Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit,
and resign yourself to the influences of each. ~ Henry David Thoreau
Well friends, I'm back from my Washington Organic Fruit Adventure, and I have to say I had the best time. My expectations were far surpassed. Washington is a stunning state and I'm so glad I got to experience it first hand, if only for a few days. Everything was divine. Truly. My mind was blown, happily so.
I have so much more to tell you about my adventure, but you'll have to wait a few more days, okay? My plane landed super late Thursday night, then I was back at my chef gig bright and early Friday morning. My handsome man celebrated a birthday this weekend, so he got the bulk of my undivided attention, deservedly so since he is the love of my life after all. (Random side note: if you live in the Saskatoon area, do check out Hole in the Wall restaurant. We enjoyed it immensely.) I'm still going through photos and sorting through notes, so I won't go into great detail about how awesome my trip was today (and it was AWESOME!) but I did cook with apples this afternoon. This tart recipe is a great combination of sweet and savoury and I'm so happy to share it with you.
Back when I was a kid and didn't know any better, whenever I heard about people putting cheddar on top of their apple pie I thought they were total weirdos. Now I see the magic behind the weirdness. Cheese and apples are a rockin' combination. Throw the earthy rosemary and luscious dulce de leche into the mix and this is quite possibly one of the best things I've made in awhile.
The cats stared at me in
boredom fascination as I wolfed down not one but two slices in succession after the shoot. Then I drank my prop. The wine was a gift from Kyle Mathison owner of Stemilt Growers - a family-owned tree fruit growing, packing and shipping company based in Wenatchee, Washington. It was a pleasure to tour his operation and as a parting gift he gave us each a bottle of wine from his winery. My handsome man and I drank most of it upon my return and it was delicious. The last few glugs were enjoyed today with this tart - a perfect pairing.
So let's get go! Shred some good white cheddar - the better the quality the better the tart. I may or may not have smuggled some Beecher's Flagship Handmade Cheese, from Seattle, across the border, and it may or may not have been lovely in this tart. Any good white cheddar will do. Toss it with a little chopped rosemary and put it around the edges of your rolled out puff pastry.
The fold over the edges so you'll get a cheesy crust. Cool, hey?
Toss some thinly sliced apples (I used BC grown organic Macintosh) with more cheese, more rosemary, some cinnamon and flour and pile them in the middle of your crust. Arrange them just a little - this isn't supposed to be a time consuming affair. It's lazy Sunday afternoon food after all.
Bake the tart until it's golden then give it a quick brush of melted down dulce de leche. Put back in the oven briefly, then serve warm or room temperature. Canadian Thanksgiving is coming up this weekend (already? It just seems like Labour Day was here!) so this would make a lovely appetizer or quick dessert or if you are like me, a little snackage for Newsroom viewing. So addicted. And that, my friends, is my post for tonight. Excuse me while I fold laundry and reply to emails and get caught up on my life. But before I leave you, here is one of the apples I saw (and tasted) in Washington - an organic Gala, grown by Kyle Mathison. It's a beauty, no?
Apple, Rosemary & Cheddar Tart with Dulce de Leche Glaze
1 rolled out sheet of puff pastry, about 10 inches by 12 inches or thereabouts
1 cup grated old white cheddar
2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
3 medium organic or locally grown apples - I used organic Macs, but you could use Granny Smith, or any other apple that's a little on the tart side, peeled and thinly sliced
1/8 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 heaping tbsp of dulce de leche
Preheat oven to 375*F. Place the rolled out puff pastry on a parchment lined bake sheet. Sprinkle half the cheese and half of the rosemary along the edges of pastry, to form a little border. Fold the edges over and press down a little to seal. Combine the sliced apples with the rest of the cheese, rosemary, flour, sugar, cinnamon and toss them well. Heap in the middle of the crust, spread them around a bit and press down gently. Bake on a rack in the lower third of the oven for about 30-35 minutes, until apples are tender and crust is golden. Melt the dulce de leche over low heat in a small saucepan. Using a pastry brush, brush the tart with the melted dulce. Put back in oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand a few minutes before serving. Also excellent at room temp. Serves 4-6. Recipe adapted from Chatelaine.