It’s funny how it turns about apples in many languages. Look at that: tomatoes in Italian are not tomatoes, they are called pomo d’oro – golden apples! (By the way, in Russian we call them pomidori too=); potatoes in French are not potatoes, they are pommes de terre – apples of the earth (in Russian I guess we’ve adopted a German name, kartofel or a more russified version – kartoshka)! Not mentionning all those non-culinary idioms like the apple of my eye, apple of discord, to mix apples & oranges, etc…. Ok, here my efforts at a linguistic research end, don’t worry.
In this post I will share with you two recipes, one of them Greek for potatoes and the other French for apples. Let’s begin with pommes de terre à la grecque=)
These Πατάτες Λεμονάτες (Patates Lemonates or Lemony Potatoes) adapted just a tiny bit from kopiaste.org are simply super! Ivy, the author of the recipe, has made her own take at the traditional baked potatoes you may find in the Greek restaurants (and homes of course). Baked with a caramelised sauce, they are just adorable! Especially tasty with fresh baby potatoes, oh mmmmmmmmmmmmmy!
Apart from freshly picked baby potatoes from our garden, I also used some store-bought small potatoes, some of them I cut in halves to speed up the cooking process. I did not peel them, just scrubbed and washed them very well, removing all the dirty parts. Here are the potatoes ready for the oven:
As for the dressing, I had to substitute the missing mustard seeds with some Greek μουτάρδα (mustard with basil), I also used more garlic and added some rosemary and orange zest. The addition of the citrus juices to the oil produces an amazing effect, just great! The tiniest potatoes seem to be the most successful, as they are whole and all covered with this tasty sweet & sour dressing.
I baked my potatoes under foil for about an hour in a fan-assisted oven at about 160 ‘C (which helped cut on the time) and then some minutes on the top shelf to achieve a crusty effect. I did not add extra olive oil once I took the foil off. You can also spot some whole garlic cloves which got baked through nicely.
Don’t hesitate to make this πεντανόστιμο dish (=very tasty)! I have never experienced eating anything like this, actually, after all, we, the Soviets, rarely use lemons or oranges (and hardly ever honey!) in cooking savoury dishes. So this new taste has been a revelation to me, really. Ivy, σας ευχαριστώ πάρα πολύ!
Now, let’s see what we can do with pommes, I mean, apples. The apple trees in our garden, with almost all their branches bent down to the ground with the fruit, speak out loud about an abundant harvest. But they also discard some small apples already (these are called padalitsa, which means those who fell, and they are not necessarily ripe or sweet…), which we usually pick up to make some kompot (juice) or a pie filling. And I just cut them and use in pies and cakes. For example, picking some from my recent baking, a nice one with bananas is this – Mom’s Banana-Apple Bread from www.foodandwine.com and I would also suggest this plain apple cake too - Cortland Apple Cake from thejoyofcaking.wordpress.com.
Here is the recipe for Tarte aux pommes à la crème au miel (Apple Tart with Honey Cream) translated and adapted from en-direct-dathenes.over-blog.fr with a kind permission of the author (see my remarks on what changes I made).
For the pastry:
- 250g flour
- 120g sugar
- 150g butter, softened – I used less
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
For the Honey Cream: (the recipe will yield a lot, enough for a large pie, I have some leftovers for a next cake)
- 60g butter
- 80g sugar
- 100g honey – I think I used less
- 5 eggs
- 60g of cornflour, I used less
- 400g of crème fraîche – for the lack of which I mixed up 3% fat Finnish prostokvasha (yogurt) + 15% fat Russian smetana (sour cream)
- 5 pommes, I mean apples – pictured above =) I used our padalitsa green apples (which fall from the trees) and did not peel them
The pastry: Mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon and the softened butter, later adding the egg, with your fingers.
Transfer the pastry into the greased cake tin and spread with your fingers, creating also the borders (better make them tall, cause mine were not high enough to fit all the honey cream inside).
The honey cream: Beat the eggs with sugar, add cornflour and crème fraîche (I’m sure you can use sour cream or any such dairy product for a similar effect).
Melt butter in honey, heating them on low. Add to the egg mixture (I waited a bit till the honey-butter mixture cooled down).
Place the apple slices all around the pastry base. Pour the honey cream on top. Powder with cinnamon (I also added some nutmeg).
Bake at 160 to 180 ‘C for 45 minutes (I baked my pie at 180 ‘C).
And here’s the result:
- a large pie with crunchy apples, not over sweet (yes, my parents with their weird notion of sweetness can eat it with jam!) which has a nice pastry too! Although some top apples got burnt a bit, that did not hinder the taste. And I like that the apple slices are not entirely cooked through as they would be in an apple bread loaf, for example. You still feel that these are apples =)
Whatever kind of pommes you are making today, καλή όρεξη and bon appetit!