food

Apple Rustic Tart

Rustic Apple Tart

My best friend came over today with her little month old baby and we got to spend the afternoon baking! My dad brought some apples from my parents’ house where they have a few apple trees so I had a ton of apples to use for recipes (I made this applesauce last week too!). My pie pans have disappeared since our move last October, so instead of making apple pies, we decide to make Apple Rustic Tarts. This recipe says that the prep is about 30 minutes but if you’re also watching a baby and a toddler it takes like 3x that long…

Apple Rustic Tart

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients

For the Crust

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1-1/2 sticks (12 tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup cold water

For the Filling

1 -1/2 lbs apples (appx 3 large)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/8 tsp salt

For Assembly

1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp apricot preserves, for glaze

Instructions

Prepare the crust:

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. In a food processor, combine the flour, salt and sugar and pulse briefly to mix.

  3. Add the cold butter and process just until the butter is the size of peas, appx 5 seconds. Then, add the ice water to the mixture and process just until moistened and very crumbly, about 5 seconds.

  4. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead it until it comes together into a cohesive ball, just a few times. Split the dough into two equal balls.

  5. Flour your work surface again and sprinkle one of your dough balls with flour, as well. Using a rolling pin, roll the ball into a circle appx 12 inches in diameter, turning and adding more flour as necessary so the dough doesn’t stick. Transfer the dough to the parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate while you prepare the filling. Repeat with the second ball of dough.

Make the filling:

  1. Peel, core, and cut the apples into 1/8-inch-thick slices (you should have about 4 cups) and place in a large bowl.

  2. Add the sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, melted butter, and salt; toss to combine.

Assemble the tart:

  1. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the pastry. Arrange the apple slices on top in overlapping concentric circles to within 2 inches of the edge. Work quickly so the dough doesn’t get too warm. Fold the edges of the dough over the apples, working your way around and creating pleats as you go.

  2. Using a pastry brush, brush the pleated dough evenly with the beaten egg. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the crust and apples. Chill the assembled tart in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes. Prepare the second tart and place it in the fridge as well.

  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the center position.

  4. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the apples are tender and the crust is golden and cooked through.

  5. While the tart bakes, make the glaze. In a small bowl, mix the apricot jam with 1-1/2 teaspoons hot water. About 2-3 minutes before your tarts finish baking, remove them, brush the tarts with the apricot glaze, and put them back in the oven for the final two minutes. Remove and let cool.

  6. Transfer the tart to a serving plate or cutting board. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature. The tart is best served on the day it is made, but leftovers make for a delicious breakfast treat the next day!

Nettle Florentine Pasta

Nettle Florentine Pasta

One of my favorite things about summer is farmers market season and all of the fresh produce that comes in my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box every week! When I first started getting a CSA last summer, I learned how to prepare a ton of obscure (to me) produce I’d never seen before. One new thing that popped in my CSA this summer was stinging nettles. I worked at a summer camp a few years ago and learned how to eat raw nettles in the wild, but I’d never thought about using nettles while cooking until we got a big batch of them in our CSA share. Nettles are rich in vitamins A and C, iron, potassium and calcium, and since they saute-down nicely (and lose the sting when cooked), I decided to treat them like I would spinach and make a chicken Florentine. It worked great.

Nettle Florentine Pasta
IMG_2014.jpg
Nettle Florentine Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Penne
  • 4 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cups dry white wine
  • ¾ cups low-sodium broth (more if needed)
  • 3 cups stinging nettle leaves
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 4 ounces parmesan cheese, shaved
  1. Cook pasta according to the directions on the package. For more flavor, add a pinch of salt to the water. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cut chicken breasts into chunks and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over high heat. Add chicken in a single layer and don’t stir for a minute or two to allow the chicken to brown. Flip the chicken and brown the other side. Cook until done. Remove chicken and set aside.
  4. Lower the heat to medium and add garlic, making sure to stir quickly to avoid burning. After about 30 seconds, add wine and broth, stirring to deglaze the pan. Allow the liquid to bubble up, then continue cooking until it’s reduced by at least half (most of the surface of the liquid should be bubbling at this point).
  5. Turn off the heat and add nettles, tomatoes, chicken and cooked pasta to the skillet. Toss to combine; the nettles will wilt as you toss everything. Add plenty of Parmesan shavings and toss to combine. Serve with extra Parmesan shavings.
Nettle Florentine Pasta

How to Handle Nettles  
Nettles can give you nasty stings if you don’t handle them carefully, so make sure you don’t sting yourself while preparing meals or while harvesting. Wear gloves when handling. Use tongs and a salad spinner when cleaning nettles. Stinging nettles have hollow stinging hairs called trichomes on the leaves and stems, which act like tiny hypodermic needles to inject histamine and other chemicals that cause an uncomfortable stinging sensation. If you do get stung, though, there are a few natural remedies to relieve the sting. First, you can make a paste out of a little baking soda and water and rub that onto the affected area, which should help reduce the sting. You also can mix a couple drops of lavender essential oil into a tablespoon of coconut oil to make a little salve and rub it onto the sting, and it’ll help take away the stinging sensation. 

Nettle Florentine Pasta

Keto Chocolate Cookies

Keto Chocolate Cookies

Being on a high fat, low carb diet means that you can sometimes get cravings for baked goods that are off limits.  Luckily I've found some great recipes for keto-friendly goodies and I happened to have all the ingredients on hand the other day when I was having my cookie craving so I threw them together real quick, popped 'em in the oven and was happily munching on cookies in less than an hour.  The original recipe calls for chocolate chips which was the only thing I didn't have on hand, but next time I make these I will definitely be adding those for some additional gooey goodness.

Keto Chocolate Cookies Recipes

Keto Chocolate Cookies

(makes 12-18 cookies. recipe via peace love and low carb)
Ingredients: 
1 cup natural creamy almond butter
2/3 cup confectioners erythritol (I use this brand)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons peanut butter powder
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon melted salted butter
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda

1/ Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

2/ In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond butter, erythritol, cocoa powder, peanut butter powder, eggs, butter, water, vanilla extract, and baking soda. Using an electric hand mixer, mix until all ingredients are well combined. It will be a very thick dough. Fold in the chocolate chips.

3/ Form the cookie dough into 1 1/2 inch to 2 inch balls. This will produce 12 good sized cookies. You can make them smaller to yield more cookies.

4/ Place the cookie dough balls on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. At the 9-10 minute mark, remove the cookies and press them down to keep them from getting to big and cake-y.  Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place on a cooling rack to allow the cookies to cool before eating.

Keto Low Carb Flourless Chocolate Cookies
Keto Low Carb Flourless Chocolate cookies
Low Carb Keto Chocolate Cookie Recipe

Keto Cookies & Cream Ice Cream

Keto Cookies + Cream Ice Cream-9.jpg

Dan and I have been attempting Keto since last summer.  Well, I should say Dan has been pretty successfully doing Keto, and I have been... not.  But I finally feel like I have mental and physical energy to focus on my own health and am diving back in!  For those who have no clue what Keto is, the readers digest version is: Your body runs on glucose and ketone bodies, but will default to glucose when it's present.  Ketone bodies are created from fats, so if you reduce the glucose you consume and increase the healthy fat, your body switches to running off of fat.  So real basic: eat fat = burn fat.  When your body is running on ketones, it's said to be in "Ketosis" hence: Keto.  Anyway, in such a carbohydrate and sugar heavy culture it can be hard to switch to a high fat/low carb diet, so something like Keto ice cream can help not feel sad about the carbohydrates I'm craving.

I was skeptical that this would be actually as tasty as normal ice cream because usually substitute foods are like a sad version of the original, but this stuff is actually amazing.  I was pretty excited to make ice cream because it was the first time I used my ice cream bowl and mixer for my Kitchenaid mixer!  If you have a Kitchenaid, you can find the ice cream attachment here

Keto Cookies + Cream Ice Cream

makes 10 servings (recipe via ruled.me)
 

INGREDIENTS FOR COOKIE CRUMBS:

3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup erythritol (I used Swerve)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 Tbsp. softened coconut oil
1 egg, room temperature
Pinch of salt

MAKE THE COOKIE CRUMBS:

1/ Preheat your oven to 300°F. Take a 9 inch circular cake pan (or similar sized pan), and grease with oil, or line with parchment paper.

2/ Into a medium bowl, sift your almond flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, erythritol, and salt then whisk until there are no lumps.

3/ Add the vanilla extract and coconut oil to the bowl and mix until batter forms into crumbs.

4/ Add the egg and mix everything together until the cookie batter begins to stick together.

5/ Dump the batter into your prepared pan and press the batter down with your fingers until it evenly covers the bottom of the pan.

6/ Pop it in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the center of cookie bounces back when it's pressed.

7/ Once it's done, take the pan out of the oven and let it cool.

8/ Now that the cookie has cooled, crumble the cookie into small bits. Set aside.

INGREDIENTS FOR ICE CREAM

2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup erythritol
1/2 cup almond milk, unsweetened

 

MAKE THE ICE CREAM

1/ In a large bowl, blend the whipping cream with a Kitchenaid or electric mixer until stiff peaks form.

2/ Add vanilla extract and erythritol, and whip until thoroughly combined.

3/ Pour in the almond milk and blend mixture until it re-thickens.

4/ Transfer cream mixture to ice cream maker bowl and churn until ice cream begins to hold its shape. If you're using the kitchenaid mixer, make sure you only use the churning attachment on the "stir" speed.  Churn for about 20 minutes.

5/ Once you've been churning for 20 minutes or so, gradually pour the cookie crumbles in while the ice cream maker is churning to evenly mix the crumbles into the ice cream. Churn for 5-10 more minutes, until the cookie crumbles are mixed throughout.

6/ Once all of the cookie crumbles are incorporated, transfer the ice cream into a freezer-safe container.  You can serve the ice cream right away if you want a softer texture, or if you want it harder, put it in the freezer for an hour or two. Mine gets too hard in my freezer, so I have to take it out and put it in the fridge for a bit to let it soften up. 

Makes 10 servings. Each serving comes out to be 289.9 Calories, 28.9g Fats, 3g Net Carbs, and 4.6g Protein.

ENJOY!

 

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