Easy recipes from Apple Tree

Category: Desserts

Mary Berry Orange and Passion Fruit Cheesecake

Nearly exactly her recipe, but not quite. Lovely and light, fruity and delicious. Allow four hours to make and chill this. First make the base: grease and line an 8 inch loose bottomed tin.

  • 150g digestive or oat biscuit crumbs
  • 75g butter

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the crumbs, mix very thoroughly and press into the base of the tin.

  • 2 passion fruit

Take out the middles and push the juice and pulp through a sieve into a bowl. Add

  • 0.5 orange zest
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 2 tbs orange conserve (or half a jar of orange curd if you can find it)

Mix together. In another bowl whip to firmness

  • 200ml double cream

Fold cream into the mascarpone mixture and pour over the biscuit base. Level the top and chill at least 4 hours. Turn out and decorate with

  • pulp and seeds of 2 passion fruits
  • Thin slivers of orange rind

As you can see, three quarters of this was consumed before I could grab my camera.

Winter Crumble Tart

This is adapted from a Mary Berry recipe, and scored 10/10 with Olwyn. It’s crumble meets tart, basically. You can vary the fruit which is the adapting part. You will need a 11″/28cm diameter tart tin, preferably loose bottomed, although we have successfully made it in a ceramic quiche dish.

First make the pastry:

  • 225g plain flour
  • 125g cold butter cut into cubes

Rub together with your fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs or do the same thing in a food processor which takes 10 seconds. Stir in

  • 30g caster sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten

Mix gently until it forms a dough. You may need to add a splash of water. Tip it onto a floured work surface and roll out about 3mm thick. Line your tin, pushing well into the corners. Trim the edges and prick the base with a fork. Put in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.

Now make the filling. Here you have a choice of fruits. You could use apple and blackberry, apple and rhubarb or as we did, peach and raspberry. All are delicious.

  • Fruit: 1 jar of peaches, drained plus one bag of frozen raspberries; or 4 bramley apples peeled and chopped plus 275g blackberries; or 4 bramley apples and 300g rhubarb, chopped
  • 100-150g caster sugar depending how sweet the fruit already is

Add fruit and sugar to a saucepan and heat gently. Add a tablespoon or two of water only if it looks like catching. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes. Wise people start with the harder fruits and add the softer fruits halfway through if you want to retain the shapes. When al is cooked and soft, set aside to cool.

Now make the crumble topping. Same as the pastry:

  • 175g plain flour
  • 100g butter

Rub or whizz.

Mix in

  • 50g rolled oats
  • 100g demerera sugar
  • 50g chopped hazlenuts or pistachio nuts

Now back to the pastry: Heat the oven to 180C (fan). Line the pastry with baking parchment and add baking beans. Cook for 15 minutes. Removes the baking beans and pastry, lower the temperature to 140C and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove and cool while you prepare the filling.

Separate the fruit from the juice by draining through a sieve. Keep the juice, you will need it. Add the fruit to the pastry base. Cover with the crumble topping and return to the oven for 25 minutes. Depending on your oven, you may need to increase the temperature slightly but be careful, you want the crumble topping to be brown but you don’t want the pastry burnt.

Put the reserved juice in a saucepan and boil away until reduced and syrupy. Serve slices of crumble tart with the juice syrup, creme fraiche and ice cream.

Irish Coffee

First make a carafe of strong coffee.

Per cup:

  • 1 tbs soft brown sugar
  • 1 tbs water

Heat gently in a pan to create a syrup.  Assemble your cup thus:

  • 1 tbs sugar syrup
  • 2 tbs Irish whisky
  • Top up with coffee, leaving room for
  • Double cream, skillfully poured over a spoon so it sits on the surface

Done. That is someone else’s promo photo by the way. Ours looked similar but we forgot to take a picture. Next time.


Baileys Chocolate Cheesecake

Easier than it looks! You will need a 23cm spring sided cake tin and baking parchment to line the base.

  • 100g digestive biscuits
  • 100g Hobnob biscuits

Put in a plastic bag and bash into crumbs

  • 50g dark chocolate
  • 100g unsalted butter

Melt in a bowl over simmering water. Mix the crumbs and buttery chocolate and use it to cover the base of the cake tin. Press down and smooth. Chill until needed. (The base, not you. More work to do yet.)

  • 750g cream cheese

Beat in a bowl with a spatula until creamy.

  • 300ml double cream
  • 100g icing sugar

Beat in another bowl with a hand mixer until slightly thickened. Add the cream to the cream cheese and carry on beating until smooth and well blended. Stir in

  • 75ml Baileys

Set aside at room temperature

  • 75g dark chocolate

Melt in a bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool but don’t let it go near setting. If you forget, just melt it again. Now assemble your creation: take the tin and base out of the fridge. Put the cream mixture in the tin and smooth over. Pour the chocolate over the cream, and swirl with a skewer to make creative patterns. Now you can both chill for at least two hours.

To serve, remove the cheesecake from the tin, dust with cocoa powder if you like (we forgot and it was still amazing), and cut into slices as required.

Amazing Fruit Crumble

Olwyn can’t have enough of this. You can use any combination of fruit, but here is a recipe based on apple and summer fruits.

  • Three large Bramley cooking apples
  • 250g frozen mixed summer fruit (very reasonable in Tesco’s freezer section!)
  • Sugar

For the topping:

  • 100g plain flour
  • 75g butter
  • 100g demerara sugar
  • 50g porridge oats

Peel and chop the apples and put in a saucepan with a dash of water and a sprinkle of sugar. Cook gently for 5 minutes to soften. Transfer to a pie dish or similar and add the berries. Mix gently.

Now make the topping. In a blender, whizz the butter and flour for a few seconds. Add the sugar and oats and whizz briefly to mix. Shake over the fruit to make a crust. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 190C for 30  minutes.

Serve with creme fraiche, ice cream or custard.

Alternative fruits are rhubarb, apple and blackberry, cherry, peach and pecan nuts, pear and spices…anything goes. Probably not banana, although someone is bound to tell me it can be done.

Crumble recipe

Student Puddings

Easy and quick recipes for puddings in case you need to impress someone.

Banoffee Pie
Based on a flan dish about 20cm diameter. You need (in addition to the flan dish)

– 250g packet of digestive biscuits
– 100g butter
– 4 bananas
– 300ml carton of whipping cream
– Tin of Carnation Caramel
– Chocolate to grate over

Crush the biscuits by putting  three or four at a time in a plastic bag and rolling a tin over them. Melt the butter in a pan or microwave. Mix with the biscuit crumbs. Line the base of the flan tin and gently press down but not too hard or it will become an impenetrable crust. Put in the fridge for an hour to firm up. Then spread the base with the caramel. Slice the bananas and layer on top of the caramel. Whip the cream (this will be tough without an electric beater!), and blob it on the bananas. Sprinkle grated chocolate on top. (If you don’t have a grater, you can use a potato peeler). Done, and ready to eat – or chill but don’t keep it too long, a couple of days max.

Dessert in a Glass

This recipe is more a set of creative guidelines, and the options are endless. You will need drinking glasses – small tumblers or large wine glasses. Then you will create three layers.

Base layer: Crumbly. This can be based on crushed digestive biscuits, porridge oats or even Swiss-Style meuseli. Mix the crumbs with half their weight of melted butter. Layer in the bottom of the glass but don’t press down.
Middle layer: Creamy. This can be creme fraiche, plain yoghurt, or yoghurt with a spoon or two of lemon curd or seedless jam swirled through.
Top layer: Fruity. This needs to go with the flavour you have used in the middle layer (if you did), and can be rasberries, quartered grapes, chopped mango, chopped drained tinned peaches, a mixture (halves grapes, strawberries and pineapple look good (buy a lunch pot of prepared fruit if you only need a few)

Chill it to allow the base layer to go hard which won’t take long.
A slight variation on this is to use a can of rice pudding,  a jar of apple sauce and blackberries. Put a layer of rice pudding as the base layer, then a layer of apple sauce, then a few blackberries, then more rice pudding, then a few more blackberries. Sprinkle brown (demera or soft brown) sugar over.

P!ss-Head Trifle

Not your nursery food  version. Preferably use a glass bowl for this.

– A Swiss Roll
– Packet of rasberries
– 1 banana
– 500g ready made custard (or make a pint of thick custard and let it go cold)
– 300ml double cream
– Sherry – sweet, medium, dry, who cares.
– Toasted flaked almonds or “Hundreds and Thousands” cake sprinkles

Slice the swiss roll in 2cm slices and line the bottom of the bowl, packing closely together. Pour the sherry all over it. Delia Smith says 60ml, Olwyn uses three times that. More if you dare. Slice the banana and add as the next layer, with the rasberries. Then pour over the cold custard. Whip the cream, and layer on top of that. Decorate with the almonds, or sprinkles. Not exactly difficult! The volume of sherry makes this either kiddy food or wow! food.

Eton Mess

This is just a mixture of sliced strawberries, broken meringue and whipped cream in roughly equal quantities, stirred about to look like a mess. Mush a few of the strawberries to make it messier. It does look a mess, but tastes good. It is a British Classic recipe.

© 2024 Arford Books Cooks

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑