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Eat the Seasons - February 2012


In season this month

Fruit & Nuts
Forced Rhubarb

Vegetables & Herbs

Brussels Sprouts, Cabbages, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Chicory, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Leeks, Parsnips, Potatoes, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Swede

Meat & Game
Goose, Guinea Fowl, Hare, Mallard, Partridge, Rabbit, Venison, Wood Pigeon

Fish & Shellfish
Brill, Clams, Cockles, Haddock, Halibut, Hake, John Dory, Lemon Sole, Mussels, Oysters, Salmon

As Britain’s best-loved cooking apple Bramleys are unique, because they contain a higher acid content and lower sugar levels than other apples.   This produces a stronger, tangier tasting apple that keeps it flavour even when cooked.  Bramley apples really are one of the most versatile ingredients around, and because they are available all year round they can be used in a wide variety of dishes – hot or cold, sweet or savoury. To honour this fantastic fruit thought we’d share a really special recipe. 

Creamed Bramley Apple Flan

Serves 6 people

Ingredients

For the pastry;

  • 4oz (110g) plain flour, sifted
  • 1oz (25g) margarine
  • 1oz (25g) lard
  • Water to mix

For the filling;

  • 4 large Bramley Apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2oz (50g) butter
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 4 Amoretti biscuits, crushed into crumbs with a rolling pin
  • 2 tablespoons of brandy (Calvados if possible)
  • 2 tablespoons of sultanas
  • grated peel of a small lemon
  • 1½ fl oz (65ml) double cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • Freshly grated nutmeg

 

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 3500F (1080C)

Prepare an 8 inch (20cm) flan tin by lightly greasing it

Make up the pastry by rubbing the fats into the sifted flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Then add enough water to make a dough that leaves the bowl clean.  Pop the pastry in a polythene bag and leave to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes or so, then roll it out and use to line the flan tin.  Prick the base all over with a fork and bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile put the sliced apples in a saucepan with the water and cook until they are pulpy.  Transfer them to a large mixing bowl and beat until you have a smooth puree.  Then whisk in the butter and the caster sugar, followed by the amoretti biscuit crumbs and lemon peel.  Warm the brandy gently with the sultanas in it and then add this to the mixture, along with a good grating of nutmeg.  Combine everything thoroughly and leave the mixture to cool.  Next whisk the egg yolks together with the cream, just enough to thicken it slightly.  When the apple mixture has cooled, stir the eggs and cream into it.  Pour the whole lot into the partly cooked flan case, then bake in the oven for a further 30 minutes.