Not Your Average College Food

Rose Apple Tarts

No food is more American than apple pie. Once apple season hits, everyone scrambles to the store to buy Granny Smiths for their favorite dessert. I’m a big fan of apple pie and never thought that there would be a better apple dessert out there, until now.

First of all, these rose apple tarts are beautiful – one of the most artistic food creations I’ve ever made. Looking at pictures of them in the recipe, I was intimated because they seemed impossibly difficult to pull off. I gave it a try and it was surprisingly pretty simple – maybe even easier than making an apple pie since it only requires a few ingredients and no hassle of measuring and mixing!

The tarts were almost too pretty to eat…almost. My family and I thought they tasted a lot like apple pie since the apples were soft and cinnamony, the jam gave it some gooiness and the flaky pastry puff was just like pie crust. Definitely a great recipe if you are trying to impress friends or family!

ROSE APPLE TARTS

Ingredients
1 puff pastry sheet, thawed
2 red apples (the redder, the better!)
1/2 lemon (juice)
4 (2+2) tbsp water
3 tbsp apricot preserves
1 tbsp cinnamon (optional)
1 tbsp flour
powdered sugar (for sprinkling)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a muffin pan.

Cut apples in half, removing the seeds, and thinly cut into equal slices horizontally.

Combine apples with lemon juice and 2 tbsp water and microwave for 2 1/2 minutes to soften.

Mix apricot preserves with 2 tbsp water. Microwave for 30 seconds and mix to spread.

On a flat surface, sprinkle some flour and roll out pastry dough. Cut into 6 equal strips lengthwise.

Spread a little bit of the apricot preserve mixture onto each strip.

Place apples on the top half of the strip so that they overlap halfway. Fold the bottom of the pastry dough over the top.

Roll each strip from one end to the other and seal. Place into muffin pan.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until pastry is crisped.

Optional: Sprinkle powdered sugar on top.

 

Adapted from Cooking with Manuela

 

Summer Peach Pie

Desserts, Fruit, Vegetarian | August 18, 2015 | By

Before the summer comes to an end, I have a pretty peach pie recipe for you all. This summer, I was subletting an apartment in Georgetown, without many of my cooking/baking supplies. I still managed to cook a lot but never had the chance to bake, without necessities like flour, sugar, etc. Now that I’m back home for a bit, I immediately baked a fruit pie because, well, it’s summer!

When I think of summer, I think of peaches. At the farmers’ market, the smell of peaches is so aromatic and enticing that I always end up buying them. They are always  juicy and delicious; I don’t think I could ever get sick of them! In the past, I’ve made individual peach crumbles that are perfect to share with a few friends. Since we recently had a bunch of family friends over, I thought I’d try a peach pie this time.

Our family friend Ernie loves to cook and knows almost everything about cooking. I’m seriously surprised he’s not a chef. Whenever I’m home for break, he comes over with giant coolers full of supplies and my family and him cook together. Each time there is a different theme – we’ve had a pizza night where we learned how to make thin crust pizza, doughy pizza, pizza baked in the oven, and pizza baked in the grill. Another time we made different types of breads like French baguettes. This time, our theme was pies and burgers.

Ernie shook his head when he saw that we had bought ready-made pie crusts in a box and immediately taught me a flawless pie crust recipe instead. The recipe is actually so simple and makes all the difference in the end; I think I’ve almost been converted to homemade crusts. Of course, college students don’t always have the time for homemade crusts so if you use store-bought crusts I won’t judge 😛

The pie turned out so beautiful in the end that I was reluctant to cut into it. But when I tasted the pie, I quickly forgot about its appearance. The peaches were so soft and juicy, while the crust was flaky and buttery – the perfect contrast. I know most people take off the skin of their fruits when baking them in pies but I left the peach skin on and it actually gave the pie a little bit more texture.

SUMMER PEACH PIE

Ingredients
Crust (makes 1)
1 1/4 cup flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed6 tbsp cold water
1 egg white
dash of salt

Pie Filling
6-7 yellow peaches
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup + 3 tbsp flour1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon

Directions

Crust
(this is for 1 crust – I made two crusts separately but you could also double the ingredients to make both at once)

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, and butter. Mix together with a pastry blender. (If you don’t have a pastry blender, you can use two butter knives, one in each hand, and slice the dough with both knives in an x shape.) Mix until small pea-sized balls of dough form.

Sprinkle two tablespoons of cold water in and then mix with a fork or wooden spoon. Repeat two more times.

Using your hands, form the dough into a ball. You should see tiny chunks of butter in it, which is a good sign. Press the dough on a surface so into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap.

Place in fridge for 30 minutes to chill.

Pie

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut peaches into slices and mix with lemon juice, sugar, and flour. Set aside.

Take out one pie crust and roll on a lightly floured surface and place in a 10-inch pie plate. Add 1/3 of the peach mix. Sprinkle 1/2 tbsp of cinnamon. Sprinkle on 1 tbsp of flour. Repeat with another 1/3 of the peach mix and then the other 1/3.

Roll out the other pie crust and cover over the plate. Trim off excess crust and pinch the two crusts together to form a seam. Cut a few slits on the top and brush a beaten egg white on top.

Sprinkle granulated sugar and cinnamon on top.

Bake for approximately 1 hour, until bubbly.

adapted from NY Times

Nutella Strawberry Pizza

Now that it’s summer, the warm weather and additional free time make it more appealing for me to get up early on Saturday mornings and walk to the farmers’ market. Every time I go, I have a blast buying fresh produce, nibbling on some treats for breakfast, and “window-shopping” through all the stands. Of the various items I bought last week were a carton of fresh strawberries. They were tiny, round little berries unlike the ones in grocery stores – just like they should be.

Feeling in a creative mood, I made Nutella pizza. Nutella, pizza, and fruit…how could that combination possibly go wrong? It ended up tasting more like a flat bread, probably because I had baked the dough first without the toppings. My friend Sydney had made the pizza dough for a little pizza party we had. Making homemade pizza with friends is always fun. Roll some dough, buy some toppings, and everyone can make their own personalized pizza, or one giant one to share!

This weekend, I’ll be moving to Georgetown for the summer since I’ll be working just outside of DC. I love the Georgetown area because of all the shops and restaurants and the neighborhood is beautiful. Hopefully there will be a farmers’ market close to me while I’m there!

NUTELLA STRAWBERRY PIZZA

Ingredients
Pizza dough
1/4 cup Nutella
Handful of strawberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Take out leftover pizza dough or store-bought pizza dough. If you don’t have any, here is a simple recipe.

Roll dough on a lightly floured surface into the shape of a circle, about 1/4-1/2 inch thick.

Bake in oven for about 10-15 minutes.

Spread as much Nutella as desired in the center and arrange sliced strawberries on top.