Well, it's that time of the year again when I find myself unexpectedly all alone. My sister has gone away and it appears that I will be spending the Easter weekend cooped up at home with the cat and half a dead chicken. Usually the weekend off isn't too bad, generally comprising of a mere 24 hours which is just enough time for me to lament over how little time I have to really do anything. But now.. With this horribly bleak weather and the long holiday weekend for which I was generously allowed 4 whole days.. Well, let's just say that for my own sanity (and barely entering into day 2) I think it's about time that I started putting a little more effort into blogging events like the up-and-coming 'Tried, Tested and True'. If only I could find little things to do around the house that I do at work.
Every couple of days when I've raced ahead with all my prep jobs I find myself sort of wafting through the kitchen like a bad smell that for some reason just won't go away, so I set myself the initiative of experimenting with little left over bits and pieces that we have sitting in the cool room downstairs.
Last week the boss ordered in two bunches of rhubarb that nobody wanted to touch and as a result it ended up lying draped over the box of red capsicums, very sad and limp looking. With the weather like it is now what could be better than the comforting taste that we all know to be the traditional apple and rhubarb crumble? A-HA! But what if the apple was not cooked to that traditional soft lumpy mess? What if it were cool and crispy? What if the crumble was less crumble and more crunch? By the way, I've tried pairing the following with a number of different flavours, but I've found that if it is simply thrown together with a good scoop of homemade ginger ice cream it never fails to please.
Green Apple Sorbet
200 g castor sugar
400 ml water
100 g liquid glucose
4 Granny Smith apples
1 lemon, juiced
Bring the sugars and water to the boil for 1 minute.
Refrigerate until cold.
Core and chop apples (leaving the skin on) and process with lemon juice and sugar syrup until it becomes a pulp.
Strain through a fine chinoise and churn immediately.
100 g castor sugar
100 ml water
1 lemon, juiced
1 Granny Smith apple
Bring the sugar and water to the boil then cool, adding the lemon juice.
Slice the apple as thinly as possible whilst leaving it whole.
Dip the apple slices into the lemon syrup and then place them onto a tray lined with baking paper or a non-stick silpat mat.
Dry them in the oven at 130ºC for 1½ hours or until they become crisp when cooled.
300 g almonds
1 long, plain bread stick
80 g unsalted butter
30 ml olive oil
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Toast the almonds until golden then leave to cool.
Remove all the bread crusts and cut remaining bread into small cubes.
Throw the bread into a tray, dotted with butter and sprinkled with olive oil and toast until crunchy and golden, giving it a shake every now and then.
Process the almonds until they become a fine textured meal.
Keep almond meal aside in a large bowl.
When croutons have cooled, process until fine and combine with the almonds.