On reflection I think I should have done two things differently in order to make a horseshoe:
1. Chilled the pastry and filling before rolling. My pastry, by the time I came to roll it up was quite soft and at room temperature.
2. Use less apple. I am a total piggy where apples feature in recipes and if the recipe says “2-3 apples” it’s as if the “2-” bit isn’t there. Two apples would have meant less filling and an easier roll. It also would’ve stopped the apple bursting free during cooking.
So, after picking over what I did wrong, I must add that this still tasted delicious - very delicious! Admittedly it’s not going to win any beauty contest but I don’t particularly want to look at dessert, I want to eat it!
Here’s the pastry – I never was much good at rolling out a rectangle:
Add the apples (bonus points if you can already see that it's not going to roll very easily!):
Add the sultana topping:
Roll. This was never going to be a horsehoe!
Adding “rustic” to the title of anything excuses all ugliness in the finished product– it becomes “charming” rather than “messy”. In fact, I might start calling myself rustic; I wonder if it works for people?
The filling is very clever as it turns into a rich caramel sauce on cooking giving a lovely depth of flavour that compliments the apple beautifully. As my apples burst free from the pastry you can see the gorgeous dark caramel sauce seeping out at the top of the photo:
I made the roll with shortcrust pastry but the recipe gives the option of also using puff pastry. I mixed up my apples using two Gala and one Granny Smith. Putting in a tarter apple counteracts the sweetness and adds a little acidity.
Serve it warm or at room temperature with whatever takes your fancy. I kept it simple with some lightly whipped cream but ice cream, custard, clotted cream or even just some pouring cream would be lovely.
For the pastry:
230g plain flour
160g unsalted butter
4 tablespoons icing sugar
2 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the filling:
2-3 eating apples (I used 3 in total – 2 Galas and 1 Granny Smith- and would probably use only 2 next time)
50g unsalted butter
100g dark brown sugar
50g sultanas or raisins
1 egg, beaten
Handful of flaked almonds
How to make:
- Start by making the pastry: place all the ingredients except for the egg yolks into the food processor and blitz until you have breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg yolks and blitz again until the pastry just starts to form.
- Turn out onto a sheet of clingfilm and bring together into a ball of pastry.
- Flatten slightly, wrap in the clingfilm and chill.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan oven 180°C/400°F/Gas mark 6.
- Line a flat baking sheet with baking paper.
- Roll the pastry out between two sheets of baking paper; this minimises the amount of flour you need to roll out. Roll out to about a thickness of just under 0.5cm and try to keep it rectangular (don’t be too obsessed about this).
- In the food processor blitz some bread (crust removed). I found that just over 1 slice of small bread made the right amount but obviously weigh it.
- Brown the breadcrumbs by tipping into a bowl and putting in the oven for 2 minutes. Then remove, stir and put in for another 2 minutes. Your aiming for the bread to dry out but not go like toast crumbs.
- Peel, core and thinly slice the apples. Scatter over the rolled out pastry leaving a gap at the end you will finish at so you will get a nice clean join.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan and then stir in the breadcrumbs, brown sugar and sultanas.
- Remove from the heat and spoon over the apples.
- Roll the pastry up like a swiss roll (I rolled from the short end).
- If possible, shape into a horseshoe, but don’t risk it if your pastry is looking fragile.
- Transfer to the baking sheet and then brush with beaten egg.
- Scatter over the almonds.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until the pastry is a golden brown colour. Mine took 35 minutes.
- Leave to cool on a baking sheet.
- Serve in thick slices with the accompaniment of your choice i.e. cream, ice cream or custard.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.