Tuesday, February 15, 2011

French Apple Tart!

OH HAI THERE! I realized it had literally been a year since my last entry- ridiculous and COMPLETELY unacceptable. For Valentine's Day I made this heart-shaped French Apple Tart for my boyfriend and it was delicious and surprisingly easy. Look how cute! (Both the tarte and the boy.) Other miscellaneous reasons why I loved it: 1) I was watching the Grammys (Lady Gaga in an egg?? Yay Arcade Fire!) while cutting the apples (needless to say they were not the tidiest slices) but it didn't even matter after layering them, it still looked perfect! 2) Even though I am 100% Team Apple Pie, I have to say that the flavor of the apples shines through way better in this tart because they're not hidden in a heavy (albeit delicious) goo and a ton of crust. Bottom line: MAKE THE TART, LOVE THE TART.

French Apple Tart
(modified from Ina Garten's recipe)

Ingredients for the crust:
*You can also substitute a store-bought crust if necessary, but this is an easy and worthwhile one to make!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 stick cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup ice water

Ingredients for the apples:
4-5 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 stick cold unsalted butter, diced
1/4 cup of apricot jelly, or apple jelly (any kind of clearish jelly [but not Petroleum Jelly haha]) for glazing

1. Mix flour, sugar, and salt together in a bowl. Cut in butter chunks with a sharp knife, or a fork, until the butter chunks are about pea-sized. Slowly pour in ice water just until the dough forms. Quickly knead into a ball, cover with plastic, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a sheet pan or shaped pan with parchment paper. Roll out the dough to desired shape (rectangle, heart, circle, etc.).

3. Peel, core, and slice apples crosswise into 1/4" slices. Arrange the apples onto dough. (If you're doing a circle you can spiral them out from the center to look like a rose! Google French Apple Tart pictures to get ideas!)

4. Sprinkle the apples with the 1/2 cup of sugar and dot with butter.

5. Bake for 45 minutes to one hour, and rotate the pan once. When cool, microwave the jelly until liquid and glaze apples.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Mini Pear-Raspberry Pies

Hello everyone! First of all, I'm sorry that it's been so long since I've last posted!

In honor of Valentine's Day, our recipe for today is heart-shaped pear-raspberry pies, courtesy of good ole Martha. Whether or not you have a Valentine to make these for or just want to eat them all yourself, these pies are sure to satisfy (yummy+cute=success, always). Warning: the pie filling is super delicious, so TRY your best not to eat it all beforehand :)

Pear-Raspberry Heart Pies

For the pastry:
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 c. + 2 tbsp. ice water

For the filling:
2 firm, ripe Bartlett pears (1 pound), peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 c. fresh raspberries, coarsely chopped
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 tbsp. heavy cream, for egg wash
sanding sugar (I used Demerara sugar)

1. Make pastry dough by combining flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Add butter chunks and use a butter knife to combine mixture untl it resembles coarse crumbs.
2. Eveny drizzle ice water over mixture and combine until it just holds together.
3. Turn dough onto plastic wrap and wrap. Shape into a disk and refrigerate until firm.
4. Make the filling by tossing pears with lemon juice. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add pears, and toss to coat. Cook, adding granulated sugar a little a time, until pears begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in nutmeg. Transfer to a bowl, and mix in raspberries.
4. Divide dough in half, and roll out each piece to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 350. Drain pear-raspberry filling in a sieve. Cut out 20 hearts from dough using a 4-inch cutter, transferring them to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Lightly brush rims of half the hearts with egg wash, and top each with 4 heaping teaspoons filling. Top with remaining hearts, and gently press around sides to seal.
6. Brush pie tops with egg wash, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Frittata Sunday

We did it! One week: 7 recipes. School starts in two days so I won't be able to update as often, but I'll definitely do my best. Since I loaded this blog up on all things sweet and carbalicious, I thought I would end the week with something savory and protein-filled. This recipe is from Martha Stewart, and it is delicious! Even my mom who hates eggs loved it.

Smoked Salmon Frittata

12 large eggs, beaten
1 c. heavy cream
4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 lb. smoked salmon, chopped
3 slices of an onion, finely diced
3 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1 tbsp. butter

1. Melt butter in a nonstick 10" skillet over medium heat. Sautée onions in butter until
translucent (about 5 minutes). Reduce heat to medium low.
2. Combine eggs, cream, goat cheese, smoked salmon, dill, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
3. Poor egg mixture into skillet and combine with onions. Cook , pulling back edges with a rubber spatula until it begins to sit (about 15 minutes).
4. Put the skillet in oven and bake for about 20 minutes at 350° F.
5. Let cool 5 minutes then run a spatula around sides and underneath to ease out of the pan.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Crumb Cake Saturday

I know I know, more baked goods! I promise tomorrow will be something savory. This is a recipe I just tried out tonight from my mama's Junior League cookbook.

Apricot Crumb Cake



1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. cinnamon


1 stick butter
2 c. flour
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
1 (12 oz.) jar apricot preserves


1. Grease a 9 inch bundt pan and preheat oven to 350.
2. Combine flour, sugar, and cinnamon for topping and then butter until mixture is crumbly, spread on bottom of pan.
3. Beat stick of butter with cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Beat in vanilla and eggs.
5. Mix flour, baking powder, soda, and salt, and add to the butter mixture alternately with the milk and beat until smooth.
6. Pour half of the batter into the pan. Spread the apricot preserves on the batter and poor the other half of the butter in afterwards.
7. Bake for 50-60 minutes and cool in the pan for 30 minutes.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Lemon Cake Friday

Day 5 of the week-long extravaganza!! Here is a recipe from my great-GREAT Aunt Lizzie (let's just say this recipe is quite old, especially considering today was my grandma's 86th birthday!) I've always been a big fan of recipes that involve adding things to boxed cakes. It's such an easy way to get a cake that tastes like it's made from scratch and required lots more effort than it truly did. Enjoy and hope you all had a great Friday!

Aunt Lizzie's Lemon Cake

For cake:

1 box yellow cake mix
1 package lemon jello (don't get the sugar-free or fat-free or any of that nonsense)
2/3 c. water
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1 tsp. lemon extract
4 eggs

For glaze:
Juice of one lemon
2/3 cup sugar

1. Combine cake mix, box of jello, water, vegetable oil and lemon extract.
2. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each.
3. Bake in a greased and floured bundt pan at 350° F for 40 minutes.
4. Stir together lemon juice and sugar and glaze cake when cool.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Brownie Thursday

These are hands down the best brownies ever! This has been my mom's top secret recipe since 1995, and she's finally agreed to letting me release it :) We've tried on a few occasions to make brownies from scratch but they never ended up being as good as these. If you can get the best brownies in the world from a box, why wouldn't you?

1 box Betty Crocker Hershey's Dark Chocolate brownie mix
1 box Ghirardelli Double Chocolate brownie mix
3 eggs
5/6 (1/2 + 1/3) oil
7/12 (1/3 + 1/4) water
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Grease 15" x 10" pan and preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Combine mixes (and syrup packet from Betty Crocker mix), eggs, oil, water, and chocolate chips and stir until mixed.
3. Pour batter into pan and bake for 38 minutes.
4. Let cool in pan for several hours. Cut off 1/2 inch all around and save edges to eat with ice cream (they get a little tough). Cut into 2"x2" squares. Top with powdered sugar if desired.
Makes ~28 brownies.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cheesecake Wednesday

In the words of my good friend Emily, "cheesecake production is a long, sordid ordeal." And while many cheesecakes might be difficult, this one is extremely easy and almost foolproof. One time I was supposed to be watching the cheesecake while it was in the oven and I accidentally fell asleep on the couch. I didn't wake up until my mom came home freaking out because I hadn't taken the cheesecake out. Much to my mom's surprise (and my relief because she didn't slap me upside the head), the cheesecake was fine. 30 extra minutes didn't harm it at all! While I wouldn't recommend falling asleep while baking, it is comforting to know that a few extra minutes won't burn it.


For crust
1 1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs (just crush graham crackers with a rolling pin)
4 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. melted butter
For filling
3 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese
3/4 c. sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

1. Line a 9" cake pan with aluminum foil.
2. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in cake pan. Firmly and evenly pack sides and bottom of pan to form crust.

3. Bake at 250° F for 10 minutes. Cool.
4. Mix cream cheese and sugar together in electric mixer.
5. Add eggs, one at a time and vanilla.
6. Pour filling into crust and bake at 425° F for 10 minutes then 250° F for 25-35 minutes until set in the middle.
7. Let sit overnight.
8. Optional: Decorate with fruit the next day (brush melted strawberry jelly on top of fruit to make it shiny).