Monday, May 30, 2016

Back to baking

So, what happens when the student exceed the teacher?  Not just in conjugating French verbs or writing poetry.  Something more serious... baking.  One of the little darlings, a 7th grade girlie, brought this in to share with her classmates a couple of weeks ago.  Quite honestly, it was one of the best things I have ever put in my mouth.  Galette Rustique.  Rustic Apple-Cinnamon Tart.

The 7th graders in her class wolfed theirs down.  Pas moi!  I saved mine until I had a free period and a cup of tea.  I don't eat very much in the way of desserts these days, but I savored every bite of this. It is hard to go wrong with a handmade crust, apples, cinnamon, and sugar.

Mine is now in the oven and my house is starting to smell like heaven, let me tell you.  The Ex-Ex and I have been invited to have dinner with JC, her hubby and another couple and this is my contribution.  I hope it turns out half as well as my 7th grader's tart.

Elle's Rustic Apple-Cinnamon Tart
Serves 8

Cream Cheese Pie Crust

2 teaspoons cold water
1 teaspoon cold cider vinegar
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into small pieces

  1. Combine water and vinegar in a small bowl.  Combine flour and salt in another bowl.  Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut butter and cream cheese into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces still remaining.
  2. Add water mixture to dough in a slow, steady stream, stirring, until mixture just begins to hold together. (I added about 2 more tablespoons of cold water because there was not enough liquid to hold it together.)  Turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap, and wrap.  Press dough into a disk using a rolling pin.  Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hours or overnight.  (Dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw before using.)

4 cups peeled, thinly sliced apples (I used Pink Lady apples)  Elle has one of those really cool contraptions that peels, cores, and slices the apples- she said that she loved using that!
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Big pinch salt
1 large egg, well-beaten
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

  1. Put the applies in a large bowl.  Toss the fruit with the granulated sugar.  Taste the fruit, if it's more tart than you like, add up to 2 tablespoons more sugar.  Add the flour, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt and toss until everything is evenly mixed.
  2. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and turn it out of the plastic wrap onto a floured work surface.  Let it sit for about 5 minutes to warm up a bit and become pliable enough to roll.
  3. Heat oven to 350˚F.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Working on the floured surface, roll the dough into a round that's about 13-14 inches in diameter.  It's all right if the edges are a little ragged.  Transfer the dough to the baking sheet.
  5. Heap the apple mixture in the center of the dough round.  Using your fingertips, fold the edges of the dough over some of the apples to create a rim about 2 inches wide.  Work your way all around, pleating the dough as you go.
  6. Using a pastry brush, brush the pleated dough evenly with the beaten egg.  Sprinkle the turbinado sugar directly on the dough and fruit.
  7. Bake the tart until the pleats of dough are completely golden brown with a trace of pale, unbaked dough, about 55 minutes.  (It's all right if some of the juices escape from the tart and seep onto the pan.)  Transfer to a rack and let cool.  The tart may be baked up to six hours ahead of serving.
  8. When cool it enough to handle, use a spatula to transfer the tart to a serving plate or cutting board.  Slice it (I used a pizza cutter to make it easy) and serve it warm or at room temperature.
It's good with ice cream, too, of course...

Bon appétit!  Happy spring and the arrival of all kinds of fruit to make tarts, muffins, cakes, etc. Yum!!  Cook on, cookers and feeders!  Eat on, eaters!  Don't just sit on the sidelines, lookers, when there is something this delicious!

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