Thursday, October 18, 2012

Settling Into Life -- Gruyère Apple Tart

Photos by a friend since I didn't have time!

Life got very busy very quickly. I moved into a new apartment, my workload at my job doubled due to some people leaving, I am in two theatrical productions at once, I keep going on dates that go absolutely nowhere, I turned 25 years old, and I keep having parties that may or may not be annoying the heck out of my new downstairs neighbor.

On top of Mt. Sugarloaf

It's one of those points in my life where life is an utter rollercoaster. There are ups and downs and my brain and heart never seem to get along, and I feel like I never have enough time. When I was a fresh-faced college graduate I had big plans for where I saw myself at this age that just didn't pan out: Move across the country with my then-boyfriend, spend the majority of my 20s in the warmth and excitement of Southern California while working whatever job I could find that was somewhat associated with my shiny new BFA in Publishing. When my relationship fell apart less than a year later and my student loan repayments kept me stuck at my parents' house, the plans changed: save as much as I could in the space of a year, go to Los Angeles on my own, continue with the plan. Then I needed emergency surgery, and despite having insurance, the amount not covered drained my savings.

So now, at 25, the only thing in my grand plan that I've accomplished is that I have moved out of my parents' house. I'm still single, and the lonely is starting to creep up at random times and bother me. The failed dates and broken promises seem to be the cherry on top of this mound of frustration and failed plans and every so often I need to just close the door to my office, or my room, and cry for a good ten minutes or so just to get it all out.

Sneak Peek at my Halloween costume!
And then I remind myself of the good things: I'm still young. I have a job that I love. I have my own apartment, a fantastic roommate, and an amazing group of friends who support me no matter what. Not to mention my wonderful family, who I feel like I'm growing closer with now that I'm out on my own. I'm growing up, I'm doing everything right, and whatever is supposed to happen for me, is going to happen. My situation could be worlds worse, and I should appreciate what I have in the meantime. Because it's pretty wonderful when I take the time to relax and see it for what it is.

High School friends at my friend's wedding

This blog is called Quarter Life (Crisis) for a reason, right?

Also, guys can be extremely stupid and this Gruyère tart is more appealing than half the men I've been on dates with lately anyway. I've been told that you find love when you're not looking--do you also find it when you're too exhausted to even look anymore? How about when you are stuffing your face with fantastic baked goods? I'll let you know.

This tart was something inspired by this recipe that a friend sent me. I was gathering recipes for a party I was having to celebrate Johnny Appleseed (who was a Massachusetts native! More apple recipes to come!) and wanted something fun and unique. I didn't have the patience for making my own crust, so I altered the recipe a whole lot and came up with this. The result is definitely a dessert, even if it involves a lot of cheese, but you could use it in small bits as a side dish or appetizer. It's creamy, smokey, and tart, and the flavors all combine themselves beautifully.

Apple Gruyère Tart

  • 1 pie crust (I used Pillsbury refrigerated, if you're fancy you can make your own)
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 block (8 oz) apple smoked Gruyère cheese, shredded
  • 2-3 large apples (I used 1 Fiji, 1 Cortland, and 1 Mac), thinly sliced
  • Cinnamon sugar
  • Handful of shredded cheddar

-Press pie crust into tart pan. Set aside.

-Create a roux by melting the butter over low heat and slowly whisking in the flour. Once combined, slowly add cream and milk and whisk until thick. Temper in the egg (whisk egg in small bowl, add spoonfuls of the cream until egg is the same temperature as the cream on the stove, then add). Add the Gruyère in handfuls until combined.

-Pour cream into pie crust until it is a little less than 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle apple slices with cinnamon and sugar, then arrange on top of cheese sauce. Sprinkle with cheddar. Bake according to pie crust directions, until set.

-Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature. It's delicious either way.

If you live in Western Mass, come see this show!


  1. That pie looks lovely - I love the combo of apples and gruyere!

  2. Mmmmmm - your tart looks yummy! The addition of the smoked cheese sounds great!

  3. Mmm, this looks fantastic! And I agree - this tart is much more appealing than most of the dudes i dated in my 20s. =) Hello from another Massachusetts native, by the way!

    1. Hello! I'm happy to have stumbled upon your blog :) I didn't realize you were also from MA!

  4. I hear you on the roller coaster life! I figure it will eventually stop and let me get off. Until then, lets just eat apple tarts.

    1. I think for every failed date I should reward myself with a cake, tart, or tray of cupcakes.

  5. I say enjoy your 20's cuz life rolls forward way too fast. Whoop it up, date a lot and spend lots of times with your friends. If all else fails let me know, my son is 24 and single. Lol!

    Digging the apple tart. I've never made one like this. They always look so fancy.

  6. OMG I completely understand how you feel.
    Dating sucks.
    And I used to hate it when people said you'd find it when you stopped looking bc I was like "um..I'm never not looking so will I never find it?"

    Of course then I went home for the summer and didn't want to get a relationship bc I didn't want to have to long distance when I went back to NY.

    Oh hi Michael. Fast forward 2 years of long distance and 1 year living together and here I am. And people constantly tell me I shouldn't settle down and should enjoy dating and I'm like "Um...I hate dating. Thanks." Bc know. The jerks. The broken hopes and promises. Blech-ity blech blech blech.

    The moral of this story is: don't worry, you'll get there. And I realize how annoying it is to be told that.'s totally OK to stuff your face full of food. (True story: part of what turned my non-date with Michael into a date-date was how impressed he was at my ability to scarf down a burger and fries.)


    1. Thanks! :) Yeah I know it'll happen someday--I mean, I'm too cute and too good at cooking to be single forever, right? Haha. Thanks for the inspiring tale, and yeah I'm excited about my apartment too!

  7. Lovely tart and oh my perfect halloween costume!!

  8. The tart looks good. No wonder it is more appealing than the men you are dating out there. Perfectly understandable!

  9. This tart looks fabulous and I love the sneak peak of the Halloween cotumes!

  10. Love apple and swiss together! The tart is gorgeous! I HATE dating and can totally sympathize with your situation - I'm kind of sort of in the same boat except I still live at home. Boo.

  11. Well, I can affirm that I went on MANY MANY MANY failed dates (four years worth of them) before meeting my boyfriend. You really just have to weed through a lot of bad eggs before you get a good one. It'll happen though, I promise!!

    And in the meantime, there's always food. This tart looks so amazing. I love the apple/cheese combo!

  12. wow! this tart looks incredible! I love this flavor combo!