G’day Beach Cottage ladies, easy apple pie today for you, for me, for anyone that cares to listen, come on down.
oh dear, having to issue a Beach Cottage Ramble Alert today, hold on ladies, memories of babies and French hotels coming up
So, if you get the Beach Cottage Newsletter and are part of our little club, you will know that, at the moment, not only am I consumed by black skinny jeans, I am cooking a lot, it has much to do with being indoors with Barley until he has his next lot of vaccinations and a lot to do with me hugging my camera close to my bod, playing with the light and constantly foofing food around…it’s become a kinda hobby of mine….next stop a quilt I am making, rather like the Eb & Ive one on the back of my sofa…however this one will be put together by me…
Anyway, this Beach Cottage friends, near, far or wherever you happen to be while reading this…on the bus….is pure Beach Cottage recipe heaven…and by that I mean that this is a recipe that makes you look excruciatingly competent when you really did little more than slicing up some apples… yah, really!
Think you can handle that? Oh you certainly can, because not only is it ever-so-jaw-droppingly simple, it also tastes like you just stepped off a plane and landed in the middle of Paris…now I know for certain that for many of you that is so far off the radar that a recipe to give you that is your only option….I know it is for me the only way I will be transported to Paris in the near future…
I have been to Paris quite a few times, as I may, or may not have mentioned here on this little blog broadcasting from deep Down Under, before….do I love France, errrm that is in the affirmative, do I wish it were still a small hop over a small bit of water, definitely, would I swap that convenience for living in my old cottage on the beaches under the Australian sun, certainly not. That’s how much I love it here. Even though I can actually buy French cheese that’s taken a big journey on a cold plane, it’s not the same.
So, and yes, I am gonna start rambling, this reminded me of a trip we took to Paris when we had one baby, we had been away for the weekend and Paris was the stopping off point on the way back to England…we had driven a long way and needed an overnighter…sometimes we just drove straight through but this one we had decided to do some Paris stuff too…
And so from England, in the days before you hopped online in an instant and booked virtually we looked for little hotels on the outskirts of Paris, we had a skinny little white and green booklet with all the overnight hotels in France listed by region…we didn’t want somewhere flashy in Paris, or touristy and wanted to stay somewhere real and we had found a chain of hotels in France that suited us quite nicely and always had great restaurants attached with simple home style French food (and by that I mean awesome simple French food).
So we found one, booked that and had our trip further down into France and were on our way slowly home…
It had gotten later into the evening and we were lost trying to find the hotel and were deep in the heart of working class Paris after going around and around the same roads for a while….picture a couple of young Brits with a number plate advertising where they were from, with the girl doing the navigating, the baby getting antsy, a paper map spread out across the dashboard and a boy trying to read and drive at the same time and you will get the picture.
So we find it eventually, sigh, do a u-turn and pull up in the car park.
We discuss whether our car will be there in the morning. We decide by the people and other cars (couples getting out fairly dressed up as if for an occasion) that it’s actually not too rough, it just looks rough because it’s night-time and we are in working class Paris.
We check in, all is good, room is exactly what we suspected, no frills, clean, small and just right.
We feed the baby, get him settled in buggy (that baby was a master at sleeping in that thing) and headed down to the restaurant. Where we were greeted with a place absolutely heaving with people, noisy, busy and the smells were like heaven on earth.
Every table was chock full and alongside in a sort of function room was a wedding, we looked at the man on reception with hopeful eyes and I asked him in French (no English here) for a table….his eyes shot up and he shook his head, I bet he was thinking stupid English tourists…. and then he looked at the baby, who by that stage was fat and fed and absolutely soundo, tucked up in a blanket and snoozing for all of England.
And all of a sudden he waved and flicked and fussed and people came from nowhere with a teeny tiny little cafe table…it appeared from the back and we were squashed in by the door to the kitchen…
The place could, really, have come right out of a film set from a dodgy French film…red gingham table cloths, flowers in old wine bottles and the kinda cheesy modern art posters that you only get when you see the real France, complete with those black 80′s high back chairs with padded seats, but of courese waitresses seriously into the job of serving food and the food highly thought of.
A tablecloth was flicked on our little table, Honeymoon baby was skillfully tucked in beside us, a bottle of the best house wine was delivered and all was good.
Oh and the food! Probably about the same price as a sandwich in Sydney or London for a three course meal with house wine – it was nothing fancy, but we talk about that little overnight stay every now and then….it was, really, the start of my journey with cooking…not trying to be something fancy, but more cooking easy simple food well.
I don’t remember the main course, and the menu was all in French but for starters we had what was essentially a Prawn Cocktail…and whenever I have seen a prawn cocktail ever since I have smiled to myself, because the name alone can make one shudder….but deep in the depths of Paris, in a real hotel, this was outstanding….it wasn’t some horrid little prawn with tomato ketchup on it but perfect seafood and lettuce that I will never taste lettuce like again and a dressing that does not come in a jar.
And what followed was apple pie, not this apple pie that I am giving you here, I wouldn’t even put myself anywhere near the same league as the food I ate that night, but it was just like apple pie that melted in your mouth with each and every bite, I am more than aware that it would not have been made with frozen puff pastry and that, it was quite possible, that the apples had been skillfully chosen to hit the spot.
And so yes, we had been lost in France, we were definitely in love, there was real French food and the best apple pie.
Which leads me, my lovelies, to this. A girl, a million miles from that one I am talking about above, playing around with a camera, some puff pastry, a few apples, a camera and some butter…
So, we’ve always called this French Apple Pie, a frenchman might faint at at that, I dunno, but it tastes good…
I got this from a book years ago, I can’t remember which one – here’s how I do it, it’s the alternative to Beach Cottage Dump & Go Pudding, uses simple ingredients and is very everyday to make but far from everyday to eat
Easy Apple Pie
1 x sheet frozen Puff Pastry
1 to 2tbsp caster sugar (I use vanilla sugar)
1 to 2 apples thinly slice
1 tsp milk
1. take a sheet of puff pastry and score with a knife about 1cm in
2. very thinly slice an apple & arrange on the inner centre of the pastry
3. dot the apple with butter
4. sprinkle with sugar
5. brush scored outside edge with milk
6. bake high 190C 15 mins or until browned
serve for afternoon tea or with a big dollop of double cream for dessert
Beach Cottage recipe notes * this recipe serves four as a small dessert, I will usually make two of these ** I used one apple for the one here b/c I baked it for afternoon tea – you can easily add two or more and layer just ensure the apple is very thinly sliced so it cooks ** you can add a heap more butter and sugar and I have seen some recipes online with more….this of course is as to your taste, I like it with a hint of butter, sugar and pastry, apple as the main flavours **individual ones of these make for a very nice dessert if you are having friends over, just cut the pastry and score accordingly
I hope you enjoy this ladies, it’s frenchy super easy apple pie via an old cottage on Sydney’s beaches…
Bake it and think of a little English family lost in Paris ;-)
you might also like Super Easy Chocolate Tart!