Although I am not immune to a little Christmas excitement in late October – I am already thinking about how to ice my Christmas Cake this year and if I can hand make Christmas Decorations to give out as gifts. I feel it is still to early for those heavy Christmas spices, ginger, allspice, cloves etc and you need to ease yourself in gently with some autumnal cinnamon first!
I have an apple tree in my garden. It has a special place in my heart because seeing its blossoms in the spring time lift my mood, and remind me that summer is on its way. Secondly, it’s the only thing likely, after many attempts, to bare fruit in my garden this year.
This weekend I bought a pie dish with a fluted edge. I wanted my first homemade apple pie to be just a little bit special.
In fact there were a lot of things I wanted from this pie. I wanted it to be the perfect end to my Sunday lunch. I wanted it to be perfectly warm after a cold walk out in park. I wanted it to be just like my Gran’s Apple Pie. As much as I love cinnamon I didn’t want this to be an American Apple Pie and I wanted this to be different from the pies you get in the supermarket.
Oh dear I was expecting a lot from this pie.
The September 2010 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by John of Eat4Fun. John chose to challenge The Daring Cooks to learn about food preservation, mainly in the form of canning and freezing. He challenged everyone to make a recipe and preserve it. John’s source for food preservation information was from The National Center for Home Food Preservation.
When I heard this month that we would be making our own puff pastry, I was worried. Normally when I need puff pastry I by block and roll it out (or sometimes even buy the pre-rolled versions) it’s so quick and easy. My knowledge of puff pastry was that it would be quite difficult – I don’t have a great track record with pastry at all.
However this is the whole reason as to why I signed up with the Daring Bakers to force me to try what I would never have bothered with before. This doesn’t mean however that I haven’t put this challenge off to the very last minute.
The September 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.