This weekend’s Travel and Adventures Show at the Dallas Convention Center showcased a number of different travel destinations, but more importantly (for our purposes), a wide variety of chefs. Saturday’s visitors got to sample Prajakta Remulkar’s minced meat pies and Ken Patrick’s smoked brisket tacos, and learn how to roll sushi with Carl Rosa. Sunday, Tiffany Derry of Private | Social showed off her Peking duck with sweet potatoes.
I caught up with chef Evelyn Williams as she prepared her mile high caramel apple pie napoleons. With Thanksgiving less than two weeks away, fall pies are definitely on the mind, and this quick and easy recipe is sure to jazz up any holiday table. To get the demonstration going, Chef Evelyn began caramelizing apple slices in one pan and concocting her caramel sauce in another with sugar, butter, vanilla, and heavy cream.
“I never said this was a healthy recipe,” she joked. If only you could smell the apples through the Internet. Thankfully for amateurs like myself, this recipe calls for a low number of ingredients.
“I like to put up recipes with less than seven ingredients,” she said. “I hate to think, ‘Now I need to buy $10 worth of spices to make this one thing.’”
Next, Chef Evelyn mixed room temperature mascarpone cheese with brown sugar until it was fully dissolved and folded in unsweetened heavy whipping cream and vanilla to create the filling for her Napoleons. With these three parts ready to go, it was time to assemble. Chef Evelyn had puff pastry disks already baked to a golden brown perfection.
“Baking really is a science because there’s so much chemistry,” she said. “I have a background in chemical engineering, so I was drawn to the baking side of things.”
Chef Evelyn, who has roots in Georgia and Kansas City, got the “Mile High” name from the presentation: layers of golden brown puff pastry disks mixed in with the mascarpone and apples, and drizzled with caramel. Finally, it was time to take a bite. The sample was warm and sweet and everything such a dessert should be.
“People are watching their calories, so mini deserts are really popular,” she said of the apple dish’s individual-size style. “It turns something very rustic into an elegant dessert.”
Chef Evelyn has a YouTube channel and a website, chefevelyn.com, where you can find her tips and tricks in addition to great recipes. She also runs Urban Foodie, where she unites locals with great restaurants, teaches cooking classes at Sur La Table, and coordinates private lessons. Date night, anyone?
Sarah Bennett graduated from Southern Methodist University in May 2011 with a degree in English/Creative Writing. She admits her nerdy passion for historical fiction, and can be found on the weekends cheering on the Mustangs from the Boulevard.