Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Top Grunt

Eating is the quintessence of esotericism. Arriving home every morning at 2am after a long days work with the current wet and blisteringly chilly Sydney weather seems a perfect excuse to try an apple grunt recipe from 'James Beard's Simple Foods'.

My sister and I didn't exactly grow up devouring lavish cakes, cookies and crumbles that my dearly beloved Grandma baked every Sunday for church bake sales, nor did we ever have feasts with the family gathered in the kitchen kept warm by the gentle glow of an old-fashioned cast iron Aga oven. Meals at our house were simple ones. Cringeworthingly simple. Slow food was introduced into our kitchen purely by way of functionality and my sister still has a cabinet dedicated to instant noodles. I like to think that I'm the black sheep of the family.

James Beard suggests filling the pan with raw apples, unpeeled and cut into 6th's, dotted with butter and sprinkled with sugar however shreds of apple skin are not very nice and unless you use teeny tiny apples they won't cook down enough before the crust is baked and you'll end up with brown skin, undercooked apple wedges and a wet bottom. SO my suggestion is to peel, dice and precook the apples a little in a pan to give the filling a head start, then toss the filling in a mixture of sugar and cornflour before baking so it will become caramelised when the crust is done and have a lovely sort of thickened sauce as opposed to a weak fruity dribble.

Grunt Topping
165 g self-raising flour
2 g salt
1 g baking powder
8 g castor sugar
1 vanilla pod, split and scraped
60 g milk
190 g double cream
Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a large bowl.
Whisk vanilla seeds into milk for even distribution.
Combine milk with double cream then gently work it into the flour until just combined.
Half fill a 5" x 9" ceramic pan with precooked fruit tossed in sugar, dot with butter then drop tablespoons of batter over the top.
Bake at 160ÂșC for 40 minutes.

".. until crust is deep brown and apples are bubbled up around the edges. Let the grunt cool slightly before eating, with additional whipped cream, if you're feeling luxurious .."

1 comment:

  1. I like the comment about feeling luxurious. The thickened sauce inside sounds like a good idea. It's a perfect dessert for this chilly weather.


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