Saturday, 13 December 2008

Baking extravaganza

I came home from work and just wanted to bake the week away. It is such a good feeling to finally be free to do that sort of stuff. And since Marc is visiting I wanted to make extra food.

Tarte aux Pommes

6 apples; 2 of each type
8 tablespoons of butter
8 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1/2 jar of apricot/peach jam
roll out pastry/ingredients for pastry.

This is a lovely dessert, much thinner than American/British apple pies, without the pastry on the top. I think tartes aux pommes are elegant and light, and a nice antidote to a heavy meal.

I'm afraid that I was too lazy/equipmentless to make my own pastry. It's not that hard, but without a blender or a rolling pin I wasn't going to make much headway with it! Luckily in France you can buy wonderful roll-out pastry and that is just what I did. But there are plenty of pastry recipes on the web, so no problems there.

You just roll it out and bake it blind at 220 for 10 minutes.

Then take 6 apples of choice. I like to vary mine, so I get three types and two of each. I think that this adds a lot of flavour to the tart. Melt about 8 tablespoons of butter in a pan, stir in a similar amount of sugar, add the apples cut and cored (but I don't peel them) and stir until apples have gone soft and peel is falling away. You shouldn't leave the apples for so long that they no longer have shape and texture - a mix of texture is best.

Add 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and you're set to pout the mixture into the now baked mould.

It should look something like this:

Then cut about 2 apples into very thin quarter slices and layer one on top of the other as shown below. Allow a bit of overlap because apples will shrink in oven.

Then get half a jar of jam, add a bit of boiling water, until it is thick but pourable and pour on top of the layered apples, to give a glaze and slight flavour.

Pop in the oven for 20 mins at 180 and you have a French tarte aux pommes!

Goat's cheese, spinach and smoked salmon quiche

100g of smoked salmon, thinly sliced
2 onions, diced
5 cloves of garlic, diced
can of spinach
3 eggs
3 tablespoons of olive oil
150 - 200g goat's cheese
roll out pastry
salt to taste

This is such an easy yummy dish you have to make it now!

Cut 2 onions and as much garlic as you can handle and fry in olive oil until golden.

Take a can of spinach and drain, so that you are left with less water (otherwise the quiche won't bind as well).

Add spinach, garlic and onion and 3 eggs to the bowl. Chop goats cheese roughly and add to mix. Add smiked salmon and stir!

Season to taste, and pop in oven for 20 minutes at 180 degrees. Et voila!

Fragrant comfort biscuits

Let me let you into a secret here. I know it's trendy and looks fabulous, but I don't really like fondant or icing or frosting. Too much sugar for me. So they may look dull, but these biscuits are just what I want with my tea: fragrant, light and comforting. They are thin but cakey, not too crispy. Give them a try on a day when you want something sweet but not sickly.

100g butter
3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons ginger
2 tablespoons cinammon
1 sachet of baking powder
2 eggs

It's as simple as this: mix the ingredients, roll out, cut shapes and put in the oven at 180 degrees for 10 minutes. Your fragrant treat is now ready, and your house will smell divine!

The recipe made about 40 cookies!


Anonymous said...

everything looks delicious!!

Bonnie Leigh said...

These look so yummy!