Honey Rhubarb Tart

Wow. Over 3 weeks since my last post? How can that be? I guess I’ve just been out and about enjoying the gorgeous summer weather we’ve finally gotten in Chicagoland.

Part of all that summer fun involved celebrating my dear friend Lauren’s birthday last weekend. She invited a group of our friends over to her home for a lovely brunch. I offered to bring a dessert, and settled on a rhubarb tart. It came out fancy.

IMG_9190 (640x427)

I used this recipe. Believe it or not, I had a hard time finding a good tart recipe. Rhubarb tarts must not be a thing in America – all the recipes were from England and France, hence the strange ingredient measurements. I did some googling, and I ended up having to approximate some of the measurements, which I hate doing in baking. Ingredients are supposed to be precise when you bake, so I was pretty nervous about how this tart would come out. It seems to have worked, so I thought I’d share the conversions I did:

Pastry/crust ingredients:

1 cup flour

6 1/3 tablespoons of cold butter

1 ounce of water

pinch of salt

 

Filling ingredients (I added to the original recipe):

4 stalks of rhubarb

3 tablespoons honey mixed with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (to soak rhubarb in)

3 tablespoons honey mixed with 1 teaspoon white sugar (to brush on top of tart)

1 tablespoon fine sugar (I used baking sugar) to sprinkle on top of the whole tart before baking

 

Yeah, I added a lot of extra sweetener than the original tart recipe recommended. I was concerned that my rhubarb was not quite ripe, and would be bitter. The tart turned out great, and I think the extra sugar was definitely needed. The tart had a subtle sweetness paired with the slightly bitter rhubarb. My only complaint was that the extra honey left the crust a bit soggy. I probably wouldn’t add so much honey if I had perfectly ripe rhubarb. Still, the tart was pretty tasty so I’m putting this one in the win column.

Advertisements

Fall Harvest Caramel Apple Mini Pies

I baked these a while ago, but I want to make more. I just can’t get enough of these mini caramel apple pies.

IMG_1273

I find myself making these kind of “mini” desserts often. I think it’s because I find people are more willing to take a two bite mini pie than cut themselves a whole piece. Maybe it seems like less of a commitment? Trust me, if you make these, you won’t be taking any home at the end of the party.

Ingredients:

1 package store bought pie crust (2 crusts)

3 chopped granny smith apples (you can use any baking apple)

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp flour

cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, cloves, and nutmeg to taste

1 egg (used to make egg wash)

turbinado sugar (to sprinkle on top)

caramel sauce (storebought or homemade is fine)

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Start by taking a circle shaped cookie cutter (or a glass, like I used) and cut out the mini pie crusts. Put each circle into a mini muffin pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

In a big bowl, gently stir together the apples, sugars, flour, and spices. you want everything mixed, but you don’t want the apples to turn to mush. Spoon the apple mixture into the pie crusts, being careful to keep the juice you take along with the apples to the minimum.

Now, it’s time to do the top of the pies. I did half my pies in a lattice and the other half in a vented whole top. My feedback told me that there was a slight preference for the lattice top. I think the ratio of filling to crust is better with a minimal time. I’d recommend doing a lattice or a cut out shape (apple, leaf, etc) on top.

Once your pies are assembled, beat the egg with just a little bit of water to make an egg wash. Brush the tops of each pie with the wash. This will make the tops golden toasty and delicious. Finish each pie off with a sprinkle of turbinado sugar.

Now, I was nervous that the filling would become so hot that it would bubble over the top of each pie, making an ugly mess. To combat this, I wrapped the mini cupcake pan in foil, and baked it for 10 minutes. Take the foil off, turn the pan, and bake for another 10 minutes.

While the mini pies are still hot, drizzle the caramel over the top of each one. This gave the pies just  a hint of caramel flavor. If you want a stronger flavor, I’d suggest adding the caramel to the apple mixture before putting the filling in each pie. Still add caramel on top at the end, for a pretty effect.

IMG_1275

I’m hoping to post some of the other fall desserts I’ll be making over the weekend, so check back soon for more sweet treats.