January 20, 2016

French Apple Tart

Apple tart on a wooden board

To put our previous recipe of unsweetened apple sauce into good use, I thought I would share a recipe for French apple tart. I’m feeling a bit nostalgic as I write these words as this is a pudding that brings back childhood memories. When I grew up, apple tart used to be the classic Sunday dessert that my Gran would make and bring for us to enjoy together. The only time of year when we’d have something different was as soon as rhubarb was in season. I already featured her rhubarb tart recipe on Food Moods many moons ago, and it is still available if you’d like to check it out. For this apple tart, you could use the pastry recipe that my Gran use to make, or try this gluten-free version. I have opted for not sweetening the tart much at all, and in my opinion this allows the fruit flavours to shine. Simple home-cooked food, to share and create memories...

A slice of apple tart in a plate and apple tart in the background

French Apple Tart – serves 8
•125g brown rice flour
•50g chickpea flour
•50g ground almonds
•25g arrow-root
•2tbsp unrefined sugar
•125g cold butter, cubed
•1 egg, beaten
•10tbsp apple sauce
•2 firm apples, peeled and cored
•2tbsp apricot jam

1.Place the rice and chickpea flour in a large bowl with the ground almonds, arrow-root, sugar and butter. Rub the butter in the flour with the fingers, until obtaining rough crumbs. Add the egg and shape into a ball. (Alternatively, place all ingredients in a food processor with a dough attachment and pulse until the dough comes together.) Wrap the ball in cling film and place in the fridge for 30min.
2.Slice the apples finely.
3.Preheat the oven to 180°C.
4.When the dough is ready, place it between two sheets of baking paper and with a rolling pin, flatten it into a circle slightly bigger than your tart dish. Place the dough into the dish, pressing it against the sides, and remove the upper sheet of paper. Prick the bottom with a fork.
5.Spread the apple sauce over the pastry and arrange the apple slices on top.
6.Gently heat the apricot jam in a small saucepan, and when runny, spread over the apple slices with a brush.
7.Place the tart in the oven for about 40min, until the pastry edges are golden. Leave to cool down before serving.

Tarte aux Pommes – pour 8 personnes
•125g de farine de riz complet
•50g de farine de pois chiche
•50g d’amandes en poudre
•25g d’arrow-root
•2cs de sucre complet
•125g de beurre froid, coupé en cubes
•1 œuf, battus
•2cs de purée de pomme
•2 pommes à chair ferme, évidées et pelées
•2cs de confiture d’abricots

1.Mettre la farine de riz dans un saladier avec la farine de pois chiche, l’amande en poudre, l’arrow-root,  le sucre et le beurre. Frotter les ingrédients du bout des doigts pour former des miettes grossières. Ajouter l’œuf et former une boule de pâte. (Alternativement, mettre les ingrédients dans le bol d’un robot avec un attachement pour pâte et faire tourner jusqu'à l’obtention d’une boule de pâte). Envelopper la pâte dans du papier film et la mettre au réfrigérateur au moins 30min.
2.Couper les pommes en tranches fines.
3. Préchauffer le four sur 180°C.
4.Quand la pâte est prête, la placer entre deux feuilles de papier cuisson, et à l’aide d’un rouleau à pâtisserie, l’étaler en un disque un peu plus grand que votre moule à tarte. Placer la pâte dans le moule, retirer la feuille de papier supérieure et presser la pâte dans le fond du moule et sur les côtés. Piquer le fond à la fourchette.
5.Etaler la purée de pomme sur le fond de tarte et arranger les tranches de pomme joliment sur le dessus.
6.Faire chauffer à feu doux la confiture d’abricot dans une petite casserole, et lorsqu’elle se liquéfie, retirer du feu et étaler sur les pommes à l’aide d’un pinceau.
7.Mettre au four pour environ 40min, jusqu'à ce que les bords de la pâte soient dorés. Sortir du four et laisser refroidir avant de déguster.

January 07, 2016

Apple Sauce - Toolbox

A glass jar filled with apple sauce

Happy New Year dear readers! May 2016 be filled with love, health and delicious foods.

When January comes, there seems to be an abundance of detox plans of all sorts out there, and although I firmly believe that the New Year is an ideal time to take on new healthy habits and why not cleanse a bit your diet, the cold weather and dark long nights also bring with them the need for comfort and cozying and I personally don’t feel like undertaking a strict regime at this moment in time. Instead, another option could be to cultivate self compassion and kindness to yourself, to set you on the path to health and contentment. Being gentle, taking your time, working on your goals one step at a time.

Having more indoor time is the perfect opportunity to cook and preserve harvests, and today, our toolbox how-to is a very simple recipe for unsweetened apple sauce. Apple sauce is a staple that finds its place in any kitchen: it simply is cooked and pureed apples and can either be left a bit chunky (you will then have more of a compote consistency) or completely smooth like in the recipe below. It is incredibly versatile and can be used as follows:
•if you’re a keen baker, it makes a great substitute for part/all of the fat in cake recipes, for a healthier take on them. I usually find that replacing half of the fat with it gives best results in terms of texture;
•as egg replacement in biscuits: use 60ml apple sauce per egg
•delicious swirled into your morning porridge
•added to a batch of granola before cooking (e.g. this recipe)
•mixed with natural yogurt for a simple snack/pudding
•mixed with ricotta for dipping vegetable sticks
•spread onto pancakes or over a slice of fresh bread
•to accompany hard cheeses

Below is a basic recipe for apple sauce, but depending on what the intended use is, you could add spices to it such as ground cinnamon, cloves or cardamom and possibly a tablespoon or two of sweetener such as maple or agave syrup.
A batch will keep in the fridge in a glass jar for up to a week. It is also possible to double or triple the quantities, divide the sauce in small portions and freeze them. You then have ready-made apple sauce in stock for when needed!

I’d love to hear your ideas for using apple sauce so please feel free to post a comment to share them below...

Apple Sauce
1kg cooking apples
•Juice of ½ lemon
•100ml water

1.Peel, core and cut the apples into small cubes.
2.Place them in a saucepan with the lemon juice and water. Bring to a gentle boil, cover and leave to cook on a medium-low heat for 25min, until completely tender.
3.Take off the heat, leave to cool down and blend with a hand blender until smooth.
4.Transfer to a glass jar and keep in the fridge for up to a week or divide into small portions and freeze for up to several months.

Purée de Pommes
1kg de pommes à cuire
•Jus d’1/2 citron
•100ml d’eau

1.Peler, évider et couper les pommes en petits cubes.
2.Les mettre dans une casserole avec le jus de citron et l’eau. Porter à ébullition, couvrir et laisser frémir à feu doux pendant environ 25min, jusqu'à ce que les fruits soient tendres.
3.Retirer du feu, laisser refroidir et mixer à l’aide d’un mixeur plongeur, jusqu'à l’obtention d’une consistance lisse.
4.Verser dans un bocal en verre et garder au réfrigérateur. Se garde environ une semaine. Il est également possible de diviser la purée en petites portions et de la garder au congélateur pour plusieurs mois.