Thursday, 14 February 2013

book 1 - italian baked stuffed peaches, my grandmother's apple pie

Italian Baked Stuffed Peaches
Serves 2

Assume that the peaches have been picked the way that connoisseurs say they should be - stroked off the tree with a fond and delicate hand, using a gentle rotary movement.  Then take sensuality a little further and cook them this beautiful way.

2 large peaches
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 egg yolk
30 grams butter
90 grams crushed amaretti biscuits

Halve the peaches, no need to skin them, and remove the stones.  In a bowl mix together the sugar, egg yolk butter cut into small pieces and amaretti crumbs.  Scoop out a little pulp from each peach half, chop finely and mix with the stuffing mixture.  Use to stuff each peach half.

Arrange the peach halves in a buttered shallow ovenproof dish, pour around a little white wine or water, just enough to cover base.  Bake in a preheated moderate oven at 180C for about 30 minutes or until tender.  Serve hot with cream.

My Grandmother's Apple Pie
Serves 4

Quick Flakey Pastry:
For one thinly rolled double crust in a 20cm diameter pie dish.

1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
125 grams butter, grated with a cheese grater
1 teaspoon wine vinegar

Mix the flour and baking powder.  Add grated butter and rub into the dry mixture.
Mix the liquids together.  Make a well in the bowl of dry ingredients and pour the liquid mixture slowly to make a fairly stiff dough.  Cut dough into two pieces and roll out thinly for the base and top of the pie.

Apple Pie
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
4-6 apples
25 grams butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Make the flakey pastry.  Roll out thinly and evenly on a lightly floured board, to form two rounds a little bigger than the pie plate.  Put one piece into the pie tin with the edges overhanging.

Put sugar and flour in a bowl.  Coarsely slice apples and toss them into the sugar-flour mixture.  Pour melted butter over the apple and add cloves.  Toss to mix.  Put apple into pastry lined tin.  Dample surface of remaining pastry and place on apple, dampened side down.

Press two layers of pastry together.  Flute or fork edges if desired.  Brush with beaten egg for glaze.

Bake at 220C until golden brown, and the apple is tender when tested with a skewer.

Serve warm with ice-cream or yoghurt.

Variation: Replace apple with blueberry and pear.

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