Thursday, October 15, 2009

Experimenting with apples

At least my experiments in the kitchen (as opposed to lab) are successful!

Clint brought me some apples (per my request) from NH about a month ago, and this past weekend, I realized I really should finish off the bag. Since I'd had such success with those danishes from a few weeks ago, I proceeded with round 2.

This time, however, I tossed the super thinly-sliced apples (4 or 5) with a mixture of about 1T brown sugar, about 2-3T apple cider, and a healthy dose (maybe 2t) cinnamon, before arranging them on top of the puff pastry square with a dollop of cheesecake mixture. The result?

(please pardon the oh-so charming used parchment paper/cookie sheet background). However, while the apples were perfect, the puff pastry didn't puff up- I'm not sure why this happened. Unlike the previous round of danishes (and every other time I've used puff pastry), when I thawed the pastry on the counter, this time I thawed it for the whole day in the fridge. This is what Ina Garten recommends, though, so I doubt that's the problem. I baked them at the same temp, for the same time. Any ideas? I'm totally willing to try this again, now that I've perfected the apple filling.

After making 18 danishes, I still had 5 apples left, and I happened to have enough crust for a single crust pie in the fridge. So!
scrappy apple pie, apple cheesecake tart thing, apple dumpling.

The dumpling was: one peeled and cored apple dusted with cinnamon and filled with 2t brown sugar, then wrapped in pie crust. I baked as I would a pie- maybe a little shorter.

The apple cheesecake thing.... this was an experiment, and it worked. The tart pan is lined with pie crust, and then filled with the rest of the cheesecake filling from the danishes- however, I didn't have enough, so I made another half batch- this time adding cinnamon and substituting brown sugar for white. Then I placed the thinly-sliced apples (again, coated in the brown sugar/cider/cinnamon mix) on top, and drizzled the remaining brown sugar/cider/cinnamon mix on top. I baked.My pictures lately are lousy- it's been so rainy that there's no good natural light in the kitchen. But as you can see, it's flat like a tart, and the cheesecake portion is just slightly thicker than the crust. It's good, though- just a little sweet, allowing the apple flavor to dominate the tart. I'm definitely making this again.

Finally, the scrappy apple pie was the leftover apple slices and remaining pie crust stuck in a tiny pie dish. I really just wanted everything used up. Since I ate the apple dumpling, I told Clint this one was his- only 4 days later, he still hasn't eaten it.... so I just might. ;)

In non-food news, I am ill (in a non-contagious way, at least) and feeling very run-down. I had a very busy and productive day at work planned for today, but wasn't able to complete it- I had to go home and rest and apply some hot compresses. But! As I was making a pot of tea (well, ok, cookies- nothing stops me from baking), the UPS truck just happened by, and delivered these lovelies, to cheer me up...and lest you, dear reader, think I'm terribly frivolous and irresponsible with my money, please note that these three pairs of shoes, and the shipping thereof, cost me less than $40. Yay huge shoe sales!

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