T is for Toffee & Apple Crumble Pie

As a fan of both pastry and crumbles, I hate being in a restaurant and having to choose between desserts, so in today’s blog I’ve used a recipe that will turn anyone’s eyes bigger than their stomach.

The recipe for toffee is conveniently on my previous blog entry, and you’ll be pleased to know this recipe only uses a small amount of it, so there’ll be plenty of toffee left to devour in your own time.

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Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pre-rolled sheet of shortcrust pastry;

For the filling:

  • 100g butter;
  • 100g caster sugar;
  • the zest of 1 orange;
  • 4 Bramley apples (peeled, cored and cubed);
  • 4 Braeburn apples (peeled, cored and cubed);
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • a large handful of small toffee pieces from my previous recipe

For the crumble:

  • 200g plain flour;
  • 100g caster sugar;
  • 35g ground almonds;
  • 10g flaked almonds;
  • 80g butter;

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Recipe:  

  1. Pre-heat the oven at 150°C. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 0.5cm thick so that the pastry is big enough to fit inside a spring-form baking tin and goes up the sides. Gently push into the base of dish. Tear off a large square of baking parchment, crunch up and then unfold and place over the pastry, then pour in ceramic baking beans. Leave to bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  2. For the filling, add the butter, sugar and orange zest to a medium-sized pan over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the chopped Bramley cooking apples and cinnamon and cook until the apples are very soft. Then add the chopped Braeburn apples and cook for another 2-3 minutes only, then turn off the heat, remove the cinnamon stick and set aside. This will ensure there are different textures in the crumble filling.
  3. For the crumble, add butter, sugar, flour and ground almonds to a bowl. Rub the mixture between the pads of your fingers and thumbs until it is like coarse sand. Then add the flaked almonds and tip into a baking tray and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Stir the mixture around every 5 minutes so that it cooks evenly.
  4. To assemble the pie-crumble, pour the apple mixture into the pre-cooked pastry and push in a handful of small toffee pieces around the mixture. Then pour the crumble on top.  Add small pieces of toffee on top of the crumble and bake at 180°C for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven, leave to cool for a couple of minutes then gently ease away the sides of the spring-form tin. Cut up and serve with ice cream or cream.

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Making treacle

T is for Toffee

This week I couldn’t choose between recipes or the type of dessert I wanted to cook, so I combined all of them. This first ‘T is for…’ recipe is for toffee, which, if you make, will come in very handy for the second ‘T is for…’ recipe, which will be the blog entry following this one.

You will need a sugar/jam thermometer for this recipe – the mixture needs to be cooked to a specific temperature and if it’s not reached, the treacle will not set properly. You can get one for about £10 and will mean you can cook up jams, fudge and toffee sweets whenever you want (so well worth the investment in my opinion).

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

Making treacle

Making treacle

Ingredients (all from the baking aisle in the supermarket):

  • 450g dark brown sugar;
  • 100g golden syrup
  • 150g black treacle
  • 5g cream of tartar
  • a dribble of oil for greasing
  • 125ml water

Recipe:

  1. In a large pan, over a medium heat, add the water and brown sugar and leave to boil until the sugar is dissolved. You need to use the biggest pan you can as the mixture will bubble up to about 4 times its volume later.
  2. When the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat and add the cream of tartar, golden syrup and black treacle. Then place back on a medium-high heat and attach your sugar thermometer.
  3. Boil until the mixture reaches 140°C – this can take a bit of time, but don’t take your eyes off it, as it can burn easily. Whilst you’re waiting, line a baking tray with silicon paper lightly greased with oil.
  4. As soon as the toffee reaches 140°C remove from the heat and pour into the pre-lined baking tray and leave to cool. Once cool to touch pop in the fridge. It shouldn’t take more than an hour to harden. Then when the toffee is solid, cover with another sheet of baking paper/tin foil (to stop toffee shattering everywhere) and smash it into small pieces with a hammer or the end of a rolling-pin.

Making treacle

.Making treacle