In this family, we have a strange way of dealing with stress.
For instance, yesterday we were having a Hunger Games party with a complete feast of District 12 fare.
I made a goat cheese and apple tart from the Mellark family bakery, Nemo made venison stew with dried plums (since we didn't have lamb) based on this recipe, and Piggie made Peeta's cheese buns based on these rolls. We even had some of Prim's goat cheese with basil. It was all fabulous, but we were running dangerously close to the showtime.
"Get that pie out of the oven so I can get my buns in, Yammie! Don't you ever think about anyone other than yourself??" Piggie cried in fury.
"Like your big fat buns are gonna fit in there! HA."
"Guys, don't we have any basil?? Somebody go outside and get us some kind of leaves!" Nemo said frantically.
"Somebody start cleaning the pots! I don't want to come home to crusty pans! MOVE MOVE MOVE!" I ordered, "And get all these crumbs off the table, I'm trying to take a picture of my beauteous tart, you slovenly fools!"
Then Nemo smashed a glass which shattered into a million pieces all over the table in an attempt to carry all nine glasses to the table at once.
And then, out of all the chaos, a single voice rose up in song. I don't know who started it, but before we knew it we were all screaming it out in six part harmony.
It was the potty song.
That's from our favorite potty training video of all time.
And we wonder why we have no friends.
Anyways, if you haven't noticed yet, we're huge book geeks. Even my mom read the entire Hunger Games series. Twice in one week. WHAT.
I personally liked the movie better than the book. I love anything that makes me sad. Morbid much?
But seriously, I haven't cried that much in a movie EVER. In fact, that's like the first time I've cried at all in like a year or something. Nemo was sniveling loudly beside me, but I still didn't want her to know what a softie I was, so I curled up in a ball and faced away from her, toward the two indifferent teenage boys on the other side of me, wiping my eyes discreetly.
Boots wants to keep his sensitive heart a secret too. At one of the sad parts he looked over at Dad and said, "Huh. My eyes are watering but I'm not sad."
Anyways, overall it was quite refreshing and emotionally stirring.
Now, about this tart. It really turned out quite magnificently. The crust was the star of the show. The most perfectly flaky and buttery crust I've ever crunched upon. It was almost like puff pastry.
Look at those layers of flakes.
I made half of the filling out of cream cheese because most of us don't like goat cheese. But looking objectively, I truly think the goat filling was very nice if that's your thing. The apple topping was very simple with honey and cinnamon.
And Piggie even has an authentic Hunger Games mockingjay pin. Now that's dedication.
Peeta's Goat Cheese and Apple Tart
Crust (adapted from Baking by James Peterson, my favorite cookbook)
1 cup cake flour1 cup all-purpose flour1/2 teaspoon salt1 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes3/4 cup ice water
Mix together the flour and salt. Toss in the butter cubes. Add the water slowly. Add only enough until you all of the flour is moistened. You might not need all of it. Flatten the dough into a rectangle and throw in the freezer for about ten minutes. Get it out and fold the dough twice, kind of like an envelope. Roll it back out into a large rectangle and freeze it for another ten minutes. Repeat this until you have folded it into an envelope three times. If you have a hard time rolling it out, pound it with the rolling pin and then roll it. Press it into a tart pan. You'll have some spare around the edges that you can cut off and throw away. (I baked my spare crust with some cinnamon and sugar. Yummay). Freeze the crust while the oven preheats to 450º. Bake for 20 minutes (I didn't use pie weights, but it did shrink form the edges some. To make up for it though, it does puff up quite a bit). While it's in the oven, make the filling.
1 cup soft goat cheese, softened in the microwave1/2 cup heavy cream (I actually used almond milk though)1 egg1/4 cup sugar1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups thinly sliced apples1 tablespoon lemon juice4 tablespoons honeycinnamon
Whisk together the cheese, cream, egg, sugar and vanilla. Pour into baked crust. Toss the apples with lemon juice and arrange on top of the cheese mixture. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with some cinnamon. Continue baking at 450º for another 20 minutes. Drizzle with more honey if desired.