When it comes to autumn blogging, I just can’t get away from apple related ideas. It’s a well known fact that toffee flavours go well with apple so I thought I might wheel out the salted caramel recipe for this week’s post.
We had this after a large roast on Sunday and it was the perfect pud for a cosy autumn afternoon. One of my housemates (self proclaimed crumble connoisseur) called it “the zenith of desserts”, just saying, perhaps this crumble is not so humble after all.
The great thing about crumble is that it’s so quick to make and you can do it in advance, either cooked or uncooked and pop it in the fridge until you need it.
You will need
For the crumble:
140g/5 oz unsalted butter
125g/4.5 oz porridge oats
75g/2.75 oz ground almonds
50g/1.75 oz plain flour
50g/1.75 oz caster sugar
2 tbsp clear honey
4 cooking apples (bramley)
For the salted caramel:
100g/3.5 oz salted butter
80g/3 oz soft brown sugar
100ml/3.5 fl oz double cream
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 tsp salt
Apologies to those of you who spotted the missing ingredients list for a while there!
Mix together the dry ingredients for the crumble topping (almonds, flour, oats and sugar).
Rub in the butter with your hands, it’s better if it’s cold as the mix will breadcrumb a bit more. Mine was a little on the soft side because I got distracted and left it on the counter for a while.
Add the honey and mix in with a wooden spoon.
Put it in the fridge until needed.
Place all the ingredients for the salted caramel into a saucepan (minus the cream).
Heat gently until the butter is melted and the sugar dissolved and then bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir regularly so that it doesn’t catch and burn. Leave to cool for fifteen minutes to half an hour.
Once the caramel has cooled for a little while add the cream and stir until combined.
Peel and chop the apples.
Put the apples in the bottom of your dish, sprinkle with a little light brown sugar. Pour just a third to a half of the caramel sauce over the apples and cover with the crumble mixture.
I realise it’s been a while since I did something quite fancy, and while people seem to prefer to make the easy ones, there’s definitely some love for the posts with lots of steps too.
With the return of my favourite season (I’m really fair-skinned, so shoot me if I don’t adore summer like the rest of you) and a little dinner party this weekend, I figured the only way to round off my housemate’s uh-mazing main course was with a little homage to the apple.
Without further ado here’s a recipe for a rather yummy apple and frangipane tart.
You will need
For the pastry:
300g/10.5 oz plain flour
170g/6 oz unsalted butter
30g/1 oz golden caster sugar
50ml/1.75 fl oz milk
1 egg yolk
A pinch of salt
For the frangipane:
70g/2.5 oz ground almonds
60g/2 oz unsalted butter
50g/1.75 oz golden caster sugar
40g/1.5 oz plain flour
1-2 tsp almond extract (optional, but apple will likely overpower the almond a bit)
For the apple filling:
3 bramley cooking apples
100g/3.5 oz golden caster sugar
10g/0.5 oz unsalted butter
50ml/1.75 oz water
2-3 tbsp clear honey
For the topping:
4-5 braeburn apples (probably any eating apples would work)
2-3 tbsp apricot jam (for the glaze)
(My dish was 25cm and for quiches/pies, but there would be enough pastry and filling to do a slightly larger, shallower tart, perhaps up to 29cm or so).
Start by making the sweet shortcrust pastry.
First cube the butter and pop that into the plain flour. Using your fingers, rub the butter and flour together to get a crumb-like texture.
The colder your butter the better and the smaller the crumbs you will be able to get. My house is waaaaaaarm, so as you can see, mine was a tad lumpy at this stage.
If you have a food processor I am led to believe you can do this bit in that very quickly and easily. But we can’t all be posh like you so (clean) fingers are just fine too.
Stir in the caster sugar.
Make a well in the middle for the milk and egg yolk. Fairly sure you can guess what’s next…put yolk and milk in said well.
Bring the mixture together with your hands. It may be a bit crumbly so you can tip it onto a worktop and knead it together slightly to combine, but be careful not to over work it.
Wrap it in clingfilm and put it in the fridge for at least an hour.
Frangipane making time. Using an electric whisk (or a wooden spoon and some strong arms) beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy.
Add the egg and beat again with the whisk.
Stir in the almonds, almond extract and the flour.
Voila. Set aside.
Prepare the stewed apple filling. Being by peeling and chopping the three bramley apples. If you have a bit of lemon juice handy a quick squeeze will keep the chopped ones pale while you see to the rest.
Put the chopped apples in a saucepan with the butter, honey, water and sugar. Bring to a medium-low heat and stir occasionally until the apples are mostly broken down. You want a pulp really (an appetising thought, I know).
Remove the pastry from the fridge (providing an hour has passed). Place onto a lightly floured surface (you don’t want to add much more flour to the mix if you can help it).
Roll the pastry out as evenly as you can, until your chosen dish can sit in the middle with an inch or two on all sides. You don’t really want your pastry to be thicker than 5mm.
Transfer your pastry by rolling it at least half of it up onto your rolling pin and unrolling it over the top of your dish.
I then needed to lift the edges back up and place them back in to tease them better into the corners. Do this gently so as not to tear it. Having said that, I was a bit heavy handed and tears can be fixed quit easily by sticking a bit of excess pastry on top.
Rip a bit of pastry off the overlap and use it to press the crust further into the crevices.
Use a fork to pierce the base of the pie, this will help the pastry stay flat in the oven.
Pop him back in the fridge for another 20-30 minutes.
While the pastry is chilling again, peel and slice the braeburns/eating apples. You need to do this carefully as it will be the making or breaking of how your pie looks (no pressure). Try to peel nice and evenly and cut the apples as thinly as you can.
Have a large tupperware filled with cold water nearby to put your cut slices into, which will stop them from browning, again, if you have any lemon juice a few drops wouldn’t go amiss but not essential.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4/350F
Remove the pie from the fridge and trim some of the excess pastry off the sides but still leave an overlap.
Place some baking paper in the pie and fill with baking beans. If you don’t have any then rice works too, and most dried lentils/pulses really.
Place on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.
Using a grater remove the excess pastry at this stage. Doing it this way helps to avoid your pastry shrinking in the oven.
First spoon in the frangipane and spread out, followed by the stewed apple puree mixture.
Finally add your eating apples. Start with the outside and work inwards. Make sure your apples overlap each other quite a bit; the cooking process reduces the water so they will shrink and flatten out.
Bake for another hour on 180C/350F/gas mark 4. I advise checking in at regular intervals after 30 minutes as every oven is different.
Pop a few tablespoons of apricot jam in the microwave for 10-20 seconds (keep your eye on it as it’s sugary and will heat up quickly). Brush over the surface of the tart, being careful not to move the apples around, spoiling your lovely design.
Get a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on that guy.
You can reheat your pie in the oven or individual slices in the microwave if you aren’t eating it straight away.
Chaps! Welcome back, apologies for my prolonged absence. Holidays have been had, possessions been moved, and I’m back online.
Still riding high on my summer vacay, everything I thought of for this post was just not seasonal. Autumn is my favourite season usually, but, quite out of character, I’ve actually enjoyed summer this year. To get myself into a cosy autumnal mood I decided to turn an old summer favourite – Eton Mess – into a pudding perfect for fall.
I present Autumn Mess (or Fall Mess, I guess, if you’re across the pond, but that sounds a bit too much like a road traffic accident).
Things you need
For the meringue:
2 large egg whites
110g/4oz Golden caster sugar (that’s all I had – white would be fine – probably better)
1/4 tsp Ground cinnamon
For the salted caramel frosting:
100g/3.5 oz Salted butter
80g/3 oz Soft brown sugar
100ml/3.5 fl oz Double cream
2 tbsp Golden syrup
2 tsp Salt
For the rest:
50-100g Pecans (chopped)
300ml/10 fl oz Double cream
1-2 Bramley cooking apples
Makes 6-8 servings
Mix together the cinnamon and sugar. I actually used 1/2 a tsp of cinnamon, but felt it was a little strong, others disagreed, so go with your gut. It depends on whether or not you are a cinna-fan.
Using an electric whisk whip the egg whites until they are three times their original size and starting to turn glossy.
Gradually whisk in all the sugar until you have stiff peaks (and can turn the bowl upside-down without the mix falling out).
Using two teaspoons place blobs of the meringue onto a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper. Don’t grease this to stick it down. If you need something to stop it curling up, dab a little of the mixture under each corner as glue.
This doesn’t need to be done too carefully as the purpose of this dessert is not to look pretty.
Bake on gas mark 1/2, 130 degrees C or 250 degree F for an hour. Turn off the oven and leave until completely cool before taking them out.
While the meringues are in the oven, you can get going on the rest of the components.
Peel and chop the cooking apples into small chunks. Place into a microwaveable bowl.
Add three tablespoons of water and three tablespoons of caster sugar and place in microwave.
Microwave on a medium-high heat until you have a pulpy consistency. This took about 10 minutes with fairly regular stop and stirs.
If you are thinking you have seen these pictures before, I’m sorry, I’m plagiarising myself. I know I know, in the very next post too.
In a saucepan add together the butter, brown sugar, golden syrup and salt. Heat gently until melted and then bring to a simmer.
Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir regularly so that it doesn’t catch and burn. Leave to cool for about half an hour.
Stir in 100 ml of double cream and leave to cool.
Whisk the remaining double cream until thick and gloopy.
Once everything is cool combine the meringues, cream, caramel and apple to taste. I let everyone do this to their own preferences in individual bowls which worked really well.
Sprinkle chopped pecans and grate nutmeg over the top (if you like it) to finish.