Exciting stuff! Today is all about recipes, pictures, and words — on paper. That’s not normally how things go around here. You see, Pinhole Press has been kind enough to: 1) let me create a custom cookbook of a few of my favorite recipes as of late, and 2) give one of you honeybunnies a $50 gift certificate to create something like this of your own. If you browse their website, you can see there are all kinds of adventures to be had: magnets, recipe cards, basically whatever you dream up. This is not only fun but an excellent, excellent gift idea if you’ve always wanted to somehow immortalize all those stained family recipe cards but never got around to it.
I love how mine turned out — just look at that foxy, hefty matte stock. I don’t plan to keep it, though, because I would much rather send it to one of you, if you’ll indulge me. The giveaway entry form is below, so scroll on and enter to win! Voodoo computer magic will pick one winner for the $50 gift card and one for this little cookbook, which I hope will serve as a really heavy thank-you note of sorts. And there aren’t enough thank-you notes to thank you for reading and being so lovely.
As for the apple tart… That has roots in a real-life cookbook too.
See, I picked up this tiny recipe book in Honfleur, France a couple summers ago. I thought it would be fun to translate and recreate a real-deal authentic French recipe, and I finally got around to it. Most of them are simple: fish in cream sauce with apples. Fish in wine sauce with apples. But this? This got mama’s attention.
I couldn’t bear to make the tart crust — excuse me, pate brisee — in a food processor, which I normally do out of pure laziness. Every time I do it by hand, I remember that it’s much easier and less fussy than I’ve been pretending. Really.
This isn’t at the direction of the actual recipe in the book (which only called for 400 grams of the dough, which is not helpful to my ‘merican self), but rather, Julia Child’s recipe for pate brisee. I even used shortening, which I normally don’t do either, but I’d basically go rob a bank if Julia told me it was necessary for a good tart. Normal.
The filling itself is simple and outrageously good. Savory, rich, slightly pungent cheese, sweet, tender apples, and the herbal freshness of mint is a combination I never would have thought of, but am so glad to have discovered.
Not to be blasphemous, but I think this would work with any of your favorite herbs. I could certainly see a summertime version with peaches and sage. Figs and thyme, pears and rosemary … We can only go to good places from here.
Oh, and serve it with cider — in the true spirit of Normandy. Add a big green salad, a couple slices of bacon, and you’ve got yourself a Thanksgiving weekend brunch, baby.
Lastly, don’t forget to enter the giveaway! Leaving a comment and following Pinhole Press and yours truly on Twitter count as one entry each (don’t worry, I don’t tweet that much and it’s mostly about my hair). It ends Friday, so let’s get this recipe photo gift train rolling in time for the holidays. Cheers and a happy week to YOU.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of sugar
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled butter, cubed
- 2 tablespoons chilled solid vegetable shortening, cubed
- 1/4 cup (or more) ice water
- 2 large or 3 small/medium apples
- 8 ounces Camembert cheese
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup creme fraiche
- About 15 fresh mint leaves
- To make crust, whisk together flour, salt, and sugar in medium bowl. Cut in the butter and shortening with a pastry cutter or rub in with your hands until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the water and work it in until the dough comes together, adding more water if needed. Shape dough into a slightly flattened ball, wrap in plastic, and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
- When dough is chilled, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out the dough on a well-floured surface until it is large enough to overhang your tart pan (I used a 10-inch pan with a removable bottom, and rolled it out to about 12 inches in diameter). Transfer dough to pan and trim edges. Prick crust all over with a fork and chill while you prep filling.
- To make the filling, peel, core, and slice apples into wedges. Dice the Camembert into 1/2-inch pieces. Whisk together the eggs and creme fraiche until smooth. Scatter the apples and Camembert over the bottom of the tart pan, and carefully pour the egg mixture over. Top with the mint leaves.
- Bake in preheated oven until the filling is set, the apples are cooked through, and the top starts to turn golden, about 35-40 minutes. Then, broil on high for 3 minutes or so to get the filling golden brown and bubbly (keep a close eye on it, so it doesn't burn). Serve tart at room temperature.