If you want to rest easy at night, I suggest not delving into the history of Scientology. A friend recently lent me a copy of Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief. (Thanks for the living nightmare, Joel.) Like me, you may have shrugged your shoulders at the mention of Scientology, thinking it a harmless fringe religion that affluent Hollywood celebrities promote, but 40 pages into Lawrence Wright’s book, and that shoulder shrug is likely to transform into a serious shoulder slump when you realize that a pulp-y science fiction writer, L. Ron Hubbard, turned his fantasies into a hugely successful autocratic “religion” showcasing its celebrity adherents while ruining the lives of any members who dare disagree with Scientology’s doctrine or organizational policy. I’m 3/4 of the way through Going Clear, and of the book’s many insights, I now know I should never allow a stranger to conduct a personality test on me if said test involves me grasping empty soup cans attached to a machine. This wonder of science is just the first step into a debt-inducing religion that many people never recover from.
Nobody wants to be scammed by a materialist flimflammer, but more than swiping your wallet and conning you out of your favorite shoes (you’d be surprised what a materialist flimflammer wants to add to his or her flimflamming coffers), a religious flimflammer offers hollow promises in exchange for a person’s emotional and psychological vulnerabilities. As you can see by the photo below, I wasn’t the only one last night who was thoroughly unimpressed by Scientology.
Though I haven’t finished the book yet, even if the ending tanks the first 3/4 of it is interesting enough to recommend it as a must-read for folks interested in homegrown American religion. And while you have your nose stuck in this book, might I suggest a less time-intensive dessert recipe to prep so you can maximize on reading and snacking time this weekend?
Below you’ll find a puff pastry tart that is ready in 30 minutes, from prep to finish. Sure, homemade puff pastry is pretty much perfection, but it takes lots of time and work to make and really shouldn’t be your bag this weekend when you also need to be feeding that brain of yours with words.
I’m one of the last food bloggers to jump on the Pioneer Woman train, but I’m glad I did because her recipe featured in today’s post for apple puff pastry tarts is low on prep and high on appearance and flavor. If you’re looking for good quality prepared puff pastry, Dufour’s All Butter Puff Pastry wins over the Pepperidge Farm variety, which substitutes shortening for butter and slips in its fair share of corn syrup instead of cane sugar. Herein lies the reason PF’s version is a few dollars cheaper than Dufour’s.
Whichever path you take to apple puff pastry land, know that I won’t ostracize you or ruin your standing among family if you choose to vary the ingredients, and if the end result doesn’t suit you, we can still be friends. Happy Friday!
Apple Puff Pastry Tarts
(adapted from a Pioneer Woman recipe)
– 1 whole sheet puff pastry, cut into half Or thirds (I cut mine in half.)
– 2 to 3 apples, cored, calved, and sliced with the skin left on
– 1 cup brown sugar
– 1/4 tsp salt
– Powdered sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Place puffed pastry rectangles onto a baking pan that’s been sprayed with nonstick spray or lined with parchment paper. (I used parchment paper.)
3. In a medium bowl, combine apples, sugar, and salt. Allow to sit for a few minutes.
4. Arrange apple slices on the pastry rectangles in a straight line, overlapping as you go.
5. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until pastry is puffed and golden brown. Remove from pan immediately, and place on a serving platter. Serve plain, with vanilla bean ice cream, whipped cream, or a sprinkling of powdered sugar.