When I was little, I loved the Little House on the Prairie book that was about Almanzo Wilder’s childhood in upstate New York. In one scene, he gets all excited because his mom makes him his favorite dish – apples and onions. As a child, I thought this was a very odd combination, because apples were sweet. Well, it turns out that little Almanzo was a culinary genius, because apples are lovely in a lot of savory environments. In these little pastry parcels, carrots and apples, roasted with shallots and garlic, show off their sweetness to tart goat cheese and sharp cheddar, and all the tastes are enhanced by the lovely combination of golden raisins and rosemary. A surprising mix-up, perhaps, but really delicious. I made these quite small, because the filling is soft and it contrasts nicely with the crispy crust. Have 2 or 3 with soup or a salad for dinner, or take them to a party as a fancy appetizer.
Here’s Neutral Milk Hotel’s King of Carrot Flowers. Might not actually be about carrots, but such a good song.
1 batch paté brisée, with 1 t. rosemary crumbled in with the flour before you add the butter.
3 cups carrots, cut into 1/3 inch dice
3 small apples, peeled and cut into 1/3 inch dice
1 large shallot, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, skins left on but pierced
1/3 cup golden raisins, finely chopped
1/2 cup goat’s cheese, crumbled
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar
1. put the apples and carrots on a baking sheet with the shallot and garlic. Put enough olive oil on to coat everything lightly. Roast in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, till the carrots and apples start to brown and caramelize a little bit.
2. Put the apples and carrots into a large bowl. Add the raisins and the cheeses, then season with salt and plenty of pepper.
(If you don’t like rolling & cutting, you can always pinch of ping pong-ball-sized pieces of dough and roll them into a circle. Works just as well.)
5. Bake at 400 for about 20 – 25 minutes until they’re brown and crispy. You didn’t coat these with eggwash, so they won’t get golden like some of those other pastries. But they’ll taste really good!