Apple and Blackberry Jalousie

I had never heard of a jalousie until I had made one. Quite literally, had finished making one; my catering teacher has a mysterious way of teaching where we are sometimes unsure of what it actually is until we finish!

The main part of the lesson was for us to make our own puff pastry/flaky pastry, which sounds far easier than it was with 25 people trying to roll pastry at the same time in a small, hot classroom. It was rather chaotic to say the least… I was pleasantly surprised at the result of mine though. Home-made puff pastry is surrounded with negativity and ‘that’s far too much effort!’, but it really wasn’t that hard! Yes buying it is easier, but home-made is so much more rewarding, I challenge you to try it.

The filling is a simple apple, blackberry and cinnamon mixture which is great, as the summer nears its end, as an autumnal treat.

Being me, I’ve lost the recipe I used to make the flaky pastry, so I can’t post it. However, this one looks very similar in ingredients and method: http://notwithoutsalt.com/2008/09/27/learn-how-to-make-puff-pastry-in-20-seconds/

Ingredients:

1 pack  puff pastry or 500g home-made flaky/puff pastry

For the filling:

50g butter

4 eating apples, peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 punnet blackberries

1 tablespoon sugar

1 egg

(To be honest, the quantities and type of fruit do not really matter! Use whatever you like)

1. Roll out the puff pastry into a long rectangle, double the length of your baking tray and roughly the same width as your tray. Cut into 2 equal rectangles and place one onto the greased tray. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

2. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the apples, sugar, cinnamon with 2 tablespoons of water. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes, or until the apple is softened but not mushy. Add the blackberries and cook for a further minute, no longer or the blackberries will break down.

3. Take the second rectangle and gently fold it in half. Cut 5 short diagonal lines in the folded side and then unfold to reveal ‘v’ shape cuts. This will be the lid.

4. Pour the apple and blackberry mixture onto the centre of the first rectangle. Brush around it with beaten egg and lay the slashed rectangle on top. Seal the edges with a fork.

5. Egg wash the whole thing and sprinkle over some brown sugar.

6. Bake in the over for about 20 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.

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New food love: Vietnamese street food

Yum! Today I went to a Vietnamese street food restaurant named Phu. It was so delicious and unusual and the techniques and flavours used were amazing! It consisted of so many different ingredients that bonded together so well; chilli, lemongrass, coriander, beansprouts, onion, peanuts and most importantly, rice noodles and chicken. I recommend this type of food!

Really Easy Soft White Chocolate and Fudge Cookies

Some of the best cookies I have ever tasted, and so simple!

Makes 18 medium sized cookies

You will need:

200g butter

200g caster sugar

2 tbs golden syrup

300g self-raising flour

100g white chocolate chips

100g fudge chunks

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease 2 – 3 large baking trays (or bake in 2 batches)

2. Put the sugar and butter into a bowl and stir into a paste. Add half the flour, all the golden syrup and the fudge and white chocolate pieces and stir into a dough. Add the last 150g of flour and stir until completely mixed.

3. Use your hands to roll small balls of dough and spread them evenly on a baking tray. Do not set them too close as they will spread out and you don’t want them to touch.

4. Bake at the bottom of the oven for 8- 12 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies look brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely on the tray; they will not look cooked when you get them out of the oven but once they cool they will harden into perfect cookies.

I love this recipe, It is the ultimate recipe for soft, sticky centred cookies!

Mint Lamb Burgers

Today I made dinner, Mint Lamb Burgers with lemon sour cream dip and pea shot and baby leave salad. Really tasty.

None of my amounts are fixed so feel free to add or leave out anything

Serves 5 with 2 left overs that can be frozen.

You will need:

800g minced lamb

A few mint leaves

1 1/2 lemons, squeezed

Salt and pepper

Dried chilli flakes

1 teaspoon mint sauce

1 very small onion or shallot (optional), chopped

Flour, for dusting

5 burger buns

1 bag mixed pea shoot and baby leaves salad, or make your own with pea shoots and baby leaves

200ml Sour cream

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Put the Lamb, Mint, Mint Sauce, Onion, the juice of half a lemon, Salt, Pepper and a pinch of chilli flakes into a large bowl and squidge it with your fingers until the mixture stays together.

2. Dust a chopping board or work surface with flour and empty the contents of the bowl, roll into a log shape, and slice evenly into 6 or 7 rounds.

3. Dust each one with flour and arrange on a baking tray. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the burgers are slightly browned on top.

4. To make the lemon sour cream, squeeze half a lemon into a bowl and add the sour cream. Season to taste.

5. Wash the salad and toss it in lemon juice and chilli flakes.

I made up this recipe although it is based on other ideas.