~In jeder Sprache wohnen andere Augen.~ ~I don't know where I am going but I am on my way.~

lundi 9 novembre 2009

Apfelkuchen - Tartes au pommes - Apple Cakes

As promised to some kind folk, here are my preferred recipes for apple cakes. They are all different and easy to make and so far, have always got nice compliments.

I do apologize for any spelling mistakes for word errors (the original recipes are in French or German) . I believe you will be able to figure it all out :-). If not, just leave a message for more details.

Are you ready? Then enjoy!

Normandy Apple Cake

This is a true insider recipe and has been made times and times. Really delicious.
As it contains Calvados, it might not be appropriate for kids.

What you need:
400 g flour
200 g sugar
200 g butter (in flakes)
2 eggs
2 x 8 g vanilla sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 - 5 apples, sour
5 tablespoons of Calvados

How to do it:
Start with peeling the apples and cut in slices. Put these slices in a bowl and sprinkle the Calvados over them. Cover with a lid and keep aside.
Mix a dough with all the ingredients (mix baking powder into the flour) and add at the end the Calvados from where the apples had soaked. Cover the round baking tray with 2/3 of the pastry, put the (nicely smelling) apples on and cover with the remaining dough over the apples. It will take 45 minutes in the oven at 170° C. If you are not sure that the dough has baked enough, make the test with a wooden stick (like a toothpick)- if there remains some dough on the stick , it needs more baking. When cold, cover it with icing sugar.

Picture shows before the lid of pastry is put on.

Wiener Apfelstrudel
A classical - delicious still warm or cold, with single cream or custard - a yummee experience

What you need:
175 g flour
a pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
5-6 tablespoons of water
30 g melted butter or margarine
1 kg apples (sour)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
75 g sugar
75 g currants (sultanas)
50 g crushed almonds
100 g melted butter or margarine
2 tablespoons of finely crushed breadcrumbs
icing sugar

How to do it:
Melt 30 g of butter or margarine.
Mix flour, salt, egg yolk, water, add the melted fat in a bowl until it is a nice glossy, smooth and shiny dough.
Melt then the remaining 100 g margarine. Brush the dough with a coat of butter or margarine. Cover the bowl and let it rest in the warm oven.

Peel apples and grate them. Mix them with the cinnamon, sugar, sultanas and almonds. (As EG cannot have them, we leave the sultanas out).

Now with a rolling pin roll out the pastry on a kitchen towel which you have sprinkled with flour. You must do it as long until it is very thin and you can see the fabric through your pastry.

Now you brush the pastry with melted butter and sprinkle the breadcrumbs over it. (This will avoid the pastry to get too wet from the apple filling). Pour the apple filling evenly over the pastry but leave the top bit of the pastry free and wrap the sides by 2 cm.

With the help of the towel, roll the strudel (not too tight) so that it looks like a big roll. The ends should -with the help of some fat - get glued so that everything is closed and nothing of the apple mixture can run out during the baking. Now comes the difficult bit to get the strudel on to the - with baking paper covered - baking tray.

Once safely on it, brush it with margarine and put it into the well heated 200° C oven. During the ca 30 minutes of baking time, the strudel needs to get more brushes of margarine so that it gets a crust - all margarine should have been used at the end of the baking.
Sprinkle with icing sugar and eat it warm or cold with either whipped cream or custard.

Tarte aux pommes "Paysanne"
This is funnily called "farmer's apple tart" but it could win an award for its delicacy.
What you need:
fat and breadcrumbs for the round cake tray
100 g and 1 tablespoon of butter
150 g + 50 g + 1-2 tablespoon sugar
grated lemon peel -from non treated lemon - and 3 table spoons of its juice
5 eggs
50 g and 75 g crème double - this is similar to clotted cream but has less fat than mascarpone
150 g flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 kg apples (sour)
1 x 8 g vanilla sugar
30 g apricot jam
3 tablespoons of flaked almonds
How to do it:
1) Butter a cake tin and sprinkle it with breadcrumbs
Mix 100 g butter with 150 g of sugar and a pinch of salt with the lemon peel.
Add one by one two eggs and 50 g of crème double (clotted cream). Mix flour with baking powder and whisk it under the dough. Smear it into the tray.
2) Peel the apples, slice and grate them. If ever some juice has built up, let the juice drip off. Mix with the lemon juice.
Now mix 75 g of crème double, 3 eggs, 50 g sugar and vanilla sugar. Then add the apple mixture and put over the pastry. Sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoons of sugar and bake in the pre-warmed oven at 200° C for 30-35 minutes.
3) Warm up the apricot jam with 1 tablespoon of butter and (if there are clumps, smear it through a sieve), brush it over the cake and let it bake another 10 minutes at the same temperature. Let it cool.
4) Roast the almond flakes without fat and let them cool. Sprinkle over the cake and add some icing sugar.
Even more tasty with some whipped cream.

Japonais-Apple Tart

In this case, it has nothing to do with a Japanese but has got its name because the cake is covered with some kind of meringue which is called Japonais. Meringue is not everybody's cup of tea but this is a delicious variation for an apple tart.

What you need:
Fat and flour for the baking tray750 g apples (sour)3 tablespoons of lemon juice 5 eggs
150 g butter or margarine2 x 8 g vanilla sugar175 g + 150 g sugarsalt250 g flour2 teaspoons of baking powder
100 g single cream150 g ground almonds
50 g dark chocolate
2 tablespoons of crushed almonds
1 small freezing bag

How to do it:
1) smear fat into the baking tray and dust it with flour.Peel apples, cut in thin slices and add immediately the lemon juice to prevent them of going brown
2) Separate 3 eggs. Mix (in the machine) the fat, 175 g sugar, 1 vanilla sugar,a pinch of salt 125 g until creamy. Add 2 entire eggs and 3 yolks . Mix flour and baking powder and add to the dough by alternating with the single cream. Then smear the dough into the tray. Cover with the apples and bake in the oven at 175° C for ca. 30 minutes.
3) Japonais: whisk until stiff 3 egg whites with a pinch of salt, add at the end 150 g of sugar and 1 vanilla sugar. Fold in the ground almond
4) Get the cake out of the oven and cover it with the Japonais. Sprinkle it with the crushed almonds. Let it bake another 20 minutes at same temperature. Let it cool out.
5) Crush the chocolate and put it in the freezing bag. Put it in its bag into hot (not boiling) water until melted. Cut off a wee bit from one corner of the bag. Squirt the chocolate in lines on the tart and let it dry.
Sorry, no photo handy.

Glazed Apple-Cheesecake
Note: not dry at all, this is a delightful variation of apple cake
What you need:
Fat for the baking tray
1.75 kg apples
juice from one lemon
125 g + 150 g butter
100 g + 100 g sugar
2 packs vanilla sugar
4 eggs
200 g flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1-2 tablespoons milk
500 g curd (curd cheese, low fat version)
1 pack of pudding powder (custard powder) vanilla taste - quantity for 1/2 l milk
ca. 250 g apricot jam
How to do it:
1) fat the baking tray peel apples, make thin slices and add immediately the lemon juice
2) 125 g butter, 100 g sugar and 1 vanilla sugar and a wee bit of salt are gently mixed. 2 eggs are added, then mix flour and baking powder and add it with the milk into the batter.
3) separate 2 eggs. Mix 150 g butter with 100 g sugar and vanilla sugar. Add 2 egg yolks, the curd and the pudding powder. Mix the 2 egg whites until stiff and add to the curd mixture.
4) Put the dough evenly onto the tray. Coat it with half of the apple slices. Add the curd mixture evenly over the dough. Then add the other half of apples. Put into the pre-heated oven at 200° C (or 175°C air circulating or gas level 3) on the lower oven rail and bake for 45 minutes.
5) heat the jam and smear it through a sieve. Put on the hot cake. Continue the baking for another 5 minutes at the same temperature.Try to let it get cool before tasting.

This is the pie tray version because I cannot find the original photo anymore - the above recipe is for a rectangular baking tray.

I would be delighted to get some feedback once you have tried it out.

lundi 2 novembre 2009

The Armchair Travel

Life is great! One thing leads to another and suddenly I find myself totally unforeseen somewhere I have never been before. And I am thankful to live in this century with all its possibilities of fast travelling.

In this case, it all starts with a friend's proposal to buy his (almost) new TV. Some room needs to be made for that. But then, we need a make-over of the place. And as we do things often quite in depth, suddenly the project is huge. And it involves new furniture. Ok, I shall have a look on the internet, if we can make another lucky find. And, unbelievable but true, I find an item and get it! There must be a coincidence that I have become a member of the armchair travellers ;-) suddenly part of it for real! Because this nice, comfy chair is to be picked up from somewhere in the middle of the UK.

As we have nobody near to keep the house, we cannot stay away from the farm for too long. Kind neighbours are willing to look after the animals for a day. There are overnight ferries and finally, we book for a return ferry within the same day for the fabulous amount of 28€/for both of us.

Leaving home at 22.00 h and being back within 29 hours and 1450 km later. We can sleep when we are pushing up the daisies :-))).

We arrive on our preferred island somewhere in the early morning hours, have a quick nap for 2 hours in order to hit the road again direction Shropshire. Initially, we wanted to go through Bridgnorth but my wish to visit Ludlow is realised, as well. In these early hours, it is a pleasure to travel through the UK, the M25 is clear and further onward the traffic is not bad. We drive through that wonderful countryside, autumn at its best, fantastic colours and a gentle sun escorts us all the time. We arrive in Ludlow in the early morning, the shops are opening and I am totally happy to see that all my expectations are fullfilled. What a lovely town!

We love to study the house adverts in the windows and chose a second residence - dream on...

Time must have stand still here

Typical Ironmonger and inside it was quite busy!

Only lovely features, dainty house fronts, nicely displayed shop windows, the market with all its stands.

But the best is often reserved for the last: The family butcher's shop with fresh game!!!

After having done plenty of good to Ludlow's economy, we went to Bridgnorth for to have fish & chips.

I love the river Severn.

And finally it was time to head towards Walsall for to give this one a new home:

When we arrived back to Dover, having lost an hour around Birmingham and another one before the Dartmoor Bridge, we were lucky to catch our ferry on the very last minute. Fortunately, the man from security check who wanted to inspect our car, gave up after short... I wonder why? Eventually we arrived home safe a bit tired but happy. After a good 4 h sleep in the own bed, EG left for work as usual.
The chair has been immediately adopted by the wee cat -
will we ever have a chance to enjoy it ourselves?

mercredi 7 octobre 2009

Summer Memories N° 3 - lune de miel (4)

Une visite en Normandie sans voir la célèbre plage de Deauville? Impensable! C'est vrai qu'elle est belle et on se rapelle de suite de ce vieux film "un homme et une femme".
One cannot visit the Normandy without passing at Deauville. And I was not disappointed.

After that, we arrived in Beuvron-en-Auge where we stayed for the remaining two nights.
Après celà nous arrivions à Beuvron-en-Auge où nous restions pour les deux dernières nuits.

The restaurant Le Pavé d'Auge is highly recommended! It needs previous booking.
L'auberge le Pavé d'Auge est à recommander! Il faudrait réserver au préalable.
Outside - de l'extérieur

Inside - de l'intérieur

One of our starters was "rillette de truite". I never had such a delicacy before. I found this recipe on the internet, it is really not difficult to to realise and nearly as tasty.

Une de nos entrées, rillette de truite, m'est bien resté en mémoire. Voici la recette que j'ai trouvé sur le net, vraiment facile et délicieuse.

The small village of Beuvron is really a cute place and lovely to visit.
Le petit village de Beuvron vaut la peine d'être visité.

My wish list had a visit to "Les Jardins du Pays d'Auge" in Cambremer
"Les Jardins du Pays d'Auge" à Cambremer était sur ma liste et même la gentille dame dans notre gîte nous recommandait une visite et leurs galettes!

The garden is situated around a farm of the 17th century in a 7 acre site. There are themed gardens to visit, unusual objects to see, a museum of old tools and various half-timbered buildings to admire. It was a really special visit.
Les jardins se situent autour d'une ferme du 17ème siècle sur un site de 3 hectares. Il y a des jardins à thème à découvrir, des objets insolites, un musée d'outils anciens et divers bâtiments en colombages donnent à ce lieu une atmosphère particulière.

Fancy joining us for the visit?
Vous nous joignez pour la visite?

Here we go!

The garden of the sun - Le jardin du soleil

The garden of the moon - Le jardin de la lune

The dove house and donkey shelter - le pigeonnier et l'abri des ânes

After that, we just slendered from one discovery to the next.
Après celà, nous nous baladions juste d'une revélation à l'autre.

The climate is obviously good for those hydrangeas.

Les hortenses se plaisent dans ce climat.

The museum - le musée

Topiary section - les topiaires

The water garden - le jardin d'eau

Unfortunately, my Lumix is not good at blue tones but I must show you this surprising mixture of blues from the purple garden.

Malheureusement, ma petite Lumix ne prend pas bien les tons bleus, mais je dois vous montrer ce mélange dans le jardin pourpre.

Verbena bonariensis, Agapanthus, I never can remember the real name of this one, I call it Perestroika - but it's Perovskia ;-), then Echinops and blue flowering ground covers (Veronica?).

Oh, a familiar name! Dawyck. This is the Scottish garden we visited in June!
Même un nom connu: Dawyck! C'est le jardin en Ecosse que nous visitions en juin!

After all that we had to try those famous pancakes! With cider! And you can imagine that I had to taste the apple sorbet with Calvados!

Après tout celà, on avait besoin d'essayer ces crêpes ou plutôt des galettes. Avec du cidre! Et bien sûr, le sorbet au Calvados!

I hope you enjoyed this visit as much as we did. If one day you can visit this garden in real, then do it!

J'espère que vous avez aimé cette visite. Si vous pouvez la faire en réel, alors faites-le!

A bientôt!