Open Grilled Sandwich with Apple & Cheese

My Mum used to make this on Sundays for breakfast. What a treat it was, sweet apple slices make a simple grilled cheese sandwich taste gourmet.

OPEN GRILLED SANDWICH WITH APPLE & CHEESE

Ingredients:

(All quantities are flexible)

Preferably whole grain bread, sliced

sweet apple, sliced

mature cheddar, grated or sliced

black pepper

Method:

  1. Place the slices of bread on baking sheet.
  2. Top with sliced apple and grated cheddar cheese, few twists of black pepper on top.
  3. Place it under the grill until cheese has melted,  approx. 2-3 minutes or until it’s golden and bubbling.

Advertisements

Table Apple Jam

I call it ‘table jam’ because of the little amount of sugar it has in it. The downside is that it won’t last too long, but you can feel less guilty consuming this on top of your granola, yogurt, toast, etc.

This chunky apple jam recipe has a hint of spice that reminds me of festive season. Leave the spices out if you prefer a pure apple jam! Depending on the sweetness of the apples used, the amount of sugar may be adjusted to taste. Also, orange peel and juice are optional, but I love this citrus addition.

IMG_6478

TABLE APPLE JAM

Ingredients:

1kg peeled, cored, and chopped apples

juice and peel of 1 orange (alternatively use juice of 1/2 lemon)

100 ml water

250 g caster sugar

1 cinnamon stick

1 clove

Method:

In a large pan over a medium heat, combine the apples, water, orange juice, peel and zest and spice. Cook and stir for 40-50 minutes until the apples have reduced and became partly mushy, but still with some chunks. Add more water if during cooking apple mixture start to dry out to avoid burning.

When you reach the desired consistency, take the jam off the heat, let it cool and pour into the jam jars. Keep it refrigerated.

Chicken and Apples Curry

This curry is for those whom like mild ones. As an alternative to the Korma, try this mild yet flavoursome dish with a tangy sweet and sour taste given by the addition of sliced apples.

Apple chicken curry

APPLE CHICKEN CURRY

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons oil/ghee

2 onions, diced

2 bay leaves

2 cloves

2.5cm cinnamon stick

1 pack of skinned chicken thighs (about 8 pieces)

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon grated fresh root ginger

1 teaspoon crushed garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon chilli powder

1 tablespoon ground almonds

200ml natural yogurt

3 apples, peeled, cored, sliced

1 tablespoon flaked almonds for decoration (optional)

Method:

  1. Heat the oil or ghee in a heavy bottom pan and fry the onions with the bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon stick for about 3-5 minutes until the onions are beginning to soften but have not yet begun to brown.
  2. Add the chicken pieces to the onions and continue to fry for at least another 5 minutes.
  3. Lower the heat and add the garam masala, ginger, garlic, salt, chilli powder, ground almonds and cook, stirring constantly, for another 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in the yogurt and stir for a couple more minutes. Add some water if the consistency is too thick.
  5. Add the apples, cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Check that the chicken is cooked through and serve immediately, garnished with the flaked almonds, if you wish.

IMG_6488

Baked Apples with Walnuts and Ginger Biscuits

IMG_6360

Summer is over (although I do enjoy the continued good weather, which it is at the moment), I’ve been busy lately and completely neglected my blog. I’ve been cooking a lot and collecting recipes to share, but some of them are not relevant anymore,(think strawberries, and I do try to be as ‘seasonal’ as I can). Also my mind is already set on Autumn, so I’m going to forget, well I mean to file some of my summer recipes till later and jump straight into the Autumn audition..

One of the things I absolutely love about this time of year,  is the APPLES! I love them as they are and I love anything with apples.

Here is one of the simplest ways to enjoy apples. Baked apples are so easy to prepare, but my filling makes them more exciting.

BAKED APPLES WITH WALNUTS AND GINGER BISCUITS

Ingredients:

4 good-sized eating apples

25 g butter

50 g brown sugar

2 handfuls chopped walnuts

3-4 ginger snap biscuits

zest of one orange

Plus: Cream or custard to serve

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C.
  2. Use an apple corer or a small knife to remove the cores from your apples.
  3. Place the apples in a slightly buttered baking dish.
  4. Crush the biscuits, using the rolling pin until the mixture resembles wet sand, add butter, brown sugar, chopped walnuts and orange zest, mix until everything is incorporated.
  5. Stuff this mixture into the hole in each apple (where you removed the core) and rub the outside of each fruit with some of the leftover mixture.
  6. Place in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden and soft.
  7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool down for about 5 minutes before serving.
  8. Serve it meanwhile still warm with custard or cream, also spoon over the lovely caramelised juices from the pan!

IMG_6363

Simple Sponge Cake (dairy free)

IMG_4641

A great, simple, tasty sponge cake that you can whip up in a rush using simple store cupboard ingredients. No fuss. It tastes great with or without icing, and you can serve it with almost anything.

The key to this cake is the whisking of the eggs and sugar to the ribbon stage. This incorporates a significant amount of air into the batter. Also, make sure to use a light hand when mixing the flour and to really make sure to beat the eggs well. The result is almost like an angel cake, but with more depth. It won’t be moist like the butter cakes, but closer to a sponge cake.

It lends itself well to frosting, but works even better when the layers are sliced thin and made into a multi-layered cake frosted with a wet and light filling or in my case I simply layered some fresh sliced apples in the middle before baking. 🙂

SIMPLE SPONGE CAKE

Ingredients:

3 eggs

70 g sugar

70 g flour

3 apples, sliced

Method:

1. Grease the cake mould with butter or, if you are using standard baking tin, butter it first and line the cake tin with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 160°C.

2. Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat well. Add the sugar as you mix. Keep beating so that the texture becomes smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat until the batter forms ribbon-like when you lift the mixer and let the batter fall back into the bowl. Then turn down the speed to low and mix for another 30 seconds to even out the size of the bubbles.

3. Sift the flour into the batter.

4. Using the spatula, carefully fold the flour into the batter from the middle to the out side, scooping up from the bottom of the bowl. At the same time, turn the bowl towards you with other hand. Make sure the flour distributes throughout the mixture, but do not over mix.

5. Pour into the baking tin. (If you are using the apples like I did, simply pour half of the mixture into the tin, then spread the lever of sliced apples and cover with the remaining of the mixture.

6. Drop the pan lightly around 2-3 times from a height of about 5 cm to remove any large bubbles.

7. Bake in the preheated oven at 160°C for 30-40 minutes. It is done when nothing sticks onto a skewer when you insert it into the cake (I baked for 35 minutes). Let it cook on a wire rack.

IMG_4639

Apple and Marzipan Slice

We had a couple of our friends coming for tea and had not much time to bake anything, luckily, I had a ready puff pastry in a fridge and apples, which did remind me about James Martin’s recipe I’ve recently seen on TV. It suited perfectly for this occasion, – very quick to make and really delicious. Tart apple filling, marzipan layer and crispy pastry is a perfect combo! This quantity of ingredients will make a rather big slice which easily will provide about 6-8 portions.

IMG_4787

APPLE AND MARZIPAN SLICE

(Adapted from James Martin’s recipe)

Ingredients:

750g apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped

3 tablespoons sugar

2 x 320g ready-made all-butter puff pastry sheets (about 35cm x 23cm/14in x 9in)

200g natural (uncoloured) marzipan, thinly sliced or grated

2 egg yolks, lightly beaten

2 tbsp demerara sugar

butter plus extra for greasing

cream, clotted cream or ice-cream to serve

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180 Fan.

2. Heat the apples, 3 tablespoons of sugar and 3 tablespoons of water in a saucepan over a medium heat. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring well, then cover and reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering. Continue to simmer for 3-5 minutes, or until the apple has softened. Cook until the apple has completely broken down to a purée, then remove the purée from the heat and set aside to cool.

3. Place one sheet of puff pastry onto a baking tray lightly greased with butter. Lay the slices of marzipan (or I prefer to grate it) on top of the pastry to cover, leaving a border of 2cm all the way around.

4. Spread the cooled apple purée over the layer of marzipan, then brush the pastry border with a little of the beaten egg.

5. Fold the second sheet of puff pastry in half lengthways, then carefully score the pastry from the folded side towards the cut side at 1cm intervals down the length of the pastry, leaving 2cm intact at the cut side of the pastry.

6. Unfold the scored pastry and lay it exactly on top of the apple-covered pastry, then crimp the edges to seal the two sheets of pastry using your fingers.

7. Trim the edges of the pastry and brush the top of the Apple slice all over with the remaining beaten egg. Sprinkle the top with demerara sugar, then bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the pastry has risen and is crisp and golden-brown.

8. Allow to cool slightly before serving, serve with any variation of cream you prefer (pouring, clotted or ice-cream). 🙂

IMG_4788

Sponge Cake with Caramelised Apple filling

I like this time of year with apples being plentiful and the weather turning chillier. I wanted to make a cake for my lovely friend Amy, soon-mum-to-be, something for her to indulge on a cold autumn’s evening.  The combination of toffee taste and apples was a lot on my mind recently, had a spare hour on Sunday and I decided to improvise a little.

For the sponge recipe I have chosen a traditional Victoria Sponge, but my improvisation came in place when it was time to make the filling. I didn’t want to use the ready-made toffee sweets, or to make a very rich toffee sauce, but I still wanted to have a toffee/caramel taste. I think I found a solution (see the recipe below) 🙂

IMG_4284

SPONGE CAKE WITH CARAMELISED APPLE FILLING

Ingredients:

3 large eggs

175g softened butter

175g caster sugar

175g self-raising flour

1½ teaspoons of baking powder

For the filing:

3 desert apples, diced

30g butter

3 tablespoons demerara sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

200ml double cream, whipped until soft picks

Plus: 2 x 18 cm greased and lined sandwich tins

Method:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C. Grease two sandwich tins then line the base of each tin with baking parchment.

2. Measure the butter, sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder into a large bowl and beat until thoroughly blended. Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and level out.

3. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes or until well risen and the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly pressed with a finger. Leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes then turn out, peel off the parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack.

4. For the filling, finely chop the apples, put in a frying pan together with sugar, cinnamon and butter and cook until caramelised, stirring occasionally (make sure apples don’t burn) until the mixture caramelises. Let it cool. Meanwhile whip the cream.

5. When the sponges are completely cold, spread the apple filling and whipped cream in between two layers. Sprinkle with caster sugar or icing powder and serve 😉

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 13.08.40

IMG_4280