Thursday, 1 March 2012

Tartlets + Crumbles

Last night I went to a little dinner party with a couple of friends and I was given the responsibility of making dessert for everyone.

Everyone had given up naughty things like chocolate for lent so I opted for a mildly healthy (ish!) Apple Crumble but with a little twist.

Have you ever eaten a Gu Cheesecake? (stay with me, this will make sense) Well if you have, you'll know that at the end of eating it you're left with a little glass ramekin and when you eat as many as me and certain friends of mine, you'll have a lot stacked up in your cupboard. So I decided to use them to make mini, individual apple crumbles for everyone. They're quite a small portion so perfect for having after a big dinner (we had a huge chilli) and very easy to make.

I unfortunately, made them in rather a rush so slightly burnt the apples when making so I won't show you too many example photos (one friend described them as slugs, not so yum) but they taste good so trust me on this!

You will need for about 5-6 Ramekins:

150g plain flour
90g brown soft sugar
100g butter
4 apples (eating apples are fine, who has cooking apples around these days?)
1 tsp Cinnamon

You need to do:

1. Get the apples going, cut them into quite thin slices and chuck them in the saucepan with a good knob of butter. Put it on a low heat (I didn't, hence the burnt slugs), sprinkle on your cinnamon and a little bit of sugar and let them cook down. Stir occasionally.

2. Make your crumble in a big bowl, put all of the ingredients in there and rub it all together until it makes breadcrumbs

3. Once the apples are nice and soft put them in your little ramekins and push down a little so they fill the base, I prefer having more crumble than apple but I'll leave it to you to decide.

4. Sprinkle over the crumble topping, pop in the oven at 180 degrees for about 15 minutes until the topping starts to be golden brown and then eat as soon as you can.

I went one step further last night and made some cute tartlets to start as well which are a recipe I modified from the lovely Catherine who gives me veggie cooking tips.

Usually I make tomato, pesto and feta tarts but I changed it up a little and made roasted pepper, pesto and mozzarella tarts and they tasted really good. Again I rushed them so the peppers are a little black but they taste fab!

You will need for 4 tartlets:

2 red peppers
2 Tbsp Pesto
Half ball of Mozzarella
1 sheet Puff Pastry
2 cloves of garlic

You need to do:

1. Slice the peppers thinly and fry with a little oil for about 5 minutes until slightly softened.

2. Transfer peppers into a roasting tray, pop in your garlic cloves with the skins still on and roast for about 10 minutes in the oven until they're really soft and roasted.

3. While they're in the oven, prepare your pastry. Roll it out onto a baking sheet with a spray of oil to stop it sticking and cut into quarters and prick them a couple of times to disperse the air while it cooks. Spread on the pesto lightly.

4. Now get your peppers out of the oven and squeeze your garlic out of it's skin, when you roast garlic in their skins they become really sweet and don't have the tang raw garlic has. Mash or squeeze the garlic onto the peppers.

5. Pop your peppers on the tarts and then sprinkle over however much mozzarella you fancy. Lightly score a box around the peppers as if you were leaving a little frame for your pepper masterpiece.

6. Put them in the oven for 15 minutes on 180 until the cheese has melted and the pastry has risen and turned a golden brown.

They're great to pre prepare and heat up again later but they always taste best straight out of the oven!

The dinner was so nice, had a good old catch up but possibly with too much wine, I feel horrendous today!!

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