It's December and I'm back home and I have been baking! Three things to write about today: some apple-pork tarts, an associated pastry braid, and a revisitation of 'pie bread' from this summer.
So, Andrew Lockhart came over one night after going out for coffee, and as he is wont to do, he immediately went to our fridge looking for leftovers which he could consume. We had just left a coffee shop with the intent of baking something with the apples I had at home, and so when Andrew saw the leftover pork roast from supper, he immediately went 'we are baking apple-pork something', I said 'definitely not' and he said 'too bad, we have to'.
So, I peeled seven apples and tossed them with sugar, pulsed the apple peels in a food processor with the congealed pork drippings, chopped-then-processed the pork, tossed all the above together along with an eight-teaspoon of nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon. This all got put in a twelve-muffin pan that had been lined with pastry dough, then topped with little pastry leaves my mum cut out for us.
Baked in a 350 oven for 55 minutes, end product was a semi-sweet tortiere like tart that was quite delicious. We should have chopped the apple a little smaller and more consistently (my initial plan was to apple-sauce the lot, but we decided to leave them for texture), and mom thought they needed a little bit of salt to bring out the flavours.
This only used slightly more than half of the filling so today I made a batch of croissant dough, rolled it out to a 10" by 16" rectangle, and made a danish braid with it. I'm doing a write-up on croissant for the next issue of the zine (if anyone reads this and wants a copy of my zine, just leave a message and I can mail one), so specifics on how that works are forthcoming. The filling was much tastier in this, and when surrounded by flakey buttery pastry people were more agreeable to it's ridiculousness.
Brother-Andrew's girlfriend Crystal is in for christmas again, and she saw the picture of the danish braid I was using for reference and got excited at the prospect and then disappointed when she found out I was stuffing it with the pork and apple (which she was afraid of), so I made up some pie bread, slightly modified, which I intended to stuff with the pork, but later decided that the pork belonged in the pastry braid, so the bread just got apples. Consequently, there were savory spices in the pie bread that made for a very peculiar loaf.
Peel, slice, and core the apples, toss the slices and peel in a bowl with the honey to sit. Mix the yeast with the sugar in the water to proof, and cut the shortening through the flour and herbs as if for pastry.
Put the apple peel in a food processor, along with most of the fluid from the apples, process fine, and then combine the processed peel, yeast-water, and shortening-flour and knead with cold hands until it sticks together. Set aside to rise for about forty-five minutes (you could do two rises on this like regular bread but I was lazy and short on time).
Briefly zap the apple in the food processor, then roll the dough out between two pieces of wax paper to about a quarter of an inch thick and not wider than a loaf pan. Lay the apple chunks out on top of the flat dough, then, using the wax paper to help, roll the whole thing up, and drop it in a loaf pan. Let it rise again for about half an hour, before baking at 350º for an hour or so.
Again, this bread was slightly under-done on the inside, and the herbs were a mistake (this was originally intended for the pork and apple). Again, makes amazing french toast, so that's what this bread is for. It makes super-amazing french toast. This is the best french toast bread ever. For real.