Category Archives: desserts

Food Monday ~ French Apple Tart

This tasty tart, looks rather elegant with a double layer of apples, finished with a glaze of apricot preserves to give a sheen and keep the apples wonderfully moist.

French Apple Tart

Sweet Pastry Crust:
195g plain/all purpose flour
50g granulated white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
115 g unsalted butter
1 large egg

For the Apple Filling:
6 medium-sized Bramley apples 900g
40g unsalted butter, divided
50 – 100g granulated white sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
Confectioners’ Sugar for browning the top of the tart.

For the Glaze:
120 ml apricot preserves
1 tablespoon Water*

To Serve: Vanilla ice cream, softly whipped cream or Crème fraîche.

Place the butter in your mixer and beat until softened. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add the egg, beating just until incorporated. Don’t over mix. Add flour and salt and mix just until it forms a ball. Flatten dough, cover and refrigerate for about one hour or until firm.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into a 28 – 30 cm circle and use to line an 20 – 23 cm tart pan with removable base. Prick bottom of dough with a fork. Cover and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200°C.
Line the unbaked pastry shell with parchment paper and cover with pie weights.  Bake crust for 20 to 25 minutes until crust is dry and lightly browned. Remove weights and cool crust on wire rack.

For Apple Tart:
Peel, core, and slice three of the apples. In a large pan melt 15g unsalted butter and stir in 25 – 50g of the sugar, the lemon zest, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Add the apples and sauté over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until the apples are soft. Gently mash the apples with the back of a spatula or spoon and stir the mixture until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and let cool.

For top layer:  Peel, core, and cut the apples into 1/2 cm slices.
Melt 15g butter in a large skillet over medium heat and stir in the remaining 25 – 50g sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Add the apple slices and sauté until they begin to soften, approximately 5 minutes. Set the cooked apples aside.

Spoon the apple sauce mixture into the cooled pre-baked tart shell. Arrange the apple slices in concentric circles over the apple sauce, and brush with 15-25g melted butter. Bake the tart on a baking sheet at 175°C for 25-30 minutes or until the apples are nicely browned and soft.  Remove from oven and sprinkle the tart with confectioners’ sugar, cover the edges of tart with foil, and broil it under a preheated grill about 4 inches from the heat until the edges of the apples are golden brown and crisp. Once the tart has cooled lightly glaze the apple slices with warm apricot glaze.
Apricot Glaze: In a small saucepan heat the apricot preserves until boiling. Remove from heat and strain to get rid of lumps and add the water.  Use this glaze to seal the baked tart shell and to brush the top of the finished tart.

Serve the tart warm or at room temperature with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

*Cognac or Calvados may be used instead of water for a special occasion

Food Monday ~ Cherry Clafoutis

Cherry Clafoutis

Preheat the oven to 180°C

450g Cherries, stoned.
2eggs size 3, plus two egg whites
150g plain/all purpose flour
268ml buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
75g caster sugar
¼ teaspoon mixed spice

Arrange the cherries in the bottom of a greased 1.2litre/2pint ovenproof baking dish.
I use a food processor to combine the remaining ingredients, whisking for about one minute.
Leave to rest for about 30 minutes.
Pour the batter over the fruit and bake for 45-50 minutes until golden.

Variations: Any fruit in season can be used eg: apricots, peaches, pears or plums.

My first recipe was for Broccoli & Almond Soup way back in January 2008. Little did I think then, that I would still be sharing my recipes four and a half years later. As I said on that first day, I am a ‘mammy cook’ – prepare, cook/bake and serve – no time for pictures since I like my food hot and in Ireland the food cools quickly. Like radio, you get to make your own pictures! All recipes can be found through the tag cloud, just click on Recipes and enjoy.


Food Monday ~ Rhubarb & Almond Crumble

Rhubarb & Almond Crumble
Preheat the oven to 180°C

2 lbs rhubarb, washed and cut into small chunks
6 oz brown sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon orange zest

Crumble topping:
4 ozs wholemeal flour
2 ozs brown sugar
2 ozs rolled oats
3 ozs butter
1½ ozs almonds, chopped

Put the rhubarb in a pan with the sugar, spices, orange juice and zest. Cover the pan and simmer gently until the fruit is just tender. Add a little more orange juice or water if required. Check for sweetness and add more sugar if necessary. Turn into a greased pie dish.

Put the flour, oats, and sugar into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Stir in the nuts and sprinkle the crumble over the rhubarb.
Bake for 30 minutes, until the topping is crisp and golden.

Food Monday ~ Tiddly Fruit Crumble

Tiddly Fruit Crumble
Preheat the oven to 200°C
Serves 4

500g Bramley Apples peeled and chopped
2 fluid ounces of whisky *
Grated lemon and orange rind to taste
4 tablespoons Demerara sugar
1 teaspoon of mixed spices

For the Topping:
200g All-purpose flour
20g Ground almond (optional)
100g Light brown sugar  1/2 Tsp Sea salt
100g Unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces

Grease four ramekin dishes or a 2-pint pie dish.
Place the prepared fruit into the ramekins or dish.
Mix the lemon and orange rind, mixed spice and Demerara sugar and spread evenly over the fruit.  Then sprinkle the whiskey over the fruit.
Leave to soak in while making the crumble.

For the Topping:
In a medium bowl, mix all the dry topping ingredients together and rub in the butter until it resembles bread crumbs.
Spread it evenly over the fruits in each dish.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the fruits are cooked and the top is golden brown.
Serve with whipped fresh cream or ice cream.

* Orange Juice can be used in place of the alcohol.

Food Monday ~ Hazelnut Brûleé

Hazelnut Brûleé

Serves 4
½ pint Hazelnut Yoghurt
¼ pint Double Cream
4 tblsps Demerara sugar

Whip the cream to same consistency as the yoghurt.  Fold cream into the yoghurt and divide into four ramekin dishes.  Chill well.

Preheat the grill on highest setting.  Sprinkle 1 tblsp of sugar over each dish. Flash under grill until sugar melts.

Food Monday ~ Banana & Toffee Brûlée

Banana & Toffee Brûlée
Serves 4

Letting a packet of biscuits fall is one way to develop a new recipe!!

75g Caramalised Biscuits, crushed
150ml toffee yogurt
2 bananas, sliced
2 tablespoons Demerara sugar

Preheat the grill to hot.
Divide the biscuit crumb between 4 x 150ml ramekins and press down.  Spoon over half the yogurt, then layer with bananas and cover with the remainder of the yogurt.
Smooth over the top and sprinkle with sugar.  Place on a baking tray and out under grill for 1 or 2 minutes till sugar caramelises – don’t leave any longer or the yogurt will overheat.  Leave to cool, then refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Food Monday ~ Grated Apple and Almond Tart

Grated Apple and Almond Tart
Preheat the oven to 180°C

I normally do not give pastry recipes but today I make an exception.

Pastry Base:

8 ozs all purpose flour
4 ozs butter
2 ozs castor sugar
pinch salt
2 egg yolks
4 tablespoons water

Mix in a food processor until it forms a ball.  Chill in fridge for 30 minutes.  Use to line 11or 12 inch pie dish.


2 ozs toasted flaked almonds
3 or 4 eating apples, grated
juice of 1 lemon
4 ozs castor sugar
1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon

sprinkle 1 oz flaked almonds in pie dish.  Mix the grated apples, lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and press into the pastry lined pie dish.  Sprinkle the remaining almonds on top.  Bake for 50 to 60 minutes.  Reduce the heat if necessary.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with icing sugar.

Food Monday ~ Fruit Charlotte a la Grannymar

Fruit Charlotte a la Grannymar

Stewed apple is the more common fruit in a Charlotte.
Why not ring the changes with any one of the following:-
Apricots, damsons, gooseberries, pears, plums, rhubarb or raspberries.

For the Topping:
2ozs butter *
6ozs wholegrain brown breadcrumbs
2ozs Demerara sugar
3ozs honey
2ozs roasted mixed nuts, chopped **

Simmer the chosen fruit in lemonade or water until soft, set aside and keep warm.

Prepare the topping by melting the butter and stirring in the remaining ingredients.  Spoon the warm fruit into a shallow heatproof dish and sprinkle over the topping.
Place the dish on a low shelf under the grill and toast for 5-10 minutes until the topping is golden brown.
Serve immediately with custard or cream.

* Without the melted butter it makes a crisper topping.
** Don’t forget pistachios or pecan nuts for a change.

Food Monday ~ Eve’s Pudding

Cooking apples (tart not sweet) were a constant in our larder when I was growing up.  They appeared in apple cake, tarts, sauce, stuffing, and even in cored rings grilled with bacon, sausage and tomato.

If mammy needed a dessert in a hurry, I was asked to make an egg sponge mixture and it was poured over sliced or stewed apple in a pie dish.  We called it:

Eve’s Pudding
Preheat the oven to 180°C

675g cooking apples, peeled, cored
50g sugar

For the sponge:
3 medium eggs
75gcaster sugar
75g self raising flour

Grease an ovenproof dish. thinly slice the apples and layer in the base of the dish and sprinkle with the sugar.

Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk lightly, add the sugar and whisk well until thick, creamy and almost white in colour.  Lightly fold in the flour using a metal spoon and a figure eight movement.  Pour over the apples, tilting the dish gently to spread the sponge.  Bake for about 30 minutes.
Serve warm with Whipped cream or ice cream.

Food Monday ~ Melon and Kiwi Fruit Salad

Melon and Kiwi Fruit Salad
Serves 6
100 g caster sugar
200 ml water
50 g fresh ginger – grated or thinly sliced
1 medium Galia melon in balls or bite-sized pieces
4 kiwi fruit – peeled and cut into wedges

This recipe can be prepared in advance and chilled overnight.
Place the caster sugar in a heavy based saucepan and put on a low heat until the sugar has melted and changed to a light golden colour, resembling runny honey.
Remove the pan from the heat; add the water, taking great care, as the mixture will spit and splutter. Add the ginger and return the syrup to the heat. Bring to the boil and simmer until all the caramel has melted.
Pour the syrup over the fruit, chill before serving.

Delicious served with a lemon sorbet.