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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

TWD: Tarte Fine + a Review & Giveaway

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The Tarte Fine (aka apple pizza) was the recipe for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie, chosen by Leslie at Lethally Delicious.  I have to admit, I generally am really not a fan of baked fruit.  I do however, really love me some puff pastry. With how simple this recipe was, I knew it would be a simple one to pull off, even with a busy week. Of course, with me, that usually just means that I'm going to complicate things for myself somehow.

A quick note before I get much further though - do you know what this Friday is? Besides being October 1st it will be the very first post for the brand spankin' new French Fridays with Dorie celebrating and cooking our way through her new book - Around My French Table (which she is incidentally out on tour with right now).  This week's first recipe is a favorite of mine and if you don't have your book yet, you really ought to go ahead and order one. You won't regret it!  Also, if you didn't see the article, you can read a nice article that the Post-Gazette did about our own Laurie & Dorie :) This group is going to be awesome!

This week's complication turned out to be by making the recipe twice so that I could perform my own little puff pastry test.  Back when we made the little parisian apple tartlets for TWD I made the rough puff pastry recipe from Martha Stewart's site (you have to watch the video with Michel Roux - it is so great and the perfect simple tutorial).

I made one version from the rough puff pastry and one from the Pepperidge Farms frozen puff pastry.  The rough puff once again beat out the frozen stuff hands down for flavor, flakiness, and texture.  The PF puff pastry was good, but the homemade puff pastry really made this dessert something special.

No surprise that I did the sweeter version over in the 'playing around' section of the book with the added butter and sugar under and over the apples.  I also added a little sprinkle of cinnamon since it is just always such a natural pairing in my book.  I was surprised how much I really enjoyed this dessert, but only the homemade pastry version (the other I ate a couple bites and was done).  As I mentioned, I don't like baked fruit all that much, especially apples, so I think that the fact that they were sliced so thin really made a difference for me.  I would definitely make this again... but probably only when I have some more homemade pastry on hand.

As much as I loved making my own puff pastry, and how delicious it turned out, I haven't done it more than a couple of times.  Not so much because of the effort or even the time and performing the different 'turns'.  It was actually the mess.  As you can see in the video you dump a huge pile of flour and an equally huge pile of little cubes of butter onto your countertop and go to work.

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homemade rough puff pastry version

In a house with three small children running around, as you can imagine, counter space is a precious commodity and it will come as no surprise to anyone out there that any time I want to make something that has any time on the counter I have to perform a deep cleaning to feel like I can use the space.  With little kids, believe me, a simple nice thorough wipe-down is never enough!

You may remember not too long ago I mentioned that I would be doing an upcoming review for CSN Stores.  They were kind enough to let me choose what I would like to review and after drooling over any number of things from their selection of Le Crueset and other dutch ovens to dining chairs (I particularly love the breakfast nooks - so cute!), baking rings, and lots of fun, harder to find restaurant and bakery style equipment. CSN Stores is actually comprised of 200+ stores though with just about anything you can think of, not just for the kitchen.

I spent quite a while going through their site browsing and when I found this huge, silicone pastry mat I knew I had to try it out.  The thought of having a sturdy, non-stick, easily cleanable surface to use for breads, cookies, pastries, etc - I had to try it.  Thanks to CSN Stores sending me one I was able to have one and try it out.
 
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pastry mat with flour and butter ready to make rough puff


The main thing I can say about this pastry mat is that I can't believe I've gone so long without one! Oh, how much I love this mat.  It is huge for one thing - that is no small mound of flour and butter you see there either.  The work space was clean, plentiful and perfect.  Cleaning up couldn't have been easier since I just removed any left over mess to the sink and washed up, leaving my countertops clean as well.

The ordering process with CSN was simple and easy, and best of all, my pastry mat arrived promptly within a couple of days.  I really enjoyed going through their site and being able to read reviews of products from others as well as having all the product specifications right there.

If you have a baker in your life, or want to get started a little early on your holiday wish list, I definitely recommend that you put this pastry mat at the top of your list.  In fact, forget getting it for the holidays - you need this BEFORE then so that you can really pull out all the stops for your holiday baking! Just think of all the things you could do! I know I am.

THE GIVEAWAY!
To help you along the way, CSN Stores is offering a $25 gift code to one lucky reader to use off of anything in any of their stores.  All you need to do to enter the giveaway go check out CSN Stores and leave a comment on this post before Thursday, September 30 at midnight MST telling me what you would get.  That way, by the time all the comments are in, we'll have one heck of a wish list going right here I'll bet!  The winner will be drawn using Random.org.

For second entry in the drawing tweet about this giveaway and include @PheMom in the tweet so I know about it and in case I don't already follow you on Twitter.  Then LEAVE ANOTHER COMMENT telling me you tweeted so that it's in the drawing.

Good luck!


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store-bought puff pastry version


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homemade rough puff pastry version

35 comments:

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Thanks for the link to the homemade puff pastry. It's been on my to do list since forever! That mat looks wonderful too, I only wish CSN were available in India :(

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

I can't find the video!! Please help :(

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Found it using the great Google!

chocolatechic said...

First of all, I am so proud of you for going to the effort of making puff pastry.

This lazy girl just pulled out the PF and was done with it.

I almost added cinnamon to mine, but didn't. I wish I had now.

Secondly, for your contest. I so want the All Clad roasting pan. I don't have a roasting pan and have wanted one for almost forever.

Jules Someone said...

Yum! Gorgeous! Puff pastry was always one of those things that I never though was worth making. May need to re-think.... I have ALWAYS wanted a Nesco Roaster.

Tiffany said...

Your tartre looks very pretty! For the giveaway, I would put the gift card towards new glassware. I keep breaking all the glasses we have.

Di said...

I love that you did a comparison! It's so hard to go back to PF after making my own pastry. (I used the quick puff pastry from The Art & Soul of Baking.) You just can't beat the taste of butter. =) Your tarts are gorgeous.

Megan said...

Wish I had that lovely tart sitting on my counter right now! Great giveaway! I need a new cookie gun for my Christmas cookies!

Cardboard Hour said...

Great giveaway! I'm really in need of a perfect cast iron pan!!

Fallon said...

The apple pizza looks beautiful!! Screams fall!

I would also pick up one of those silicon mats. What a great idea!

Joanne said...

I am so impressed by your homemade puff pastry! Good stuff all around. I haven't conquered it yet myself, but hopefully will soon. This tart looks fantastic! I love love love apple desserts!

thewhimsicalcupcake said...

high five on making your own puff pastry! i'm with you on the lack of counter space/deep cleaning issues. therefore for your contest... i'd also love one of these silicone mats. i've had my eye on them for a while now! either that or a new cake stand.

Tammigirl said...

Lady you are making my mouth water.

I would love to get some Graham & Brown paintable wallpaper. Beadboard if they get it back in stock, but I would force myself to try another one if not.

Jodie said...

I was going to make my own puff pastry, but ran out of time! I'll have to try it.
I'd love the Nordicware Platinum Bundt!

Jodie said...

tweeted!

Leslie said...

Your tart is GORGEOUS (OK, so the one with PF puff pastry is not as impressive but still lovely). You make me want to try my hand at puff pastry! After going to CSN and seeing that ginormous mat, I can hardly think of anything else, though the Pillivuyt Quartet Footed Platter has my heart fluttering too.

Thanks for baking with me this week!

Leslie said...

Tweet complete!

Brooke said...

Ooooh, I want to try making puff pastry! I never have the stuff and have so many recipes that I want to try that call for it!
As far as CSN goes.... I would love some Rachel Ray Cookware. I love the fact that they can go from stove top to oven and the orange color is nice, too! ;)

TeaLady said...

Tarte looks delicious. Love making Puff pastry, but like you, don't do it often. I used Martha's rough puff pastry as well.

CSN has an immersion blender I would love to have - mine drowned!!!

TeaLady said...

Tweeted!!

http://twitter.com/Scones4Me/status/25808840712

Lauryn said...

Your photos are absolutely gorgeous!! I must try my hand at homemadfe puff pastry sometime soon! It looks incredible! If I won the gift certificate, I would use it towards a Le Creseut baking dish!!!

scrambledhenfruit said...

This is perfect timing for this tart, as I have an abundance of apples right now. I might even try it with my own pastry, if I get motivated this weekend. Thanks!

Katrina said...

Wow, your homemade puff pastry really does look better. Someday, maybe I'll make some. It's just dangerous for me, if you know what I mean.

CSN Stores is awesome. I noticed the other day that I really need some new cupcake/muffins pans and another baking sheet or two, so that's what I'd get at CSN.

lreyno5 said...

I would love some mini springform pans and a rectangle springform pan!!!

lreyno5 said...

I tweeted @phemom also!

sarahe said...

hmm..very interested in the rough puff pastry! i may have to try that :) and I LOVE that mat...that may be what I would get if I won!

sarahe said...

tweeted about it too!

The Bentley Family and Aussiemuminthekitchen said...

Oh I'd put it towards a panini press...I want one sooooo bad!

Sherry G said...

I'd love to use that towards getting a food processor!

theamazingjohnsons said...

I would probably get some new cookie sheets. Mine are looking seriously old!
tiffdeon at yahoo dot com

Kara Hanson said...

I NEED one of those mats!! Anything to make clean up easier (that was on behalf of my husband since I usually make the mess and then run out of time chasing after the 4 kids, and he has to clean it up eventually). HE would REALLY love it if I had one of those mats, his life would be so much easier! :-)

Liz said...

I have a silicone mat and I love it--it's great for baking cookies, instead of using parchment paper all the time, although it doesn't transmit heat as well.

I would probably get a new dutch oven to replace my beloved yet now ruined one!

Liz said...

I tweeted! @FakeGradSchool

Domestic Diva said...

I'd use it toward a guidecraft kitchen helper. Thanks for the chance!

Janetha said...

i always forget how much i love working with puff pastry until i see it on a blog.. looks awesome.

i love csn stores. i would buy a desk.

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