Friday, October 23, 2015

Polverone Tartlets with Caramelised Apple and Cider Custard


Polvorone Tartlets with Apple and Cider Custard

cider custard
375 ml (13 fl oz/1 1/2 cups) cream (whipping)
 125 ml (4 fl oz/ 1/2 cup) milk
8 egg yolks
60 ml (2 fl oz /1/4 cup) sweet Spanish sidra , or other sweet alcoholic apple cider
 80 g (2 3/4 oz /1/3 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
11/2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
2 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour
 11/2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)

250 g (9 oz/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
 1 teaspoon whole aniseeds
 40 g (1 1/2 oz /1/4 cup) pine nuts
60 g (2 1/4 oz /1/2 cup) icing (confectioners’) sugar
 200 g (7 oz) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
2 teaspoons oloroso sherry

caramelised apple
30 g (1 oz) unsalted butter 8 small crisp, sweet apples (such as fuji), peeled, cored and cut into eighths
100 g (3 1/2 oz /1/2 cup) soft brown sugar
80 ml (2 1/2 fl oz /1/3 cup) sweet Spanish sidra , or other sweet alcoholic apple cider
 80 ml (2 1/2 fl oz /1/3 cup) clear apple juice
 80 ml (2 1/2 fl oz /1/3 cup) cream (whipping)

Makes 8

To make the cider custard, pour the cream and milk into a saucepan and just bring to the boil. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks, cider, sugar, vanilla, flour and cornflour in a heatproof bowl. Gradually whisk in the hot cream mixture until smooth, then pour into a clean, heavy-based saucepan and place over low heat. Using a balloon whisk, stir continuously for 15 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and smooth and clearly holds a ‘ribbon’ shape when drizzled from the whisk onto the custard. Allow to cool slightly, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until completely cold.

To make the pastry, put the flour, aniseeds, pine nuts and icing sugar in a food processor with a pinch of salt. Process until the nuts are finely chopped, then add the butter and pulse until the mixture forms crumbs. Put the egg yolk, vanilla extract and sherry in a bowl and mix together well. Using a flat-bladed knife and a cutting action, mix the liquid into the flour until it forms clumps. Gather together into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Divide the dough into eight equal portions, then roll each one out between two sheets of baking paper to 5 mm ( 1/4 inch) thick. Remove the top layers of paper and invert the pastry over eight 10 cm (4 inch) individual tart tins with removable bases. Fit the pastry into the tins, trim the edges and freeze for 1 hour. Save any leftover pastry for making into shortbread biscuits (cookies).
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Bake the tart shells for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before releasing them from the tins.

While the tart shells are cooling, prepare the caramelised apple. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium–high heat and sauté the apple for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden — if your pan isn’t quite large enough you may need to work in two batches. Remove the apple from the pan and stir in the sugar, cider, apple juice and cream. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes. Mix the apple through, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, or until the apple is soft but not falling apart, and the sauce is golden and glazy. Allow to cool slightly. Fill the tart shells with the custard, top with the warm apple and serve at once.

Copyright of Jane Lawson. Recipe from Cocina Nueva - the New Spanish Kitchen by Jane Lawson, published by Murdoch Books. Image by Photographer Steve Brown. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Macadamia Cake with Lime Syrup


I swear everyone who cooks this recipe falls in love with it. 

Toasty, buttery macadamia with sweet lime. Perfect for a beautiful sunshine-filled day. 

A little goes a long way and it keeps well - check it out and let me know how you go!

Macadamia cake with lime syrup 

200 g (7 oz/11/4 cups) macadamia nuts
185 g (61/2 oz/11/2 cups) self-raising flour
 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
200 g (7 oz) unsalted butter, softened
230 g (81/2 oz/1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
 4 large eggs
 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
 80 ml (21/2 fl oz/1/3 cup) milk

LIME SYRUP 170 g (6 oz/3/4 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
 3 teaspoons finely julienned lime zest
80 ml (21/2 fl oz/1/3 cup) lime juice
 1 tablespoon rum, optional

serves 10–12

Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F/Gas 2–3). Grease a 25 cm (10 inch) wide, 9 cm (31/2 inch) deep, non-stick bundt tin or other scalloped-edge ring cake tin.
Very finely grind the macadamias in a food processor or in several batches in a blender, then tip into a mixing bowl. Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda over the top and combine well.
Beat the butter and sugar using electric beaters until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and lime zest. Mix in half the flour mixture, then half the milk. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture and milk, until all the ingredients are well combined. Spoon into the prepared tin and smooth over. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the cake is dark golden and comes away slightly from the side of the tin. A skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean.

Allow the cake to rest in the tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes, before inverting onto the rack to cool completely. (If you tip the cake out of the tin before this time it may collapse.)
To make the lime syrup, put the sugar, lime zest, lime juice and 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) water in a small saucepan and stir over high heat until the sugar has dissolved. Boil for 5 minutes, or until slightly syrupy. Lift out the lime zest with a fork and set aside as a garnish. Take the syrup off the heat and stir in the rum, if using.

Brush the syrup evenly over the entire cake surface. Decorate the top of the cake with the reserved lime zest and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. This cake keeps well — wrap it thoroughly in plastic and store at room temperature for a few days, or refrigerate for a week (or even freeze for up to 1 month).

Recipe from Grub - Favourite Food Memories by Jane Lawson. Published by Murdoch Books. Image by Photographer Steve Brown.