Apple Crumble Pie

Last week in Nizza Monferrato I was offered a piece of apple crumble tart which was absolutely delicious, I thought I need to try and bake one myself, so here’s my version of it:

Ingredients for a springform pan of 18cm

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Dough:
150 gr all purpose flour (me: farina per tutto, Mulino Marino) http://www.mulinomarino.it/eng/storia.php
70 gr unsalted butter
70 gr caster sugar
1 egg medium size
20 gr vanilla sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch of salt

Apple filling:
6 medium sized sweet apples ( I paid a fortune for Thurgauer Apples)
10 gr butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Crumble
150 gr all purpose flour (me: farina per tutto, Mulino Marino)
100 gr caster sugar
100 gr soft unsalted butter

butter for the pan, icing sugar

Preparation:

For the dough, mix the flour and baking powder in a bowl, add all other ingredients and knead until you get a soft dough. Roll 2/3 of the dough on the greased base of the springform pan, prick the dough all over with a fork and bake at 200c in the oven for 15 mins.
The other 1/3 of the dough will be used to form the rim, store it in the fridge in the meantime.

Filling: peel the apples, remove the core and cut the apples in small chunks, heat them in a pan by adding the cinnamon and the butter. Let simmer over medium heat until the apples get very soft but not as long as getting a purée, the chunks should not fall apart yet.
Let cool.

Take the springform pan from the oven and let it cool on a rack. Meanwhile, prepare the crumble by kneading the flour, sugar and butter until you get small crumbles.

When the base has cooled off, roll the remainder of the dough to a “sausage” and place on the rim of the springform pan, getting a rim of approximately 2-3cm.


Add the apple filling and cover it all with the crumble.
Bake for another 40mins at 200c. Let cool it off and cover with icing sugar.

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Tuorta da Nusch Engiadina (Nut tart, a typical recipe from the Grisons)

 

Since I was going to Dubai for work for a few days, my sweetheart told me I may as well leave a little something behind to sweeten up his lonely days at home.
So, last sunday I was baking another tart that will last a few days, in fact, it needs to rest two days before it can be eaten, chances are I get a piece as well when I return next Saturday.

Ingredients:

For the dough
300g flour
150g sugar
200g cold butter
1 egg
A pinch of salt

For the filling
300g sugar
300g walnuts
2dl heavy cream (won’t work with diet products)
1 tbl spoon honey

For the dough, mix the flour and sugar in a bowl, cut the cold butter in pieces and put it on the sides in the bowl. Mix the egg with the salt, add it to the flour. Now mix gently until you get a soft dough, it remains quite sticky. Wrap in a foil and let rest in the fridge for 30 mins.

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Meanwhile, chop the walnuts coarsely. In a pan, melt the sugar slowly until it turns brown, but not too dark. Add the nuts and stir until they are covered with sugar. Now add the cream and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Now add the honey and stir well once more, remove from heat and let rest.

Heat the oven to 220c. Grease a baking pan of 26cm diameter, take 2/3 of the dough and roll it until it is approx. 5mm thin, put it in the baking pan, ensuring you have a rim of about 4cm. Now add the nut filling and distribute it evenly, fold the rim down onto the filling. Roll out the remaining dough to a shell of 26cm diameter and cover the tart with it. With a fork, press the rim so it sticks well together. Pierce the shell a few times with the fork as well.

Bake for 10 mins at 220c, then reduce the heat to 180c and bake for another 30-40mins.

Now comes the difficult part, it smells so nice, you’d love to dig in right away, but -stop- you need to wait two days to let the flavours unfold.

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Summer-Time-Tart

Temperatures are not as hot anymore, somewhere in the 20’s, and it feels quite ok again to stand in the kitchen and cook, but it was a nice day today, so I wanted to limit “kitchen-time” to a minimum. Today, I felt like baking a fast and tasty tart for dinner, making use of the vast choice of vegetables at the market.
Lazy as a I am today, I bought the dough, of course you can make it yourself….

For the size of my dough, 38x25cm, I used:
2 Zucchini (small ones, remember they are tastier and not bitter)
1 yellow pepper,  1 red pepper
3 fresh onions, chopped, not too fine
1 fennel
8 mushrooms
100g bacon bits
1tbl spoon olive oil

2 eggs
100ml milk
150g Parmigiano Reggiano (me, freshly grated 36 months old from the Mercato in Nizza Monferrato)

Lots of herbs and spices, salt and pepper

Of course, you can use any other type of vegetables; carrots, eggplants, tomatoes come to mind.

How to?
Cut the veggies in small pieces. Heat the olive oil in a pan and stir-fry the Zucchini, Peppers, Fennel for a few minutes. Then add the onions and stir another 2-3 minutes, add spices and herbs as you like. I used Oregano from Greece and Oman, Thym, Chili and pepper. Do not use salt.
Take the pan from the stove and add the mushrooms. Mix the vegetables well.
In a separate pan, without adding oil, fry the bacon bits until they get a golden color. Add to the vegetables. If you are Vegetarian, refrain from the last step, but you will miss the great taste:-)

Heat the oven to 200c.

Put the dough on a baking tray and cover the base with two tablespoons of cheese.
Mix the remaining cheese with the two eggs and the milk, stir well until the mixture is smooth.

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Now, gently stir the veggies once more so that the mushrooms can soak up liquids, then distribute the mélange on the dough and pour the egg-mixture on top of it, add some more freshly grated Parmesan if you like. Bake for about 40mins.
Serve warm, fresh from the oven!

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And since the oven was heated up, I also made this apple tart for dessert, which goes perfectly well with a spoon of vanilla ice cream!

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Rhubarb Tart à la mode d’isi

Spring time brings back all the healthy fruits and veggies. It has been a long wait until we got asparagus, strawberries and rhubarb back! Today, I bought all of them! Asparagus directly from the fields, the rest in the supermarket.

Here’s my rhubarb recipe, a tart, slightly modified from regular recipes.

Ingredients:
800 g rhubarb, washed, peeled and cut in cubes/bits
1 tart dough (me: Butterkuchenteig Betty B.), any other goes, home-made would be preferable, but I have no time for doing one myself today
2 eggs
2 tbl spoons sugar
2 tbl spoons lemon juice (me: freshly squeezed Amalfi Lemon juice)
1 tbl spoon cinnamon
1 tea-spoon vanilla sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1.5dl cream
2 tbl spoons condensed milk out of the tube (not the liquid one)
1/2 tea-spoon cornstarch
Cocoa
2 meringues
1 tbl spoon desiccated coconut
(Boring alternative to cocoa, meringue and coconut: ground hazelnut)

In a bowl, marinate the rhubarb with the sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and vanilla for at least 1hr. Cover it and let rest in a cool place, but not in the fridge.

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Heat the oven to 210c. Extend the dough in a baking pan of 26cm in diameter. Make thousands of little holes in it with a fork, cover the base with cocoa powder, coconut and the finely crushed meringues ( crushing them is simple, put them in a little plastic bag, close it firmly and bang on it with your fist a few times, et voilà: crushed meringues)!
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Meanwhile, the marinated rhubarb has developed a nice juice, drain it into a glass.
Place the rhubarb bits on the dough and distribute evenly.

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For the topping, beat the eggs into a shaker, add sour cream, cream, condensed milk, a bit of the rhubarb juice and cornstarch (which you have dissolved in a bit of the cream before adding it to the mix n the shaker. Now shake well, like the handsome bartender did in the movie….
Pour the topping over the rhubarb, sprinkle some cocoa on the tart and off it goes into the oven.
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Baking time is approx. 35-40 mins. Watch it closely!
Remove from oven and let cool. Enjoy with a cup of coffee and friends! You can use the remaining rhubarb juice like a syrup and add water, or use it as sweetener for your tea. Yummie!

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