EASY AUTUMN APPLE TARTS

Autumn Apple Tart | Den Mother Blog
Autumn Apple Tart | Den Mother Blog
Autumn Apple Tart | Den Mother Blog

It's no secret that I have become obsessed with the British program "The Great British Bake Off", which airs on PBS. While waiting out my pregnancy, I've come to love this wholesome show and it's also made me very hungry... and ignited a desire to bake! It combines 3 of my loves: reality TV, cooking, and British anything. It is also a refreshingly down-to-earth competition between regular british joes and janes who happen to love baking as a hobby. There's no fabricated drama, malicious intent (unless you have conspiracy theories about the stolen custard or melted ice cream incidents), and the contestants represent a range of Brits from house builders and teachers to rocket scientists. Plus, the show is filmed on a lovely English estate, which is really lovely. 

At 39+ weeks, in the heat of our Los Angeles October heat wave, and without fancy gadgetry like the ubiquitous Kitchenaid mixer, which I have yet to invest in,  I wanted to make something easy, uncomplicated, but still fancy enough to envision it being judged alongside my favorite contestants as I watch the show. So, I've adapted a recipe from The Pioneer Woman...I wanted individual tarts with a bit more spice, but her tutorial and pictures for working with the puff pastry are a great resource.

I won't divulge how many of these I've "tested" but suffice it say they are delicious -- the apples cook down and create a great, soft natural custard which contrasts with the light, puffed pastry. Put on a pot of tea, put on The Great British Bake Off, and enjoy!

 

EASY AUTUMN APPLE TARTS

2 Granny Smith apples, sliced thinly

1 pkg puff pastry

2 TB butter, melted

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 C brown sugar

1/2 lemon (optional)

powdered sugar

spray or oil for greasing cookie sheet

 

Directions:

Remove puff pastry from package and thaw for 20 minutes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Slice apples and mix with brown sugar and spice (and lemon if you decide to use)

Unfold pastry and cut 2 sheets into 4, resulting in 8 squares

Coat each square with butter (use spoon or brush)

Stack 5-7 slices of apple vertically, leaving about 1/2 each on each side of pastry.

** Note: you want your puff pastry to stay cold. I ended up putting 4 squares in the freezer whilst working on the other 4 to prevent them from becoming too soft while they awaited their topping.

Place tarts on greased tin(s) and put in oven.

Bake for approximately 13 minutes...cooking times will vary depending on your oven. Check at 12 minutes and watch for golden brown, PUFFED UP pastry...burning can happen quickly so monitor your tarts! Sprinkle with powdered sugar using a sieve and enjoy.

NURSERY TOUR : BABY Z'S MODERN INDIGO SPACE

We are in the home stretch of my pregnancy and I finished baby Z's nursery just in time.  I'm 33 weeks along and recently experienced preterm labor contractions, so this little guy could be here sooner rather than later. This has been a team effort-- I've been on modified bedrest nearly my entire pregnancy due to complications so have had to rely on friends, family, and the internet to execute my vision. I wanted to create a space that is tranquil, adult friendly, and somewhat gender/age neutral so that the room can grow with him. We don't own our home, so fancy wall paper or paint jobs were out. I focused my attention on the indigo curtains to create a more dramatic sense of space, and filled the rest with budget finds from Craigslist, DIY's, and items we already had in other areas of our home. I love spending time in here (as do our furry babies as evidenced by AC's unsolicited presence in more than one photo!) and am looking forward to rocking my baby boy in that rocker. 

I'll do a separate post with sources soon! 

 

COMFORTABLE MODERN : KELLY BEHUN'S HAMPTONS RESIDENCE

KELLY BEHUN | DEN MOTHER
KELLY BEHUN | DEN MOTHER
KELLY BEHUN | DEN MOTHER
KELLY BEHUN | DEN MOTHER
KELLY BEHUN | DEN MOTHER
KELLY BEHUN | DEN MOTHER
KELLY BEHUN | DEN MOTHER
KELLY BEHUN | DEN MOTHER
KELLY BEHUN | DEN MOTHER
KELLY BEHUN | DEN MOTHER
KELLY BEHUN | DEN MOTHER
KELLY BEHUN | DEN MOTHER
KELLY BEHUN | DEN MOTHER

Isn't she amazing? Kelly Behun's Hamptons home is the stuff architectural dreams are made of. While the house does have a "grand" and spacious feeling, I love how she's incorporated earthy, bohemian elements that keep it grounded, family friendly, and comfortable. There are wood, textiles, and plants everywhere to counterweigh the crisp white structure of the home itself. The stag horn fern/African basket wall is a favorite element of mine and it's going on my "must do" list for the future. Kelly is very prolific and her portfolio as one of the top designers working today is definitely worth checking out. Click source for more inspiration.

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CURRENTLY COVETING: PROUD MARY

PROUD MARY | DEN MOTHER BLOG
PROUD MARY | DEN MOTHER HOME
PROUD MARY | DEN MOTHER BLOG
PROUD MARY | DEN MOTHER BLOG

Proud Mary works with artisans in various countries to produce their designs, creating a sustainable fair-trade relationship while providing customers with clothing and accessories that are crafted from the most beautiful textiles. I am in love with all of these pieces and would love to see them all in my closet!

From the website:

"Proud Mary is a GLOBAL EXPLORATION OF TEXTILES. It all started in 2008 when owner, Harper Poe returned from volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in South America. After falling deeply in love with the indigenous peoples and brightly colored textiles she decided to combine her passions into a sustainable design business spurring economic growth and promoting craft preservation. Proud Mary works with global artisans in the developing world to create its line of 'ethnic-modern' home and personal accessories. By combining a modern design aesthetic with traditional methods of production Proud Mary bridges the gap between fair trade and on trend/fast fashion."

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CURRENTLY COVETING : JARDAN FURNITURE

Jardan furniture, and specifically the Wilfred sofa (top most picture), is my dream-house furniture. It is modern, well-made, and looks SO COMFORTABLE. The Australian company is based in Melbourne and is run by the original owners, two brothers who started the company in 1997. Their staying power is not surprising-- these pieces are so well designed and built to last. I have increasingly become aware of and inspired by Australian designers and design companies-- there is a wealth of good design on the continent that is really inspiring.

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