Apple & Brie

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French apple tart or tarte aux pommes is a classic pastry that I
always see in bakeries everywhere. It’s one of my favorite apple
desserts because it has a good balance of sweet and tangy flavors.

For this recipe, I wanted to twist the classic recipe and try a bolder
combination of flavors and textures so I decided to pair apples with
brie cheese.

I chose to make a sweet pastry crust (also known as pâte sucrée) as
the tart shell because it tastes similar to a vanilla shortbread
cookie. Inside the crust, there is a two-layer filling. The bottom
layer is melted brie cheese and the top layer is a simple homemade
apple sauce. I used red delicious apples because they tend to be
softer which makes them easier to mash, and they are also sweeter, so
I do not have to add as much sugar. Then, for the topping, I switched
to granny smith apples because I wanted the apple slices to hold their
shape so I could arrange them into a flower.
For the glaze, I opted for orange marmalade jam instead of the more
commonly used apricot jam, but both help to give the tart a glossier
finish.

~ French Apple & Brie Tart ~

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End-of-Junior-Year Celebratory Desserts

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As soon as the school year was over, I spent a lot of time baking and brainstorming more dessert ideas.

I baked two new desserts this month to celebrate the end of the rough, grueling year that was junior year. The first is vanilla bean scones filled with a tangy and creamy lemon curd and soft and fluffy whipped cream, which I made for Mother’s Day, while the second is a rich and gratifying rustic chocolate cake.

~ Vanilla Bean Scones with Lemon Curd & Whipped Cream ~

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1 recipe, twice baked

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My favorite kinds of baked goods are the ones I can dip in a cup of tea. This is why I am huge fan of biscotti. I usually buy the chocolate-covered, almond-flavored ones in coffee shops.

Biscotti are hard Italian cookies that are meant to be dipped in a drink like coffee or tea, or more traditionally, Vin Santo, an Italian dessert wine. The origin of the word “biscotti” means “twice baked” which is true to the method used to prepare it. Nowadays, in Italy, the word “biscotti” refers to any kind of cookie (akin to the word “biscuit” in the UK) and actual biscotti is known instead as “cantuccini.”

This week I finally decided that I should try to bake my own biscotti from scratch with the help of a friend. They were very quick and easy to make and tasted ten times better than the store-bought ones. I don’t think we’ll go back to buying them after this. And what’s great about anything homemade, you can customize it using your favorite flavors. My friend and I chose to make Orange and Pistachio Biscotti!

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