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Time to tart up


Redmond Cabot

About three years ago Pat Bracken from Newport walked into Kavanagh’s SuperValu Westport and said to manager Liam Campion, “I’m growing some apple trees, when they have good apples will you sell them here?” Liam, being the positive man he is said “We will.”
Four weeks ago Pat walked up to Liam in the shop and Liam starts thinking, “I know this man, but not exactly sure where from.” “I have those apples now,” says Pat, and they both bite into a crunchy delicious, nutritious local product grown down the road in Newport. Pesticide free, on the road to full organic conversion, with few travel miles, these local apples are the bee’s knees! Called Sinéad’s Orchid after Pat’s daughter Sinéad there are two types, The Red Devil with a pink tinge to skin that to me tastes sweeter, and the Red Windsor that has a more tart tang to it. They are two different, beautiful products. Try them and see which you prefer.

Tarte Tatin
As the eagle-eyed among you will know, I have written about Tarte Tatin before, but not with such local produce! And this dish allows you to cook with eating apples not just cookers.

What you need

  • 4-5 eating apples
  • Puff or regular pastry
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 100g butter
  • Pinch cinnamon or vanilla

What you do
Peel your apples, quarter them and remove the centres with pips. Melt the butter in a heavy frying pan. When melted, reduce the  heat a bit and add the sugar, cooking it for a minute or two, then the lay apples down into it, turning once. The caramel should be golden and not allowed to go brown! Sprinkle the apples with the cinnamon or vanilla flavouring, take off the heat and lay rolled-out pastry over top, pinching in the edges.
Cook in a pre-heated oven for about 35 minutes in a 170ºc oven. Remove and tip out upside down onto a plate to leave the apple side up.
Present your tart with maybe a dressing of mint for decoration and freshness. Definitely serve with spoons of ice-cream or custard. Depending on how caramelised your apples are the sugary cooked sweetness is perfect with melting ice-cream.

Red Cabot is interested in food, nature and small things. He sells his food at Westport Country Markets in St Anne’s Boxing Club, James’s Street car park, Westport, every Thursday, from 8am to 1pm.

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