Apple Tart with Tahini Frangipane and Honey-Rose Glaze

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- I'm not a huge reader, never have been. As a kid trying to get me to read was like running nails on a chalkboard, complete agony. I'd always end up falling asleep from the painstaking effort to which my young brain couldn't fathom. I suffered so slowly, page by page, every night for an hour before bed. I couldn't sit still. It made way more sense to be twirling in dresses or rolling around outside with my Mattel cap rifle and walkie talkie. BUT as I got older, I began to appreciate romantic classics and good suspenseful fiction. Since then I have warmed up to reading a variety of food blogs and within the last week I have been obsessed with reading cook books! Currently I'm enjoying Molly on the Range by Molly Yeh of My name is Yeh and Standard baking Co. Pastries by Alison Pray and Tara Smith of Standard Baking Co. from Portland, ME. I have a few more I'm anxious to start, but for now I'll keep it at these two and not create another bad habit... like when I try to juggle ten different Netflix shows. The struggle is real people!

- Okay so it's October and I've officially begun hibernating. Right now I am fully embracing everything cozy: snuggly scarves and socks, apple cider candles, casseroles, crockpot dinners and every baked good under the sun. If I could stay in my kitchen during the entire fall and winter without ever leaving, I would. Translation for normal people = this is my favorite time of year! :D

- A few weeks ago Nate and I went apple picking with our family and picked SO many apples. Way more than two people would need, but wide-eyed we went and with plans to use every single one. Nate made the most amazing apple sauce with a bunch of them and I decided to use some for a variety of baked goods. One of which I made for my best friend's house warming dinner this past weekend. A fruit tart made with apples picked from Cider Hill Farm, topped with a delish glaze made with Local Maine Honey, harvested by my best friends family! 

- I haven't used Tahini very often... mostly in hummus, once in a cupcake recipe by Molly Yeh but I came across an apple galette that used tahini frangipane vs the classic almond and I was instantly intrigued. This frangipane recipe was adapted by Sarah Jampel from Bronwen Wyatt, a pastry chef at Shaya in New Orleans. Sarah described Wyatt's frangipane as being "...earthier than the traditional iteration..." I've eaten plenty of fruit tarts with almond frangipane, never made one before, but I was excited to take on the challenge of using this sesame variation. My creation follows Jampel's recipe closely but differs slightly. I made a long tart instead of a galette and infused my glaze with rose vs hibiscus. 


  • For the Tahini Frangipane go to Sarah Jampel's recipe found here! (I made the full recipe, used half in the tart and saved the rest for morning toast!)
  • For the pie dough I used 1 roll of Trader Joe's frozen pie crust but you can use any pie dough recipe. 
  • I used 2 apples, 1 peeled and one unpeeled, both quartered and then sliced thin. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Once you fill the tart pan with your dough, spread the frangipane evenly, fan the apple slices out alternating direction and apple, sprinkle entire tart with 4TBS granulated sugar and bake for 45 minutes. 
  • While tart is baking, make your glaze.

Glaze

  • reserved apple peels
  • 2 tsp rose water
  • 1/4 cup local honey
  • 1/2 TBS lemon juice
  • 2 TBS Sugar
  • 1 Cup + 1 TBS water (separated)
  • 1 TBS Cornstarch

In a saucepan on medium high heat, boil 1 cup water with reserved apple peels. Once peels are limp, add rose water, honey, lemon juice and sugar. Mix together cornstarch and 1 TBS water before adding to saucepan. Lower heat to medium and simmer, stirring frequently until mixture has become syrupy in texture.

Once tart is done remove from oven and let cool slightly. Pour 1/2 cup of glaze over tart. 

Enjoy tart as is or with ice cream!

 

Honey Marzipan Spice Cake

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My week so far.

- As of yesterday fall has arrived and I am beyond happy to welcome the new season! With the cooler temperatures right around the corner, I find myself spending more and more time in the kitchen. The cabinet directly above our fridge exists for the sole purpose of storing all my baking ingredients and while they are continually being used... they are still many. Odd place to have them as I can barley see over the fridge... let's be honest here, no step stool will ever make me tall enough. I suppose this is why I have 3 unopened bags of coconut flakes, an embarrassing amount of sugar and quite the army of duplicate spices. My husband Nate can attest to my most common saying... "I swear I ran out of that ingredient...". Yeahh, it's about time we re-think this storage situation. My sweet husband is now in the process of building me shelves easily accessible to a 5' 3" kitchen troll and soon I will have a whole lotta cute jars on display! 

- I went to my first yoga class last week since 2012 and boy did it feel long overdue. Every muscle in my body was lamenting but equally rejoicing. The studio was a close walk from my house and across the street from my favorite liquor store. #win.  With the beginning of a new season come many changes and for me a yoga class once a week has become my mid-year resolution!

- Also, I am embarrassed to say but it's taken me only two short weeks this month to watch the first four seasons of Game of Thrones. I know, I am way late on this one but WHY DOES EVERYONE HAVE TO DIE. 

- Now to my baking adventure for this month, an ode to the end of summer and beginning of fall, I have a Honey Spice Cake filled with blueberry preserves, decorated with marzipan woodlands for you. Recipe Below!

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Honey Marzipan Spice Cake (makes two 6" rounds)

cake

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 TBS cornstarch 
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 egg whites, whisked into stiff peaks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup + 2 TBS almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp all-spice
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • marzipan (for layers and decorating)
  • blueberry preserves (or an preserve) 

frosting

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 TBS honey

Marzipan recipe over here!

instructions

Pre-heat over to 325. Grease two 6" pans, line with parchment and set aside. In a small bowl sift together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. In a large bowl combine butter, honey, milk and vanilla extract. Alternating, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs into stiff peaks and fold into cake mixture. Careful not to over mix. Pour mixture into both cake pans and bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. 

While the cake is baking go ahead and make the frosting. Cream together butter and sugar. Add almond extract and honey until well mixed. 

Once cakes are cooled completely, pipe a circle of frosting on the first layer, add blueberry preserves and top with a thin layer of marzipan. Pipe a second layer of frosting around the cake, add another few spoonfuls of blueberry filling and top with the final layer of marzipan. 

Frost your cake and add your marzipan decorations as you like!

Enjoy!!

 

My Recent Revelation + Rainbow Cupcake Explosion: Lemon & Cardamom

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It has been such a good summer... nay, pretty much just an awesome year. I can't exactly put my finger on all the reasons why except that I am so much more optimistic. Sometimes I can get so caught up in where I want to be and in all I hope to achieve that I forget to enjoy the process. What I'm realizing though, is that the process is the most rewarding part.. The highs and lows, successes and mistakes... I have a plan for the future but am not allowing my varied pace dictate my joy in life. I have gone back and forth in my creative focus, trying to narrow down how I want to brand myself. Guys it's hard! Food Photographer... Wedding... Lifestyle... Travel... I can't help that I enjoy doing it all! I am an artist. A creative that loves to perfect all I do in photography and style the hell out of beautiful food and products. Where am I at? Well, recently I've learned to accept that it's okay to just saturate yourself in the creative learning process. It's okay not knowing. You don't have to have all the answers. In time, the more I give of myself artistically and the less I give into worry, the better and more focused my craft will be. SO... here's to accepting where I'm at, taking on new challenges, photographing my heart out and sharing a bomb cupcake recipe with you all!! ...Made specifically for a special baby shower, cause guys... MY SISTER IS PREGNANT.

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cupcake 

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1.5 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom 
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 3 egg whites, beaten stiff

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cardamom, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix dry ingredients into butter/sugar mixture until just combined. Alternate dry ingredients with milk until all mixed.  Carefully fold in egg whites. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

frosting

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 0.5 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add cardamom, vanilla extract, lemon juice and zest. Once combined, measure 3/4 cup portions and add coloring of your choice. Decorate with sprinkles and all sorts of festive candies!