Little pecan tartlets

Most of the supermarkets seem to have nuts on offer at the moment, so I've stocked up and now need to use some of them.
I love pecan pie, but it can be very sweet and rich. These tarts are little versions, but still give you that lovely pecan fix. The recipe comes from a magazine supplement on 'Nuts', from Woman's Weekly, I think.
As it's Thanksgiving Day today, pecans seem appropriate.

Recipe makes 18 tartlets, so you need 2 x 12 bun tins.

I love this pastry as it uses ground almonds as well as flour, which gives it a soft texture.

You need:

150g plain flour
25g caster sugar [golden's best]
50g ground almonds
85g butter, cubed
1 medium beaten egg
2 tspns lemon juice

70g melted butter
50g light muscovado sugar
2 medium beaten eggs
2 tbspns golden syrup
juice of 1/2 lemon
100g pecan nuts, chopped but not finely

The pastry is easy to make as you put the flour, sugar, almonds and butter into a food processor and whizz it quickly, or of course you can rub the butter in by hand. Then you add the egg and the lemon juice and a quick whizz again then bring the dough together with your hands.
Wrap in clingfilm and put in fridge for 15 mins.
Roll the pastry out thinly on a floured surface and cut out 18 circles with a 7-8 cm cutter, fluted or plain.
Put into the tins, pressing them in gently. Prick the bottom of each with a fork and chill for about 2 hours or leave overnight in the fridge.

Preheat oven 190C/gas 5

Beat together all the filling ingredients except the pecans, then add the nuts. Put some of this mixture into each pastry case and bake for 15-20 mins till golden. Leave them to cool in the tin for about 10 mins then put onto a wire rack.

I love the filling - not too sweet [for my taste anyway] and with a nice crunchy texture from the pecans. Have already said that the almonds in the pastry give it a great soft texture, a nice contrast to the nutty filling.


Norfolk apple cake

I love apple cakes and am always very happy to find a new recipe. It's a very country looking cake with little chunks of apple and dried fruit. Nothing refined about it, but the taste is good. I love spices and this one has cinnamon and mixed spice.
It's made using the rubbing in method, and I found it difficult to get all the ingredients together. I didn't think I'd mixed it properly, but it came out fine. There's a lot of mixture for 1 egg!

400g apple chopped into dice
125g mixed fruit
125g brown sugar
125g butter
1 large egg
1 tspn cinnamon and 1 tspn mixed spice

Preheat oven 180C/gas4

Grease and line a 20cm springform tin.

Rub together the butter and flour till it looks like breadcrumbs.
Add the egg, sugar and spices and mix together.
Then add the apple and mixed fruit.
Bake for about 35 mins till the middle feels firm when you touch it.

I didn't have any mixed fruit so used raisins. You can see that the apple stayed in little chunks; it's very moist from the apples. It's more of a dessert cake than one to have with a cuppa; we had some with creme fraiche. I like it's chunky look and spicy flavour, and it's a cake I'll make again.

Gratin de choux-fleur

 I was given a medium sized cauliflower and as it's not my favourite vegetable, struggled to know what to do with it. Have kept a few Fr...