Apple Tart with Crunchy Almonds

Apple Tart with Crispy Almonds

I’m back! I hope everyone had a nice winter holiday, if you were lucky, you might even have had some snow; unfortunately here in Switzerland we craved and waited for it, but it only arrived the day we travelled back. The car had more fun with the snow than we did… Continue reading

Back home, I don’t know about you, but after the holiday season, which is filled with elaborated and not so light dishes, I like to go back to some simplicity and this apple tart (with a little twist) was a great way to satisfy my sweet tooth. This is the kind of recipe I would usually serve during an easy evening, for example with my girlfriends; I cut it up into bite size pieces and place it in the middle of the table, this way my everyone eats the amount they want, I find it’s a friendly way of serving dessert, and between chats and sips you see it progressively disappearing.

Because almonds work great with apples, I looked for an alternative to what I usually do, which is spreading them in ground form under the fruit; I found this crispy topping idea here and applied it to my recipe and I really liked the end result, its taste and its consistency.

Apple Tart with Crispy Almonds

 

Apple Tart with Crunchy Almonds

 

Serves 8

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 20 min

 

Ingredients:

A 25×42 cm puff pastry sheet

3 baking apples like boskoop

100 g slivered almonds

60 g sugar

2 tbsp. milk

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 220°C.

Toast the almonds in a dry non-stick pan over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes, toss regularly until lightly browned; transfer into a bowl.

Core the apples and pass them through a slicer. I left the skin on, it’s more rustic and it has added nutritional value.

Spread the puff pastry out on a baking tray and spread over the apples by overlapping them by half.

Add the butter, sugar and milk to the frying pan over medium heat. When the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted, bring to the boil continue cooking for 1 minute. Add the almonds and mix well before turning into the pastry case. Without waiting, evenly spread the caramelized almonds over the apples.

Bake for 15 minutes in the middle of the oven. Serve warm or at room temperature, maybe with some vanilla ice cream.

 

 

Apple Crumb Cake

Apple Crumb Cake When I satisfy my sweet tooth I’d rather go for a homemade recipe like this apple crumb cake instead of an icing covered, cream filled pastry. This recipe comes from smittenkitchen but instead of using blueberries I caramelised apples, which are in season. Continue reading

During the making of this cake my house smelled wonderful and the great thing is that my dog’s fur was perfumed by it for days. The “poor” creature got even more hugs than she usually does. I shared this cake with some friends and the following day, the whole treat was just a memory 🙂

 

 

Apple Crumb Cake

Recipe for a 22-24 cm cake pan with high sides

Prep time: 25-30 min

Cook time: 45-50 min

 

Ingredients

For the caramelised apples:

2 large dessert apples

1 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. sugar

 

For the topping:

40 g flour

100 g sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

55 g butter

A pinch salt

 

For the cake:

240 g flour

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

55 g soft butter

150 g sugar

1 tbsp. orange zest (or lemon)

1 large egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1.2 dl milk

50 g hazelnuts (I used dry roasted ones)

 

Recipe:

Grease and flour a 23-24 baking tin with high sides and line it with baking paper.

Peel and core the apples and cut them into about 1 cm cubes. Heat sugar and butter in a pan and once the sugar starts to melt add the apples. Cook for about 5 minutes tossing occasionally, until the apples have caramelised. Once done set them aside.

Prepare the topping by adding tall the ingredients to a bowl and crumbling them with the tip of your fingers. Once the preparation is crumbly set it aside.

For the cake use a bowl to mix flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl whisk the butter and sugar together until the preparation is soft and light. Add the vanilla extract and the egg and beat until just combined. Add about 1/3 of the flour mix and beat until just combined. Add half of the milk mix and repeat with the remaining ingredients, ending with the flour. Fold in the caramelised apples until they’re evenly distributed. Transfer the cake batter to the tin and distribute it evenly.

Roughly chop the hazelnuts and scatter them on the surface of the cake. Now add the streusel topping and distribute it evenly.

Bake in the oven for 35-40 min. Test cake readiness with a toothpick: if it comes out dry, it’s ready. Let the cake cool for at least 20 minutes before removing it from its mould. Optionally dust with powdered sugar.

 

Apple Beetroot and Crusted Goat Cheese Salad

Apple Beetroot and Crusted Goat Cheese Salad I really didn’t feel like going to the dentist this morning and I almost felt like calling in sick… I thought about it and came to the conclusion that I would just be postponing the unpleasant moment. Continue reading

So I got ready and took the ten-minute walk to the bus stop (under the rain). For once the hourly bus was on time and I had just taken my seat when my phone rang: it was the dentist’s assistant telling me that he was ill and that my appointment was to be postponed. I continued my journey into town for some groceries anyway and a nice coffee break with a childhood friend of mine. I came back it was past noon and since I wasn’t in a hurry, I walked at slower pace, taking the time to look at the surroundings and their changing red autumn colours. The way home is partly on a dirt path among the fields and as beautiful as it may be; I couldn’t help but notice that some people still haven’t learned not to littler in the nature. I found wrappers and cigarette butts. Personally it saddens me to see how little people care and how little they realize the harm they are doing. Well, I ended up staying there and picked up what I could find and placed it in the bin which was just a couple of meters away (I admit I cursed a little at whoever did this). Once I got home I wrote this blog post and searched for an appropriate quote:

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”

– Robert Swan

Apple Beetroot and Crusted Goat Cheese Salad

 Apple Beetroot and Crusted Goat Cheese Salad

Apple Beetroot and Crusted Goat Cheese Salad

 

Recipe for 4 as a starter

Prep time: 12 min

Cook time: 4-5 min

 

Ingredients

For the salad:

2 cooked beetroots

2 apples

100 g soft green salad or arugula

1 onion

200 g goat cheese log

1 egg

4 tbsp. breadcrumbs

4 tbsp. chopped walnuts

1 tbsp. olive oil

 

For the dressing:

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. walnut oil

1 tbsp. runny honey

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

Cut the beetroot into 2-3 cm chunks.

Peel and core the apples and roughly cut into the same size as the beetroots.

Thinly slice the onion.

In a small bowl mix together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, walnut oil, honey and salt and pepper to taste.

On each plate, place the salad leaves and on top add the beetroots, apples and sliced onions.

Cut or break with your hands the goat cheese into pieces of about 3-4 cm. In a bowl break the egg and beat it with a fork. In a second bowl place the walnuts and the breadcrumbs. First pass the cheese pieces into the egg wash and then roll them in the walnut breadcrumb mixture.

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan and add the breaded goat cheese to cook for 2-3 minutes, until they start getting soft but are not too runny.

Finally add the dressing just before serving the breaded goat cheese and serve.

 

Apple Cake

Apple Cake Geographically and historically speaking, Switzerland shares cultural traits with its surrounding countries and sometimes the boundaries are blurred, and this is true especially when it comes to gastronomy. Continue reading

I always thought this kind of apple cake was German; instead there is also a part in Switzerland where it’s considered to be a typical recipe. For this blog post I adapted the recipe from the Suisse Gourmande cookbook which attributes the recipe to Canton Thurgau and which is actually geographically placed just next to the German border. Anyway, I love this kind of cake, no matter where it comes from and Since last week I’ve already made it twice: once with apples and once with pears.

Apple Cake Apple Cake

 

Apple Cake

 

Recipe for a 24 cm cake tin

Prep time: 25-30 min

Cook time: 35-40 min

 

Ingredients:

125 g butter cut into small cubes (+ more to grease the cake tin)

125 g sugar (+ a few tbsp. to dip the apples in)

2 eggs

Juice of ½ lemon

1 vanilla pod (optional)

1 tbsp. yoghurt

5 g raising powder

200 g flour

½ tsp. salt

500 g small-medium apples (about 3-4)

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 180°C.

Grease the cake tin with butter.

Break the eggs, place the egg whites in a bowl and keep the yolks aside. Whisk the egg whites to a peak.

In a bowl cream the butter and the sugar. Incise the vanilla pod (if using it), scrape the seeds out and add them to the butter and sugar. Add the two yolks, the flour, raising powder, salt, lemon and yoghurt. Mix until well combined, then add the whisked albumen and fold it in gently.

Spread the batter at the bottom of the cake tin.

Peel the apples and cut them in half. With each half, make deep incisions on the rounded part and dip that same side in sugar.

Place the apples on the batter slightly pressing them down.

Bake in the oven for 35-40 min.

 

Goat Cheese and Apple Endive Wraps

Endive Wraps with Goat Cheese and Apple This past week the weather has bending towards summer rather than spring and we have reached 27°C. Continue reading

Because of these temperatures I felt like having something seasonal but refreshing so I made these endive wraps. With a friend we enjoyed these wraps with a nice glass of wine; sitting on the (not so comfortable) wooden church benches on my terrace. It was great to feel the outdoor air only wearing a sweater. I had in mind of making some kind of lettuce wrap but instead I found some nice endive a took those instead. The tanginess of the endive leaves with the creamy goat cheese and the sweet but slightly sour apples are a combination I always enjoy. I added some walnuts chives and dried cranberries to complete the flavour.

Endive Wraps with Goat Cheese and Apple 1Endive Wraps with Goat Cheese and Apple Endive Wraps with Goat Cheese and Apple

Goat Cheese and Apple Endive Wraps

 

For 14 pieces

Prep time: 10 min

 

Ingredients

140 g goat cheese log

1 apple (I used braeburn)

3 tbsp chopped dried cranberries

4 tbsp chopped chives

3 tbsp chopped walnuts

4 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

Salt and pepper

14 endive leaves

 

Recipe

Cut the goat cheese into cubes of a small centimetre. Peel and core the apple and cut into cubes the same size as the goat cheese.

Place the cheese and apples in a bowl; add the dried cranberries, the chives, the walnuts and mix.

In another bowl mix the olive oil, the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add ¾ of the dressing to goat cheese and apple and mix. Fill the endive leaves with this mix and drizzle the rest of the dressing on top them.

Serve as an appetizer.

Apple and Pear Pan Cake

Apple and Pear Pan Cake This recipe has been stored in my head since I was still a teenager and a student. Continue reading

When I went to live on my own for the first time, my mother offered me a small book of recipes for students. I tried a lot of the recipes in this book but this one has a lot of positive points besides its taste. This light cake can be done in a short time and you don’t even need an oven for it. In this recipe I used pears and apples because they are in season here in Switzerland. This recipe though, can be adapted to many other fruits such as cherries, apricots, pineapple…

Apple and Pear Pan Cake

 

Apple and Pear Pan Cake 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 20 min

 

Ingredients:

1 pear (e.g. conference)

1 apple (e.g. braeburn)

2 eggs

1 dl milk

2 tbsp flour

3 tbsp icing sugar

Pinch of salt

1 tsp butter

½ baking powder

 

Recipe:

Peel and core the apple and the pear. Cut them into chunks (about 3 cm long). Melt the butter in a non-stick pan (24 cm diameter is ideal) and add the fruits to brown for five minutes on medium heat. The fruits should cover the bottom surface of the pan

In a bowl put the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl mix the eggs and the milk and add them to the dry ingredients; whisk until smooth and even. Pour into the pan and lower heat to medium-low. Cover and leave to cook for about 15 min. When the center of the cake has become solid and the bottom is nice and brown, the cake is done.

Place a plate on the pan and flip it. Serve warm or at room temperature and garnish with icing sugar or honey and why not maybe some chopped nuts.

Cabbage and Apple Salad with Honey Dressing

Cabbage and Apple Salad with Honey Dressing 3In Ticino this is the low tourism season and with the cold, all the grottoes are closed until spring. I miss them, and I miss one in particular: the grotto Lafranchi in Coglio which a couple villages away from where I live. Continue reading

I have already mentioned this place but since I cannot go there at the moment I wanted to try to make this cabbage and apple salad. This salad is part of a dish served with a venison tartar and even if it was in the first course in the autumn menu I found it more than enough. So the grotto is closed but I can still have their food. Tonight I’m going out with a couple of friends to the ice skating ring they have set up in the Piazza Grande in Locarno; around the ring is a bunch of stands and one of them is occupied by Davide and his chef Carlo from the grotto. Last week we got there too late and it was closed so this time I hope we can make it. Anyway, ice skating is not really in our plans…

Cabbage and Apple Salad with Honey Dressing 2

Cabbage and Apple Salad with Honey Dressing

 

Prep time: 10 min

Recipe for 2

 

Ingredients:

250 g shredded cabbage

1 apple

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp cider vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp roasted walnuts

 

Recipe:

Peel the apple, cut it into four parts and core. Take each piece and cut it lengthways into four. Turn the apple quart and slice into 0.5 thick pieces. Add to the cabbage.

Chop the walnuts and add ¾ to the salad.

In a bowl mix together the honey, the vinegar, the olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Add to the cabbage and apple and blend well. Place on a serving plate and sprinkle with the remaining walnuts. Serve with crusty bread or game and why not some cheese…