Parisian Apple Tartlet

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With a broken knee, I’m housebound. I can’t drive and I can’t walk. I went from an insane activity level to zero.  I now have a total love and appreciation for streaming NetFlix, my iPhone, and pain medication.

Baking is something that has always relaxed me and now it can help me take my mind off not being able to run, hike, bike for weeks. I needed to bake something, anything, but it had to be something I had all the ingredients on hand and it had to be something small. My main eater, Paul, is out of town for work and I also don’t have access to my co-workers.

The Tuesdays with Dorie group baked the Parisian Apple Tartlet in June 2009. It’s very easy to assemble,  makes only one serving, and it’s one more recipe to cross off my list of unbaked recipes from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking…From My Home to Yours. Perfect. It’s a circle of puff pastry topped with apple slices and sprinkled with sugar (I used vanilla sugar). I made it a bit more complicated by making my own puff pastry using my go-to recipe from The Art & Soul of Baking.  Jessica of My Baking Heart was the host way-back-then and you can find the recipe on her blog.

apple nut muffin cake

A cake? A muffin? A muffin with a cake-like existential crisis? Or is it the other way around? Maybe it should seek therapy.

In my quest to bake through Baking…From My Home to Yours, long-after the rest of the Tuesdays with Dorie (TWD) group finished, I can check another recipe off my list. Dorie Greenspan created the Apple Nut Muffin Cake when one day she was making muffins and decided dump the batter in a cake pan and call it a day. I briefly toyed with the idea of making muffins instead of the cake as some sort of poetic finish to the whole thing. After I finished musing, I baked the cake subbing whole-wheat pastry flour for the all-purpose and  dried cranberries for the raisins (Paul doesn’t like raisins!).

The flavor of the cake reminded me of apple-cinnamon oatmeal and therefore I believe a healthy way to have cake for breakfast. The recipe was hosted by Katrina of Baking and Boys last October. You can find the recipe HERE.

photo by paulrus

{twd} double-apple bundt cake

I almost made this cake into mini-muffins because of easier sharing. Then I thought, screw it. Mini-muffins, while cute in nature, are actually a teensy-bit more work.  Let me explain. Instead of dumping all the batter into one bundt pan, I would have to divide the batter into mini-muffin portions and then I would have to wash  the mini-muffin pan(s) which are a pain to wash.

People laugh at me when I tell them I’m lazy. Although I have an active lifestyle, in my heart I’m lazy. And that’s what counts, right? For instance, I can’t remember why this cake is named “double-apple”. I’ve entered serious self-debate about getting up to go look at the recipe. I mean it’s a whole ten steps to the kitchen.

The cake was tasty. It reminded me of places where leaves actually turn color in the autumn and where you can wear fall clothes like sweaters, boots, and berets.

Thanks to Lynne of Honey Muffin for hosting this week’s  Tuesdays with Dorie selection–Double-Apple Bundt Cake. For the recipe, visit her blog or buy the book.

(And, yes, I did look it up. It’s a double-apple bundt cake because the recipe calls for *both* fresh apples and apple butter.)

{sms} apple pie with benefits

Apple pie with benefits? Yes. Usually the benefits would be ice cream. Vanilla is traditional, but cinnamon or Calvados ice creams would rock too.

In this case, the benefit is a sweet & creamy caramel sauce. Tart granny Smith apples play a nice counterpoint.

This week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe–Double-Crusted Caramel Apple Pie was the bee’s knees. It was a cinch to throw together; it helped having pie crust in the freezer (I used something in my freezer! One down, a gazillion to go!).

The original recipe makes one 10 inch pie. I had 1/2 of Dorie Greenspan’s Good for Almost Anything Pie Crust which was not enough for the full size pie. It was just enough for one super-cute 4″ pie.

Short and sweet–I’m writing this on Friday as I walk out the door to head to Vegas for the weekend and on Sunday I’ll be heading back home. I just got back into the groove of baking and blogging and didn’t want to miss a beat.

Thanks to Susan of Baking with Susan for hosting this week. If you would like the recipe, visit her blog or buy the book.

{sms} mini-apple orchard pecan crumbles

As I was making this week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe–Apple Orchard Pecan Crumble–it felt like I hadn’t baked in a while. I pulled out my cooking/baking notebook and yep, I hadn’t baked in two weeks. Other than being out of the country on vacation, I haven’t taken this long of a break since I started baking/cooking almost two years ago.

This was the perfect recipe to jump back into the swing of things. It was easy and quick. I made a 1/4ish (didn’t really use exact measurements) of the recipe using one very large Granny Smith apple and made 6 mini-crumbles in small dipping sauce dishes. You can’t go wrong with the taste department for crumbles either.

Thanks to Cristine of Cristine Cooks for selecting the crumble. If you would like the recipe, visit her blog or buy the book.