Apple Tart & Choc sauce

 

Apple tart with hearts & chocolate sauce

Apple tart with hearts & chocolate sauce

Serves up to 8

For this dish, I got the butter, sugar, orange & lemon from home. Am not a big fan of desserts and use very little sugar when making them especially with fruits. 

Ingredients for the tart:

Dessert ingredients

Dessert ingredients

  • 500g dessert pastry block – Sainsbury’s – £1.00
  • 12 apples – market – 66p
  • 50g sugar
  • 500ml water
  • Orange zest
  • 20g butter (for the oven dish)
  • 25cm tart dish

Ingredients for the chocolate sauce:

  • 100g 50% dark chocolate – LIDL – 35p
  • 25g sugar
  • 50g butter
  • 50ml water

Total spent: £1.95 – 0.48pp

Method:

For the compote

For the compote

Preheat the oven at 180C.

  • Peel & core the 12 apples and place them in a bowl full of water and a half lemon to prevent the apple from darkening.
  • Cut 7 of those apples into small pieces and place in a small pan with 500ml of water and 50g sugar. Cover and leave to cook for 20 minutes.
  • Once the apples are cooked pour into a sieve to
    Apple compote

    Apple compote

    remove the excess water. Using a hand blender, blitz to obtain a very smooth paste… That paste is called compote.

Set the compote aside.

  • Remove the pastry block from the package, place it on a flat surface (or kitchen worktop) dusted with flour. Then, using a rolling pin or a wine bottle, press down the pastry evenly, but not too thinly. What you are looking for is the pastry wide and thick enough to fit in to the cake dish.

    Compote and apple slices

    Compote and apple slices

  • Once that is done, gently flip the pastry on the rolling pin, then transfer it on the baking dish. Now, using your hands flatten the dish on the base of the dish, then prick it with a fork to allow steam to escape from the base while the cake is baking. Trim and remove the excess pastry*.
  • Now pour the compote over the cake base, grate the zest on 1 small orange, then thinly slice 5 apples and align the slices as shown on the photo.
  • Once the whole surface of the cake is covered, place the tart in the oven and bake for 45 minutes at 180C.
Baked tart

Baked tart

In the meantime prepare the chocolate sauce.

  • Melt 25g of sugar in 50 ml water. Set aside.

    Chocolate squares

  • Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a heat proof dish.
  • Bring water to boil in a sauce pan, then place over it, the dish containing the chocolate.
  • Stir gently until the chocolate is fully melted. Now add the butter and continue to gently stir until the butter disappears.
  • Take the mix away from heat, then add in the sugar & water mix. Stir quick to make a smooth sauce.
Ready chocolate sauce

Ready chocolate sauce

Following these proportions the sauce should be liquid enough not to set even when it cools down.

Once the tart is ready, allow 30 minutes to cool down before serving.

The little hearts on the photos below are made from the extra pastry trimmed further up. Using my rolling pin again, I rerolled the pastry and cut it in

hearts & lips
hearts & lips

hearts and lips shapes, symbol of Valentine. The shapes were baked for 10-15minutes, cooled down, then dipped into the chocolate sauce just after I melted the butter in it.

 

Choc hearts & lips

Choc hearts & lips

Note: an alternative from the compote can be the readymade sponge mix sold at Sainsbury’s at @28p. But since there are many apples for £1.00 they are better used this way.

Compote is a regular dessert in France can be consumed by adult and children in the same way as yogurts are. Making a compote is a great way to use fruits if there are too much. A compote uses very little sugar as opposed to jam which is all sugar.

 

Advertisements

Smoked Oysters Salad

Salad in mixing bowl

Salad in mixing bowl

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • Smoked oysters – 1 tin – Sainsbury’s (tinned fish aisle) – £2.00

    Salad ingredients

    Salad ingredients

  • 2 Garlic & Herbs Naan breads – LIDL – 49p
  • Little lettuce gems – LIDL – 69p
  • 3 tomatoes – Market – 15p

 

 Total cost: £3.33 – 0.83 per person

Method:

  • Remove the Naans form the package and place in the oven to heat up. Follow the instructions on the package.
  • Rinse and quarter the tomatoes.
  • Separate the lettuce gems and wash them on by one as they can be very very
    Opened oysters tin

    Opened oysters tin

    sandy. Roughly cut the bigger leaves by hand in 2 or 3. Place them in a colander to release the water.

  • Open the smoked oysters.
  • Now that all is ready, in a big bowl, combine the lettuce, tomato and oysters.
  • The oyster are slightly salty, but you might have to add a very little pinch of salt and pepper to it. Drizzle the oil from the smoked oysters on the salad and also the juice of a half lemon. The lemon is optional. The salad doesn’t really need it.
  • Plate and serve.
Serving suggestion with a slice of Naan bread

Serving suggestion with a slice of Naan bread

Enjoy

Note: There is an even cheaper alternative to this starter. If you didn’t have £4 to spend. You could just use the tomatoes, smoked oysters & a drop or Mayonnaise or squirty salad sauce. Even simpler; pretty squares toasted bread, butter & Oysters. Done.

Alternative option: Tomato, oyster & Mayo

Alternative option: Tomato, oyster & Mayo

Shopping: the tomatoes were bought on Surrey street market where bowl of about 20 medium tomatoes can be found at £1.00.

Pasta & Meatballs

Fusilli and Meatballs

Fusilli and Meatballs

Serves 4

Ingredients:

If you have read The Bank Cook, you will remember few items that I recommend to always have in the house. Things like onions, garlic, salt, pepper and oil must always be available in the house as they are regular in almost everything we cook.

 Ingredients for the mincemeat:

  • 500g mince beef – LIDL – 87p

    Meal ingredients

    Meal ingredients

  • ½ medium onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Curly parsley

Ingredients for the tomato sauce:

  • 10 tomatoes – market – 50p
  • ½ medium onion
  • Ketchup

For the pasta:

  • 500gr Fusilli pasta – LIDL – 45p
  • Curly parsley – Market – 50p 

Total spent: £2.32 – 0.58pp

Method:

  • Start by the meatball: Remove all packaging from the meat and place in a bowl.

    Mince meat

    Mince meat

  • Finely chop half of a medium onion, garlic, a handful of curly parsley and add to the mince. Also season with salt & pepper, then combine well using you hand.
  • Now form the meatballs as big or small as you’d like. And place them in the saucepan you will be using for the tomato sauce. You would have noted that there is no eggs or bread crumbs added here as they are not really necessary.

    Balls ready to cook

    Balls ready to cook

  • Now place the pan on a medium heat making sure to very gently turn each meat ball from side to as the meat browns. Allow 1-2 minutes per side. Once this is done, remove the meat from the pan leaving the pan on the heat.

As the meat cooks, it will release fat and we are going to use that fat for make the tomato sauce.

  • Chop the remaining half onion and fry it in the meat fat for 2 minutes on high heat.
  • Now add the chopped tomatoes, stir and cover for 10 minutes.

    Cooked meat

    Cooked meat

  • After the 10 minutes, stir the content of the pan, then add the meatballs and ketchup. Stir and add 200ml water or stock if you wish.
  • Adjust the seasoning, stir and leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Now time to cook the pasta.

Follow the instruction on the package.

Boil the water with a table spoon of oil and salt. Just before serving, chop the remaining Parsley, add the pasta and toss.

Plate and serve.

Serving suggestion

Serving suggestion

Enjoy.

Note: Read the whole recipe before starting! If you were doing this dish from a food bank parcel, you’d have to use tinned tomatoes, pasta and a tinned meat from the parcel also. Please download The Bank Cook to see the recipe.

Shopping: the tomatoes were bought on Surrey street market where a bowl of about 20 medium tomatoes can be found at £1.00.

Surrey street market

Surrey street market

Valentine dinner – Intro

dinner 1 cost £2.60 or less

dinner 1 cost £2.60 or less

For my first ever show on Croydon Radio as a contributor, I chose to be generous by creating a 3-couse meal for 4 for £10.00.

The reason I made it for 4 was that, being Valentine day, a not-so-well off couple could cook dinner and invite their jobless grown up son or daughter & companion to share the dinner. I tried to cover here the cost, community and conviviality.

The menu is as follows:

  1. Starter – Smoked Oyster salad – recipe & cost here
  2. Main – Fusilli, tomato sauce & meatballs – recipe & cost here
  3. Dessert – Apple tart & Chocolate sauce – recipe & cost here
  4. and for drinks Pomegranate juice (0.99p) topped with flavoured fizzy water (0.39p).

To see the full recipe and cost for each course, please click on the link.

The related show was broadcasted on Croydon Radio on Saturday 14th February 2015. To listen again, please click on this link.

Thank you for checking in! See you next time.

Hortense