9/25/2009

Fig and almond tart

Am on a roll today!
Yesterday our lovely neighbour Maurice, aged 86, gave us a tray of figs. They were very ripe so had to do something with them quickly.
Last night I cooked some with honey and served them with mascarpone - delicious. Today I made a fig and almond tart. I bought ready made pastry so it didn't take long to make.
I found the recipe on the good food channel site.It's by David Massey.


for 6

350g shortcrust pastry
100g ground almonds
10g flour
100g caster sugar
100g unsalted butter
2 eggs
9 figs halved

preheat oven 180C/gas4/350F

Roll out pastry to fit a 23cm flan tin and bake blind for 15 mins or till base is firm.
Beat butter and sugar together till fluffy. Add the eggs. Fold in flour and ground almonds.
Spoon the mixture over the pastry and arrange the halved figs on top.
Turn oven up to 190C/gas 5 and bake tart for about 35 mins. or until almond fillings has set.
Serve with mascarpone.

When you take the tart out of the oven, you can glaze it with apricot jam which has been lightly boiled till it's become liquid.

Helen's apple cake

Yet another apple cake! We still have some more Bramleys to come - a great year for them.
Helen is a friend who is an excellent cook. She made this cake during one of our visits and it's really delicious. Bob,my husband,hates bananas, but loves this cake. He doesn't know that there are any in it!!!

This amount makes 2 generous 2lb loaf cakes, but I usually halve the recipe. I'm not sure if it would freeze.

250g unsalted butter
250g dark brown sugar
500g sr flour
4 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped
5 small ripe bananas
500g sultanas
4 large eggs
cinnamon and mixed spice to taste [I use a lot as I love them!}

Preheat oven 180C/gas4/350F

Beat sugar and butter together till fluffy.
In another bowl beat eggs and bananas together and then add to the sugar mixture.
Add the apples and mix well.
Add the spices to the flour and then add gradually to the mixture, mixing well after each addition.
Divide between the 2 tins and bake for about an hour. In my oven it took longer than an hour. Test with a skewer to see if done and then cool on a wire rack.

9/23/2009

Courgette and walnut loaf

I love teabreads and loafcakes. This one is quite healthy as it uses wholemeal flour, sunflower oil and nuts. It's one of my Mum's recipes so is in ounces.
recipe:


3 eggs
4fl oz sunflower oil
8oz wholewheat flour
3oz light muscovado sugar
1 tspn baking powder
1 tspn bicarb. of soda
1 tspn cinnamon
1 tspn allspice
5oz grated courgettes
4oz chopped walnuts
2 oz sunflower seeds

Preheat oven to 180C/350F/gas4

Lina a 2lb loaf tin.
Beat eggs and sugar together and gradually add in oil.
Sift flour into another bowl and add the baking powder, bicarb,spices and nuts. Add the courgettes and mix well.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and spoon into loaf tin.
Bake for about 40 mins. Cool slightly in tin and then turn on to a wire rack.


9/12/2009

Irish apple cake

Still more windfalls from the garden, so have tried another apple cake recipe. This time it's from Rachel Allen's book 'Rache's favourite food at home'.
I like her style very much; it's straightforward and makes you feel you can achieve what she's done.

Here's the recipe:
225g plain flour
1/2 tspn baking powder
100g butter - room temperature
100g sugar, plus 2 tbspn
1 beaten egg
100ml milk
1 large cooking apple, about 300g, cored, peeled and diced
1 tspn cinnamon

Preheat oven to 180C/gas4/350F

Grease a 25cm ovenproof plate [I used a tin plate belonging to my mum]
Mix flour and baking powder in a bowl and rub in the butter till it looks like breadcrumbs.



Add sugar, beaten egg and enough milk to make a soft dough - it will be wet.
Then pat half of the dough into the bottom of the plate. Put the apple onto the dough and sprinkle with 1 tspn of sugar and the cinnamon.


Spoon the rest of the dough on the top, covering the apple. Sprinkle top with the other tbspn sugar.



Bake for 30-35 mins till golden and serve with cream.

It's really delicious.

9/06/2009

Poulet Basquaise

This is a delicious dish from Trish Deseine's book 'Trish's French kitchen'. I think there was a series of it on the uktvfood channel. It uses piment d'Espelette, which comes from the Basque region of France.
Every year there is a festival in Espelette and the houses are covered in these chilies.
http://www.producteurs-pays-basque.com/anglais/espelette.html


The peppers,onion and garlic were from our garden as were the bay leaves and thyme. I adapted the recipe for 2 of us and used chicken breasts.

This is the recipe:
for 6
1-2 tbspns olive oil
6 chicken pieces
4 large onions, peeled and 1/4d
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 bay leaf [ I used 2]
2 tspns fresh thyme, chopped
800g tin tomataoes
235ml dry white wine [ didn't have any white so used a dry red]
2 red and 2 green peppers, slices
large tin pitted olives [didn't use these as we don't like them!]
1 tspn piment d'Espelette
s&p

In a large casserole put the olive oil to warm , then put in chicken pieces and brown them on all sides.
When brown, add the onions, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, tomatoes and wine. Cover and bring to the boil then simmer for about 40 mins.
Add the peppers, olives and the piment d'Espelette, then cover and simmer for a further 20 mins ot so till the chicken is completely cooked.
Season with S&P.
Can refrigerate stew overnight and it tastes better the next day.

9/05/2009

Sue's apple cake

We have a lot of windfall Bramleys to use up, so I made this apple cake. The recipe is from Sue L, a lovely lady on the bbc food forum. This is her blog - http://www.mainlybaking.blogspot.com/ . It's good as a cake and also great as a pudd. with ice cream or cream.
The recipe:
250g butter or margarine
300g sr flour
1 beaten egg
350g apples - peeled, cored and sliced
150g caster sugar
1/2 tspn cinnamon
1/2 tspn mixed spice
1 tbspn brown sugar

Preheat oven 180C/gas4/350F
Grease a 20cm cake tin.

Melt fat in the microwave in a large bowl.
Stir in the beaten egg and caster sugar.
Gradually stir in the flour. The dough should be like cookie dough.
Spread half the dough into the bottom of the cake tin.Use fingers to spread it evenly.


Mix the apples with the spices and arrange in an even layer on top of the dough.


Cover with the rest of the dough, again using fingers to spread it out.Sprinkle top with the brown sugar.

Bake for about an hour, or till golden. Leave in tin to cool.
If using this as a dessert, can sprinkle chopped nuts on top in place of the sugar.



You can see the layer of apple in the middle. It's really delicious.