Treatsie Tuesdays! (Apple Galette with Cinnamon Frozen Yogurt)

This time last week, my man and I were frolicking about Boston celebrating three years of marriage together. We rode the T. We ate cannoli. We walked the North End. We watched sailboats. We talked to strangers. (Sorry Mom and Dad) We shopped. We dined on amazing Italian food. And then … then we did something that made my heart come alive.

We plopped ourselves down in the Agganis Arena, eyes glued to the stage, and we watched the top ten contestants of So You Think You Can Dance perform. It was beautiful. I cried through some portions. I love dance. If I had another shot at life, I’d be a dancer. For sure.

Sigh.

Okay, back to reality here.

So – It’s officially fall! And the apples are here.

In all their juicy plumpness, they’ve trampled right in and said “See ya later, berries and peaches. I’m the queen now.”

They’re everywhere. They’re in the grocery stores, they’re at the farmer’s market, they’re covering trees on the side of the road, they’re dangling from teacher’s earrings. (It’s true – kindergarten teachers wear the craziest earrings.) They’ve infiltrated our lives – and I couldn’t be happier.

Today is all about letting the bright sweet-tart flavor of the apple shine. We’re going rustic, simple, bare-bones.

This month’s issue of Organic Gardening Magazine featured the most charming apple galette that was full of hearty whole wheat, bronzy raw sugar, and fresh crisp apples. I was so excited about it, I decided to make it today and jazz it up a bit by pairing it with a maple-cinnamon frozen yogurt.

Ready to hit the kitchen? Here we go.

Your victims for the galette: Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, Whole Wheat Flour, Butter, Sugar, Sea Salt, Egg Yolk, Apple Cider Vinegar, Ice Water, and Apples.

In a medium bowl, dump in your flours, your sugar, and your sea salt.

Whisk it all up.

Grab your butter and grate it on a box grater. (If you don’t have a box grater, just cut the butter into cubes and cut it into the flour mixture until coarse.)

Doesn’t it look like cheese? It’s not. Please remember that it’s not. When you go to snag a strand and plop it in your mouth as you would cheese, please refrain. It’s butter. An entirely different sort of yummy from cheese.

Plop the butter in, a little at a time, and combine it with a fork.

It should look a bit coarse like this:

Good! Now, in a separate bowl, whisk together your egg yolk, vinegar, and ice water.

Drizzle that over the flour-butter mixture.

Combine it all with a fork until it seems like it would bind together if you molded it with your hands.

Mine was a bit on the dry side so I ended up adding an extra two tablespoons of water. No biggie.

Once it’s comprehensive enough to smush together (not too wet, though), take the dough and bind it into a ball with your hands.

Now you need to separate the dough into two. This makes two galettes, but I only needed one so I froze the other half of the dough.

Cover the dough in plastic wrap. Then squish it down with your hand to form a thick disk.

Put this in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Okay, this is where things get a little funky on my side. I did the dough yesterday but didn’t have time to finish up the galette. So I decided to wake up early and finish it up this morning. Well, in case you didn’t notice … it was dark and rainy and thundery out this morning. When I woke at 7:30 there was little-to-no light in my house.  So, I brought all my stuff into the living room and photographed next to one window that was letting in just an eentsy bit of light. Good thing I have a low-light lens. Or else, I’m not sure you’d be having a Treatsie Tuesday today!

Want to see my set up?

It was dark, I tell you. Sometimes when you photograph things, you just have to go with what works. I have photographed food in my bedroom, in my bathroom, on the floor in a bright area. Whatever works. Lighting is key.

Anyway – that is why some of these next photos will seem a bit dark. But you know what? I dig ’em. I think they’re moody and add to the rustic charm of the galette.

Okay – onto the next part.

When the dough is just about chilled through, slice up your apples real thin.

Now, roll out your dough until it makes a 11-12″ circle. Don’t make it perfect. The cracks and rough edges on the side is what makes this galette so charming. And it’s easier on you. Imperfect things are often the most beautiful.

Once the dough is all rolled out, carefully transfer it to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Don’t worry if the dough hangs over the edge. We’re going to fold some of it in.

Now – assemble your apple slices in a circle in the center of your dough. Leave an inch of overhang on the sides.

When that is finished, fold the dough over the apples, pleating the dough as you go ’round the circle.

Brush the top with some melted butter and sprinkle it all with raw sugar. I used demerara.

Look at that! Now you just have to plop it in the oven for 40 minutes, and voila! You’ve got a gorgeous galette.

See what I mean? So beautiful. Super flaky, buttery crust. Soft sweet-tart apples, with a crunch from the raw sugar. Get out of town.

This is such a lovely fall treat. And to pair it with Maple Cinnamon Frozen Yogurt? I’m telling you – it’s absolutely divine!

My friends? Enjoy!

Rustic Apple Galette

(From Organic Gardening Magazine)

For the dough:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1⁄2 cup whole-wheat flour

1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon sugar

12 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, grated with a box grater

1 egg yolk

1⁄4 teaspoon cider vinegar

4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the flours, salt, and sugar. Add in grated butter and combine with a fork, leaving some chunks slightly larger than pea-sized. (Or cut the butter in by hand).

In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk and vinegar together with 4 tablespoons of the ice water. Drizzle into the flour-butter mixture, tossing with a fork until you can bring the dough together with your hands. If the dough is too dry, add the last tablespoon of ice water.

Divide into two pieces weighing about 9 ounces each. Wrap each one in plastic film, then gently press each into a round disk. (If you wish, freeze one disk for later.) Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, as a chilled dough is easier to roll out, easier to handle, and absorbs less extra flour, keeping the texture as it should be.

Makes enough for 2 (10-inch) tarts (if planning to make only one tart, you can freeze the other portion of dough for later use)

For the apple tart:

1 round of dough, 1/2 recipe

2-3 apples (Macoun, Cortland, or Empire), sliced real thin

1 1/2 Tablespoons melted butter

1 Tablespoon raw sugar

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Roll the dough into a circle 11 to 12 inches across, then transfer it to the parchment paper. Arrange the apples on the dough, overlapping the slices and leaving a one-inch rim. Fold the rim over, making pleats to create a circle.

Brush melted butter over the dough and apples, then scatter the sugar over the apples. Bake in the top third of the oven until the apples are soft and the crust is golden brown, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove, and cool slightly before serving.

Maple Cinnamon Frozen Yogurt

(From Vegetarian Times)

2/3 cup pure maple syrup
4 cups plain low-fat yogurt (Not fat free! 2% milkfat worked great)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Place yogurt in cheesecloth-lined strainer and set over bowl. Let drain in refrigerator overnight. (Or just use greek yogurt like I did.)

Whisk together drained yogurt, maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon in large bowl until smooth. Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions until thick and scoopable (about 25 minutes). Serve immediately, or keep frozen until ready to use.

Treatsie Tuesdays! (Chocolate Banana Ice Cream)

Holy. Stinkin’. Smokes.

I’m almost speechless. I mean, really. I just sat here for about 10 minutes with my curser blinking, longing for me to type out a description of this magical concoction, but I’m too busy trying to pick my jaw up from the floor.

This ice cream is knock-your-skirt-off fabulous. (Was that a little brash? I apologize. I can get that way when I’m stunned from delicious desserts. Please excuse my misdemeanor.)

Here’s the deal. The title sounds simple, right? Chocolate Banana Ice Cream. What could be the big deal? Most of us have experienced a chocolate and banana combo once in our lives. And it’s … good. But, I’m telling you. This ice cream is not just good. It’s explosively delectable – and I have no idea why. Maybe it was just what my taste buds demanded in that moment. Or maybe it was the fact that it was a pretty grueling day on the emotions, and this ice cream was just the thing to pick me up. Emotional eating, anyone? Yikes. Maybe it’s that it was blazing hot out and all I wanted was to not be sweating profusely from my armpits. (Ice cream is a top runner in my anti-sweat campaign. Oh – you didn’t know I have an anti-sweat campaign? Well, I do. It’s … a work in progress. We’ll get there.)

Regardless of why this tasted so amazing, it has changed our life a little bit. Andy, who is loyal to the bones about his Orange Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, said it was the best ice cream he’s ever had. Say what?! (I really need to stop doing that. Trying to be all ghetto. Jeesh.) This boy dreams in orange-infused chocolate. He’s a sucker for it. So the news of his adoration for this frozen cream left me at a loss. Wow. This stuff has power.

Let’s talk about the ice cream, shall we? It’s super smooth and very creamy. It’s the real deal, made from homemade custard. No cutting corners with this guy. He’s all calorie-laden and completely worth it. It has a deep chocolate flavor with a subtle banana undertone. There are no chunks. There are no bells, whistles, or harmonicas involved. There are just the simplest of ingredients that meld together to form a paradox of simply complex flavors. It is the kind of cream that is good all on it’s own. It doesn’t cry out for toppings or whips or drizzles. It is so beautifully independent. And it deserves every second of spotlight.

Remember when Andy and I went to Vermont a few months back for a wedding? I wrote about our trip to The Special Place and our ice cream cone treats. I had Chocolate Banana, and it was unreal. I wanted to try and recreate it. So, Andy and I did our research, then went out and got an ice cream maker (best investment ever).

I have a special guest photographing with me today. He’s tall and handsome and has kissable lips. (Not for you. Just for me. He’s all mine.) It’s the one and only … Andy!

*Special Note: Some photographs have man hands, and some have lady hands. Andy wanted me to ensure you that his hands are indeed manly and the lady hands are not his. They are mine. We traded cooking and photographing every once in a while. Cuz we’re a team like that.

Alright, let’s dig in. First up! The victims… mwah, ha, ha, ha, ha. (So creepy.) You’ll need: Half and half, sugar, eggs (you’ll only want the yolks from these bad boys), unsweetened cocoa powder, a banana, and a pinch of salt.

Now, you want to add your half and half to a medium sized pot. Slowly heat it over low – you do not want it to boil. Check on it periodically while your working on assembling the other ingredients.

While that is heating, work on separating your eggs. And yes, I do mean work on it. Poor Andy had some troubles trying to separate the yolk from the white. Want to see?

Yep, that yolk is on its way to the whites bowl. After multiple attempts, we decided to switch spots. He’d photograph. I’d separate.

Do you know how to separate the yolk from the white? All you do is crack the egg, gently pull the shell apart in half, and slowly rock the yolk back and forth between both sides, allowing the white to fall into a bowl underneath. Please put a bowl underneath. Your counters don’t desire to be covered in egg whites. You can even keep the whites and make a meringue! Or mousse! Or an omelette!

Once you’ve got your egg yolks in the bowl, add in some sugar, a pinch of salt, and cocoa powder.

Grab your banana, peel it, and mash it all up. Feed it to your baby, if you have one. Then grab another banana, peel it, and mash it all up – this time adding it to your cocoa mixture.

Whisk it all up, my friends.

Now – you’re going to need to add the hot cream to this mixture, but listen up. That cream is hot – and your eggs are cold. When cold eggs interface with hotness, they cook. We don’t want scrambled egg ice cream. Blech. What we need to do is temper it.

Dunk your 1/2 c. measuring cup into the hot cream. (Please don’t scald yourself. Be careful.) Now, while whisking your cocoa egg mixture, slowly drizzle the hot cream into the batter, whisking constantly. This is going to slowly heat up the yolks, but not flash-cook them. Soon your batter will be warm and your eggs will turn custardy and not scrambly.

Repeat this until you have a half cup of cream left in the pot. Return the pot to the stove over lowish heat.

Grab a strainer and put it on top of your pot. Slowly pour your batter through the strainer and into the pot. This will remove any clumpage from the bananas or over-heated cream. It’s not a necessary step, but it allows the ice cream to be super velvety.

Heat that up over medium-low heat and stir constantly until custard-like and can coat the back of a spoon. (About  7 minutes for me.)

Now, here’s the hardest part. You’ve gotta pop that sucker in the fridge and let it chill for a few hours. I know, I know. I wanted ice cream right away, too! But it really won’t freeze right if goes into the maker all hot. It’s got to cool down. Be patient, dear friend. Go watch a movie, or clean the bathtub, or go on a bike ride, or snuggle with your children, or scrub permanent marker off your walls (Marissa!), or call a friend. These things will help you in your waiting.

Once your few hours is up, you get to churn your ice cream!

Umm … well … you see … the thing is … I don’t have photos of the ice cream churning process. 😦

I know. I’ve let you down. But, you see, I was hanging out with Andy and sometimes we have too much fun together and I forget to do important things like photograph steps to Treatsie Tuesday. Please don’t be mad. Just make this ice cream, eat it, and you’ll forget that you were even upset with me.

I’ll tell you that I used a Cuisinart ICE-21 model ice cream maker. It works magically. And is one of the best rated on Cook’s Product Reviews. They know their stuff.

Churn your ice cream and enjoy! Straight out of the maker, it was so creamy. It set up real nice, and when you gave it a taste, it would melt perfectly on your palette – sort of similar to a frosty. After a few hours in the freezer, it will harden more like ice cream.

Also – this could be really great with agave nectar instead of sugar. I tossed around using agave, but decided I would use sugar since it was my first time. If you’d like to substitute agave nectar, use 2/3 cup agave for every 1 cup of sugar.

It’s amazing, as is. But you can get jazzy and give it a good drizzle of salted caramel sauce and a sprinkling of chocolate confetti.

My friends? Enjoy.

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

(from All Recipes)

I halved the recipe to serve just Andy and myself, with a good cup of leftovers. This recipe should yield about 8 servings.

Also, the first four ingredients make up your ice cream base. Play around with other ingredients to make various flavors. Omit the cocoa, add a splash of vanilla and substitute fresh mashed strawberries to get strawberry ice cream. Take out the banana and add in chopped peanut butter cups and pretzels near the end of the churning process to get a fun spin on chocolate peanut butter cup ice cream. The sky is the limit.

4 cups half-and-half cream
8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup mashed banana (about 2 bananas)

Instructions:

Pour the half-and-half cream into a heavy saucepan, place over medium-low heat, and heat until barely simmering, stirring frequently. Turn the heat down to low.

Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, salt, cocoa, and banana in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.

Slowly pour about 1/2 cup of hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Repeat three times more, whisking thoroughly before adding each additional 1/2 cup of hot cream to the egg yolk mixture. Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining hot cream, and whisk constantly over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens and will coat the back of a spoon, 5 to 8 minutes. Do not let mixture boil.

Pour the ice cream base into a bowl and allow to cool in the refrigerator for a few hours. Once chilled, pour into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. Remove the ice cream and enjoy! Pack the leftovers into a freezer safe container. Freeze for up to 2 months.

Maine – The Way Life Should Be

There is absolutely nothing like being woken up to the faint peach color of the sky, the sound of croaking frogs and rippling waves, and the sweet whisper of God’s voice in the air, over the waters, giving you a tight hug.

Camping – it’s simple. It’s rustic. It’s completely gratifying.

Andy and I took off for a few days. Destination: Maine! We journeyed out completely unprepared. It was one of those things where we just packed up and left. No food, no flashlights, no pocket knife, barely any directions. We just… went. And it was a ridiculous amount of fun!

First up – we hit Portland. Since we didn’t bring any food, we decided to look for a bakery to grab some goods for the morning. Now, mind you… we only have our computer as a means for direction. We don’t own a GPS. We don’t own a phone that has nifty things like the internet on it. We are completely left to maps, our own eyesight, our inner compass, and our trusty computer. We literally stopped about 20 times to try and find WiFi. The words, “If I had an iPhone right now, I could…” came out of our mouths too many times to count. Oi. But we did finally find a bakery. And it was the absolute sweetest bakery! Enter: Scratch Baking Company. I want to work here. Maybe even live here. Yes – definitely live here.

Unfortunately, we got there an hour before they closed and they were out of almost everything. (Duh – who goes to a bakery at 5 o’clock? I do, that’s who. I will do anything for baked goods.) All they had were cookies – ridiculously delicious cookies. Not quite suitable for breakfast,  but absolutely suitable for any other occasion. (Okay……. I cannot lie ……. I’ve had cookies for breakfast. Don’t judge me.) We wrapped up a giant Chocolate Chipper and a little rectangle of Sea Salt Shortbread – and there were smiles on our faces.

Portland is amazing. It’s full of art and style and fresh food. It smells like salt and wood burning stoves. There are cobblestone roads and people buzzing about.

It’s full of atmosphere and conversation, brick buildings and banana seat bikes. It will charm your socks off. (If you’re not wearing any socks, it may charm your pants off. Do not be alarmed when this happens. It’s purely natural. The people of Portland will understand.)

Andy and I were starved for some delicious grub. Listen – Andy and I have this horrible habit of going to amazing cities, getting hungry, searching for great food, and ending up sitting in a lame Irish Pub eating nachos. Please don’t ask me how this happens. I cannot explain it to you. I’ll get emotional. I need good food in my life. Not Irish Pubs.

We were determined to find excellent food. And guess what? We did! Point for us. After walking into a few restaurants and finding out almost every restaurant in Portland requires a reservation weeks in advance, we found our prized winner. Enter: Paciarino.

It’s warm. It’s Italian. And it’s got two seats left at the bar – just for us. This place offered just a few items on their menu. Bruschetta, Mozzarella, and Ravioli were about it. And I’m here to tell you – that they have it perfected. This was the best ravioli ever. Hands down. Andy had the classic ravioli and I had goat cheese, caramelized onion, and sage ravioli. The marinara was bright and tangy. The bruschetta was fresh and herby. This place was amazing. The staff was so friendly. They had the cutest colander lamps hanging from the ceiling that I want desperately. And the kitchen was right there – amidst the dining. It was like being at Grandma’s house. Era perfetto!

We strolled around Portland for a bit before heading out to camp. We listened to street performers, walked along the cobblestone, found a giant connect four board, tried to take pictures through windows without looking creepy (well, that’s what Andy did), and visited the Portland Trader Joe’s to gather goods for the morning.

On our drive out to the campground, it poured. Buckets. Buckets were being poured from the sky. It was insane. But fortunately, by the time we got to the grounds, it stopped. Our site was beautiful. It looked right out over Long Lake. It was dark when we arrived, but there was still a slight glow on the horizon.

The air was dewy and the grounds were rich with foliage. Our neighbor was listening to some banjo-thumping tunes and am pretty sure was smoking some marijuana. In the morning, we’ll find out he’s super friendly and loves The Grateful Dead. As per usual, we set up our small amount of gear by headlights – and danced around to the rhythms from next door.

We spent our time kayaking the lake, lounging in the sun, and kissing. Mmm. Kissing.

After a hearty breakfast of strawberries, nectarines, and granola – we head out to the coast. We were beach bound! We hit up Wells Beach where the air was warm, the water was cold, and there was life everywhere. I love seeing people bummin’ at the beach. Kiddos building castles, grandfathers that are way too tan. It’s lovely. I read a magazine and Andy played his guitar. We splashed in the waves and boogie-boarded till we could no longer.

The scorching sun demanded water, fresh clothes, and an ice cream cone. We journeyed onward – and found The Scoop Deck! Right when we pulled into the parking lot there was a massive, and I do mean massive, board with all their flavors listed. There must have been 60 flavors. I wanted to try them all.

Andy was stoked to find a flavored called Nancy’s Fancy. It was orange flavored with chocolate swirls running through it. He was embarrassed to order such a girly sounding treat. I went with some classic flavors – Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt. Vanilla. Chocolate. Peanut Butter. It was exactly what I wanted in that moment.

We sat on a bench beneath a crab-apple tree. We slurped up melty cream. I smushed ice cream into my lips and gave Andy a big messy smooch. He climbed trees.

Let’s play a little “Where’s Andy” game, shall we? Can you spot him in this photo?

That’s right. My man likes to climb to the top of trees. He usually tries to peek his head out the very top, but this one was lacking substantial branches. He still got pretty high. I’m always so impressed.

We licked and crunched our ice cream cones clean and headed home. We topped off our ventures with a quality visit to see a few good friends. Belly laughs ensued. The kind where you can’t breathe.

Ahh… what a relaxing two days. Have you ever been to Maine? I highly suggest visiting the beautiful state. You’ll need a cute dress (if you’re a lady), some sunblock, an empty stomach, and a best friend to enjoy it all with you. Because what good is all that if you can’t share it with someone? Grab a buddy. Go somewhere. You’ll be happy you did.

Happy Independence Day, friends. Have fun watching blasts of fire in the sky. I can hardly wait for the glittery ones.