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Apple Tart with Apricot Glaze

Apple Tart with Apricot Glaze
Adapted from: The Greyston Bakery Cookbook via the kitchn Free-Form Apple Tart

Yield: one 9-inch Tart

Tart Dough

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
3 ounces cream cheese, cold

Apple Filling

2-3 large apples (about 1 pound) such as Rome Beauty, Jonagold, Granny Smith, Pippin, Gala, Cortland, or Winesap
2-4 tablespoons brown sugar, depending on sweetness of apples
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted (optional)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup Apricot Glaze (see below)

Apricot Glaze (Makes about 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup apricot preserves
2 tablespoons water or orange-flavored liqueur such as Cointreau or Triple Sec

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray 9-10 inch tart pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.

Place flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to combine. Add the butter, and pulse until pieces are the size of peas. Add the cream cheese, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbles.

Turn out the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap; use the plastic to help bring the dough together into a ball. Flatten to form a disk, and wrap well with plastic. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day before using.

On a large wooden cutting board (preferable to a stationary work space), roll out the pastry dough to a 12″ circle. (If the dough splits or becomes too soft to work with, transfer the board with the dough to the refrigerator and chill for 5 to 10 minutes.) Carefully transfer to tart pan. Cut excess dough from edges of pan.

Pierce the bottom of the dough with a fork and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Peel, core, and quarter the apples, then slice them into 1/8” or smaller wedges (a mandolin works well here). In a medium bowl, gently toss the apple slices with the sugar and almond extract. Neatly arrange the slices, overlapping as you go, in two lengthwise rows in the tart shell. Sprinkle or tuck the almonds among the apples and dot the top of the tart with the butter.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and apples have some color. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool to a warm temperature.

In a small pan, warm the Apricot Glaze then brush it over the top of the warm tart. Serve warm.

In a small saucepan, bring the preserves and water (or liqueur) to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until thickened. If the preserves contain large chunks of fruit, transfer the glaze to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Strain the glaze through a mesh sieve into a small bowl, pressing the glaze with the back of a large spoon or rubber spatula to extract as much liquid as possible. Use while still warm.

Chicken Stuffed with Sundried Tomatoes, Olives, and Goat Cheese

Chicken Stuffed with Sundried Tomatoes, Olives, and Goat Cheese

Adapted from: Confections of a Foodie Bride
Yield: 2 Servings

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 chicken breasts
4 Tbsp herb goat cheese
2 Tbsp chopped Kalamata olives packed in oil (5-7 large olives)
1/4 cup rough-chopped sundried tomatoes, (drained if packed in oil)

Preheat oven to 425. Heat olive oil in an oven-safe saute pan over medium-high.

Using a pairing knife, cut a pocket in each chicken breast, cutting as close as possible to the edges but taking care not to puncture all the way through. Spread 1 Tbsp goat cheese in the pocket and then spoon in half of the olives and tomato jam. Repeat for the second chicken breast. Season the tops with salt and pepper. Place top down in the skillet and cook for 3 minutes, until nicely seared. Flip chicken, remove from heat, and pop into the oven for 10 minutes to finish cooking through. Top with remaining goat cheese, any remaining chopped olives and tomatoes. Serve.

Beer Can Chicken

Beer Can Chicken

Yield: 4 Servings

1 4-pound whole chicken
2 Tbsp olive oil or other vegetable oil
1 opened, half-full can of beer, room temperature
1 Tbsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp chopped thyme
1 Tbsp chopped rosemary
1 Tbsp black pepper


Preheat oven to 350F

Remove neck and giblets from cavity of chicken, if the chicken came with them. Rub the chicken all over with olive oil. Mix the salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary in a little bowl, then sprinkle it all over the chicken.

Make sure the beer can is open, and only half-filled with beer. If you want, you can put a sprig of thyme or rosemary in the beer can. Lower the chicken on to the open can, so that the chicken is sitting upright, with the can in its cavity. Place the chicken in a roasting pan.

Cook 1 hour. After an hour, check the chicken every 15 minutes or so, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 160°F – 165°F. The total cooking time will vary depending on the size of your chicken. A 4 lb chicken will usually take around 1 1/2 hours. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, a way to tell if the chicken is done is to poke it deeply with a knife (the thigh is a good place to do this), if the juices run clear, not pink, the chicken is done.

Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes. Carefully lift the chicken off of the can. If it gets stuck, lay the chicken on its side, and pull out the can with tongs.

Red Wine Balsamic Grilled Chicken

Red Wine Balsamic Grilled Chicken

Adapted from: Good Things Catered

4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/3 c. red wine
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
1 tbps lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp dried mined onion
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

Pound chicken breasts down to uniform thickness throughout
Whisk remaining ingredients together to make marinade. Allow chicken to marinade for at least 1 hour.
Remove chicken from marinade. Grill chicken on medium-low heat about 5 minutes then flip and cook until cooked through.

Top with fresh thyme as garnish, if desired.

Margarita Cupcakes

Margarita Cupcakes

from Annie’s Eats

Yield: about 24 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3 limes, zested and juiced
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

For the frosting:
2 cups sugar
8 large egg whites
Pinch fleur de sel (coarse salt)
1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
2½ tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
4 tbsp. tequila

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 325˚ F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir with a fork to blend. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Blend in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the lime zest, lime juice and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat each addition just until incorporated.

Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ full. Bake 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the sugar, egg whites, and salt in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160° F and the sugar has dissolved. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes.

Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated. If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth again, about 3-5 minutes more (don’t worry, it will come together, though it may take a long time!) Stir in the lime juice and tequila and mix until fully incorporated and smooth.

Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.

Frost the cooled cupcakes with the buttercream. Garnish with lime zest and lime slices as desired.