Sunday, January 21, 2018

Geitost Apple Tarts, or What To Do With Caramel Cheese Fudge

I bought a chunk of geitost recently, mainly because I saw it in a store and I got excited, because the only other time I've tasted geitost I had to mail order it after reading some article about how awesome it was.

It's basically caramel cheese with a kind of fudge-y texture. I know, what's not to love?

However, even Little Z (now aged 5 and a half!) said it was too sweet to just eat as cheese, and while I ate a certain amount of it accompanied with slices of apple, I was looking for something more.

Since it was so good with apple slices, I figured it would be good in apple pie. But we all know I'm generally too lazy to make proper apple pie. No, I make apple galettes, because they are free form and easy, and don't involve silly things like top crusts.

I pulled a pie crust out of the freezer (because when I bother to make pie crust I make a lot of it, and then double wrap pieces and freeze them for just such occasions), defrosted it for a day or so in the fridge (it doesn't take this long to defrost, I just got distracted), and then decided to make apple tarts.

Basically I smooshed together these two recipes:
Sour Cream Apple Pie with Norwegian Gjetost
Rustic Free-Form Apple Tarts

The results were magnificent. Really, really delicious. So delicious that I completely failed to take a picture for you, but I have some geitost left over and I promise to make them again soon, and then I really will take a picture.

Anyway, I highly encourage you, should you ever notice some geitost at the store, to impulse buy it and then make these tarts. I bet it would also work well as one big tart, although you're on your own for cooking time. A bit longer, I expect.

Geitost Apple Tarts

1 single-crust recipe of your favorite pie dough, chilled (here's my fav; you only need half this recipe)
3-4 oz geitost, thinly sliced
2 apples, cored and sliced into 16 wedges. Peeled if you like.
2 T granulated sugar (light brown sugar would also work nicely)
½ t cardamom
½ t cinnamon
2 T lemon juice
1 egg or 2 T milk or cream, to wash the crust
2 T turbinado or demerara sugar (go ahead and use regular granulated if that’s what you’ve got)

1. Heat your oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Divide pie dough into 4. Squish each piece into a disc, then roll out to an approximately 6 inch diameter circle. It does not need to be a perfect circle; these tarts aim for a charmingly rustic look. Stack, separated by parchment paper, and refrigerate while you prep the apples. 

3. Put apple slices in a medium bowl and add granulated sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Stir to coat the apples in all this yummy stuff. Taste an apple slice. Add more sugar or lemon to balance the sweet and tart flavors to your taste, or even up the spices. 

4. Take the crusts out of the fridge, and set them on a rimmed baking sheet, keeping the parchment paper under them. You’re going to assemble these free form tarts right on the parchment paper and the baking sheet, so you don’t have to try to move them later. 

5. Divide the geitost slices in 4, and make a thin layer of geitost on the middle of each crust, leaving at least an inch of crust around the edte.

6. Pile about ¼ of the apple slices on each tart crust, leaving, again, at least an inch of crust around the edge. You can make a pretty design, or just mound the slices. 

7. Fold the crust around the edge up against the pile of apple slices, folding as necessary. 

8. If there’s any juice left in the apple bowl, pour it into the center of the tarts, avoiding the crust. 

9. Mix up the egg in a small bowl, or pour the milk or cream in a small bowl. Brush this on the crust that is showing. 

10. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the tarts, getting it on the apples as well as the crust. The wash will help the sugar stick, and will also give the crusts a lovely golden brown color when baked. 

11. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the apples are soft and the crusts are golden brown on top and underneath. Remove from oven and cool. Eat warm or at room temperature. 

These are superb on the day they are made and quite good for the next couple of days, especially reheated in a toaster oven. These tarts are quite rich, so feel free to share one with a friend. Or go ahead and enjoy a whole one yourself. If you want to go really nuts, add some lightly sweetened whipped cream, although you may then feel the need to have a nice lie down.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Everything Old Is New Again: Braised Lamb Shank Pappardelle

Most of my posts offer some sort of instructions for how to make a dish. Not this one. This one is all about how you can't quite make this dish, and neither can I again, probably. This is all about the leftovers, the creative combination thereof, and the delicious that can arise.

Braised lamb shank and meatball pappardelle.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Butter-Poached Lobster Is Just As Delicious As You Imagine It Would Be

It's all Whole Foods' fault. I made the ridiculous mistake of going grocery shopping while hungry, and they were giving out samples of lobster tail. I ate the bite, and I was sold. I can't control myself around lobster. I love the stuff. It must be my New Hampshire upbringing; all those lobster rolls I ate in my youth. Plus it was $3 off the usual price per tail! Which made each tail only expensive, instead of absurdly expensive. 

Orecchiette with Butter-Poached Lobster Tails and Cherry Tomatoes.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Too Hot To Cook

It is too damn hot to cook. It is also, unfortunately, too damn hot to grill; our grill is in full sun, so even though I'm craving grilled fish, that is not on the menu. Maybe next week.

What we're eating right now is food that doesn't require cooking. Cold sausages. Green salads. and lots of antipasti, which make for a terrific snacking meal. With a cool glass of rose or Prosecco, this is how summer is done right.

Here are couple of my favorite antipasti. Slice, stir, marinate, and enjoy.

Anitpasti dinner. On the deck. At sunset. Life is not all bad...

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Spring in Pie Form: Asparagus, Ramp, & Goat Cheese Pie

I’m lucky enough to have a friend with a secret stash of wild ramps that he visits every spring--and sometimes he takes me along. We went out to the woods this past Saturday morning, and I came home with a bag of ramps. Which I then had to figure out what to do with. The answer: Asparagus, Ramp, & Goat Cheese Pie.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Prepping for Pie Season

I love pies. The only thing that can hold me back from whipping up a pie is the crust. What if I don't have enough butter? (I make all-butter pie crusts; no vegetable shortening for me, thank you.) What if I don't have time for the dough to chill? What if I just plain don't have time?