This week I'll be using an ingredient that originates from right here in Australia - the ever popular Granny Smith.
The Granny Smith apple is named after it's creator, Mrs Mary Ann (Granny) Smith and they were first grown in Eastwood, Sydney in 1867. They are a hybrid and thought to be the result of propagating the seed of the European Wild Apple with the domestic Apple. This event is celebrated in late October in Eastwood with the annual Granny Smith Festival.
The Granny Smith is a tart but juicy and crisp apple - a favourite for the quintessential apple pie. Nutritionally, it's a good source of Vitamin C and fibre but also contains Vitamin A, Calcium and Iron.
I'll be using these apples for a pie but it's a totally different type of apple pie. This recipe comes from Queensland's award winning bistro E'cco - one bite from this torte will have you singing praises to Granny Smith.
[Makes 1 x 26cm (10.5 inch) torte]
6 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and finely sliced
juice of 1 lemon
250 grams caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
100 grams melted unsalted butter
100 mls milk
150 grams plain flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
100 grams roasted hazelnuts, chopped roughly
120 grams sultanas, chopped if large
100 grams pine nuts
3 tablespoons caster sugar, extra
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F.
Grease and line the base of a 26cm/10.5" spring-form tin with baking paper.
Toss the sliced apples in lemon juice and set aside.
Place the eggs, caster sugar and vanilla into a bowl and whisk until thick and pale.
Add the milk and butter - stirring to mix through.
Sift the flour and baking powder together and then fold into the wet ingredients. When almost combined, add the hazelnuts, sultanas and pine nuts.
Finally fold through the apple slices along with any lemon juice.
Pour into the prepared tin and smooth the top over.
Mix the extra caster sugar with the cinnamon and then sprinkle over the top of the cake.
Bake for about 1 hour 20 minutes or until the cake is cooked through. If you find the top browning too quickly, cover with foil and continue cooking.
Let it sit in the tin about 10 minutes before removing - you'll find that the cake will contract as it cools making removal a lot easier.
Cool on a wire rack.
You can dust the torte with icing sugar if you like, but I found it best served as is and still slightly warm from the oven.
Soft and creamy with a crisp toffee-like crust and the pure sweetness of apples infuse this torte - there's not much better than this.