That lovely lady standing to my left is the fabulous, hilarious, amazing Courtney of the equally fabulous, hilarious and amazing food blog, NeighborFood. My God, look at her glorious mane of hair! I’ve sung Courtney’s praises many times on my blog since I’ve been cyberstalking this lady for the past three years.
I was super lucky to meet Courtney in person at the Food & Wine Conference in Orlando, Florida last July, which is where this photo was taken. We hit it off, as I knew we would (we’re totally kindred spirits, as our mutual heroine Anne Shirley would say) and thankfully have stayed good friends. Courtney is one of the sweetest, most genuine people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. I was touched by her heartfelt words in this post after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson and again, after the devastation in Baltimore in this post. We co-hosted Galentine’s Day this year and made the theme in honour of women, due to our mutual feelings of sadness and helplessness over the constant battle women face for equality.
Courtney is also one of the bravest people I know – this post she wrote after she suffered a devastating miscarriage in 2014 is one of the most courageous, beautiful, honest and touching things I’ve ever read.
For all these reasons and more, I’m delighted that Courtney and her husband, Will, are expecting a little mister any day now and eleven of our wonderful blogger friends are joining me today to throw this sweet lady a virtual baby shower!
[here is where I would insert an amazing Pinterest-worthy image designed specifically for this shower but I’m far too technologically challenged to create one]
It’s because of Courtney that I was able to overcome my phobia of making pie crust (see this post for an explanation!) so it’s only fitting that I made something utilizing a buttery crust. Shamefully (or brilliantly, however you choose to see it), I used store-bought puff pastry for today’s recipe. Since Courtney is going to have her hands full soon, to put it mildly, I wanted to share something that’s a definite crowd pleaser, easy to throw together yet impressive to behold.
This party is for you, my dear friend! We love you to pieces and hope everything goes smoothly, quickly and pain free! I can’t wait to see all the adorable photos of your little mister!
Make sure to check out all the drool worthy recipes everyone is sharing today in honour of Courtney:
1. Twix Millionaire Bars from Wallflour Girl
2. Strawberry Cheesecake Bars from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
3. Spicy Tahini Palmiers from Food Lust People Love
4. Cream Soda Peach Floats from Jelly Toast
5. Button Cookies from The Redhead Baker
6. No Churn Peanut Butter Ice Cream A Cookie Named Desire
7. Coconut Peach Slush from Heather’s Dish
8. Mocha Coconut Frappuccino Pie from Melanie Makes
9. Watermelon Lime Mocktails from The Live-In Kitchen
10. Vegan Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread from Namely Marly
11. Mango Pineapple Agua Fresca from Pineapple and Coconut
Easy Apple Tart
2 large apples, sliced
1/3 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp of unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
1 sheet of puff pastry
2-3 tablespoons apricot jam (optional – for glazing the top of the baked tart)
I’m not specifying a certain type of apple because I want you to be able to use whatever you prefer (or what you have on hand!). I used Fuji apples that I had in my fridge and they worked beautifully. I don’t think you can go wrong with any variety.
Roll your sheet of puff pastry into a square (approximately 9 X 9 inches). Store in the fridge until right before use.
Combine the sliced apples with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside for approximately 15 minutes to allow some of the liquid from the apples to come out. Drain the liquid – you want the apple slices as dry as possible so that the crust stays crisp while baking.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Place overlapping slices of the apples in three rows down the tart. Leave a border about half an inch wide on all four sides. If you have any small or misshapen pieces of apple, tuck them underneath some of the slices. No one will be able to see them. Dot the top of the apples with the pieces of butter.
Bake for 40-45 minutes. While waiting for the tart to bake, heat the apricot jam in a small saucepan on the stove or in the microwave. When the tart comes out of the oven, place on a wire rack to cool. Brush the warm jam over the apples.
Seriously, this tart is so easy to make and even easier to eat. The apples aren’t too sweet, the puff pastry is super crispy and buttery and you can’t go wrong with a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream over top.