Comfort food recipes: Apple crumble pie, mini maple tarts and puff pizza

Don't cheat yourself, treat yourself to apple caramel crumble pie. (Photo courtesy of Tenderflake)

Don't cheat yourself, treat yourself to apple caramel crumble pie. (Photo courtesy of Tenderflake)

Rita DeMontis, National Food Editor, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 4:49 PM ET

This weather just begs for comfort foods. Nothing beats a soothing apple crumble or hot snacks you can enjoy on lazy Sunday afternoons. Just recently Tenderflake created a series of classic autumn dishes perfect for the season. Check out Tenderflake.ca for additional recipe ideas.

Apple Caramel Crumble Pie

Ingredients:

1 frozen deep dish pie shell, thawed

3/4 cup (175 ml) packed brown sugar

1/2 cup (125 ml) all-purpose flour&

1/2 cup (125 ml) old fashioned oats

1/2 cup (125 ml) butter, melted

3/4 tsp. (2 ml) cinnamon

3/4 tsp. (2 ml) nutmeg

Pinch of salt

3 cups (750 ml) peeled, cored and sliced apples

1/2 cup (125 ml) ready prepared caramel sauce, divided

Directions:

Prepare pie shell according to package directions for a baked pie shell. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly. Reduce oven temperature to 375F (190C).

Mix together brown sugar, flour, oats, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside. Spread sliced apples in baked pie shell. Drizzle 1/4 cup (50 ml) caramel sauce over apples and top with crumble mix.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and drizzle with remaining caramel sauce before serving.

Serves 8.

Sweet Mini Maple Tarts

Ingredients:

2 frozen deep dish pie shells, thawed

1/2 cup (125 ml) 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup (425 ml) brown sugar, divided

1/2 cup (125 ml) all-purpose flour

2 eggs

1 cup (250 ml) chopped walnuts

2/3 cup (150 ml) apricot jam

3 Tbsp. (45 ml) milk

1 tsp. (5 ml) maple flavouring

1 1/2 cups (375 ml) icing sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Remove pie shells from foil onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently roll out to a diameter of 9 1/2 inches (24 cm). Using a 3 inch (8 cm) round cookie cutter, cut each pie shell into 8 rounds. Carefully fit into mini muffin tins.

Bake muffin cups in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Cool slightly and remove pastry cups onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Reduce oven temperature to 350F (180C).

Beat together 1/2 cup (125 ml) butter, 1 cup (250 ml) brown sugar and eggs. Stir in flour and walnuts. Spoon 1/2 tsp (2 ml) jam into pastry cups and top with butter/egg mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until set. Remove from oven and cool slightly.

Meanwhile, heat small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add remaining brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) butter and milk. Bring to a boil and cook for about 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in maple flavouring and slowly stir in icing sugar. Spread hot mixture on tarts and allow to cool completely before serving.

Makes 16 tarts.

Serving Suggestions: Top with a dollop of whipped cream and a walnut half before serving.

Half and Half Puff Pizza

Ingredients:

1 (397 g) package frozen puff pastry, defrosted overnight in refrigerator

1/4 cup (60 ml) prepared pasta sauce

1/2 cup (125 ml) grated mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup (60 mL) grated Asiago cheese

Kid Pizza Half

1/3 cup (75 ml) pepperoni slices

Adult Pizza Half:

3 slices prosciutto, cut in half lengthwise

6 slices spicy salami

1/4 cup (60 ml) oil packed sun dried tomatoes, chopped

1/4 cup (60 ml) olives, sliced (green or black)

1/2 tsp (2 ml) Chili flakes

Directions:

Cut puff pastry into 2 halves. On a lightly floured surface roll each half into a 10 X 14 inch (25 X 35 cm) rectangle and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Fold edges in about 1-inch (2.5 cm) to achieve crust.

Brush each pizza crust with a thin layer of pasta sauce. Divide mozzarella between pizzas; add kid and adult toppings and finish with a sprinkle of Asiago on each pizza. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden and toppings bubbly.

Serves 8 to 10.

TIPS: Experiment using your favourite pizza toppings. Use leftovers for next day lunches.


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