Sunday, 27 November 2016

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

The last of this season's apples

Our house came with three semi-mature apple trees of unknown variety.
Not exactly an orchard, I know... 
Of the three, one in particular, produces apples with a faint rose-like fragrance
and creamy blush pink flesh.
It is the most prolific fruit bearer of the lot.

After giving most of the fruits away to friendly homes (and a few odd birds)
we still ended up with loads more.
We are not apple lovers.
None of us would consider apples as our fruit of choice -
if ever, we're stranded on a desert island.
On the other hand, apples as a dessert are another story...
we would happily wolf down the lot in the blink of an eye!

So, here's my 2-ways of turning our apples from the garden into delectable desserts
both using the same homemade shortcrust pastry -
Good old-fashioned Apple Pie
Tart Tatin

Shortcrust Pastry

1 cup flour
2 tsp caster sugar
90g cold butter, grated
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp cold water

Sift the flour and sugar into a bowl.
Make a well in the centre and place butter, egg yolk and water
Mix quickly with a fork to form a dough
Roll in a plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour before using.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Harissa & Olive Bread

Comfort Carb

Before we get to the recipe,
let me tell you why I've not been
keeping up with the updates lately...
To be honest, I just run out of things to say!
My life has gotten into a rut, to put it bluntly.
Looks like I need to find me something new to do before I go mental 

Meanwhile, back to the mundane subject of the weather:
we're experiencing a spell of sub-zero weather
I don't really mind the cold as long as it's not windy or wet.
And considering the sun's shining
It's really not bad at all
I'm just hoping the persistent ground frost would not kill my plants
that's all I ask

Harissa & Olive Bread

500g strong white flour, plus extra for kneading
1 tsp salt
1 x 7g sachet of instant yeast
320ml cool water
4 dessert spoon olive oil, plus extra for kneading
3 tbsp harissa
3/4 cup green olives, coarsely chopped

Place the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Add the oil and 240ml of water.

Using your hands, mix the ingredients together. 
Gradually add the remaining water (you may not need it all),
until all the flour leaves the side of the bowl
and you have a soft, rough dough.

Pour a little oil onto a clean work surface. 
Sit the dough on the oil and begin to knead. 
Do this for 5-10 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth and silky. 
Once the correct consistency is achieved, place the dough into a clean, oiled bowl. 
Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place until doubled in size.

Once risen, place the dough onto a floured surface. 
Knock the dough back by folding it in on itself repeatedly. 
Do this until all the air is knocked out and the dough is smooth.
Flatten the dough into a rectangle.

Spread the harissa and chopped olives mixture over the surface.
Roll the dough like a Swiss roll so that you have a smooth top with a seam along the base. 
Place it in a loaf tin with the seam at the bottom.
Cover and leave to prove until doubled in size.

 Bake in a preheated oven 220C for 25 minutes.
Reduce the temperature to 180C and bake for further 15 minutes