A friend introduced me to the wonderful and peaceful Springfield Park in north east London at the weekend. Most London parks get chock-a-block as soon as the heat rises but this one is out of the way enough to retain some summertime peace (well, until a guy brought his loud getto blaster outside..!). So in between dozing, dog watching, reading and staring at the weeping willow above our heads we ate some delicious snacks.
Popcorn with toasted pumpkin and fennel seeds
Beetroot and orange salad
Fig and apple tart
For the popcorn pop it in a pan in some vegetable oil whilst toasting the pumpkin seeds dry in another pan. Once they start to turn brown turn the heat off and stir them as they will continue to toast and can easily burn. Once the popcorn and pumpkin seeds are cool add the fennel seeds, put in a jar or tupperware and shake well to mix.
For the beetroot and orange salad just slice and layer them together.
For the fig and apple tart you need:
250g wholewheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 dessert spoon soft light brown sugar
1 generous dessert spoon Greek yoghurt
4 or 5 figs (enough to cover the tart)
1. Start making the pastry by combining the flour, butter, salt, sugar and egg on a clean work surface. Use you fingers to gently draw the ingredients together.
2. Once the mixture is quite well combined, add the yoghurt and blend it in with your fingers.
3. Knead the mixture a few times.
4. Mould the pastry into a ball, wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge until you need to use it.
5. Slice the apples into small pieces, place them in a pan with a centimetre of water and a touch of sugar and heat to a simmer. Cook until the pieces are soft and you can squish them together with a fork.
6. Turn the heat off and allow this to cool while the oven heats to 170C.
7. Slice the figs into slices of about 0.5cm.
8. Take the pastry out of the fridge and spread it evenly in a greased quiche dish or even a cake tin. I like to mould the pastry so that it has high sides which create a nice wall around the sliced fruit.
9. Spread the cooled apple compote on the surface of the pastry.
10. Place the tart in the oven and bake for around 25-30 minutes until the pastry is lightly browned.
11. Take the tart out of the oven and lay the fig slices on the apple working your way from the edge to the middle. I like to put the fig slices on at the end as they loose colour when cooked and are soft anyway so are delicious placed raw on top of the apple.
Delicious eaten alone or with a dollop of Greek yoghurt.