WORDS:: Chyka Keebaugh
PHOTOS:: Lisa Atkinson
Find me a person who wouldn’t devour a warm apple dessert with some creamy vanilla ice cream melting on top - I dare you!
Today I want to share with you two simple apple based recipes that make the perfect dessert or the most delicious afternoon treat.
First up is one of my French favourites - Apple Tarte Tatin. I just love the textural contrast of the crispy pastry and soft cooked cinnamon apple – Yum! Apple Tarte Tatin is super easy to prepare and cook, always making it a winner in my eyes! Serve up at a dinner party or pack on a picnic, this dessert is delicious for any occasion.
APPLE Tarte Tatin Ingredients::
- Plain flour, for dusting
- 500gm puff pastry
- Five small eating apples, approximately 800g, a mixture of sweet and acidic varieties
- 100gm caster sugar
- 100ml Calvados (Apple Brandy)
- One vanilla pod, halved lengthways, seeds scraped out
- 50g butter, cubed
APPLE Tarte Tatin Method::
- Preheat your oven to 190°C. Dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with flour and roll out your puff pastry until it’s just over 0.5cm thick. This will be enough to cover the ovenproof frying pan you’ll be cooking the Tarte Tatin in, leaving about 5cm extra around the edge. Put the pastry to one side for now. Peel your apples, then halve them horizontally and use a teaspoon to get rid of the seeds and core.
- Put the ovenproof pan on a medium heat and add the sugar, Calvados (Apple Brandy), vanilla seeds and pod. Let the sugar dissolve and cook until the mixture forms a light caramel. Just please remember never ever to touch or taste hot caramel, as it can burn really badly.
- Once the caramel looks and smells delicious – it should be a lovely chestnut brown – add your halved apples. Carefully stir everything in the pan and cook for about 5 minutes or until the apples start to soften and you get a toffee apple vibe happening. Add the cubed butter, then lay the pastry over the top. Quickly and carefully tuck the pastry down right into the edges – it’s best to use a wooden spoon so you don’t touch the caramel.
- Bake the Tarte Tatin for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden, with crispy caramelly pieces bubbling up from under the edges. Take it out of the oven. To make it look like a Tarte Tatin you need to turn it out, which isn't hard – but you do need to be careful with that hot caramel. So get a serving plate or board larger than your pan and put an oven glove on to protect the arm holding the board. Put the board or plate on top of the pan, then quickly, carefully and confidently turn it out. Put it to one side for a few minutes, so the caramel can cool down, then divide it up and serve with a spoonful of crème fraîche or ice cream.
Another family favourite of ours is the simple Apple muffin. I find that once your fruit starts getting overripe, it’s the perfect time to fashion them into some cakes or muffins. I hate wasting food so having a few basic recipes up your sleeve will make the most of over ripened fruit. This is a favourite from Donna Hay, the queen of simple.
Apple Muffin Ingredients::
- 2½ cups (375g) self-raising flour, sifted
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 250g butter, melted
- 1 cup (175g) brown sugar
- ½ cup (175g) maple syrup
- 4 eggs
- 6 red apples, peeled and grated.
- 2tsp ground cinnamon, extra
- 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
Apple Muffin Method::
- Preheat oven to 180°C (355°F). Place the flour and cinnamon in a bowl and mix to combine. Add the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, eggs and apple and mix well to combine.
- Spoon into 12 x well greased 1 cup-capacity (250ml) Bundt tins. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Turn out immediately.
- Place the extra cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and mix to combine. Coat the cakes in the sugar and cool. Makes 12.