Cinnamon Apple Biscuit Parcels!

I love apple pie but like Paul and Mary (Hollywood and Berry), I cannot abide a soggy bottom.

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With that in mind, I decided to make individual apple parcels.

My thought was that they would be baked directly on a baking sheet rather than in a tin/plate, thereby preventing any soggy bottoms.

I also like the apple to look like apple not a brown sludge, so I added the flavour to the pastry rather than the apples.

The pastry is flavoured with cinnamon and handled so lightly that it tastes more like a crisp biscuit than pastry.

The picture is a little rustic, I grant you, but I didn’t want to waste any of the pastry by cutting it off and it was delicious.

 

Ingredients

225g plain flour

100g cold butter

25g golden caster sugar

1 generous teaspoon of cinnamon

2 – 3 table spoons of icy cold water

1 pinch of salt

5 Bramley apples – peeled, cored and chopped into 2cm cubes

1 table spoon of granulated sugar and a little more for sprinkling

Method

Step 1  – The Pastry

Sieve the cinnamon and flour together and either rub the butter in or,

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If you have a food processor, mix it all together until it resembles breadcrumbs.

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Don’t worry about the dark colour, this is biscuit pastry after all.

Add the water slowly to the breadcrumbs until they come together to form a dough.

Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.

Step 2 – The Apples

Gently heat the apples and granulated sugar until they form a lumpy purée.

Leave to cool.

Step 3 -The Construction

Pre heat the oven to 190 degrees.

Take the pastry from the fridge and divide into 8 pieces.

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This is really important because you will only roll the pieces out once and that will ensure a biscuit type of finish.

Roll each piece out into a thin disc and add a good spoonful of the apple purée to the middle.

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Fold over, seal with milk around the edges and press down with a fork.

Use the milk to coat the outside and sprinkle with the remaining granulated sugar.

Place side by side on a baking sheet.

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until the pastry has browned.

The kitchen will smell divine!

Enjoy with either ice cream, whipped cream or custard!

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Have a lovely day!

Pasta Arrabiata!

 

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This is one of my favourite pasta sauces to order when we are out. Everywhere seems to have a different spin on it. I like to add whatever vegetables I have around, this time I had some spinach and it made a lovely addition.

Served with garlic bread, it’s a quick and simple, but satisfying dinner!

 

Ingredients

Glug of Olive oil

2 white onions finely chopped

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

200ml vegetable stock

1 teaspoon crushed chilli

1 handful of Spinach

1 packet penne packet cooked to al dente as per packet instructions

Grated cheese to serve

Method

1. Sauté the onions in the olive oil until translucent

2. Add the tomatoes and vegetable stock

3. Add the crushed chilli to taste but no more than 1 teaspoon

4. Add the spinach and reduce the heat to a simmer

5. Simmer for about 15 minutes, meanwhile cook the pasta

6.  When the sauce is reduced add the cooked pasta, mix and serve with grated cheese

 

Enjoy!

 

Have a lovely day!

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Minestrone soup Eastham style!

image If you are expecting a recipe for the ‘proper’ Italian version, you may be disappointed. But bare with….. This might be worth a try! This is my version of a lot of different recipes that have morphed together over time. I’m not sure where I got each bit – it’s been so long.

If you think you recognise it, please let me know and I will link it appropriately but I am pretty confident it’s a mash up.

It is a really simple soup to make and don’t be put off by the list of ingredients, they are mostly store cupboard staples.

I make this in a slow cooker, I can just throw it all in and then pop out, usually for a walk and return to a wonderfully smelling kitchen. image Ingredients

1 glug of olive oil

2 chopped red onions

1 teaspoon of dried thyme

2 or 3 cloves of minced garlic (depends on your taste)

2 or 3 diced carrots (depends on size)

2 sticks of diced celery

1.5 litres of vegetable stock

1 or 2 table spoons of tomatoe purée

1 can of chick peas  (you could use cannelloni beans if you want to make it a bit nearer the Italian version)

1 or 2 bay leaves (depends on taste)

75g of macaroni pasta shapes

Method

1. Add the onions to the heated oil in a pan and sauté for about 5 mins without letting them brown

2. Add the dried thyme to the onions sauté for a couple of minutes

3. Add the carrots, celery and garlic to the onions and sauté for 5 minutes image 4. Add the stock, tomato purée , chick peas and bay leaves to the pan and bring to the boil image 5. Transfer it all to a slow cook and cook on high for about 2/3 hours

6. Add pasta to the slow cooker about 30 minutes before you want to eat

7. Enjoy!