Tarte tatin (French caramel apple pie)

Tarte tatin

250g puff pastry
75g soft butter
175g caster sugar
750g firm apples
Vanilla ice cream

Roll out the pastry on lightly floured surface and cut out a 26cm disc, slightly larger than the top of a 20cm tarte tarin dish or reliably non stick cast iron frying pan. Transfer to a baking sheet and chill for at least 20 minutes.
Spread the butter over the base of the tarte tatin dish it frying pan, and sprinkle over the sugar in a thick, even layer.
Peel, core and halve the apples, trimming them very slightly if necessary to fit but keeping the sugar. Place the tarte tatin dish or frying pan over a medium heat and cook for 20/25 minutes, gently shaking the pan now and then, until the butter and sugar have amalgamated with the apple juices to produce a rich toffee colored sauce and the apples are just tender. At first the caramel will be pale and liquid from the juices from the apples, but as you keep on cooking the juices will evaporate and the butter and sugar will become darker and thicker. Just take care that the butter and sugar are not allowed to burn.
Preheat the oven to 190C. Lift the pastry top of the apples and tuck the edges down inside the pan. Prick the pastry 5 or 6 times with a tip of a knife. Bake for 25 minutes.
Remove the tarte from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Then run a knife around the edge and invert it onto a round flat serving plate.
Serve warm with ice cream or cream fraîche.


Stracchino bread

This soft bread has a delicate cheese flavour, it goes well with cold cuts so it's perfect for your sandwiches! It's very quick to make!

2 cups Bread flour
100g Stracchino (like philadelphia)
3/4 cup milk
1 tbsp sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cube of fresh yeast or 1/2 package of dried yeast

Mix the yeast and the sugar together.Mix cheese, milk, eggs and salt. Add the flour  sifted and work until the dough is smooth. Transfer it into a buttered and floured cake tin, level it with the back of a spoon and bake in the preheated gas oven at 180C for 35/45 minutes,(do the toothpick test. Stick a wooden toothpick into one of the thickest parts of the bread. If it's dry when you pull it our, the bread is done). Remove it from the oven, let cool before cutting.


Pasta fredda alla Mediterranea

For a fancy picnic!

1 package of your favorite short pasta
1 cup of your favorite olives (pitted)
1 tbsp capers
1 cup of cacciota or feta cheese in cubes
2 cups cherry tomatoes (chopped)

1 red and 1 yellow pepper cutted in cubes
2 cloves of garlic very thin sliced or on the garlic press
Oregano or fresh basil
Pepperoncino (optional)
Roasted pine nuts (optional)
½ cup Olive oli
½ cup Balsamic
Salt & Pepper

In a big bowl mix all the ingredients except the pasta.  Cook the pasta al dente and mix the sauce with the pasta very well. Wait at list an hour to serve.