The level of tartness is fully up to you, actually. This tart is a blank slate for you, I simply chose on the day of its making to use apples as filler.
Lightly sweet, buttery-crispy, and full of fresh fruits, this is an easy, quick, but powerful-looking dish. You can make the dough in advance and keep it in the fridge (3 days) or the freezer (1 month) to have ready to go whenever the occasion calls for a treat! Plus, as the filling should be whatever you have in the house/whatever fruit is tastiest at the moment, this can be made any time of year and likely any time at all assuming your pantry has a few staples in it.
2 1/2 c flour
1 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
8 tbs cold butter, cubed
1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)
4-8 tbs ice cold water
2-3 apples, sliced
1-3 tbs butter
1-3 tbs sugar
Whatever the fudge (ooooooh, yum) you want.
Whisk together dry ingredients, then toss in butter. Cut this into the mixture or use fingers to break it up and incorporate into the dry. Once the mixture is fairly homogenous add water and vanilla in increments until it just comes together when pressed firmly. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Roll out dough to approximately 1/2" thickness. Transfer to pan of choice (a tart pan is nice, but a free-form tart on a baking sheet is never disappointing either) and press gently into sides to secure. Prick the bottom with a fork a few times.
Arrange fruit on top of crust, then dot with small slices of butter and sprinkle sugar evenly across the top. The quantity of each of these, is, again, up to you. Some fruits benefit from more sweetness and tenderness, so 3 tbs is more appropriate, while others need very little help.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the fruit is soft and slightly browned.
Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting.
Though Spring has begun it's creep (or, some days, full assault) here in Southern California, I realize that most places in this large country are still quite bogged down with cold and snow.
So, here's more bread. And jam. Because bright acidic fruity jam and warm, chewy, soft bread are exactly what you need when curled up with tea (or bourbon) and a book.
Wheaty, filling bread + tart, tart, tangy lemon jam.
4 c wheat flour
2 tsp yeast
2 tsp salt
1 ½ warm water
¼ c oil (I use olive, but any works)
1 tsp sugar
Stir together water, sugar, and yeast. Set aside for 10 minutes, waiting for mixture to foam up.
Add 1 c flour, and once mixed in, add salt and oil. Add remaining flour in 1 c measures, and once dough is too stiff to mix with a spoon switch to kneading with hands. Incorporate flour until the dough no longer sticks to your hands, then remove from bowl and knead for about 5 minutes.
Let rest for at least 1 hour in warm place, covered, until doubled.
Punch dough down, then knead another 5 minutes. Shape as desired (i.e. log for loaf pan, baguette or batard, or round loaf). Place on baking sheet and preheat oven to 425ºF.
Allow dough to rest about 20 minutes before placing in oven.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until top crust is firm and bottom, when knocked, sounds hollow.
Let cool before slicing.
¾ c lemon, chopped (about 3 small)
½ c sugar
1 tbs corn starch
Remove skin from lemons, then chop up the fruit into small pieces, including membranes, excluding seeds.
Stir together sugar and cornstarch until evenly distributed. Pour into lemons and juice.
Cook on low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat, allow to cool for 30 minutes, then pour into a jar, seal, and cool on ice.
Refrigerate. Will keep for 1 month or so after opening.
Happy Purim folks! (Or, for all the non-Jews out there, happy holiday that seems like Halloween but with more purpose? Or happy day when you're supposed to drink lots but then you're not around people who understand so you stop).
Hamentaschen, or oznei Haman (Haman's ears) are the traditional cookie of the holiday. Aside from the rather un-apt name, they have little to do with the holiday, but they taste great! These are buttery, soft but a bit crispy, a bit pillowy, with a nice dab of fruity (or other) filling to balance the whole thing out.
Millions of recipes abound for the dough, nearly all of which are sort of difficult to handle. Patience, my friends! Chilling the dough a few times will greatly decrease your stress and tearage, so taking breaks allows for sippage in between steps.
½ c butter
½ c cream cheese
2/3 cup sugar
1 tbs orange/lemon zest
2 c + 2 tbs flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
½ tsp vanilla
1 ½ tbs orange juice
Jam to fill
Work zest into sugar with fingers until it is slightly orange and very fragrant. Whisk in flour, baking powder, and salt, then cut in cold butter and cream cheese until it resembles bread crumbs. Beat egg, then add, gently folding it in until the mixture comes together into a crumbly, soft dough. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Roll out dough to 1/8- ¼” thick. I found the cookies were easier to handle and baked up more nicely if I chilled the dough again at this point, but it is not necessary. Cut dough into small circles, then drop jam into the center. Pinch three corners tightly. Thicker jams work MUCH better, as they do not spread and encourage the cookies to do the same.
Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes, or until golden.
Because we wouldn't want to eat the same bread (or food) every day now, would we?
This loaf is soft but dense, lightly perfumed with lemon and rosemary. it is chewy, excellent toasted, and hearty enough to make a meal out of toast. Who doesn't want toast every day, every way? Crazy folk, that's who.
Rosemary Lemon Tahini Loaf
2 c water
2 tsp yeast
2 tbs tahini
4 c wheat flour
1 sprig rosemary, chopped to your liking
zest and squeeze of one lemon
1 ½ tsp salt
Dissolve yeast in warm water, set aside for 10 minutes. Stir in tahini, salt, lemon zest and juice, and 1 cup of flour. Add rosemary, stir well, then incorporate flour until the dough begins to stick together. Cover dough in bowl, and let sit for at least one hour in a warm place.
When dough has doubled, remove from bowl and knead briefly, forming into a ball or log shape. Roll the mass until the seam has flattened out, then place gently in a loaf pan.
Let rest for 20 minutes as the oven preheats to 425ºF. Put a small vessel (pan or pot with non-plastic handle, ceramic bowl, oven-safe glassware, etc.) with 1 cup of water on a lower shelf of the oven, then the bread above. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove and allow to cool before slicing.
To make these toasts, I mashed an avocado with salt, lemon juice, garlic powder, pepper, and red chili flakes.
While the bread toasts, sautee three large handfuls of spinach in 1 tbs olive oil and two cloves of chopped (diced, minced, sliced, however you like!) garlic. When wilted but still soft and wet, turn off heat and add a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon.
Layer toast (slathered in butter or more olive oil if you like to live a little) with a large dollop of avocado mush and press a portion of spinach into the bed of guacamole.
Eat. Get avocado all over your face, repeat.
Bonus points for hot coffee or tea, or iced coffee or tea in the sunshine.