Tag Archives: apple

Roast Fillets of Pork with Prune and Apple

Our default Sunday lunch is Roast Chicken and John is the one who makes this weekly treat, served with Yorkshires and roasted root vegetables (already blogged) but last week, I fancied a change and had seen this recipe in a magazine. The pork is fabulous: the meat is moist and succulent and the stuffing, flavoured with sage, prunes and apples, is simply sublime. The finishing touch is the wonderful crispy Parma ham that is the wrapping to this rather wonderful gift of a lunch. Definitely put this one on your Sunday lunch list – you won’t regret it!!!

Serves 6 – 8

What you need…

1 x baking tin, lined with baking parchment

Knob of butter

1 large onion, roughly chopped

1 medium Bramley apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped

Sausagemeat from 3 pork sausages

50g ready-to-eat dried prunes, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped

Sea salt and black pepper

2 x 450g pork fillets

8 slices Parma ham

for the gravy

300ml boiling water from the kettle

1 x chicken stockpot (I use Knorr)

2 tablespoons flour

100g chicken gravy granules

200ml apple juice

A good slosh of Marsala wine

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6.

First, make the stuffing. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a high heat, add the onion and sauté for 1 minute. Pop on the lid and sweat over a low heat for 15 minutes until soft. Add the apple and stir for a few moments. Set aside.

Put the sausagemeat, prunes and sage into a bowl. Season and then add the onion and apple. Stir to thoroughly incorporate.

Cover a large board with cling film. Place the pork fillets on top and then cover them with cling film. Take a rolling pin and bash the fillets until they are roughly one third thinner than when they started. Remove the cling film and spread the stuffing on one fillet, placing the other one on the top of the stuffing.

Onto your baking tin, lay eight slices of Parma ham, slightly overlapping and sit the fillets on the top so they lay across the ham. Roll up like a roulade so that the Parma ham is sealed underneath. My Parma ham kept breaking up so I produced more of a patchwork effect but that didn’t seem to spoil the overall appearance, so just go with the flow.

Pop your pork into the oven and roast for about 1 hour, until crispy and cooked through. Transfer to a warmed serving plate to rest.

Whilst your pork is cooking, turn your attention to the gravy. First, make your stock by using a balloon whisk to dissolve the stockpot into the boiling water. Into a hot saucepan tip the flour and then, over a high heat, gradually tip in the stock, thoroughly whisking in each addition before adding any more. Once all the stock is in, pour in the apple juice. This then, was the end of Mary’s recipe. We however thought that the gravy was too sweet and a little light on body so we tweaked as follows: tip the gravy granules into a large jug and then whisk in some of the hot stock/apple juice mixture. Gradually add all the liquid to the granules, whisking as you go and then pour it all back into the saucepan. Bring to the boil and then slosh in some Marsala. Taste. Season and add more Marsala to taste – pretty damned good!!!

Serve your pork in slices with the gravy – absolutely delightful and very, very moreish!

Inspired by…

Mary Berry

How easy…

The pork itself is dead easy. As you can see though, we struggled a bit with the gravy. For us, Mary’s version was too sweet. We were however very happy with the tweaked version which was a rich and smooth with a gentle sweetness from the apple juice. My advice would be to make the pork following the instructions and then to make your own favourite gravy, adding a little apple juice to it!

 

 

Warm Salad of Scallops, Black Pudding, Bacon and Apples

This warm salad of scallops, black pudding, bacon and apples is just fabulous! The so very savoury bacon and earthy distinctiveness of black pudding contrast beautifully with the buttery caramelised apples and the delicate flavours of the scallops. Equally, the dressing is a lovely combination of sharp intermingled with sweet – the whole thing works spectacularly well and this just makes for a really great treat of an autumnal salad. Give it a go – yummy!

Serves 4

What you need…

3 firm apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges

50g unsalted butter

Pinch of caster sugar

6 slices back bacon, chopped

12 large, fresh scallops

200g black pudding, skinned and sliced

100g of your favourite mixed salad leaves

Sea salt and black pepper

for the dressing

3 teaspoons wholegrain mustard

3 teaspoons maple syrup

6 teaspoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons rapeseed oil

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

Arrange your salad leaves on a serving plate and set aside.

For the dressing, tip all the ingredients into screw-top jar, put the lid on tightly and shake like mad to combine thoroughly. Season, shake again. Taste. Set aside if you’re happy with the seasoning.

Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the apples and sugar. Season with salt and pepper and toss the apples around gently to evenly coat. Cook over a moderate heat for 7 – 8 minutes, turning occasionally, until they are caramelised all over. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat another frying pan and cook the bacon over moderate heat for 1-2 minutes to release some of the fat. Whack up the heat to high and stir-fry until lovely and crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove from the pan and pop onto a piece of kitchen paper. Set aside.

Pour most of the fat away from the frying pan and return to a high heat. Add the scallops and sear for 2 minutes, seasoning as you go. Flip them over and then add the black pudding, cooking it for 1 minute on each side. Again, using a slotted spoon remove the scallops and black pudding from the pan and pop them on the kitchen paper with the bacon.

Tip or arrange your bacon, scallops and black pudding over the salad leaves. Add the lovely caramelised apples and then give your dressing another mad shake before drizzling it over the lot. Put in the middle of the table and let everyone dive in – it’s bloody gorgeous and so far removed from any normal association with any salad!!!! Enjoy!

Inspired by…

Delicious magazine

How easy…

Quick cooking, just 2 frying pans and a jam jar to clear; and an assembly job – dead easy!

 

 

Apple and Blackberry Pie

Historically, I have made my apple and blackberry pies by rolling out ready-made pastry and chucking into the pie dish chopped raw Bramley apples with blackberries, sprinkling with sugar, topping with pastry and whopping in the oven: we all thought these were fine. So, when I saw this recipe, I did think it involved a lot of faffing about, but… the difference is phenomenal! The pie is so very, very delicious: sweet, scrumptious apple given an extra depth of flavour and warmth by the addition of cinnamon and ginger and the lovely Autumnal blackberries with the cheeky little zing of the orange zest – a wonderful combination that brings in one mouthful everything that is wonderful about this lovely season! Give it a go!

Serves 6 – 8 (if you’re conservative with your portion sizes!)

What you need…

1 x 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin, lightly buttered and lined on the bottom with parchment paper or Bake O Glide

1 x baking sheet

750g short crust pastry (ready-made or home-made – see recipe for Lemon Tart, already blogged: you will need double the quantity)

3 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped

150g golden caster sugar plus extra for sprinkling

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

50g unsalted butter

Pinch salt

200g blackberries

Zest from ¼ large orange

1 egg, lightly beaten

What to do…

Roll half the pastry to the thickness of a pound coin and line the base of your tart tin, trimming the pastry so that there is a little overhanging. Prick the base, line with parchment paper and fill with baking beans. Pop in the fridge for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, put the apples, sugar, spices, butter and salt in a saucepan over a low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Raise the heat to moderate and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft. Remove from the heat, tip in the blackberries and orange zest. Stir gently to evenly incorporate and set aside to cool.

Preheat your oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas 4. Put the tart tin on the baking sheet and pop in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the parchment and baking beans and bake for a further 10 minutes. Brush the inside of the case with beaten egg and return to the oven for 2 minutes. Cool briefly and then, using a serrated knife, trim the overhanging pastry.

Roll out the remaining pastry again to a pound coin thickness and then cut into strips – mine were just over 1 cm wide. Brush the rim of the pastry case with beaten egg and then, using a slotted spoon, (we don’t want any soggy bottoms) add the fruit to the case. Use the strips to make a lattice topping, trimming the edges level with the pie case. Brush the lattice topping generously with beaten egg and then sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Remove, sprinkle with a little more sugar and then cool for at least 15 minutes. Remove from the tin and serve with double cream (if you’re John) or as it comes (if you’re me). Taste the very best flavours of Autumn – yum, yum, yum!

Tip…

For illustrations on easily creating a lattice topping for your pie, see my blogged Chicken, Mushroom and Leek Lattice Pie, inspired by our national treasure, Mary Berry.

Inspired by…

My Waitrose magazine

How easy…

It’s not difficult but there is quite a lot of faffing around so you do need the time available but hey, it’s worth it!

Plum and Apple Crumble Tart

Serves 8 – 10

I saw Mary Berry do this as part of the James Martin Saturday Kitchen show last month and was very taken with the lusciousness look of her version (with blackberries and apple). A pastry case together with a sweet, crunchy, nutty crumble topping and filled with the soft, sweet fruit – what a lovely combination for a dreary January day! I will just say that my tart tin is a full 5cms smaller than hers, as well as being shallower, but, as is my way, I kept the ingredients quantities roughly similar to her recipe, hence, whilst Mary’s tart was neat and flat, mine was mountainous and rather rustic-looking! That said, it tastes absolutely gorgeous and definitely fulfils the need for a little indulgent, comfort food – another one of those dishes that gets left on the side for a couple of hours after serving, with a handy spoon available just to check that it’s still ok…..

What you need…

1 x 28cm loose-bottomed, fluted tart tin, 3-4 cms deep, lightly buttered

Baking beans

for the pastry

225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

125g cold butter, cut into cubes

30g caster sugar

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 – 2 tablespoons water

for the filling

2 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks

150g caster sugar

2 tablespoons water

500g plums, stoned and quartered

for the crumble topping

175g plain flour

100g cold butter, cut into cubes

50g rolled oats

100g demerara sugar

50g chopped almonds

What to do…

For the pastry, whizz the flour and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, egg and water and whizz again until the mixture comes together as a smooth dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured worktop and roll it out into a circle that’s about 3mm thick and large enough to line the tart tin base and sides. Press the pastry into the base and side of the tin and make a small lip around the top with the excess pastry. Prick the base all over with a fork and then pop in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6.

Line the chilled pastry case with baking/parchment paper and baking beans, then pop in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the lip of the pastry is light golden-brown. Remove the baking beans and paper and reduce the oven to 150°c / 300°f / gas 2 and bake for a further 8-10 minutes or until the pastry is a light golden brown all over. Set aside to cool.

Increase the oven temperature back up to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6.

While the pastry is cooking, prepare the filling: place the apples, sugar and water into a medium saucepan and cook over a moderate heat, stirring regularly, for 5 minutes. Cover the pan, and simmer gently for a further 5 minutes. Mix in the plums, pop the lid back on and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Whilst the pastry and filling are cooling, make the crumble topping by popping all the ingredients into your processor (great to use it twice in one recipe without the need for washing up!) Whizz until everything is evenly mixed together and crumb-like.

Drain your cooked fruits through a colander, collecting the juice in a bowl for later. Spoon the fruit into the pastry case. Sprinkle over the crumble topping, covering all the filling and bake the tart for 20 – 25 minutes or until the crumble is crisp and golden brown.

Serve your plum and apple crumble the tart warm, with a little of the reserved fruit juice and some double cream or custard. Simply yummy!

Inspired by…

Mary Berry, Absolute Christmas Favourites

How easy….

Very easy – like Delia, Mary Berry is very precise with her instructions. I’m always a bit nervous about pastry but this was dead easy and absolutely lovely!

Roast Breast of Duck with Plum and Apple Tarte Tatin

A fabulous Autumnal treat that looks and tastes so sumptuous and actually isn’t that difficult to make. Whoever you make it for will be very appreciative! It’s rich and ever so slightly decadent!

Serves 4

What you need…

1 tartlet tin, with 4 8cm holes, greased

1 9-cm cookie cutter

200g ready-made puff pastry (unless you’re on Bake Off, who has the time to make it?!)

2 apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped

2 plums, stoned and roughly chopped

5 little knobs of butter

4 dessertspoons of honey

30g shallots, chopped

250ml port

500ml chicken/game stock (made from a stock pot and water)

4 duck breasts, similarly sized

225g spinach

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

Preheat the oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6.

Score the skin on the duck breasts in a crisscross pattern and season well. Put aside for the moment.

Making the jus/sauce: melt the first knob of butter in a saucepan and add the shallots, cooking for five minutes on a low heat. Add the port and stock and reduce until the sauce coats the back of the spoon – about 15 minutes. Set to one side – it doesn’t have to be boiling hot to serve but you may want to reheat just before serving to make sure it’s still runny rather than starting to set.

Making your tarte tatins: in your tartlet tin, place a knob of butter in the centre of each ‘mould’ and pour over one dessertspoon honey over each one. Mix together the apple and plums and then take a handful of the mixed fruit, piling it on top of the honey and butter.

Roll out the pastry to a thickness of 5mm and, using your cookie cutter, cut out four 9cm circles and place over the top of the fruit, tucking the sides in so that you have four upside down tarts. Pop in the oven for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, take a heavy frying pan, turn the hob heat up to a medium high heat and cook the duck breast, skin side down, in the dry pan for about nine minutes, then turn the breast over and cook for a further six minutes. Keep an eye on it – it can scorch quite easily (as evidenced in my photogograph!)

Towards the end of the duck cooking time, wilt the spinach in a pot with just a couple of spoonfuls of water and little salt for two minutes.

To serve, place a mound of spinach on each plate and top with one tarte tatin, removed from the tin and served fruit side up. Put the duck on the plate and drizzle the jus/sauce around the plate.

Delicious doesn’t cover it! This recipe for Roast Breast of Duck with Plum and Apple Tarte Tatin is a rich, lovely treat, ideal for dinner party. Halve the ingredients and make a sumptuous romantic dinner for two.

Tips…

You’ll have some pastry left over – you could always re-roll it and create another few fruit tatins but for use as desserts or perhaps a couple of Apple Roses (see my other recipes).

I use Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients frozen chopped shallots – quick and saves all that crying!

Inspired by…

Julian Owen-Mold

How easy…

It’s really easy providing the duck breasts are the same size and therefore cook evenly during the same time. It’s quite smelly and the hob will be a mess at the end, but it’s worth it and surely, if you’ve done the cooking, someone else should clear up!

 

Apple and Almond Cake with Cinnamon and Nutmeg

A lovely, moist cake with a layer of apple running through the middle, this cake simply exudes Autumn for me and the combination of the apple with the cinnamon and nutmeg is made in heaven!

Serves 12

What you need…

3 Granny Smith apples

6 large eggs

335g dark soft brown sugar

335g butter

340g self-raising flour

55g ground almonds

1½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons good-quality apple sauce

for the decoration

2 tablespoons flaked almonds

Icing sugar

Ground cinnamon

What to do…

Grease a 10in/25cm round cake tin (with a removable bottom for easy cake extraction) and preheat oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas 4.

Put the eggs, sugar and butter into a food processor/electric mixer and mix thoroughly.

Add the flour, ground almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg and apple sauce, mixing together until lump-free.

Peel, core and thinly slice the apples.

Arrange one third of the sliced apples around the bottom of the tin – fanned and slightly overlapping. Pour half the batter on top and then arrange a second third of the apples. Pour over the remaining batter and then arrange the rest of the apples. Scatter over a handful of flaked almonds.

Bake for 60 – 75 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then ease out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Mix together the icing sugar and cinnamon in an icing sugar shaker and dust over the top of the cake with the remaining flaked almonds. Your yummy, gorgeous apple and almond cake with cinnamon and nutmeg is now ready to be indulged: kettle on, comfy chair, some relaxing music and a slice of delicious cake: a little indulgence goes a long way!

Where from…

Chinskitchen.co.uk, published in The Daily Telegraph

How easy…

Dead easy. Process and let it cook itself!