Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Hi readers! I haven't gotten a chance to blog any new recipes lately since I have been so busy with work and some new business opportunities. Now, back to my favorite topic......brownies! Have you ever had a brownie that blew your mind? While bored at work, do you daydream what would make the perfect brownie? If so, do tell! Share, and if I pick your idea for my next brownie, you will win a $10 I -Tunes gift card. Send your ideas to me at firstname.lastname@example.org - DO NOT post them on here. I will choose my top three and let the readers vote for their fave.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
It was my usual routine: need to bake, what's left in the kitchen? What else would there be at this time of the year? If you guessed apples, you're correct. I wanted something new so I began my quest for the perfect recipe on the great wide web. Much to the dismay of my hubby, I do not like pie, so that wasn't going to be on the menu. I searched McIntosh Apples and pulled the perfect recipe from cooks.com. I have to admit I had no idea what a crostata was, but it sounded like a good choice.
This particular recipe required making dough. I still fall into the novice category when it comes to making dough and I get a little too happy with the rolling pin. The crostata dough was no exception. I don't know what I was thinking, but I started on this cooking project after the kids woke up from their nap. So as I was rolling out the disk, I was yelling, "Stop hitting each other!" "Get down off that table!". Each irritable reprimand was punctuated with a hard slap of the rolling pin. As a result, my dough was too thinned out. It burned on the bottom sides, which had to be removed after cooking (see picture for the evidence).
Now, on to the positives. Hands down, this is one of the best apple desserts I have ever tasted. It was the perfect combination of fruity and crumbly. It was sheer heaven. I had none in the house, but this would great paired with vanilla ice cream or some fresh whipped cream. My husband liked it so much he ate it for dinner. So round up your left over McIntoshes and get baking!
1 c. all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. granulated or superfine sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 lb. (1 stick) very cold unsalted butter, diced
2 tbsp. ice water
Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse 12 to 15 times, or until the butter is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water all at once through the feed tube. Keep hitting the pulse button to combine, but stop the machine just before the dough becomes a solid mass. Turn the dough onto a well-floured board and form into a disk. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
1 1/2 lb. McIntosh, Macoun, or Empire apples (3 large)
1/4 tsp. grated orange zest (I subbed McCormick Valencia Orange Peel here)
1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. granulated or superfine sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
Preheat oven to 450. Flour a rolling pin and roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to a baking sheet.Peel, core, and cut the apples into 8ths. Cut each wedge into 3 chunks. Toss the chunks with the orange zest. Cover the tart dough with the apple chunks leaving a 1 1/2-inch border.
Combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Pour into a bowl and rub it with your fingers until it starts holding together. Sprinkle evenly on the apples. Gently fold the border over the apples to enclose the dough, pleating it to make a circle.Bake the crostata for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the apples are tender.Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.