Apple tart with apple brandy sorbet and the island of Jersey

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IMG_1269 How can Jersey be so different from France. It was only a 1 1/2 hour ferry travel from Saint Malo. You have here a very relaxed atmosphere, it is not so evident touristic. And the real beauties of the island are in the middle of the island, of course there are spectacular sea views, but with a bike (rolling on the left side!) I  discovered some really almost untouched spots away from the sea. There are a lot of wild berries and many apple gardens, this is why I made an apple tart, and the apple brandy for the sorbet I brought from the island. You can substitute it by a Calvados for example. Unfortunately I did’t find any culinary spot which is really worth telling about. But , even if St. Helier, the capital, is a quite big town, you can find your calm and meditation on the island. For the tart I used my own puff pastry, I won’t give the recipe here, you will find some good recipes elsewhere or simply take a store-bought one.

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Recipe

For the apple brandy sorbet

  • 100 g sugar
  • 100 ml water
  • 250 g chopped apples
  • 3 tbsp apple brandy
  • 3 tbsp lime juice

very thinly sliced apples, some brown sugar, puff pastry

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Bring the water with the sugar to a boil. Slightly cool down and mix together with the apples in a food processor. Then stir in the apple brandy and lime juice. Put in the fridge for a while and then freeze in an ice cream machine.

Roll out the puff pastry and cut circles in the size you want. Cover decoratively with the very finely cut apples and sprinkle brown sugar on top. Bake at 180° for about 20 minutes.

Serve with the apple brandy sorbet.

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Blueberry Tart and fresh air in Saint Malo

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I the morning I went from Paris to Saint Malo. After a short three hours train travel I felt the sea breeze, and I knew immediately why all the french people go to the sea in august. The recipe for the tart I choose because of the blue color, and I was happy to realize it as good as in a well known deli shop in Munich. But now something about Saint Malo which is at the border between Normandie and Bretagne. The first days it was a quite cold wind, but with the sun the next days swimming in the sea was a delight. It was a pleasure just to walk around, and so I discovered the best Crepe Restaurant ever. They make savory galettes with buckwheat flour, and specially here with a japanese twist. Great! As dessert I had a crepe with matcha ice-cream, and the second time a crepe suzette yuzu. Everything so inspiring for my cooking at home. And the region is also famous for their caramel with salted butter, and of course for oysters.

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One day I went to Cancale, a gorgeous little village not far away from where you can see the famous St.Michaels Mount. What I found there was the most amazing spice shop. Smelling one you feel like you have never known the essence of a spice before. Of course I had a full shopping bag after..everything again for my cooking at home. At the seafront I enjoyed a chilled glass of white wine, and then I went back to Saint Malo.

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Recipe

For the dough

  • 200 g flour
  • 3 g salt
  • 8 g baking powder
  • 130 g sugar
  • 150 g soft butter
  • 3 egg yolks

For the cream

  • 500 ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 120 g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 40 g flour

Blueberries

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First cream the butter with the sugar, then add the egg yolks one after one , and at the end stir in the flour with salt and baking powder. Leave in the fridge for one hour. Then flatten it quite thin on a baking paper and bake for 15 min. Now take a round baking form to help giving the dough the round shape.

For the cream heat the milk with half the sugar and vanilla extract. Meanwhile stir together the eggs with the flour and remaining sugar. Pour a little of the boiling milk to the egg mixture while stirring all the time, continue like this with the remaining milk. Put everything  back in the pan and bring to a boil again. Stir until the mixture is thickening. Put in the fridge.

Put a thin layer of cream onto the dough and then the blueberries very regularly.

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Pistachio Cake and Paris in August

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Very very spontaneous I decided to go to France for one week. Arrived in Paris first I moved carefully around because of all the things which happened there and in my life during the last year. At least I was quite happy that  it was August because I wanted to have the town for me alone. And the streets are really empty. But it was still so much life that this dream city was like always. In the hotel I was upgraded, never I had to wait, the inspiration for artful pastries was amazing again. The idea of this recipe I have from a new Patisserie book, I just made it more easy to realize, and the wild strawberry liqueur frosting with additional red color is my obsession for intense strawberry red.During my stay one day I went to Luxembourg Garden with the most beautiful little raspberry cake to take pictures. It was great fun.

But what is France without the sea in August. But this will be the next post.

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Recipe

For the cake

  • 65 g ground almonds
  • 95 g icing sugar
  • 50 g flour
  • 80 g soft butter
  • 30 g pate de pistache
  • 15 g oil
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 15 g milk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 25 g sugar

For the icing

  • 3 tbsp apricot jam
  • 90 g icing sugar
  • 18 ml water
  • 4 g wild strawberry liqueur
  • 1/ 8 tsp red color powder

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Preheat the oven to 180°. Stir together the ground almonds with the icing sugar. This mixture work together with the butter. Then add  the pate de pistachio, then the oil, then the egg yolks and then the milk. Beat the egg whites with the sugar until firm. Carefully mix in the mixture and finally the flour. Butter small baking moulds , put in the dough and bake at 180° for ten minutes and then at 160° further 30 min.

Put the cakes in the fridge to make the icing easier. Gently warm the apricot jam. Stir together the icing sugar, the water , the strawberry liqueur and the red color. After half an hour take the cakes out of the fridge, cover first with the apricot jam and then with red icing. Decorate with some pistachios.

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Raspberry Tart and the story of *Gradaraworkshop

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Betty Liu @bliu07

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During the occasion of publishing a recipe for a raspberry tart, I want to tell you something about my travel to Italy 2 weeks ago to participate on a food photography workshop in Gradara/ Marche.

In a beautiful farmhouse and garden with view to the adriatic coast  ten women from Lebanon, Turkey, Iran, Greece, Italy, Croatia, Germany, Switzerland, Kuwait and Canada came together to be teached by the talented Valentina Solfrini and Zaira Zarotti from Italy and Betty Liu from the US. Two full days we arranged still lives, searched for the best light, learned technical things about photography, talked about everything, ate the most delicious food from Valentinas mother on a long wooden table in the garden.

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Zaira Zarotti @thefreakytable

 

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Valentina Solfrini @valentinahortus, and Betty Liu and Diane Aftimos

I hope the pictures  are telling the story itself, it would be interesting to write about each single woman on this workshop with all their passions and talents, especially about the amazing Zaira from Venice ( her pictures are like wonderful paintings ), Valentina ( her pictures are artistic delicate compositions ) and Betty ( with her completely different amazing style ). Two weeks after this gathering I am still in a high inspired mood, not only because of my passion for cooking, baking, creating recipes, find new combinations of flavors, but also to share it with you with the most beautiful possible photos.

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Recipe

for the dough

  • 150 g soft butter
  • 75 g brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200 g flour

for the cream

  • 250 ml milk
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 50 g sugar
  • 30 g corn starch
  • 2 tbsp ricotta

…and raspberries

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Mix together the  butter, sugar, salt, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Carefully kneed the flour in. Keep the dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Then shape circles of the size you want. Bake at 180° for about 12 minutes.

Bring the milk with the vanilla bean to a boil. Meanwhile beat the egg yolks with the sugar, then stir in the cornstarch. Pour the boiling milk over the egg mixture, stirring all the time. Bring the mixture to a boil again and keep stirring until the mixture is thickening. Let it cool down a little, the stir in the ricotta.

Give a little cream on each baked dough circle and garnish with raspberries.

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