Zippy Crunchy Salad

We bought too many apples for use in a somewhat successful apple pie experiment this weekend. We bought too many carrots for use in a partially satisfying falafel/veggie burger experiment this weekend. I bought a bag of lemons on a whim this weekend and they are already starting to look questionable (Bio-Zitronen…).

So I invented a salad.*

I pulled on my Microplane Kevlar glove purchased at Pryde’s Old Westport, hauled out the mandoline from my mom (thanks Mom!) and julienned up three or four Yellow Delicious apples, crinkle-cut one big carrot’s worth of discs, squished in the juice of one lemon and dumped a little sugar (I’d guess about a teaspoon and a half) to take the edge off the citric acid.

Hol. E. Kau. That is some tasty stuff. Make sure you haven’t burned the roof of your mouth on anything recently though — you’ll be reminded of it during the consumption of this salad.

*I found some recipes online calling for yogurt or mayonnaise and raisins and stuff like that. I’m sure those would be fine, but I’m more than happy with my version. Probably almond slivers would be a nice touch, too. Maybe next time on those.

Pâte Brisée Pie or Quiche Crust

Sarah found this recipe online and we’ve lifted it directly from there with no modifications at all. It is wonderful: easy and tasty for both dessert pies and savory quiches, and we’ve verified that now with a couple of fruit pies and a quiche experiment of our own. Best part: the recipe makes enough for two pie crusts, which means you can freeze one lump of dough for later use, or make a double-crust pie, or do some pretty lattice work.

My French Cuisine: Easy Quiche Crust from Scratch:

  • 250 grams of flour (1 and 3/4 cups or a little over 1/2 pound, unbleached, all-purpose)
  • 125 grams of unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tea spoon of crème fraîche (or sour cream if you can’t find it)
  • 1/2 tea spoon of salt

The base ingredients are the flour, salt and butter. The egg and crème fraîche are here to help them stick together (plus the egg will give the crust a nice golden color).

First sift the flour over a large bowl and add the salt.

Cut the butter in tiny cubes. Incorporate the butter to the flour with your fingertips (you can’t really use a spoon here… You could use a pastry blender but you’d lose all the fun of making your own ‘pâte brisée’). The dough will feel like coarse sand grains between your fingers.

Push the flour and butter mix on the sides of the bowl, digging a hole in the center. Break the egg and pour it in the hole in middle of the bowl. Beat it a little with a fork then use a wooden spoon to incorporate the flour little by little.

Add the crème fraîche or sour cream and mix again until the dough is homogeneous. Use your hands to knead the dough and form two balls of the same weight.

Place the balls of dough in plastic wraps and let them rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour before using or freezing. Let the dough warm up a little before rolling it out.