(Mass Appeal) – We are fully in the throes of autumn and as the colder winter months appear on the horizon, we are all looking for warming comfort foods. Cookbook author Jessie-Sierra Ross from the blog Straight to the Hips, Baby, is here today with two recipes.
Fall Apple & Pear Crumble
4 large Honey Crisp apples
2 large Bartlett pears, washed
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon of kosher salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
½ cup cold butter, cubed
1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
optional; vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for serving
- Preheat your oven to 350F and butter a 9 x 13 baking dish. Reserve.
- Peel and core your apples. Cut into quarters and then slice thinly (1/8 inch). Add them to a large mixing bowl.
- Next, cut the pear from the core in quarters, leaving the skin on. Slice into a variety of 1/8 inch slices or, into ½ inch cubes (if you want a different texture). Add to the bowl of apples.
- Sprinkle the apples & pears with ¼ teaspoon of salt, vanilla, and cornstarch. Gently mix and set aside.
- In another large mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Mix quickly with a fork.
- Add the butter and using your hands, incorporate the butter into the dry mix. You’re going to ‘squish’ the butter in, using the heat from your hands to melt it slightly.
- Mix until the butter starts to clump with the flour, and then begin to crumble up the clumps. You want the end result to look like a mix of sandy dough with a few larger chunks.
- Add the sliced apples & pears to the prepared baking dish. Spread the fruit out in one even layer.
- Spread the “sandy” crumble mixture all over the fruit.
- Bake 40-50 minutes on the middle rack, until golden and slightly bubbly.
- Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. I like mine to rest for about 40 minutes, so the crumble is still warm, but not too warm to totally melt the vanilla ice cream.
Pear & Manchego Cheese Tarts with Honey
1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
½ cup shredded Manchego cheese
¼ cup cream cheese
1-2 large firm Bartlett pears
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
pinch kosher salt & ground black pepper
1 tablespoon raw sugar (optional)
2 tablespoons honey for drizzling
2 teaspoons fresh lavender for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the shredded Manchego cheese, cream cheese, salt, and ground black pepper. Mix well.
- Taking the washed pear, cut the flesh away from the core in four sections. Next, slice into thin slices, about 1/8 inch thick.
- Spread the puff pastry flat on a large cutting board. With a sharp knife, cut into 6 equal rectangles. Transfer the pastry rectangles to the parchment covered pan. Using a fork, prick the puff pastry dough several times to allow the steam to release in the oven.
- Take about 1 tablespoon of the cheese filling and place in the center of each rectangle. Using your fingers, spread the cheese out slightly, leaving about a ¾ inch border clear. Next, fan out 3 thin pieces of pear on each pastry piece.
- Take a small bowl and whisk the egg. Using a pastry brush, spread the whisked egg along the border of each pastry, avoiding the centers. This will give the pastry a golden and shiny finish after baking.
- Sprinkle the fresh thyme leaves evenly between each rectangle. Optionally, also sprinkle a little bit of raw sugar on top of each puff pastry rectangle.
- Place the pan directly into the refrigerator to chill slightly, about 10 minutes. We want to keep the puff pastry cold! After chilling, place the pan into the hot oven for 25 minutes, or until golden.
- Remove and let the pan cool slightly on a wire rack.
- Transfer to a platter or optionally, cut on diagonal and then transfer to a platter. Drizzle with honey and fresh lavender flowers.