In celebration of the upcoming release of Julie & Julia, and thanks to Sony Pictures, I have one very exciting competition for JENIUS readers.
If you don’t know anything about this movie, here’s the synopsis:
Meryl Streep is Julia Child and Amy Adams is writer Julie Powell in the comedy Julie & Julia, the story of how one woman’s journey became another’s inspiration.
Before Julia Child became the world’s first celebrity chef, she was just a woman searching for her calling in life. In 1948 her husband’s job has brought them to Paris, and with her indefatigable spirit, she yearned for something to do. She enrolls in the Le Cordon Bleu cooking school and embarks on a journey that will change American home cooking for ever.
Fifty years later, Julie Powell (Amy Adams) was feeling the exact same way. Pushing 30, living in Queens and working in a cubicle as her friends achieve stunning successes, she seizes on a seemingly insane plan to focus her energies. Julie decides to spend exactly one year cooking all 524 recipes in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking and write a blog about her experiences.
Director-writer-producer Nora Ephronseamlessly melds these two remarkable true stories into a comedy that proves that if you have the right combination of passion, obsession, and butter, you can change your life and achieve your dreams.
I’m sure that like me, there are many foodies and food bloggers out there eagerly waiting to see this movie! With part of the movie based on a blog, I can’t wait to follow the journey of a women, looking to restore herself by cooking through the marvelous book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, of which I have a copy of (thanks to Sony Pictures).
The book has provided me with hours of foodie pleasure and what I love most, is Julia Child’s painstaking detail of every process. Heck, the dessert tarts recipe plus variations was spread across 15 pages of text! But what appears initially as intimiating turned into comfort and confidence as I realised the detail means the result will be almost fool-proof.
So I’m sharing with you, the steps to make one fine Apple Tart.
Mastering the Art of French food blogging Competition
How to win
Simply cook up your very own tart, using the recipe below! Share your tart as a comment on this post, including a short description of your tart plus a link to either your blog post or photos of the final result. Don’t forget to comment using a valid email address (this will not be visible to others) so the winner can be contacted for their mailing address.
The most creative adaptation, as judged by me & Sony Pictures will win:
1 x Julie & Julia Apron
1 x Oven Mitt
1 x Peeler and Grater
1 x Multi Chopper
1 x Recipe Journal
1x Double Pass
Plus, 5 runners-up will each win 1x Double Pass
Terms and Conditions
- Entrants must be an Australian resident only.
- Double Passes are only valid in Australia.
- Competition closes on Monday, October 12, 2009 at 11:59pm AEST.
- Winners will be announced on Tuesday, October 13, 2009.
For more information about the movie, or to check out the trailer, visit JulieAndJulia.com.au.
Julie & Julia
Only at the movies October 8
Advanced screenings October 3, 4 & 5
- The Pastry
- 1⅓ cup flour
- A mixing bowl
- 2 Tb granulated sugar
- ¼ Tsp salt
- 11 Tb fat: 8 Tb chilled butter and 3 Tb chilled vegetable shortening
- 5 - 6 Tb cold water
- Preparing the apples
- 4 Ibs, firm cooking apples (Golden Delicious)
- 1 Tsp lemon juice
- 2 Tb granulated sugar
- The Apple Sauce
- A 10-inch heavy-bottomed pan: enamled saucepan, skillet or casserole
- A wooden spoon
- ⅓ cup apricot preserves, forced through a sieve
- ¼ cup Cavados (apple brandy), rum or cognac; or 1 Tb vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 3 Tb sugar
- Optional: ½ Tsp cinnamon, and/or the grated rind of 1 lemon or orange
- Apricot Glaze
- ½ cup apricot preserves forced through a sieve
- 1 Tb granulated sugar
- A small saucepan
- A wooden spatula or spoon
- Optional: a candy thermometer
- The Final Touch
- A cake rack or serving dish
- ½ cup apricot glaze
- 2 cups heavy cream to creme fraiche
- The Pastry
- The pastry for dessert tart shells in molded and baked in a flan ring or a flase-bottomed cake pan so that the shell may be unmolded. The small proportion of vegetable shortening included with the butter in each pastry recipe gives a less brittle crust when you are using all-purpose flour. If you have pastry flour or French flour, you may use all butter, increasing the amount indicated for vegetable shortening.
- We'll need a 10-inch partically cooked pastry shell set on a baking sheet.
- Measure the dry ingredients and mix into the bowl. Quarter the chilled butter lengthwise; add to the flour along with the chilled shortening. Flickr the machine on and off 4 or 5 times, then measure out a scant half cup of iced water. Turn the machine on and pout it all in at once; immediately flick the machine on and off several times, and the dough should begin to mass on the blade. If not, dribble in a little more water and repeat, repeating again if necessary. Dough is done when it has begun to mass; do not overmix. Scrape the dough onto your work surface and proceed to the fraisage (final blending).
- Fraisage (the final blending)
- Place the dough on a lightly floured pastry board. With the heel of one hand, not the palm which is too warm, rapidly press the pastry by two-spoonful bits down on the board and away from you in a firm, quick smear of about 6 inches. This consitutes the final blending of fat and flour.
- With a scaper or spatula, gather the dough again into a mass; knead it briefly into a fairly smooth round ball. Sprinkle it lightly with flour and wrap it in waxed paper. Either place the dough in the freezing compartment of the refrigerator for about 1 hour until it is firm but not congealed, or refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
- Uncooked pastry dough will keep for 2 to 3 days under refrigeration, or may be frozen for several weeks. Always wrap it airtight in waxed paper and a plastic bag.
- Rolling out the dough
- Because of its high butter content, roll out the dough as quickly as possible, so that it will not soften and become difficult to handle.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured board or marble. If the dough is hard, beat it with the rolling pin to soften it. Then knead it briefly into a fairly flat circle. It should be just malleable enough to roll out without cracking.
- Lightly flour the top of the dough. Place rolling pin across centre and roll the pin back and forth with firm but gentle pressure to start the dough moving. Then, with a firm, even stroke, and always rolling away from you, start just below the centre of the dough and roll to within an inch of the far edge.
- Lift dough and turn it at a sight angle.
- Give it another roll. Continue lifting, turning and rolling and as neccessary, sprinkle board and top dough lightly with flour to prevent sticking. Roll it into a circle 1/8 inch thick and about 2 inches larger all around your pie pan or flan ring. If your circle is uneven, cut off a too-large portion, moisten the edge of the too-small portion with water, press the two pieces of pastry together, and smooth them with your rolling pin.
- The dough should be used as soon as it has been rolled out, so that it will not soften.
- Making a pastry shell
- A French tart, quiche, or pie is straight sided and open faced and stands supported only by its pastry shell. In France the shell is molded in a bottomless metal flan ring that has been set on a baking sheet. When the tart is done, the ring is removed and the tart is slide from the baking sheet to a rack or the serving dish. You can achieve the same effect by molding your pastry in a false-bottomed, straight-sided, cake pan 1 or 1 1/2 inches deep. When the shell is ready for unmolding, the pan is set over a jar and the false bottom frees the shell from the sides of the pan. It is then, with the aid of a long-bladed spatula, slid off its false bottom and onto a rack or the serving dish. You can also make pastry shells using two matching pie pans; once in a while, the weight of the filling will force the outward-slanting sides of the shell to collapse, so we are not recommending it.
- Patially baked pastry shells are used for quiches and for tarts whose filling cooks in the shell. Fully baked shells are for tarts filled with cooked ingredients that need only a brief reheating, or for fresh fruit tarts that are served cold.
- Butter the inside of the mold. If you are using a flan mold, butter the baking sheet also.
- Either reverse the dough onto the rolling pin and unroll it over the mold; or fold the dough in half, in half again, then lay it in the mold and unfold it.
- Press the dough lightly into the bottom of the cake pan, or onto the baking sheet if you are using a flan ring. Then lift the edges of the dough and work it gently down the inside edges of mold with your fingers, taking in about 3/8 inches of dough all around the circumference. This will make the sides of the pastry shell a little thicker and sturdier. Trim off excess dough by rolling the pin over the top of the mold.
- Then with your thumbs, push the dough 1/8 inches above the edge of the mold, to make an even, rounded rim of dough all around the inside circumference of the mold.
- Press a decorative edge around the rim of the pastry with the dull edge of a knife.
- Prick bottom of pastry with a fork at 1/2 inch intervals.
- To keep the inside of the pastry shell from collapsing and the bottom from puffing up, either butter the bottom of another mold, weigh it with a handful of dry beans, and place it inside the pastry; or line the pastry with buttered, lightweight foil, or buttered brown paper. Press it well against the sides of the pastry, and fill it with dried beans. The weight of the beans will hold the pastry against the mold during the baking. Refrigerate if not baked immediately.
- We'll need a partially cooked shell: bake at the middle level of a preheated 400-degree oven for 8 to 9 minutes until pastry is set. Remove mold or foil and beans, prick bottom of pastry with a fork to keep it from rising. Return to oven for 2 to 3 minutes more. When the shell is starting to colour and just beginning to shrink from the sides of the mold, remove it from the oven. If it seems to you that the sides of the shell are fragile, or are liable to crack or leak with the weight of the filling to come, do not unmold until your tart is filled and finally baked
- Otherwise, unmold and slip it onto a rack. Circulation of air around it while it cools will prevent it from getting soggy.
- Preparing the Apples
- Quarter, core and peel the apples. Cut enough to make 3 cups into even 1/8-inch lengthwise slices and toss them into a bowl with the lemon juice and sugar. Reserve them for the top of the tart.
- The Apple Sauce
- Cut the rest of the apples into rough slices. You should have about 8 cups. Place in the pan and cook, covered, over low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occassionally, until tender. Then beat in the above ingredients. Raise heat and boil, stirring, until apple sauce is thick enough to hold in a mass in the spoon.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Spread the apple sauce in the pastry shell. Cover with a neat, closely overlapping layer of chilled apples arranged in a spiral, concentric circules, or as illustrated below.
- Apricot Glaze
- Stir the strained apricot preserves with the sugar over moderately high heat for 2 to 3 minutes until thick enough to coat the spoon with a light film, and the last drops are sticky as they fall from the spoon (225 to 228 degrees on a candy thermometer). Do not boil beyond this point or the glaze will become brittle when it cools. Apply the glaze while it is still warm. Unused glaze will keep indefinitely in a screw-topped jar; reheat again before using.
- THE FINAL TOUCH
- Bake in upper third of preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until the sliced apples have browned lightly and are tender. Slide tart onto the rack or serving dish and spoon or paint over it a light coating of apricot glaze. Serve warm or cold, and pass with it, if you wish, a bowl of cream.
- I have left all the original American measurements in this recipe. Feel free to use this Australian measurements conversion chart
This competition has now closed.