Monday, April 25, 2011

Kitchen Creation: Freeform Apple Tart

I mentioned this tart in my last post, in talking about our Easter dinner, and this is what we had for dessert.  It is so easy, it's unbelievable!  I came up with this based on several different recipes I looked at for an easy apple tart.  There are lots out there that are similar, but this is what works best for me. This is actually the second time I made this- previously, I made one half this size using just one pie crust.  We had a few people over for dessert yesterday, so I made the large size.  If you want the smaller size, just halve all the ingredient amounts.

  • 1 box of 2 refrigerated pie crusts (you can make your own too, but it's easier to use the ones in the box)
  • 4 large Granny Smith apples
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp. or so of apple jelly
  • 4 tbsp cold butter, cut into small chunks (not pictured)
  • 1-2 tbsp water
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Unroll one pie crust and lay on the parchment, then unroll the second one and place it overlapping the first one (see picture below)
2. Roll the overlapping sections of crust so that it is the same thickness as the non-overlapping crust.  Roll the edges up and crimp to form a rectangular crust.  Refrigerate until you are ready to layer the apples on the crust.

3. Quarter the apples and cut out their cores.
4.  Peel apples and place in a bowl with cold water and a couple tbsp. of lemon juice to prevent browning.
4. Blot dry and slice apples thinly crosswise.  Discard the small end pieces.

5. Place apples in an overlapping column the long ways down the center of the crust.
6.  Repeat this process on either side of the center column, for a total of five columns.
7.  Place sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix thoroughly.  Sprinkle over the apples, then dot with butter.
8.  Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the edges of the crust are golden brown and the apple filling is bubbly.  Turn off oven and remove tart.

9.  In a small bowl, combine apple jelly and water and whisk until smooth.  With a pastry brush, brush jelly mixture over the apple filling and crust.

10.  Place tart back into the hot oven for 10 minutes.  Remove and let cool 5 minutes before cutting.  Serve immediately or at room temperature.  Or eat leftovers cold for breakfast the next morning.  It's great with vanilla ice cream!

This is such an easy dessert to put together!  Yes, it takes a bit of work to peel and slice the apples, but it is SO worth it!  Try it for your next holiday meal or when company is coming.  This is the kind of dessert that EVERYONE loves!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bookmark Swap

Hello all, and Happy Easter!  We are having a low-key holiday today.  The kids got their goodie baskets this morning, hubby is working, and I'm making a nice dinner, but nothing too extravigant.  I'm roasting a chicken, and we'll have mashed potatoes, veggies, salad and bread.  I'm making a super easy freeform apple tart for dessert- it is so dang easy, you wouldn't believe it!  Maybe I'll snap some photos later while I'm making it, and post it as a Kitchen Creation, which I haven't done in quite awhile now.

Anyway, not too much new craft-wise this week. I didn't have time to do anything new, but I did get a picture of one of the bookmarks I made for the spring theme bookmark swap at the PBS Swappers Yahoo group.  The theme is spring, and what is more springy than flowers?!  I knew I wanted to do something with pressed flowers, that much was for sure.  So on my last trip to Craft Warehouse, I found a really pretty paper that put me in mind of spring.  Its vibrant aqua-blue background reminds me of the clear blue sky, and the bright yellow is so sunny and cheerful, just like a bright spring day!  Here is what I did with it:

I sent off my swap bookmarks the other day, but made one extra, and I'm trying to decide if I want to list it in my Etsy shop or not.  I just might want to keep it for myself!  Like I don't have enough bookmarks as it is, lol!

Speaking of my Etsy shop, things have been pretty slow over there.  I've had items in several treasuries over the last couple of weeks, since I started listing my new designs, and that's nice.  I'm having a sale for Mother's Day- 20% off entire purchase- but so far no takers.  So, I'll tell you what: if you are a follower of my blog and want to place an order by April 30th, I will throw in an extra gift with your Mother's Day order, free!  Just send me a convo or email after you place your order and mention the free gift offer on my blog, and I will include a surprise with your order.  To get your 20% discount, use the coupon code MOTHERSDAY2011 at checkout.

That's all for now- I'll try to come back later and post pictures and a recipe for the incredibly easy apple tart.  Assuming, that is, I can get any pictures of it before my family gobbles it up!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Baby Card and a Few Bookmarks

I'm still not finding a lot of time for crafting, but managed to do a couple of things this week.  First is a baby card.  This is for a friend of my husband whose wife is expecting their first baby- a boy!  She's due in the next month or so, and there's a baby shower coming up.  I bought a gift, and figured I'd make a card.  Now, this card might look a bit familiar.  It's very similar in style to the one I made for my brother a few months ago.  I did not set out to make this one close to the same, but when I shopped for paper for this card, there were surprisingly few options for baby boy paper at Michael's.  They recently reorganized their paper section, and unfortunately seem to be carrying less than they did before. :(  So that cute paper with the little storks that I used for my brother's card?  I ended up getting that same paper in blue instead of pink.  I did not want to do pastels, so I found a nice dark, almost denim blue to use as an accent, and a nice bright green as well.

The "Baby Boy" on the front, as well as the message on the inside, was printed from the computer.  I like how this turned out, especially because I was able to find an adorable gift bag in these same colors for the gift!

Next up is a few bookmarks.  I ended up having to stay home with my daughter one day this week when she was sick, so I took advantage of the block of time and tried out some new designs.  My Etsy store stock is getting a bit depleted, so I need to restock with some fresh styles, especially now that Mother's Day is only a month away!  I'll be listing these, as well as a few others that I'm not posting here, to my shop soon, so stop by and check them out!  Here's a sample though.
I got these rose buds awhile back, but hadn't had a chance to do anything with them.  They're cute, aren't they?  I used a deep red outer border with an antique gold middle layer, which I think compliments the red, as well as brings out the leaf and stem colors.

I love this one!  This is a new-to-me flower, a carnation.  I got a small package of these to try out, and now I know I need to get some more!  Such a nice bright purple color!  This striped paper is neat too, with various shades and hues of greens and purples.

This one is made with a paper that I've had for awhile and have always liked.  I love the combination of the brown and aqua shades.  The outer border on this one is a deep shimmery brown, with a gold middle layer.  Love these colors together!

That's all for now!  Next time, I'll post a picture of the bookmark I made for the spring bookmark swap at the PBS Swappers group.  I've also joined a card swap for this month, but am awaiting swap details from our lovely hostess Christy.  All I know at this point is that it should be a card with either a pop-up, slide, or iris-fold technique.  I've never done any of those, so it's a fun opportunity to try something new!