A friend a day…

Fresh out of the oven 
You know one of the nicest things about apples is that they’re always there – like a friend you can lean on when the going gets tough. This past year has been crazy, difficult and nothing short of insane and boy, am I thankful or what to have a bunch of friends who were around me all the time.
I don’t make much of a hullaballoo about friendship day (that’s why I don’t even give it capital letters!) but then that’s the kind of person I am. So when I was thinking about what to post today, I saw thins picture of Apple brown sugar tarts that popped up and I realized that true friends are like apples (yes, I know it is a little corny, but that’s my state of mind now), you’re never really far away from one. So here’s to my chaddi-buddies, mentalists and jigri dosts.
These tarts were the result of a problem of plenty – there was excess shortcrust pastry in the fridge and a huge bunch of apples in the fruit bowl. I didn’t want to do an Apple pie cuz I didn’t feel like one. I wanted to try something different, a quick glance at Nigella Lawson’s book and I knew what I was going to make.

So delish and cinnamon-y!

Apple brown sugar tarts
Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s recipe
For the filling
3 apples, de-seeded and chopped
1 tsp (heaped) of cinnamon powder
¼ cup of raisins
2tsp of vanilla essence
A handful of dates, de-seeded and chopped
2tbsp of honey
2 tbsp of unsalted butter
3-4 tbsp of brown sugar
Some milk for brushing
Melt some butter in a saucepan and add the apples to this, stir around for a while. When the apples begin to sweat add the raisins and dates along with the honey. Finally sprinkle the cinnamon powder and vanilla essence on top and take it off the flame before the fruit cooks fully.
To proceed with the tarts
Roll out the shortcrust pastry and fit them into muffin moulds or tart cases. Prick them all over with a fork and grease a little, blind bake them for about 5-7 minutes until they turn golden brown. Allow the tart cases to cool down a little bit before proceeding.
Scoop in the filling into the tart cases and sprinkle the brown sugar on top. Brush the sides with milk. Bake the tarts for 5 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. Serve warm.
*Don’t peel the apples, unless you’re allergic or something, that’s where you get the maximum flavor from.
* You can substitute sugar for the honey, but make sure you adjust the amount of brown sugar to ensure the tarts aren’t too sweet.
* To add that decorative element you can use bits of leftover pastry to create a pattern on the surface of the tarts. Then this becomes a pie but it is just as delicious. 


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