Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Well, this was an interesting experiment. I do like Giada's unusual combinations but I don't quite know what to make of this one. I liked it, yes I did. Not for dessert, but perhaps as a first course? Or an appetizer? I think it would be heavenly with a glass of wine.
The taleggio is quite aromatic and the sweetness of the apricots was a good foil. I think for sure I will halve or maybe even quarter the apricots next time. It has a Mediterranean feel to it. Will I make it again? I don't know. I got mixed reviews which isn't always a good thing.
Crostata with Dried Apricots and Taleggio
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis, Giada at Home
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup cold mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons ice water
2 cups (12 ounces) dried apricots
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup honey
7 ounces Taleggio cheese, rind removed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 egg, beaten
For the crust: Add the flour, salt, and sugar to a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is finely chopped and the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the mascarpone cheese and lemon juice and pulse a few times. Add the ice water and run the machine just until the mixture is moist and crumbly, but does not form a ball. Do not overmix. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Press into a disk, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
For the filling: Put an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine the apricots, walnuts, lemon zest, cinnamon, and sea salt. Add the honey and stir until all the ingredients are coated. Stir in 2/3 of the cheese.
Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit inside a 12 by 17-inch baking sheet and put it on a work surface. Put the chilled dough on the parchment paper. Roll the dough into an 11-inch circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Lift the parchment paper and transfer it to a baking sheet. Put the apricot filling in the center of the dough, spreading evenly, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold the dough border over the filling to form an 8-inch round. Pleat the edge of the pastry and pinch to seal any cracks in the dough. Arrange the remaining cheese on top of the filling.
Using a pastry brush, brush the crust with the beaten egg. Bake until the crust starts to turn golden, about 15 to 18 minutes. Cover the crostata loosely with a piece of foil and cook until the crust is golden and the cheese has melted, another 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the crostata from the oven to a cutting board and uncover. Cool for 10 minutes, then cut into slices and arrange on a serving platter. Serve while still warm.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Recently I was watching an old Jamie Oliver show; he was making a rhubarb soufflé and used some leftover puff pastry dough to make these little gems for a garnish. Perfect for puddings or ice cream when you need a bit of decorative crunch alongside. Usually I serve a couple delicate cookies or biscotti, don't you? But here are some homemade wafers that take no time at all, you can use up any leftover puff pastry dough and I love the irregular shapes.
From Jamie at Home
3 tablespoons confectioners (icing) sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
some frozen puff pastry, thawed
Sieve the confectioners sugar and cinnamon onto a clean work surface. (I used wax paper) Cut 4 slices about 1/2-inch thick off your pastry and place them flat on your dusted work surface. Pop the rest of your pastry in the fridge or freezer for another day. Roll each slice out to 1/4-inch thick, turning it over as you go so it gets covered in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Cut the strips in half diagonally - you'll end up with long, triangular shapes.
Preheat a large, nonstick frying pan and fry the pastry triangles, in 2 batches, on each side until golden brown. The sugar burns quickly, so fry at medium low heat, and make certain they are cooked through. Leave to cool on a rack.