In addition to being a top authority on American Heartland cooking, Mrs. Choate is also a connoisseur of French cuisine and is the cofounder of The French Culinary Institute in New York City. She has authored or coauthored more than 100 books, and her latest two titles, THE BEST LITTLE BOOK OF PRESERVES & PICKLES and A READER’S COOKBOOK, explore cooking from two unique and totally different angles.
THE BEST LITTLE BOOK OF PRESERVES & PICKLES: Easy jams & jellies, chutneys and condiments, sauces, spreads & syrups showcases contemporary renditions of marmalades, condiments and sauces that inventively use the diversity of American produce. Check out www.PreservesandPickles.com to learn more.
Tonight, she will discuss the inspirations behind her newest books and will share her philosophy on why “it is always preferable to use local products during their individual growing seasons.” To encourage the use of a favorite fall fruit, she has provided her apple tart recipe, which she calls Apple Pizza, from the Heartland Writing & Dining chapter of A READER’S COOKBOOK. Readers can learn more about the book at www.redrockpress.com/
Makes one 10-inch tart
4 medium Granny Smith (or heirloom tart) apples
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons apple cider
½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons Wondra flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Flaky Pie Pastry (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons cinnamon-sugar
Peel and core the apples. Halve them lengthwise and then cut each half, lengthwise, into paper thin slices. Place the slices in a mixing bowl. Quickly sprinkle with lemon juice, add the cider, and toss to keep them from discoloring. Add the sugar, flour, and cinnamon, and toss to coat well.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Lightly flour a clean, flat work surface. Place the pastry in the center and, using a rolling pin, roll the dough, working from the center out, into a circle approximately 11 inches in diameter and about¼-inch thick. Carefully transfer the dough circle to a pizza pan or pizza stone.
Fold about ½ inch of the edge under itself all around to give the pastry circle a double thickness around the rim. Using your fingertips, crimp a neat, fluted rim of dough.
Working from the outside edge toward the center,
make concentric circles of slightly overlapping apple slices, with the outside edge of the slices toward the outside edge of the dough. When the center is reached, use a few apple slices to make a slightly raised rosette shape. Sprinkle the entire top with cinnamon-sugar.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the apples are tender, caramelized, and beginning to brown around the edges and the crust is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before cutting. May be served warm or at room temperature.
Enough for two 9-inch pastry shells or one 9-inch 2-crust pie
2½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
7 tablespoons chilled solid vegetable shortening
Approximately 6 tablespoons ice water
Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process to blend. Add the butter and shortening and process, using quick on-and-off turns, until the mixture is crumbly.
Add about ¼ cup of the water and process, using quick on-and-off turns. Continue adding water, processing as you go until the dough just barely comes together.
Do not let the dough get too wet or it will be tough.
Remove the dough from the processor and form it into a flat disk.
Cover with plastic film and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or up to 8 hours.
Use as directed in a specific recipe.
Red Rock Press