Time flies when you're having fun! Do you believe that saying? Is there truth in it? Absolutely. I realised a month ago my blog is already on its 5th year. Hooray! What started out as a personal journal to keep and remember recipes has evolved into something more.
Through this blog, I've met the most wonderful people who share the same interest and passion that I have in food, both personally and virtually.
Through this blog, I developed a keen interest in cooking and baking that I've decided to take Commercial Cookery and I'm onto my last semester.
Through this blog I have learned more about photography and food styling and op shop/prop shopping!
Through this blog I've created a happy place for myself - for those times when parenting, domesticity, work and all other things become frustrating. Yes. This has become an outlet of some sort. Therapeutic as cooking and baking can be, writing brings a different sense of calmness. Through this blog, I become a story teller. And as it has been my initial intention, through this blog, my kids will read about their own stories and learn to cook along the way.
Now rewind five years ago, my first blog post was all about a trip to the Blue Mountains with some friends and we went apple picking. I remember we had so many apples that after getting tired of juicing them and making apple crumble, I went on to make my first ever cake from scratch. It was one Easter long weekend.
On a recent trip to the Blue Mountains with the inlaws (hashtag #inlawsarehere) we did the same thing. Despite the heat and the long drive (actually 2 hours is not that long, except when you have kids perpetually asking - are we there yet? ), we had great fun. This time though we managed to control our pickings and harvested only what we can consume responsibly.
Bilpin Springs Orchard is 1.5-2 hours drive towards Western Sydney via Richmond. They orchard is open to the public for fruit picking most weekends with a variety of fruits to pick on offer. It's a different kind of experience for our overseas guests especially apples, plums and pears are not locally grown fruits in the Philippines. And while we were there, of course we showcased the famous Three Sisters at Echo Point in Katoomba and walked around the local shops.
So. Five years of adobo down under in the blogosphere sounds like a celebration to me. Not bad at all. And to celebrate five years of food blogging, musings and story telling, let me share a simple recipe that embraces the coming of autumn. It is a simple, easy sweet dish that's a crowd pleaser any time of the day. Its easy because you can use store-bought puff pastry. Its simple because you only need a few basic ingredients. But the result is something that looks really fancy. And then you can say you made tartes fine aux pommes. This recipe is inspired by Margaret Fulton's Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery.
To make these simple but fancy looking Tartes fine aux pommes:
2 sheets puff pastry
4 apples (with enough to munch on while making)
50g butter (25g for brushing and 25g cubes to put on top)
1/4 cup raw sugar
cinnamon to sprinkle (optional)
|I used a small 3-4cm cake pan to cut out the shapes from the puff pastry. If you have pastry round cutters you can use that. Or otherwise, do other shapes.|
|The layers. Puff pastry, apples, brushed with a little bit of butter, raw sugar and a tiny knob of butter on top.|
|Golden crispy pastries with soft cinnamon scented apples. Divine!|
Sprinkle some flour on your bench top or table.
Using a rolling pin, roll the store bought puff pastry to slightly thin them.
Cut the pastry out to size - rounds or squares or triangles. Whatever you fancy.
Place the cut out pastry onto a lined baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to chill for 20-30 minutes.
Wash, peel and core the apples.
Using a mandoline or sharp knife, cut the apple into thin slices.
Once the pastry has chilled, layer the apples slices onto the pastry.
Brush some of the melted butter on the top of the apples.
Using your fingers, sprinkle some raw sugar on the apple slices then place a tiny cube of butter on the top.
Sprinkle some ground cinnamon on the tops.
Bake in a preheated 180*C oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
Place on a wire rack to cool.
* We've made these as squares and triangles and it works just the same.
* When brushing the butter on the top of the apples, don't use to much. You only want to wet the apples so the sugar will stick to the slices.
*The tarts are best eaten still warm and crispy a few minutes after baked.
Happy 5th year adobo down under! Even though there's no cake in this party, there is a big space to say Maraming Salamat. Gracias. Merci. For being a part of this celebration. Cheers!