Today, I almost expected Tim to walk into the kitchen and propose to me all over again. Fresh applesauce was cooling in the fridge, a brand new loaf of sunflower and sesame bread was cooling on the rack, and 7 apple tarts were waiting in their flaky shells for his arrival.
When we met, I didn't believe in baking. I thought it was one of Satan's tools to increase your waist line. Kind of ironic coming from a girl who called a pint of Ben and Jerry's "dinner." Nevertheless, I rarely baked, and when I did, I used recipes out of a twenty year old health book - fiber stuck together with a sparse smattering of chocolate chips.
Something changed for me at Christmas. First, I gained a baby and realized that I still liked myself, even 9 months pregnant. Second, I watched "Julie and Julia," which piqued my curiosity about butter - an ingredient I had stubbornly refused to use for many years that also makes or breaks your baking.
So now, I bake; I use the real ingredients, and I bake. To help with the calories, I plan my baking when I can give away part of the batch. Today, I had a friend visiting who hasn't felt well, so I thought she and her husband could use a pick me up. Also, I pre-portion with a muffin tin. It makes cutting a slightly bigger piece or nibbling on tiny pieces all day much more difficult.
I really wanted to make apple brown betty thanks to the suggestion of smitten kitchen's strawberry variety, but I had no bread. So, I decided to make an apple tart instead. The recipe came from the Joy of Cooking. I adapted these slightly to use a muffin tin - I needed a little extra crust and much less filling.
You can see where I just pressed the dough into the muffin cups with my fingers. Then layered in the cream cheese filling and topped with apples. They did bake a little faster: 10 mins at 425 degrees then 20 at 400 degrees.
Topped with whip cream, these make a lovely dessert when you host. They can be prepared ahead of time, if you can avoid eating them:). Also, they're a great size to accompany coffee in the afternoon.