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APPLE TARTIN TARTAN This French Classic - a toffee apple for grown ups - is a simple desert to make. This recipe, taken from Felicity Cloake, allows the flavour of your local apples to shine and definitely delivers the wow factor at a dinner party. A top tip from the school of Gordon Ramsay is to peel and core your apples the night before, allowing your fruit to dry out, no soggy pastry here! On taste testing it does result in a plumper and firmer apple but fear not if you forget, it is just a hint. To balance the sweetness of the caramel add in at least a couple of sour apples, and enjoy experimenting with your local varieties. Serves 6

Ingredients 7 medium apples: a mixture of sweet and sour 200g white sugar 50g butter 175g ready-made shortcrust pastry OR 225g plain flour 2 tbsp caster sugar 120g cold butter 1 medium egg, beaten

Method Peel, halve and core the apples, then put in the fridge, uncovered, for 24 hours. Put the sugar into a 20cm heavy-based oven-proof frying pan along with 50ml water and leave to soak for a couple of minutes, then cook over a medium heat until golden and fudgy. Take off the heat and stir in the butter, and a pinch of salt, until well combined, then carefully arrange the apples in the pan, round-side down, bearing in mind the caramel will be very hot, and put back on the heat – you may need to cut some of the apples into smaller pieces to fill in the gaps. Cook for 5 minutes, then take off the heat and allow to cool completely. If making the pastry, sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the sugar and a pinch of salt. Grate in the butter, then rub together until it is coarse crumbs. Mix the egg with 2 tsp cold water and sprinkle over the mixture. Mix together into a soft but not sticky dough, adding more water (if required) very gradually. Shape into a ball, and then cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before rolling out. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/ Gas 6. Roll out the pastry (you'll probably have some left over if you've made your own) to 5mm thick, and cut out a circle slightly larger than your pan. Put back into the fridge to rest. Put the pastry on top of the pan and tuck in the edges around the fruit. Bake for about 30 minutes until the pastry is golden, then remove from the oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then place a plate, slightly larger than the pan, on top and then, very carefully, using oven gloves, invert the tart on to the plate. Best served warm, with crème fraîche.

APPLE STRUDEL   Whisk  yourself  off  to  the  Kaffee  houses  of  Berlin  and  Vienna  with  this  delicious  autumnal  pastry.  I  have  provided   the  recipe  for  homemade  filo  (a  large  batch  can  be  frozen  and  used  at  a  later  apple  date)  but,  if  Dme  is  of  the  es-­‐ sence,  shop-­‐bought  can  be  a  handy  subsDtute.    Whist  the  recipes  calls  for  sweet  apples,  I  added  a  few  sour    which   were  delicious  -­‐  feel  free  to  experiment  with  your  favourite  varieDes.    Using  local,  seasonal  apples  really  brings   this  coffee  Dme  treat  to  life.  

Filo Pastry This  is  enough  pastry  for  two  strudels  and  the   pastry  will  happily  freeze.  If  using  ready-­‐made   pastry,  around  10  square  sheets  will  suffice. 285g  plain  flour 1  free-­‐range  egg 150g  water 100g  buQer,  melted 80g  breadcrumbs icing  sugar  for  dusDng

Filling 800g of  sweet  apples,  peeled,  cored  and  quartered 1  lemon  zest  and  juice 50g  caster  sugar a  pinch  of  ground  cinnamon 50g  sultanas  (soaked  in  4  tablespoons  of  apple  brandy  or  apple  juice  for  a  couple  of  hours) 50g  flaked  almonds

Method: SiV  the  flour  on  to  a  clean  work  surface  and  add  a  pinch  of  salt,  and  make  a  well  in  the  middle.  Beat  

together the  egg,  water  and  1  tsp  melted  buQer  and  then  mix  enough  of  this  into  the  flour  to  make  a  soV,  sDcky   dough  –  add  a  liQle  at  a  Dme  so  you  don't  overdo  it,  the  dough  shouldn't  be  wet. Now  comes  the  fun  bit  –  repeatedly  throw  the  dough  from  shoulder  height  on  to  the  work  surface  for  15  minutes   unDl  it  becomes  elasDc  and  loses  its  sDckiness.  Wrap  it  in  clingfilm  and  leave  it  at  room  temperature  for  half  an   hour  while  you  make  the  filling. Cut  the  apples  into  thin  slices.  Toss  them  with  the  lemon  zest,  juice,  sugar  and  the  cinnamon.  Add  the  sultanas   and  the  flaked  almonds.   Melt  the  buQer  in  a  small  frying  pan,  and  pour  half  of  it  into  a  small  bowl.  Add  the  breadcrumbs  to  the  remaining   buQer  in  the  pan  and  fry  them  unDl  they  are  golden  and  crisp.  Transfer  them  to  a  piece  of  kitchen  paper  and  you   can  get  on  with  the  pastry.  Preheat  the  oven  to  200°C/gas  6  and  place  a  greased  baking  tray  on  to  the  middle   shelf. Clear  a  large  work-­‐surface  or  table  and  cover  with  a  clean  tea  towel  or  kitchen  paper  (if  it  has  a  strong  paQern,   that  will  make  your  life  easier  later).  Dust  lightly  with  flour,  and  divide  the  dough  in  half.  Keep  one  half  wrapped   in  clingfilm  at  room  temperature. Roll  out  the  dough  as  thinly  as  possible  with  a  lightly  floured  pin.  When  you  can't  roll  it  any  more  thinly,  begin   gently  stretching  it  using  your  whole  hands  –  it  will  be  springy,  but  keep  on  going  unDl  you  can  see  the  paQern  of   the  tea  towel  (or  read  some  print)  through  it.  Try  not  to  tear  it  –  any  small  holes  can  be  patched  up  with  excess   pastry.   Brush  the  rolled  out  pastry  with  buQer  and  sprinkle  with  the  breadcrumbs.  Spoon  the  filling  in  a  line  down  one   end  of  the  pastry  and  then,  using  the  tea  towel  to  help  you,  roll  up  the  pastry  into  a  sausage  shape.

EVE’S PUDDING This is a classic pudding that really lets your cooking apples shine below a delicious Victoria sponge - perfect for a winter’s treat.

INGREDIENTS Filling 4 medium cooking apples (about 500g/ 1lb 20z in total) 1 tbsp lemon juice 20g butter 2 tbsp caster sugar 2 tbsp water

Sponge 75g butter 100g caster sugar 100g self-raising flour 2 free range eggs, lightly beaten 1 tbsp boiling water

Method Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Peel, core and roughly chop the apples and add them to a small saucepan alongside the lemon juice and water. Give the mixture a stir, cover with a lid and cook briskly for five minutes or until the apples are soft. Add the butter and caster sugar and stir. Transfer the filling to an oven dish (around 900ml/1 ½ pint) and leave to cool whilst you make the sponge. Cream the butter and sugar until light with either an electric whisk or by hand. Once the mixture is creamy, fold in the flour and eggs alternatively, a tablespoon at a time. In order to keep the sponge airy, a light blending is required, no need for energetic whisking. Add the boiling water to loosen up the mixture slightly. Spoon the mixture over the apples and bake in the oven for around 3035 minutes until golden brown. Serve with custard or ice cream


Operation Apple  

Great autumn apple recipes from Fife, Scotland

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