“Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand.” Mother Teresa
Whilst one can not make jam out of love, one can certainly make it with love. Good jam is a treat that can be freely enjoyed in small quantities and when used in hearty, old recipes, jam is good for both the body and the soul…Using it in a variety of ways can lend the creative homebaker a helping hand, however, when “messing” with tried and tested recipes, the reformation has to be worthwhile! Apple Bakewell…it is probably wrong on so many levels (microwave quick jam…changing a classic recipe) that it should probably called something else, but -even if offending the rule-keeping, pedantic bakers – I love the tasty twist that bakes like this can represent. It keeps everything that is good in the classic and has additions that make it even more delicious.
Microwave Apple Jam
350 g apple-flesh (cored, peeled)
500 g sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp pectin
Combine apples and sugar in medium bowl. Microwave at High until apples are tender 3 to 5 minutes. Beat softened apple mixture with electric mixer until well blended. Microwave at High until mixture is slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes, stirring once during cooking time, stir in lemon juice and pectin. Cool before using.
For the shortcrust pastry
175 g plain flour
75 g chilled butter
2-3 tbsp cold water
For the filling
125 g butter
125 g caster sugar
125 g ground almonds
1 egg, beaten
½ tsp almond extract
50 g flaked almonds or almond slices
1 apple, peeled and chopped finely
For the icing
80 g icing sugar
2½ tsp cold water
To make the pastry, measure the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the water, mixing to form a soft dough. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface and use to line small tartlet tins (amount depends on the chosen tin). Leave in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Line the pastry cases with foil and fill with baking beans. Bake blind for about 15 minutes, then remove the beans and foil and cook for a further five minutes to dry out the base.
For the filing, spread the base of the flans generously with jam. Melt the butter in a pan, take off the heat and then stir in the sugar. Add ground almonds, egg, apple and almond extract. Pour into the flan tin and sprinkle over the flaked almonds. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. If the tops seem to be browning too quickly, cover the tarts loosely with foil to prevent them burning.
Meanwhile, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Stir in cold water and transfer to a piping bag to decorate cool tartlets.
“An apple’s core principle it to not get eaten. And who wants to eat the core of an apple anyway?” Jarod Kintz