Where have you guys been? Haha jokes no it’s me, HELLO READERS! Sorry that I have been MIA for a month or so ! (It seems longer than that) Anyway I'm back and hoping to be a bit more regular. I have a few things up my sleeve so stay tuned! The topic of conversation today is apples.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”… now why is that? I can honestly say that in the biblical sense that the apple or known as “forbidden fruit” does not apply to this saying. An apple has a abundance of nutritional value and there a loads of benefits such as improves eyesight, facilitates digestion, helps control blood level sugars, lowers cholesterol, helps prevent cancer and is useful in treating anaemia (who knew?) If you’re interested in reading more in depth on this wonderful fruit, please read this article 13 Amazing Benefits of Apple.
Let’s just say it’s a great fruit. You can get it all year round and it comes in 3 varieties, red, green and a mixture of the two. It’s best raw or cooked. Now I have been doing a bit of healthy regime for a month and half now, going to the gym, doing two diets on and off again and the one item of food that is constantly recommended in these diets is an apple! For these past few weeks I have been researching different recipes which either include apples or other foods which I can pair with apples. In terms of savoury there aren’t that many recipes but the ones that I am enjoying at the moment are shredded carrot and apple with a mixture of pumpkin seeds and slices of apple with cheese, specifically gouda and brie. However nothing beats using an apple for cakes, muffins, slices, basically anything with a sweet indulgence.
An apple I think is one of the easiest fruits to bake with. It doesn’t matter how you prepare it because later in the oven it creates this burst of a subtle, soft flavour. The trouble is since I have been on this health regime I’m trying to limit the amount of sugar I am eating but then I have an itch to bake these beautiful apples! I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO? Bake these delicious apples and work harder in the gym to try to get rid of those excess calories or don’t bake at all. Both ideas are very realistic although didn’t want to do either of them. Why can’t a mixture of apples and sugar be healthy? TELL ME WHY? Either way I thought it was a lost cause because if I bake something with apples I am prone to eat it. Luckily at that moment a friend invited me to her birthday bbq so in my mind I thought what better gift to give than a baked one! Problem solved. I can bake and not have the urge to eat it. As a gift I decided to make her an Apple Custard Streusel Slice.
This recipe is very easy but just a bit time consuming. The Apple Custard Streusel Slice has three layers, pastry, custard/apple, and a crumble topping. One of the things, which I would definitely take into consideration, is the size of the pan that you’re making the slices in. I had a bit of mishap I thought my pan was the same measurement that the recipe stated however mine was an inch bigger in height. At the time didn’t think that it would affect the dish however it did. What I have learned whilst baking this is that pastry shrinks. With the pastry shrinking the custard overflowed to the empty space in the pan which meant that the custard layer was quite thin (when it should be thick). Although all in all it came out similar to the image of the recipe, just a wee bit thinner and it tasted fantastic.
Here is the recipe:
1 1/4 cup (155g/ 5oz) plain flour
1 tablespoon caster sugar
80 g (2 3/4 oz) butter, melted and cooled
1 egg yolk
Apple Custard Topping:
3 green apples
20g (3/4 oz) butter
4 tablespoons caster sugar
3/4 cup (185ml/ 6fl oz) thick cream
1 teaspoon vanilla essense
1/2 cup (60g/ 2 oz) plain flour
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/3 cup (40 g / 1 1/4 oz) finely chopped walnuts
60 g ( 2 oz) butter, melted
METHOD from Superb Slices
1) Line a lightly greased, 18 x 28 cm ( 7 x 11 inch) shallow tin with non-stick baking paper, overhanging two opposite sides.
2) To make the pastry, sift the flour and sugar into a bowl. Add the butter, egg yolk and 2 -3 tablespoons of water to mix to form a ball. Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper to fit the base of the tin. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to moderately hot 190C (375 F/ Gas 5)
3) Line the pastry base with baking paper and fill with baking beads or uncooked rice or beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beads, reduce the oven to moderate 180C (350 F/ Gas 4) and bake the pastry for 5 minutes, or until golden. Allow to cool.
4) To make apple custard topping, peel, core and chop the apples and place in a saucepan with butter, half the sugar, and 2 tablespoons water. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes, or until soft and pulpy. Uncover and simmer for another 5 minutes, to reduce the liquid. Use a wooden spoon to break down the apples until they have a smooth texture. Leave to cool.
5) Whist together the eggs, cream, remaining sugar and vanilla essence. Spread the cooled apple mixture over the pastry base, then carefully pour on the cream mixture. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the custard has half set.
6) To make the crumble topping, mix together the flour, brown sugar, and walnuts and stir in the melted butter until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over the custard and bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely in the tin before slicing.
* This recipe is from Superb Slices  by Murdoch Books
* Make sure you have the right measurement of the pan for this slice. Having it bigger does make the slice a bit thinner.
* If you love apples like myself, I would say add one more apple in the recipe as 3 small apples doesn't give enough pulp to the mixture.. in my opinion
Hope you enjoyed the read everyone! Let me know if you have any great apple recipes, love to hear them! Have a good weekend