Monday, May 10, 2010

Cuisiner avec Allison.

So, I think I've written about my friend C from school (aka, my former college since I GRADUATED on Saturday and am officially an alum!). She is getting married on June 5th, and my bff R and I are bridesmaids in the wedding.


Being a bridesmaid when you're tres broke due to student teaching and parents that teach you "responsibility" is a little tough. Especially when your duties as a bridesmaid mean that you have to plan a shower for all your college friends on an extremely limited budget. My friend R and I stressed and stressed over what we were going to do, if we should have a theme, where to hold the party on such a tight budget, especially since C likes things to be "classy."

Now, if I had unlimited resources and was working and making an actual salary, I would love to have a shower at a fun restaurant or cafe somewhere in Philly where we could all go, or rent out a hall and do something fun, or have money for actual entertainment. But, I had absolutely none of those things, and neither did R, so we came to the only obvious conclusion - we'd have to have the shower either somewhere on campus, or in our apartment.

So for a few weeks, we tried and tried to assemble invitations, invite people, lock down RSVPs, come up with a theme... it was exhausting, and that wasn't even the hard part.

Once we decided on a theme (the "Scanty Panty Party" - which meant that every guest had to bring a pair of underwear for C, and that all the food was miniature), it came time to buy all the food, and make preparations.

Since our apartment kitchen is so teeny tiny, I called up a good friend of mine, who lives in PA only a half hour from campus, and offered to babysit for her kids if I could steal her kitchen the next day to cook. Obviously she agreed happily, and even gave me the recipe for these fabulous petite apple tarts that look tres chic.

These tarts were such a hit at the shower that I thought I'd share the easy peasy recipe for them, though I DO have the warning that if you don't have certain tools, like a press and seal 3" cutter, or an apple corer, this would have been a significantly more complicated process (though it would be do-able!).

*~*

Dutch Apple Mini-Tarts (24 servings max.)

-1 package refrigerated ready-to-bake pie crust (not a pie shell - I used Pillsbury dough)

Apple Filling Ingredients:

-1/2 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened (I used reduced fat Philadelphia cream cheese)

-1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

-1 egg

-2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

-1/2 tsp. vanilla

-3 medium Granny Smith apples - peeled; cored; sliced and chopped

Topping Ingredients:

-3 tbsp. EACH - all purpose flour and firmly packed brown sugar

-2 tbsp. butter

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Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll 1 pie crust into a 12 x 10" rectangle.

3. Cut twelve 3" circles from the dough. (I used the 3" Pampered Chef Cut-N-Seal to do this - if I hadn't had this, I don't know if I would attempted making these!).

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4. Press the cut dough into a mini-muffin pan.


5. Take the remaining dough and repeat the process (though you probably will not have enough dough to fill a 12x10" rectangle).


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6. For the apple filling:

Whisk cream cheese into a bowl until smooth (I actually used a wooden spoon because I didn't feel like cleaning out the clumps of cream cheese from a whisk! The wooden spoon worked perfectly, because the cream cheese was really soft).


7. Whisk the sugar in with the cream cheese until it is really fluffy.


8. Mix in the egg with the cream cheese/sugar mixture until well-blended.


9. Stir the flour and cinnamon into the filling mixture until smooth.


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10. Peel, core, and slice the apples (I used the Williams Sonoma apple peeler/corer/slicer. It sped up the process SO much!).


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11. Finely chop the apples (may I suggest a food chopper - aka a miracle worker!).


12. Stir the apples into the cream cheese mixture, and fill the prepared muffin cups with the apple/cream cheese mixture.

**The recipe calls for these to be filled up to the top, and I thought that since there was a mix of eggs/flour that it would rise, so I filled it maybe halfway up. Now I'm thinking that being a little bit more generous with filling them up wouldn't be such a bad idea!**


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13. For the topping:

Combine 3 tbsp flour and 3 tbsp. brown sugar.


14. Cut butter into the mixture until you form coarse crumbs.


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15. Spoon this mixture over the apple mixture.


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16. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.


17. Let the tarts cool in the pan for 5 minutes, and then remove from the pan.


18. Serve warm or at room temperature (From my experience, these were best at room temperature! Yummo!).


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We ended up having an absolutely lovely shower with LOTS of delicious food, and a lot of fun. Even though it wasn't the classiest of places, we did our best to make it cute and special for our dear friend C. (And J was extremely happy because we had so many leftovers that he was eating cheese and petite tarts for a week!).


Some pictures from C's surprise shower.


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Now that I'm home (and jobless for the time being), I'll have LOTS more time to catch up on what you all have been up to! I miss you A TON and have been feeling very sentimental lately with all these big life changes, and I've just been thinking about how much YOU all mean to me, even though we've never met! You're wonderful, darlings. xox


Currently: Watching The Golden Girls, waiting for my lasagna to cook, and going to get my bridesmaid dress altered! Busy night :)


P.S. Sorry, sorry for all the pictures! Sometimes I go on a picture overload!

16 comments:

Kristin said...

You did an amazing job with the shower lady! It's all about the love behind it not the money spent. I want some of those apple yummies NOW!

k. said...

I have never wanted anything more than I want those tarts right now! Oh my yummmmmmm!

& I LOVE the theme. I need to remember that the next time I host a shower!

x, K

PS - that's always my J's favorite part, too! The leftovers!

Kinsey Michaels said...

picture overload is never a bad thing! ;)
aww it looks like you put on a great shower for your friend. i love the theme and looks like your tarts came out amazing!

Lisa said...

I think the most important part of the shower is just to have all your fav people around and to celebrate together. All the glitz and glam is just an extra bonus. :) Your party seemed like it was a huge success despite the limited budget. :) The apple tarts look yummy!

HiFashion said...

Looks like you did a great job! It does look like it was fun, and I can't wait to try out that recipie!

Couture Carrie said...

Delicious post, darling!

xoxox,
CC

Carol {Everyday Delights} said...

First of all - congrats on graduating! So exciting!! Everything looks lovely - you did a GREAT job!!

▲my• said...

Those tarts sound amazing!
And looks like a good time was had at the shower.

Congrats on your graduation! That's awesome!

Join the Gossip said...

Thanks so much for visiting my blog =)

First off, congrats on graduating!!

You're such a great friend! Being in weddings are not cheap, but you did a great job. Cute theme, YUMMY treats, and a great time!

p.s. I LOVE the Golden Girls. I am obsessed with that show in the same way our generation loves SATC. Maybe I am an 80 year old trapped in a 26-year-old body hehe!

Leia said...

these look DELICIOUS!

FranciscoL_Swaney0806 said...

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Pop Champagne said...

omg those apple tarts look delicious!

Sarah from 20somethingcupcakes said...

Those look delicious! Just discovered your blog and it's great. Love how you mix in the cooking! xxSAS

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Keith said...

Hello. I hope this finds you doing well. I've been on a blogging hiatus since the beginning of the year, so it's been quite some time since I've been around to visit some blogs. I'm back from my break now. I wanted to make sure to visit your blog. I enjoyed checking out the latest posts on your blog. Great job. I'm back blogging now myself. I hope you'll take a look at what I'm doing. Thanks. Take care. Have a great week.

Elisa, Croatia said...

You did a great job! I loved the idea of the hanging line, fun! and the recipe looks yummy, thanks for the pictures, it makes it easier to follow along.