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.

 

 

Phyllo Leek Tart

Phyllo Leek TartDo you also always struggle finding which dish you will prepare for Christmas dinner? I do, usually I face this dilemma each time I have someone coming over. Continue reading

Finally this yeas I’ll be making a Beef and Ale Casserole and as starter I will be making this Phyllo Leek Tart which I tried out last week. Last weekend, in my fridge I found some phyllo pastry I had to use soon so I decided to make this tart. As much as I’m not a huge puff pastry fan, I love the consistence and lightness of layered phyllo pastry. Other of the main ingredients in this tart are the leeks, which the more I read and learn, are so common in Swiss cuisine (Papet Vaudois, gateau Savièse…). Leeks are an easy local produce to find and it’s a good seasonal produce to take advantage of. I don’t know about you but I love eating leeks with something creamy so to complete the recipe I used crème fraiche, which is a little like for the flammkuchen recipe. The festive season is here and this recipe would work well as a starter as it’s in season and relatively easy to put together.

 

 

 

Phyllo Leek Tart

 

Recipe for 4-6

Prep time:

Cook time: 20 min

 

Ingredients:

300 g leeks

6-7 sheets phyllo pastry (average size of 29cm x 37 cm)

190 g crème fraiche

6 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. thyme leaves

2 tbsp. roughly chopped hazelnuts

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 210°C.

Cut the leeks into about 7-9 cm long pieces. Lengthwise divide each piece into half being careful to keep the layers into place.

Melt one tbsp. butter in a pan and add the leeks to cook for about 4-5 min per side on a medium fire. Season them with salt, pepper and thyme. Be gentle when turning the leeks as they tend to get undone. Once the leeks are cooked set them aside.

Take one sheet of phyllo pastry and brush it with the melted butter. Top it with another sheet of pastry and repeat the process until all sheets are used.

Make a small crust by folding the edges of the pastry a couple of times. If it doesn’t hold, press it gently down. Brush the crust with a little more butter.

Spread the sour cream on the bottom of the tart and, distribute the leeks on top.

Bake in the oven for 10 min, take the tart out and sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts on top and serve.

 

 

Creamy Leek Pie

Comforting Leek PieLast Saturday we had an evening among friends and guess who cooked?…me. Continue reading

I made some pulled pork, a broccoli salad and meringues with cream as a dessert. I guess this was my first “catering” experience as we brought all the food to Andy’s home and consumed it there. The three of us (Andy my fiancé and me) met at my place, packed everything and placed it in Andy’s car. While my fiancé was moving his car to park it to a better spot, we saw him stop abruptly: he had perforated his tyre. After a little hesitation we decided to change the tyre ourselves. It took us ten minutes to figure it out and twenty minutes to change it but I admit (as someone who doesn’t even have a driver’s licence) I learned something different that day. That night we went to bed at four and since, unlike Ste my fiancé I can’t sleep long in the morning, I decided to get busy in the kitchen and so I prepared this leek pie that we shared once he was released from Morpheus’ arms.

 

Comforting Leek Pie

 

Creamy Leek Pie

 

For a 28-30 cm pie mould

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 40-45 min

 

Ingredients:

330 g leeks

1 tbsp. butter

100 g sour cream

80 g ham (I used turkey ham)

130g grated Swiss cheese

1 tbsp. flour

2 dl milk

2 eggs

Nutmeg

1 tbsp. mustard

1 round short crust pastry (32 cm large)

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 220°C.

Cut the leeks into ½ cm thick slices.

Heat the butter in a medium non-stick pan; add the leeks, season with salt and pepper. Cook covered for 10 min on a medium fire until they have softened. Meanwhile cut the ham into cubes and add it to the leeks once they are done. Leave aside to cool a little.

In a bowl mix together the milk with the sour cream, the eggs, the flour and a little nutmeg.

Place the short crust in a baking dish, spread the mustard on the bottom and then pierce the dough more times with a fork.

Distribute the leeks and ham on top and follow with the grated cheese. Pour the milk, cream, and egg, flour mixture on top; make sure the liquid covers all the leeks. Sprinkle a little pepper on top and place the pie on the lower part of the oven for 30-35 min.

Beetroot and Onion Tarte Tatin

Beetroot and Onion Tarte Tatin The other day, over a nice cup of coffee, I was talking to a friend of mine who is French and she told me how much she loved a nice Tarte Tatin. Continue reading

This got my mind working and so decided to try it. I wanted to make this recipe as a savory dish and chose to make it with beets and onions as both the ingredients work well with caramel like flavours. Before anything I went online to learn well about the process and in the end I went midway between shallot tatin and a beetroot tatin. The difference in my tart I used shortcrust pastry instead of puff pastry (a personal preference). I went out, bought what I needed and got to work. I was excited and in the same time a little stressed about the outcome. I enjoyed the final result twice… I shouldn’t have done so because in the evening I was out to dinner with my boyfriend and was not hungry at all.

 

Beetroot and Onion Tarte TatinBeetroot and Onion Tarte Tatin Beetroot and Onion Tarte Tatin

 

Beetroot and Onion Tarte Tatin

 

Recipe for 6

Prep time: 35 min

Cook time: 45-50 min

 

Ingredients

300 g possibly small cooked beetroot (best if home made, but I didn’t have a choice as I couldn’t find fresh ones)

300 g red onions roughly the same size as the beetroot

2 tbsp olive oil

2.5 tbsp sugar

1 tsp thyme leaves + couple springs

1 tsp chopped rosemary leaves + 1 spring

4 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 crushed garlic cloves

30 g butter

Salt and pepper

Butter shortcrust pastry 26 cm diameter

100 g fresh goat cheese

 

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 200°C.

Put the onions in a pan and pour over boiling water to cover them. After 8-10 min remove the water and peel the onions. Cut them in half. Cut the beetroot into roughly the same size as the onions.

Heat the oil and butter (without browning) in a pan and add the onions and garlic to brown for 10-15 minutes. At mid cooking time add the beetroot to the pan and cook with the onions. Add in the vinegar, the sugar and the herbs. Cook until caramelized.  Remove the pan from the heat, season with salt and pepper to taste. If your pan is not oven proof, transfer the vegetables to a round cake tin (without loose bottom). Place the rosemary and thyme springs in the centre of the pan (or cake tin) and evenly spread the onions and beetroot.

Trim the dough to a round shape if it’s too large. Delicately place it on the pan and tuck in the edges (you can help yourself with the thinner part of a teaspoon). Prick the dough with a knife and place in the oven  until the crust is nicely brown for 25-30 min.

Remove the tart from the oven and leave to set for 5 minutes. Place a dish on top of the pan and flip it. Add the goat cheese either crumbled or like I did: cut into slices.