19 July 2009

Apple Crumble and Tartlets

Somehow I cannot get away from the pastry theme today. Mind you, I am posting, not eating all of this today! Apple crumble is clearly our all time favorite. Of course, I have to fiddle with the recipe all the time but there are two version I keep returning to. Basically, you need apples and a crumble mixture consisting of equal amounts of butter and sugar rubbed into twice the amount of flour. Part of the flour you can substitute with ground nuts, spelt or anything similar.

The simple crumble:

Quarter and core but do not skin some red apples - how many depends of the size of your dish -, cut into small pieces and put in an oven-proof dish. Sprinkle with sugar if you like. Knead 100 g of flour, 50 g of butter and 50 g of sugar to make your crumble mixture, top the apples with it and bake at 180 C until golden, about 25 min.s.

The exotic crumble:

Prepare your apples with or without the skin, as you prefer, and sweat them down in a little butter with cinnamon and sugar. Put in an oven-proof dish. Knead 50 g of flour, 50 g of ground hazelnuts, 50 g of butter and 50 g of lavender-infused sugar to make your crumble mixture, top the apples with it and bake at 180 C until golden, about 25 min.s.

O you little (apple) tarts!

For the pastry, mix 120 g of flour, 60 g of butter and 2 table spoons of sugar to dry crumbs, then add one egg to bind. Leave the pastry in the fridge for 30 min.s if you can. Meanwhile prepare the filling. I use a mixture of raw apple pieces and apple puree.

Skin, core and cut 4 tart apples, mix with a little sugar and a minimal amount of water and boil until very soft. You may puree it or leave it somewhat coarser. I like to add enough sugar to have a relatively sweet puree. Then skin and core another two apples (tart ones, of course) and cut into small chunks, add to the puree. This will give a lovely contrast, providing sweet smoothness with a tart bite.

Roll out your pastry and line bottoms and sides of a muffin tin, and cut out a matching number of pastry lids (I manage about 7 on this amount). Fill the pastry cases and put their lids on, sealing the edges. Don't forget to make a few little holes to let steam out. Bake c. 20 min.s at 180 C.

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