Apple pie

Apple pie

Easy apple pie

Easy apple pie

Apple pie is realy so simple to make these days with frozen pastry available so freely in supermarkets. This is a really fantastic apple pie recipe with a caramel type sauce that cooks the apples. I’s sweet, like apple pie should be aitha nice cinnamon smell that will really mess with your senses.

What you need

500g frozen shortcrust pastry thawed
6 red apples
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
6 tablespoons soft butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch salt
Pie dish 23 cm

The process

Heat your oven to 220 Celsius

Take the pie dish and line it with a layer of pastry that reaches just over the edges of the pie dish. You should not need to roll it or anything.

Slice your apples into wedge shapes that are about 1cm at the base and fill the pie case.

Make 8 strips of pastry that are about 3 or 4cm wide with what is left over of the pastry and criss cross them over the top leaving spaces in between. Then fold over and squeeze the edges all the way round to seal the edge and join the strips to the edges.

In a pot on a high heat add the water, butter, sugars, salt and cinnamon and bring to the boil and remove from the heat.

Take a serving spoon or ladel and spoon the sauce over the pie, ensuring that the lattice you have created is well doused in the caramel sauce.

Place in the oven for 15 minutes at 220 Celsius then reduce the oven to 160 and bake for another 40 minutes.

Be sure to let it cool completely before cutting, the caramel sauce and apples are seriously hot and if you have ever had a hot sugar burn you will know what I am talking about.

Serve with ice cream are whipped cream and if you love pies, you must try the lemon meringue pie recipe

Banana fritters

Banana fritters

banana-frittersBanana friters are a fantastic winter dessert and this recipe can be used for any firm fruit, make banana, apple or even pineapple fritters. They are best served with a really good ice cream. (4 servings)

What you need

4 bananas ends removed and cut in half
2 cups self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarb of soda
1 1/2 cups water
cake flour
Oil for deep frying

Cinnamon and caster sugar for dusting.

The process

Sift together the self raising flour and the bicarb of soda into a bowl. Add the water and mix to form a smooth batter.

Heat about 5cm of oil in a pot on a medium heat.

Place the cake flour on a plate and roll the banana pieces to coat, then drop them into the batter, remove and allow the excess batter to drip off.

Place them in the hot oil and cook until golden brown and slightly puffed up.

remove and drain on paper kitchen towel.

Put 2 pieces per serving, dust with a mixture of caster sugar and cinnamon and serve with a dollop of ice cream.

Yummy

If you are a banana fan, here is a hot banana pudding recipe and a banana bread recipe

Mango salsa

Mango salsa

mango-salsa

Mango salsa

While the weather is still so warm I thought I would do a real old favorite which is great with fish, chicken or even on the side of a curry. You can quite easily substitute the mango with pawpaw for something a little different. I often add other things like finely chopped pears to it when having with pork chops or a red chili finely sliced when having chicken breasts, so this is a base for you to start from, then just follow your taste buds.(enough for 4 people)

What you need

1 large ripe mango
3 spring onions finely chopped (you can use 1/2 a onion finely chopped)
palm of flatleaf parsley chopped
1/2 red pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
squeeze of lemon
pinch of salt

The process

Cut the mango into small cubes, finely slice the spring onion or chop the onion, red pepper, and parsley and add to a bowl.

Mix them up to combine the flavors. (If you are adding anything extra do it now)

sprinkle over a teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of salt, squeeze over some lemon juice and gently mix to coat everything in the little juice.

Taste and season accordingly then place in the fridge covered until you need it.

Tip: The best way to cube a mango is to cut as close as possible on either side of the pip so you have 2 pieces with skin still on. Then there are 2 methods to remove the flesh.

1. Work a spoon along the inside of the skin to loosen the flesh and remove, chop it up.

2. Cut the flesh toward the skin lengthways and then horizontally to form a criss cross pattern being careful not to cut through the skin, then turn the skin up by pressing your thumbs into the base of the skin exposing the cubes, run a knife along the skin to remove. (Your kids may know these as hedgehogs- easiest way to eat a mango)

Pears with walnuts

Pears with walnuts

pears and walnut

Pear Walnut Dessert

These are good as a dessert and are also really great with strong cheeses or as part of a cold summer lunch platter of cheeses, cold meats and salads. I saw Nigella do these and they were so simple I just had to try them and must say they are really fantastic.

There are a whole lot of fabulous Dessert recipes for you to try in the Desserts section, give a few a try.

What you need

2 or 3 pears cut into 8ths
125ml marsala
2 tablespoons honey
Handful of unsalted walnuts

The process

Wash and dry the pears and cut into 8ths.

Brown them in a non stick pan on a medium heat with a tiny bit of oil.

Combine the Marsala and honey together, mix and pour into the pan with the pears. Allow to simmer until the pears are soft and the sauce has turned a little sticky.

Remove the pears and add the walnuts. Toss the walnuts to coat with the sticky sauce and heat through.

Remove and combine with the pears.

They become very stick and seriously delicious.

Try some of the other fruit Desserts or the festive entertaining recipes

Easy apricot crumble

Easy apricot crumble

fresh fruit

Apricot Crumble

This is a classic and very quick dessert that is very versatile. You can add a few strawberries or goosberries as well for a change and the crumble topping comes out with a nice crunch that is sweet and so very moreish.

What you need

15-20 fresh apricots
2-3 tablespoons castor sugar

180g soft butter (room temp)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
100g castor sugar
200g flour

The process

Halve and remove the seeds from the apricots, then place in an oven proof dish that has been lightly buttered, sprinkle over the 2 tablespoons castor sugar and bake at 180 Celsius for about 5 minutes to soften them up slightly while you make the crumble.

Add all of the crumble ingredients together and rub the butter in with your hands.

The crumble topping should be fairly course but not dry.

Cover the apricots with the crumble mixture and bake for a further 20-25 minutes until the crumble begins to brown.

Serve with ice cream or double thick cream.

There is an easy apple crumble recipe or perhaps you will like the Easy Apple Pie recipe

Fantastic french toast

Fantastic french toast

gourmet french toast

When last did you make French toast? It’s so simple and a real treat that should be doused with syrup. Make more than you would normally, this is a real hit and not for the weight conscious.
What you need

2 eggs
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1 tin evaporated milk (it makes all the difference)
Butter for frying

Thick cut bread slices about 2-3cm thick (use white bread like french loaf or a sweet bread like Kitke)

Fruit and syrup to top it off

The process

Beat the eggs in a bowl, add the caster sugar, vanilla essence and evaporated milk and whisk together well. You want most of the caster sugar to dissolve.

Place the bread pieces in batches in a shallow dish and pour over the mixture, turning them to coat well.

Heat a pan to medium and melt some butter and cook the bread until golden brown with a few dark areas on the edges. if your pan is too hot the bread will not heat through and the outside will burn.

Serve immediately with fruit slices and a good amount of syrup.

It’s heaven, take my word for it.