Tag Archives: apples

Caramel Apple Tart

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Slice of Caramel Apple TartCaramel Apple Tart is everything you would want in an apple dessert.  Full of apples, spices, brown sugar and brandy, it’s covered with walnut streusel and caramel.

So you ask, what is the difference between a pie and a tart?  The answer is essentially nothing significant.  A pie is quite often covered with a pie crust.  Tarts never are and are generally baked in fluted tart pans with removable bottoms – think quiche pan only deeper.

That’s where the streusel comes in.  Something has to go on top of the Caramel Apple Tart to keep the filling juicy.   The caramel that tops this particular tart gilds the lilly even more.  This  was a favorite with my wholesale clientele.  So much so that we would have two 24 quart containers of caramel going at once to satisfy the demand. Continue reading

Honey Thyme Apple Tart

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Honey Thyme Apple TartThis simple Honey Thyme Apple Tart came about out of total boredom pressing in forty three pastry shells for a dessert at the restaurant. My mind started wandering around the fifth shell. I knew I wanted something simple, easy to put together with an unexpected element to start the year. It is not only beautiful to look at, it is even better to eat. The little bit of thyme gives this an unexpected note while the honey and balsamic vinegar offset each other. Continue reading

Harvest Pie – A New Holiday Tradition

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Slice of Harvest PieHarvest Pie came about after my realtor told me about a casserole he made for Thanksgiving called Harvest Casserole. It sounded so good that I couldn’t wait to make it into a pie.

This is a pretty straight forward pie except for the sweet potatoes in an otherwise apple pie. At about 2 hours, it is also is the longest baking pie in my repertoire . But it is well worth the time.

The combination of apples and sweet potatoes is unusual but adding brandy and a crumb topping may make this Harvest Pie a new tradition for the holidays. Continue reading

Individual Apple Crostatas

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Individual Apple Crostatas with Pastry CreamThe Italians call them crostatas and the French call them croustades but they are basically the same item.  Individual Apple Crostatas with Pastry Cream is a meeting between the pastry worlds of Italy and France.

Traditionally, a butter crust that is pleated is used as the vessel for the apple crostatas  but in researching this, phyllo seems to be a second choice. When it comes to the restaurant, I stick with tradition when making the crostatas.   Tony’s serves them with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.  While I love this version, my accompaniment of choice is pastry cream piped into the warm crostata.  The chill of the pastry cream softening in the warm apple pastry is truly special and looks so much more difficult than it is. Continue reading

Apple Fritters

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Apple Fritters for Apple FrittersThese Apple Fritters are a speedy version of a doughnut with apples in it. The fact it is not a yeast dough makes this come together really quickly with a bowl and a whisk. I divided the batter into two bowls and used Gala apples in one and Granny Smith in the other. The testers (my husband and myself!) decided the Granny Smiths gave the most apple punch to the Apple Fritters for your money. The liquid used can be milk, water or beer. I like to use beer because it gives a bit more lift to the batter. There is no perceptible taste of beer – which can be good or bad, depending upon your opinion of beer!

Nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, ginger can all be used to flavor the batter for the Apple Fritters. I used nutmeg because I love it, but use anything or nothing as you choose.

To keep from using a lot of oil to fry the Apple Fritters, I chose a smaller pot and filled it with about an inch of oil – just enough to half cover the fritters. The oil should be about 350 degrees. The batter should be fairly loose. Just drop it off of a heaping soup spoon and let it fry to a golden brown. Turn it over and fry the other side. Drain on paper towels and immediately roll in granulated sugar. Try to wait until they are all fried before diving in the Apple Fritters!

I recently ran across one of the most interesting in depth articles on the health benefits of apples I have seen. 34 Science Backed Health Benefits of Apples lists 34 apples and their best uses. In the last few years I have noticed more and more varieties of apples in the stores.  I found this helpful in helping me determine what apple works best where.  Americans have a love affair with apples and this article demonstrates exactly why.

Apple Fritters ingredients2 cups diced apples, unpeeled
1 egg
1 1/3 cup beer, water or milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour (245 grams or 8 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup sugar (50 grams or 1 3/4 ounce)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice or ginger or a combination, optional
14 teaspoon salt
Granulated sugar for coating

Cut the apple in about 1/3 inch dice. Set aside.

Beat the egg to mix.Beaten egg for Apple Fritters Add the vanilla and beer.  Vanilla added to Apple FrittersBeer added to Apple FrittersWhisk together.Liquids mixed for Apple Fritters

Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, spice and salt. Dry ingredients added to Apple FrittersWhisk into the liquid.Batter mixed for Apple Fritters Add the apples.Apples added for Apple FrittersBatter mixed for Apple Fritters

In the meantime heat about 1 to 1/2 inch of oil to 350 degrees. Drop the batter by heaping tablespoons Frying first side for Apple Fritters and fry to a medium brown. Turn and fry the second side.frying-second-side--for-appleo-fritters.jpeg Drain on paper towels Draining apple fritters on paper towels for Apple Frittersand immediately roll in granulated sugar.Sugared Apple Fritters for Apple Fritters

Yield: Approximately 24 depending upon size.