Punched Potatoes


Apple Tarts



Ingredients (8-10 tarts)

For the puff pastry:

  • 250g flour (or 2 cups and 1 heaped tablespoon)
  • 250g butter (or 1 cup and 1 tablespoon)
  • 1-1.5dl lukewarm water (or a little over 1/3 cup to a little less than 2/3 cups)
  • 3g salt (0.11oz)

For the pastry cream:

  • 38g flour (or 1/3 cup)
  • 100g sugar (or 1/2 cup)
  • 250ml milk (or a little over 1 cup)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For the tarts:

  • 2 Royal Gala apples (they don’t get too soft when baked)
  • apricot jam
  • juice of half a lemon

Instructions (Time: 2 hours)

For the puff pastry

Start by dissolving the salt in the lukewarm water and divide the butter in three equal parts (leaving the butter in the fridge afterwards). Place the flour on your countertop and make a well in the middle. Place the water in the well and slowly bring the flour towards the middle with a fork. If the dough is too dry add more water. Work the dough until it all comes together. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes. 



Flour your work surface and roll out the dough so that you have a square. Place thin slices of one third of the butter (one of the three parts you cut before), leaving a two-fingers margin around the square. Bring the bottom side up and make sure the edges of the square are overlapping.



Bring the right side to the left, making sure the edges of the square overlap. Roll out the dough again, forming a square. Place the dough and the remaining butter in the fridge for 10 minutes. Repeat the process 2 more times and your puff pastry is ready to use. Leave the dough in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.


For the pastry cream

Beat the eggs with the sugar in a pan until the mixture turns pale. Add the flour mixing well.



And then add the boiling milk. Put the pan on your stove top at a medium-low temperature and continue mixing until it boils. In the end you should have a somewhat thick mixture. Remove from the stove and add the vanilla.



Assembling the tarts

Peel the apples and slice them thinly. Temporarily place them in a bowl with fresh water and some juice from a lemon.

Roll out your puff pastry until it is 3-4mm (0.12-0.16in) thick. Cut it in rectangles with the width of your apples plus nearly 1cm (0.4in) on each side. Place the puff pastry rectangles in a floured baking tray and spread some pastry cream (2 tablespoons). Place the apple slices overlapping on top of the cream, leaving  1cm (0.4in) all around the rectangle.



Bake in a preheated oven to 200ºC (395ºF) for 20 minutes or until it turns golden.

The tarts will look a little bland and that’s when the apricot jam comes in to give a little shine. I used joyofbaking.com recipe, where you basically heat up some apricot jam with a tablespoon of water.



Brush the tarts with the mixture and and they’re ready!


Let them cool down before serving.




Easter Bread II



Ingredients (2 loaves)

  • 500g flour (or 4 1/4 cups)
  • 100g butter (or 1/2 cup)
  • 15g fresh yeast (or 0.5oz)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 small eggs
  • 2,5dl milk (plus a little more to dissolve the yeast) (or 1 cup and 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds chopped or powdered
  • 2 boiled eggs (optional)

Instructions (Time: 4 hours)

Start by dissolving the yeast in a bit of warm milk. Add 100g (1 cup) of flour (out of the total weight) and 1 tablespoon of sugar (also out of the total amount of sugar). Leave the dough to rise covered for 20 minutes in a warm place.



In a big bowl, mix the flour, the eggs, the sugar and the milk. Work the dough for a few minutes.



Add the melted butter, the salt, the cinnamon, the fennel and the yeast dough. Mix well until the dough no longer sticks to your hands nor to the bowl.



Let it rise covered for 2-5hours depending on the place you leave it (my kitchen was warm and it took about 3h30). Once is has doubled in size, divide the dough in two parts. Leave a bit of dough from each part to later make the cross. Form round loaves and place them in a floured baking tray.



Flatten their surface a little and place the boiled eggs on top (optional). Form four strips with the remaining dough and place them on top of the eggs. Brush the loaves with a egg wash and bake in a preheated oven to 210ºC (410ºF) (fan off) until the loaves are golden (about 20 minutes). Let it cool down before serving.




Roasted Pork Carré



Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 1,5kg pork carré (or 3.3lbs)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 onions
  • 1 sage leaf
  • 1 lemon
  • 2dl white wine (or 3/4 cup)
  • olive oil, salt, pepper q.s.

Instructions (Time: 90 minutes)

Place the garlic cloves grossly chopped, the onions sliced in 4, the bay leaf and some olive oil on the bottom of a baking dish. Lay the pork carré on top of the onions with the bones down. 



Season with salt and pepper, squeeze the lemon on top of the meat and pour the wine on the bottom of the baking dish.



Roast for ~1h20 in a preheated oven to 180ºC (355ºF) basting every 20 minutes. I know it sounds like a daunting task, but you’ll end up with a succulent chunk of meat. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes, covered in aluminium foil, before carving.




1 >>