Cambrian: Opinion

Mini apple tarts are scrumptious — and easy to pronounce

Marjorie Ott welcomed small classes into her kitchen at Olallieberry Inn for lessons and samples, including last Christmas' delightful time.
Marjorie Ott welcomed small classes into her kitchen at Olallieberry Inn for lessons and samples, including last Christmas' delightful time. Special to The Cambrian

On Facebook, I have encountered a whole new world of communication among friends old and new, an intriguing set of articles of interest (or not), and new sources for comestibles and beverages. 

I have always enjoyed sharing everything possible from friends and acquaintances both here in Cambria and from some far-flung places, providing this column with true community input for a milestone of 15 years this month! 

Thanks to all for your contributions and comments, especially your gracious compliments, as I celebrate in the Culinary Corner.

Along the way I have encountered some perplexing inconsistencies in pronunciation, such as my own preference for calling this column “Culinary” with a long u (cue), rather than the most prevalent among Food Channel chefs who use a short u as in “cull.” 

This is consistent with my cumin (cue-min), about which I cringe when I hear Alton Brown say “cum-min.” He also says, “tue-meric,” and has somehow eliminated the middle r in turmeric, as others also do.

Emeril’s “cinnnnammmin” is his personal jest, but with the “jawl-a-pee-no,” it should be clear by now that we should apply the correct Spanish j and ñ sounds. After all, the food world has many international terminologies for us to adopt, from the French, Middle Eastern, and Asian. Pho looks as if it should have a long o, but the schwa sound like “uh” applies here. We live and learn, especially as we hear words rather than just see them in print, but spoken correctly.

Community gatherings garner us myriad delights, especially easy finger foods like some we serve at Historical Society events. 

Penny Church did advance preparation and brought us some of these:

Mini Apple Tarts

  • 1 pkg. puff pastry
  • 6-8 sweet apples (Gala, Fuji or Pink Lady)
  • Cinnamon sugar to taste

Cut the thawed dough into 3-inch circles and press into mini muffin tins (no need to grease). Dice the peeled apples into half-inch pieces and toss with cinnamon sugar. 

Fill the dough with the apple mixture and bake in a preheated 375-degree oven about 20 minutes. Makes 48; Penny baked these in the morning and served them with a smidgen of whipped cream.

The few that were left the next day were also great. My Hungry Girl newsletter uses ready-made mini filo tart shells, thawed and baked about 4 minutes, filled with diced apples sauteed in brown sugar with cinnamon. No need to bake beyond that.

It is always nice to serve a variety of hot or cold sweet and savory tidbits, and I like to use ready-made flaky biscuit dough, which already comes in circles. Pillsbury Grands in a 1-pound tube were on special at Cookie Crock, but I used to use the smaller size when they were available. 

Simply separate each into three or four flat pieces, top with a tablespoon of your favorite topping as guests arrive, and bake at 375 degrees about 10 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet to serve hot.

My earliest consisted of “chili sauce” catsup mixed with a can of drained clams or shrimp, but they have gotten really expensive. 

Now I use a duxelle of finely chopped cremini mushrooms and onions sauteed in butter and olive oil with a little dab of my favorite spaghetti sauce. 

Another alternative is sauteed green pepper and olive with a small dice of cheese atop pizza sauce. Use your imagination and other ingredients with the biscuits.

Over the years, many of us have benefited from classes taught by Marjorie Ott at the Olallieberry Inn, with a bonus luncheon to sample. There are some changes pending, so reach Marjorie 927-3222. “We love her stuff!”