The music of apples

apple and almond tart recipe || cityhippyfarmgirl

apple and almond tart || cityhippyfarmgirl

As his little body seemed to hover above the water for far longer than normal. I couldn’t help but smile. With legs bundled beneath him, his arms outstretched in an open air embrace, and that smile. That huge smile on his face.

Pure and absolute joy.

And it was contagious. Days later I still smiled at the thought of it. That summer imagery of my son’s face mid jump into the pool, will be forever etched into my mind.Β This was joy at its very best, but it also got me thinking. As an adult, how often do we feel an emotion in its purest form?

When those little legs jumped, he wasn’t performing, he wouldn’t have even known I was watching. He jumped with an expectation that it would be fun and that simple happiness radiated out of him. It shone out of him.

As an adult those true emotions seem to be too easily brushed away. Too often we seem to squash, ignore, or simply refuse to acknowledge them. Never letting them see the emotional light of day as it’s either deemed; not acceptable (quickly brush those tears away) no time for proper acknowledgement (yes, we really need to get going/ do something else) or maybe just too confronting (that feelsΒ way too hard!)?

Small feelings of contentment, frustration, annoyance and briefly happy no problem, I can easily visit all of those within the same day.Β But those whole emotions, that’s something else. Something different.

I think it starts with noticing these smaller ones too though, being aware and really sitting with them for a moment. As an adult our emotions seem to get watered down a bit- so many things to do, multitasking, rushing, clock watching, looking ahead and most of all dismissing. But what about the here and now? What about noticing those tiny bubbles of excitement in the pit of your stomach at that knock on the door. Or stopping to watch your child experience something right before you. What are they feeling? As children, they are usually feeling a hell of a lot, and it can be pretty amazing to be a part of.

Obviously, it’s not always a positive thing. I recently saw something, that in the past had stressed me out greatly. The instant adrenal response was actually really interesting.

Every. Single. Fibre of my body was lit up. Fight or flight, I didn’t have to make that decision but the body response, that was interesting. Really interesting. In this moment, my curious brain actually over rode the stress of it all, (which helped.)

Going back to absolute joy, and that’s what I watched on my daughters face recently. For a music loving family, somehow she had got to being past two years old and had never held ear phones before. Watching her little face discover that there was music coming out of those tiny ear pieces was…exquisite.

To her ear she would hold it, take it back down to her hand, examine it, frown a little and laugh in amazement as she would hold it up to my ear for me to listen to as well. Back to her ear, and then to her hand. This was the most amazing discovery of her morning and it brought pure absolute joy, to both of us.

apple almond tart

apples || cityhippyfarmgirl

While I can’t begin to imply that this tart will bring that kind of pure emotional happiness on eating a slice or two. I can vouch for tiny bubbles of excitement on eating a great apple. Supermarket ones, yep, won’t cut it, not at all. Visit your local farmers markets, find out when the season is, and buy up.

Like watching a little person discover the joy of music coming out of earphones for the first time, a great seasonal apple?

It really can, be absolutely joyful.

Apple and Almond Tart

4 apples- peeled, cored and diced

100g raw sugar

zest of half a lemon

50g almond meal


150g cold butter

50g sugar

1 egg yolk

1/2 tsp bitter almond aroma (or say 75g marzipan)

300g plain flour

1 tbls cold water

In a blender, pulse flour, sugar and butter until resembles bread crumbs, (add the marzipan in here if using it.) Tip out to a bowl and add almond aroma (omit if using marzipan), egg yolk and cold water. Knead lightly until it comes together to form a smooth dough. Cover and and chill in the fridge for about half an hour. Then roll out for your pie shape.

For your apple mixture, add diced apples, sugar, lemon zest and almond meal. Mix together and spoon mixture into pastry lined dish.

Bake for approximately 40 minutes at 180C.

37 thoughts on “The music of apples

  1. What a beautiful looking apple pie and I love how it has some marzipan in it. Very seasonal too, Brydie. It’s always such a joy to watch children discover new things for the very first time – priceless moments and it’s great that you’ve captured a few here – they’ll be forever remembered xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A beautiful post – it is so easy to admire children’s naked joy but so much harder to see them get sad and angry without any restraint. And a beautiful pie. The lure of great apples has been drawing me to farmers markets recently – the supermarket apples are just too disappointing at a time of year when they should be amazing (are they just cynically offloading old apples to make room in storage for new apples?)


  3. Your daughter and the headphones is just too cute πŸ™‚ I actually made it out of work early enough to swing past our local farmers market today and picked up – what else – some lovely fresh apples. They are just sitting on the bench, waiting for me…


  4. I love seeing the way that children think. It’s so different to an adult’s perspective. I think we have to consciously choose happiness in a lot of situations and appreciate how truly lucky we are to have our health and people around us who love us.


  5. This is so lovely. Your word pictures brought to my mind some treasured memories of my own. Thanks. I’m re-blogging this, as the pie sounds perfect, but the thoughts on joy and full feelings is priceless reading for anyone. Thanks a lot. ~ Linne


  6. Pingback: Joy | A Random Harvest

  7. Great post. You are very right about adults feeling and or expressing pure joy. But to take that step another step, many adults are uncomfortable to pure emotion…even something like pure joy. So whether or not they mean to, they quietly sensor the other adults around them. Hugs, Barbara


  8. Reading your post brought a smile to my day and a longing to bake apple pie on this grey rainy morning. You write beautifully, I can just picture your son. I have a similar image of my daughter etched in my mind.


  9. Yes yes! I relieve those childhood “firsts” through with my children. I haven’t come across bitter almond aroma but it sounds very special I’d like to try. Here, peeps are scrambling up trees apple scrumping.


    • Apple Scrumping…definitely my favourite term for this week.
      Bitter almond aroma I was doing a little reading up on it and it seems a little allusive. The Esssential Ingredient sells it, but if you can’t get any just use some marzipan within the pastry- if you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Boom! What a treat, looks just like the pie my Grams used to make. πŸ™‚ I remember laughing out loud a few years back and thinking, gosh its been a long time since I laughed… I made the decision there and then to try and find the positives in all the experiences that life throws my way. So, not necessarily a first, but a reminder to live life experiencing as though it is. Beautiful post, thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚


  11. What a lovely post. You’re a great writer. Im a bit in this space in the moment. Wanting to be mindful of how I’m feeling, explore it etc. It must be the ‘how to meditate’ book I’m reading as meditation is all about noticing, sensing, experiencing the moment for what it is πŸ™‚

    Also, i want to eat that pie.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The apples are amazing right now, I’m baking with them fresh from the orchard down the road, and I’m not really a baker so that’s saying something πŸ™‚ Your tart looks deeelicious! I love marzipan and anything that reminds me of German food. What you say about emotions is so true. I don’t like the way our society feels it necessary to be ‘happy’ at all times…Mel x


  13. You are practicing mindfulness without being aware of it (or perhaps you are, but sensibly avoid jargon) πŸ™‚ Being in the here and now, focusing on the present and accepting it, feeling whatever feelings are there…I think we would all be better off it we could do that more. Children are good role models. Isn’t it sad that we must train them out of it by adulthood?

    I think this pie would invoke great emotion in me πŸ™‚


  14. Living on the Apple Isle and with it being prime apple season there are no shortages of good cheap apples here. I buy mine from a wonderful orchard just up the road that often puts large bags of weird and wonderful (not commercial) apples out for $2 for 4kg. I buy them and have to work out what they might be good for. The last lot were sort of big and flat. I thought that they were green but that was obviously their ripe colour with a blush of red on the skin. The flesh was sweet, dry with very little juice. I figure they would be excellent in this pie. I am most of the way through reading Ruby Wax’s book “Sane New World” that deals with using “Mindfulness” as a powerful tool to return to those pure emotions. So fitting that I get to read this wonderfully thoughtful post today πŸ™‚


    • Oh thank you for reminding me I wanted to read that book!
      This post was actually a tricky one to write as I knew how I felt, but wasn’t sure it was translating with my words. Hopefully Ms Ruby clarify it more for me.


      • She suffered from clinical depression and the only way out of it was to learn how her brain worked so she went to Oxford university and studied neuroplasticity. Hilarious lady but also incredibly bright. The book has you laughing hysterically at times and for the rest of the time she lays it all out in most interesting layman’s terms. My admiration for this lady has no boundary’s πŸ™‚


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