I was hoping to chronicle all my treasures from my once a month cooking (OAMC) experiment for weeks to come but all I have managed to try is my meatloaf muffins based on the recipe I previously posted and the link from last week. The cilantro chicken, also posted last week (which was fantastic as I mentioned and I am making that again tonight) and a Beef-Ginger Stir-Fry that left me wondering if my love affair with the once a month cooking wasn't unlike my love of bad boys in my early 20s. While it may have seemed like a good idea at the time it ended up leaving me feeling like maybe I could have done better, not to mention the bad taste left in my mouth.
Like the bad boys, the Beef-Ginger Stir-Fry did NOT make the cut for things to try again. In fact I have a second batch all frozen are ready to go if someone would like a dry, sub-par version of NY strip steaks. What a waste (hangs head in shame). I will let you know how we continue to do and maybe I will just have to start making a pre-cooked menu of my own for tried and true recipes. You know I am picky about the way food should look and taste... I would not steer you wrong. Observe something that did make the cut.
Anyway, to uplift my poor broken food spirits, I dug deep into my bag of tricks and by this I mean my iphone and realized I never told you about the tart. Ahhhh the tart. Bright and fruity and buttery, and seasonal and a good way to help use up those 50 pounds of apples you picked because your 3 year old just had so much fun picking them with his parents and visiting Uncles.
What to do with so many? I was told they would keep forever, and so after taking them home and washing them and tossing the bags we brought them home in I looked up their website on how to best care for our lovely little treats. The website said and I paraphrase a quote "do not pre-wash your apples. Leave them in the bags we have provided with a damp paper towel in the crisper of your refrigerator." Oops. Oh well maybe I could make individual versions of the tart for my own freezable meal. I could handle eating apple tarts for breakfast with coffee. In fact this recipe is light and despite the sugar does not feel overly dessert-like because it doesn't have a hint of cinnamon. Not a trace of nutmeg or any other traditional spices that scream apple dessert to me. Such a nice change of pace although I had to really work on restraining myself. My hand was just dying to sprinkle some cinnamon somewhere! And should we run out of apple since I did not store them properly, we can always go back. It was fun after all.
and delicious... don't forget the delicious part.
Free-Form Apple Tart
Food and Wine
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
About 1/2 cup ice water
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest plus 1 teaspoon juice
4 Arkansas Black or Granny Smith apples—peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 large egg white, beaten
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, combine the flour with 1 teaspoon of the sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the butter and mix at low speed until it is the size of small peas, 30 seconds. With the machine on, gradually add 1/4 cup of the ice water. Add as much of the remaining ice water as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is just evenly moistened (it shouldn't mass on the paddle). Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead 2 or 3 times, just until it comes together. Pat the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400° and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 17-inch round, then trim it to a neat 16-inch round. Transfer the dough to the cookie sheet.
In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar with the lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Add the apples and lemon juice and toss well. Arrange the apples on the dough in 2 concentric circles, leaving a 3-inch border all around. Fold the edge of the dough up and over the apples, overlapping the dough on itself as needed. Brush the rim with the egg white and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.
Bake the pie in the center of the oven until the crust is golden and firm and the apples are tender, about 55 minutes. Transfer the cookie sheet to a rack to cool. Slide the pie onto a plate, cut into wedges and serve.
The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month. The tart can be baked earlier in the day and rewarmed before serving.