Since before I could remember my mother has been an amazing cook. My earliest memories usually involve the yellow kitchen in the house I grew up in, or potlucks and cookouts hosted by her closest friends where her side dishes and entrees stole the show. Regrettably, growing up I never actually LEARNED to cook from my mother. A high-energy talkative child isn’t the best sous chef. When I moved from my family’s house to my first apartment at college, my mother bestowed upon me a most precious gift; a beautiful box of her own recipes. It took some time before I even attempted any of them. My first few months living in my own place I pretty much relied on baked potatoes and various meat and pasta dishes that were barely even seasoned. I clearly had a lot to learn. I began with breakfast food and baked goods, my mother’s banana bread was a childhood favorite of mine. A year later, I was brave enough to tackle her chicken enchiladas. They aren’t made like your typical Mexican version and literally every friend of mine that had ever been over for dinner requested them time and time again. Once I nailed her pot roast, I considered myself a legit cook. Now that I have proved myself worthy of some of her more complicated and very delicious dishes, I finally feel confident enough to cook for her! Last week, I ventured back to Yellow Springs to visit with my mother for the night. After I arrived the conversation quickly changed to food, what could we have for dinner this evening for fairly cheap? She headed to her conveniently stocked fridge and became naming off some items. I am very fortunate to have a mother who shops almost 100% organic and keeps a plentiful supply of fresh herbs. We looked over what she had and then I consulted google. In a matter of minutes we had a meal planned; a vegan sweet potato chipotle soup and an apple bleu cheese tart that we made up on the spot (oh, I forgot to mention my mother got me an awesome tart pan!)
Both dishes tasted wonderfully, however looking back, the flavors of both were so intense, I wouldn’t pair these two together again in the future. The tart was a lesson learned. Instead of buying a premade crust, I chose to buy whole wheat pastry flour and used the recipe on the label. Where I failed was not paying closer attention to my mother’s butter. It was SALTED which resulted in a crust that wouldn’t hold together and was too moist. I have found baking to be much more of a learning process in certain areas than cooking. I seem to be able to come up with loads of substitutes when it comes to cooking, but substituting with baking can lead to disaster.
Despite these two issues, after taking her first bite my mother was thrilled! “Georgia, these flavors are AMAZING!” I can’t say it enough, I love impressing my mother with my cooking.
Apparently I didn’t just inherit my mothers infinity towards all things food, I also inherited her tendency to not record her recipes with specific measurements. For this tart I threw together what my mother had in her fridge. This could easily be done with many flavor combinations for a filling tart! Never hesitate to combine the sweetness of a particular fruit with a savory and smoky cheese My guesstimates for this creation are below! Enjoy
Apple and Bleu Cheese Tart
In lieu of a tart pan, a pie pan can be used.
Pie crust (can be homemade or store bought, for the recipe I used, click here)
One green apple, chopped
One small bok choy, chopped
½ cup sweet onion
2 cups bleu cheese
Couple pinches of fresh thyme
Small amount of butter
Prepare dough according to directions and set in pan, sprinkle thyme over dough and place in fridge until ready to bake.
Heat butter in a skillet and once warm, add onions. Continue cooking until slightly browned but be careful to not burn nor lose all of the liquid.
Remove from heat and set aside.
Sprinkle the apples, bleu cheese and bok choy over the crust, adding the cooled onions last.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.