Tartes Pomme with Cider Icing and Walnuts

Tartes Pomme with Cider Icing and Walnuts

Easy to make, Tartes Pomme are mostly Apples and Puff Pasty. Baked together in the oven, the apples become soft while the pastry expands just enough to create a delightfully crunchy base. The apple cider in the recipe is reduced to create “boiled cider” and then used to brush over the apples as well as a flavor in the icing.

2 cups Apple cider
1 piece Pepperidge Farm frozen puff pastry, thawed overnight in the refrigerator, rolled to 10-1/2″ x 10-1/2″
All-purpose flour
2 medium Fuji or honey crisp apples ( about 3″ or less in diameter)
1 tablespoons Turbinado Sugar or brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

Pour two cups of apple cider into a saucepan. Set over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer to reduce to 1/2 cup cider, about 20-30 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Open the sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll to a 10-1/2” x 10-1/2” inch square.

Using a 3 1/2″ round cookie cutter, cut out 9 rounds of puff pastry. Push straight down with the cookie cutter to avoid twisting. Move to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and poke the top of each round several times with a fork. Set in the refrigerator to keep cold.

Peel the apples. Cut the top off one apple so it is flat. Continue cutting through the apple to get large circles, 1/4″ thick. Repeat with the second apple to get 9 apple circles. Remove only the seeds and stems, leaving the center intact.

Combine the Turbinado or brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger in a small dish. Remove the puff pastry rounds from the refrigerator. Lightly brush one side of the apple circles with the reduced cider and sprinkle 1/2 the sugar and spice mixture over the apples. Place them on the puff pastry rounds, sugar side down. Lightly brush the tops with reduced cider and sprinkle with the remaining sugar and spice mixture. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is puffed, lightly browned, and the apples are tender enough to be pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. (Tip: If the pastry puffs up too high and knocks any apples off, while warm gently push the pastry down and slide the apple back centered on top before cooling.)

While the tarts bake, make the icing – combine the powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of the reduced cider. Whisk until the icing is very smooth.

To serve- Drizzle some icing on the plate, top with an apple tart and add a sprinkle of finely chopped walnuts. Makes 9 tartes.

Skewered Sirloin and Potatoes with Pipián Rojo Sauce

Skewered Sirloin and Potatoes with Pipián Rojo Sauce

Perfect for Halloween, these skewers are scary delicious. The spicy, bright red sauce is served with “stake piercing” meat and potatoes to add an eerie quality to your Halloween Dinner or Party. Easy to make, the steak is tossed in spices, skewered with baby potatoes, and then seared in a sauté pan. Our Pipián Rojo sauce is made in a blender or food processor with ingredients such as garlic, roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), peanut butter, vinegar and dried ancho chiles. If you can’t find the Paddle style Bamboo Skewers, they can be purchased through Amazon.

½ cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
10 small potatoes
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/2 teaspoon, plus more for the sauté pan
1″ thick, 1.5 pounds of Sirloin Steak, cut into 20 large cubes
1 large or two small dried ancho chile(s), stemmed and seeded
Boiling water
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
10 Paddle style 7″ skewers

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the pepitas on a sheet tray and toast for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Add the potatoes to a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and then cook for 10-12 minutes or until a paring knife inserts easily into the potatoes. Drain and let dry on a towel, then place them in a bowl and add in 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt. Mix well and set aside.

Mix together in a large bowl ½ teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, cumin, and smoked paprika. Cut the sirloin into large cubes and add to the bowl; toss in the spice mixture. Set aside for 30 minutes.

To make the sauce, remove the seeds and stem from the dried Ancho chile(s) and tear into large pieces. Place the ancho chile(s) in a bowl, and pour over 1 cup of boiling water to cover; let stand until softened for about 20 minutes. Drain the chile(s), discarding the water and any extra seeds. In a food processor or high-speed blender, add the chile(s), garlic, toasted pepitas, peanut butter, vinegar and 1/2 cup of hot water; pulse to a coarse paste. With the machine running, slowly add the ¾ cup of oil in a steady stream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Scrape the sauce into a bowl; cover with foil to keep warm. (If the sauce separates stir back together before serving.)

Thread 2 beef cubes on a skewer with one potato in the center. Preheat a sauté pan, over medium high heat. When hot, coat the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of olive oil. Sauté the skewers over high heat for about 3 minutes, turning and sauté 3 minutes more or until the steak is medium. Serve with the Pipián Rojo sauce under the skewers or on the side.
Makes 10 skewers

Apple Cinnamon Bars

Apple Cinnamon Bars

The combination of apples and cinnamon is the quintessential taste of fall. So welcome cooler days with these easy to make Apple Cinnamon Bars. With their brownie-like texture on the outside, and layer of cinnamon apples in the center, they are especially delicious with a drizzle of brown butter icing over their walnut topping. Take them along with some apple cider for all your fall activities or simply enjoy at home. Be sure to use a piece of parchment longer than the pan to create “handles” for easy removal before cutting.

2 medium apples, peeled and sliced into thin wedges
1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
1/2 cup butter, plus one tablespoon, divided, plus more for the pan
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup Walnuts, toasted

Brown Butter Icing
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease with softened butter an 8-by-8-inch pan, add parchment paper then grease the parchment and set aside.

In a small skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter, stir in 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, cinnamon and then add the sliced apples. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes, until apples are softened. Set aside to cool slightly.

Melt 1/2 cup of butter in a sauce pan, cool slightly. In a large bowl, combine the 1-1/2 cup of brown sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla, mixing until blended. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; add to brown sugar mixture.

Add 1/2 the batter to the baking pan, smooth the top. Add the apples in a single layer, scraping all the cinnamon sauce out of the pan over the apples. Add the rest of the batter over the apples and smooth again. Top with the walnuts, lightly pressing them into the batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours.

To make the icing – melt the butter and cook until it becomes a nutty brown color. Strain the butter through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl leaving the dark sediment behind in the strainer; discard the sediment. Add the powder sugar, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of milk, whisking until very to smooth. If the icing is too thick to drizzle, add the other tablespoon of milk. Using a fork, drizzle the icing over the bars, then refrigerate allowing the icing to set up and the bars to cut easier. Lift out of the pan using the parchment paper, place on a cutting board, and slice into 16 squares.

Fall Bean Bake

Fall Bean Bake

Bean Bakes are the perfect dish for potluck dinners, tailgating, or any fall event. A crossover between spicy chili and savoy baked beans, it’s a great companion dish for any menu. A flavorful combination of beans, corn, ground sirloin, and bacon, it’s delicious and filling as a side or main dish. Toasting and grinding whole spices does add more flavor, however to save time you can use ground spices and skip the first step.

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, or ground cumin
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, or ground coriander
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
8 ounces ground sirloin
4 slices thick cut bacon, cut into thin strips or chopped
1 medium onion, small dice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 – 15 ounce cans of cannelloni beans or white kidney beans, drained
2 ears of corn, removed from the cob
1 yellow or orange pepper, medium dice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If using whole spices, in a small sauté pan, toast until the seeds are light brown and fragrant. Cool slightly, and then grind in a spice grinder. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, ketchup, apple cider vinegar and mustard; set aside. Using a large oven proof casserole or dutch oven, set over medium heat and sauté the beef, bacon and onion. Cook until the meat is brown and the onion is tender. Drain off any fat. Add the spices and 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the beans, corn and pepper. Stir the ketchup mixture into the bean mixture with ½ cup water and stir well. Place in the oven; cover and bake for 45 minutes, uncover and bake another 15 minutes. Rest 15 minutes and serve.

Chocolate Football With Chocolate Chip Pastry Cream

Chocolate Football With Chocolate Chip Pastry Cream

Get “game day ready” with our quick and easy Football Pastries! Perfect for your next tailgate party, our cute football shapes are loaded with a delicious filling and will look great on your tailgating table or platter. Filled with delectable chocolate chip & vanilla pastry cream, these treats will satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. For a special treat, fill your football shapes with softened ice cream and store in the freezer until ready to serve. You can purchase Dufour Chocolate Puff Pasty locally at Whole Foods.

14 ounces Dufour Chocolate Puff Pastry
2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split, pulp removed
6 large egg yolks
½ cup sugar
⅓ cup cornstarch, sifted
3 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
½ cut finely chopped dark chocolate
4 ounces of white chocolate

Defrost the puff pastry over night in the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the dough from the packaging and lay out on a cutting board. Using a cookie cutter cut out as many shapes as you can to have an even amount. Place the cut outs on parchment lined cookie sheets and bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven off, open the door and leave the puff pastry in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and cool completely.

Fill a large bowl with ice cubes; place smaller metal bowl inside and set aside.

Bring milk, vanilla bean pulp and pod to a simmer. Remove from heat and set aside.

Whisk yolks, sugar and cornstarch together in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Whisking constantly, drizzle in one-quarter of the hot milk. Add the rest of the liquid in slow steady stream. Increase the heat to medium, remove the pod and, whisking vigorously, bring mixture to boil. Cook the mixture until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Pour into the bowl set over ice and cool completely. When cooked, add the finely chopped chocolate. Refrigerate until very cold. Place the pastry cream in a piping bag.

In the microwave, melt the white chocolate. Add to a piping bag, and add laces to half of the puff pastry football shapes. Refrigerate to set the laces.

To finish, using the remaining shapes, pipe to thickly cover with pastry cream, top with the football shapes with laces. Refrigerate until ready to serve.