Saturday, 11 August 2012

cheese and apple tartlets

... many a time I have heard story of an aunt or grandmother who used to bake cheese into the crust of an apple pie... the idea is that the tart-sweetness of the apple is complimented so beautifully by the strength of the cheese and as the apple caramelises slightly in the cooking process it becomes like the sweet pickle that one may associate more with cheese than these lovely little tartlets...

... the recipe come from my random recipes choice for this month which is the most excellent Apple Source Book by Sue Clifford and Angela King... i've had the book out on my kitchen table since I selected it last week and have been flicking through it on a regular basis... it's a great book, full of wit and wisdom about the humble apple... there are no pictures but does include some delightfully naive sketches and evocative lino-prints... the book is really a bible of the apple, from varieties, through growing to of course, eating and is packed with excellent recipes from many great chefs, farmers and growers... I think the book will remain on my table until September and October when the local apples really come into their own...

cheese and apple tartlets
it's a dead easy recipe this and sometimes one doesn't tend to bother with the really easy ones but I think these little apple tarts could be eaten on so many occasions and they take minutes to make that it would be a sin not to have them on stand-by as a kitchen favourite...

for the shortcrust pastry
6oz plain flour
2oz butter
1oz strong cheddar or lincolnshire poacher - grated
a pinch of salt
cold water to mix

for the tarts
4 eating apples - finely chopped - any will do but something nice and crisp and a little tart such as braeburn
Lincolnshire Poacher cheese - grated

- mix the pastry ingredients together into a ball, wrap in cling-film and pop in the fridge for 30 mins

- roll out the pastry and line your mini tart tin

- add the apples, sprinkle each one with a little sugar and bake on 200C for 10 minutes

- remove from the oven, sprinkle with grated cheese and pop them back into the oven until the cheese has melted and the pastry is crispy

... as well as being my random recipes selection I am entering them into this months Tea Time Treats, hosted so sensationally on alternate months by Kate from What Kate Baked and Karen from Lavender and Lovage... the theme for this month is Picnic Pies but tarts and quiches are more than acceptable and I think this little tartlets are perfect for a posh picnic...

... I tried them both piping hot direct from the oven and a little cooler a while later and they were an incredibly intense sweet/savoury heaven...

eat and of course, enjoy!



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