Apple, Walnut & Frangipane Tart

What is more Autumn then juicy apples and fresh walnuts. Every day when I walk outside there are walnuts everywhere to be collected from my wonderful walnut tree, what a better use for walnuts then adding them to a lovely frangipane mix and topping with tasty apples.

1x Pie Shell, biscuit shell below or sweet short.
1/2 cup dates, chopped
1tsp baking soda
350g Blanched Almonds, ground
300g Butter,
300g Caster Sugar
3x Eggs
1/2 Cup Walnuts, chopped
1x Apple, sliced thinly

Soak dates in baking soda and 1 cup boiling water for 30min.
Whisk butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Fold in almonds and eggs until smooth, stir in the walnuts.
Freeze half of the frangipane mix for another pie.
Spread drained dates over pie base.
Fill pie shell with frangipane mix and decorate with apple slices.
Bake for 1hr at 180C, or until golden.
Remove from oven and brush apple slices with apricot jam or honey.
(If using biscuit pie shell, bake with a tray underneath as you will get butter leaking out of the pie)

Biscuit Pie Shell
220g plain biscuits, crushed (I used girl guide)
75g Butter, softened
1x Egg
1 tsp Cinnamon
Zest 1 Lemon

Mix biscuits, butter, egg, cinnamon and zest together.
Press evenly into 21cm pie dish, bake at 180C for 6min.

Chocolate Mousse & Orange Blossom Tart

What could be a more appropriate pie for an easter baking competition at work then chocolate. I thought a dense dark chocolate mousse would go deliciously with tangy marmalade and fragrant orange blossom water. The judges must have agreed as they gave it first place!


1x Pie Shell, I used 21cm
2-3 Tbs Orange Marmalade
300g Dark Chocolate
3 Eggs, separated
pinch Salt
1/2 tsp Orange Blossom Water
100g Dark Chocolate, coarsely grated

Bake pie shell for 15min at 180C until golden, while warm spread marmalade over pie base.
Melt 300g chocolate over bain marie until 80% melted, remove from heat and stir until all melted.
Whip egg whites until soft peaks form, add salt and whip until smooth and glossy with stiff peaks.
Add a scoop of egg whites to the melted chocolate and fold in.
Add the egg yolks to the melted chocolate.
Continue folding the egg whites into the melted chocolate until all gone.
Add the orange blossom water to the mix.Cool, then add the grated chocolate.
Pour into pie shell and refrigerate overnight to set.

Easter Bunny Pie with Walnut Pastry

My other entry into the work Easter Cooking competition, I thought cooking the easter bunny would be very tasty, if not a bit sad that there would be less chocolate going around.

1x Wild Rabbit, chopped into four pieces
2x med Onions, diced
220g smokey Bacon, diced into 2.5cm pieces
2x Apples, peeled and sliced
275ml Cider
425ml Chicken Stock
1 Bay Leaf
40g Flour
40g Butter
Salt and Pepper
1/2 whole Nutmeg, grated
110g Prunes, pitted and chopped
Caraway seeds to sprinkle on top

Place the rabbit pieces, onions, bacon, apples, cider, chicken stock, salt and pepper and bay leaf into the crockpot, cook on low for 8 hours or overnight.
When cool remove bones from rabbit.
Drain liquid from crockpot into a pot and heat gently on stovetop.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and cook for a minute.
Add the liquid and bring to the boil to thicken.
When thick turn off heat; add nutmeg, prunes and rabbit mix. Season to taste.
Pour mix into lined pie shell, top with walnut pastry and caraway seeds.
Bake for 30min at 220C

300g Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
200g cold Butter, cubed
1/2 cup Walnuts, finely chopped
4-6 Tbs cold Water

Sift flour and salt into a bowl and rub in the cold butter until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Stir in the chopped walnuts.
Make a well in the centre, add the cold water and mix to form a dough.
Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30min.
Take 2/3 of dough and roll out to line 25cm diameter, 5cm deep pie dish.