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Nevin Maguire Recepies

Apple Tart with Custard

Homemade apple tart – a winning combination of delicate sweet pastry filled with heavenly scented apples – simply can’t be beaten. To ring in the changes, mix the apples with blackberries or try a mixture of rhubarb and strawberry. To make your tart extra special, add a vanilla pod to your bag of sugar and leave for at least a week before using. Serves 6–8

Pastry:

  • 225g (8oz) plain flour, extra for dusting
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 100g (4oz) butter, diced and chilled
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2–3 tablespoons ice-cold water

Filling:

  • 900g (2lb) Bramley cooking apples
  • 100g (4oz) caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • good pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp milk

Custard:

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • ½ vanilla pod, split in half and seeds scraped out
  • 300ml (½ pint) milk
  • 100ml (3 ½fl oz) cream

To make the pastry, sift the flour and icing sugar into a bowl. Using a round-bladed knife or the tips of your fingers, work in the butter and then mix in the egg yolks with enough of the ice-cold water, until the dough just comes together. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/gas mark 5). Lightly dust the work surface with flour.

Divide the pastry into 2 portions, one slightly larger than the other, then roll out the larger piece until it’s about 30cm (12in) in diameter. Use to line a 20cm (8in) pie dish or a 23cm (9in) flat plate, gently pressing into the corners. Trim the edges with a knife and reserve the excess for decorating. Place back in the fridge to chill while you prepare the apples.

Peel, core and slice the apples. Place in a large bowl with all but 1 tablespoon of the caster sugar. Add the cinnamon and cloves and mix together. Brush the edge of the pastry with a little milk and then pile the apples into the lined pie dish. Roll out the second piece of pastry into a circle slightly larger than the pie dish and use to cover the apples. Press the edges together to seal, then use a sharp knife to cut away any excess.

Crimp the edges of the tart with a round-bladed knife and using your fingers as a guide. Roll out the pastry scraps and cut into leaf shapes. Brush the shapes with milk and stick on top of the pie. Brush the entire top of the pastry with milk and sprinkle over the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 25–30 minutes, then reduce the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4) and bake for another 20–25 minutes, until golden brown.

Meanwhile, to make the custard, place the egg yolks in a large bowl with the sugar and vanilla seeds. Whisk with an electric mixer for a few minutes, until pale and thickened.

Place the milk and cream in a medium pan and bring to the boil, then immediately remove from the heat. Gradually whisk the heated milk and cream into the egg yolk mixture until smooth, then pour back into the pan and place over a gentle heat. Cook gently for 6–8 minutes on a medium heat, stirring constantly, until the custard coats the back of a wooden spoon. Keep warm.

To serve, cut the warm apple tart into slices and arrange on warmed serving plates with some of the custard. Put the remainder into a jug on the table.

Grilled Rib-eye Steak with Smoky Red Pepper Butter

I hear that less fillet and striploin is being sold these days and rib-eye has become more popular, as it’s good value. I always bring steaks to room temperature by removing them from the fridge 30 minutes before I want to cook them. This butter or any of the variations on pages 42–43 will complement any grilled meat and it looks great. It can be frozen or it keeps happily in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Serves 4

4 x 225g (8oz) dry-aged rib-eye steaks

100ml (3 ½fl oz) olive oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp chopped fresh thyme

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

baked potatoes, to serve

steamed purple sprouting broccoli,

to serve

Smoky red pepper butter:

1 small red pepper

100g (4oz) butter, softened

1 tsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 tsp smoked paprika

½ tsp chopped fresh thyme

1 tbsp cream

To make the flavoured butter, preheat the grill. Place the pepper on the grill rack and cook for 20–25 minutes, until the skin is blackened and blistered. Transfer to a bowl and cover with clingfilm, then leave to cool completely.

Remove the skin, core and seeds from the pepper and roughly chop the flesh, then place in a food processor. Add the butter, parsley, paprika and thyme and purée until smooth. Beat in the cream and then scrape the butter out onto a square of parchment paper. Roll into a cylinder about 2.5cm (1in) thick, twisting the ends to secure. Chill for at least 2 hours to harden.

Trim the rib-eye steaks of any excess fat. Place in a non-metallic dish and add the olive oil, garlic and thyme. Cover with clingfilm and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight is best.

Remove the steaks from the fridge at least 30 minutes before you want to cook them, then shake off any excess marinade and season to taste. Grill, barbecue or pan-fry the steaks over a fierce heat for 6–7 minutes for medium rare, or to your liking. Allow to rest for 5 minutes on warmed serving plates.

To serve, remove the flavoured butter from the fridge and remove the paper, then cut the butter into slices. Place butter slices on top of the grilled steaks and add a baked potato and some purple sprouting broccoli to each plate to serve.

Variations

Blue Cheese and Celery Sauce

Makes 325ml (11fl oz)

1 tbsp olive oil

large knob of butter

2 celery sticks, thinly sliced

1 small onion, finely chopped

100ml (3 ½fl oz) port

100ml (3 ½fl oz) dry white wine

100ml (3 ½fl oz) beef stock (page 227)

100ml (3 ½fl oz) cream

100g (4oz) blue cheese (such as Cashel

Blue), rind removed and crumbled

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat a pan over a medium heat and add the oil and butter. Once the butter is melted and foaming, add the celery and onion. Cook for 2–3 minutes, until the onion has softened and the celery is tender, tossing the pan occasionally. Pour in the port and wine, then flambé it off a little by tipping the edge of the pan over the flames very carefully. When the alcohol burns off, stir in the stock and slowly add the cream, then tip in the cheese. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until reduced, thickened and darkened in colour. Season to taste and use as required. This will keep covered in the fridge for 3–4 days.

Wild Mushroom Butter

1 tbsp olive oil

1 shallot, finely diced

1 garlic clove, crushed

50g (2oz) mixed wild mushrooms,

roughly chopped (such as cep,

chanterelle, shiitake and oyster)

1 tbsp Madeira

1 tbsp cream

1 tsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

½ tsp chopped fresh thyme

100g (4oz) butter, diced (at room

temperature)

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the shallot, garlic and mushrooms.  Cook gently for 5 minutes, until cooked through and tender but not coloured. Stir in the Madeira, cream and herbs and cook for a further 3 minutes, until the liquid has completely reduced and evaporated. Season to taste and leave to cool, then place in a food processor with the butter and purée until smooth. Using a spatula, scrape out onto a square of parchment paper and roll into a cylinder about 2.5cm (1in) thick, twisting the ends to secure. Chill for at least 2 hours to harden. Use as required. This will keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge or it can be frozen.

Whiskey Sauce

Makes 325ml (11fl oz)

25g (1oz) butter

1 tbsp olive oil

150g (5oz) button mushrooms, sliced

1 shallot, finely chopped

120ml (4fl oz) Irish whiskey

150ml (¼ pint) white wine

150ml (¼ pint) beef stock (page 227)

150ml (¼ pint) cream

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

good pinch of sugar

1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

squeeze of lemon juice

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat a pan over a medium heat and add the butter and oil, then swirl until the butter has melted and is foaming. Tip in the mushrooms and shallot and sauté for 2–3 minutes, until tender. Pour over the whiskey, then use a match or tilt up the pan to catch the flame. It will flare up for 5–10 seconds and then subside when the alcohol burns off. Add the white wine, stirring to combine, then simmer for 6–8 minutes, until reduced by half. Stir in the stock, cream, Worcestershire sauce and sugar. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20–25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to a sauce consistency that will coat the back of a wooden spoon. Stir in the parsley and lemon juice and season to taste. Use as required. This will keep covered in the fridge for 3–4 days.

Peppered Shallot Butter

1 tsp sunflower oil

3 shallots, very finely chopped

100g (4oz) butter, softened

1 tbsp black peppercorns, coarsely

crushed

1 tsp Dijon mustard

¼ tsp sea salt flakes

Heat the oil in a small pan over a medium heat, then add the shallots and gently fry for 6–8 minutes, until golden brown. Leave to cool, then beat into the butter with the peppercorns, mustard and salt. Scrape out onto a square of parchment paper and roll into a cylinder 2.5cm (1in) thick, twisting the ends to secure. Chill for at least 2 hours to harden. Use as required.