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National Pastry Day

Quote of the Day: You are the boss of that dough. Julia Child 

Today, December 9, is National Pastry Day! This holiday will be celebrated at our home today for I love sweet stuff – I will not lie!

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Apple Pastry

Defining moments

The pastry is dough of flour, water, and shortening that may be savory or sweetened. Sweetened pastries are often described as bakers’ confectionery. The word “pastries” suggests many kinds of baked products made from ingredients such as flour, sugar, milk, butter, shortening, baking powder, and eggs. Common pastry dishes include pies, tarts, quiches, and pasties.

Pastry Trivia

Pastries were first created by the ancient Egyptians. The classical period of ancient Greece and Rome had pastries made with almonds, flour, honey, and seeds. The introduction of sugar into European cookery resulted in a large variety of new pastry recipes in France, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland.

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The greatest innovator was Marie-Antoine Carême who perfected puff pastry and developed elaborate designs of pâtisserie. Small tarts and other sweet baked products are called pastries. The French word pâtisserie is also used in English (with or without the accent) for the same foods.

Types of Pastries

There are five basic types of pastry (a food that combines flour and fat) – these are shortcrust pastry, filo pastry, choux pastry, flaky pastry and puff pastry.

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Recipe of the Day

Holiday Season Apple Tarts
Martha Stewart Living Recipe for National Pastry Day! Delicious Apple Tarts
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Ingredients
  1. 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (from a 17.3 ounce package), preferably Dufour, thawed
  2. All-purpose flour, for surface
  3. 1 large egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash
  4. 1/2 cup fresh or good-quality applesauce
  5. 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into thin wedges
  6. 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  7. 2 tablespoons sanding sugar, for sprinkling
  8. 2 tablespoons apricot preserves
  9. 1 tablespoon water
  10. Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)
  11. Whipped cream, for serving (optional)
Instructions
  1. 1. Roll puff pastry into a 14-by-16-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Cut a 1-inch-wide strip from each side of dough. Brush edges with egg wash, and top with cut strips to form a crust. Prick middle of dough all over with a fork, and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. 2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread applesauce onto middle of dough using an offset spatula. Arrange apple wedges over applesauce in 3 tightly overlapping rows. Brush apples with melted butter. Brush crust with egg wash, and sprinkle entire surface with sanding sugar. (Unbaked tart can be frozen for up to 3 days.)
  3. 3. Bake until edges start to puff, about 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees, and bake, rotating halfway through, until pastry is dark golden brown and apples have caramelized, 25 to 30 minutes more. Transfer sheet to a wire rack, and let cool for 10 minutes.
  4. 4. Warm apricot preserves and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Brush apples with warm apricot preserves. Dust with confectioners' sugar if desired, and cut into squares using a pizza wheel or a knife. Serve warm with whipped cream if desired.
Notes
  1. Once assembled, this tart can be frozen for up to three days. Simply bake it straight from the freezer as instructed.
Adapted from Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2009
Adapted from Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2009
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