This is a light version of a classic sweet treat, quick and simple to make. It uses ingredients that you’re likely to have on hand, so it’s perfect for afternoon tea or dessert when unexpected guests drop in.
1 sheet good quality frozen puff pastry
1 Granny Smith apple
½ cup frozen blueberries
1 tbs St Dalfour blueberry jam (or other no-added-sugar brand)
Set the pastry aside to thaw. Defrost the blueberries and pour off any liquid. Peel, core and quarter the apple, then slice each quarter fairly thinly. Once pastry is thawed, cut it into four squares and place them on an ovenproof tray lined with baking paper. Place one teaspoon of jam in the centre of each square. Arrange the apple slices on top, then add one quarter of the blueberries.
Lift two diagonally opposite corners of the pastry and fold them into the centre, over the filling, slightly overlapping them. Bake at 200C for 15 minutes or until puffed and golden.
Serve warm on their own, with natural yoghurt or vanilla ice cream. You can sift a little icing sugar over the top if you like.
Each serve contains about 160 Calories (not including yoghurt or anything you might serve with it).
This recipe was inspired by Liz, who served me something similar when I stayed with her a few weeks back. It’s perfect for breakfast, added to muesli or on top of your porridge, or it would make a great dessert. It can be served hot or cold, so it’s ideal for any season – just vary the fruits to use whatever’s available.
1 medium apple, any sweet variety (not Granny Smith) or a pear
2 small or 1 large peach
2 small or 1 large nectarine
6-8 whole dried apricots
1 tbs dried cranberries (“craisins”)
A strip of lemon or orange rind
1 cinnamon quill
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste*
2 tbs brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice or water
Core and quarter the fresh fruit, then slice into smaller, bite-sized wedges and place into a small saucepan. No need to peel, although you can if you prefer not to eat the skin…if leaving the skin on, make sure you wash the fruit thoroughly and remove those annoying stickers. Add the remaining ingredients to the pan, breaking the cinnamon quill in half first, and stir to mix well. Place a lid on the saucepan and bring to the boil. Give it a good stir, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Check that the fruit is soft (this will depend on how ripe it is to begin with and whether you use an apple or a pear) – if not, simmer for a few minutes more. Bring the mixture back to the boil with the lid off to reduce the liquid to a syrup; this should only take a few minutes. Stir regularly and watch that it doesn’t burn.
Remove the cinnamon quill and lemon rind and discard, then either serve warm or allow to cool before transferring to an airtight container and refrigerating. I ate this warm with a big dollop of natural yoghurt and a little muesli sprinkled over. Voila:
*Note: Vanilla bean paste is available from most supermarkets. You can substitute half a vanilla bean or use a teaspoon of vanilla extract if you prefer.
This makes a great breakfast or dessert. I like to serve it with a splodge of natural yoghurt.
2 medium apples – any variety you like
1 can of baby apple puree (I use baby food, because it has zero added sugar)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup rolled oats – about 80g
50g vanilla whey powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbs chopped walnuts
2 cups water
Core and chop the apples roughly – don’t bother peeling. Place into a deep pie dish and add the puree and vanilla. Mix well. In a bowl, mix the oats, whey, walnuts and cinnamon, then add the water and stir well. Pour the oat mixture over the apples. It will be runny and very watery, like this:
Don’t worry though – the oats soak up all the water and it turns out just fine. Bake in a moderate oven for 30-40 minutes or until the topping is crisp and beginning to brown.
Each serve is about 230 Cals (without yoghurt or any other additions).
These are very moist and the dates give them plenty of sweetness. If you prefer your cakes super-sweet, you may need to add some sugar or sweetener, but I think they’re fine as they are. As a bonus, these are wheat and gluten-free – as long as you use a gluten-free baking powder.
8 large fresh dates, pitted and chopped
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and grated
½ cup quark
¼ cup macadamia oil
200g unsweetened apple puree (I use baby food)
1 tsp vanilla essence
½ cup buckwheat flour
¾ cup rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
30g vanilla whey powder
Combine quark, eggs, oil, apple puree and vanilla in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes until very smooth. Sift flours, baking powder, whey and cinnamon into a large bowl. Stir grated apple and chopped dates through, making sure they’re well mixed. Add quark mixture and blend through with a wooden spoon.
Divide the mixture between 12 muffin cups, top each with a few walnut pieces and bake at 160C fan forced for 30-35 minutes or until cooked through.
If you can’t find quark, creamed cottage cheese will do the job.
I felt like dessert last night, but didn’t want to be fussing in the kitchen for hours. A bit of thought and a perusal of the pantry supplies, and this is what I came up with:
1 apple, cored, quartered and sliced (don’t bother peeling)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried fruit medley
1 tbs brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat-free muesli (I didn’t measure this, so it may have been more like 3/4)
1-2 tbs butter
Mix the apple, cranberries and dried fruit in a small ovenproof dish. Sprinkle the brown sugar over, add a teaspoon or so of water and mix through. Sprinkle with the muesli and dob small blobs of butter all over the top.
Bake at 180C for about 30 minutes. Serve with natural yoghurt, cream or whatever you fancy.
It turned out great – crunchy topping and sweet, juicy fruit. Bike Boy and I scoffed this, but you could divvy it up into 3-4 smaller serves.
You could swap the brown sugar for artificial sweetener if you prefer, and I guess a spray with cooking spray would crisp up the top about as well as butter – although it might be a bit dry.
Sick of bananas? Run out of bananas? Allergic to bananas? Try this instead…
2 egg whites
2 tbs unsweetened apple sauce (the IXL one is perfect)
1/2 a small-medium apple, cored and sliced
Cinnamon to taste
1 tsp butter or oil
Mix egg, egg whites and apple sauce with an electric beater for about 3 minutes until the mixture is light and creamy.
Heat a small non-stick pan, melt the butter. Arrange the apple slices over the base of the pan, sprinkle with cinnamon. Cook over medium heat for a minute or two, then pour the egg mixture over. Give it another minute or so, then place it under a pre-heated griller (or in the oven). If using the griller, watch it carefully – it may only need a minute or so. In the oven, you may need around 4 minutes. When it’s lightly browned on top and set right through, it’s ready.
Turn out onto a plate and tuck in.
This recipe, I found at cuisine.com.au. It is absolutely heavenly!
For the fennel:
3 medium (150g-200g each) fennel bulbs, trimmed and halved lengthwise
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the pork:
800g free-range pork fillet
1⁄2 cup tart apple syrup *
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the fennel and salt and cook for 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice and pepper in a bowl and toss with the fennel to coat. Place in an oven dish and roast for 30 minutes or until tender and golden.
Place the pork fillet in a dish and pour the apple syrup over to coat well. Cover and leave to marinate for 1 hour. Remove the pork, reserving the apple syrup. Rub the olive oil over the pork. Heat an ovenproof frying pan to hot. Add the pork and sear for 20 seconds on each side until brown. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the pork all over with the paprika and salt, and rub in using the back of a spoon or tongs. Pour the reserved apple syrup over. Place the pork in the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and rest for 10 minutes.
Slice the pork and arrange on 6 warmed plates with a piece of fennel each and drizzle with the pan juices.
I added my own touch to this, cooking half a sliced red onion and some apple slices in the pan after I browned the pork, then warming them in the pan juices just before serving. Yummy!
* I wasn’t about to go hunting through gourmet food shops for tart apple syrup, so I bought a litre of pure apple juice and boiled it down to 1/2 a cup. Voila! Tart apple syrup!
This is a starch-free recipe – the carbohydrate comes from the fruit.
1 medium banana, mashed (about 100g)
1/2 a largish Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated
30g vanilla whey protein
20g Ladybird Protein Crunch
15g almond meal
1 egg white
The method is super-simple: just mix everything together and cook in a non-stick pan sprayed with cooking spray. I make 4 pancakes out of this quantity, which gives me 2 serves.
Serve with yoghurt, syrup or whatever you fancy.