Saturday, January 12, 2008

Apple and ginger tart

Made this last night: friend came round for simple Sunday night dinner. I was wondering what to cook, and possibly as a result of reading too much Elizabeth David (new series starting on the ABC tonight: all about her life and times) and Simon Hopkinson and watching Rick Stein's Mediterranean Escapes show on cable, I regressed back to French. Easy, worry-free, comforting.
The main was some pieces of juicy rump that the Annerley butcher cut for me. I marinated them for a few hours in a tiny bit of peanut oil and some slivers of garlic, to add flavour. No salt at all. With that we served these potatoes (AGAIN...but they're so good!) except this time, I added some baby brown onions, peeled, omitted the garlic, and added a sprinkle each of sugar and salt. The onions caramelised up really well and added their flavour to the potatoes. I served a salad separately. It had baby spinach, watercress, butter lettuce, radish and Lebanese cucumber in it with a light vinaigrette dressing.
Afterwards we had this simple apple and ginger tart. In retrospect, I should have had the oven on hotter: the pastry didn't crisp evenly and I was a bit unimpressed with that. However, I thought the tart itself was sound. Worth making again.
Apple and ginger tart

  • 3 big green apples
  • One thumb of new (pink) ginger, grated (or the same of old, but use more and peel it first)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Frozen puff pastry ( I used half of one sheet)
  • Apple schnapps or cognac, about 2 tablespoons

Peel and slice the apples so that they form half-moon shapes. Put them into a saucepan with the grated ginger and just cover with water. Add the sugar and bring to the boil: poach the apples for one minute. Lift out the apples and set aside. Drain the syrup to remove the ginger. Put the drained syrup back on the heat: add the schnapps. Boil and reduce to a medium syrup: not too dark or thick though. Let it cool. Pour it back over the apples. At this point you could store the syrupy apples in the fridge until you decide to make the tart.

Preheat oven to 200C. Lay a sheet of puff pastry on baking paper on a baking tray. Arrange the slices however you like. I do mine in two little overlapping rows. Paint the apples with a bit of the syrup. Bake the tart for about twenty minutes or half an hour, until the pastry is puffed and golden to your liking. Brush a little more syrup over before serving, or just hand the syrup round in a jug.

I served mine with slightly sweetened whipped cream, flavoured with maple syrup. If I did this again I would lose the syrup and the whipping. I would have the cream plain in a bowl nearby.

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