Apples are available almost all year round in Queensland, but there’s something special about a warm apple pie or apple crumble for dessert in winter. You can also get adventurous and try a savoury apple soup.
Here are three recipes to try on the weekend during the colder months.
To make the pastry, place the flour, butter and sugar in a food processor with a pinch of salt. Process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and two tablespoons chilled water, then process until the mixture comes together to form a smooth ball. Divide into 2 portions, one slightly larger than the other, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, place butter in a large saucepan, add apples, scraped vanilla bean and seeds, sugar and lemon rind and juice. Cook over low heat for 6-8 minutes until just starting to soften.
Mix the cornflour with two tablespoons cold water and stir into apple mixture. Cook foroen1 minute. Remove vanilla bean, strain apples over a colander and discard juices.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease a 19 x 5cm fluted loose-bottomed tart pan. Roll larger piece of pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line base and sides of pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Line the pastry shell with baking paper and fill with rice or pastry weights.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove paper and weights and return to oven for 5 minutes. Allow to cool. Pile apples into pastry. Roll out remaining pastry and press onto top of pie, using your fingers to crimp the edges, making sure edges are well sealed. Use any excess pastry to make decorative pattern for the lid. Brush top with egg, bake for 25 minutes or until cooked and golden. Rest for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Serve with vanilla custard.
This is a wonderful dessert or to enjoy as an indulgence on a lazy afternoon.
1½ cups (225G) plain flour
¾ cup (165G) caster sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (90G) rolled oats
225G unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Place the apple, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon in a large bowl and mix to combine. Transfer to a 1.5-litre-capacity ovenproof dish.
To make the crumble topping, place the flour, sugar, cinnamon, oats and butter in a large bowl and mix until just combined.
Spoon the crumble mixture over the apple and place the dish on a large baking tray. Bake for 40–45 minutes, or until the crumble is golden and the apples are soft. Serve with vanilla ice-cream. Serves six.
This healthy soup is sweetened by the apple, so your kids will enjoy it too. Note: don’t peel the apple or de-stem the kale, as the roughage is good for you.
Wash the kale and remove the bottom inch of stem. Chop roughly into 3cm pieces.
In a large pan over medium heat, sauté the pancetta for 1 minute or until just barely showing colour. Add the kale and stir to coat with rendered fat. (Add a splash of olive oil if pancetta doesn’t render enough fat to keep the kale from sticking to the pan.) Cook, stirring, until the kale begins to wilt, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups chicken stock, lower heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a blender; or blend with an immersion blender. (Fill the blender no more than halfway; puree in two batches if necessary.) Puree, starting on the lowest speed, until smooth. Puree the second batch if necessary. Pour into a large bowl and set aside.
In the same pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and cook the onions with the salt until the onions just barely show colour, stirring for about 3 minutes. Add the chopped apple and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until the apple softens and onions are translucent. Stir in the remaining broth.
Transfer the mixture to the blender, splitting into two batches if necessary. Puree until smooth.
Combine the pureed apple and onion mixture with the kale mixture, and whisk to combine. If soup seems too thick, add more stock or water until it reaches the desired consistency.
Reheat if necessary, and serve garnished with a dollop of crème fraîche, mascarpone cheese, or plain yogurt and a few grinds of black pepper. Yum.