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Apples for all

Last week I gave you a recipe for pie dough and a free form apple tart. This week, I’d like to discuss some variations.

First the pie dough. My recipe called for only 1/4 cup of ice water. As many of you already know, the amount of water is dependent upon some variables, largely, how much flour you use. One cup of flour in my kitchen may be different than one cup of flour in someone else’s kitchen. Thus, you may need to use as much as 50 percent more water than the 1/4 cup. I like to weigh my ingredients for greater accuracy and consistency. But, not everyone has a scale in their kitchen.

Another option might be the addition of some sugar to the pie dough. Although, some folks like to have all of the sweetness come from the apple filling. It’s up to the individual.

Next, with the apple filling, the amount of corn starch needed is dependent upon how much moisture the apples are holding. You might want to start with only 1 teaspoon. Also, the amount of time the apples are sautéed depends upon how thick the slices - 10 minutes if you quarter the apples. The thinner the slices, the less time needed to sauté, perhaps a little as 3 minutes.

The final form of my recipe made one tart, but you can make individual tarts using muffin tins. Cut your apples fairly small as they will need to fit into the muffin tins. Roll out your pie dough to about 1/8 inch thick and cut with a 2½- to 3-inch round cutter. Gently form these into your muffin tin and prebake for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and fill with the apple mixture. How much fun to have individual tarts for each guest.

Last, you can make apple turnovers. Cut your pie dough into 4 inch squares. Place some filling into the center and brush two adjoining edges with a little water. Now fold one corner of the dry side over to match the corner of the wet side, ending up with a triangle. Seal the edges and snip a couple holes into the top to let the steam escape. When baked and cooled, drizzle with a little melted caramel. Now I’m hungry!

Look for Chef Darrel’s blog on the website of our sister paper, Daily-Chronicle.com. Anyone with questions or comments for Chef Darrel is welcome to call him at 630-235-0672.

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