Simple Apple and Almond Tart

I convinced the hubs to go apple picking recently. We headed out to the Jones Orchard with an apple picker and a bucket and got to work. Well, first we got lost at the orchard. We ended up driving around the country grass trails, through the pear and peach trees that were withering away until next year’s harvest. It was a day full of happy accidents – first we stumbled upon a seemingly never-ending cotton field, and then we were immersed in a forest of majestic fruit trees. We spent the morning trying to find the best and biggest apples, which of course were at the very top or middle of the trees. And after managing to knock them down, they would fall on the ground, forcing us to play a fun game of “Wait, which one was it?” amongst the many apples on the ground.

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I had never used store bought puff pastry before this recipe, to be honest. I always think that if something is going to be good that it has to be home made. I have made puff pastry more times than I can count and I am just not great at it, now matter how hard I try. I can’t ever get the layers to be crunchy and perfect, exactly like a store bought croissant. After using frozen puff pastry, I don’t think I’ll ever try making it myself again. It was so delicious and flaky and so EASY! I also absolutely love almond paste croissants and tarts, so I wanted to try making the almond paste filling. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how the almond, apple, honey combination was going to taste. Spoiler alert: it was even better than I expected.

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Simple Apple and Almond Tart

Ingredients:

  • 2 sheets (1 box) of frozen puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator overnight
  • 3-4 apples of choice
  • juice of half of a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • 1 egg beaten and halved (see below)
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 4 ounces almond paste
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature and cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Coarse sugar
  • Slivered almonds and honey, if desired

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Core apples and cut into thin slices, and toss into a bowl. Add brown sugar, dash of salt, cinnamon, and lemon juice and toss to combine. Set aside
  • Set pastry on a large working surface and dust lightly with flour. Pinch the two ends together of the two sheets and roll lightly with a rolling pin to combine. Roll the entire large sheet of pastry lightly, flattening out the creases. Fold up the ends all around and press with a fork.
  • My pastry was getting a little soft at this point so I put it in the fridge for a few minutes while making the almond paste mixture. Beat an egg into a small bowl or ramekin and set aside. In mixer or a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the almond paste, sugar, and flour. Add in half of the beaten egg (save the rest for your egg wash) and the other egg (for a total of 1 1/2 eggs). Add in softened butter and vanilla and beat until there are no lumps.
  • Take pastry out of refrigerator. Add 1 teaspoon of milk to your half egg mixture to form an egg wash. Brush a thin over the entire pastry. Spread almond mixture over center of pastry (staying inside of folded edges).
  • Arrange apples on center of pastry, overlapping the edges. Sprinkle with course sugar and slivered almonds (if using).
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until pastry is golden brown. Cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving. Top with honey (if desired) and enjoy!
  • simple apple almond tart apple picking jones orchard tennessee puff pastry

Maple Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Crunchy Oat Topping

If it’s fall, you can pretty much bet that there is a pumpkin-flavored baked good in my house. I eat so much pumpkin in a 3 month period, that by Christmas, I’ve burnt myself out completely until the next fall. I’ve made a lot of pumpkin muffin recipes: pumpkin chocolate chip, pumpkin streusel, vegan pumpkin, pumpkin pie muffins, etc. I have to say I’m a big fan of the pumpkin streusel, because that sweet crumb topping can make pretty much anything taste better. But then an hour later, I’m on crash from the sugar and I regret eating them. These muffins have a streusel-inspired topping that gives the impression of the streusel topping without the flour and loads of butter and sugar. Also, replacing much of the oil with applesauce lightens up this recipe even more! Recipe can be doubled if you have a bigger crowd.

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Maple Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Crunchy Oat Topping

Servings: 4

Healthy maple pumpkin spice muffins with crunchy Oat ToppingHealthy maple pumpkin spice muffins with crunchy Oat Topping

Ingredients:

For the muffins:

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (I used Agave maple syrup)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk of choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup All purpose flour (or another 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

For the topping:

  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil or butter
  • if using coconut oil, add dash of salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a Muffin tin and set aside.
  • Mix together pumpkin and applesauce. Add melted coconut oil and combine. Whisk in maple syrup, egg, vanilla, and milk.
  • Add in flours, baking soda, salt, and spices. Mix to combine, but do not over-mix.
  • Use a cupcake scoop to divide the batter evenly between eight muffin cups.
  • Combine melted butter or coconut oil, salt (if using), brown sugar, oats, and cinnamon. Sprinkle on top of unbaked cupcakes.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until muffin springs back to touch. Wait 4-5 minutes until slightly cooled to remove from pan.
  • maple pumpkin spice muffins with crunchy oat topping

Banana Pancakes – Two Ways

It’s the weekend. Which means it’s time for banana pancakes. I love banana anything: banana bread, banana muffins, banana pudding, and especially banana pancakes. The nice thing about pancakes is that you can add whatever toppings you like depending on your taste buds. I make these with pecans and a dash of cinnamon for my pancake-hating husband, and he will gobble them down. Personally, I much prefer chocolate chips in my pancakes.

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Banana Pancakes – Two Ways

Servings: 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1 small ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon melted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Morena sugar
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Chocolate chips or pecans

Instructions:

  • Heat a griddle or non-stick pan over medium heat. Add in 1-2 teaspoons of butter until pan is mostly coated.
  • Mash banana with a fork or potato masher. Add in melted butter and stir to combine. Whisk in egg, milk of choice, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. Fold in flour and baking powder.
  • Drop batter onto heated greased pan. After 20-30 seconds once batter has settled, add pecans or chocolate chips. Once you see small bubbles forming and one side of the pancake has started to brown, flip with a spatula.
  • I usually cook the chocolate chip pancakes first, then stir a dash of cinnamon into the remaining batter before cooking the pecan pancakes. Enjoy!
  • banana pancakes

Vegan Pumpkin Overnight Oats

Who else loves overnight oats? They are so simple to make and you can constantly change up the ingredients so you don’t get tired of the same thing. It’s becoming my favorite time of the year: Pumpkin Season! So I hope you are prepared for basically pumpkin everything recipes for the next few months. I have even made pumpkin chili before – it was delicious!

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Vegan Pumpkin Overnight Oats

Servings: 5

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup (I used agave maple syrup)
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk of choice – I used coconut milk

Instructions:

  • Combine pumpkin, chia, brown sugar and maple syrup. If you only have brown sugar or maple syrup, then I would suggest using either 1/4 cup brown sugar or 1/3 cup maple syrup depending on desired sweetness level.
  • Mix in spices, salt, oats, and vanilla and stir. Add milk and refrigerate overnight. Enjoy!

vegan pumpkin overnight oats with pecans maple syrup

Pumpkin Cookie Butter

Guys. I did something dangerous today. I made a whole batch of this pumpkin cookie butter, and I have to admit, most of it didn’t make it to the fridge. I have a weakness for cookie butter. It just has the perfect mixture of tastes and textures. You can’t go wrong. Every time we have gone home this summer, I had to get the cookie butter ice cream from Braums. (It’s so tasty, you should check it out before it’s gone!) I had a crazy idea today. What if you could make a pumpkin version? I did, and it lives up to everything you would expect. With only THREE INGREDIENTS this recipe is super easy and delicious!

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Pumpkin Cookie Butter

Servings: 6-8 (or 1 if you’re me..)

Ingredients:

  • 18-20 gingersnap cookies or enough to make roughly 1 cup of cookie crumbs (I found pumpkin ginger snaps at the fresh market.)
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted but slightly cooled (or coconut oil + pinch salt)

Instructions

  • Add cookies to a food processor and process until you have mostly fine crumbs. Pulse for a few seconds at a time until you have a coarse meal. It’s okay if there are still a few small cookie chunks as this adds more a cookie-like texture. You can also use a tightly sealed bag and a meat tenderizer or rolling pin.
  • Mix together pumpkin and butter. Add cookie crumbs and mix. Enjoy!

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Raspberry Matcha Coconut Chia Pudding

I never used to like chia pudding. I had tried a lot of recipes and just wasn’t a fan of the taste or texture. I have recently started trying recipes with the chia seeds mixed with different flavors, like raspberry. The raspberries themselves have seeds, so you brain is already expecting a little more of the texture and crunch. I made this pudding as a snack the other day and could not stop eating it. I got to the end of this Mason jar and wished I had another Mason jar full of this delicious pudding. The earthiness of the matcha mixed with the creaminess of the coconut milk and the sweet but tartness of the raspberries together was a divine combination.

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Raspberry Matcha Coconut Chia Pudding

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder
  • handful of raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar or other sweetener
  • toppings: more raspberries, slivered almonds, coconut chips

Instructions:

Combine 1 tablespoon of chia and half of coconut milk and let sit for at least 2 hours or overnight. Combine the rest of the coconut milk and matcha and combine. Add chia and let sit for at least 2 hours or overnight. Add raspberries to a sauce pan and heat on medium until raspberries have come apart and start to form a purée. Add sugar and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Let cool before serving. Assemble, layering if desired.

 

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Mini Apple Galettes With Bourbon Caramel Sauce

I’m now obsessed with making galettes. They are the easiest dessert I’ve ever made! They can also be sweet or savory with any fillings that you have on hand. It’s been really rainy in the south and this dessert will definitely cheer you up on a rainy day.

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Mini Apple Galettes with Bourbon Caramel Sauce

Servings: 6

Ingredients:

For the crust (Adapted from Williams Sonoma Pie Crust)

  • 1 1/4 cups All Purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon Morena sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ice water
  • egg white
  • Turbinado sugar

For the apples:

  • 2 ripe apples (I used honey crisp), cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon corn starch

For the caramel sauce

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • up to 1 tablespoon good Bourbon
  • 1/4 cup milk (the milk makes this more saucey, but if you want thicker caramel, then substitute with half and half)
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Add all purpose flour, salt, and sugar to a food processor. Pulse 2-3 times to combine. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing in between until mixture starts to come together. Be sure not to add too much water, as the dough will be sticky. Wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  2. Combine apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, and corn starch. Toss to combine and set aside for 1-2 hours.
  3. Heat the butter, brown sugar, and milk (or half and half) together in a pan, stirring regularly. Heat for 5-10 minutes until thickened. Add Bourbon and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Take off stove and add salt and vanilla.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove crust dough from saran wrap and place on an even surface lightly coated with flour. Cut dough in half, and then cut each half into thirds, until you have 6 even sections of pie dough. Roll each on a lightly floured surface until 1/8 inch thick. You can put the dough back in the fridge after rolling it out to firm it up again for a few minutes.
  5. Divide apple mixture evenly between the 6 rounds of rolled pie dough. Take care to only use the fruit and leave as much juice behind, as this will seep through the bottom pie crust. Brush crust with egg white and sprinkle Turbinado sugar.
  6. Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Serve with caramel sauce.

 

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Roasted Peach Pie Crumble

Did you know that today is National Peach Pie Day? It also happens to be National Waffle Day – how is a girl supposed to choose? I ended up making these peach pie-inspired roasted peach crumbles. These are super delicious and incredibly easy to make. They also make a great breakfast. IMG_8419.jpg

This recipe can also easily be made vegan by swapping out the butter for coconut oil.

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Roasted Peach Pie Crumble

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 peaches, halved and pitted
  • 1.5 tablespoons butter, melted (or coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons flour of choice (I used almond flour)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar or sweetener of choice
  • pinch of salt (larger pinch if using coconut oil)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange peaches, cut side up, in a greased baking dish.
  • Combine melted butter, oats, cinnamon, flour, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl. Spoon topping over peaches.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes until peaches are cooked through and topping is browning. Enjoy!

roasted peach crumb

Cherry Limeade Smoothie Bowl

I accidentally bought 3 pounds of sweet cherries today.  Apparently it is almost the end of sweet cherry season in the south. In other news, lots of cherry recipes coming your way! I rarely buy cherries, but after eating a few (dozen) handfuls of these babies, I was wondering why I don’t buy them every summer. They are the perfect mix of sweet and tart. This smoothie bowl is like drinking a cool refreshing cherry limeade but in smoothie form, it is delicious!IMG_8113.jpg

Cherry Limeade Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup lime yogurt
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 ripe avocado
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 cup pitted cherries, halved
  • Cherry jam
  • Other toppings: pomegranate seeds, more cherries, toasted coconut, almonds, etc.

Instructions

  • Add yogurt, banana, avocado, and lime juice together in a blender, Vitamix, or Magic Bullet.
  • Swirl in cherry jam. Add cherries and other toppings if desired. Enjoy!