Saturday, 27 July 2013

Phyllo Cashew Apple Tart

It is very difficult not to fall in love.

With the flaky, crumbly crunch of an infinite number of layers of paper-thin, wafer-crisp phyllo dough. With the buttery, creamy promise of a distinctly nutty cashew cream. With the bronzed, glazed and beautifully fanned-out granny smith apple slices.

And, with a pie as wholesome as this, why shouldn't you?

I am not a particularly adventurous person. I stick to the book. I use level tablespoons when recipes call for level tablespoons. Up until only recently, I had a measuring spoon small enough to measure a 'dash', 'pinch' and 'sprinkle' of salt whenever called for.

So you can imagine, apart from made-up granola recipes (which trigger minor heart attacks every minute or so), I never, on principal, make up a recipe.

I never did.

Until now.

What do I make of being recipe-less, free from heaped teaspoons, scant half cups and preheating?

I loved it. And even more than that, I love this pie.

Pie Crust
6 rectangular sheets of phyllo dough // 1/2 cup olive oil
Cut each sheet down the middle so you have 12 square-ish phyllo sheets. Generously grease two pie-dishes (mine were the diameter of my extended palm). Paint a layer of aromatic, rich olive oil onto each sheet and squash down into pie dish, six per pan. Pre-bake for 4 minutes at 190 degrees C.

Cashew Cream
1 cup cashews, soaked in water for at least an hour // soy milk // Agave Syrup to taste
While pie shells are baking, blend the drained cashews, adding in soy milk in small batches until you reach the creamiest, dreamiest consistency you could ever imagine (if requires patience and willpower and no itchy fingers in the crumbly cashew dough) Flavour to taste with agave, I used about a tablespoon, but it was plenty sweet.
Spoon into pie shells. You will have a lot left over, but it goes perfect in oatmeal, yogurt, on cakes and as frosting on anything moderately edible.

Apple Filling
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored and sliced finely // 1/4 cup maple syrup // a pinch of cinnamon // olive oil
Layer apple slices in neat, pretty circles above cashew cream. Drizzle with olive oil and a few teaspoons of maple syrup each. Sprinkle cinnamon and bake for 10-15 more minutes. When done, remove from oven and paint the tops with the remaining maple syrup to obtain your perfect, bonzed, syrupy drenched apples.

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