(adapted from Slice of Heaven with a tweak from B. Gray)
Combine crumbs, almonds, sugar and melted butter. Press into a 6” pie plate. Bake at 325 degrees for approx. 8-10 minutes. Let it cool completely.
Prepare the filling-
½ cup Trader Joe’s frozen orange juice concentrate, direct from the freezer.
Place this in a small saucepan and reduce over low heat until it is thick and syrupy- it will cook down to about two or three Tablespoons. Take it off the heat set aside.
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
¼ cup sugar
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
½ cup freshly squeezed Mandarin juice
2 egg yolks
¼ cup heavy cream
Zest from one navel orange
In the top of a double boiler, whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, lemon, lime and Mandarin juices, the whole eggs, the egg yolks and the heavy cream. Place over a simmering double boiler and gently stir with a rubber spatula. You are preparing a custard more than a curd, so don’t beat it to death. It takes a while for the mixture to thicken, be patient. (Alternatively, I have baked this directly in the oven in a pre-baked crust, but that requires pouring a liquid into a pie or tart shell and navigating it into the oven which can prove dicey, depending upon how much caffeine one has consumed.) Now add the reduced orange juice concentrate. When the custard is thick enough to coat the rubber spatula so you can draw your finger through it and it stays put, it’s ready. (Yes, that finger/spatula/line technique really works.) Pour the custard through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. At this point, add the zest from one orange. A navel orange is preferable to the skin of a Mandarin which tends to be bitter. Give the custard a turn or two and then pour into the cooled pie shell. Cover it with plastic wrap so it doesn’t form a skin and place it in the fridge to cool. When ready to serve, top with fresh berries or canned (!) and drained Mandarin orange slices or whipped cream. Or all three.
(a hybrid recipe from Cafette, Jamie Oliver and an old issue of Food and Wine. Sorry not to be more specific...)
Take two eggs out of the fridge and set them on the counter. Now they'll be room temperature...
I use my 8" fluted tart pan with the removable bottom. Line it with pate brisee (blind baked) or a cookie crust (1 and 1/2 cups cookie crumbs, 2 Tablespoons cocoa and 6 Tablespoons melted butter.) Lightly grease the tart pan, line with brisee and blind bake or combine cookie crumbs, cocoa and butter and pat into pan and up the sides. Don't be stingy. Bake the crumb crust for about 12 minutes, until it feels set. Let crust cool while you prepare the filling. Leave the oven set at 350.
8 oz. good quality dark chocolate (the more bitter, 60-70%, the better. Trader Joes has a great selection...)
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large eggs, room temperature (see?)
1/3 cup heavy cream (there have been times when I didn't have heavy cream and used 3 Tablespoons of sour cream;
slightly different texture but still delicious)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of the liqueur of your fancy (I like Cointreau or Grand Marnier- if you want alcohol free, use vanilla extract)
This comes together pretty quickly which is why it's a gem. Over a double boiler, melt the chocolate and the butter. Give it a stir, remove from over the heat and set aside. In a mixing bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, add the cream, the sugar, the pinch of salt and the liqueur (or vanilla). Whisk the chocolate/butter mixture gradually into the egg mixture. When it is combined, pour it into the pre-baked tart shell, place the pan on a baking sheet (1/4 sheet pan works for me) and bake for about 20 minutes in the pre-heated 350 degree oven. The edges of the tart will just start to crack and the middle of the tart will be jiggly. Set aside to cool. Personally, this tart is illegally delicious when it is still warm and I think that's when you should eat it. If you prefer more of a set truffle texture, you can cool it and chill it and then eat it. But why would you want to do that? You can slice this into tiny, little slivers and then go back for more. Which you will.
(makes approximately ten 3 1/2 " hearts)
one recipe chilled pate brisee dough (or tart dough from Meyer Lemon Raspberry Tart)
one 3 and 1/2" heart shaped cookie cutter
3 cups cubed apples (I used Granny Smith and Honey Crisp, Rome works well too)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon cornstarch
zest of one lemon
1/4 cup cooled caramel sauce (if apples are very tart, add another Tablespoon of caramel)
Egg wash- 1 egg yolk combined with 2 Tab. milk or cream
Caramel Sauce (courtesy of Leslie Mackie's Macrina Bakery Cookbook)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons sweet butter
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 Tablespoons bourbon (optional)
In heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat sugar and water over medium heat. Stir with a whisk just to combine. Brush sides of the pan with a pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. The sugar mixture will turn from light brown to dark amber; carefully swirl the pan to keep the heat even. Don't turn your back on the caramel- it can go from amber to burnt in a flash. Add the cream slowly- mixture will steam and get foamy. Whisk gently to combine, then add butter, sea salt and bourbon. Let cool completely before using in Apple Hand Pies.
The apples should be peeled and cut into small cubes (about 1/4" pieces). Toss the apples with the spices, cornstarch, and zest. Set aside while you cut out the dough hearts. The dough should be rolled 1/8" thick; you don't want it to get too thick and overpower the filling. After you have cut 20 hearts, place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet and place in the fridge. Give the apple/spice mixture a stir, then add the cooled caramel and combine gently. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Remove dough from fridge and paint a very thin line of the egg wash around what will be the bottom of the hearts. Place 1 Tablespoon of apple/caramel filling on 10 of the dough hearts, top with another piece of dough, pressing the edges together to seal. I just use my fingers, but you can use a fork if you wish. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Return the hand pies to the fridge and let them chill for 15 minutes. This is really important- if the dough isn't cold, the pies start to lose their shape and look a bit broken-hearted. After 15 minutes of chilling, the pies are ready to go into the hot oven. I start them at 425 and after 10 minutes, turn the oven down to 400 and let them finish baking for another 5 minutes or so. It all depends on how golden you like your crust. The apples bake fairly quickly- you can pierce one of the pies with a small paring knife just to make sure. These are delicious served warm with a liberal drizzle of the remaining caramel sauce. A little vanilla ice cream can't heart, I mean, hurt, either.