I have found that the recent trend/ obsession with macarons in popular circulation is both a blessing and a curse. As a person who is very fond of macarons, I’m glad that they are more redily available, however – having been introduced to macarons by Ms Test-taster (Ms TT) many, many years ago – I think there was some pleasure to be had in describing them to people or, even better, being able to whip up a batch and watch the faces as friends experienced their first macaron. Now, I feel that the general perception is that I have jumped on the Masterchef bandwagon (rather than the fact that I was on the macaron band wagon way before Masterchef!).
This is not the only time this has happened. Ms TT and I also feel that we were usurped by the cupcake craze. I recall a time when bringing cupcakes to an event sparked enthusiasm and amazement – this was before the multitude of cupcake shops popped up everywhere. Now (that the cupcake phase has turned into the macaron phase) a cupcake seems a little passé – despite the fact that they are perfectly sized individual treats and can be oh-so-tasty!
So – I’m putting it out there – Ms TT has stated that the next craze will be slices. Already, I have seen a fair number of them in the workplace and expect to see more. They are easily transportable, can be cut into bite-sized or dessert-sized pieces and you don’t at all feel guilty for going in for a second piece (unlike a second cupcake). What’s not to like about them!
Now, to get to the recipe… I am a huge fan of trying challenging recipes – probably because of the sense of satisfaction at the end of having achieved something special – but the other night I found myself in the situation where I needed a quick and easy recipe. So I went to the taste.com website, typed in ‘apple’ (because we had over committed to apples in our grocery shopping on the weekend and they needed to be used up) and hoped that something simple would pop up.
Apple crumble slice. Now this ticked all the boxes: quick, easy, had a five star rating, and allowed me to use up some apples. I adapted the recipe slightly as I wanted to use what was in the cupboard, rather than trying to find a store open at 10pm. My work colleagues loved it!
The original recipe: http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/21362/apple+crumble+slice
Apple crumble slice
1 x 250g packet Arnott’s Scotch Finger biscuits, finely crushed
100g butter, melted
6 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 x 250g packet Arnott’s Butternut Snap Cookies, roughly crushed
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a rectangular tin with non-stick baking paper. Place the Arnott’s Scotch Finger biscuits and butter in a bowl and stir to combine. Press firmly into the base of the tin, smoothing the top with a spatula. Refrigerate to set.
2. Place apples, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and cloves in a large saucepan over high heat and stir well. Cover and cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples have softened. Remove from heat and stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Roughly mash apples and spread over the biscuit base. Scatter with crushed Arnott’s Butternut Snap Cookies and bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours until set before slicing.