Sunday, July 31, 2011

Apple Charlotte

This is one of the easiest recipes one can do with apples!  It is most important to cook the apple puree until almost a jam like consistency.  A charlotte mould is deepish dish, and has sloping sides with two little lugs on each side for easier handling.

Apple Charlotte

  • 1.5 kg of apples
  • Strip of lemon peel
  • Brown sugar or apricot jam to taste
  • White sandwich bread, crusts removed
  • 90g melted butter

Without peeling, core the apples and slice thickly.  Place in a heavy pan with a nut of butter and the lemon rind.  Cover tightly and cook gently until very soft.  Run through a coarse sleeve and return to the pan with brown sugar or apricot jam to sweeten to taste.  Cook rapidly, stirring all the time, until the mixture drops heavily from the spoon and leaves the sides of the pan, about 15mins.

Meanwhile, cut the crusts from the slices of  bread and cut into strips about 4 cm wide and the length of the charlotte mould.  Cut two rounds to fit the top and bottom of the mould or use smaller strips arranged to overlap.  Dip the bread strips into melted butter and arrange and overlapping around the sides of the mould.  Dip one round in the melted butter and arrange the base.  Fill with the apple puree and top with the last round of butter-dipped bread.

Bake in a moderately hot oven 190 degrees celcius for 40mins or so until the bread is thoroughly golden.  t is important to have the bread crisp and golden or the charlotte will tend to break in the unmoulding and serving. Unmould on to a serving dish and enjoy!

Cocinar, Comer y ser feliz

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Apple Windsor

Some of the best childhood moments were  spent in the backyard of the home.  There was no better time when the weekend rolled around and on a sunny day we could blow up the pool and dad would come out and play with us!  Mum would join us after a few hours, usually with a little table and a chair, a tasty treat and some juice for all the thirsty work of playing with of our favourites was Apple Windsor with a big scoop of ice cream!  It was always followed by lots of laughs and fun times when lying around in the sun wasn't bad for you and a bowl of deliciousness wasn't frowned upon!

Apple Windsor

  • 4 green apples ('Granny Smiths' for those in Australia), peeled and thinly sliced.
  • 1/4 cup castor sugar, extra
  • Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • A few whole cloves


  • 60g butter
  • 1/3 cup castor sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt, 1/2 cup of milk

Place prepared apples in a saucepan with 1/4 cup sugar, lemon rind and juice and cloves.  Stir gently, then simmer, covered, for 8 minutes.

Pour hot apples into a buttered, 8 cup round casserole dish.

While apples are cooking, prepare topping: Cream butter and 1/3 cup of sugar until light and creamy.  Beat in vanilla and egg, flour sifted with salt, and then milk.

Spread topping over hot apples, and bake in a moderately hot oven for 40mins, or until topping is cooked through and golden brown.  Serve warm with custard or cream or ice cream!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tarte Tatin - Upside Down Apple Tart

Aunty Marta and I enjoying a sunny Argentine Day
The upside apple cake is one of my all time favourites!  Mum used to make this, telling stories of how her own mum and cousins would make it.  She would pull out the large cast iron pan and my job would be to peel the apples... In my last trip to Argentina with my mum, when she passed away in 2004, her cousin Marta came by and brought my dad, brother and I an upside down cake, it was a little piece of her that returned to fill us with warmth, loving memories and most of all, treats baked with love...

Tarte Tatin - Upside Down Apple Tart
  • 125g of butter
  • 185g sugar
  • 1kg green apples, peeled, quartered and cored
  • 250g plain flour
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 185g cold butter
  • 1 beaten egg

Place butter and sugar on the base of a 23-25cm heavy oven proof frying pan (iron if possible).  Cook over medium heat for about five minutes, or just until mixture is beginning to brown (caramelise).  Remove pan from heat and arrange the apples close together in one layer, cored side up.  Cook for about 10mins, or until apples are just tender.  Remove from heat and cool in pan until lukewarm.

Meanwhile, make the pastry.  In a mixing bowl, stir together flour and caster sugar; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in egg and form mixture into a ball.  On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry out to a 25cm circle.  Chill for 15mins.  Carefully lay the pastry over the apples, tucking the edge inside the rim of the pan.

Bake the tart, uncovered in an oven pre-heated to 200 degrees celsius for 15mins.  Lower temperature to 190 degrees celsius for another 10 to 15mins, or until pastry is golden brown.  Allow tart to cool in pan for five minutes and then carefully invert onto a plate.  If any apple sticks to the base of the pan carefully remove it with a metal spatula and transfer to tart.

You can find the live recipe on Cocina De Mama's YouTube Channel.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Manzanita pastelería - Apple Pastry Dumplings!

I would always have a yummy apple waiting for me at little lunch!
Everyday when I would open my lunch box at school I would have an apple, juice box and my sandwich.  It had always been part of my every day from pre-school to my one apple a day I still eat everyday at work as my pre-lunch snack!

Thinking of apples the other day I raided all the old recipe books and found the yummiest collection of recipes.  I'll post over the coming weeks some of the best of the best.

Today we have a Sunday afternoon favourite.  It was easy to make and so delicious!  Mum used to use frozen pastry for this one instead of making her own so I am using the same ingredients here (but you can substitute if you prefer making it yourself!).

Apple Pastry Dumplings

  • 4 large cooking apples
  • Juice and grated peel of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped raisins
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons of honey
  • 375g of frozen shortcrust pastry thawed
  • Caster sugar to garnish
Carefully peel and core apples, cutting not quite through to the bottom. Roll the apples in lemon juice to stop the apples from going brown.  In a small bowl, put in the lemon peel, raisins and cinnamon.  Spoon the mixture into the apples.  Drizzle each one with a teaspoon of honey.  Put the apples aside for the moment.

Lightly flour your working surface and roll out the pastry.  Cut four squares or circles large enough to hold the apples.  Place an apple on each of the pastry centres.  Lightly brush the pastry edges with water.  Fold corners to meet at the top completely covering the apples - pinch the pastry edges gently to seal.  You can decorate the dumplings with pastry scraps (some people like making leaves or nice little bows etc) I prefer it looking simple.

Brush the pastry with water; sprinkle with caster sugar.  Place the apples on a greased baking tray.  Bake at 200 degrees for 10mins then reduce the temperature to 180 degrees until browned and tender when pierced (usually around 20-25mins).

You can use other fruits if you prefer, fresh pears or peached. You can eat as they are or pair up with ice cream or cream!

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!
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