Tahini Caramel Apple Tart

I’ve been thinking about this French Apple Tart ever since I saw Ina make it – I’m usually not a tart kind of person because lining a pastry tin is not my idea of fun, but this recipe is SO simple, there’s no faffing around. You roll out a flaky pastry into a rectangle, top with sliced apples and sugar and bake. Now, Ina brushes the apples with an apricot jam glaze (a trick my mum always uses too) but I opted for a tahini caramel sauce instead – drizzled over the tart whilst still warm. It’s a little bit nutty and isn’t too sweet but if you’re daunted by caramel making you can always stick with the jam if you want!    

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slices of tahini caramel apple tart

I’ve been thinking about this French Apple Tart ever since I saw Ina make it – I’m usually not a tart kind of person because lining a pastry tin is not my idea of fun, but this recipe is SO simple, there’s no faffing around.

You roll out a flaky pastry into a rectangle, top with sliced apples and sugar and bake. Now, Ina brushes the apples with an apricot jam glaze (a trick my mum always uses too) but I opted for a tahini caramel sauce instead – drizzled over the tart whilst still warm.

A sliced apple tart drizzled with tahini caramel

It’s a little bit nutty and isn’t too sweet but if you’re daunted by caramel making you can always stick with the jam if you want!

 

 

slices of tahini caramel apple tart

Tahini Caramel Apple Tart

Yield: serves 8-12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

An easy tahini caramel sauce drizzled over a simple apple tart with homemade flaky pastry!

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

Ingredients

For the pastry:

  • 2 cups (240g) plain white (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup (165g) unsalted butter, cold, cubed
  • up to 1/2 cup (125ml) ice water

For the caramel:

  • 1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp (30g) unstalted butter
  • generous pinch salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean powder
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 4 tbsp milk

For the top:

  • 3 to 4 Bramley apples, peeled and cored
  • ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into little cubes

Instructions

Make the pastry:

  1. Place the flour, salt, sugar and butter into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to cut the butter in – you want a mealy mixture with a few pea-sized lumps of butter remaining. Drizzle in the water (start with 4 tablespoons) and pulse in, adding more water a tablespoon at a time if needed. The mixture should be moist enough so that if you squeeze some together, it’ll stick.
  2. Tip the pastry mixture out onto a piece of cling film. Pat together with your hands into a rectangle then wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile make the caramel:

  1. Place the sugar and water in a large saucepan (silver/white ones a best so you can see the colour change). Place over a medium heat on the stove and stir just until the sugar dissolves then stop stirring. Let the mixture cook, tilting and swirling the pan, until it has reached an even, golden colour.
  2. Turn the heat all the way down, add in the butter, salt and vanilla. Let that butter melt a bit before picking the spoon back up and mixing it in. Once smooth, add the tahini and milk and stir through until smooth. Take off the heat and set aside.

Rolling and baking:

  1. Once the pastry has rested, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) fan.
  2. Cut the apples in half and then slice into half-moons about ¼-inch (5mm) thick.
  3. Cut a piece of baking paper to fit a large baking tray. Unwrap the pastry, place onto the baking paper and dust with flour. Roll the pastry out into a rectangle slightly smaller than the piece of baking paper. Trim the edges so they are straight then transfer the pastry (on the baking paper) onto the baking tray.
  4. Place overlapping slices of apples diagonally down the middle of the tart and continue making diagonal rows on both sides of the first row until the pastry is covered with apple slices. Sprinkle with the 1/4 cup of sugar and dot with the butter.
  5. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the tart is dark golden around the edges and the apples have coloured slightly. Drizzle with the caramel (you may need to re-warm it over a low heat on the stove to get it drizzle-able again) then allow to cool before slicing and serving.

Notes

  • if you want to speed this recipe up, you can use a block of puff pastry or shortcrust pastry in place of making your own. 

Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

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Eccles Cakes

Thanks to Stoves for sponsoring this post If you haven’t lived in the UK, you might not know what an Eccles cake is. They are a very traditional bake, made up of a filling of currants & spices encased in flaky pastry. The name comes from the town of Eccles which is near Manchester. They’re very moreish and go extremely well with a cup of tea, of course. You can eat them warm from the oven or at room temperature. Stoves, began as a manufacturer of gas heaters when founded in 1920 on valentine’s day! They moved on to make gas cookers and eventually range cookers which they are still a leading manufacturer of in the UK today.  To celebrate Stoves’ landmark 100th year, I was tasked with making a recipe from a 1920s cookbook. Although there were many classic pastries in the book, the Eccles cakes were something I had always wanted to make so I settled on that recipe. The ingredients are quite basic, a lovely buttery flaky pastry is made, rolled out and cut into disks. A filling of currants, mixed peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter and sugar is stirred together and spooned onto each circle. The edges […]

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Thanks to Stoves for sponsoring this post

If you haven’t lived in the UK, you might not know what an Eccles cake is. They are a very traditional bake, made up of a filling of currants & spices encased in flaky pastry. The name comes from the town of Eccles which is near Manchester. They’re very moreish and go extremely well with a cup of tea, of course. You can eat them warm from the oven or at room temperature.

Stoves, began as a manufacturer of gas heaters when founded in 1920 on valentine’s day! They moved on to make gas cookers and eventually range cookers which they are still a leading manufacturer of in the UK today.  To celebrate Stoves’ landmark 100th year, I was tasked with making a recipe from a 1920s cookbook. Although there were many classic pastries in the book, the Eccles cakes were something I had always wanted to make so I settled on that recipe.

The ingredients are quite basic, a lovely buttery flaky pastry is made, rolled out and cut into disks. A filling of currants, mixed peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter and sugar is stirred together and spooned onto each circle. The edges of the circle are gathered at the top and pinched together to seal the filling within a layer of pastry.

These are little pastries, similar in size to a cookie, as they are quite rich from all the butter & dried fruit! This batch makes quite a few Eccles cakes, and although they’ll keep well for ~5 days in a sealed container, you can also freeze them if needed.

Although it is traditional to use lard in flaky pastry (in place of all or some of the butter), I go for all-butter. So yes, these Eccles cakes are vegetarian, but some that you might buy from traditional bakeries will contain lard.

Eccles Cakes

Eccles Cakes

Yield: 20-22
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

Flaky pastry:

  • 226g (2 cups minus 2 tbsp) white bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp fine table salt
  • 170g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 70ml (1/4 cup + 2 tsp) very cold water

Currant filling:

  • 120g (3/4 cup) currants (or raisins)
  • 40g (1/4 cup) chopped mixed peel
  • 40g (3 tbsp) caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 40g (3 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Demerara sugar (raw sugar), for sprinkling

Instructions

For the pastry:

  1. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter and rub in with a pastry blender/a pair of butter knives/your fingertips until the majority of the mixture has a breadcrumb-like texture with some pea-sized lumps of butter remaining. (If you have a food processor or stand mixer with paddle attachment, you can also do this step in there, pulsing to combine until you reach the consistency mentioned).
  2. At this stage, drizzle in the cold water and gently toss to combine. Give it a bit of a knead in the bowl until the dough starts to come together then tip the shaggy mass out onto your work surface. (Again, if doing this in a food processor/stand mixer, just pulse until the mixture starts to come together then tip out).
  3. Gather the mixture into a mound and use a rolling pin to roll it out into a smallish rectangle. It will likely seem very messy and might stick to the rolling pin, this is fine! Just scrape any dough off the rolling pin and add back to the rectangle. Fold the rectangle into thirds like a business letter. Rotate the dough 90 degrees then roll out into a rectangle again. Fold into thirds again. Then use your hands to press down to compact it into a nice little package.
  4. Wrap in a resealable sandwich bag and chill for at least 1 hour.

For the filling:

  1. Mix the currants, mixed peel, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Stir to combine then pour over the melted butter. Stir again to incorporate and set aside.

Roll out and shape:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C fan (400°F) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and from the sandwich bag. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface, dusting with flour on top as needed to prevent the dough sticking to the rolling pin. Also make sure you’re checking underneath the dough as you do this by gently lifting the edges up and dusting flour underneath as needed to prevent it sticking to the work surface. The dough should be about 3 to 4mm thick.
  3. Use a 4-inch (10cm)round cutter to cut circles from the dough. Place a teaspoonful of filling in the centre of each circle. Wet the edges of the circle with a fingertip dipped in some water. Gather the edges up at the top and pinch together to seal the filling within. Flip over so the seam side is underneath and place onto a lined baking tray. Repeat with all the circles, re-rolling pastry scraps as needed until you’ve used all the filling/pastry.
  4. Cut 3 slits into the top of each Eccles cake with a sharp knife. Brush with the beaten egg and then sprinkle with some demerara sugar.
  5. Bake for 15 to 20minutes until well browned.


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Treacle Tart

Thanks to Lyle’s Golden Syrup for sponsoring this post Amongst all the daily changes that have happened from the lockdown, cooking and baking remains something regular for me to enjoy! And even though there are still some issues with sourcing ingredients like eggs and flour, it’s a way to think creatively and make something comforting and delicious. A treacle tart is a British classic of shortcrust pastry filled with a mixture of breadcrumbs and, most importantly, Lyle’s Golden Syrup which gives the tart that signature caramelised flavour (without even having to make caramel!). It’s a comforting flavour and in these times, that nostalgic comfort of foods from childhood is something I’m craving more and more. Lyle’s Golden Syruphas created a special VE day-themed golden syrup tin which is on sale at the moment. Aiming to raise over £25,000, they’ll be donating 5p from every tin sold to the ‘Help for Heroes’ charity which supports those who have been injured in the Armed Forces. I’m sure with the current situation, this help will be all the more needed by those people. Usually the filling is set with an egg but since they’re a bit hard to come by at the mo, […]

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Thanks to Lyle’s Golden Syrup for sponsoring this post

a treacle tart topped with berries in the shape of the union jack

Amongst all the daily changes that have happened from the lockdown, cooking and baking remains something regular for me to enjoy! And even though there are still some issues with sourcing ingredients like eggs and flour, it’s a way to think creatively and make something comforting and delicious.

A treacle tart is a British classic of shortcrust pastry filled with a mixture of breadcrumbs and, most importantly, Lyle’s Golden Syrup which gives the tart that signature caramelised flavour (without even having to make caramel!). It’s a comforting flavour and in these times, that nostalgic comfort of foods from childhood is something I’m craving more and more.

a slice of treacle tart topped with berries

Lyle’s Golden Syruphas created a special VE day-themed golden syrup tin which is on sale at the moment. Aiming to raise over £25,000, they’ll be donating 5p from every tin sold to the ‘Help for Heroes’ charity which supports those who have been injured in the Armed Forces. I’m sure with the current situation, this help will be all the more needed by those people.

Treacle tart closeup

Usually the filling is set with an egg but since they’re a bit hard to come by at the mo, I’ve adapted the recipe from my vegan pecan pie which is set with a mixture of oat milk & cornflour, enriched with butter. If you can’t get flour, you can always buy a pre-made shortcrust pastry from the supermarket! Also, as the filling uses up breadcrumbs, it’s a great way to put to use all those bits of stale bread you probably have from baking your lockdown sourdough bread!!

Treacle Tart (with fresh berry topping)

Treacle Tart (with fresh berry topping)

Yield: serves 8-12
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

Pastry:

  • 150g plain white flour
  • 75g unsalted butter (or vegan block butter), cold, cubed
  • 20g icing sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2-3 tbsp milk or oat milk, cold

Filling:

  • 300g Lyle’s Golden Syrup
  • 55g butter or vegan butter
  • 120g milk or oat milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 60g dried, fine breadcrumbs (I used sourdough ones)

Instructions

For the pastry:

  1. Combine all the pastry ingredients, in a food processor. Blitz to combine until you get a mealy, breadcrumb-like texture. Add the milk, starting with 2 tbsp, and pulse to combine. When you pinch some of the mixture together it should stick, forming a ball. If not, add the remaining 1 tbsp of milk and pulse that in.
  2. Tip the contents of the food processor out onto a clean work surface and bring it all together with your hands into a ball. Flatten into a disk and place into a resealable bag, in the fridge, to chill for at least 1 hour.

For the filling:

  1. Combine the golden syrup, butter, milk and salt in a small pot. Heat on a low heat until the butter has melted. Keep cooking until the mixture starts to gently bubble then remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice, cornflour and dried breadcrumbs. Set aside.

Line the tin:

  1. You’ll need a shallow 8 or 9-inch flan tin (tart tin) or, if you want a rectangular tart like I have here, use a 7 x 9.5-inch roasting dish.
  2. Dust your work surface with some flour, remove the chilled pastry from the resealable bag and place onto the flour. Dust with some extra flour on top. Gently roll the pastry out into either a circle or rectangle, depending on the tin you’re using, which is around 1-inch wider all the way around than your chosen tin.
  3. Lift the pastry up and drape over the tin, lifting the edges and gently lowering them onto the tin. Press firmly into the corners and edges then trim away any excess pastry. Prick the base all over with a fork.
  4. Place the lined tin into the freezer (or fridge if you don’t have enough space) for 10 minutes as you preheat the oven to 160°C fan (325°F) or 180°C non-fan (350°F).

Blind bake the pastry:

  1. Once preheated, line the pastry with a layer of baking paper, fill with baking beans (or rice/pie weights) and bake for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove the baking paper and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until the pastry looks dry and cooked through.

Fill and do the final bake:

  1. Give the filling a stir and then pour it into the pastry case. Return to the oven for a further 20-25 minutes until the filling is set where it barely wobbles when the tin is shaken.
  2. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  3. Decorate with fresh berries, if desired, just before serving.

Notes

Vegan option: use vegan block 'butter' in the pastry and filling.

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Filo Tart with Broccoli & Ricotta

Filo tarts were a mainstay in my house at uni. Along with curry nights, filo pie was a favourite to cook together and share. I’m definitely more of a savoury tart/pie person (weirdly) and filo is a great pastry for dinner time since it’s so easy to work with. My favourite thing to do with it is rip up shreds of the pastry, crumple them up, and lay those over a bed of veg. The crumpling of the pastry increases the surface area so you get LOADS of crispy, crunchy bits – the besssst. This tart is a prettier version but still has the maximum crunch possible – I reserve a couple of pastry sheets to make crumples which I dot around the exposed edges. The outcome is a lovely springy tart, super quick to make (so weeknight friendly) with the crunchiest, sesame seeded edges. Yum. More spring time goodness:– Casarecce with snap peas, asparagus & ricotta– Roasted carrots with herby yoghurt dressing– Carrot Gnudi with walnut sauce Have you made this recipe? I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

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A filo pastry tart with broccoli and feta, on a ricotta base by Izy Hossack

Filo tarts were a mainstay in my house at uni. Along with curry nights, filo pie was a favourite to cook together and share. I’m definitely more of a savoury tart/pie person (weirdly) and filo is a great pastry for dinner time since it’s so easy to work with.

My favourite thing to do with it is rip up shreds of the pastry, crumple them up, and lay those over a bed of veg. The crumpling of the pastry increases the surface area so you get LOADS of crispy, crunchy bits – the besssst.

A filo pastry tart with broccoli and feta, on a ricotta base by Izy Hossack

This tart is a prettier version but still has the maximum crunch possible – I reserve a couple of pastry sheets to make crumples which I dot around the exposed edges. The outcome is a lovely springy tart, super quick to make (so weeknight friendly) with the crunchiest, sesame seeded edges. Yum.

More spring time goodness:
Casarecce with snap peas, asparagus & ricotta
Roasted carrots with herby yoghurt dressing
Carrot Gnudi with walnut sauce

Filo Tart with Broccoli & Ricotta

Filo Tart with Broccoli & Ricotta

Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • a (220g / 8 oz) packet filo pastry (phyllo pastry)
  • 250g (9 oz) ricotta cheese
  • 2 heaped tbsp pesto (I used wild garlic pesto or basil pesto)
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 5 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
  • 1 medium egg
  • 350g (12.5 oz) tenderstem broccoli
  • 60g (2 oz) feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan / 350°F).
  2. Take a 9 x 13-inch rimmed baking sheet and brush it with a bit of the olive oil.
  3. Lay a sheet of filo onto the top half of the baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Place a second sheet of filo over the bottom half of the baking sheet, there should be some overlap in the middle. Brush with more olive oil.
  4. Coninue with the layering until you have 2 sheets of pastry left. Rip them into random pieces about 3 inches wide and set aside.
  5. Mix the ricotta with the pesto, lemon zest and thyme in a medium bowl. Stir in the egg until smooth. Spread this over the pastry, leaving 1 inch slight border of pastry uncovered around the edge.
  6. Lay the broccoli over the ricotta in an even layer. Top with the crumbled feta and fold in the edges of the pastry.
  7. Take the random shredded pieces of filo and crumple them up, place around the border of the tart.
  8. Brush the whole tart with any remaining olive oil and sprinkle the edges with the sesame seeds.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes until browned around the edges and the broccoli is starting to colour.
  10. Remove from the oven and cut into 8 pieces. Serve hot.

Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

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Simple Rhubarb Tart

Every time rhubarb season rolls around, I’m IN on it, buying it as often as I can make an excuse to! This recipe is for a super simple rhubarb tart, which really lets the flavour shine. It’s possibly the simplest a rhubarb tart can get, with only 5 ingredients needed to bake up the prettiest dessert! For a few months at the end of 2018, I had the luck to assist Frankie Unsworth, an amazing food stylist who just is the loveliest, happiest person! Her book had just come out that summer too which is centred around delicious recipes with specific styling tips for each and every one. There are also notes on helpful tools to buy and sneaky methods to use to make food look its best. After reading the whole book last year, the 5-ingredient rhubarb tart from was stuck in my mind and, once the rhubarb started to appear in the market, it was destiny that I would make it. I made my life a bit more complicated by making my own rough puff pastry for the tart (see here for my tutorial on how to make some yourself!). But if you stick to using shop bought […]

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Simple Rhubarb Tart on a tray on the counter

Every time rhubarb season rolls around, I’m IN on it, buying it as often as I can make an excuse to! This recipe is for a super simple rhubarb tart, which really lets the flavour shine. It’s possibly the simplest a rhubarb tart can get, with only 5 ingredients needed to bake up the prettiest dessert!

Simple Rhubarb Tart with chopped pistachios by Izy Hossack

For a few months at the end of 2018, I had the luck to assist Frankie Unsworth, an amazing food stylist who just is the loveliest, happiest person! Her book had just come out that summer too which is centred around delicious recipes with specific styling tips for each and every one. There are also notes on helpful tools to buy and sneaky methods to use to make food look its best.

After reading the whole book last year, the 5-ingredient rhubarb tart from was stuck in my mind and, once the rhubarb started to appear in the market, it was destiny that I would make it.

Simple Rhubarb Tart with chopped pistachios

I made my life a bit more complicated by making my own rough puff pastry for the tart (see here for my tutorial on how to make some yourself!). But if you stick to using shop bought stuff (especially if you can get the all-butter puff), it’s going to be incredibly delicious too.

A simple frame of puff pastry is filled with sugar, pistachios and rhubarb before baking. It’s almost like a galette but more sophisticated thanks to the sharp, neat edges of the square pastry. As an optional extra, Frankie recommends brushing honey over the rhubarb to make it shiny! It’s a bit fiddly as you need to do some measuring to make it all fit together perfectly, but that really is the hardest part!

Other simple tarts:

Simple Rhubarb Tart

Simple Rhubarb Tart

Yield: a 25cm square tart, serves 6

Ingredients

  • 80 g (1/2 cup) shelled pistachios
  • 5 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 300-400g (11-14 ounces) rhubarb (see notes)
  • 320 or 375g (11.5 or 13.5 ounces) ready-rolled puff pastry (see notes)

To serve:

  • 2 tbsp clear honey, warmed
  • 6 tbsp creme fraiche or ice cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan / 400°F). Line a large baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. Very finely chop the pistachios (or pulse in a food processor). Place in a small bowl with the sugar and mix well.
  3. In a separate small bowl, beat the egg until smooth.
  4. Trim the tough ends and leaves off of the rhubarb. Cut each stalk into 20cm (8-inch) lengths.
  5. Unroll the pastry and lay it out on a work surface. Trim to a 25cm (10-inch) square. Using the tip of a knife, make an incision all the way around the square about 2.5cm (1-inch) in from the outside edge. Do not cut all the way through. The rhubarb will sit within the resulting 'frame'. Transfer to a piece of baking parchment so you can move it around freely.
  6. Cut four 22.5 x 2.5cm (9 x 1 inch) strips out of the remaining pastry. Brush the scored pastry 'frame' with the beaten egg, then lay the strips of pastry over it. You don't want the strips to overlap so place each strip flush against the next and continue all the way around to make a frame. If at any point the pastry feels warm and is hard to work with, transfer to the fridge to chill for 10 minutes. Brush the strips with more egg wash.
  7. Prick the base all over with a fork then scatter three quarters of the pistachio mixture over it evenly.
  8. Transfer the pastry to a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and arrange the rhubarb as tightly and neatly as possible in a row inside the frame.
  9. Scatter the remaining pistachio sugar haphazardly over the rhubarb and flick a little water over it. Bake for a further 15-20 minutes until the pastry is golden, the base is crisp, and the rhubarb tender.
  10. To serve, brush the rhubarb with a little warmed honey (if using) and cut into portions. Add a dollop of creme fraiche or ice cream.

Notes

  • From 'The New Art of Cooking' by Frankie Unsworth
  • You can make your own rough puff pastry using this recipe and use that instead of the ready-rolled puff pastry.
  • The amount of rhubarb needed is going to depend on how thick the stems are. Frankie recommends 5-7 sticks when using the thick stuff. I was using much thinner stems and needed 12 stems (which weighed around 300g).
  • This will be very easy to vegan-ise: use a ready made puff pastry that is vegan friendly (most of the ones in the supermarket are). Mix 2 tbsp non-dairy milk with 2 tbsp maple syrup and use that instead of the egg wash. Lastly, brush the rhubarb with maple syrup instead of honey and serve with non-dairy vanilla ice cream!

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Vegan Pecan Pie

It’s that time of year again! As Autumn comes in and all that holiday baking is on the horizon, I always have maple pecan pie on my mind. It’s a classic for Thanksgiving and I can never get enough of it. Egg replacement for pecan pie I had been thinking about Treacle tart too (a British classic consisting of a tart shell filled with breadcrumbs & golden syrup) so when I decided to make a vegan pecan pie for when my friends came round for dinner, I used a bit of inspiration from the humble treacle tart to get the right texture for the filling. Usually a pecan pie contains a sugary ‘custard’ that is thickened with eggs – they help the filling to set into a soft, gooey texture when the pie bakes. When veganising a pecan pie though, you need something more to help that sugary goo set. You can’t only rely on flax as the sugary filling will basically just end up as a liquid caramel. So I bulked up my filling with soft, fresh breadcrumbs (which also meant I could get away with using less pecans, making the pie a bit cheaper to make). The bread […]

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pie tin with vegan maple pecan pie and a slice taken out

It’s that time of year again! As Autumn comes in and all that holiday baking is on the horizon, I always have maple pecan pie on my mind. It’s a classic for Thanksgiving and I can never get enough of it.

a slice of vegan maple pecan pie with ice cream

Egg replacement for pecan pie

I had been thinking about Treacle tart too (a British classic consisting of a tart shell filled with breadcrumbs & golden syrup) so when I decided to make a vegan pecan pie for when my friends came round for dinner, I used a bit of inspiration from the humble treacle tart to get the right texture for the filling. Usually a pecan pie contains a sugary ‘custard’ that is thickened with eggs – they help the filling to set into a soft, gooey texture when the pie bakes. When veganising a pecan pie though, you need something more to help that sugary goo set. You can’t only rely on flax as the sugary filling will basically just end up as a liquid caramel. So I bulked up my filling with soft, fresh breadcrumbs (which also meant I could get away with using less pecans, making the pie a bit cheaper to make). The bread helped to absorb and hold onto the moisture in the filling whilst providing bulk.

I also added cornstarch and flax to help ‘gel’ the filling and it worked perfectly!

overhead image of vegan maple pecan pie with two slices removed

I used pre-made shortcrust pastry (I always just use the ‘plain’ stuff, never the ‘dessert’ pastry as I find the sweetened one is more likely to slump when baked) as it’s an easy one to get and is already vegan. I’m all for dessert shortcuts, especially when you’re cooking for a crowd and don’t have time to make + chill your own pastry. If you have a favourite vegan pastry recipe you prefer, go for it!!

Using Maple Syrup, not corn syrup

My mum always used maple syrup in her pecan pies, so that’s what I do now! It is more expensive but the flavour of the maple with the pecans is something I love. The rest of the sweetness comes from light brown sugar which adds a light molasses flavour. To amp up the taste of the maple, I also have a bottle of artificial maple flavouring which I got in the US. I use it exclusively for pecan pies and only use about 1/2 a teaspoon in the filling – it’s not essential but if you like that maple-y flavour, it’s a recommended buy.

a maple pecan pie overhead with coffee mugs

How can you tell when pecan pie is done?

This vegan pecan pie just needs the cornstarch to gelatinise (relatively quick) and the pie crust to brown. After about 30 minutes, it should be done. The main way you can tell is by looking at the colour of the crust – is it nicely golden all over? Is it starting to darken in some patches? You’re good to go! You’ll notice that when you remove the pie from the oven, it’ll still be jiggly in the centre as the hot sugar is still liquid. But, it as it cools down it quickly sets up. For the neatest slices, let it cool completely before you cut into it but you can definitely serve it warm.

Overbaking a pecan pie can lead to the nuts on top burning which will impart a rancid flavour and less moist texture in the filling. It’s therefore better to underbake the pie slightly as the only downside of that may be a lighter crust (which, imo, is better than dry filling).

How do you store pecan pie & can it be made ahead of time?

I keep it in the tin, covered at room temperature as I know it’ll be eaten in a few days. If you’re planning on keeping it for longer, you can freeze the baked pecan pie. Just make sure it’s completely cool, slice up the pie and slip it into a resealable plastic food bag – label + date it and get it into the freezer. You can freeze a few slices or a whole pie! Just take it out of the freezer the day before you need it and let it defrost overnight at room temperature.

This is also useful if you want to make the pie way ahead of time (e.g. prepping for Thanksgiving!). If you’re making the pie a day or two before, just keep it at room temperature overnight, covered. It’ll be just fine the next day. You can warm it up in a low oven for 10 minutes before serving to make it a bit more gooey again.

Previously..

Vegan Pecan Pie

Vegan Pecan Pie

Yield: Serves 8-12

Ingredients

  • 375g (14 oz) ready made shortcrust pastry (ensure it's vegan), or your favourite vegan shortcrust pastry
  • 190g (3/4 cup + 2 tbsp) soft brown sugar
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) maple syrup
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 120ml (1/2 cup) oat milk
  • 60g (1 cup) fresh breadcrumbs (see notes)
  • 2 tsp cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 2 tsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp maple extract (optional)
  • 200g (1 1/3 cups) pecans, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C fan (180°C / 350°F).
  2. Roll out the ready-made pastry, on a work surface dusted lightly with flour, into a circle about 30cm (12 inches). Use it to line a 23cm (9-inch) pie tin. Fold any overhanging pastry under at the edges. Crimp the edges with your fingertips, if desired. Place into the freezer for 10-20 minutes as you make your filling.
  3. Place the sugar, maple syrup, oil, salt and half of the milk in a medium pot. Place over a medium heat on the stove and bring to the boil. Add the breadcrumbs and allow to cook for a further 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with the remaining milk into a smooth paste. Add the flaxseed, vanilla extract & maple extract and stir again. Pour this into the pot and mix until smooth. Fold in the chopped pecans.
  5. Remove the crust from the freezer and pour in the warm pecan filling. Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes until the crust is a light golden colour and the filling has thickened and set on top, but is still jiggly when you gently shake the tin.
  6. Allow to cool (the filling will set up more as it cools) before slicing and serving. Store at room temperature, covered, for up to 3 days.

Notes

- Fresh breadcrumbs were made by rubbing a couple of slices of soft white bread on the coarse side of a box grater.

Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

The post Vegan Pecan Pie appeared first on Izy Hossack - Top With Cinnamon.

Brown Butter Gooseberry Tart

Gooseberries are such a funny fruit, often covered in fine hairs with a translucent green (or pink!) colour and COME ON, that NAME! My boyfriend and I keep calling them geese because… we are incredibly easy to entertain. The berries are pretty sour by themselves with small seeds inside, they cook down into a soft, squishy compote. Their sour nature means you basically have to have them cooked in a dessert as the sugar is essential. This brown butter gooseberry tart is SO good, it’s incredibly easy to make because of a melt & mix press-in crust which means that all you pastry-making haters out there can rejoice. The filling is also a doddle to make and results in a custardy, creamy texture bursting with tangy geese gooseberries. The recipe is adapted from this one by Bon Appetit from 2009! My mum made a version of it with rhubarb from The Bojon Gourmet before so I knew it was bloody delicious. The gooseberries are the perfect fruit for this tart which is quite sweet itself. The sourness of the fruit balances that out so well and is a lovely dinner party dessert as you can make it ahead of time. […]

The post Brown Butter Gooseberry Tart appeared first on Izy Hossack – Top With Cinnamon.

Gooseberries are such a funny fruit, often covered in fine hairs with a translucent green (or pink!) colour and COME ON, that NAME! My boyfriend and I keep calling them geese because… we are incredibly easy to entertain.

The berries are pretty sour by themselves with small seeds inside, they cook down into a soft, squishy compote. Their sour nature means you basically have to have them cooked in a dessert as the sugar is essential. This brown butter gooseberry tart is SO good, it’s incredibly easy to make because of a melt & mix press-in crust which means that all you pastry-making haters out there can rejoice. The filling is also a doddle to make and results in a custardy, creamy texture bursting with tangy geese gooseberries.

The recipe is adapted from this one by Bon Appetit from 2009! My mum made a version of it with rhubarb from The Bojon Gourmet before so I knew it was bloody delicious. The gooseberries are the perfect fruit for this tart which is quite sweet itself. The sourness of the fruit balances that out so well and is a lovely dinner party dessert as you can make it ahead of time.

Hands adding gooseberries to an unbaked brown butter tart
Hands holding an unbaked brown butter gooseberry tart with flowers and a tea towel
Hands removing baking paper from a brown butter gooseberry tart
A brown butter gooseberry tart with fresh gooseberries next to it

If you can’t get gooseberries, I’m sure another tangy fruit will work well (like slices of plum/apricot or blackberries). It could even be interesting without fruit baked into the filling, with fresh summer fruits (like strawberries or peaches) piled on top post-bake.

I used a bit of buckwheat flour in the crust for some nuttiness and a shorter texture – it’s optional though so you can just go with wheat flour! I also added a lil bit of almond extract to the filling because I loooove almond + fruit but I know some people absolutely hate it – so the extract is also optional 😉

Hope you enjoy this one!

Brown Butter Gooseberry Tart

Brown Butter Gooseberry Tart

Yield: serves 10
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 100g (7 tablespoons/ 3.5 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 50g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 60g (1/2 cup) buckwheat flour OR wholemeal pastry flour
  • 70g (1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon) plain white flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 110g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 100g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 2 medium UK eggs (large US eggs)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 30g (1/4 cup) plain white flour
  • 350-400g (12.5-14.2 ounces) gooseberries

Instructions

Make the crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). You'll need a 9-inch tart or cake tin with a removable base - if using a cake tin, line the sides of the tin with some baking paper.
  2. Place the butter (for the crust) in a medium pot and melt over a medium heat. Once melted remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Combine the remaining crust ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour in the melted butter and mix until combined.
  4. Crumble the crust dough into the tart/cake tin all over the base. Press the crust in an even layer around the base and up the sides of the tin (if using a cake tin, the crust should come up the sides by ~1 inch).
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the crust is starting to go golden - it may have puffed up slightly, this is fine. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Make the filling:

  1. Grab the pot you used earlier to for melting the butter. Add the 110g (1/2 cup) of butter for the filling to the pot. Place over a medium-low heat and allow the butter to melt. Keep cooking it until it foams up and smells nutty then remove from the heat and stir to prevent the milk solids sticking to the pot. The butter should be golden with brown flecks at the bottom of the pot.
  2. In a medium bowl (you can use the bowl you used earlier for the crust) combine the sugar, eggs, salt, vanilla extract and almond extract. Whisk together to combine until smooth.
  3. While stirring, pour a thin stream of the browned butter into the egg mixture until all poured in (including the browned bits at the bottom of the pot). Add the flour and stir to combine.
  4. Pour the filling into the tart/cake tin with the baked crust. Top with the gooseberries. Place the tin onto a baking sheet (to catch any butter/liquid that may seep during baking).
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the filling is golden and a tester inserted into the middle of the tart comes out clean. Set aside on a wire rack to cool completely before cutting and serving.

Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

The post Brown Butter Gooseberry Tart appeared first on Izy Hossack - Top With Cinnamon.

Eton Mess Tart

As soon as strawberries come into season in the UK, I’m ALL OVER THEM. It’s usually starting to get warm outside (although as I’m writing this my view is of a very grey sky), so a strawberry-heavy dessert like Eton mess is my idea of heaven. I have such strong memories of having it at primary school, served unglamorously in plastic cups, when we would have our annual ‘sports day’. It was effectively the last day of school so even though there was sports involved (gross), the fact that it was almost summer holidays made the day filled with so much excitement. Now, Eton mess isn’t the most beautiful dessert ever – strawberries, raspberries and crushed meringues folded into whipped cream will never look stunning. It was apparently borne out of someone dropping a meringue on the floor, it shattering, and them deciding to serve it anyway so you get the idea. But if you take those flavours and add them to a different dessert you can get a beautiful result. There are so many variations on Eton mess you could make by taking those basic flavours to make something else delicious. Here I made an Eton mess tart, using […]

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Eton mess tart with strawberries, raspberries and torched meringue

As soon as strawberries come into season in the UK, I’m ALL OVER THEM. It’s usually starting to get warm outside (although as I’m writing this my view is of a very grey sky), so a strawberry-heavy dessert like Eton mess is my idea of heaven.

A slice of Eton mess tart on a pink scalloped plate

I have such strong memories of having it at primary school, served unglamorously in plastic cups, when we would have our annual ‘sports day’. It was effectively the last day of school so even though there was sports involved (gross), the fact that it was almost summer holidays made the day filled with so much excitement.

Now, Eton mess isn’t the most beautiful dessert ever – strawberries, raspberries and crushed meringues folded into whipped cream will never look stunning. It was apparently borne out of someone dropping a meringue on the floor, it shattering, and them deciding to serve it anyway so you get the idea. But if you take those flavours and add them to a different dessert you can get a beautiful result. There are so many variations on Eton mess you could make by taking those basic flavours to make something else delicious.

Multiple slices of eton mess tart on pink plates

Here I made an Eton mess tart, using an enriched pastry which I rolled out ‘galette style’ so you don’t need a fluted tart tin to make it. The pastry is baked alone so it gets crisp and flaky. It’s then topped with whipped cream, berries and blobs of meringue ‘frosting’ which are torched.

The enriched pastry uses up the egg yolks that would be leftover from making the meringue so you don’t have random yolks sitting around in the fridge. But why even add eggs to pastry? The yolks help bind it together and, because of the fat content, keep it tender by preventing some gluten formation in the dough. You also get that slight yellow tinge to the pastry which can make it look even more appealing.

If you’re more up for a standard Eton mess recipe, I also did one for Food52 a while ago which you can check out here. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy this tart recipe!

Eton Mess Tart

Eton Mess Tart

Yield: serves 8-10
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes

Ingredients

Pastry:

  • 240g (2 cups) plain white flour (all-purpose flour)
  • 90g (3/4 cup) wholemeal (whole wheat) pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 200g (7 ounces) unsalted butter, cold, cubed
  • 2 egg yolks (save the whites)
  • 100-125ml (6-8 tablespoons) cold water

Meringue:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 100g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar

Toppings:

  • 150ml (2/3 cup) double cream (heavy cream)
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 200g (7 ounces) strawberries
  • 100g (3.5 ounces) raspberries

Instructions

Make the pastry:

  1. Place both the flours and salt into a large bowl. Add the cold butter and toss to coat the cubes in flour. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until you have a mostly sandy/breadcrumb texture with some pea-sized lumps of butter remaining. (You can also do this by pulsing the same ingredients in a food processor)
  2. Add the egg yolks and about half of the water. Start to bring it together with your fingertips, gently kneading. Drizzle in more water as needed, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough starts to stick together and feels slightly moist but not sticky.
  3. Smush the dough together into one big ball with your hands then flatten it into a disk shape. Place in a resealable sandwich bag and chill for 1 hour so it can rest.

Shape and bake:

  1. Let the chilled dough warm at room temp. for a few minutes so it softens slightly. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Dust the pastry lightly with flour and roll it out into a circle about 35cm (14 inches) in diameter. It doesn't matter if it is slightly larger than the baking tray at this point. Roll up the pastry around the rolling pin, then unroll over the lined baking sheet.
  3. Roll and tuck the outer 5cm (2 inch) border of the circle under itself to neaten the edge and create a thicker crust, a bit like a pizza! NOTE: You may need to trim the edges of the pastry before rolling up to get it to fit onto the baking tray properly.
  4. Now crimp the edge of the pastry all the way around with your fingertips (see video above for how to do it) OR use the tines of a fork to make impressions all the way around the edge.
  5. Prick the centre of the pastry all over with a fork to prevent it bubbling up when it bakes.
  6. Chill the pastry for 10-15 minutes as your oven preheats to 190 C (170 C fan / 375 F).
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Keep an eye on it and use a metal spatula to press down any big air bubbles that may form as it bakes.
  8. Let the crust cool before filling.

Meringue:

  1. Combine the egg whites and sugar in a medium, heatproof bowl. Set over a pot of simmering water making sure the bottom of the bowl isn't touching the water.
  2. Stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved (the mixture shouldn’t feel gritty when you rub some between your fingertips) and registers 71 C (160 F ) on a thermometer.
  3. Remove the bowl from the pan and use electric beaters to whisk until cool, very fluffy and thickened - you should be able to lift up the beaters and form stiff peaks in the mixture which do not sink back into the meringue. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a wide plain tip (or you can dollop it with a spoon if you don't have piping bags).

Assemble:

  1. When you're ready to serve: Whip the double cream in a large bowl with a whisk until thickened. Fold in the yogurt and icing sugar.
  2. Prep the berries by removing any stalks and cutting up larger berries into slices.
  3. Spread the whipped yogurt cream over the pastry. Top with the berries. Pipe on (or spoon on) blobs of meringue all over. If you have a blowtorch you can use it to toast the meringue blobs but it's not necessary.
  4. Serve!

Notes

MAKE IT EASIER:

  • you can use ready made shortcrust pastry for this recipe if you'd like. You'll need about 350g (12 ounces) of pastry. You can go with plain or 'dessert' shortcrust..
  • If you don't want to make the meringue yourself you can buy the meringues from the shops, usually in the baking aisle. Just crumble them up and scatter over the tart.
  • Alternatively, could buy marshmallow fluff and pipe dollops of that all over the tart and torch it, instead of making meringue.

MAKE AHEAD:

This Eton mess tart is best assembled just before eating as the crust can go soggy if it sits around with the toppings on it. You can pre-bake the crust, whip the cream, prep the berries & meringue. Then when you're ready to eat, just layer it up and serve!

Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

eton mess tart with whipped cream, strawberries, raspberries and meringue

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