Thursday, November 25, 2010

Book Love

Lately I've been having some health problems. Nothing major but bad enough to stop me from doing any blog post worthy cooking. I did however take the time to look around and see what's new in the delicious world of cookbooks. Here are some favourites that I'd like, correction, I need to pile on my bedside table asap:

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Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson, baker and co-owner of Tartine bakery in San Francisco. I absolutely love this book. A handsome surfer who makes chewy, crusty, perfect bread. What's not to love? Watch their video and prepare to fall in love. Over and over and over again...
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Bourke Street Bakery, baked goods,all the way from Sydney, Australia. If you need convincing, just take a look at their website.
I can't wait to get this one for those lazy, winter Sunday mornings.
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French Feasts, 299 Traditional Recipes for Family Meals and Gatherings, by Stephane Reynaud. Hmmm...I'm thinking apres-ski gatherings...
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Recipes from an Italian Summer. For the summer of your dreams, spent cooking for your friends in your (rented) Sicilian villa, or on the shores of Capri. Or your downtown apartment in Toronto. Either way, it's going to be one perfect summer.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Vanilla apple tart


What a crazy day we had yesterday! Snow in the morning, sun in the afternoon... Autumn and winter at their best, all in one day! The streets were crawling with hungry little trick or treaters, decked out in their Halloween costumes. This apple tart in by no means an antidote for their inevitable sugar rush, but it was the perfect Halloween desert for me. Lately I've been playing around with different types of fillings for sweet tarts and while I love almonds, frangipan filling (at leat the ones I've tried so far) somehow always turns out a bit on the dry side. With this apple tart I wanted something creamy, smooth, with a dash of sourness. The simple combination of full fat sour cream, eggs, sugar and vanilla really fits the bill here. Next time though I will double the amount of filling, maybe add some cardamom or lime oil and use black plums or pears. Oh, the possibilities!


For the tart shell:

120 gr all purpose flour
120 gr softened butter
120 gr creamy cottage cheese
pich of salt

For the filling:

2 whole eggs
50 gr powedered sugar
200 ml full fat sour cream
1 tsp vanilla essence

4 medium apples, peeled and cut into small wedges
juice of half a lemon
2 tbsp thin apricot jam
1 tbsp pine nuts

Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly butter a 10 inch tart pan.
Mix together all tart shell ingredients until smooth. Do not overwork the dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
For the filling, mix eggs, sugar and vanilla until well blended and creamy. Add sour cream. Mix well.
Mix apples with lemon juice.
Roll out dough to fit tart pan. Pour in sour cream mixture and place apples over top.
Bake for about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with apricot jam. Sprinkle with pine nuts and bake for 20 more minutes or until golden. Please check frequently, oven temperatures may vary.