October 18, 2011

crumbly goodness

So I haven't talked much about food I make at home, and that's because I don't make food at home all that often - only twice or maybe once a week. The reasoning was that I was tired from cooking so much at school that I didn't want to cook at home. This made me worried that culinary school was killing my passion for cooking, because home cooking was what I'd always enjoyed the most - cooking that I and people I loved got to enjoy.

Thankfully this is changing. I've gotten so much in the habit of cooking that I miss cooking if I don't do it. And this makes me wonder if there's some threshold for creative endeavor, where maybe you might do something once in a while and love it but avoid doing it every day since you think it will tire you out (or it actually does tire you out), but then you just keep pushing and you discover you do actually want to do it every day.

Anyway, there was one day where I was tired of seeing the same two Granny Smith apples sitting in my fridge, so I decided to do something about them. I didn't want to eat them plain, so I went to allrecipes.com and typed in "granny smith" as a search term under "Ingredients". I found this recipe for apple pie but I didn't have enough apples, so I decided to make mini-pies, or tartlets.

apple tartlets

I peeled/cored the apples and cut them into little cubes. Then I sauteed them in butter with brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon until they got soft.

While those cooled I made the dough, with measurements modified from the recipe:

1 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup melted butter
1 egg

I mixed those all together, kneaded the dough and let it rest in the fridge. Later I took it out and portion them into ten balls, which I then flattened with my palms and placed into the muffin tins, pressing with my fingers to stretch the dough up the sides. I divided the apple filling I had between all ten tarts, but it wasn't really enough (could have used twice the apples, or half the dough).

Baked until the tarts became golden brown, then cooled them on the stovetop. And when I took one out to eat... that first bite into the crust amazed me. And I don't really do that to myself, with the things I make - it was just a happy coincidence, but it renewed my delight in cooking. I mean, I just want every pie/tart crust to taste like that.

crumbly crumb

Will have to do it again.

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