Daydream Monday, anyone?

PWPplums

 

Summers in Arizona for restaurants and bakeries or any hospitality business here is slow. Super slow. I assumed this would give me time to relax, daydream, and plan for the upcoming season. Yeah, not so much. I have been consistently busy planning and plotting with the odd job here and there, that I feel like I haven’t been able to spend much time playing with all my new ideas.

Mondays are my creative days. Well, I do office work too, but I give myself space to write recipes, test recipes, and flip through my cookbooks and mags that are piling up on my desk, and finally organize the bobs and bits around my messy office.

Daydream Mondays allow for endless cups of coffee, slices of leftover dark chocolate cake for lunch, and wine time arriving whenever the day demands and permits. Bowls of sweet plum slices for snack while catching up on emails or sorting through boxes of baking tools that will be used and abused this upcoming season. I don’t have to be anywhere or have to meet any deadlines. The day takes shape however I need it to, plus it’s alone time in my home office and kitchen to be by myself.

It’s simple and not the break I had hoped for, but the business is growing and starting to find its shape, and I am so grateful for this progress.

PWPWSArtisanMarket

Thanks to everyone who came out on Saturday to Williams-Sonoma Biltmore for the Artisan Market. We love being able to do these events and spread the word about what we are doing at Pistol Whipped Pastry.

Happy Monday, friends!

 

Rachel Ellrich Miller is a pastry chef and food writer in Phoenix, where she bakes, eats, hangs out with her amazing husband, Mr. PC, and drinks copious amounts of Arizona wine. You can get more information about her pastry at www.pistolwhippedpastry.com, or her Sugar Rush column on Phoenix New Times Chow Bella blog.

A Willcox Weekend

WillcoxSunset2

Mr. PC and I are in love with Willcox, Arizona. The land stretches forever in every direction, with farms and vineyards lining the roads. People are kind, waving to us, even though they have never seen us and may never see us again. The main drag of downtown is slowly being revitalized with wine tasting rooms, and hopefully restaurants will follow.

The purpose of our trip was a going away party for our friend Simona. She has an amazing career as a wine maker, venturing around the world to different wineries, helping through the entire wine making process. We met Simona a few months ago when we went to Willcox to help our friends at Sand-Reckoner plant some vines (see story here).

SmoresBar

We brought a dessert bar with dark chocolate cupcakes topped with vanilla buttercream, a s’mores station (Simona had her first s’more and while a little too sweet for her, she did enjoy it), bourbon coconut rice pudding, and mason jars of lemon posset.

DessertBar

As everyone arrived at the Pillsbury Wine Company tasting room, a variety of dishes filled the table and full bottles of wine collected on the bar. There wasn’t a bad bit of food in the place. Citrus salad, grain salad, peaches baked with goat cheese, baked squash, marinated steak tacos, and Simona’s veggie lasagna.

CitrusSalad

 

RoastedPeaches

 

GrainSalad

Everyone sat outside eating, drinking wine, talking and watching the rain storms roll overhead. A beautiful weekend with lovely people.

WillcoxSunset

If you have the chance, get down to Willcox wine country and taste the beautiful wines they are making.

Simona, we will miss you! Safe travels on your next journey! xo

Rachel Ellrich Miller is a pastry chef and food writer in Phoenix, where she bakes, eats, hangs out with her amazing husband, Mr. PC, and drinks copious amounts of Arizona wine. You can get more information about her pastry at www.pistolwhippedpastry.com, or her Sugar Rush column on Phoenix New Times Chow Bella blog.

 

Soaked Oats

SoakedOatsFinished

 

My husband, Mr. PC, came home from work and announced that he would be participating in a lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks competition at work. I’ll admit that my first thought was “ughhhhhhhh!” We do really need to up our fitness game (from non-existent to actually doing some sort of physical activity), but honestly, like most people, we often find it challenging to find the time with our busy schedules.

Plus, we love good food, cocktails and wine, and often treat meals like great events, eating to our hearts content. The eating out or quick meals during the fast pace of the week often catch up to us with a snugging of our pants.

I love trying out new (or new to me) ideas that I feel will make my life a little healthier and a little easier. Enter this concept of soaked oats. I’ve been reading a lot about sprouting and soaking grains to make them more digestible, which also allows for the nutrients to be better absorbed by the body. I’ve heard a lot about overnight soaking of oats (hello muesli) and have always wondered if soaked oats taste better than the regular cooked version. Answer: yes!

However, I am not into eating them cold. I just can’t get around the texture and temp combo. So, I do reheat my oats. I love that it makes a hearty, re-heatable breakfast that can be easily transported, and doesn’t have any preservatives. When I eat a breakfast like this, I don’t find myself snacking as much during the day.

I make a batch at the beginning of the week, stored in mason jars in the fridge, they are easy to pull for breakfast on the go (for me), or for Mr. PC to take to work.

I soak the oats overnight with water and organic (no-sugar added) apple juice. Reheated in the morning with a couple splashes of milk, then portioned out into jars, and stored in fridge. I reheat my oats each mornings with a bit more milk (use homemade almond milk, which is amazing), add in a touch of brown sugar or some homemade jam, nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, a bit of quinoa leftover from dinner, coconut milk…options are endless.

Perhaps this will help until I can get back on that running regime.

Oats after soaking for 6 hours.

Oats after soaking for 6 hours.

Print

Soaked Oats

Rachel Ellrich Miller

Ingredients:

2 cups Apple Juice, Organic & No-Sugar Added
2 cups Water, Filtered
2 cups Rolled Oats, Organic (and if needed Gluten Free)
A pinch of Salt
1/4 - 1/2 cup Whole Milk, Organic (or Homemade Almond Milk)

If desired, you can add a multitude of items, here are some that we often add-in.
3 TBSP Wheat Bran (omit if Gluten Free)
1 tsp. Cinnamon, Ground
Handful of Cashews or Walnuts, Chopped
Handful of Dried Cherries or Dried Cranberries
Nut Butters
Hemp Seeds
Homemade Jam
Honey
Brown Sugar
Leftover Quinoa (I know this sounds odd, but with some raisins and a splash of milk, it's delicious!)

Directions:

In a large pot, bring water, apple juice and pinch of salt to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in oats. Cover and allow to sit overnight. (I don't refrigerate mine, but if it freaks you out to leave it at room temp, you can refrigerate.)

The next morning, heat up the oaks with 1/4 - 1/2 cup milk (or almond milk) (You can also, just portion into jars, and not reheat - this is how they are traditionally eaten, but I am not a fan of the texture/temp combination). Portion into containers (we use glass canning jars with the plastic BPA free lids) and stir in extras. Store in the fridge. Eat cold or reheat.

 

I store our oats in glass mason jars, ready to grab and go.

I store our oats in glass mason jars, ready to grab and go.

 

Rachel Ellrich Miller is a pastry chef and food writer in Phoenix, where she bakes, eats, hangs out with her amazing husband, Mr. PC, and drinks copious amounts of Arizona wine. You can get more information about her pastry at www.pistolwhippedpastry.com, or her Sugar Rush column on Phoenix New Times Chow Bella blog.

Dessert from our mini moon at Bourbon Steak.

Dessert from our mini moon at Bourbon Steak.

I married my love, Mr. PC. We tied the knot just over two months ago in a sunset ceremony surrounded by our family and close friends. While it was a beautiful day, we are still exhausted and attempting to recover.

I wish I could have spent more time with family and friends that came in from out of town. Everything went so quickly and the wedding day was a blur of hugs and quick conversations. I don’t feel like I was able to talk to everyone enough. Happily, I was able to at least speak with everyone who attended, but for me, it wasn’t enough. Now they are all home, we are moderately recovered, and I wish we had more time with our families and friends. Check out the lovely armadillo cake one of my best girlfriends made me over at my Sugar Rush column on Chow Bella.

Even though I was not allowed to make my own wedding cake, I still represented Pistol Whipped Pastry with some tasty cupcake treats for my family and friends to take with them as well as a dessert table at the rehearsal dinner. I wanted to give my out of town guests something from my bakery, plus, I love doing orders for dessert tables or dessert favors for weddings, and my wedding was no exception.

Cupcakes from our wedding.

Cupcakes from our wedding.

Of course, there is always drama when you put many different opinions into one space. I have chosen NOT to change my name at the present time. I like my name. I have a business and a career built on my name. Never did I think that it would matter to me, to change my name, until a couple months ago, when someone asked me if I was practicing signing my new name. I hemmed and hawed, caught off-guard at how much I didn’t want to change it. This has been my name for 31 years. I’m not ready to part with it just yet.

When we went to sign the marriage certificate after the wedding, the venerable female reverend told me that I HAD to change my name, because legally, my name is now that of my husband, and I could get into serious trouble with the law if caught with my maiden name on my license and social security card. My photographer frantically waved her hands and shook her head no behind the silver-haired reverend. It’s a great story to tell, and I eagerly wait being arrested by the police for not using my married name.

We hit the ground running after the wedding. Pistol Whipped Pastry is taking off and I am thrilled. Crazy busy. Somedays, I wish I could clone myself, but I am really excited about all the progress. We are booking events left and right, and I am getting to work with so many amazing people. Check out the new line of gluten free pastries I am doing at Kaleidoscope Juice. I’m writing for some fabulous publications, and being extended some amazing writing opportunities that I can not wait to share with you all.We bought a house in December, you know, because we haven’t done enough this year, yet. Life is good.

The recovery process after a wedding seems to involve the regaining of one’s appetite. I feel like I didn’t eat for about a month prior and during the wedding. My trainer was amazed at how quickly I was losing weight. “No appetite,” was not her favorite response. However, we are making up for it now, by eating good food.

It’s like I hit Suzie Homemaker mode this weekend, roasting a chicken, then making stock from the remains. Homemade chicken soup. Apples for applesauce gurgling away in cider on the stove. The windows opened. Prepping dinners for the week. It was the first time in a couple weeks I had cooked a homemade meal, and it was fully relaxing. As much as I love the precision and measurements of pastry, I equally love the dash-here-and-pinch-there of savory cooking as well.

Chicken soup, pink lady applesauce, and new wine glasses.

Chicken soup, pink lady applesauce, and new wine glasses.

I make chicken stock quite a bit, since I typically roast a chicken about every other week. I throw the whole chicken carcass into the stock pot, fill with water till just covered. Add a couple chopped carrots, some celery, an onion, a bay leaf, salt and pepper, and simmer for about 4 hours. Make sure to skim off and discard the foam as it collects on the surface.

I strain my stock through cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve. Store in deli containers in the freezer for use whenever needed.

With the proliferation of kale and other hearty leafy greens popping up from our local farmers, I have been chopping and tossing those greens in near the end of the soup making process.

Our new house is perfect. It’s exactly the amount of space we needed and in a great area, that is up-and-coming. I finally have a dedicated office to house my books, Pistol Whipped Pastry gear, and all the great photography gear & props I have been collecting.

I am loving the blank slate that is before me, daydreaming up how I want to decorate. I have already procured some paint samples, and have a pinterest board full of creative DIY ideas of how I want to organize and create my perfect workspace.

Over the next month I will be working on putting together my office space, and sharing it with you here. The challenge I am facing is the need for a lot of storage, but I don’t want it to look like I work in a storage room or a closet. With a growing collection of cookbooks and vintage cake stands, I want to be able to display them, but not feel overwhelmed in the small space.

OfficeBefore

I guess it’s time to open a bottle of wine and start painting the walls. Do people have such things as painting parties? Hmmm…

I went through a phase a few years ago where I was obsessed with caramelized onions. I made them everyday to eat on thick toasted slices of bread I was testing, tossed with pasta and goat cheese, or with my morning eggs. They were sweet, charred, and with a dash of salt, perfect on just about anything. Due to some comments from friends and my sister, I am pretty sure that my house, as well as my person, were pretty pungent, but I didn’t care. I love the smell. It was comforting to come home and have the scent of onion perfuming the air.

caramelizedonions

Finished, caramelized onions.

Working as a pastry chef can be challenging at times, to keep your creativity fresh. I read everything I can get my hands on, taste the work of other chefs, travel to new towns to see what is happening in their food scene, scour the internet for new techniques and back myself against a wall, to force myself to come up with new ideas and methods.

Some days, I go back to my favorites. Hunting for new scone flavor variations the other day, I wandered around the kitchen. I scoured the walk-in, the freezer, dry storage. That is when I saw the onions. As freshly baked bacon wafted through the air, I started to piece together a new scone flavor. It is simple, but caramelized onions, bacon and cheese scones are one of my biggest sellers, so apparently others feel the familiar tug of comforting flavors too.

choppingonions

Chopped onions.

I hadn’t made caramelized onions in a long time and once I started at work, I couldn’t seem to stop. Zipping to the market after work, I filled my basket with onions and headed home to continue my caramelized project.

Pale onions, on their way to being caramelized.

Pale onions, on their way to being caramelized.

One of my favorite ways to eat caramelized onions is in quiche. Silky custard of eggs and milk, flaky pie crust and all the little bits and pieces you have left over in the fridge, tossed into the mix. I keep a pie crust rolled out in a pie plate in the freezer at all times. It is my quickie dinner when I just don’t feel like assembling a full meal. I mix up the egg and milk (or cream if you are feeling dangerous), toss in the bits and bobbles I can find. Pop it in the oven for about 45 min-1 hour. While it bakes, I toss together a small salad, and pour glasses of wine. It’s simple, like the caramelized onions, but it’s comfortable.

finishedquiche

As Mr. Paul Child walked in the door, mid-caramelized onion sautéing on the stove, the first words out of his mouth were “Ohhhh! What smells so good in here?” I knew I was marrying the right man.

dinner

Print

Caramelized Onions and Quiche

Rachel Ellrich Miller

Ingredients:

For the Caramelized Onions:
2 large onions (any variety that you like)
A couple tbsp good olive oil
A pinch of salt

For the Quiche:
Pie crust in a 9.5" or 10" pie plate; chill very well (or keep in the freezer like I do)
7-8 eggs
1/2 cup milk (you can also use all cream or half milk, half cream)
Various odds and ends (I used zucchini, red pepper, teleme cheese, caramelized onions and bacon)
Salt and Pepper

Directions:

For the caramelized onions:
Heat a sautee pan over medium heat. Pour in a couple tablespoons of good olive oil. You want to keep the onions from sticking to the pan, you do not want your onions drowning in oil. Toss in your onions. This process will take a bit, so be patient. Allow the onions to sweat, stir occasionally. The onions will start to color. When they do, try not to move them around too much. You do want to move the onions, to allow the color to cover all the onions, but you also want them to color, and moving them around a lot will not allow them to get nice and caramelized. If you like a paler caramelization, take them off at your preference.

Quiche:
Whisk egg and milk together. Toss all your odds and ends in the frozen pie crust. Pour your egg mixture over.Pop in the oven at 350 degrees for 45minutes to an hour. Basically, it should not be jiggly in the middle and golden brown on top. I always end up covering the top with aluminum foil near the end, to keep the top from over browning.

Serve with side salad and a glass of Arizona Sand Reckoner white for a perfect summer evening.

The past few months have been busy. The past few weeks have been insane! My latest and greatest news is that Pistol Whipped Pastry, my pastry business, is up and running!

website

 

We are generating interest and picking up some great clients, plus placing PWP products on the shelves at some fabulous local stores. PWP is looking at getting into some of the farmers markets soon. I will keep you updated on where you can grab some tasty PWP treats, and we hope to see you there.

PWPcollage

 

Mr. P.C. and I are in full wedding swing. That means eating better, which isn’t hard to do with all the gorgeous veg and fruit coming up at the farmers markets. I sat by the open window this weekend, and ate a pound of strawberries. The ruby strawberries were intended for a tart (err, eating better means fruit on your tart, right?), but once I bit into one, I knew they wouldn’t make it to my pastry.

photo copy 5

 

I have more strawberries coming this week, but this time, I will attempt to resist, so that PWP strawberry jam doesn’t suffer.

Are you enjoying the strawberries coming in? How are you eating them?

 

 

MyFavThingsWeek1

 

1. Owl Cake Tin – I am obsessed with owls. Probably because my grandma used to collect them, and having them around reminds me of her. These were too cute to pass up. World Market for $8.99. I can’t wait to bake up some little owl cakes.

2. Rush Creek Reserve, from Uplands Cheese Company – This cheese is amazing! You purchase a round, and then cut the top off, because the cheese inside is so liquid, gooey. The ripeness of the cheese communicates the change in the cow’s diet, from grass-fed during the summer, to dry hay of the winter season. The small wheels are wrapped in spruce bark, which infuses a woodsy flavor to the rounds. Mr. Paul Child bought me a round of their latest and last release of the season, for my birthday. It only lasted two days with a box of Trader Joe’s crackers. Contact Wedge & Bottle to see when Uplands Cheese Company will begin to ship again later in the year.

3. Packaging for my pastry – Honestly, there are so many choices out there. It is complicated, to want to present your product in a beautiful way, and yet at the same time, to not spend a fortune to do so. I’ve been getting samples and trying to make wise decisions. What is your favorite kind of packaging, and what do you dislike in packaging?

4. Garden & Gun Magazine – If you have never picked up this homage to the south, you need to! Beautiful photos, well-written stories, and delicious recipes from incredible southern chefs, it is the accumulation of everything I want in a magazine. For sale at Barnes & Noble or subscribe on their website.

 

It’s a Farm Life For Me

Moving to a small town again, wasn’t exactly in my plans. I guess when I pictured life in a small town in my future, I assumed it would be Cornville, AZ or Jerome, AZ where I would be surrounded by amazing wine, and easily be able to get down to Phoenix to see my friends and family, for dinners and drinks in my favorite restaurants. Enter, love of my life, Mr. Paul Child, and off I go packing up my cookbooks and knives, into my FJ, and accept a job as an executive chef for a farm bakery in Yuma, AZ.

I grew up on 60 acres of land and went to college at a school that was built by farmers and known for a long time, for it’s agriculture. Apparently, living in a city has become ingrained in me, because the moment I see a combine driving down the road, on my commute to work, I started laughing. The third day it happened, I started to get pissed, trying to get around it. Now, it’s a common day annoyance.

This is a massive change in my life and exciting development in my career, all rolled into one. It thrills me that my job includes being able to order seeds for the fields and watch the guys lay the irrigation lines for the pumpkin patch (see photo above), knowing that soon I will pull them from the fields and turn them into delicious edibles. It’s a dream gig for a chef to have a field of produce at their fingertips, and now it has happened to me!

Mr. Paul Child no longer has to listen to me proclaim my love for chickens and how convenient it would be for me to be able to retrieve eggs for cooking from a coop, if I had one. The shabby chic coop will house 50 hens and is made from all up-cycled materials from the farm and the vintage shop. It’s going to have a chandelier and a guest book for kids to leave the chickens messages.

Part of what we are trying to do at the farm is to feed people good food. In a world where store bought bread doesn’t mold for a month or longer, we are going to be offering breads to our customers. I’m in love with breads, and the simplicity of the ingredients, that must be manipulated by a skilled hand, to create a rustic, beautiful product. This is how they made breads for centuries before we got the cockamamie idea to commercialize the process. Our breads will be made by hand, specifically, my hands.

I am missing Phoenix and all my friends and family there. I’ve been trying to create really healthy habits for myself and just be kind to myself. While I’m working every day getting everything in line for the opening of the farm bakery, a couple weekends ago, I zipped over to San Diego for the Color Me Rad, color run. If you haven’t done one of these 5K’s, it’s amazing. A sea of people in white arrive, a sea of people colored by pink, purple, blue, green, and yellow cornstarch leave. It’s renewed my desire to get my butt into shape so that I can run a half marathon at some point.

I made my first solo pot of my mom’s (passed down to her from my grandma) sauce. Waking up to the smell of onions and garlic being sautéed, is home for me. Letting the scent permeate the house, so that leaving and coming back, it smells like my parents house…happiness. I think I needed the reminder, since I’m missing my family.

And now, a new recipe for you. I’m sure I’ve seen a recipe like it somewhere before. Have you ever craved a recipe you’ve never had? That’s how this was for me. I was hungry for it, and I had to create the recipe from the taste I dreamed of in my head. I just knew I wanted veggies, herbs de provence and some crunch.

Mr. Paul Child likes veggies, but doesn’t love them like I do. I could eat roasted veg for dinner every night, but I’m pretty sure he would view that as torture. I have to come up with different ways to get him to eat veg, hence this recipe. Yeah, there’s some parm and breadcrumbs (panko) on there, but it’s a light sprinkle, and in the end, he’s eating veggies.

The farm I work at has a U-Pick, and I can’t wait till we get the delicious fall veg coming off the fields that I can use with this recipe.

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Roasted Veggies with Panko

Rachel Ellrich Miller

Ingredients:

2 small zucchini
1 small-medium eggplant
3-4 small potatoes, purple or red
olive oil
1/2 cup panko (can be found in the asian section of most grocery stores)
1/4 cup fresh grated parmigiano-reggiano
1 - 1 1/2 tsp. herbs de provence (I use about 1 1/2 tsp. but herbs de provence is not for everyone, so start will a little less if you have never tasted it.)
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Rub a baking dish with olive oil. I use a Le Creuset baking dish that's 10" X 6 3/4" x 1 1/2", and it works perfectly.

Mix together panko, parm, herbs de provence, salt and pepper. If you want more cheese, add more cheese. I usually do this by eye.

Thinly slice the veggies, making each slice close to the same thickness. I cut the eggplant in half length-wise and then slice them from each half.

Toss the veggies with olive oil. Start with one veggie type and line them standing up down the shorter side of the pan. Sprinkle with panko mixture. Line with the second veggie type. Sprinkle with panko mixture. I think you get the point. Once layered, I sprinkle any remaining panko mixture on the top and drizzle the little drizzle of olive oil that's left in the veggie bowls, over the top. Pop in the oven for 30 minutes to bake. After 30 minutes, my oven doesn't get it nice and browned, so I turn on the broiler for a few minutes to crisp up the cheese and panko topping.

A Birthday and a Tart

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I turned 30 this month. When I confessed my hesitance for this birthday, most of my friends rolled their eyes and told me how much better my 30′s would be. “But I thought I’d have done more at this point in my life,” I whined. They’d shake their heads and sip their drinks.

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I couldn’t ask for better friends, who have shown me love all month long, and helped me celebrate a big moment in my life. Dinners and drinks, laughs and putting all the big dreams I have for this year out to others, letting them help boost them up with positivity.

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For my actual birthday dinner, I wanted to do all family dishes, that meant something to me. There was genuine love and multiple helpings. At the end of the day, comfort food, comforts all. My friends appreciated the love and the generational hands that passed the knowledge down.

It was simple entertaining: mason jars filled with candles, rustic rounds of sourdough kneaded by my hands, family recipe for saccarine pickles, a small pot of my clementine marmalade, overflowing bowls of cinnamon bourbon pecans, a multitude of cheese, the family sauce with bison meatballs, spicy salmon, roasted veg, our now 4th generation family cake called ‘mush cake,’ and cake plates overflowing with my cupcakes.

Wine filled glasses, cupcake wrappers and crumbs litter plates and napkins, while conversation filled the empty spaces. An obscene number of wine bottles start to line the counter.

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This month, I’ve been working on a few new projects complete with new recipes, and in doing so, feeding myself some delicious food (think about the 3 rounds of sourdough now sitting on my counter, goodbye waistline!). One of the recipes I’ve been tweaking and falling in love with are these apple tarts. The crumble sprinkled on top is hearty, and after a day of pinches each time I passed the prep table, I was in need of another batch. Whoops!

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The apples are Arkansas Blacks from the farmers market and they are perfect for these tarts. The texture reminds me a bit of a McIntosh, and the skin is a deep purple, that is almost black. Topped off with crumble and some creme fraiche swirled with maple syrup. A last taste of fall here in the desert as we slip into spring. I eat the test tarts warm from the oven, straight off the sheet pan.

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All-in-all, a great birthday month. Happy Birthday to my fellow, Aquarians! I hope you enjoy these tarts as much as I do.

**Update: I just got the okay to release some good news, right before I was about to hit send on this post. I will be a Season 6 Blogger on Molly Mahar’s fabulous site Stratejoy, with 6 other amazing women!

Please check us out soon, over on Stratejoy.

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Apple Tarts with Crumble and Maple Creme Fraiche

Rachel Ellrich Miller

Ingredients:

    Crumble:

1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup Sugar, Light Brown
4 oz. Butter, Unsalted, Cold and Cut into Cubes
1/2 tsp Sea Salt, Fine
1/2 tsp. Fall Spice
1 Tbsp. Fresh Grated Ginger
1/4 cup Whole Flax Seeds

    Apple Tarts:

For the pie dough:
2 1/4 cups AP Flour
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 cup Sugar, Granulated
1 tsp. Sea Salt, Fine
1 cup Butter, Unsalted, Cold and Cut into Cubes
3/4 cup - 1 cup Water, Ice Cold
1/2 each Zest of Citrus

    For the assembly of Apple Tarts:

3-4 Apples (Your choice!)
3-4 oz Butter, Unsalted, Browned
Fall spice mixed with Sugar, Granulated

    To serve:

Creme Fraiche
Good Maple Syrup

Directions:

    Crumble:

Place flour, sugar, butter, salt, fall spice and ginger into a food processor. Pulse till combined. Dump onto a silpat or parchment lined sheet pan. Mix in the whole flax seeds. Bake at 375 degrees, flipping with a spatula, every 5-6 minutes till golden brown (roughly around 15-20 minutes).

    Apple Tarts:

Place the AP and whole wheat flour, sugar, salt, citrus zest and butter into the food processor. Pulse till butter is incorporated and about pea-sized. Slowly add the water till the dough comes together. Don't over process, you don't want to build too much gluten. Place in a ziploc bag or plastic wrap and allow to rest/chill in the fridge for at least a few hours.

Cut the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece out and using a larger bowl or plate as a stencil, cut a circle out. If the dough gets too soft, place it in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes.
Place first dough round on a parchment lined sheet pan. Paint a little brown butter onto the round (not too much, you don't want it pooling). Sprinkle some of the fall spice-sugar mixture on the round.
Slice the apples. I like to cut in half and remove the core, then slice each half. I do thin slices so that they will bend as I arrange them in the tart.

I layer a few apples on the bottom, in the center of the dough round, then fold the edges of the dough around/up to create a shell.
To create my apple layers: I place down apples, a brushing of brown butter, and then sprinkle fall spice-sugar. After I have folded the edges of the dough up, I brush them with some brown butter and sprinkle with fall spice-sugar. I then try to almost create a flower with the apple halves, off-setting the overlapping halves. I still continue to do the layering with the apple slices, brown butter, and fall spice-sugar.

Continue assembling the rest of the tarts, and make sure to do the assembly on the parchment lined sheet pan, so that you don't have to move your tarts after they are assembled.
Bake at 350 degrees until the crust is golden brown.

To assemble:
Sprinkle warm apple tarts with crumble, and drizzle with maple swirled creme fraiche. Stuff yourself with apple goodness.

What kind of soup did you eat as a kid? I can remember the red and white Campbell’s Soup cans of tomato, chicken noodle and bean & bacon. My brother and I would roll in from some hard playtime in a foot of freshly fallen snow, and a good amount of icicle eating, to hot bowls of soup and Saltine crackers.

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I gave up icicle eating long ago (eww, rain gutter water!), plus there’s no snow here in Arizona, but when I do come in from a cold, strenuous hike, I need some soup to sooth my achy muscles.

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