Yield: one 9×5-inch loaf
“Back to Baking”, pp. 108
It has been almost two months since I last posted on my blog. part of that was that I was finally able to go back home to Canada after almost a year to see my family and friends, so I was not baking over there, and the other main reason is that I have been working hard on writing and submitting fellowship applications for my postdoc. I have been baking over the past two months, but mostly remaking delicious things that I have made previously, such as the chocolate-dipped orange madeleines, and pumpkin cheesecake and chocolate tart. Sometimes, you just want something that you know will be scrumptious and will not disappoint you. Unlike this tart.
After I submitted all my applications, I decided to trying remaking this apple cannoli tart recipe. I say remaking because I did make this back in July, which is when I learned that there exists two types of Marsala wine: cooking wine and sweet wine. This was news to me. So I of course used what I had in my pantry, the cooking Marsala wine which I realized after I had finished baking the whole tart is very very salty. So much so that the tart was inedible, I had to throw the whole thing away. I tried to convince myself the whole time I was eating my little slice that it was tolerable, but in the end it was too much. So round two, I went out and I got the sweet Marsala wine, which was actually quite difficult to find for some reason, and attempted making this tart once more.
- 1 recipe Sweet-Crust Tart Shell, baked and cooled
- 2 ½ cups sliced apples (about two apples), such as Cortland, Granny Smith or Honey Crisp
- 3 tablespoons sweet Marsala wine
- 1 ⅓ cups ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons finely grated bittersweet chocolate
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Everything went smoothly while making this recipe, although I do recommend using half an extra apple to make sure that you have enough slices to make a pretty pattern on the top of your tart. I ran out of intact, nice apple slices at the end of my pattern, which is where you can see lighter apple slices in the center where I had to quickly cut some more that had not soaked in Marsala wine like the others. It did not change the texture of those apples, just the colour and perhaps slightly the taste. I also recommend making sure that you have a bar or square of bittersweet chocolate, and not just chocolate chips like I had to use when I realized that’s all I had. Let me tell you that it is not simple to grate chocolate chips! In any case, I made it work, completed the pie and let it rest at room temperature. I only had a small slice to taste since I was brining the rest to work, and I frankly wasn’t sure what to think of it. It tastes nice, but it is not very sweet. That’s not bad per se and you might really like it if you enjoy desserts that are less sweet, but for me I prefer desserts to be a little bit sweeter than that. I think I was also not convinced by the combination of cheese, chocolate and apples in this dessert. Perhaps if I had a bigger or another piece I would have gotten used to the taste and the combination a bit more. Nonetheless, the textures were pleasant and my colleagues seemed to enjoy it.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Put the pan containing the cooled, baked tart shell on a baking tray.
- Toss the apples with the Marsala and set aside, stirring occasionally.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the ricotta, ¼ cup of the sugar, the grated chocolate, egg, egg yolk, lemon zest, and nutmeg together.
- Strain the Marsala wine from the apples into the ricotta mixture and mix to blend.
- Pour the ricotta filling into the baked tart shell and arranged the apples overtop. Brush the apples with the melted butter, and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar.
- Bake the tart on the baking tray for about 25 minutes, until the apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Cool the tart to room temperature, then chill in the pan until ready to serve. The tart will keep in the refrigerator for up to two days.
In other news, I have decided to do some research into some basic equipment for food photography. I have been very disappointed with the last few pictures that I have taken for the blog, ever since I have moved to New York in fact and have different sources of light, and I am not happy with the quality of the pictures that I post. I find that they are not very appealing, which is not ideal for a food blog! I really want to improve the quality of my pictures in the future. That will be my little project. That and one day finishing the 200 recipes that I set out to do.