and leaving the berry skins in the strainer. Once you’re finished, return the puree to the saucepan.
  • In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is a pale yellow.
  • Add a little of the hot cranberry puree into the egg mixture and stir to temper the eggs, and then dump all of it into the saucepan over medium heat.
  • Whisk constantly until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and orange zest. Continue stirring until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  • Pour the filling into the prepared crust and smooth it out. Chill it in the refrigerator until it’s set (30 minutes to an hour), and serve.

This is a gorgeous dessert, and the orange and cranberry are a perfect combination with the warm spices in the crust. The filling has a bit of a tartness to it, which is an especially nice flavor profile when there are tons of sweets around.

And if you’re in a bind, you can totally substitute in some vanilla wafers or graham crackers for this crust—as long as they don’t fall victim to shortages, too.

But at least it’s just cookies we’re having trouble getting ahold of. The last thing we need right before having people over for the holidays is a toilet paper shortage.

This piece first appeared in print on Nov. 18, 2021.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Dessert

‘Choc’ this recipe up to a new pan purchase

A bittersweet chocolate pumpkin tart is a great holiday recipe, along with having deep, rich flavor that makes small pieces the default serving size.

After years of saying I was going to do it, I finally took the plunge last week: I bought a tart pan.

If you remember, I made miniature tarts earlier this year, aided by a cookie cutter and a cupcake tin, and that really pushed me towards making my ultimate purchase.

I’ve been staring at the tart pans in our local kitchen store for months, trying to decide if I really needed one as much as I thought I did.

In the end, I bought two different sizes. Go big or go home, I guess.

So, with my new purchase, it will be no surprise that I made a tart for this week, and not only was it the perfect flavor combination for Thanksgiving, but it was delicious, too.

The recipe I tried comes from the blog “Love & Olive Oil” by Lindsay Landis. You can find the original post at https://www.loveandoliveoil.com/2015/11/bittersweet-chocolate-pumpkin-tart.html. I just changed the spices a little bit for my version.

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Bittersweet Chocolate Pumpkin Tart

A bittersweet chocolate pumpkin tart is a great holiday recipe, along with having deep, rich flavor that makes small pieces the default serving size.
Course Dessert
Keyword bittersweet chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, fall, ginger, nutmeg, pecans, pumpkin, tart, Thanksgiving, vanilla wafers

Ingredients

Crust Ingredients

  • 8 ounces vanilla wafer cookies
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter melted

Filling Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup milk I used skim
  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 heaping teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 heaping teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon or vanilla

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • For the crust, add the cookies and pecans into a food processor and process until the mixture is in small crumbs. Add the sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter, and pulse until the butter is evenly distributed.
  • Pour the crust mixture into a nine-inch tart pan and press with the bottom of a glass or measuring cup to evenly coat the bottom and up the sides. Make sure the crust mixture is firmly pressed together.
  • Put the pan onto a baking sheet and bake the crust for about 10 minutes or until it’s set. Remove the pan the oven and set it aside to cool.
  • Turn the oven down to 250 degrees.
  • Heat a saucepan over low heat, and add the milk and cream. Stir regularly to keep it from scorching on the bottom, and once the milk just starts to bubble a little around the edges of the pan, remove it from the heat and stir in the chocolate, continuing to stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg, and stir until it’s well combined.
  • Add about one-fourth cup of the chocolate mixture into the pumpkin mixture to temper the eggs. Add the rest of the chocolate mixture, stirring well. Finish it out by adding the bourbon or vanilla extract and stirring again.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared crust and bake on the baking sheet for 30 to 35 minutes or until the tart is just barely jiggly in the middle. Remove the tart from the oven and let it cool completely before serving.
  • Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

This was intensely rich and not overly sweet. I used a 62 percent cacao chocolate for my version, and I really liked the darker chocolate flavor. The pumpkin is definitely there but not the dominant flavor. I would recommend cutting this in smaller slices. You don’t need a lot of it to feel satisfied.

If you don’t have a tart pan, you could easily substitute in a springform pan or just use a pie pan, too.

I must say, though, I really liked my pretty scalloped edges on my tart. It made me feel like a real baker, despite this being a fairly easy recipe overall.

I’m not sure what kitchen store product will be the next I’ll be pining after, but for now, my friends, family and coworkers better be excited for some new tart experiments.

This piece first appeared in print on Nov. 11, 2021.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Dessert Uncategorized

You’ll love this recipe from the bottom of your ‘tart’

A rustic apple tart is easy on the eyes and the taste buds. It would be perfect with a scoop of ice cream.

There’s something intimidating about pastry. It’s hard to roll out perfect circles or to put it into pie pans without it cracking.

Plus, there are just too many people online who are true artists with dough, and that is extremely intimidating when I start hunting for new recipes.

The recipe I tried this week, though, is meant to look a little rough around the edges, and I managed to create something that looked delicious without worrying at all about getting fancy with my crust.

This recipe’s author is Jenn Segal. She used to work as a professional chef and has a cookbook, “Once Upon a Chef.” You can find this on her blog by the same name at https://www.onceuponachef.com/recipes/rustic-french-apple-tart.html. I doubled the vanilla and cinnamon in my version.

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Rustic Apple Tart

A rustic apple tart is easy on the eyes and the taste buds. It would be perfect with a scoop of ice cream.
Course Dessert
Keyword apple, pastry, tart

Ingredients

Crust Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1/4 cup cold water

Filling Ingredients

  • 4 cups peeled baking apples cut into 1/8-inch slices (I used honeycrisp)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 rounded teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Topping Ingredients

  • About 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 egg beaten
  • About 1 tablespoons sugar turbinado or regular
  • 1 tablespoon apricot jelly

Instructions

  • For the crust, pulse the flour, salt and sugar together a couple times in a food processor to combine them. Cube the butter and add it to the food processor and process until it’s about pea size. Add the water and pulse a few times until it’s just combined. (The dough will look very crumbly, but it’ll come together.)
  • Dump the dough mixture onto a floured counter and knead it until it comes together smoothly, adding more flour as necessary. Form it into a disk. Roll it out into about a 10-inch circle on the floured surface and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet with a rim.
  • Put it in the refrigerator while you peel and prep the apple mixture. Place the apple slices, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, butter and salt into a large bowl and stir to combine.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge and slide the parchment onto the counter. Roll it out to about 18 inches and about 1/8-inch thick, and slide it back onto the pan (it won’t fit very well, but that’s no worry).
  • Sprinkle about a tablespoon of flour onto the dough and then place the apples in concentric circles, overlapping them as you go. Leave about two inches around the edge of the circle.
  • Fold the sides of the dough towards the center of the tart. It’ll create a two-inch rim around it and an opening in the middle. Pinch it together at the seams so it’ll stay put. Brush the dough with the beaten egg and then sprinkle the whole tart with the sugar.
  • Bake for about an hour or until the apples are soft and the crust is a golden brown.
  • Transfer the tart to a rack and let it cool. Combine the apricot jelly with 1-1/2 teaspoons water in a small bowl and microwave for about 20 seconds. Stir and brush onto the tart.
  • Cut into slices and serve warm.

Our whole house smelled amazing while this tart was baking, and I was so proud of myself when it came out of the oven. It looked fantastic.

I’ll have to keep this one in my recipe box for any time I want to impress guests with a “fancy” dessert but don’t want to stress over making one.

And I suppose if someone thinks it looks a little too unpolished, I’ll remind them that the word “rustic” is right there in the recipe title, so I clearly did everything right.

This piece first appeared in print on March 29, 2018.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.