Wednesday, May 19, 2010

for old times sake...

In my early cooking days as a young schoolgirl I used to love poring over Mum's vast collection of Australian Women's Weekly Cookbooks, seeking inspiration for potential creations. I was particularly fascinated with replicating 'bought' food at home, hence the lemon chicken and fried rice banquet from AWW Chinese Cooking in attempt to rival the local takeaway's version, the cream buns like they sold down the road at Geyserland Hot Bread Shop, the numerous attempts to bake a deep dish pan pizza as crispy bottomed as those that were all the rage at Pizza Hutt at the time, and the deepfried potato scallops just like the potato fritters from the local fish & chip shop. Perhaps it was a deprivation of takeaways in my early childhood that fueled the desire to make my own?!

At the other, more high-brow end of the culinary spectrum, I was precociously attracted to quite complex recipes with intriguing ingredient combinations and elaborate garnishing. Hence the appeal of the - exotic sounding at the time - Cheese Crusted Apple Tart. This recipe featured in an AWW book titled 'Easy Entertaining'.

Our lifestyles seem to have changed quite a lot since this book was printed in the 1980's, as these days making pastry, chilling, rolling and blind baking it, meanwhile peeling, chopping and cooking the apple filling, preparing the crumble topping, followed by more cooking of the assembled tart (not to mention whipping and piping the cream garnish) wouldn't really cut it in the easy entertaining stakes!

However, despite the labour intensive process this dessert became a family favourite. I decided to make it recently for nostalgic reasons - piped cream, sprinkled cinnamon and all - and we found it to be just as delicious as ever. The cheese pastry is really tasty, and a nice contrast to the sweet filling. it would also make a delicious, crispy pastry for savoury tart.

Cheese-crusted Apple Tart


1 c flour, 1/2 c self raising flour, 2 tbsp castor sugar, 125g butter, 1/2c grated tasty cheese
1/2 c water, approx


4 large granny smith apples ( I doubled this to give the filling more height)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp plain flour
1/3c sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon


1/3c brown sugar
1/3 c flour
1/2 c almonds
60g butter

For pastry, combine flours and sugar, rub in butter, add cheese and enough water to mix to a firm dough. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the filling, coarsely chop the apples and add to a saucepan with the lemon juice. Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes until tender. Add the flour, sugar and cinnamon.

To prepare the topping combine sugar, flour and nuts in a bowl or food processor. Rub in butter until mixture is coarse and crumbly.

Roll pastry out and line a 23cm flan tin (preferably loose bottomed) Cover with a sheet of baking paper, fill with blind bake beans and bake at 190 for 7 minutes. Remove paper and blind bake, and another 7 minutes. Remove and cool.

Place filling into the cooked pastry case, and sprinkle with the topping. Bake at 190c for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180c for another 15 minutes.

If you are after the old school look, when cool pipe whipped cream swirls on top, dust with cinnamon and sprinkle with toasted almonds.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Becky,
    This is an awesome website! Nicole just told me about it and I am so glad to see that you and Daisy are doing well.
    I'll get Jenny my daughter to check out this website whenever she needs inspiration!
    All the very best
    Love Noldy McDonald xx


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