Today is National Dessert Day. Not cake, or pie or chocolate mouse, but dessert. This means anything goes. Whatever your favorite might be, today you can indulge your sweet tooth without guilt. Enjoy!
One of my fondest dessert memories has to be a family trip to San Francisco. My mother’s older sister was a successful doctor. She and her husband, also a doctor, traveled the world. Whenever possible, they scheduled a lay-over in the city by the bay. Mom and Dad would pile up the kids in the family station wagon and off we would go. Often these visits included dining out in restaurants that were over the top. I can remember being wide-eyed and awestruck at the elegant beauty of these Five-Star establishments in the posh neighborhoods of San Francisco. There were crystal chandeliers above and crisp white linens on the tables. The fine glasses seemed to catch the light and dance in its glow. Everyone from the Maître D’ to the waiters and busboys all wore black ties.
What I found most amazing were the dessert carts that were pushed about. Tiny cakes and bite size tarts, chocolate confections and creamy mousse. And best of all, cheesecakes. Not just one, but several different cheesecakes. I thought we had somehow been transported to heaven.
To this day dessert carts fascinate me. National Dessert Day must have been founded just so we can appreciate dessert carts, don’t you think?
Thanksgiving is not far off. This year for National Dessert Day, I thought it would be nice to offer a dessert that will bring a rustic charm to your Thanksgiving gathering. Enjoy!
Apple Crostata with Caramel Sauce
1 cup Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/3 cup cold Shortening
1 tablespoon cold Butter
1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil
3 to 4 tablespoons Buttermilk
Heat oven to 400-degrees. Lay a large piece parchment paper out on a flat work surface. Lightly dust the paper with flour.
In medium bowl, mix 1 cup flour and the salt. Cut in shortening and butter, using pastry blender or 2 table knives cut through ingredients in opposite directions. Cut until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with oil. Add buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time, sprinkled over flour mixture. Toss mixture with a fork between additions until all the flour is moistened and dough almost cleans side of bowl.
Gather dough into a ball; shape into flattened 5-inch round disk on the prepared parchment paper. With floured rolling pin, roll pastry into 12-inch round. Gently move to a large cookie sheet and set aside.
4 medium Apples (Empire, Regent or Spartan)
1/2 cup Sugar
3 tablespoons Flour
Core and chop apples into bite-size pieces.
In large bowl, mix together the sugar and flour. Stir in apples until coated. Mound apple mixture on center of dough round to within 2 inches of edge. Fold edge of dough over apple mixture; crimp edge of dough slightly.
1 tablespoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 cup Caramel Topping
In small bowl, mix sugar with the cinnamon; sprinkle over apples and dough.
Bake in the heated oven for 40 minutes or so until crust is golden brown and apples are fork tender.
Note: If apples begin to brown to quickly, cover the apples loosely with aluminum foil.
Remove from oven, let cool slightly. Cut into wedges. Serve warm drizzled with caramel topping.