A couple of months ago we visited Picnic Point Apple Orchard, about an hour’s drive from here, to pick up some new season’s apples. We purchased a box of Picnic Apples, which were very juicy, but the flavour was not as intense as I expected.
We decided to store them in a cupboard in the hallway of our home, and as time went by you would catch the delicious aroma of apples as you passed by. They softened a little, but cooked up well and held their shape, which I was thrilled with.
With that in mind, I decided to preserve them, there is no room in the freezer, so they had to go into jars. On Tuesday I set to peeling, coring and quartering them. They were then added to pots with sugar, water and lemon juice and cooked until just tender. After leaving them to cool over night,
I packed them into jars, before sealing and waterbathing them ready for use in pies and other apple treats throughout the year. As I said to Gary, all I need to do is take a jar of apples, roll out some pastry, maybe add some rhubarb from the garden, bake it and we have a quick, easy and delicious dessert.
Before the apples were bottled, I decided that we needed a treat! First I removed some apples from the pot and set them in a strainer over a dish to drain off all the liquid Then I rolled out some gluten free sweet shortcrust pastry and prepared a delicious dessert for our evening meal. I think that apple pie has to be one of the most comforting, homely desserts one can ask for. Add some vanilla ice cream or a dollop of luscious double cream and you’re set.
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry - Gluten Free
The perfect pastry for making your favourite fruit pie or delicious little lemon curd tarts.
- 210 g Gluten free flour blend
- 70 g pure icing sugar
- 1 tsp xanthum gum
- 125 g butter, softened
- 100 g ricotta cheese, drained (or homemade cheese)
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- Add the flour, icing sugar and xanthum gum to a bowl and mix together.
- Place the butter, cheese, egg yolk and vanilla into the bowl of a food processor and then add the dry ingredients.
- Pulse only until the dough starts to form a ball.. (TM speed 3, 20 seconds)
- Remove the dough to a large sheet of baking paper or a pastry sheet and knead to form a smooth ball.
- Divide the dough in half and flatten into two discs.
- Cover each disc closely with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
- You can store the dough in the fridge for up to two days, or freeze it until needed.
- If you have time, make a batch and freeze it for when you need to whip up a quick tart or pie.
- I always blind bake the tart base for 10-15 minutes in a preheated oven at 200˚C, then add the fruit and if required a pastry lid, before continuing baking.
The other benefit of having jars of delicious apples in the store, is that you have a quick delicious breakfast treat when served with some natural yoghurt and crunchy gluten free granola!
Until next time…
Happy cooking & bon appétit!