Sunday, January 29, 2012

Happy chickens!

This weekend has been a sort the teenagers out and catch up weekend. So sadly I haven't started the marmalade yet but I can see a window of opportunity arising tomorrow morning when everyone is back to work and school.

On Friday I had to sort out my son's dinner suit etc for drama award ceremony in the evening. Saturday there was the hockey run and then a trip to Ikea for a mattress for my daughter's room. The store was so busy - note to self don't go on a weekend again! And today we're sorting daughter's bed, dismantling the old and building the new!
As last night's dinner was chaotic and late I thought I would be organised today, so I have prepared all the veg and even made an apple puff pastry tart for tonight's supper. It just needs finishing off for five to ten minutes extra in the oven until its golden in colour and lovely and warm.

Nikki's Apple Puff Pastry recipe

1 block puff pastry ready made
1 Bramley apple large
3 more cooker apples ( I used some we have from a neighbours tree which don't completely cook to mush
Or 4-5 eating apples
Golden syrup

Roll a block of puff pastry which has  been out of the fridge for an hour or so. ( I once tried to use it straight from the fridge and found it was  impossible to roll out). Roll out to a large rectangle (mine measured approximately 26cm by 33cm).  Run a  knife approximately 1cm in from the edge of the pastry so that when it cooks the edge will puff up to give a crust.
Peel core and chop the Bramley apple ( you can use other apples but they may need to be pureed if they don't break down when cooked) and put in a saucepan with a little sugar. Put a lid on and cook over a low heat until soft. Puree if necessary.
Spread the puree over the base of the pastry ( within the crust edge). Then peel and slice the remaining apples and layer over the puree. Sprinkle over plenty of sugar if using cooking apples, drizzle with golden syrup and shake a fine mist of cinnamon powder over the top.  Brush the pastry edge with a little milk. Cook in a oven at approximately 160 degrees C for 20 minutes or so until golden brown . Keep an eye on it as the sugar can quickly caramelise and burn. Et voila, your tart is ready to eat with cream or custard! My tart will feed 8.

The chickens are very happy ( at last!-  you get round to them, I hear you say) as I have boiled up all the Brussels sprout, parsnip, carrot, potato and apple peelings for them. They go mad for the warm peelings. The black chicken is called Edna and the red one Isla Mai. Funnily they really aren't very interested in uncooked peelings, carrots are just about tolerable but cooked peelings- now you're talking!

The postcard, I brought back from the War museum when we visited London last year and I have it posted on the wall in the kitchen. I love the expectant look of the chickens with their beady inquisitive eyes. Now that we only have two chickens, I have to compost some our veggie peelings as I think there is only so much they can eat! I hope you enjoy the photos.


Janie said...

I LOVE that postcard!

Mrs H said...

It's lovely isn't it it always brightens my day