Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Apples and almonds and brie, oh my!

I woke up early today; I wanted to get up around 4 a.m. to see the meteor shower, but I forgot and didn't get up until 5:30 a.m. No meteors to be seen; in fact, the sky didn't seem all that clear. Not cloudy, per se, I could still see stars, but only faintly, like through a haze.

Wednesdays I drive carpool for my oldest and a few other high school girls in the neighborhood (neighborhood being relative; two of the girls live a mile away from us, in opposite directions), so rising early was a good thing. It was a chilly morning, but there was promise of a warmer than usual January day. And I got to spend almost two hours at the dentist's office, having two fillings replaced. Grrr. It didn't hurt, there was plenty of novacaine, but I looked like a stroke victim for several hours this afternoon.

It would have been so easy to take a mulligan on today - but I didn't. Not only did I create something pretty wonderful, I finished a couple of other projects as well: alterations on a dress for a friend, and a small quilted table runner.

My creation for today was a food item: an apple & brie galette. The day I can't feel my mouth, and can barely manage to swallow some tomato soup, I decide to bake! The apples had been sitting around for a while and needed to get used, and I bought a big wheel of brie last week ( I don't know why, I'm the only one who likes brie in our house, but it was on sale, and so tempting....)
By late evening, I could manage some small bites of this lovely dessert, along with a glass of zinfandel while watching "Modern Family". The rest of the family tried it as well, and nobody complained about the slivered almonds or brie on top of the apples. (My kids and husband usually complain when I put nuts in any baked items, and I'm the only one who really likes brie, so I'm a little surprised - but the crust and sweet apple filling won them over!)
The basic recipe:
one prepared pie crust, 4-6 apples (depending on size) peeled, cored, and cut into small chunks, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. apple pie spice, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar, 1 Tbsp. brown sugar; brie cheese, melted butter, and slivered almonds to taste.

Mix chopped apples, lemon juice, spices and sugars in a large bowl; roll out pie crust and place on baking sheet;

pour apples into center of pie crust, leaving about 1" around outside edge; fold edge of pie crust around apples, leaving the center open; place thin slices of brie cheese on top of apples; brush folded-over crust with melted butter and sprinkle slivered almonds mostly over crust, a little bit over apples.
*Note: my pie crust was a little dried out around the edges, so I brushed butter around the crust before pouring in the apples, and again after folding the crust over the outer part of the galette. Also, in case you're wondering: a galette is a free-form pie, very easy to make. Julia Child was a big fan of them.

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