Recipes for little bakers: Apple puff tarts
As the holidays approach, parents across the land grind their teeth over the anxious question of how to keep their little, school-liberated darlings amused without bankrupting ourselves. While most people will be still be working (yeah, me too) you may still find the odd day or two when you're not on a family holiday and yet another trip to the park has been rained off.
In those moments, the kitchen beckons, and so do the delicious treats I'll outline over the next few posts. These treats are all recipes I've made with my son's 'help' - he's not yet 5 years old, so his idea of help involves throwing flour everywhere and eating as much as possible, but you get the idea.
Apple puff tarts
What you'll need
A baking sheet + baking paper
Pastry brush (just use a spoon if you don't have one)
1 roll of ready-made pastry - shortcrust or puff, whatever you can find - at room temperature
3 or 4 apples, washed, cored and sliced (peeled too if you prefer)
Half a lemon
A tablespoon of sugar - I use Demerara
Vanilla extract or paste, cinnamon, nutmeg or mixed spice to taste (all optional)
How to do it
1. Preheat your oven to 200C (180C fan) and line a baking sheet with baking paper (you can usually just use the baking paper your pastry comes rolled in)
2. Put your apple slices in a large bowl and squeeze over the lemon, taking care to remove the any escapee lemon pips. Add the sugar and stir through gently until all apple slices are coated.
3. Add a 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and a dash of cinnamon, grated nutmeg and mixed spice if you fancy, mixing again to ensure all the apples get some.
4. Unroll your pastry and cut out some shapes with your cookie cutters. Stars, rockets, gingerbread men, whatever you've got. Lay out all the shapes on your baking sheet, leaving a couple of centimetres between each one, then prick each one lightly several times with a fork.
5. Place your apples slices evenly across each shape, then brush each one with a little leftover syrup from the bowl. I also dust with more cinnamon at this stage, because apples + cinnamon = joy.
6. Bake in the oven for 10-15mins, until the pastry is golden and crisping on top. Remove from oven and leave to cool on the sheet.
7. Warm a little apricot jam and while the tarts are still hot, brush a little over each tart.
8. Demolish them as soon as they're cool enough not to burn your mouth. Delicious with or without vanilla ice cream.
Enjoy! And look out for my blog on another easy recipe - American pancakes. Always a winner, and with only a 2 tablespoons of sugar in the recipe too!
In the meantime, here's a simple yoghurt cake recipe you can modify to suit whatever flavour you've got kicking about in the house, from fresh fruits to coconut and everything in between.