Over the past 15 years of working on the Larapinta Trail we’ve built up a great repertoire of recipes and menus from various sources. The first one I’d like to share with you comes from my years spent in Beechworth in the 1990s and my friend Karen Dosser’s fabulous restaurant, The Parlour and Pantry. The only reference on this classic dessert is Leisa’s Apple & Caramel Shortcake. This has been a dessert staple for 15 years on our Larapinta trail tour as we discovered very early on that everyone loves comfort food on a cold night around the campfire. I adapted this recipe initially to be able to cook it in the coals of the fire in a camp oven. It was a difficult skill to master at first but once fine-tuned it became an all time favourite with our guests.
Leisa’s Apple Shortcake
1 ½ cups of SR flour
1 ½ cups plain flour
1 ½ cups caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
250gm unsalted butter
1 egg beaten
5 – 6 granny smith apples, peeled and cored into eighths
1 cup of brown sugar
60 g of butter
2 tbs milk
1/2 cup of icing sugar
Blend flours, ground cinnamon and sugar, melt butter and combine with the egg. Pour over the flour and mix until it makes a crumble.
Place apples in saucepan add 2-3 tablespoons of water and cook until still crunchy but softened.
Make the caramel: melt the butter in a saucepan and add the brown sugar, milk and icing sugar stir and cook slowly until it turns into caramel.
Grease a 28cm spring form tin. Press ½ the crumble mixture into the bottom of the tin. Layer all the apples in with minimal juice, pour caramel over apples, top with remaining crumble mixture. Bake in a camp oven or gas oven at 180c until golden brown. Serve with a large dollop of cream.