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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fourth of July Toffee Apple Tart

I wanted to make a dessert, and with this being the fourth of July weekend, decided I would try to give it a patriotic flavor.  Pun intended.

So I added a li'l red, white and blue to my toffee-apple tart in the form of cherries, ice cream and blueberries.

Cherries, ice cream and blueberries would be a yummy dessert on its own but add them to this apple tart and it lifts it to a whole new level.

What did I listen to while I baked?  No, not a John Philip Sousa march.  Go ahead and put on "Stars and Stripes Forever" if that's what it will take to put you in the mood.  Me, I still prefer my alternative favorites while I bake.

Today's Playlist
  • "Creep".....Radiohead
  • "Fell In Love With A Girl"......The White Stripes
  • "Are You Gonna Be My Girl"........Jet
  • "Ain't No Rest For The Wicked".......Cage The Elephant
  • "Last Nite"......The Strokes
  • "Short Skirt/Long Jacket".....Cake
  • "Learn To Fly".......Foo Fighters
  • "Snow".........Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • "When She Begins"........Social Distortion
  • "California Sun"........The Ramones
Patriotic Apple/Toffee Tart
  • 5 or 6 large Granny Smith apples
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 package refrigerated pie crusts
  • 1 cup Heath Bits 'O Brickle Toffee bits
  • 1/4 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
  • 10 sweet red cherries
  • 1 egg white, slightly beaten
  • large crystal or decorating sugar
  • vanilla ice cream (or sweetened whipped cream)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Peel and thinly slice your apples.  I really don't like peeling apples.  If it were only one or two apples that needed peeling I would grit my teeth and peel them manually, but since there is enough of a quantity to make it worth my while, I dragged this contraption out of my upper cabinet.

It attaches to my counter like a vice, and there is a (off camera, to the right) handle that you turn and the apple gets peeled while it rotates around a blade which simultaneously spiral-cuts it.


And it removes the core.

One little vertical slice separates the spiral into rings.

If you don't have this apple-peeling contraption, grit your teeth and manually peel and thinly slice your apples.

Place your apple slices in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon.  Mix well.

Add the sugar mixture to your apples and gently stir to coat the apples with the sugar.

Remove the pie crusts from the package and unroll them on a large cookie sheet. There will be plenty of room on this cookie sheet when we are done, but for now they will overlap each other and hang off of the cookie sheet a bit.  It's okay.

Arrange half of your apple slices on each pie crust.  Leave about 2" of the edge of the crust clear.
These are the Heath bits.  You can find them in the baking aisle, near the packages of chocolate chips.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the toffee bits over each apple tart.

Fold the edges of the tarts up and over the apples.  Just pick a spot to start and work your way around.

  If you have a cherry pitter, remove the pit and then slice the cherry in half. If you don't have a pitter (and I don't), just take your cherries and slice off the sides, leaving the pit in the center with the stem.

One of these days I'll get the lighting right.

Pretend you can actually see that I put half of the cherry halves and half of the blueberries onto each tart.

Brush the crusts with the beaten egg white.

Sprinkle each crust with the large sugar crystals.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the crust is golden and the apples are cooked and soft.

Best when served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


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