EASY APPLE STRUDEL

Now is apple season and I’ll never turn down an apple strudel. With the holidays coming up, I’m all about cutting corners, while still creating seriously healthy dishes. The corner-cutter in this case was a box of whole wheat puff pastry, which pained me beyond measure to buy, because it was so expensive and pastry is not only pretty easy to make, but a fraction of the price. I let myself have this little lazy luxury, however, as I was knee-deep in work and family stuff.

This is a perfect Holiday dessert, so stock up your freezer with puff pastry and you’re almost good to go.

EASY APPLE STRUDEL

Approx 1/2lb of puff pastry ( I purchased a 11b box and used half for this recipe)

1tsp vegetable oil

1/2 cup raspberry jelly

1/4 cup almond meal

4 apples

1/4 cup raisins

1/2tsp ground cinnamon

1tbsp milk

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

 

Preheat the oven to 350 F

Grate the apples and place in a colander lined with paper towel to drain

Roll out a rectangular block of the pastry. You need to roll it out into as thin as possible a rectangle (measuring about 10 x 15 inches).

Lightly brush the pastry with half the oil leaving a 1 inch border.

Spread the jelly over the pastry within the border. Squeeze the grated apple to make sure that most of the moisture has drained, then pile it evenly over the pastry rectangle. Sprinkle the almonds on top, the raisins and finally the cinnamon.

Carefully roll from the long edge of the rectangle to form a thick log. Make sure the seam in underneath and very carefully transfer to a greased baking sheet.

Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown on top. Cool on a wire rack and dust with sugar before serving.

I like to serve it with either plain yogurt, or creme fraiche.

If you wrap it in foil and stick it in the fridge, it will keep for up to 3 days. You can re-heat it for 20 minutes in a warm (320 F) oven.

 

 

 

TEA BREAD

As many of you know I’m a tea addict and aside from drinking it, I love to cook with it, particularly in cakes in cookies. This is a wonderfully rich tea cake, that you and your family will go nuts over. I made a couple of loaves because it not only freezes well, but is also delicious if you toast it when it’s a little stale – toasted and slathered with lashings of butter!

It’s also the perfect time of year to get stock up your freezer with Holiday goodies for when your guests arrive.

Mum and I made a couple of loaves when she was visiting this week and everyone who came over to visit was offered a slice and wound up having three. Mom left back for England  last night and to cheer myself up, I’m about to toast a slice and eat it with a cup of my favorite chai tea from Lupicia Teas.

 Tea Bread

Pre-heat oven to 340 F.

2 black tea bags

1/3/4 cups boiling water

4 cups mixed fruit (raisins, sultanas, cranberries, un-sulphured apricots- chopped)

2 1/4  cups whole wheat flour

1tsp baking powder

A pinch salt

1 1/2 cups soft brown sugar

1tbsp melted butter

1 egg lightly beaten

Place dried fruit in a large bowl.

Steep the tea bags in 1 3/4 cups of boiling water for ten minutes. Pour the steeped tea over the fruit and leave to soak for one hour.

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the fruit/tea mixture and combine well. Mix in the egg and butter, making sure everything is really well combined.

Grease and line a loaf tin and spoon in the batter, smoothing it down.

Place in the oven and bake for 1 and 1/4 hours. Test to see if a toothpick comes out clean – if not, put back for another 5-10 minutes.

Allow to cool on a wire rack and serve when cool.

It will keep for up to 2 weeks in a tin or airtight container. After about a week, I like to slice and toast it, slathered in butter