Monday, January 25, 2010

Caramelised apple tarts

This weekend, I decided that I was sick of recipes that start with "Melt butter and chocolate together in a double boiler". And I was in the mood for some kind of apple-y thing. I thought about making apple pie, but then realised I don't own a pie plate. Somewhat problematic in the making of pie... So I trawled through my recipe books, and came up with caramelised apple tarts.

Here's the cast:

Start with the apples:

Peel them:
Quarter them:

Core them:

And slice them thinly:

Then melt the butter in a frying pan:

Add the brown sugar:

And the cinnamon. And marvel at the delicious buttery sugary bokeh in the background:

Then mix it all together until the sugar has dissolved:

Strictly speaking, I dumped the apples in a little too early. But I'm impatient, and it didn't really matter in the long run. And because my awesome new toy has continuous shutter mode, I now present a series called 'Tumbling Apples'. Course, it would have been better if the focus has been the apples rather than the caramel, but it's kind of hard to shoot one handed with an SLR while trying to tip apples into a pan, dammit!!!:

Then stir the apples into the caramel (which is now the right consistency...):
And cook until soft:

When the apples are soft, take this awesome new mixing bowl that Nessa gave me for Christmas:

(Ain't it purdy???)

Stick a strainer in it:

And dump the apple/caramel mixture into it. This lets the caramel sauce drain off so that you can put it on top of the cooked tarts later:

When you've done that, grab the pecans (technically, the recipe calls for ROASTED pecans. But I couldn't find any, and couldn't be bothered roasting them myself. They still worked fine) and chuck them in the food processor:

Add the apple puree:

And the lemon juice:

It's there - trust me!!:

And puree until smooth. Well, smooth-ish. I kind of liked the texture of it. But it does look a bit icky...

Then take two sheets of butter puff pastry. And make a note that the SLR is FAR more sensitive to the downlights in the kitchen than the point and shoot, hence half the photo being really dark:

Cut four rounds from one sheet and place them on a tray. And please pretend that the one on the top right isn't slightly deformed... I didn't have cookie cutters and had to make do with a mug and a knife. It was less than ideal...:

Cut four rounds from the second sheet:

Then cut out the middles to form nice rings. And again, please pretend that one in the top left isn't deformed. I'd half peeled it off the backing before I realised I hadn't taken a photo...

Then brush the rounds with egg:

Then place the rings on top and brush those with egg too:

Fill the centres with the nut mixture:

Then artistically (ha!) place the cooked apple slices on top:

Awww, ain't it fancy lookin'? Actually, it reminds me of potato wedges...
And then stick 'em in the oven. Look! The pastry is starting to puff!! It's great when things do what they claim to on the packet...:
And here they are fresh out of the oven:
Then you take the caramel sauce (that stuff around the edge of the bowl is cinnamon, not anything grody):

And cover the apple slices in caramel sauce:

Sooooo good. It's like pie, but without having to make pastry or own a pie plate!!! And with the addition of cinnamon-y caramel sauce. How is this a bad thing???
K xx :)

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