Strawberry and apple tart

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I have come into possession of two fruity items this week – a lovely big batch of stewed apples courtesy of my sister, and a tin of strawberries.

Yes, tinned strawberries, what a strange thing indeed.  I found them in the supermarket on special for 99 cents per tin and I figured I was prepared to part with 99 cents to satisfy my curiosity.  This, I thought, could either be great or horrible.

I find the way they look a little alarming to be honest.  I think it’s all that pinkness and bulbousness.

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When in possession of a large amount of stewed apples and a tinned strawberry curiosity itch, the only appropriate avenue is to consider  baking.  I know strawberries are a summer fruit, and apples an autumn one, but strawberry and apple tart had a nice ring to it.  Our current Spring certainly has a very in-between, mixed up feel, so I think playing around with seasonal produce is a fitting response.

You may recall that I am fond of Delia for the classics, and her Fastest Blackberry and Apple Tart appealed as a reliable candidate for my meddling.

I made the tart base as per instructions, duly sifting rubbing in butter, caster sugar, and making a well for the egg (ooh er, it always feels a bit fancy making a well for the egg).

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I lined my lightly greased tin with the tart dough and began layering on the stewed apples (a bit of a deviation, as Delia asks for fresh).  Being stewed apples, they released a fair bit of liquid into the dough, despite my careful draining.   To avoid my tart becoming too sog-tastic, I reverted to Delia’s advice, using fresh apples over about half the tart.

Delia instructs that one scatters the fresh blackberries over the apples.  My slightly waterlogged strawberries did not appear to me the kind of fruit one blithely ‘scatters.’  And so, I lined them up neatly in between the apples, which also satisfied my neat-freakish tendencies.

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I sprinkled the tart with one tablespoon of caster sugar as instructed and put it in the oven for 45 minutes at 180 degrees celsius.

Although I was concerned the liquid from the stewed apples would result in a soggy base, this did not happen and some of the apple juices pooled and caramelised in the corners of the tart in a most pleasing fashion.

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But what you really want to know, I am sure, is how the strawberries fared.  My dear friend and afternoon tea guest and my husband both gave positive reports and I was pleased too.  They held their shape well and combined nicely with the apples and crisp base.

This strawberry and apple tart went down a treat with ice cream, fresh strawberries and a glass of peach juice.  Verdict: would happily make this again, and thumbs up to Delia for the excellent, easy base recipe.

 

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Devilled almonds

I promised you that there would be more almonds to follow as part of my Edmonds Cookbook challenge, and I did not lie.  We now find ourselves at devilled almonds.

When you put your mind to it, there is a considerable number of food items prefaced by ‘devilled.’  Devilled eggs and devilled sausages, to name but two.  I also came across a recipe for devilled kidneys in my travels through the internet, which sound slightly less appetising.

Letting my imagination get the better of me, I surmised that the ‘devilled’ part of devilled almonds may refer to naughty, n’er do well-type almonds as depicted:

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The Oxford dictionary informs me, however, that ‘devilled’ means ‘cooked with hot seasoning.’   These little almonds are no exception, with a good sprinkling of chilli powder.  The essential ingredients for Edmonds‘ Devilled Almonds are:

  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 cup of blanched almonds
  • 1/8 teaspoon of chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

One begins by heating the oil in a frypan.  The recipe does not specify which type of oil one should use – I used plain old vegetable oil and it worked fine.

Then, add the blanched almonds.  You may recall I have had adventures with blanched almonds not so long ago – as discussed then, blanched almonds are naked, skinless almonds; their clothes removed through a boiling water process.

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Stir these almonds until they turn golden.  They smell delicious during this process.

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Remove the almonds and drain them on absorbent paper.  Combine the chilli and salt and toss the almonds in this mixture to coat them, adding more chilli if you so desire (I did).  Leave them to dry before use.

These little guys are scrumptious!  Really, how can you ever go wrong with fried nuts?  Not often, in my savoury-toothed world.  I think there is plenty of potential for some delicious variation with this recipe.  It would be delicious with some freshly ground pepper added, or some cumin and ground coriander.  I’m even wondering about the possibility of a little wasabi powder.  Varying the oil used could also yield bountiful tastiness.

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They would make a lovely little gift for the nut-lover in your life as they are quite pretty as well as delicious and look cute all done up in a jar.

Enjoy!  Especially with a cold beverage before dinner.

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