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"This is my mother's famous apple cake. The apples are macerated with sugar, cinnamon and lemon, and this lovely juice produces the icing," says Brigitte Hafner. The apples can be prepared the night before and kept in the fridge. This cake keeps well for four days and is at its best served the day after it's made."

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Nougat, salted peanut caramel and milk chocolate tart

What's not to love about a Snickers bar? All the elements are here, but if you don't feel like making your own nougat, you could always scatter some diced nougat in the base of the tart instead. The caramel is dark, verging on bitter, while a good whack of salt cuts through some of the sweetness - extra roasted salted peanuts on top can only be a good thing.

Ricotta maple tart with roast pears


Maple sugar adds the beautiful flavours of maple syrup to baking without the liquid content, making it ideal to use in pastry, like we have here. We've doubled the hit by roasting the pears in it too.

You'll need

650 gm firm ricotta 120 gm maple sugar (see note), plus extra topping 1 tsp vanilla bean paste Finely grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon 2 tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp finely grated nutmeg 3 egg yolks 25 gm fine fresh white breadcrumbs   Maple sugar crust 150 gm (1 cup) plain flour 75 gm maple sugar 35 gm cornflour ¾ tsp baking powder 125 gm chilled unsalted butter, diced 1 egg, lightly whisked   Maple roast pears 200 gm maple sugar 4 ripe beurre bosc or Josephine pears, peeled, halved and cored Thinly peeled rind of 1 orange Juice of ½ orange and ½ lemon 125 ml (½ cup) maple syrup 3 cinnamon quills

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 180C. For maple sugar crust, combine dry ingredients in a bowl with a pinch of salt, add butter and rub in with your fingertips until fine crumbs form. Add egg, mix in with a knife (to avoid overworking the gluten), form into a disc and refrigerate to rest (30 minutes).
  • 02
  • Process ricotta, sugar, vanilla, rinds, spices and egg yolks in a food processor, add breadcrumbs, process to combine and set aside.
  • 03
  • Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 3mm-thick round and line the base and sides of a 24cm-diameter loose-bottomed tart tin, letting edges of pastry overhang the sides. Spoon in ricotta mixture, smooth top, fold in pastry edges, brush with eggwash, scatter with extra maple sugar and bake until golden and set (20-25 minutes), then in tin cool to room temperature.
  • 04
  • For maple roast pears, increase oven to 220C. Spread sugar evenly in a roasting pan, press cut sides of pears into sugar and stand for 5 minutes, then turn over. Scatter orange rind in the pan, then drizzle orange and lemon juices around pears. Pour maple syrup over pears, scatter in cinnamon quills, then pour 60ml water around pears (not over the top) and roast, basting pears with pan juices occasionally and turning occasionally until caramelised and just tender (30-35 minutes). Serve warm on tart. Best eaten on day of making.

Note Maple sugar, made from maple syrup, has a caramel, maple flavour. It's sold in health-food shops and at ocanada.com.au. You can substitute raw caster sugar, but you won't get the maple flavour.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people

Featured in

Aug 2014

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