Cranberry and Apple Normand Tart


 

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I never have to pleasure to host Thanksgiving, because I am in charge of Christmas dinner every year, but also because my sister-in-law, the only born American in our family, wants to make sure that by hosting it, it will be a true one, with a Turkey, and the potatoes and the dressing.

So this leaves me with making appetizers, desserts and sometimes sides. Every year, I scratch my head trying to figure out what I will be bringing. I have yet to think about the appetizers, but I think that I know what I will be bringing: Feuille d’automne, Tart Tatin and Apple and Cranberry Normand Tart.

This evening, I would like to share with you the Apple and Cranberry tart that I will be serving. It is very different that anything I have eaten before, but it is very good, very filling however. The great part about this dessert is that you can substitute the apples with any fruits that strike you fancy. The recipe was adapted from a recipe from Stephane Glacier called Tarte Normande.

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Ingredients for a large tart of about 12-16 persons:

Ingredients for the pie shell:

  • 250 gr. of flour
  • 188 gr. of butter at room temperature ( should be soft to the touch).
  • 7.5 gr. of salt
  • 50 gr. of milk
  • 10 gr. of egg yolks
  • 15 gr. of sugar

Ingredients for the apple mixture:

  • 1000 gr. of apples peeled and sliced in 8. 
  • 80 gr of butter
  • 120 gr. of brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp of cinnamon 

Ingredients for the normande filling:

also 1 cup of cranberry

  • 225 gr. of eggs
  • 275 gr. of sugar
  • 38 gr. of sugar
  • 190 gr. of melted butter

Ingredients for Mascarpone Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1/2 of a mascarpone container ( if you do not have container, substitute with 1/2 cup of cream cheese).
  • seeds of a vanilla bean, or 1 tbsp of vanilla extract. 
  • 2-4 tbsp  of sugar.

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  1. You will want to get the pie crust done first. In a mixer place the flour, salt and soft butter and mix well until you have a crumble texture.IMG_0180
  2. Then add the other ingredients and mix well until you have an even texture dough.IMG_0181
  3. Place the dough into a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.IMG_0182
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the apples. Peel and slice the apples and set them aside.IMG_0185
  5. In a large saucepan, melt the butter and when the butter is sizzling, add the sliced apples.
  6. Then add the cinnamon and the sugar and bring to boil.IMG_0187
  7. Cook the apples for 10 minutes. Then pour the apples into the large round mold and place them into the oven at a temperature 450 of  for another 10 minutes.IMG_0188
  8. When the apples have cooked, remove them from the oven and let them cool.
  9. Take the dough out, place it in between two roulpats (or in between 2 plastic wrap if you do not have a roulpat) and roll it out in a 12-14 inch circle. Place it back into the fridge to cool before placing it into the tart pan.
  10. Meanwhile, prepare the mixture that you will be drizzling over the apples. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients for the normande filling. Set aside.IMG_0190
  11. Take the dough back out, and gently peel the pie crust off the roulpat and place it onto the grande round ( if you do have a grande round, use a 12 inch round tart mold) that you would have placed onto a medium perforated sheet. Pat the dough down to make sure that it is fitting perfectly inside the tart pan. With a fork, prick the dough all over.
  12. Drain the apples from its juice, and spread them out evenly onto the pie crust.IMG_0189
  13. Disperse 1 cup of fresh cranberries on top of the apples.
  14. Pour the normande mixture over the apples, and cook the tart for 50 minutes at 350.IMG_0191IMG_0212
  15. Prepare the mascarpone whipped cream. In a mixer, place the cream, the vanilla seeds and the sugar, and beat the cream until it is getting thicker, but it is still runny. Add the mascarpone cheese, or the softened cream cheese and beat until it makes hard peaks. Place the cream into a container and keep it cool until you are ready to serve the pie.IMG_0192
  16. Let the tart cool completely before eating. Serve with Mascarpone Whipped Cream. Yum, Yum!!!IMG_0214

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 

Cranberry and Apple Normande Tart

  • Servings: 12-16
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print
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Ingredients for a large tart of about 12-16 persons:

Ingredients for the pie shell:

  • 250 gr. of flour
  • 188 gr. of butter at room temperature ( should be soft to the touch).
  • 7.5 gr. of salt
  • 50 gr. of milk
  • 10 gr. of egg yolks
  • 15 gr. of sugar

Ingredients for the apple mixture:

  • 1000 gr. of apples peeled and sliced in 8.
  • 80 gr of butter
  • 120 gr. of brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp of cinnamon

Ingredients for the normande filling:

also 1 cup of cranberries

  • 225 gr. of eggs
  • 275 gr. of sugar
  • 38 gr. of sugar
  • 190 gr. of melted butter

Ingredients for Mascarpone Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1/2 of a mascarpone container ( if you do not have container, substitute with 1/2 cup of cream cheese).
  • seeds of a vanilla bean, or 1 tbsp of vanilla extract.
  • 2-4 tbsp of sugar.
  1. You will want to get the pie crust done first. In a mixer place the flour, salt and soft butter and mix well until you have a crumble texture.
  2. Then add the other ingredients and mix well until you have an even texture dough.
  3. Place the dough into a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the apples. Peel and slice the apples and set them aside.
  5. In a large saucepan, melt the butter and when the butter is sizzling, add the sliced apples. Then add the cinnamon and the sugar and bring to boil.
  6. Cook the apples for 10 minutes. Then pour the apples into the large round mold and place them into the oven at a temperature 450 of for another 10 minutes.
  7. When the apples have cooked, remove them from the oven and let them cool.
  8. Take the dough out, place it in between two roulpat, or in between 2 plastic wrap if you do not have a roulpat, and roll it out in a 12-14 inch circle. Place it back into the fridge to cool before placing it into the tart pan.
  9. Meanwhile, prepare the mixture that you will be drizzling over the apples. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients for the normande filling and set it aside until you are ready to use it.
  10. Take the dough back out, gently peel it off the roulpat, and place it onto the grande round ( if you do have a grande round, use a 12 inch round tart mold). Pat the dough down to make sure that it is fitting perfectly inside the tart pan. With a fork, prick the dough all over. Drain the apples from its juice, and spread them out evenly onto the pie crust.
  11. Disperse 1 cup of fresh cranberries on top of the apples.
  12. Pour the normande mixture over the apples, and cook the tart for 50 minutes at 350.
  13. Prepare the mascarpone whipped cream. In a mixer, place the cream the vanilla seeds and the sugar, and beat the cream until it is getting thicker, but it is runny. Add the mascarpone cheese, or the softened cream cheese and beat until it makes hard peaks. Place the cream into a container and keep it cool until ready to serve the pie.
  14. Let the tart cool completely before eating. Serve with Mascarpone Whipped Cream. Yum, Yum!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 

Patriotic Fruit Pie


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Happy Labor Day guys!!! And Thank You  Peter J. McGuire and  Matthew Maguire for us giving this day off from work!!!

We have a Labor Day in France called “La Fete du Travail”, but it is celebrated on May  1st, so quite uncertain of the origins of the American holiday, i googled it today. Did you know that this day only became a federal holiday in 1894? The reason why it became one is because the congress wanted to appease the unrest of the American people after riots erupted when a strike against wage cuts went bad. Well, I learned something today;-) and I much enjoyed this day off. I hope that you too have had a fun week-end!

 Unlike many of you who probably ran to the beach one last time this year, we decided to stay home to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather that we missed most of the summer. So what have I done? not a lot… I slept late, worked out and had fun with my family doing nothing.

And today though we are celebrating Labor Day,  I decided that I would not touch my computer and enjoy another lazy day.

Because many of you will be hosting a cook-out today, I thought to share a recipe that is very appropriate for a patriotic event such as Labor Day. It is easy, delicious, quick and looks great. A great dessert for party days such as Memorial Day or even Independance Day.

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Ingredients for 1 pie of about 9 to 10″:

  • 1 pie crust ( you can either make your own ( very easy),, or buy it in the refrigerated section of your grocery store next to dairy)
  • 8 oz of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 8 oz. of ghiradhelli Chocolate Chips
  • 4 oz or about 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 box of blueberries
  • 1 box of raspberries
  • 1 box of black berries 
  1. Unfold the pie crust and place it inside your mold. I used the scalloped pie crust, but really the large round mold can work as well.photo 3
  2. With a fork, prick the bottom of the pie crust so that air pockets will not form while the crust is baking.
  3. Spread either porcelaine beads, or dry pinto beans to weigh the pie down while it is baking ( this way it will not fluff up too too much)photo 1
  4. Cook the pie crust in a warm oven of 400 for 13-15 minutes
  5. When the pie crust is baked and golden, remove it from the oven and let it cool completly.
  6. Meanwhile prepare the cream:
  7. In a small bowl, place the white chocolate chips and set aside.
  8. In another small bowl, warm up the cream by either warming it up on the stove, or by microwaving it for 1-2 minutes.
  9. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and set it aside for at least 5 minutes ( the heavy cream will melt the chocolate chips).
  10. With a small whisk, whip the mixture. It should be smooth, liquid and free of lumps. If it is not, place it back into the microwave for 20-30 seconds and repeat until your mixture is free of lumps.
  11. Pour this mixture into a kitchen mixer, add the cream cheese and beat the two until you have a thick lump-free cream.
  12. Remove the beans from your pie crust, and spread the chocolate mixture in the pie crust.photo 4
  13. Decorate your pie as you like, I used black berries, blueberries and strawberries. photo 3
  14. Cool in the fridge for 30 minutes and serve. Yum, Yum!!!photo

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

If you like this recipe, I would love for you to subscribe to this blog by entering your e-mail address into the box on the right of this post. Also if you have time, please rate or post a comment. Your comments are always much appreciated. Merci beaucoup et a tres bientot ( thank you and see you soon) ;-)

Apricot Tart


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Fridges are fun to look into. By looking at someone’s fridge you can tell if that person cooks, loves to cook or just dine out. Generally a person who cooks will have an array of things to use at all times. Things like cheeses, pie crust, and raw ingredients.

I like to keep things like pie crust, puff pastry, phillo dough, wonton wraps because they are medium that can help you get dinner on the table quite fast. I love to use wontons to make fun appetizers. The pie crust of course can help you make tartlets, quiches and pies.

This past Friday, some friends of ours decided to come by unexpectedly to pick up some things at the house, and since it was close to diner time, I quickly ran to the store to get some meats to grill. We made a salad, some vegetable flan a tart for dessert. Not too bad for an unexpected dinner;-) Of course it is easy if you already have everything on hand.

For dessert, I made an Apricot tart because it is easy to do and I had no other fruits than apricots on hand. Of course, you can do this recipe with pear, apple, plum and strawberry.

Ingredients for a tart for 8 people:

  • 1 puff pastry dough thawed at room temperature for 15 mns.
  • about 24 fresh apricots 
  • sugar
  1. Turn the oven to 450.
  2. Place the puff pastry dough onto the roulpat and with the rolling pin, roll the dough so that it will fit the flexipat ( 12 x 15in”).
  3. With a fork, perforate the bottom of the pie.photo 1
  4. Cut each apricots in  8 quarters and lay them out onto the phyllo dough.photo 2
  5. Sprinkle some granulated sugar and cook the pie for 20-25 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle more sugar so that it will caramelized the apricots a bit and cook for another 5 minutes.photo 2
  7. Remove the tart from the oven and let it cool a bit before serving.photo 5
  8. Serve cold, or warm with or without ice-cream. Et voila!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Smoked Gruyere, Procuitto and Mushroom Tart


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Last night I was so busy making phone calls and replying to e-mails that I failed to see the hours pass. Of course, with a family of 3 waiting to be fed still at 9pm, there was not a lot of time left for me to fix dinner. Luckily there is always an array of cheese and cold-cuts in the fridge so that dinner can be fixed  in no time. So last night, dinner for my family ended up being a Smoked Gruyere, Proscuitto and Mushroom tart and Mixed Salad.

I served this tart as a main meal, but it would make for a fabulous appetizer!!!

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Ingredients for 1 tart of 10X 15 inches for 4-6 people:

  • 1 puff pastry
  • 1 block  of about 8oz. of Smoked Gruyere grated
  • 8 slices of thin proscuitto
  • 1/2 box of small portobello mushrooms
  •  a few sprigs of thyme
  1. Take the dough out of the freezer and let it thaw out for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  2. Turn the oven to 400.
  3. Place the dough onto the roulpat, and with a rolling pin, roll the dough out to fit the flexipan perfectly.
  4. Place the dough onto the flexipan that would have been placed on a medium perforated sheet.
  5. With a fork, perforate the bottom of the tart.
  6. Layer 3/4 cup of  cheese all over the tart.
  7. Then place the prosciutto slices.
  8. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese.
  9. Remove the thyme from the sprigs and sprinkle it all over the tart.
  10. Cook the tart for 20 minutes.photo 5
  11. Serve the tart with a salad.

Bon Appetit And Happy Cooking!!!

Prosciutto and Watercress Tart


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Ahh Spring break… it is almost here.. i can see it and yet it seems so far away…. 5 Days. 5 days and I will be enjoying my Spring Break and sleeping late;-) Yeah…

Well Spring Break is not here yet, and I have still a thousand things to do before I am on vacation: Homeworks, quizzes to review with my child… and the rest of my duties as a mom.

Monday was exactly that: a thousand things to do and no time…So of course I did not spend much time trying to fix dinner. I looked in my fridge, and gathered what I had: prosciutto, puff pastry ( yep another one- my fridge is a veritable treasure box).

Ingredients for 6:

  • 1 puff pastry sheet thaw out ( 30 minutes to 45 min.) Keep it in the fridge until you are ready to use it or it will become sticky and will not unfold.
  • 8oz. of proscuitto finely sliced
  • 8 oz. of italian cheese mix
  • 1-2 tbsp. of rosemary Herb Blend
  • 2-3 cups of watercress
  1. Turn the oven to 400.
  2. Place the roul’pat on your counter and place the puff pastry on it.
  3. Unfold it and with a rolling pin, spread the pastry so that it will fit the flexipan perfectly.
  4. With a fork, prick the bottom of the pie.
  5. Spread the cheese evenly over the pie dough.photo
  6. Place the prosciutto all over the cheese, do not lay the sheets flat. I kind of gather them up a bit.photo
  7. Sprinkle the rosemary herb blend over the prosciutto.photo
  8. Cook the tart for 15-18 minutes or until the edges are a golden brown.
  9. Before cutting the tart, spread the watercress over the tart.photo
  10. Slice the tart over a cutting board and slice the tart in 8 pieces.
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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Asiago, Asparagus and Roasted Bell Pepper Tart


What to fix when you have little time to be in the kitchen. Hum… I don’t know. My husband offered to make croque-monsieur but I thought that maybe my kids would enjoy something a bit better than that.  I don’t like to “laisser mes renes”, so it is difficult for me to let go of my kitchen even when I am overwhelmed.  I went straight home from school on Thursday so I had to make do with what was in my fridge. After finding my treasures, I decided to fix them a tart with roasted bell pepper, asparagus and Asiago cheese. Not too bad…and it was fast, and yummy!!!

Ingredients: 1 sheet of puff pastry, 1 red pepper roasted cut in thin strips ( you may roast your own or buy those cans of roasted bell pepper ( they are cheaper than making your own), 1 bundle of fresh green asparagus cut in 2 inches, 1/2 red onion sliced very thinly, 1 cup of bacon ( optional), 3 cups of young Asiago cheese grated, 1/2 cup of parmesan shredded, salt, pepper and 1 tbsp of rosemary, thyme seasoning from DemarleatHome.

Roll out the dough on the roulpat and with a rolling-pin roll the dough so that it will fit the medium flexipan. With a fork, perforate the dough so that air bubbles will not form. Spread the shredded Asiago cheese all over the dough. Then spread the vegetables. Sprinkle the bacon over the vegetables, then the 1 tsp of rosemary seasoning, then the parmesan. Cook in a warm oven at 425 for 20 minutes. So simple, so quick and soooo good;-)

You may serve this great tart with a green salad. C’est tout!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Roasted Pear Creme Brulee Tart


I love pears but I have never found a dessert other than poached pears that I have really liked. So when I saw this recipe of Roasted pear and creme brulee  in the Best Baking recipes of Cooking light 2011, I had to try it! And it was very good. Very very light! It is just not an easy recipe since there are so many steps.

Ingredients for a large tart tray of 12 inches.

Roasted Pears: 4 pears cored.  2 tsp of lemon juice, 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg, 2/3 cup of brown sugar.

Place the pears cut side down on a flexipan. In a bowl, mix all the other ingredients and mix well. Sprinkle the pears with the sugar and spices mixture, and bake them in an already warm oven of 450 for 30 minutes or until the pears are tender. Cool completely, remove the skin and slice thinly.

The pastry ( Pate Sablee): 8 oz of all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup of butter at room temperature, 2 tbsp of sugar, 1/2 tsp of salt.

Place the sugar, salt and flour in a bowl and mix well. Slowly add the butter a little at a time, and mix well until the dough sticks together. Place the dough on the roulpat, and flatten until it is the size of the tart. Roll the roulpat with the dough on it, and place in the fridge to cool. After 10 minutes, take the dough back out, and place it into the tart tray. Perfore the dough to prevent air pockets. Lay baking beads or dry beans all over the dough to prevent the dough to rise during baking. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes. Let it cool. Remove the baking beads or dry beans. Fill with the creme patissiere.

Ingredients for the filling ( Creme Patissiere) :3/4 cup of brown sugar, 4 1/2 tbsp of all-purpose flour, 3 cups of fat-free milk or reduced milk, 1 piece of vanilla bean, 2 tbsp of vanilla extract, 2 eggs.

Bring the milk, vanilla, vanilla bean,  sugar & a pinch of salt to a gentle boil in a pot. In the meantime, whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl until the mixture becomes pale and light. Stir in the flour slowly until it is thoroughly mixed with the egg mixture. Remove the vanilla bean from the milk and scrape the seeds out with the tip of a knife. Drop the seeds into the milk and stir. Pour the boiling milk into the mixture a little by little while whisking continuously to avoid curdling. And then stir in the rest of the milk until the mixture is well combined. Transfer the whole mixture into a pot and heat it under low setting. Stir it constantly with a wooden spoon  until it thickens. Once the custard has thickened, take it off the heat, pour it into a clean bowl and let it cool down. Once cooled, cover it with a plastic wrap and refrigerate it until needed.

Pour the cream over the dough, and lay the pears over the creme patissiere. Sprinkle with brown sugar, and with a kitchen torch heat the sugar until it caramelizes. Enjoy!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!