Tuesday, January 22, 2013

French Apple Tart - TWD: Baking with Julia

Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking with Julia - 25th Installment.  The recipe is French Apple Tart.
I should have taken a picture of this unmolded, as it looked a bit prettier out of the pan.  I don't have a 9" tart pan, so I gave it a try in a 9" springform pan.  The edge doesn't look as pretty, but it worked - the crust held up well, and released from the pan just fine.
The pie crust part of the recipe was very good - I have found that the mix of vegetable shortening (I know some of you are saying 'ugh' right now :-) and butter makes it very flaky AND flavorful.  My mother and grandmother always used only shortening, and their crusts were always excellent, but I think I like the combo crust.  I've even used lard in some pie crusts recently, since we have a local source of fresh lard, and that is good too, especially in combination with butter.
I thought the roasted apple sauce topped with thin slices was interesting and tasted good. I also liked the carmelized browning of the edges of the apple slices.  My tart was done before it got too brown - I wasn't sure whether to leave it in, but since I didn't want the crust to burn, I pulled it out.   I was wondering why I'd never seen this style of tart before (I don't remember it from the TV series either).  and why French? Any one know if this is traditional in France?
Here's how it looked before baking

I'm not sure I would make this again, with all those steps, but it was fun to make and the family liked it.  It was feeling like a bit of a slog to get this done over the weekend (busy schedule, so had to squeeze it in between other activities), but in the end, definitely worth it.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pizza with Onion Confit - TWD: Baking with Julia

Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking with Julia - 24th Installment.  The recipe is Pizza with Onion Confit.
 I like this recipe, and thought it was fairly easy.  I even stored the dough overnight after mixing the flour into the sponge, and it turned out well after its stay in the fridge.  Usually I made pizza dough in the food processor, but this was just as easy in the electric mixer.  I used all-purpose flour, but I am wondering if it might have more nice chewiness if I had used bread flour.  The pizza stone definitely helps with the texture, no matter what kind of flour is used.

Purple onions - they started out yellow!
The onions were simple to cook (just needed time at home for the hour of slow "confit-ing"). They did turn very purple from the red wine.  I think I didn't really cook them long enough either, becuase the wine flavor was still somewhat noticeable.  I was hoping for more sweetness.  I may try this again with less wine - I'm a big fan of carmelized onions on pizza, especially with other sharp ingredients like olives and goat cheese.

I made one pizza with the onion confit, plus oil-cured olives and goat cheese (yum), and one with red sauce, cheese, sausage, mushrooms and peppers, so the diners wouldn't completely rebel.