Wednesday, November 26, 2008

As Un-American As Apple Almond Tart

I don't like pie. I'm not exactly sure why, but there's something about the crust that always tastes greasy to me, and the filling is usually way too sweet. And pumpkin pie, in my opinion, began as a dare, or from people who had absolutely no other options for dessert (here's the real reason). So, as you can imagine, Thanksgiving is not always my favorite day as far as desserts go. Since I love to bake, my family turned over the desserts to me a few years ago, and I took it as an opportunity to mix things up a bit. What I came up with was tarts. I make them a lot in the summer with fresh berries, but I was able to come up with two fantastic cold weather tarts, and here they are.

Apple Almond Tart:

I love the almond paste filling in this tart. It's like eating marzipan with fresh fruit. Here it is as it goes in the oven...

... and through the magic of the Internet, here it is when it comes out. Golden crust, baked apples, all glazed in jelly. It is sooooo good.

Pumpkin Chocolate Tart:

My favorite part of this recipe is putting the solid chocolate pieces on the hot crust, letting them melt, and then paving the entire bottom of the crust with chocolate. This technique is to keep the crust from getting soggy, but it really makes the whole thing in my opinion, and I believe all desserts and roads should be paved in chocolate. Like I said, I'm not a big fan of pumpkin, but this one is really great. Put chocolate with anything and you really can't go wrong.

This recipe is Martha Stewart's, and you can access it by clicking the link above. The other recipe is a hybrid of two others, but since I've been baking all day I don't have the energy to type it all out right now. If you want it, let me know.
I also make my pumpkin cake, which is always a favorite. And to insure all my pie-loving relatives don't stop inviting me to Thanksgiving, I buy an apple and pumpkin pie at Costco and top them with lots of real whipping cream (whoever invented Cool Whip should be severely punished in my opinion). You've gotta give the people what they want.