Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Rose, By Any Other Name; Would Taste as Sweet

This may be a little over the top, but they sure were good!

I was in Whole Foods during my quest for Paella rice. Of course, I had to stop by the dessert counter, where they had these cute little tartlettes topped with apple rosettes. I decided "Hey, I can do that". It seemed simple enough, at least at first.

Then I got to thinkin, which is always a questionable past time for me, that they probably poached the apples to make them softer. OK, I had a bottle or Orange Muscat, so that should work well enough. Still not to complicated..... Cool!

BUT apples need cinnamon and stuff.. Or better yet, caramel... So that was when I decided to reduce the poaching liquid and use it to make a caramel. OK, it was starting to get a little complicated, I'll admit it, but still not too bad, I guess.

THEN, I was at Venissimo Cheese shop with my best friend Ken, looking for Mozarella di Bufala, cause I promised to make him the BEST Pizza Margherita... EVER!! With my San Marzano tomatoes, tomorrow. (I have been waiting to do this all summer; ever since I planted the bushes) That was when I saw the Piave Vecchio (pee-AH-vay VEK-ee-oh)

which just happens to be EXCELLENT with tropical flavors as well as apples and pears. I will be the first to admit that I LOVE cheese and apples together, I also love apples and caramel... BUT will apples caramel and cheese go together? I had to find out if it worked.. OK, so NOW it became all kinds of complicated. But this is what I came up with.....

Verdict... WELL worth it... Delicious!!!!

Apple Rosette Tartlettes with Piave Vecchio
in Orange Muscat Caramel

This is a standard "Tassy" crust that my mom use to make, it makes 24 tartlettes shells, but my new mini-muffin pan is slightly shallow compared to my old one, so I had a little left over dough. And I wont lie to you, this dough is REALLY sticky and kind of a pain to work with, but it has an excellent texture and a rich flavor.

1 1/2 cups AP Flour
1 8oz pkg Cream Cheese (softened)
1/2 cup (8 oz) UnSalted Butter (softened)
pinch of Kosher Salt

Beat Cream Cheese and Butter together until light and fluffy.

Work in the flour and a pinch of salt until a soft dough forms

Wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour

Break into small pieces and press into tartlette pan or mini muffin pan.

Cover and Refrigerate until ready to fill.

3 Medium Granny Smith apples.
1 bottle of Orange Muscat
juice of 1 lemon
2 oz Piave Vecchio

Fill a sauce pan with the 3/4 of the bottle of Orange Muscat
Add the Lemon Juice
Peel and quarter the apples and slide them into the wine/lemon mixture to keep them from browning.

Grab your mandolin or a super sharp knife; remove apples, 1 quarter at a time, and slice between 1 & 2 mm thick; returning the slices to the wine/lemon mixture, grab another quarter and repeat.

Move the sauce pan to a low flame and bring the wine and apples to a simmer.
Remove from heat after 2 minutes (that's all it takes) and let the apples soak and cool in the wine for 1 hour.

Grate the Piave Vecchio.

Divide between the 24 tarlettes.

Recover and chill.
Line the counter with Wax Paper (It just makes it easier to clean up later)
Lay down 8 apples slices, overlapping about 1/4 inch.

Begin rolling the side closest to you, tightly at first, but becoming more loose as you come to the end.

Tip the roll upright and fluff the slices to create petals. (I usually make about 6 at a time)

When you have several made, remove the tartlette pan and place the rosettes atop the shredded cheese, fluffing the petals again if necessary; recover and chill while making more rosettes.

When you have made all the rosettes (you may have a few apple slices left over)

Filter the poaching liquid and add the remaining 1/4 bottle of wine.

Place over low heat and reduce to about 3/4 cup. (this is for your next step which is the caramel)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Orange Muscat Caramel
3/4 cup Sugar
Pinch of Kosher Salt
2 TB Water
3/4 cup Wine Reduction
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
2 TB Unsalted Butter
4 TB Heavy Cream

Add Cinnamon to the Wine Reduction.

Place Sugar, pinch of salt and water in a sauce pan and warm over medium-low flame

until the sugar melts and becomes dark amber in color. (The wine reduction is going to add sweetness back in, so darker caramel is preferred)

Remove from heat and carefully add the wine reduction.
Return to low flame and stir until the hardened caramel melts.

Add Butter and Heavy Cream, stirring until the butter melts.

Remove from heat and cool enough (but still warm) to pour into a squeeze bottle (it just makes things easier)

Drizzle caramel sauce over the rosettes, being careful not to overfill the tartlette shells. (Cause it will seep down when baking)

You just want to catch as many of the apple petals as possible...

Bake the tartlettes in the oven for 30 minutes. (See what happens when you over do the caramel sauce?)

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack.

The Savory Saltiness of the Cheese, the Complex Sweetness of the Caramelled the tang of the Apple with hints of Wine, Cinnamon and Orange... Awesome! The apples has a gentle tooth to them, not over done, but not still crispy either... Gonna be doin this one again... Very soon :)



Ciao Chow Linda said...

They look like a lot of trouble, but they're gorgeous.

Bob said...

Dude. Want. For real.

Great way to make apple roses, I though it would be much more complex. Hell, I could probably do that! :D

TallieAnn said...

Those tartlettes are just beautiful! I need one!!

DDpie said...

Oh they're gorgeous! I'm so gonna do these!

Spryte said...

OMG those are AMAZING!!!!!

Michele said...

Wow! I would love to get my hands on one of those! I love the pastry. I really think I could do that but I'm not sure about the caramel. That seems like a lot of trouble. I wonder if there is a simpler version of this that you could make for those of us who are baking challenged!

girlichef said...

Gorgeous! I don't know what else to say. Okay, I do.... Impressive! Delicious! Amazing!

Danielle said...

those are sooo beautiful! and sound so good! the visual caught my attention....the cheese had me big time...but then when I saw cream cheese in the dough? OMG!!! I was a gonner! dang!

Dajana said...

Oh, dear, you never fail to surprise me and amaze me. I'll have to give these a try. They look and sound gorgeous.

Patti T. said...

Shane, I can not believe the deliciousness you come up with. Did you like that word? These look so pretty and the flavor combinations sound so good together. Why do you have to live so far away? I just know someday you are going to have a fabulous restaurant and I will never be able to get there! But then again, you will be rich and famous and you can fly me there, right?

Alaskan Dermish in the Kitch said...

I absolutely LOVE these. What a great idea!!

laby said...

I'm not sure it's something I would ever attempt but they are beautiful!