Sharing the love of food and trying new recipes...

Friday, August 28, 2015

Banana-nut muffins

Sometimes I bake because I want to and sometime because I need to. Last weekend I baked because I had to. I had no food in the fridge for breakfast and I was too lazy to go to the grocery store. I took a brief look at my kitchen and fridge and found some old bananas. So I set to make banana-nut muffins for breakfast. I really like them, they're super easy to make, and all you need to make sure of is to have overly ripe bananas. I included toasted pecan nuts in them, but you can also use walnuts or peanuts, or skip them entirely.

They're great for breakfast or as snack during the day. You can keep them for a few days and I would recommend storing them in a ziplock bag to make sure they don't dry. I also froze them down and ate them a week later, and they were still moist and excellent. Try them !

Recipe for 12 banana-nut muffins

3.6 dl flour
1.5 tsp baking soda
a pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten
4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1.2 dl sugar
0.6 dl brown sugar
1.2 dl melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 dl pecan nuts, toasted and chopped

In a bowl mix flour, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl mix mashed bananas, sugar, egg, butter and vanilla extract.
Add the flour mix and mix until just incorporated.
Finally add the chopped pecan nuts.
Divide into 12 muffin forms in a muffin pan and bake 20-25 min at 175C.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Classic apple tart with apple compote

Last week was my birthday so I wanted to celebrate it with a big apple tart. I have often made simple apple tarts but I sometimes find them too dry. This recipe here is composed of a nice pie crust, covered with a homemade apple compote, topped with a geometrical layer of thin apple slices, the whole thing finally glazed with quince jelly to add a shiny touch. This tart almost looks like it comes from a bakery shop :-)

The apple tart is easy to make and you can also prepare certain parts ahead of time: the dough can be stored in the fridge for several hours or even days and the apple compote as well. Also, if you are worried your compote is too "wet", you can pre-bake your pie crust 7-8 min in the oven before spreading the compote and placing your apples. The only challenge here is to slice the apples thinly and to place them tightly enough on the compote. Try it, I really liked it!

Recipe for a big apple tart:

Pâte brisée (dough)
250 g flour
130 g butter
30 g sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 eggyolk
some water (2 tbsp)

Apple compote
600 g apples (about 4 apples)
1-1.5 dl sugar
a few drops of lemon
some cinnamon
some water

700 g apples (4-5 apples)
some sugar
some quince or apricot jelly

First prepare the dough (pâte brisée). In a bowl mix flour, sugar and salt. Add cold butter pieces and mix with your hands making crumbs. Add the eggyolk plus some water and mix into a stiff dough. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Peel all apples and sprinkle some lemon on them to prevent oxidation.

Cut up 600 g of apples in big pieces and place in a sauce pan, along with sugar, cinnamon and some water. Adjust sugar and cinnamon to your taste. Heat up and let apples cook under lock for about 15-20 min. When apples are well cooked, remove the lid, crush and mix the apples with a wooden spoon, mixing until the compote/purée has "dried" (no water left). You want your compote to be quite dry so it doesn't wet your dough. Let it cool down.

Slice thinly in quarters the remaining apples.
Grease and flour a tart pan.
Take out the dough from the fridge and roll it out onto a floured table. Transfer to the tart pan and prick it with a fork.
Spread the apple compote on the dough and then place the thin apple slices tightly together in a geometrical pattern (make it tight because apples shrink while baking).
Sprinkle some sugar on top and bake in the oven at 200 C for about 35-40 min.