For the Week of October 9, 2006

Back home in Chicago last week I had an especially good apple tart. The interesting thing is that it was mostly empty, being a very high-lipped little thing (probably made in an individually-sized springform pan) with just a few sliced apples at the bottom. The paucity of apples was compensated for, however, on the one hand by a golf-ball-sized scoop of ice cream and plenty of drizzled caramel sauce, and on the other by the crust, which was as delicious a pâte sablée as I’ve ever had. What’s pâte sablée you say? Funny you should ask. We’re about to find out.

Pâte Sablée

You’ll notice that this is only a crust, not a complete recipe. But imitating the tart I had is no great culinary feat once the crust is done. A half-inch layer of thinly sliced apples dotted with cold, unsalted butter and sprinkled liberally with sugar, will bake up very nicely in 25 minutes (or so) in a 350 oven. But more on that as we go.

No bread project this week, mostly because I still haven’t fully recovered from my bout of shingles. My right hand is still sore, and I’m struggling with a (temporary) loss of some dexterity and feeling. Those nerve diseases man, they’ll mess you up (get the dang vaccine!). Back to the bread oven next Monday though, promise.

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