Focaccia with Potatoes, Apples & Rosemary

This is one of my “filed and forgotten” recipes from Living at Home magazine that I’ve had for years but have never tried. The other week I got a visit from friends travelling through my home town from Alsace, France, and they brought me a bag of French apples. Pondering on what to make from them, this recipe sprang to mind. Because even if a recipe lands in my “filed and forgotten” folder, the knowledge of it is still there somewhere in the back of my mind. Although I sometimes worry because I think I keep forgetting too much stuff in my day to day life, the “cerebral recipe database” part of my brain still seems to be working alright.

Apple Potato Focaccia 01

After my three week vacation I’ve been back to work for a week now, and I’m happy to say that the weather has held all through my vacation and through last week – the most beautiful Indian Summer weather. And this Friday, the weather turned according to the season, it became windy, it rained, but I don’t mind that because it’s autumn, after all. So this is a very fitting recipe for the season. Although I have to say the sun’s been shining on my focaccia all day.

And though I love the warmth of summer, walking barefoot through the flat, I also get excited getting to wear my autumn clothes. So instead of standing in my kitchen barefoot, I’ve switched to thick socks and a hoody, have lit a pineapple cilantro candle, and it all feels lovely and cosy.

Below you’ll find the original recipe for a normal sized baking sheet. I made a smaller focaccia using exactly half of everything, and baking it on a 13 x 9 inch / 33 x 23 cm baking sheet.

Apple Potato Focaccia 02

Focaccia with Potatoes, Apples & Rosemary

500 g flour
42 g fresh yeast
250 ml olive oil
800 g waxy potatoes
3 red apples
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp rosemary needles, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper

Mix flour with yeast and 300 ml lukewarm water. Add 1 tsp salt, a pinch of sugar, and 125 ml olive oil, and knead well. Leave to rise in a warm place, covered with a tea towel. [I mixed the yeast into the lukewarm water first, and added it to the flour once the yeast had dissolved. As for the kneading, I let the stand mixer do that. For the rising part, I put the covered bowl in my dishwasher that had just finished its cycle – speeds up the rising process nicely.]

Apple Potato Focaccia 03

Peel the potatoes and cut into thin slices, prefereably with a mandolin. Cook the potato slices in boiling salt water for 2 minutes, drain, then pat them dry.

Halve the apples, deseed them, and cut the halves into thin slices [I quartered the apples and sliced them with a mandolin.] Mix apple slices with the lemon juice, 6 tbsp olive oil and half of the chopped rosemary needles.

Mix the potatoes with the remaining oil and rosemary needles.

Knead the dough again, roll it out and place it on an oiled baking sheet. [I used baking paper instead of oiling the baking sheet.] Layer the apple and potato slices on the dough and season. Bake at 250°C on the lowest shelf for 20 minutes, until crisp. [Fan oven not recommended.]

Apple Potato Focaccia 04

This was the first time in a long while that I didn’t really have any expectations as to what the end result would taste like. Taking a bite, the bottom of the focaccia had a nice crisp bite to it, the potatoes gave it all a nice texture, and the apples – which were only slightly sour – tasted nicely tangy. It all went really well with the rosemary.

However, I feel this could be improved, but am not quite sure what exactly I was missing. Maybe a little more salt in the dough, and I can very well imagine this with some thinly sliced red onions mixed in between the potatoes and apples, probably caramelised in sugar first. And maybe I should have just done all that before posting this recipe… Nevertheless, this focaccia would be lovely with some apple chutney, a glass of wine on and some friends around the table.

Apple Potato Focaccia 05