Food Friday–fall cooking edition

Maybe it’s because I grew up in New England.


But fall calls for apple tarts.

My mother never ever made a pie crust. She decided that they were too difficult to make. All of the pies she ever made were made with frozen Orenoko farms pie crust. Those crusts are uniformly salty and not very tasty.

One of the first cook books I owned was the Moosewood Cookbook. It has a really good pie crust recipe. It’s one of the first thing I learned how to make. In my early days of cooking there were lots of quiches and pies that got made. I soon realized that pie crusts could be flavored to match the fillings.

The experts often say that lard makes for a flaky crust. Since lard won’t be making an appearance in my kitchen I often use butter in my pie crusts.

My father in law once gave me a cookbook he found in the garbage. It was mostly a bad cookbook. It did however, have a great recipe for an oil pie crust that you whip up in the food processor.


I have been making tart and pie crust using that method but also adding nuts and brown sugar to the mixture. I confess that I made the crust for tonight’s tart by entirely winging it. I will tell you what I did and you will just have to wing it if you try to follow my method.


I put a big handful of almonds into the food processor along with a scant cup of flour, a pinch of salt and some brown sugar and apple friendly spices, ( nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice) and some oil. I let the food processor do it’s thing. Then I added some water and processed some more.


The mixture felt like lumpy clay. I pressed it into a pie pan and baked it for ten minutes while I sliced five apples. I didn’t want the apple to turn brown and I was out of lemon juice, so I put a bit of vinegar into the bowl that held the sliced apples. I added a bit of sugar, honey and flour  to the apples. When the apples were sliced, I pulled the crust out of the oven and dumped in the apples. I topped the apples with another drizzle of honey and a bit of jam and baked at 350 until it looked cooked.


You know that expression “easy as pie”. Pie really is easy.  I realize that this is a skill I have yet to teach my kids. It’s time they learned. SAM_1138

We aren’t just eating dessert tonight. We are also eating what is known in this family as “slab-o-beef”. It’s a little slab, so I also made meatballs.  The rice is warming in the oven and I still have to make the salad.


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