We are lucky to live in such a hospitable town. During the first ten weeks following our arrival here last September, even as the engine of a new school year and fresh routines began to chug in earnest, we must have had one party invite a week, sometimes two, which petered off (just a little) over the less sociable winter months. Now, in the summer, the once-weekly party habit (this week there were three – did I mention how lucky we are) seems to have resumed.

At the weekend, we were off to dinner with two other families with young kids. I was told to bring nothing, which kind of threw me. I kept busy, went for a run, took the kids swimming, did some chores, all the while struggling not to contribute in some way when .. oops, I’ve accidentally baked a pie. I do enjoy showing my appreciation of our generous friends by creating something with my hands. Gauging by the speed of the tart’s disappearance, I don’t think our hosts minded at all.

  • pie crusts, 2 (readymade is fine)
  • whole eggs, 3, plus white of another
  • sugar, 1 cup
  • butter, 1 stick, softened
  • vanilla, 2 tsp
  • ground almonds, 2 cups
  • apples, 2-3, peeled and sliced thinly

  1. Preheat oven to 350F, 175C
  2. Prepare apples, peel and slice thinly
  3. Keep apples aside in some orange juice to prevent discolouring
  4. Cream sugar and butter
  5. Add the eggs, one by one and beat till white and fluffy
  6. Add vanilla, then the ground almonds to the batter
  7. Pour the batter into the pie crusts, dividing evenly between them
  8. Arrange sliced apples on top
  9. Sprinkle some coarse sugar over the apple slices to help them brown while baking
  10. Bake for about 50 minutes, check it’s done with a skewer
  11. Serve warm, dusted with sugar, or with fresh, whipped cream

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