Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring is here

I know in many parts of the States, most probably the world too, the weather is still foul. But here, we are definitely having the second best season for me (the best is the warm summer). Spring time here is when the mornings are chilly enough to put on wool handknit socks, with clear skies, lots of sun ... or even overcast skies are welcome because then I can put on light sweaters. Both Diva and Celtic Icon would be ideal (thin yarns, light cardigans) for this weather too.

I am still working on Diva. Now that all the mysteries have been revealed, my energy level for the project has lowered a little bit. So, I have nothing to show you today. But I did have 6 more crocheted squares added for the cotton afghan. If you are interested, you can have a look here ... they are #20 to #25. I am having a good feeling about this project again ... which is always the one important thing for me to get through a project.

Since I don't have much to show, I think maybe I can share with you a foolproof semi-homemade recipe of Apple Tart. The ingredients are super simple and the result would improve the more you know how your oven works with the puff pastry.
Before Trader Joe's have their own brand of puff pastry, I used the almost only option available in the market. But I love the TJ one a lot more for 3 reasons: 1) it's a lot less greasy 2) the size of the pastry sheet is smaller, thus it works better with my pastry dish and there is less waste 3) it tastes a little bit sweeter, thus the tart tastes better to me.

Using ready made apple sauce actually guarantees the sweetness of the tart is what you like ... just choose the apple sauce you love. If you are crazy about the combination of cinnamon and apple, you can choose apple sauce with cinnamon. We just love the plain original sauce.

Here are the simple steps:
1. Thaw the pastry sheet as instructed. Spread it onto the tart dish or cookie sheet. Roll it thin if necessary.
2. Bake the sheet blind without using pie weights in a 400F pre-heat oven for 10 minutes. The pastry sheet would puff high ... but don't worry, it would collapse once it is out of the oven.
3. In the meantime, remove the skin and core of the apple and thinly slice it.
4. Take the baked sheet out and let cool a little bit.
5. Spread a thin layer of apple sauce on the baked pastry sheet.
6. Mix the remaining apple sauce with the apple slices and put them onto the pastry sheet in whatever fancy way you like. I prefer just pouring them without any arrangement at all.
7. Put the assembled tart back into the oven and bake for another 15 - 20 minutes, or until the tart edges are lightly (or very, depending on your taste ... just don't burn it as I had done several times before) browned and the apple slices are soft.

And of course, you have to wait for the tart to cool down a bit before you bite in:

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