Salted Caramel Apple Pie

November 23, 2016 § Leave a comment

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I think one of my favorite types of desserts to bake are pies. They are cozy, comforting, and unpretentious. I love baking them from scratch, starting with the buttery, flaky crust to the delicious sweet or savory filling. Even though it takes a bit longer to make this way, there is something special and satisfying about making the entire thing with your own two hands and lots of love.

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I absolutely adore The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book because it focuses on local, seasonal ingredients and literally every recipe I make from it turns out amazing. I still have yet to visit the storefront in Brooklyn so until then, I will just have to continue baking my way through the pie book. The pie crust recipe is my all-time favorite, and it reminds me of the crust from the homemade pies my family gets from a local farm stand – incredibly flaky and really flavorful, thanks to the cold butter and apple cider vinegar.

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This Salted Caramel Apple Pie is one of the best apple pies I’ve ever had. In addition to the crust, I love that the apples are thinly sliced so the apple flavor is distributed evenly throughout the pie. The filling is surprisingly not too sweet, even though you pour a generous amount of salted caramel over the apples. There is just the right amount of spices to give the pie some warmth and remind you that ’tis the holiday season.

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Fresh Fig Tart with Orange Cream

October 22, 2016 § Leave a comment

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I used to not pay much attention to figs, maybe because I was always preoccupied with juicy berries in the summer and crisp apples in the fall. However when a family friend gave us some fresh figs from her fig tree, I was surprised at how delicious they were! When they are ripe, the figs are creamy, sweet, and have a beautiful pink or deep red color inside. They make a great healthy snack or you can do as I do and put them on top of a tart filled with orange cream and pretend your dessert is healthier because it has fruit on it. To each their own.

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This tart has become one of my favorites! My relatives were coming over to my house for dinner and I wanted to make a dessert that wasn’t too heavy but would be a nice, sweet ending to the meal. I normally gravitate towards berries but I wanted to be mindful of the season and then I stumbled upon this great recipe for a fig tart.

The crust is perfectly buttery but isn’t so flaky to the point that it falls apart when you try to slice into it. It is also really simple to make as it doesn’t require chilling or rolling, which gets the tart onto your plate and into your mouth that much faster. Even if you haven’t had luck with a traditional tart or pie dough, you can definitely make this one – trust me!

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The original recipe filled the tart with a lemon curd that was emulsified with lots of butter to create a light, creamy filling. If you’re thinking I’m about to say I decreased the amount of butter, you would be mistaken. You need all that butter for the right consistency! However instead of lemon juice, I simply switched it out for freshly squeezed orange juice.

The hint of orange flavor in the filling with the fresh figs on top help maintain the lightness of this dish (despite all the butter – so sneaky). I drizzled some honey on top of the figs for some added depth of flavor and shine.

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French Apple Tart

November 2, 2015 § Leave a comment

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finally got to do one of my favorite fall activities: apple picking! It’s such a classic thing to do during this time of year that it is hard for me to imagine living somewhere that doesn’t have this within driving distance. Seriously, what is better than picking your own produce, being surrounded by beautifully colored foliage, stocking up on apple cider, and stuffing your face with apple cider donuts and fritters?DSC_0088FullSizeRender

I brought home some nice Cameo apples, which are perfect for snacking since they are both sweet yet slightly tart and not too soft. I also picked a bunch of Stayman apples to cook with since they are firm and tart so they don’t make desserts and savory dishes cloyingly sweet and they hold up nicely even after being cooked. I’m totally into the whole farm-to-table concept. There is something about harvesting your own produce and creating something out of it that is so satisfying and special. Plus, the freshness and pure flavor that come out of it is unbeatable.DSC_0052DSC_0066                                                                                                             

Komal Desai

I’m so excited to be sharing this recipe with you! Even before I went apple picking, I knew I wanted to make this French Apple Tart. I’ve been obsessed with it ever since I first made it almost four years ago because it is surprisingly so easy yet absolutely stunning and delicious!

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Sour Cherry Hand Pies

July 19, 2015 § Leave a comment

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I love going to the farmers market on the weekends, even if it means not having the luxury of sleeping in. There is something special about interacting with the people who actually cultivated the produce that you transform into delicious meals or simply snack on. Many times, the produce is harvested just the day before you buy it so it doesn’t get much fresher than that!

When I saw a pint of sour cherries at my local farmers market, I was super excited. I knew I had to buy them since I cannot usually find them in the grocery store and the season for sour cherries is short. I didn’t even know exactly what I was going to do with them but I was up for the challenge. That’s kind of what I like about farmers markets- I go there with a blank canvas and become inspired based on whatever produce looks freshest and is in season.

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My first inclination was to make a classic sour cherry pie, but I wasn’t in the mood to make a whole pie, especially since I would be the only one eating it. Instead, I decided to make these cute little hand pies! This way, I could easily share them with my friends. Plus, smaller desserts have less calories so I can eat more of them, right? These hand pies are perfect for people who love a flaky crust and wish they had more of it when eating a regular pie.

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Strawberry-Lemon Curd Tart with Basil-Infused Whipped Cream

July 13, 2015 § Leave a comment

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Happy Monday! This sweet treat is sure to brighten up your Monday and get your week off to a great start. If you’re still pining after the weekend, you need to make this refreshing, summery tart, stat. It’s the right thing to do.

I am completely loving and taking advantage of the abundance of ripe summer fruits! They’re so delicious, juicy, and sweet by themselves that I run into the dilemma of whether to bake with them or just eat them alone. I think this just means that I need to buy twice the amount so I can have my cake tart and eat the fruit too.

This tart is the perfect summer pastry. The flavors are refreshing and light so you can enjoy it without feeling weighed down. It is a pleasant after-dinner dessert but also works well as an afternoon treat.

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All great tarts begin with a buttery, flaky crust, and this one is no exception. I used Joanne Chang’s recipe for Pâte Sucrée, which is a sweet tart dough typically used in French baking. It is extremely versatile so it can be used with a multitude of scrumptious fillings.

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Thanksgiving: An Endurance Test of Cooking & Eating

November 29, 2014 § 3 Comments

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I might have gotten a little carried away with food preparations for this year’s Thanksgiving- I made brunch, pumpkin pie, and a full, traditional Thanksgiving dinner for the day after because I am slightly insane but mostly because I love Thanksgiving food, especially the leftovers. I got less than an ideal amount of sleep and spent an enormous amount of time cooking and cleaning over the past several days but it was all worth it. I couldn’t help being excited for the annual feast of delicious home-cooked comfort food! « Read the rest of this entry »

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