Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Honey Roasted Cardamom Apple and Brown Butter Streusel Crostata

Honey Roasted Apple Crostata (0099) by Meeta K. Wolff

I’ve led a life of a gypsy for a large part of my years. Together with my family, our wanderlust took us from Cairo to Bali, from Colombo to Kuwait from Houston to Zanzibar. These kilometers were covered before I even turned eleven. Just as I began unpacking my Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl books and found the perfect place for my posters, it was time to cram them into the aluminum and wooden chests again, which we had especially made for our travels.

I never grew up aggrieved about the situation though. On the contrary, it was the most normal thing for us. The people we circulated with were, just like us, never based anywhere long enough to actually call that place home. The friendships I made were mostly short lived but intensive and happy. My friends and I seemed to cherish the company for we knew it would not last too long. Then as the goodbyes were said and tears rolled down cheeks, promises to keep in touch were made, between the half packed boxes and bubble wrapped paintings, which seemed to symbolize our lives.

I still have a collection of yearbooks from several different schools and in each one, friends have written messages of well wishes, love, and being missed. Sometimes I do go upstairs and pull open the one or the other box that contain these books and giggle at the messages scrawled in the handwriting of 9-12 year olds. Hearts and stars adorn the pages reinstating what we felt at that time.

Honey Roasted Apple Crostata (0113) by Meeta K. Wolff

We knew keeping in touch would not be easy, but deep within each of us there was a yearning of belonging even if that notion meant belonging in each others memories. Postcards, letters and phone calls kept us busy and occasionally we would meet for reunions as we crossed continents on our way to our next destination. Inevitably however, over the years I lost touch with a few of these friends and I often wonder whatever became of them. Some I would love to meet and catch up again and some … well they are best left in the box up in the attic. With the rest I have managed to still keep in touch albeit not in regular intervals but every so often we will get together on Skype or on the phone and chat picking up from where we left.

Honey Roasted Apple Crostata (0116) by Meeta K. Wolff

I’ll be turning 40 next June – a daunting thought because I swear I have not aged beyond 18 - and my thoughts have been turning towards the people I have met in my life, those that have made an impact on it, be it good or not so good and friendships made or lost. I’d love to have them all seated around a big table, chatter and laughter resonating throughout the room as we play catch up. I’d love to have all of these people, who have touched my life, in one room and be able to sit back and think to myself “For this I would not have changed a thing!”

Honey Roasted Apple Crostata (0127) by Meeta K. WolffHoney Roasted Apple Crostata (0091) by Meeta K. Wolff

Although I would probably cook up the biggest feast, we’d start with dessert first to make the moment sweet. Like this delightful crostata, the main ingredients of which were provided by … friends. The luscious apples, rosy red and aromatically sweet, were picked and packed by my girlfriend M, while the blackberries, juicy and ripe, were foraged by Soeren’s girlfriend, C., and the honey, that coats and roasts the apples, came from our friend T. who’s hobby is apiculture. I simply put all these gifts together giving it my twist of spiced cardamom and vanilla and present it in a divine crostata sprinkled with a delicious brown butter streusel topping.  

Recipe: Honey Roasted Cardamom Apple and Brown Butter Streusel Crostata

Printable version of recipe here

 Honey Roasted Cardamom Apple and Brown Butter Streusel Crostata by Meeta K. Wolff

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hour 45 minutes

Ingredients:
For the pastry

  • 200g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 170g butter, very cold and cut into cubes
  • 175 ml water, ice cold
For the filling
  • 5 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 100g blackberries
  • 150 ml clear honey
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3-4 green cardamom pods, cracked
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
For the streusel
  • 50g + 2 tablesppons all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 30g pecan nuts, finely chopped
  • 50g +2 tablespoon muscovado sugar
  • Pinch of fleur de sel
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom, ground

Method:

  1. To make the pastry, pulse the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add the cold butter cubes and pulse until the mixture is resembles breadcrumbs. Add the water and pulse just until a dough forms then turn out onto a work surface and gather the crumbs together. Do not knead the dough but quickly shape into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.

  2. In the meantime preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. and make the filling by tossing the apple slices in the honey, cardamom pods vanilla bean and pod and the melted butter. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and roast till apples are tender about 15-20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apples to a platter and reserve the roasting liquid.

  3. Pour the roasting liquid into a small saucepan and reduce till the liquid is thick and syrupy. Set aside to cool.

  4. Make the streusel topping by mixing the flour with the pecans, and 50g sugar, fleur de sel and ground cardamom. In a small skillet, cook butter over moderately high heat until golden brown and aromatic. This should take about 2 minutes. Pour the butter over the streusel mixture and toss gently until crumbly. Refrigerate the streusel.

  5. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the pastry to fit a small tart form or free-form to a 6 cm round. Transfer to a baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Brush the egg wash leaving about 2-cm around the edge of the dough. Spread the apples on the pastry and place the blackberries on top. Fold the edge up over the filling, leaving the center free. Sprinkle the cold streusel topping over the apples and brush the pastry with the egg wash. Bake the crostata for 40-50 minutes, or until it is golden brown.

  6. Let the crostata cool slightly, then serve still warm with a lightly beaten Chantilly cream drizzled with the reserved spiced honey syrup.


Verdict

Honey Roasted Apple Crostata (0098) by Meeta K. Wolff

Mouthwatering to the very last crumb. While making the crostata I was thinking of how incredibly spirited that special ingredient of friendship is. I admit I sometimes am not the very best in keeping in touch and there are many who excel at this than I do, but many of my friends know that I carry their friendship in my hearts. Small gestures go a long way with me and in return I concoct sweet tokens of appreciation.

The making of the corstata was a delicious joint effort, taking all the cherished ingredients from friends and putting them in one place. The flakey shortcrust pastry was a buttery and crumbly, the perfect basis for the honey-kissed apples, tenderly roasted to allow their sublime flavor to unfold, speckled with vanilla and spiced with cardamom all the flavor nuances came together in perfect harmony. The highlight however is the streusel topping, the brown butter aromas add a brilliant note to the the entire crostata

I hope you enjoy this crostata, created from one friend to another ;o)

P2P badge-Somerset V1_15.11.11

Last week we revealed the venue for Plate to Page UK. A simply stunning seventeenth century Manor House in the lush landscape of Somerset. Since then we’ve been busy behind the scenes plotting and planning and I just wanted to give my readers a heads up: keep an eye on us on Twitter, Facebook or subscribe to the From Plate to Page website because soon we’ll be opening registrations to From Plate to Page Somerset and you do not want to miss this!

You might like these sweet ideas from WFLH:

Sticky Toffee Apple Cake Cinnamon Kissed Apple Goji Berry Strudel Morello Cherry Chocolate and Cognac Teacakes


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2011 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

30 comments :

  1. I have lots of homemade left over from a butter tasting I had this week. I shall try your brown butter streusel topping. It sounds delicious.

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  2. I hope for nothing more than to be standing in the same room as you on your 40th stuffing our faces with sickly sweet dessert and then washing it down with the best champagne xx

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  3. We never really make streusel here - more of a pie or crumble kind of family. I love that scale you have Meeta. So pretty and functional too!

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  4. "Hearts and stars adorn the pages"...This line brought back so many memories of long ago....Such a beautiful post...

    The crostata looks wonderfully crumbly.

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  5. I got 40, two yars back and I remember thinking the same, saying I still feel 18 and then when I mentioned to hans grandmother she said she feels like that too and thattime she was 97.
    Beautiful Crosata, I have been looking for baking something really Autumn and this i am going to do soon.

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  6. Hi Meeta!

    u know it was always my dream as kid to travel all the time all over the world. well, it never happened to that but once I was 18 I had gonne for some trips. Thats when I realised that I actually needed some few roots, which I could call a home.
    I am stuck at 21 by the way. lol

    I love your crostata by the way. It looks rich in flavoures, mouthwatering.

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  7. Stunning and moody clicks, and a heavenly recipe! That fruit combination is just unbeatable.

    Like you, I still feel 18 and don't realize that I am the age I am...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  8. I want this crostata for breakfast like now!

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  9. Meeta, your photography just gets better and better. So evocative.

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  10. This is a beautiful crostata, and I hope your birthday is just as beautiful!

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  11. You haven't aged beyond Meeta! not that i knew you when you were 18, but you have a spunky spirit and when I read through, it makes me just feel good! haven't been getting much time and missed your posts! I want your desserts! all of them :)

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  12. 40 is the new 20. Age is actually in our minds. If we feel old then we are older,sometimes older than our moms.

    Love the crostata. Been long since I came here.

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  13. Beautiful Post Meeta! Love the photos and colours, especially the second one with apples :)

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  14. So funny that we had such diametrically different upbringings and stll ended up being sisters-from-another-mother!! And when we get together it seems we actually ARE 18 again ;o)

    Beautiful post and absolutely sumptuous pics - such a moody Autumnal feel! Look forward to celebrating with you, on your birthday as well as every time we get together :)

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  15. Reflective thoughts, woven with love, spices and sweet honey. Enchanting photography captures your mood and feelings.

    I can just visualize your long table of friends Meeta. What cheer and depth. A toast to you on your birthday dear friend.

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  16. Good memories always make you smile...Love your story telling Meeta and so love that scale..I remember seeing it in one of your peach pics..Who wouldnt want a slice of that crostata with a steaming mug of coffee

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  17. We were one of the families who stayed put forever unlike the military families that moved every two years. So I am lucky to have gone through school from grade 1 to 12 with a good group of friends and we are friends still. But I have so many more new friends, like you, who I feel like I have known my whole life. And this crostata is as gorgeous, sweet, surprising and lush as you!

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  18. Nice Post.
    Lucky that you got to travel so many wonderful places !!
    Crostata looks beautiful.

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  19. I'm sitting here at work still... and I'm drooling... over every single one of these images. I shouldn't have come here... my stomach is growling now.

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  20. Absolutely beautiful post, words and pictures. I hope we stay friends for our next 40 years. X

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  21. This is splendid! There is just something about apples, especially freshly picked ones with leaves still on :)

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  22. I have an eye-gasm every time I view your photos. Scrumptious!

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  23. Loved this crostata. Apples are always fun to work with at the kitchen!

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  24. Moving all the time must have many advantages and I'm sure you became such a warm, inviting and open person because of it. But I also understand that it's not always easy when you've got one place to call home.

    I recognized your books, so funny! I read Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl as well as a kid:)

    And what a great crostata; love the fact that you combined it with a streusel topping, never thought of doing that, but sounds great!

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  25. Lovely piece Meeta. Your photos are lovely too. I have a "gypsy" heart and my brother is quite the gypsy himself. Travel is wonderful because it gives one the opportunity of seeing new things. I too feel like an 18 year old.
    Best,
    Melanie

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  26. What a wonderful post and gorgeous shots! This crostata is just divine!

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  27. Gahhhh! So pretty... and yummy! So everything. I am seriously in love with this recipe.

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  28. I can relate to your story somewhat because I've been through the same moving around with my family in Colombo and the suburbs and now married and moving around in Gulf.It was an agonizing task for me as a kid and teen to pack and unpack all the home-ware,specially my mom's glass ornaments and china.Longed to live in a place forever.But destiny has it's own plans for one and having put all the regrets and sorrow behind I'm enjoying my life for what it is now.BTW,your photos are amazing,Love it!

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  29. Thank you everyone for all your fantastic comments and thoughts. Being a gypsy was not all that bad. I enjoyed it as it makes me look at the world around me differently. The recipe for the crostata is exceptional as roasting the apples prior to using them really brings out the aromas and flavors! Enjoy!

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta