RSS Feed

Tag Archives: oranges

Apple Pie with Orange Pastry

Apple Pie with Orange Pastry

Packed with fruity flavour, inside and out – Apple Pie with Orange Pastry

As I write this, there are 100 days until Christmas. That’s still a way off, but the weather has certainly become more autumnal and so has my baking. Following a visit to Middle Farm last week, where I stocked up on cheese, pear cider and apples, I decided to make an apple pie to take to family lunch at the weekend. I had some oranges that were looking a little sad so I used them to add more flavour to the pastry and I added some spices to my apples. The result was a tasty pie that put everyone in mind of Christmas flavours – this could be a great alternative for anyone who doesn’t like Christmas pudding.

This recipe will make one large pie, enough to feed 8-10 people. If your pie dish isn’t that big you won’t need so many apples. You can always freeze any left-over pastry to use another time (maybe to make some mince pies).

Apple Pie with Orange Pastry or Christmas Apple Pie

For the pastry:

  • 460g plain flour
  • 220g cold butter, cubed
  • 100g icing sugar, sifted
  • finely grated zest of 2 large or 3 average oranges
  • 4 tbsp orange juice
  • 4 egg yolks

In a large bowl, rub together the flour and butter with your finger tips until you have a breadcrumb texture. Try to do this as quickly and lightly as possible; or if you have a food processor you can pulse the ingredients until you achieve the same result. Into the bowl add the sugar and orange zest, then use a blunt ended knife (butter or dinner knife) to mix everything together by making cutting motions across the bowl and turning the bowl as you go. Lightly beat together the yolks and orange juice and add most, but not all, to the dry ingredients – you may not need all the liquid to bring the dough together, but add more if necessary. Continue to mix the liquid in with the same cutting motions of the blunt knife. If you need to, in the final stages bring the dough together and make sure it’s evenly mixed with a light knead with your hands. Form the dough into a ball and flatten a little into a thick disc (it will make it easier to roll out later), then wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least half an hour.

Once chilled, cut off about a third of the pastry to use as the pastry lid; wrap it back up in clingfilm and refrigerate until needed. With the remaining two thirds, roll out on a lightly floured surface until big enough to comfortably line your pie dish with a little overhang. Your pastry should be about the thickness of a pound coin. If you find it breaks or you get gaps, just patch it up with any pieces of pastry that overhang the edge of your pie dish. Cover and chill in the fridge again for at least half an hour.

For the apple filling:

  • About a kilo of apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices (I used a mix of Bramleys and some eating apples from my cousin’s garden, but use whatever kind you like)
  • 60g sugar (I used a mix of dark brown and caster sugar, but any will do)
  • 40g cornflour
  • half tsp cinnamon
  • half tsp mixed spice
  • 10g ground almonds
  • 1 egg and a little caster sugar to glaze the pie

Before you begin prepping your apples, heat your oven to 190C and put a baking tray in the oven. You’ll put your pie dish on the hot tray so the base of the pie heats quickly.

Put the slices of apple in a big bowl and sprinkle over the sugar, cornflour and spices. Mix with your hands until all the apple slices are coated.

Take the pastry lined pie dish out of the fridge. Sprinkle the ground almonds all over the base of the pie – this will help to soak up any juice and prevent the dreaded ‘soggy bottom’! Rather than just tipping your apples in to the pie, try and place the slices in neatly; you’ll end up with a more densely packed pie. The apple layer should come to just below the rim of the dish at the edges, but can be higher in the centre in order to give a nice domed pie. You may find you have sugary, spicy liquid left in the bowl but just discard rather than adding it to the pie – you have all the flavour you need in there already.

Roll out your remaining piece of pastry on a floured surface until it’s big enough to cover the pie (again, it should be about the thickness of a pound coin); it can be helpful to use the rolling pin to pick the pastry up to transfer to the pie. Use a fork or your fingers to seal/crimp the edges of the pastry together. Trim any excess pastry – you can make decorations out of any little pieces, maybe some apple or leaf shapes. Beat the egg and brush the top of the pie, then sprinkle over a little caster sugar. Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes. Check after about 25 minutes and if your pastry is nicely golden brown, cover it with a little tin foil to prevent the edges browning too much.

This would be delicious hot, cold or warm, served with cream, custard or ice cream.

Apple Pie with Orange Pastry or Christmas Apple Pie

A great seasonal dessert that would be a great alternative to Christmas pudding

With the egg whites left over from this recipe, freeze them in a sealed freezer bag (write on the bag so you know what it is) and use them another time to make a meringue based dessert. Click here for some ideas.

Advertisements

Chocolate Orange Baked Cheesecake

Chocolate Orange Baked Cheesecake

Rich, creamy and delicious Chocolate Orange Baked Cheesecake

Whilst there are lots of things that I like to make regularly, I love to try out new recipes as often as possible. This was my first attempt at a baked cheesecake, adapted from Jo Wheatley’s (Great British Bake Off winner from series 2) recipe in her book A Passion For Baking. I’ve made a few things from this book and they’re all pretty fool proof so I felt confident enough to stray from the fairly plain (but lovely, I’m sure) flavours in Jo’s recipe and add the classic pairing of chocolate and orange. The result is a creamy and decadent dessert that would be excellent for a dinner party. Go carefully with your portions – it’s very rich.

Chocolate Orange Baked Cheesecake

For the base:

  • 25g dark chocolate
  • 70g butter, melted
  • 12 chocolate digestive biscuits (I’m sure plain would work just as well)

If you have a food processor, whizz up the chocolate, then add the biscuits and pulse until you have a fine breadcrumb texture. If you don’t have a food processor, chop or grate the chocolate as finely as possible, then put the biscuits in a large (clean) sandwich bag and bash with a rolling pin or heavy object until crumbled and no large lumps are left. Put the chocolate/biscuit rubble in a bowl and add the melted butter and mix together. Tip the mixture into a 9″ springform cake tin and press down with a spatula or back of a spoon to cover the base, trying to make it as even as possible. Chill in the fridge until the topping is ready.

For the topping:

  • 600g full fat cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk
  • 300ml sour cream
  • 1 tbsp orange liqueur (optional)
  • finely grated rind two oranges
  • 100g milk chocolate

Heat the oven to 180C. In a large bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the flour, sugar, vanilla, eggs and yolk, half the sour cream and the liqueur (if using) and beat again. Add the orange zest and stir in to the mixture until evenly distributed. Remove the biscuit base from the fridge and pour on the topping, smoothing it out with a spatula. Place on a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes.

Carefully remove from the oven after 30 minutes (it will be barely set at this stage) and set to one side whilst you prepare the chocolate topping, but leave the oven on.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over barely simmering water. Once smooth and melted, add the remaining sour cream and stir together until well mixed. Gently pour this chocolate mix over the top of the cheesecake, smoothing it out so it covers everything as evenly as possible. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, transferring to the fridge to chill for a few hours or overnight. Remove from the springform tin just before serving.

Baked Cheesecaked with Chocolate and Orange

Chocolate Orange Baked Cheesecake – a delightfully decadent dessert

Chocolate and Orange Cookies

Chocolate and Orange Cookies

Deliciously chewy Chocolate and Orange Cookies

Another cookie recipe for you here, this time with the classic flavour pairing of chocolate and orange. As I’ve mentioned before, the key to a chewy centre in your cookie is to slightly under-bake them; take them out of the oven when the top is domed and cracked. I’ve used an ice cream scoop to portion these cookies as you get a very regular size and shape that way, but if you don’t have one then simply use your hands to roll the dough into balls about the size of golf ball. With a batch this size, I freeze half the raw mixture and then when I have a craving for something chocolaty it’s just a case of thawing for half an hour or so and baking – cookie craving quickly fixed!

Easy Chocolate and Orange Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 200g butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 orange
  • 400g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 200g chocolate chopped into chunks (I used milk, but plain would go just as well)

Heat the oven to 175C and lightly grease a couple of baking trays. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, finely grated rind of the orange and juice of half of it; beat again until well combined. Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarb and cocoa and stir until the dry ingredients are just incorporated. Add the chopped chocolate and give a final stir so the chunks are evenly distributed.

Using an ice cream scoop, put 4 or 5 scoops of mixture onto each baking tray, making sure they’re spaced well apart as they will spread. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes; remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking tray for a few minutes while they set, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely (although eating one while it’s still warm wouldn’t be such a bad thing).

Orange Sponge with Peach Jam

Orange Sponge with Peach Jam

Orange Sponge with Peach Jam and Whipped Cream

Family lunch today, and I usually take some kind of cake with me (mainly because I like feeding cake to my nephews). I’ve been a bit obsessed with fruity bakes lately, particularly peaches (see my previous recipe for Peach & Blueberry Swiss Roll) and with the addition of some oranges that were knocking about the fruit bowl having seen better days, here’s what I came up with:

Orange Sponge with Peach Jam

For the jam:

  • 5 peaches
  • 150g caster sugar

Prepare your peaches by scoring a cross in the skin at the top or bottom of the peach. Blanch in boiling water for about 20-30 seconds, then take them out; the skin should peel away very easily, but don’t worry if there are a few flecks left on the flesh. Remove the stones, then squish the flesh through your fingers into a medium sized saucepan, along with the sugar. Bring to the boil, stirring regularly to make sure your jam isn’t sticking to the pan. Boil vigorously for 10-15 minutes, keeping an eye on it all the time. Check if it’s done by putting a teaspoon sized amount on a cool plate, leaving it for a minute and then running your finger through it – when it has become jam it should ‘wrinkle’ and it won’t run down the plate when tilted. Place in a clean bowl to cool, transferring to the fridge until needed. If you have any left after topping your cake, store it in sterilised jam jars.

For the orange sponge:

  • 170g butter
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 170g self raising flour
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder
  • 2 oranges
  • 300ml double cream (for serving)

Heat your oven to 175C and grease and line the base of a 9″ spring form cake tin. Beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in one egg, followed by about a third of the flour, then the next egg and more flour and finally the third egg and last of the flour and baking powder. Finely grate in the rind of both oranges, then add the juice of just one. Make sure everything is mixed well, pour into the cake tin and smooth down with a spatula, bake for 20-25 mins until golden. It’s done when the sponge is starting to come away from the sides, it springs back when lightly pressed, or a skewer comes out clean. Leave it in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn it out and leave to cool on a wire rack.

A few minutes before you’re ready to serve, lightly whip the double cream until it’s just sticking to the whisk; be careful not to over-whip as it starts to become butter which is not what you’re trying to achieve! Put the sponge on a serving plate, top with the softly whipped cream and finish with the peach jam.