November 5, 2012
You know what I don’t understand? Crustless quiche. First of all, isn’t that just a frittata? Secondly, the crust is clearly the best part of quiche, so why would you want to get rid of it? (I know, I know, it’s because it’s fattening… but seriously people, we need to get over our fear of butter for some things, and quiche is one of those things.)
Perhaps I’m biased because, well, I make some excellent pie crust. It’s the easiest thing, and I like to have a couple of discs of it in my fridge at all times just in case some fruit takes a turn and must immediately be turned into pie, or I have savory leftovers begging to become pot pies.
The only equipment you need is your fingers, a counter, a bowl (though this is optional), and about ten minutes of your time for an outstandingly flaky, buttery, versatile crust. Here’s how I do it.
October 2, 2012
Say that you are having a party. Say, a large party, one with lots of guests. The kinds of guests you want to impress, but are svelte health-conscious types, so you don’t want to go overboard with dessert and serve a seven-layer chocolate cake or something.
This. This is what you should serve.
Not only are these tarts impressively beautiful, they’re something of a Cinderella dessert: despite all their frills and puffs, at their hearts they’ve got the honest flavor of down-home apple pie, all cinnamon and sugar and sweet homey reminiscence.
September 24, 2012
I know, I know. I’m late with these. I always do this: when it’s the end of the season for something, I must scramble to eat and cook as many of them as possible. So, as nectarines are waving goodbye, I must seize their waving hands and pull them back in the house for one more pastry.
That was a weird metaphor.
Don’t you love it when things accidentally turn out pretty? I didn’t mean for these to end up looking like antique roses. I just left the skins on the nectarines because I was feeling lazy, and I sliced them thinly because this phyllo crust bakes quickly and I wanted the fruit to cook equally quickly. Then I arranged the slices in circles because it was the first arrangement I thought of, and dang if they didn’t come out gorgeous. Thank you kitchen gods for serendipitous loveliness.
September 10, 2012
Sometimes, I get infatuated with the idea of dessert recipes that are, shall we say, involved. I suppose I like the challenge. When my first-ever batch of macarons failed spectacularly, with gooey insides that stuck to the parchment paper and cracked, wrinkled tops, I ended up spending months making several batches of macarons every week until I got them perfect every time. I spent a sweaty summer day making puff pastry dough from scratch. I once made a towering croquembouche for no other occasion than that I was bored on a Saturday.
I kind of thought that lemon meringue tarts would be like that. I wanted to attempt these because the tartes au citron meringuée at the bakeries around our place are never as lemony or tart as I want them to be. My palate requires a strong acidic component to compete with that tall cloud of marshmallow-like meringue.