Sometimes I just get antsy. Sometimes I just need to cook something special occasion without having the occasion (because I might not actually have anyone to feed it to). This week has been like that a lot. I have been spending the better part of this week looking for a job - and the rest of it cooking elaborately to ease the stir-craziness of looking for a job. When I came across Elise Bauers' recipe on Simply Recipes for an Apple Walnut Gorgonzola Tart I practically fell out of my chair.
Last night I had a long discussion of whether I could only have one cheese for the rest of my life what would it be. The idea made me so sad to live with just one type of cheese that I had to use one of the cheeses that would have been sacrificed because it wouldn't have made the cut as my one and only.
I don't really use recipes when I'm cooking at home. I'm more of a "look at the picture and get inspired to make something kind of like that amazing thing in the picture" kind of girl. I'll read through a recipe for the main points (like oven temperatures and times). If I really respect the chef or have no where near the knowledge to make the recipe up on my own (like pastries), I try to follow the recipe most of the way exactly the first time I make it. I will probably never again make it that exact same way, but variation and experimentation are the names of my games.
I already have a pie crust recipe that I like, but this recipe is a 5 minute breeze if you use a pre-made pie crust. This recipe was just about the fillings for me. Fresh thyme, granny smith apples, Gorgonzola...?!? I might be in-love. I loved that it was an idea that would satisfy my elaborate baking kind of mood but wasn't another dessert.
Elise's recipe is beautiful in it's simplicity. Literally a handful of ingredients cocooned in a pie crust nestled together in the oven. I don't have any maple syrup in the house right now (ironically I've planned a breakfast-for-dinner dinner party for tomorrow) so I just used sugar (and reduced the amount by half). I also substituted pistachios for walnuts and it was a really pleasant change of pace (not trying to be fancy - it's just randomly what I happened to have).
I definitely don't think the lemon juice is optional and actually added some lemon zest to mine, which I loved for the added balance of tartness. Gotta love Granny Smith. I don't know the ol' lady, but I owe her a debt of love. I also added both salt and pepper (1/2 teaspoons each freshly ground) to the mix as I love the savory side of this story and salt enhances even the best sweets.
Being me I'm sure I ended up with almost twice the cheese she called for, but my tart was more than happy for it. This tart would be remarkable with goat cheese as well. :)
I topped it with some freshly grated nutmeg and put it in the oven.
|See Ma - Packman likes it too!|
The Gorgonzola melted its way through every layer and still had enough pockets of creaminess to ooze. After my first huge slice, and I mean Packman's mouth huge, I had a revelation! The one thing that would take this tart over the top... a drizzle of a balsamic reduction of course. :)
My Version of the Savory Apple Tart
(for baking instructions please follow this link to SimplyRecipes.com's original post)
- 1 packaged, flat pie crust
- 1/2 cup pistachios (or walnuts), chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese (or blue cheese)
- 1+ tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 1.5 Tbsp honey
- 2 large granny smith apples, peeled, cored, chopped
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- freshly grated nutmeg