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September 2011

Whole Grain Rustic Apple Tartlets

Rustic Free Form Apple Tartlet

Whole Grain Rustic Apple Tartlets for Two

I love rustic or “free-form” tarts. This recipe makes two perfect tarts and can be filled with just about any type of firm fruit – apples, pears, peaches, nectarines or plums – whatever is in season. I used Arrowhead Mills Organic Whole Grain Pastry flour and it gives the crust a perfectly tender, flaky, buttery crust.

Download Whole Grain Rustic Apple Tartlets for Two recipe


¾ cup whole grain pastry flour (or unbleached all purpose flour)

½ teaspoon sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ¼” pieces, chilled

2-3 tablespoons ice water


2 small apples (Macs, Empire, Rome, Golden Delicious, Gala), peeled, cored, and sliced into ¼” pieces

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 egg white, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

For the dough:

1. Process flour, sugar and salt in a food processor to combine. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about 15 pulses. Continue to pulse, add water through the feed tube until the dough comes together and forms a ball, about 10 pulses.

2. Divide the dough into 2 even pieces on a piece of plastic wrap and flatten into a 3” disc. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. (Dough can be refrigerated for 2 days or frozen for a month)

For the filling:

1. Adjust oven rack to center position and heat to 400°F. Remove dough from refrigerator and soften slightly for 10 minutes. Working with one disc at a time, roll out dough into a 7” circle between two small sheets of lightly floured parchment paper. Slide the dough rounds (still between parchment paper) onto a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.

2. Toss the apple slices with sugar, lemon juice, and spices together in a medium bowl. Remove top sheet of parchment from each dough round. Stack apples slices evenly in a circular pattern, leaving 1 ½” border of dough around the edge and reserving a few slices to fill in the centers of each tart. Drizzle any of the remaining filling liquid in bowl over the apple slices.

3. Fold 1 inch of the dough up and over the fruit, leaving ½” border between the fruit and the edge of the tart shell, pleating the dough together every 1-2 inches as needed.

4. Brush the dough with egg white and sprinkle with tubinado sugar (or granulated sugar). Dot the tartlet filling with butter and bake until crust is golden and crisp and apples are tender, 35-45 minutes.

5. Let the tartlets cool on sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Serve plain or with a dollop of ice cream or crème fraiche.

Rustic Free Form Apple Tartlet discs
Rustic Free Form Apple Tartlet parchment
Rustic Free Form Apple Tartlet circle
Rustic Free Form Apple Tartlet slices
Rustic Free Form Apple Tartlet prebake 2
Rustic Free Form Apple Tartlet prebake
Rustic Free Form Apple Tartlet oven
Rustic Free Form Apple Tartlet rack
Rustic Free Form Apple Tartlet rack 2

Moist Delicious Homemade Mini Banana Breads

Mini Banana Bread loaves

I’ve tried dozens of banana breads but this one has become the standard for the best traditional banana bread. No exotic ingredients, fancy spices, exotic nuts – just good old fashioned dense moist banana bread. I like to make the in 4 mini loaf tins, but it will also work fine in a standard 9x5 loaf pan. 

Download Moist Delicious Homemade Mini Banana Breads recipe


½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 eggs, at room temperature

1½ cups flour (unbleached or white whole wheat)

1 tsp. soda

1 tsp. salt

1 cup mashed very ripe bananas

½ cup sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. grated lemon zest

½ cup chopped toasted walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9x5 pan or 4 small loaf pans.

2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy with mixer.

3. Beat in eggs.

4. Sift the dry ingredients and combine with butter mixture using a large wooden spoon. Do not overmix.

5.  Add the bananas, sour cream, zest and vanilla. Mix just to combine. Stir in nuts.

6. Bake 1 hour (40 minutes for small pans)


Classic Homemade Creamy Hummus

Classic Homemade Hummus

Classic Homemade Creamy Hummus

Homemade hummus is so easy to throw together and requires only a few ingredients. I prefer hummus with a light creamy texture with a nice amount of fresh lemon juice.

Download Classic Homemade Creamy Hummus recipe.

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice from 1 to 2 lemons

¼ cup water

4 tablespoons tahini, stirred well (see note)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1(14-ounce) can Pastene chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1small garlic clove, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1/2 teaspoon)

½ teaspoon table salt

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

Pinch cayenne

1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro or parsley leaves

1. Combine lemon juice and water in small bowl or measuring cup. Whisk together tahini and 2 tablespoons oil in second small bowl or measuring cup. Set aside 1 tablespoons chickpeas for garnish.

2. Process remaining chickpeas, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne in food processor until almost fully ground, about 15 seconds. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula. With machine running, add lemon juice-water mixture in steady stream through feed tube. Scrape down bowl and continue to process for 1 minute. With machine running, add oil-tahini mixture in steady stream through feed tube; continue to process until hummus is smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.

3. Transfer hummus to serving bowl, sprinkle reserved chickpeas and cilantro over surface, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand until flavors meld, at least 30 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Hummus Chickpeas cuisinart
Hummus chickpeas pulse
Hummus puree