September 18, 2013

Apple recipes

By Meredith Goad mgoad@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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“The ingredients are few, but the taste is wonderful,” says Mary McCartney of the apple tart recipe handed down to her by her stepgrandmother.

Mary McCartney photo

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DUTCH BABY (APPLE PANCAKE)

Servings: 4

2 eggs

2/3 cup whole milk

½ teaspoon vanilla

Pinch salt

½ cup flour

2 small apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch slices

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon sugar mixed with ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Powdered sugar, for serving

Lemon wedges or cheddar cheese for serving

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, vanilla, and salt. Beat well, by hand or in a blender, until thick and foamy. Add flour and beat well to combine. Stir in the apple slices.

Place a 9-inch cake pan (not a springform pan) in the hot oven for several minutes. Remove and place butter in pan, swirling to melt it and to coat bottom of pan. Scrape pancake batter into pan and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake for 20 minutes, until puffy and browning on the edges. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until nicely browned.

Sprinkle pancake with powdered sugar and serve with lemon wedges (to squeeze over the pancake) or with cubes of cheddar cheese. Best eaten right away.

Mary McCartney, the daughter of Paul and Linda McCartney, grew up in a vegetarian family and today serves as a consultant for Linda McCartney Foods.

She is also an acclaimed photographer. In her first cookbook, "Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking" (Sterling Epicure: $29.95), McCartney shares family recipes and stories, and photographs of her favorite dishes that she took herself.

Her Delicate Apple Tart is a simple way to showcase the flavor of the season's apples.

DELICATE APPLE TART

My stepgrandmother first showed me this recipe when I was in my early teens, and I still love to make it today. I think of this tart as quite graceful; it doesn't need to try too hard. The ingredients are few, but the taste is wonderful.

Servings: 6

For the pastry:

21/3 cups all-purpose or light spelt flour

1½ sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes

A little butter, at room temperature, for the pan

¼ teaspoon sea salt

4 to 5 tablespoons cold water

For the filling:

4 or 5 apples (use crisp eating apples, not cooking apples)

3 tablespoons salted butter

3 tablespoons superfine sugar, preferably unrefined (raw)

1/3 cup apricot jam (I use St. Dalfour jam)

1 tablespoon water

To make the pastry, put the flour, chilled and cubed butter, and the salt into a medium mixing bowl and mix with a spoon or knife until all of the butter is coated with flour.

Add the water and mix with your fingertips, kneading just until the mixture comes together to form a ball. Take care not to overwork it; pieces of butter should be visible in the pastry (and will give it a wonderful flakiness). Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 325. Butter a large, thin baking sheet, measuring about 11 by 15 inches.

On a clean, lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a thickness of about 1/8 inch, to the shape of the baking sheet. Gently wrap the pastry around the rolling pin and unroll it onto the sheet pan. Keep it cool in the fridge while you prepare the apples.

Peel and quarter the apples, core them and then slice them thinly. Arrange the thin apple slices on the pastry in a neat, overlapping design (like the pattern of tiles on a roof), leaving a 2-inch border around the edges, then fold the pastry edges in over the apples to form a frame.

Dot the butter evenly over the top and then sprinkle sugar evenly over the apples.

Bake for 60 to 75 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and crisp and the apples are browned.

In a small saucepan melt the apricot jam over low heat with 1 tablespoon of water mixed in, then brush it over the apples. Ready to serve.

Reprinted with permission from FOOD: Vegetarian Home Cooking © 2012 by Mary McCartney, Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photography by Mary McCartney

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