Roasted Grape & Brie Crostini, with Honey Roasted Walnuts and Pumpkin Seeds

This is such an easy recipe for entertaining. You can make the roasted nuts in advance and just store them in an airtight container once they are completely cold. I also bought the baguette the night before and froze it. There is one really good French artisanal bakery here (it is called Le Fournil de Sebastien). Even though it is not very far from my home, it is out of my usual route and very often I just don’t have the time to go there. So now I just stock up when I am less busy, and keep it the freezer. I just sprinkle some water over the baguette. Then I bake it for about 15 minutes at 180C/350F and voilà, perfect baguette as it was just freshly made. For this recipe, I like the grapes to still keep their shape. So when you bite into them, they just burst open in your mouth. I roasted them in a bit of balsamic vinegar and port to add a bit more of a complex flavor to them. So good!

This recipe is for two medium baguettes.

Ingredients:
For the honey roasted walnuts & pumpkin seeds:
100grs of walnuts
60grs of pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoon of vegetable oil
3 tablespoons of honey
Pinch of salt
For the roasted grapes:
500grs of red seedless grapes
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of port
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
Sprinkle of salt
Extras:
2 baguettes, sliced
400grs of Brie
Fresh thyme leaves to decorate

Start by making the nuts. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the vegetable oil, a pinch of salt and honey in a bowl, mix well with a fork. Then add the walnuts and pumpkin seeds. Mix well until they are evenly coated.

Spread them in a single layer and bake them for about 15-18 minutes, stirring half way through. Check that they don’t burn. Once the nuts are done, set them aside to cool down.

Raise the oven temperature to 220C/420F and line your baking sheet with parchment paper.

Remove the grapes from the vine. Add the olive oil, port, balsamic vinegar, thyme and sprinkle of salt. Add the grapes and toss to coat them. Spread the grapes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Don’t forget to also pour the sauce.

Roast the grapes for 20-25 minutes until they begin to burst. You want them to still keep their shape.

To serve, place a slice of brie over each slice of bread. Top with some roasted grapes and a bit of the juice. Then add some of the honey roasted nuts and a few thyme leaves. Enjoy!

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Quinoa, Broccoli & Chicken Enchiladas with Cheddar Beer Sauce

Inspired by the classic broccoli cheese soup, I made this enchilada recipe. It is stuffed with quinoa, broccoli and chicken. If you are vegetarian (or want to skip on the chicken), substitute it for 2 extra cups of finely chopped broccoli. For the sauce, I made a simple roux, then added grated Cheddar and some pale beer. I also added some sour cream to make it silkier. This is a very filling dish, perfect for this time of the year. I should have bought some Coronas and pretend it is Friday already.

This recipe makes 8 enchiladas.

Ingredients:

For the Filling:
1 cup of white quinoa (I prefer this type for this recipe, as it is fluffier and absorbs the sauce better)
225grs of chicken breast
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of celery salt
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon of chipotle powder
12 cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
1 cup tomato puree
2 cups of finely chopped broccoli
Salt
1 cup shredded Gouda

For the Sauce:
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of flour
2 cups of pale beer, I used Heineken
300grs of Cheddar cheese, grated
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon of mustard powder
125ml of sour cream
Salt to taste

For the tortillas:
8 large tortillas
1 cup of tomato puree
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of celery salt

Toppings:
125ml of sour cream
Chili Flakes
Garden cress (optional) or Fresh coriander leaves
Lime wedges
1 avocado, thinly sliced
10 cherry tomatoes, finely chopped (I used red, yellow and orange)

 

First cook the quinoa. Rinse it under cold water and then boil it for 12 minutes. Drain it and set it aside.

While the quinoa is cooking, boil the chicken breast in another pot for about 10 minutes. I sliced it in half so that it cooks through quicker. Once the chicken is cooked, shred it with two forks. Set it aside.

In a large pan, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-low heat. Add the red onion. Cook while stirring for about 3 minutes until the onion is translucent. Then add the garlic, spices and cherry tomatoes. Cook for another 2 minutes while stirring.

Then add the tomato puree, shredded chicken, broccoli and quinoa. Don’t worry about the raw broccoli, it will finish cooking in the oven. Add a pinch of salt, the cooked quinoa and the shredded Gouda. Mix well and set it aside.

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Start making the Cheddar beer sauce. Melt the butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the flour. Stir for 2-3 minutes until it thickens and becomes a golden color. Then slowly add the beer while stirring. Stir for 3 minutes.

Then slowly add the grated cheddar while whisking. Keep whisking for about 6 minutes until it thickens.
Turn off the heat and add the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, sour cream and salt to taste. Whisk until everything is well combined. Then set it aside.

Pour about ½ a cup of the cheddar beer sauce in your oven dish.

To assemble the enchilada, first place 1 cup of tomato puree in a small bowl. Add the onion powder, garlic powder and celery salt. Mix well. Place one tortilla on a cutting board. Brush both sides of the tortilla with the tomato sauce. Then stuff it with the quinoa filling and roll it tight. Place it in the prepared baking dish. Repeat for the rest.

Pour the remaining Cheddar beer sauce over the stuffed tortillas. Bake it for 20 minutes. Then broil it for about 5 minutes, keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn.

To serve, spread some of the sour cream in the middle of the enchilada. Add the chopped cherry tomatoes in the middle, sprinkle some garden cress and chili flakes. Finally add the sliced avocado. Serve right away with lime wedges.

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Onion Jam Stuffed Buns with Baked Camembert

I finally got a chance to post this recipe. It is another take on the flavor combination of onion soup. It is perfect for a dinner party and the holiday season coming up. Baked cheese is always a winner in our house and with our guests. You can make the onion jam a few days in advance and just keep it covered in the fridge.

Ingredients:

For the dough:
3 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
7grs of dry yeast
1 cup of milk (lukewarm)
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
5 tablespoons of melted butter
1 egg
For the onion jam:
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoon of olive oil
4 medium white onions, finely chopped
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup of port
2 tablespoons of sugar
3 sprigs of thyme, leaves only

Extras:

1 Camembert

Fresh thyme leaves

1 egg for the egg wash

 

Start by making the dough. Place the yeast, the lukewarm milk and the sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

Place the rest of the ingredients for the dough in the bowl with the yeast. Knead on low speed for 5 minutes, using the dough hook attachment.  If you knead it by hand, it will take about 10 minutes.

Then remove the dough from the bowl. Clean the bowl and then grease it with a bit of vegetable oil. Form the dough into a ball and place it back into the greased bowl. Cover with plastic film and let it rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

While the dough is rising, start making the onion jam. Place a pan over medium-low heat. Add the butter and olive oil. Once the butter has melted, add the onion, salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. You want the onions to become translucent.

After the 10 minutes have passed, turn down the heat to the lowest. Then add the port, balsamic vinegar, sugar and thyme. Keep stirring and let it cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Taste for salt and blend it until smooth. Let it cool down.

Once the hour for the dough has passed, remove the dough from the bowl. Place it in your working area and punch it to remove the air. No need to use any extra flour. Divide the dough into 32 equal pieces.

Line a large baking tray with parchment paper. Remove the cheese from its round cardboard casing and place the cheese back in the fridge. You are going to use the casing as a mold.

Place the cheese casing in the middle of your prepared baking tray.

Grab a piece of the dough, shape it into a ball and then flatten it with the palm of your hands. Add about a teaspoon of the onion jam in the middle of the dough. Then carefully close it and shape it into a ball again. Place the stuffed ball by the rim of the cheese casing. Repeat for all of the dough. I ended up only using 24 of the balls for this, just for aesthetics as it looked more even. But you can use them all.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place for an extra hour to rise.

About 10 minutes before your bread is done rising, Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Once the hour is up, brush your stuffed rolls with egg wash. Remove the cheese casing from the tray and replace it with the camembert. Bake for 30 minutes till the rolls are golden and the cheese has melted.

Carefully slice off the top part of the rind to uncover the melted cheese. Sprinkle some fresh thyme leaves. Serve straight away and enjoy!

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Honey Chili (Sriracha) Potatoes

A while ago, one of Pieter’s colleague from India told him about this dish, and how he should definitely try it. I’ve been wanting to make it ever since. This weekend I finally got to it and started testing it. This is my version of it and I love it. It is an Indian-Chinese dish and it sort of reminds me of sweet and sour chicken, but the potato version of it.

Ingredients:

For the potatoes:
600grs baby potatoes with skin, chopped into cubes (as even as possible)
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
For the sauce:
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
2 tablespoons of finely chopped ginger
1 tablespoon of  sesame seeds
Pinch of Cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons of Sriracha
3 tablespoons of ketchup
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tablespoons of honey
3 spring onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of white Vinegar
1 teaspoon of corn flour
Salt to taste

Start by slicing the potatoes into small cubes. Keep the skin on. Then add the vegetable oil to a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the potatoes in two batches. You don’t want to crowd them. Try not to move the potatoes too much as it will prevent them from getting golden. Place the cooked potatoes on a plate lined with paper towels.

Place the Sriracha, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic, honey, white part of the spring onions and vinegar in a bowl.

In a clean pan, add one tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the ginger, sesame seeds and cayenne. Cook for two minutes while stirring. Then add the sauce mix and the corn flour. Cook for another minute while stirring. Then add the fried potatoes. Mix well until the potatoes are coated in the sauce. Add salt to taste.

Sprinkle the green part of the spring onions and some extra sesame seeds. Serve straight away. Enjoy!

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Potato Gratin with Chanterelles (Tartiflette my way)

We tried Tartiflette for the first time when we were in Annecy a couple of weeks ago. It is basically a potato gratin made with Reblochon cheese (a cheese from that region) and bacon. On our last day there, we went to a supermarket (like we always try to do when we travel) and we brought home some of this cheese. So I was looking forward to make my own version of this dish. I made it vegetarian by adding chanterelles and skipping on the bacon. And I added a few other things to make it more flavorful. This is a perfect side dish when you are having a dinner party or for the holidays coming up.

For the gratin:

1 1/2 kilos of waxy potatoes (not the kind for mashing)

3 tablespoons of olive oil

3 medium white onions, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

180ml of white wine

450grs of reblochon cheese

1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard

Pinch of salt

Pinch of nutmeg

For the Chanterelles:

1 tablespoon of butter

1 tablespoon of olive oil

250grs of chanterelles (or any other mushroom that you like)

2 cloves of garlic, minced

Salt to taste

Fresh thyme

 

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F and lightly grease your oven dish.

Peel the potatoes and slice them into thin pieces. I used my mandoline to do it quicker. You can also use a food processor if you have one.

Place the olive oil in a large pan over medium-low heat. Once the pan is hot, add the onions and cook them for about 10 minutes until they become translucent. Stir from time to time, you don’t want the onions to get dark. Then add the garlic and stir for 1 more minute.

Then add the white wine, reblochon cheese and mustard. Stir until the cheese has melted and it looks like fondue. Add a pinch of nutmeg and salt to taste.

Spread 1/3 of the sliced potatoes into the prepared baking dish. Then spread 1/3 of the cheese sauce over the potato layer. Repeat this 2 more times, finishing with the cheese sauce on top.

Bake it for 35 minutes until the top is slightly brown.

Place the butter and olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chanterelles and garlic. If your pan is not big enough, do it in two batches as you don’t want to overcrowd the mushrooms. Cook for a couple of minutes until the mushrooms are golden. Add salt to taste.

Serve the potato gratin with the sautéed chanterelles and add some fresh thyme. Enjoy!

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Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust (Gluten Free)

 

I’m so happy that spaghetti squash is finally becoming popular here and I can now buy it at supermarkets. Before I could only find it at the farmer’s market. But these are only on Saturdays, which sucked if I didn’t have time to go or plan ahead. I wanted to make a slightly lighter pizza so I used spaghetti squash as a base for the crust. It’s basically a vegetable fritter. I used egg white, Parmesan and a bit of buckwheat flour to bind it together. So it is gluten free.

This recipe makes 3 individual pizza crusts.

Ingredients:

1 medium spaghetti squash

2 egg whites

¾ teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of salt

1 ½ teaspoon of onion powder

1 tablespoon of dried oregano

40grs grated Parmesan

2 tablespoons Buckwheat flour

Extras:

Olive oil

 

Preheat your oven to 200C/400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Slice the squash in half. Spoon out the seeds and the stringy bits of flesh. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on each piece of squash. Place the squash with the cut side down on the prepared baking sheet. Roast it for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the squash. Keep the oven on. Remove it from the oven and using a fork, scrape off the flesh. Transfer it to a large bowl. Set it aside to cool down.

Once the squash has cooled down, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Place a non-stick pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, brush it with a bit of olive oil. Add 1/3 of the squash. Press it down with a spoon and shape it into a circle. It is important that you don’t make the pizza crusts too big or too thin as they will be more difficult to flip and most likely to break. So keep that in mind.

Cook for about 2-3 minutes per side, until it gets slightly brown. The easiest way to flip each fritter is to flip the pan into a plate. Do it carefully so that it doesn’t break. It is also important that you don’t add too much olive oil into the pan before cooking the squash. You don’t want hot oil to drip onto you while flipping the fritter. Repeat for the rest.

Once your spaghetti squash pizza crusts are all done, top them with your favorite pizza toppings. Line an oven sheet with parchment paper and bake for about 10 minutes. For these I used tomato sauce, mozzarella and shredded Gouda. After the pizza was baked, I added some prosciutto, arugula and chili flakes. Enjoy!

Side note: If you want to use mozzarella, avoid using too much and make sure to pat dry each piece with paper towels. The moisture in the mozzarella can make the pizza very watery.

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Buttermilk Squash Spiced Waffles

I had some Crown Prince squash leftover from dinner so I decided to put it to good use for breakfast. And to make it easy on myself, I made the waffles the night before. Once they were cold, I wrapped them tightly in plastic wrap and froze them. The morning you want to eat them, just preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Once the oven is hot, place the waffles directly on the oven rack and bake them for about 8 minutes till warm and crispy. No fuzz breakfast!

This recipe makes about 6 waffles

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup of self-rising flour

1 1/4 cup of buttermilk

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 egg

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1/2 a cup of squash puree (or pumpkin)

Pinch of salt

3 tablespoons of sugar

1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder

Extras:

Creme fraiche

Pomegranate seeds

Maple syrup

 

To make the squash puree, just chop it into big slices (Remove the seeds but you don’t need to peel it). Place the slices on a plate and cover it with plastic wrap. Microwave it for about 8 minutes or till the squash is tender. Be careful not to burn yourself with the steam that comes out when you remove the plastic wrap. Or just let it cool down a bit before you remove the plastic wrap. Scoop out the flesh of the squash and mash it with a fork.

To make the waffle batter, just blend all of the ingredients together.

Preheat your waffle iron. Brush it with a bit of vegetable oil or spray it with non-sticking cooking spray.

Pour some of the waffle batter into the preheated waffle iron and cook till golden-brown. I like to serve them with a dollop of crème fraiche, pomegranate seeds and some maple syrup.

If you freeze them, just warm them up  in a 180C/350F preheated oven for about 8 minutes. Place them directly on the rack so that they become crispy again.

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Caramelized Kimchi & Sriracha Stir-fry Ramen with Char Siu Aubergine

The other day I was so busy with meetings that I didn’t have time to have lunch. So I quickly stopped by my Asian store on my way home to grab an instant ramen soup. They sold some with with kimchi so I thought of making something similar but in stir-fry form. I love Chinese BBQ pork but I wanted to make a vegetarian version of it, so I made it with aubergine instead. I caramelized the kimchi for extra depth of flavor and added some sriracha for some heat.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the aubergines:

2 medium aubergines, chopped into small cubes

1/4 cup of char siu sauce (Chinese bbq sauce)

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 teaspoon of Chinese five spice powder

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

For the ramen:

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

½ a red onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup of kimchi, finely chopped

2 tablespoons of finely chopped ginger

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons of hoisin

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of oyster sauce

1 tablespoon of sriracha (or more to taste)

Extras:

300grs of ramen noodles

2 eggs

Sesame seeds

Chopped chives

 

For the Char siu aubergine: Mix the chopped aubergine with the char siu sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, Chinese five spice powder and vinegar. Place it on a large pan (preferably non-stick pan) over medium heat. Cook for about 14 minutes. Stirring from time to time. You want it to caramelize, so flatten it with a spatula to get them in a single layer. This way they will get nicely browned. Set it aside.

For the 7 minute eggs: Place the eggs in a saucepan over medium heat and add boiling water. Boil them for 7 minutes. Remove the shells and slice them in half.

For the ramen: Place the sesame oil, onion, kimchi and ginger in a large pan over medium-low heat. Let it caramelize for about 6 minutes, stir constantly so it doesn’t burn. Then add the garlic cloves and stir-fry for another minute. Remove it from the heat.

Boil the ramen noodles as instructed on the package. Drain them.

Once the noodles are cooked; add the hoisin, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sriracha to the pan with the kimchi. Mix well over medium heat. Then add the noodles and mix until they are coated in the sauce.

Serve the ramen with the char siu aubergine and soft boiled egg. Sprinkle some chives and sesame seeds.

I also served them with some pickled daikon that I made the night before (I juts pickled it in white vinegar with salt, sugar and chopped chili).

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Potato Cakes Stuffed with Lentil Coconut Curry (served with mango chutney)

These potato cakes are very easy to make. You can even make them with leftover mashed potatoes. For the filling I used beluga lentils since they hold their shape but you can use other kinds instead. I flavored them with curry spices and coconut milk. And because curry goes so well with mango chutney, I also made some to accompany these potato cakes. You can also make them smaller as an appetizer. They are great for a dinner party since they can be made in advance.

This recipe makes about 14 potato cakes.

Ingredients:

For the lentil coconut curry:

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon of finely chopped ginger

1/2 teaspoon of turmeric

2 teaspoons of hot curry powder

½ teaspoon of ground coriander seeds

1 cup of tomato puree

400ml of coconut milk

750ml of vegetable stock

Pinch of salt

1 cup of beluga lentils

For the potato dough:

1 1/2 kilos of potatoes (the mashing kind)

Salt to taste

1 egg white

¼ cup of all-purpose flour

For the coating:

1 1/2 cups of flour

1 ½ cups of panko

3 eggs, beaten

Pinch of salt

1 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 cup of vegetable oil for pan-frying

For the Mango chutney:

250gr of diced mango (I used frozen mango, but you can also use fresh mango)

1 medium white onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon of minced ginger

1 bird’s eye chili, chopped

¼ cup of apple cider vinegar

¼ cup white vinegar

¼ cup of sugar

½ cups of water

Pinch of salt

 

To make the curried lentils: Place the coconut oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Once the coconut oil has melted; add the onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, curry powder and ground coriander seeds. Cook while stirring for about 2 minutes. Then add the lentils. Give it a good stir and then add the tomato puree, coconut milk, vegetable stock and a pinch of salt. Let it cook over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes till it becomes a creamy stew. Don’t forget to stir every couple of minutes so that it doesn’t burn in the bottom. Taste for salt and set it aside to cool down.

To make the mango chutney: Place all of the ingredients in a pot over medium-low heat. Let it cook for about 18 minutes, stirring from time to time until it has a chutney consistency. Midway through the cooking time, I like to mash the mango using a potato masher or a fork. Then transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool down.

To make the potato cakes: Boil the potatoes till they are tender. Check with a knife. Then carefully peel them while they are still hot and mash them. Add salt to taste. Let it cool down a bit until you can handle touching the mash. Add the egg white and flour. Knead the dough with your hands making sure there are no lumps.

Take about 1/2 cup of the potato dough and flatten it with your hands, add about 1 tablespoon of the curried lentils in the middle and then shape it into a patty. Make sure the filling is not sticking out. Repeat for all.

Once all the potato cakes are done, have the coating ready. For the coating; mix the salt, onion and garlic powder with the panko. Coat each potato cake in the flour, then egg and finally in the seasoned panko. Set them aside.

Pour the vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the potato cakes in batches. Be careful when flipping them so they don’t break. Since they are already cooked, you just have to pan-fry them till they are evenly golden. This goes fast so keep an eye on them. Place them on a plate lined with paper towels.

Serve them warm with the mango chutney.

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Apple Butter Galette

The time of the year when I start to crave pies has come. My apartment has been smelling of apples and cinnamon since yesterday night, when I made the apple butter. The smell was killing me because I just wanted to eat it and not wait to make this recipe. If you have never made apple butter before, don’t get discourage about the time it takes to make it. Yes, it needs to bake for 3 hours (and be stirred every 30 minutes) but it takes minimal effort. I made it while watching TV in the evening and just set my alarm. I made the pie crust with gin but you can use vodka if you like. The alcohol will evaporate so don’t worry. If you don’t want to use liquor, you can always switch it for cold water. The liquor makes the dough a bit more flaky. Pieter is working from home today so we already finished one of the small galettes for lunch. I gave one to our sweet neighbors who always give us produce from their dad’s farm. Happy world animal day! Mandu and Nip are getting extra treats and cuddles today.

This recipe is for 3 galettes. I made one big one and two small ones.

Ingredients:

For the apple butter:

2 1/2 kilos of apple, I used royal gala (peeled, cored and chopped into chunks)

1 cup of apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons of vanilla essence

1 tablespoon of cinnamon powder

1 teaspoon of cardamom powder

Juice of half a lime

For the pie crust:

340gr of cold unsalted butter, chopped into pieces

3 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons of granulated sugar

¾ teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of cardamom powder

1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

8 tablespoons of cold gin (or vodka)

Extras:

7 apples for the topping

1 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons of melted butter

3 tablespoons of granulated sugar

½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder

1/3 cup of fig jam (optional)

100grs of pistachios, chopped

Vanilla ice cream for serving (optional)

 

To make the apple butter:

This apple butter is not overly sweet. If you want it a bit sweeter, use 3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar instead of 1 cup. Since the pie already has a sugary crust, I prefer the apple butter to be a bit more tart to balance it out. Preheat your oven to 120C/250F. Place the apples, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and salt in an oven proof pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and let it cook for about 20 minutes, until the apples are soft. Remove from the heat. Add the lime juice, cinnamon, vanilla and cardamom. Then blend the apples until smooth, I used an immersion blender.

Bake uncovered for 3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.

Once the apple butter is done, allow it to cool down completely before transferring it to an airtight container. You can keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days.

To make the pie crust: You can make it in the food processor, by hand or in the stand mixer.  I used my stand mixer fitted with the flat beater. Place the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and cardamom in the bowl of the stand mixer. Add the cold butter pieces, mix it with a spatula. Then mix on low speed for about 2 minutes. Then add the cold gin and mix on low speed for a couple of minutes until you have an even dough.

You have enough dough to make 2 large galettes. I decided to make 1 large one and two smaller ones. So I divided the dough into 3 parts (I also separated a small piece of dough to make cut outs to decorate the galette). Pat each piece down with your hands, forming a circle. Cover each piece in plastic wrap and keep them in the fridge for 1 hour.

After the hour has passed, remove one piece of dough from the fridge and preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Mix 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and set it aside.

Dust your working area with flour and roll out the piece of dough, trying to form a circle. Don’t worry about giving it a perfect shape since it is supposed to be rustic. Place the dough in a piece of parchment paper and place it in the fridge. Roll out the other pieces of dough and keep them in the fridge. If you saved a small piece to decorate, then roll it and cut it into the shapes that you want.

Peel, core and slice the 7 remaining apples. Take one of the rolled out pieces of dough from the fridge.

Spread some of the apple butter in the dough, leaving a border of about 5 centimeters. Then arrange about 1/3 of the sliced apples on top of the apple butter. Fold the rim of the dough up and over the edge of the filling, overlapping the dough as you go. Press firmly. If you have cut out pieces of dough for decoration, place them on the dough now. Brush the dough with the egg wash. Brush the sliced apples with the melted butter. Sprinkle some of the cinnamon sugar over the apples and the crust. Bake it for 50 minutes or till golden. I finished assembling the other galettes and kept them in the fridge till my oven was free again.

Once the galettes are baked. Make the glazing. This is optional, I wanted the apple to shine a bit. Place the fig jam and 3 tablespoons of water in a small pan over medium heat. Stir for about 2 minutes until it is sort of a glaze. Brush the apples with a bit of the diluted fig jam. Sprinkle some chopped pistachio nuts. I like to serve it with some vanilla ice cream.

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