Feel Good Apple Crumble Tart

I wasn't quite sure whether this was just Apple Crumble, or if its pastry shell meant I could upgrade to a tart. I love making tarts so decided on the name upgrade. I made this one quite quickly after an argument, and there is something about the 'apple-pie cooking' smell that just made everything seem right with the world again.

This recipe is a bit of a shortcut, using canned apples. But that means its the perfect 'spur of the moment' bake, because no one can guess when you'll need a bit of cheering up, or your house will need to smell welcoming…..

I adored how straightforward Davids recipe (link below) was…but I didn't have (and don't particularly like) almond extract, and I couldn't resist swapping cornmeal for custard powder…..

I've already restocked on the ingredients.

Apple Crumble Tart adapted from David Lebovitz Easy Jam Tart

Ingredients

  • 110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 190g plain flour
  • 70g custard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tins pink lady apple slices
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
  • coarse raw sugar, such as demerara

Method

  1. Beat together butter and sugar until well combined. Mix in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, custard powder, salt and baking powder. Gradually add to the butter and egg mixture, until it just comes together.
  3. Measure out about 400g of the dough, pat it into a disk, wrap it in plastic and chill it. The remaining dough roll into a log about 5cm in diameter, wrap and chill it alongside the disk. I leave it in for around half an hour.
  4. Remove the dough disk from the fridge, and with the heel of your hand, press the dough into the bottom and sides of an unbuttered (yes that is bold) tart pan (about 22 or 24cm) or a springform pan, patting it out to be even as possible.
  5. Drain the two tins of apples and put the slices into your tart shell. In a small bowl combine the nutmeg, cinammon and teaspoon of the raw sugar. Sprinkle over the apple slices.
  6. Remove the log of dough from the fridge and slice in cookie-sized disks, then lay them over the apple slices. Top with a tablespoon or two of raw sugar and the almonds.
  7. Bake until the bastry is golden brown in a preheated oven (about 180C) until golden brown. About 20-25mins. Let cool before serving with scoops of good vanilla ice cream.

This one is great the next day!

 

 

Because cookies.

It's been a quiet couple of weeks in my kitchen. There was a quick chocolate tart for a fundraiser, and zucchini slice…..oh that giant carrot cake….and the first cake I've ever been paid for, which was the four tier version of my hubby's birthday cake.

I guess I've really just been slack at taking pictures and writing posts.

This morning, while hubby was at work (not a fan of him working Saturdays) and I sipped a cup of coffee with an unexciting sugar-free biscuit I nearly had to slap myself. Its Saturday. I'm not at work, there's no distractions, and I'm eating a store bought cookie? What on earth is going on here?!

So to rouse myself from my biscuit faux pas I made two different types of cookies. They were all laid out cooling on the worktop when sadly hubby knocked an entire tray of salted peanut butter cookies onto the floor….but the recipe made so many that I'll forgive him….this time!

I've made this Frangipane Jam Drop cookies once before, and while they are very soft, they are quick to disappear.

These salted peanut butter cookies are a new find from SmittenKitchen….and I have to admit I was hesitant about the sprinkly of sea salt….but now that I've tasted one (or two, or um anyway) I'm totally sold on the idea. It will be interesting to see how long these last….given how hard it is to not pick at them constantly.

The Salted Peanut Butter Cookies recipe can be found here, and are quick and easy to put together.

The Frangipane Jam Drops are from the Womens Weekly 'Baking Day' (yes the same as those Lemon Squares). I didn't use a wooden spoon though…I used the round end of a metal teaspoon.

Ingredients

  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 120g almond meal
  • 1 large egg
  • 100g plain flour (sifted)
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry jam

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line two oven trays with baking paper.

Beat butter, extract, sugar and almond meal in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg, beating until just combined. Stir in sifted flour.

Drop level tablespoons of mixture on trays 5cm apart. They will spread a little. Use the round end of a metal teaspoon to make a small hole in each biscuit. Fill each hole with 1/4 teaspoon of jam.

Bake about 15mins each, and allow to cool on the tray.

 

Comfort Food

The trouble with being sick, in flu season, is it opens you up to being more sick….so last weeks adventure turned into a second, third and then fourth virus.

Of course, we turn to comfort food when we're feeling low, and one of my favourites is a home cooked roast chicken.

I have a preference for the recipe from Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food. Although I'm greedy so I cooked a a MUCH BIGGER chicken, which of course changes the cooking time. The best thing is eating the sticky amazing sacrificial carrots from the bottom of the pan.

In so many ways this is better than chicken soup….and the leftovers can be turned into all kinds of good things….like Chicken and Leek Pie, which is what I did with mine.

Perfect Roast Chicken

from Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food, page 196

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken (at least 1.6kg – mine was 2.7kg)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • a small bunch of fresh thyme, rosemary, bay or sage, or a mixture (I used everything but the sage)

To prepare your chicken

Take your chicken out of the fridge 30 minutes before it goes into the oven. Preheat your oven to 240C. Chopped all the vegetables (unpeeled!) and break up the garlic bulb into cloves, leaving them unpeeled. Put all the vege and garlic into the middle of a large roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper, rubbing it all over the bird. Carefully prick the lemon all over; using the tip of a sharp knife, and put in the chickens cavity with the bunch of herbs.

To cook your chicken

Place the chicken on top of the roast vege in the roasting tray and put into the preheated oven. Turn the heat down to 200C and cook as per the chickens size. Put your roast veggies in around an hour before your chicken is done. Take your chicken out when it's cooked, and let rest covered in foil for 15minsnwhile you make your gravy.

Slice, and serve with delicious veggies and gravy.

 

Dump and Run

Ever wanted something warm, delicious and super quick to eat after dinner? Thats a stupid question. Of course you do. Because I do, and the world would be a sad miserable place without dessert.

I ran into this idea trolling through pinterest. I've made it twice, once in the slow cooker and once in the oven. Both times it worked just fine.

So, what is this magic dessert I hear you say? Its apple dump cake, and its so easy its absurd.

Step 1 Get two tins of pink lady apple slices (or similar, I get mine at coles, my mum put me on to them, thanks mum!). Sprinkle them with cinnamon.

Step 2 Empty tins into either a) your slow cooker or b) a pie dish.

Step 3 Empty a yellow cake mix packet into a bowl. Mix it with some butter. How much butter is up to you, and the cake mix you bought. You want to make a crumb. You can add a sprinkle of cinnamon here too if you want.

Step 4 Put the crumb mix over the apples.

Step 5 Cook until crispy and golden. (If you're using a slow cooker, put paper towel over the top BEFORE you put the lid on so that the moisture doesn't drip onto the top).

Step 6 Serve with vanilla ice cream, or custard, or just eat with a spoon standing over your slow cooker.