Reviews: Grapples and Petite Treats

photo of GrapplesHello, friends! I have tried some great new things, and you might like these, too.

First, my family tried some snappy new flavored apples. They are called Grapples (pronounced grape-lz), and they are real apples, but they smell like grapes. That might sound like a strange combination, but you should try these Grapples.

They start out as regular Fuji apples (my favorite kind of apples), which are crisp, juicy and sweet. Then the growers use some kind of proprietary magical process to infuse the apples with grape essence, which gives the fruits an extremely fruity fragrance, and a slightly grapey flavor.

It’s hard to describe, but it’s delicious. If you enjoy a crisp, sweet apple with a fantastic aroma and a sense of novelty, give Grapples a try.

photo of Petite Treats bookThe second new thing I’m sharing is this cute little recipe book, called “Petite Treats.”

From the authors of “Mini Pies” and founders of the Seattle-based Mini Empire Bakery, “Petite Treats” shows you how to miniaturize everything from tiny fruit scones and mini pies to bite-size brownies and cutesy cannoli —sweet satisfaction guaranteed.

This book includes dozens of full-color photos and easy-to-follow recipes, as well as decorating and presentation tips.

I haven’t had a chance to make any of the recipes in the book yet, but the pictures are drool-inducing. I’m looking forward to trying the tiny doughnuts and mini whoopie pies! You can order “Petite Treats” from Amazon.

Exploring the mysteries of homemade pie crust

Making a perfect pie crust is a skill that can take years to perfect. How can something made from such simple ingredients be so difficult to master? I don’t know! That’s why I always buy pre-made crusts! But this year, I am going to figure out the magic and mystery behind homemade pie crust.

I have gathered some helpful video tutorials on pie crust making, along with some highly-rated recipes, and put them all together on this page. I’ve included video from Alton Brown and Cat Cora, as well as some home cooks.

It’s amazing how you can conjure such a delicious, tender, flaky, golden, crispy, soft, beautiful crust from just flour, fat, salt, and water. Sure, some people add extra stuff, but the basics are always the same. I’ve never had great success with pie crust. Maybe it’s because I’m too impatient to mix the cold fat with the flour properly. Or maybe it’s because my hands are always warm, so the dough gets sticky and overworked. I don’t know. But I hope I can figure it out this season. Otherwise, it’s back to the frozen crusts for good!