What a long time since I last blogged! A catalogue of reasons for this, mainly camera-related. Having had both our cameras stolen earlier this year whilst on holiday, we finally bought a replacement. All was going well and I was even quite pleased with the food photos it was taking. Normality resumed. Until a few weeks ago when the camera suffered a bit of an accident and, sadly, no longer works.
We have since invested in yet another replacement - this time a rather cheap camera as a stand-in until we can get another we like. I've not been pleased with the quality of the photos and as such, haven't much felt like sharing them on the blog.
But I've finally pulled myself together and plan to do the best I can with the tools I have - I'm still busy in the kitchen and have lots of food to share!
A few weeks ago I turned thirty. To mark this milestone, I had a lovely party with friends and family at my parents' home on the Isle of Wight. For three days, my mother, the flower-sender and I cooked and baked and chopped and cooked some more. I have to admit to feeling rather pleased with myself when I saw it all laid out and people trying to cram a bit of everything onto their plates.
I have lots of recipes to share - we poached a whole salmon, made a beautiful terrine, baked a ham and prepared all kinds of salads, nibbles and starters. We also made three divine puddings. One of the most striking was this lovely apple tart made by my mother. It is the sort of thing that I would probably never make - I don't have much patience for 'perfect' presentation and my apples wouldn't be nearly so neat on top. It didn't just look good though, it also tasted superb. It is really a very simple recipe and when my mother assembled it she didn't actually think that the recipe would work - the purée seemed to runny. However, it firmed up nicely when left to chill overnight in the fridge.
The recipe comes from an Isle of Wight cookery book which was published some time ago in aid of charity. It is a basic recipe rather than a detailed one but fairly easy to interpret.
Normandy Apple Flan
12oz Shortcrust Pastry
1 pint thick apple purée, well sweetened
3 dessert apples, peeled, cored and sliced
Juice of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons Apricot Jam
2 tablespoons water
1. Pre-heat the oven to 190C. Line 9in flan ring or tin with the pastry.
2. Prick base and bake blind for 15 mins.
3. Fill flan case with apple purée and then arrange the sliced apples over the top. Pour over half the lemon juice.
4. Bake in the oven for 25-30 mins. Remove from oven and cool.
5. Heat jam, water and remaining lemon juice until syrupy, but do not allow to boil. Press through a sieve and spoon over tart to glaze.