Last weekend saw a wonderful seasonal celebration at one of our local pubs. The Driftwood Spars hosted Apple Fest – a day (and night) to celebrate the humble apple. Locals could bring their apple harvest to the pub to pressed, there was entertainment for the children, a barn dance and the best stocked cider bar you are ever likely to see.
But for me, the highlight of the day was the Great Apple Bake Off – not because I was entering – but because I was privileged enough to be asked to be a judge along with the lovely Lisa from Vanillaboo.
What with all the other delights of the day it’s fair to say we weren’t inundated with entries (next year will be better) but we did have one clear winner: Christine Ettling made a scrummy Toffee Apple Slice and this is her recipe. The original came from the BBC Good Food magazine.
950g / 2lb 20z Eating Apples
A Squeeze of Lemon Juice
A little Caster Sugar to taste
For the Base
100g / 4 oz Caster Sugar
250g Pack of Butter (diced)
100g / 4 oz Ground Rice
200g / 7 oz Plain Flour
For the Topping
397g Can of Condensed Milk
85g / 30 z Butter
100g / 4 oz Light Muscovado Sugar
25g / 1 oz Cornflakes
A Pinch of Salt
100g / 4 oz Pecan Nuts
100g / 4 oz Toasted Whole Almonds
Put the apples in a saucepan with a good squeeze of lemon juice and 4 tablespoons of water. Cook, partly covered, for 10 or 15 minutes. Add sugar to taste but try to keep some sharpness to counteract the sweetness of the topping. Leave to cool
For the base, whizz all the ingredients together in a food processor. (If you don’t have one rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs then stir in the ground rice and the sugar). Line the base of a rectangular tin (18 cm x 28 cm) with baking paper and press the dough into the base.
Heat the oven to 180 °C / Gas Mark 4.
Bake the base for 20-25 minutes until golden. Spread the cooked apples over the base.
For the topping put the condensed milk, butter and sugar into a saucepan. Heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves then continue to simmer over a low heat for 10 minutes or so until a pale fudge colour. Stir in the salt, cornflakes and nuts. Spoon it over the apples.
Return to the oven for a further 15-20 minutes until the topping is golden and crisp. Cool in the tin and then cut into squares.
Can be stored in an airtight container for a day or two.
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