A family sized, sharing pudding made with homemade rough puff pastry, frangipane, and sweet apple compote, served with an almond liqueur custard . All far more complicated than it sounds, this is essentially a glorified apple pie!
You know how sometimes the best things are borne from accidents? Yeah, well this was one of them – an accident I’m absolutely thrilled happened and worked! So, what was this accident, I hear you ask? I happened to have a good portion of un-used frangipane in the fridge (as you do!), and had a bit of a craving for autumnal flavours. Combined with wanting to see if I could master rough puff pastry dairy free, this dessert began to take shape.
If you don’t fancy going the whole hog and making rough puff, you could easily substitute this for shop bought puff pastry – make the rough puff if you have the time, as I promise it’s so rewarding seeing all the layers of flakey pastry once cooked and knowing you did that! – but I’ll admit cheating with shop bought does help this dessert come together a lot faster.
The pastry shell looks a little fancy – you could even call it free form! – but is stupidly easy. Just don’t tell your impressed guests! You simply pile the fillings into the centre of a large circle of pastry, and pull in the corners and pinch them together. Wash on a bit of egg glaze, sprinkle with sugar, and voila; perfection.
The fillings themselves are even more special (and simple) than the pastry. Frangipane is one of the simplest fillings you could ever make (chuck in a bowl and mix kinda simple), and gives any pudding a sweet, intense, almond-y flavour. Hidden under the apple compote, it’s the perfect complimentary companion to the other flavours.
You could serve this with any accompaniment you like, but this Amaretto & Honey Custard is just perfect.
Sweet, tangy Lemon Meringue Pie. Impress your family and friends with this completely homemade dessert; You don’t have to tell them it is a lot simpler than it looks!
Lemon Meringue Pie is really quite self explanatory, but just incase you’ve never eaten one… Imagine thin, crisp, just sweet pastry, with a generous filling of tart lemon curd which makes your house smell Amazing (capital letter definitely justified!) as it bakes, and then topped with soft, pillowy meringue, with a crisp, sugary meringue-crust on the top. Sounds great, right! Now imagine just how good it tastes…
Lemon Meringue Pie is such a classic dessert for a very good reason. The combination of the sweet meringue and pastry, heightened by the sharp lemon curd filling just makes it the perfect way to end a meal. Although sometimes it can be on the sweet side, this recipe provides just the right balance of sweet and tart flavours, giving it an appeal to all the family.
You can make the making of Lemon Meringue Pie as complicated as you like… or we can use a few cheats to really speed it up! The first thing that will be your friend if you are in a hurry is shop bought pastry. Although perhaps not as satisfying as making your own, it sure does speed it up if you need to do this quickly. And, most of them are dairy free! It is very surprising, but read through the ingredients and often they don’t contain any milk… Just avoid the ones that shout about being ‘all butter pastry’ obviously!
The other way to speed this up is to make your lemon curd in advance. OK – so that’s not really ‘saving’ time, as you’ve still got to make it – but Lemon Meringue Pie does not keep very well, so if you’re short on time the day you want to eat it, taking it straight from a jar you’ve previously made is a great time saver. If you do need to make some just for this pie, then take my Lemon Curd recipe and only make 1/2 the recipe (which is a generous amount for this dessert). By making it right before you bake the pie, you save time not faffing around with sterilising jars and worrying about everything being squeaky clean – we do this normally because we want to be able to keep it mould free in the fridge for some time, but here it’s going to eaten that day so we don’t need to worry!
So give this classic dessert a go, and you’ll find this will become a family favourite to go back to time and time again.
So as I mentioned quite a while ago, my New Year’s resolution for this year was to crack making perfect pastry. I wouldn’t say I’m quite there yet, but I definitely think I’ve learnt a lot along the way and so I wanted to share some tips and tricks with you.
You can use these tips for any pastry recipe; it would work perfectly for my Lemon Meringue or Apple Pie, or this delicious Apple and Blueberry Frangipane Tart.
One thing that used to fill me with dread was lining a tin with pastry – especially homemade pastry, which tends to be lovely and short (read: a nightmare to transfer from your work surface to the tin!!!). So, where to start…
A classic apple pie; a just-sweet apple filling with hints of vanilla and cinnamon, encased in crisp shortcrust pastry. Perfect served with a scoop of ice cream or lashings of custard.
My new years resolution for 2015 is to master making pastry from scratch; with my family down this weekend, a succulent leg of lamb roasting away for Sunday lunch, an apple pie felt very appropriate – and what a great way to keep working on my pastry skills.
It is hard to go wrong with an apple pie – it’s so versatile you can really add and change the flavours to suit your taste. For my mum who has been away in India it seemed the perfect English dessert to allow the flavour of her much beloved apples (which are in very short supply in India!) to shine through.
I tried a new shortcrust pastry recipe for this which I will certainly use again. The pastry takes less than 5 minutes to make and once baked is delightfully short and crisp in texture. No soggy bottoms in sight! By letting it chill for a few hours in the fridge it is strong enough to be rolled very thinly without cracking which also makes it easy to line the tin with. You can, of course, cheat and buy a ready made shortcrust pastry (just read the ingredients carefully to find one without milk products!) but this really is quicker than popping to the shops and far more satisfying!
The filling is very simple, only consisting of 4 ingredients – apples, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. I used Bramley apples for the pie filling and would highly recommend seeking these out rather than using other varieties. Bramley apples are strong in apple flavour and most importantly are sharp rather than sweet. This means you can add small amounts of sugar to create a just-sweet pie – which is then perfect to serve with copious amounts of ice cream or custard. Bramley apples also retain their shape well when cooked which means you still have whole chunks of apple in the pie which gives a pleasing texture.
To fit this in around cooking a Sunday roast it is easiest to fully bake it before you cook your roast and then reheat for about 15 minutes at 200 degrees when you are ready for dessert.
A wonderful dessert for after Sunday lunch – sweet shortcrust pastry filled with almond frangipane and topped with sharp apples and blueberries for a fruity burst. Served with an almond milk custard.
Last weekend we did a Sunday roast for lunch and I thought it was the perfect time to get cracking on my New Year’s resolution for this year – Pastry. Pastry is something I have always wanted to be able to bake as I genuinely don’t think there is anything better than a homemade apple pie, surrounded by pastry you’ve made. That said – pastry terrifies me! Even without the challenges of replacing butter with a dairy free substitute, it is hardly the easiest or most consistent thing to make.
I found this recipe a long time ago in You Magazine, and have often looked at it thinking about how much of an achievement it would be to make this with homemade pastry. Last weekend the time felt right to try – and I’m pleased to say it worked fantastically! The only addition I have made to the recipe is to add more blueberries and rather than just sprinkling them on top of the tart, add some in the middle too.
Frangipane is a sweet almond filling – a mix of butter, sugar, ground almonds, a little flour and eggs – that when baked becomes a light fluffy nutty cloud of goodness… it’s hard to describe something so tasty and perfect! To serve, I’ve made an almond milk custard. It would be fair to say I am a custard fiend and this custard hands down beats any ready made custard you can buy – dairy free or otherwise, so definitely give it a go.
As a whole, this dessert looks a lot more impressive and time consuming than it actually is. The pastry and frangipane filling are done in a food processor (no processor? Use a bowl and wooden spoon for the same effect), making slicing the apples at the end the trickiest bit – and hardly difficult by anyone’s standards. The only watch out is that the pastry is best chilled overnight (this helps a lot when rolling out the pastry and lining the tin) so a little preparation and organisation is needed the night before.