Apple Amber

Apple Amber

 

A shortcrust pastry flan is filled with a cooked apple filling and topped with meringue.

 

Apple Amber
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 45 minutes
  • Chilling time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour

  • Ingredients
  • For the shortcrust pastry
  • 225g (8 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour (1¾ cups)
  • pinch salt
  • 55g (2 oz) butter, cubed (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 55g (2 oz) shortening, cubed (¼ cup)
  • 8 tsp cold water

  • For the filling
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) water
  • 100g (3½ oz) sugar (½ cup)
  • 450g (1 lb) granny smith apples (about 3 medium)
  • strip of lemon rind
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • 28g (1 oz) butter (2 tbsp)
  • 2 egg yolks (reserve the whites for the meringue)

  • For the meringue
  • 2 egg whites
  • 55g (2 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¼ cup)

  • You will also need a 20.5 cm (8 inch) loose bottomed flan case and a baking tray/sheet.


  1. Method
  2. For the pastry
  3. Sieve the flour and salt into a large bowl.

  4. Rub the butter and shortening into the flour until there are no lumps and the mixture resembles fresh breadcrumbs.

  5. Now sprinkle the water evenly over the surface (if the water is added unevenly, it can cause blistering when the pastry is cooked). Then, using a pallet knife, bring the mixture together.

  6. Once it starts to clump together, remove from the bowl and knead lightly to form a firm, smooth dough.

  7. Pop in a plastic bag or cover with cling film/plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes.

  8. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F (225°C) (gas 7).

  9. Now, on a floured surface, roll out the pastry in one direction only, turning it occasionally. Then line the flan case and trim the edges to neaten. Prick the base of the pastry with the tines of a fork to make sure no air gets trapped underneath the pastry.

  10. Bake blind for 15 minutes. Then remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 300°F (150°C) (gas 3).

  11. For the filling
  12. While the pastry is cooking start preparing the filling.

  13. In a medium-sized pan make a sugar syrup by gently dissolving the sugar in the water over a low heat.

  14. While the sugar in dissolving, peel, core and cut the apples into small chunks.

  15. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the apples along with the strip of lemon rind and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes until the apples have softened but still hold their shape.

  16. Drain the apples and then add the butter. Stir to melt the butter into the apples, mashing them slightly. Now add the egg yolks and mix in.

  17. Once the flan case has cooled, carefully remove the pastry case and sit it on a baking tray/sheet. Fill with the apple.

  18. For the meringue
  19. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Then gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, whisking well between each addition, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.

  20. Pile the meringue on top the apple, making sure it completely covers the filling. Finally pull the meringue up into peaks using the tip of a knife.

  21. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. The meringue will be crisp and lightly browned on the outside but still soft on the inside.

 

Salmon and Prawn/Shrimp Filo Pie

Salmon and Prawn/Shrimp Filo Pie

 

This is one of my favourite fish pies which is really good to serve to guests as it looks so scrumptious and different when baked. Filo pastry keeps it light and is used in a decorative way as a topping. The herby cream cheese filling which is added to cubes of salmon and prawns/shrimp is so smooth and delicious too.

 

Salmon and Prawn/Shrimp Filo Pie
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 45 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes
  • Resting time: 12 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 3 sheets filo* pastry
  • 40g (1½ oz) butter, melted (3 tbsp)
  • 450g (1 lb) salmon, skinned and cubed
  • 200ml crème fraîche
  • 200g cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs, medium (U.K.)/large (N.A.)
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill or tarragon, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 115g (4 oz) large prawns/shrimp, cooked

  • *filo pastry is also known as phyllo pastry

  • Serve with a green salad.

  • You will need a 20cm (8 in) loose-bottomed flan tin, 3.75cm (1½ inches) deep, buttered, and a baking sheet. Also a deep sided frying pan/skillet.


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) gas 6.

  3. Pop the baking sheet in the oven to heat up while preparing the pie.

  4. Now bring some water to the boil in the frying pan/skillet. It will need to be deep enough to cover the salmon. Then add the salmon and bring back to the boil. Immediately remove from the heat, cover the pan/skillet and leave for the water to poach the salmon, about 2–3 minutes, until it is just cooked.

  5. With a slotted spoon, remove the salmon and leave on a plate to cool completely.

  6. Meanwhile, beat together the crème fraîche, cream cheese, eggs, herbs, and seasoning until the mixture is smooth.

  7. Take two of the sheets of pastry, cut them in half to give four sheets. Brush one sheet with melted butter, then lay a second sheet on top, rotating it slightly so the edges don’t line up. Brush this sheet with melted butter. Now lay a third sheet on top, again rotating it slightly, and brush with butter. Lay the fourth sheet on top, slightly rotated.

  8. Lift the pastry layers and line the flan tin, gently pressing the pastry down into the tin. The edges of the pastry should extend over the rim. Now brush the top layer of pastry with melted butter.

  9. Brush the remaining piece of pastry with melted butter and put to one side.

  10. Place the salmon cubes over the pastry and then add the prawns/shrimps.

  11. Pour over the cream mixture.

  12. Now bring the edges of the pastry up over the the filling around the edge, leaving it roughly scrunched up.

  13. Tear the remaining piece of pastry into long strips. Scrunch these up and use them to cover the exposed filling.

  14. Place the flan tin on the hot baking sheet and loosely cover with foil. Then bake in the oven for 25 minutes.

  15. Remove the foil and continue baking for a further 5 minutes until the pastry is crisp and turning golden in colour.

  16. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes for the filling to set.

  17. Now carefully lift the pie from the tin but leave on the base. Let it cool for 2 minutes then gently slide off the base.

  18. Serve cut into wedges along with a green salad.

  19. Notes:
  20. Filo pastry dries out very quickly, so keep it covered until it is needed to be used.

  21. As the pastry does not contain any fat it can be refrozen. Remove the packet from the freezer to thaw, keeping it covered. Then when the pastry is needed, unroll it and remove the 3 sheets. Now carefully roll the pastry back up, return it to its wrapping and place back in the freezer.

 

Baked Apple and Orange Pudding

Baked Apple and Orange Pudding

 

Apple slices are baked within an orange-flavoured moist sponge and then dredged with icing/powdered sugar to serve.

 

Baked Apple and Orange Pudding
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 2 Bramley cooking apples, or 2 large apples suitable for cooking
  • 55g (2 oz) butter (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 115g (4 oz) caster/superfine sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 1 medium orange, zest and juice
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), separated
  • 55g (2 oz) self raising/self rising flour (⅓ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) milk (1¼ cups)
  • icing/powdered sugar for dredging

  • You will also need a 23cm (9 inch) round, shallow baking dish


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5)

  3. Cream the butter, sugar, and orange zest together until light and fluffy. Then beat in the egg yolks. Next fold in the flour and cinnamon.

  4. Stir in the milk and orange juice until well combined. The mixture will tend to curdle at this stage but don’t be concerned.

  5. Whisk the egg whites until just before they reach the soft peak stage, then gently fold into the mixture.

  6. Put to one side while preparing the apples.

  7. Peel the apples and core with an apple corer to keep them whole. Then thinly slice crossways and layer them in the baking dish in circles.

  8. Now pour the pudding mixture over the apples.

  9. Place the dish on a baking tray and bake above the centre of the oven for about 40 minutes until the top is set and golden in colour.

  10. Dredge with icing/powdered sugar just before serving.

 

Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp

 

A classic simple dish of apples with a crumbly topping baked in the oven until the apple juices are bubbling and the topping is crisp. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Delicious.

 

Apple Crisp
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the apples
  • 450g (1 lb) apples (3 medium)
  • 70g (2½ oz) granulated/white sugar (⅓ cup)

  • For the topping
  • 55g (2 oz) flour, sifted (⅓ cup)
  • 55g (2 oz) porridge oats/rolled oats (⅔ cup)
  • 70g (2½ oz) light muscovado/soft brown sugar (⅓ cup)
  • pinch salt
  • 55g (2 oz) butter, melted (¼ cup, or ½ stick)

  • You will also need a 2 pint ovenproof dish measuring 25 × 15cm (9 × 6 inches)


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5)

  3. Peel and core the apples. Slice them fairly thinly and place in a bowl with the sugar. Toss together and then spread over the base of the ovenproof dish.

  4. Mix together the first four ingredients of the topping. Pour the butter over the top and mix in until the mixture has become crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over the apples.

  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until the apples are tender and the juices are bubbling around the edge.

  6. Best served with ice cream or whipped cream.