Apple Pie Verrines and a Leek Tart
Well, we are finally in Oregon, and all I can say is PHEEEW! My my. What a move. We packed all our stuff in our little Honda and trekked up from the dessert to the forest. The last couple weeks have been spent in the usual way. Getting furniture (a coffee table! yes!), cleaning other people's dirt out of our new apartment, and finding a job. Still working on that last one, actually.
Thus the very small ad now on my page. Mama needs a new cookie sheet. 75 extra cents a month, here I come!
So we are off, out of the nest, and flapping our little, inexperienced wings. On the upside, I do a lot more cooking here. I know, right? Let me rephrase that. I do a lot more NECESSARY cooking here. At home, I cooked for fun, but if I didn't want to, there was a good 25 year's worth of built up canned supplies, boxed dinners, pizza guys, etc. Love my mom's house. But here, if I don't cook, we don't eat, turns out. It's a new dynamic.
The pizza guy is still available, but please see the above discussion of joblessness.
Feature flavors this week were apple, cinnamon, and leek. I just love fall. Let's start with the leek and goat cheese tart.
It was very, very satisfying. The mildness of the leeks and the salty goatcheese, held together with a warm, buttery crust? It didn't even feel like dinner. It felt like dessert.
It uh, it didn't last. I meant to do one of those fun photo series where the pie shaped food is diminishing like a clock. But I only had time to take this one picture. I didn't feel a photo of an empty pie plate would be all that interesting.
Now for dessert! I am proud of these verrines since I basically invented them. They are a franken-verrine of three other recipes, each of which had only three layers in a different order than I have them here. But why would you take three layers when you can have six?
Bottom to top description: an earthy cinnamon gelee topped with a fresh ginger yogurt gelee.
Next a layer of thick apple compote, topped with a whipped cream layer warmed with nutmeg and cinnamon.
And finally a crumbly, oven-baked streusel to top it all off. It is like apple pie in a cup.
Pate brisee (from Lucy's Kitchen Notebook):
160 grams of flour
3 grams fleur-de-sel or lightly crushed sea salt
70 grams butter or duck fat, depending on what you need to use up.
1 egg yolk
1 T. thick crème fraiche or a few drops of poultry stock, depending on what you have on hand and what you plan to fill it with.
1. Mix the flour and salt and make a well in the center.
2. Work the fat into the flour with a fork until it looks like crumbs. Add the yolk, and work it in. - Incorporate the crème fraîche or stock into the dough by teaspoon, stopping once it holds together.
This is your pate brisée for savory tartes.
3. Place this in the fridge and find something to occupy your time for at least 1/2 hour before using it. When you're ready to use it, roll out the dough into a circle, keeping in mind that for a home made tarte, you have the choice to make it as thick as you like. What you want to do is roll it out to be just a bit bigger than a small pie shell, so that you can set it inside and have the edges fold over a bit. If you don't have a small shell, you can just as easily roll the crust flat and simply turn up the edges by pinching all around before pre-baking it.
Leek and Goat Cheese Tart (from Burghilicious):
1 recipe pâte brisée
2 mega-leeks (about 1 pound), white and light green parts only, halved, washed and sliced to 1/4 inch
8 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons dried thyme
Olive oil for brushing
1. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Roll out your crust to a 12 circle, then transfer to a 9.5 tart pan or 9 pie plate. Press into crevices, then trim the edges.Prick liberally with a fork. Bake empty (a.k.a. parbake) for 8 minutes.
2. While the crust bakes all by its lonesome, prepare the filling. Whisk goat cheese until smooth, then beat in the two eggs. Whisk together until mixture is smooth and uniform, with a custardy consistency. Add the thyme and season with salt and pepper.
3. Gently deflate any poofy spots in the parbaked crust, which should be a light and buttery gold after 8 minutes in the oven. Fill the crust with the goat cheese mixture and spread it smooth with a spatula. Top with fresh leek slices, separated, mounding pieces slightly higher in the center. Brush the leeks with a small bit of olive oil.
4. Bake at 350º F for 35-45 minutes, or until crust is golden-brown and goat cheese mixture is almost cooked through but still a bit underdone in the center.** Leeks will be slightly browned around the edges and quite tender. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Excellent with a green salad and fruit.
Apple Pie Verrines (adapted from Jasmine Cuisine, Tartelette, and Bed and Breakfast Online):
Cinnamon Tea Gelee:
2 cinnamon sticks
2 t lemon juice
3/4 c water
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp powdered gelatine
4 tsp cold water
1 tsp lemon zest
Bloom gelatine in cold water and set aside. Boil water and add cinnamon sticks and 2 t lemon juice. Mix in sugar until it's dissolved. Let steep about 10mins, then stir in the blossomed gelatine paste and stir until dissolve. Heat it up over the stove over the lowest heat setting possible if necessary. When it's all dissolved, stir in the lemon zest and cool it for a bit. When cooled, pour into 2 or 3 tall glasses and chill them in the refrigerator for 3 hours or so.
For the Honey & Ginger Yogurt Gelee:
1 tsp powdered gelatine
2 tsp water
2/3 cup Greek-style yogurt
4 tsp clear honey
1/4 tsp ginger powder
Bloom the gelatine in cold water. Microwave 1/3 cup of the yogurt in a microwave safe bowl until just heated through but not curdled nor hot. Mix the two microwaved gelatine paste and yogurt together, slowly whisking the gelatine into the yogurt until well combined.
Add in remaining ingredients, i.e., the remaining yogurt, honey and the ginger powder. Whisk into submission and pour into the verrines filled with honey and lemon tea gelee.
Let it chill overnight, covered with plastic wrap.
Apple Compote Layer:
2 medium tart apples, diced
1/4 cup sugar
3/4-1 cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon corn starch
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
pinch of salt
1. Place apples in a saucepan. Add all the other ingredients and stir over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil.
2. Lower heat, and simmer until the mixture becomes thick and the apples are soft.
Cinnamon and Nutmeg Cream Layer:
1 c whipping cream
2 T powdered sugar
1/2 t cinnamon (or to taste)
1/2 t nutmeg (or to taste)
1. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Add sugar and spices. Whip until it forms stiff peaks.
2/3 cup flour
3 T brown sugar
1/4 t salt
1/4 cup cold butter
Preheat the oven to 350 with the rack in the center. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
Mix the flour, salt, and brown sugar together in a bowl. Add the butter and mix together with fingertips or pastry cutter until it resembles coarse crumbs.
Spread the crumbs on the cookie sheet, and bake for around 10 minutes. Remove from oven and move the streusel around, stirring and chopping it a bit, then bake about 7 minutes more, until golden brown.
Make cinnamon gelee, pour into glasses and leave to set. When it is set make yogurt gelee, pour into glasses and leave to set. The next day make apple compote, whipped cream, and streusel. Add to glasses in that order. Enjoy warm or cold.