I love apples. In the fall when we can get them fresh from the farmers market, I eat them everyday. But eventually apple season moves on, and it’s up to our homemade apple butter to keep that fall flavor around a few more weeks. With the right tools, it’s not hard to make, and by preparing it ourselves we can have it just the way we like: neither too sweet, nor too spiced. (more…)
Nicole’s cousin Michelle is visiting NYC with her friend Lisa Baer, owner of Baer Winery, who generously offered to bring three of her wines to a dinner we hosted last night. The first wine was Baer’s 2013 Shard, an un-oaked chardonnay. Lisa forwarded tasting notes for each of the wines to help me pair dishes with the wines; here are the tasting notes for Shard:
Refreshing and bright — notes of crisp Golden Delicious apple and Bosc pear are punctuated by zesty lemon rind. This balanced wine is a lively accompaniment to briny seafood dishes, crunchy salad, and rich, roasted vegetables.
From this description we though the wine would pair well with the acidity of our sauerkraut. Using our ground-dill seed sauerkraut, I put together sauerkraut tartlets, and served them alongside a green salad of bib lettuce, apples and fresh dill. The wine was delicious and the tarts worked out so well we thought we’d share the recipe.
for the crust
- 3 ¾ cups flour
- 3 sticks butter
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of sugar
- Ice water
- Tools: parchment paper, food processor
for the filling
- 2 cups of sauerkraut, squeezed dry
- ½ cup Sour cream
- 1 large egg
- Black pepper (to taste)
- Pinch Ground dill seed (optional)
Cut the butter into small cubes, move to a small bowl covered with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 10 minutes. Measure the flour into the bowl of a food processor, add the salt and sugar and pulse to combine. Add the chilled butter and pulse until the mix looks like coarse meal. Don’t over process, if there are a few pea-sized chunks of butter that’s fine. Add a few tablespoons of ice water to the small feed tube. As the water drips into bowl, pulse to incorporate the water into the dough. Open the processor and check the dough by squeezing a small ball in your hand, if it holds together and shows the lines of your hand, it has enough water. Once I think the dough is holding together, I typically go back and add 1 last tablespoon of water to provide a touch of “insurance” when rolling out the dough. Move the dough to the counter and form into two thick disks, wrap in plastic wrap and move into the fridge for 30 minutes. (During the rest in the fridge the dough will continue to absorb the water and become smoother and more pliable, making it easier to roll out)
Pre-heat the oven to 400°. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it warm up for 10 minutes. Rolling the dough between parchment paper makes the process much easier: measure 3 feet of parchment paper onto the counter, fold in half, open the paper, then dust lightly with flour . Roll the dough between the paper until 1/8 – 1/4 of an inch. Several times during the process, peel up the paper and dust with additional flour and then flip the entire dough/paper package over, peel the paper from the dough, and dust with more flour. Once the dough is rolled out, cut with into small circles (I used a small glass) and move to parchment paper lined baking sheets. There will be dough left over, which I always think is preferable to running out.
Prepare the filling by whisking together the sour cream, egg, pepper and ground dill seed. Squeeze as much of the juice as you can from the sauerkraut and add into the cream mixture. Place a large pinch of filling onto each tartlet. Gently push the edge of each dough in towards the filling to form a slight edge to the tarts. Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
The other night Nicole wondered if we could make a dip based on our sauerkraut caesar dressing. My first idea was to add cheddar cheese to that recipe and start tasting from there. (more…)