Meet Anna Moore, Head Chef

Meet Anna Moore, Head Chef

It should be no surprise that large spoonful’s of nostalgia and generous pinches of happy memories are wrapped up in the notions of a dream dish. Ask any chef the question, and it’s often to their own childhood that their taste buds will turn.

In the case of Anna Moore, Head Chef at Weston, it’s fond recollections of making her favourite Apple Galette with her Nan.

Anna’s role at Weston Park, the stunning country estate on the Shropshire \ Staffordshire border – means that she gets plenty of opportunity for creativity and experimentation, being challenged to produce the very best.  The gradual restoration of the Walled Kitchen Gardens has provided an abundance of produce to fire her imagination but her favourite part of the estate is the Orchards brimming full of heritage varieties of apples, pears, damsons and quince.

She was brought up in a household dedicated to hospitality, her parents having owned their own hotel.  It’s a world that she feels very at home in.  However, Anna craved a particular specialism that appealed for its dedication to fine detail and skilful precision, and so began her career as a pastry chef.  The history of Pastry Chefs, as we know now them, takes its influence from 17th and 18th century France. So for Weston Park, a house built for entertainment in the 17th century, it is a long held tradition that this is one of the key roles in the kitchen.

When, as a family home to the Earls of Bradford, the estate would have regularly hosted society parties with guests wowed by extravagant sweet selections on offer. Today life at Weston still has the wow factor for those who visit whether as a House guest celebrating a special occasion to the more relaxed dining experience offered in the Granary Brasserie.

Anna was Weston’s Pastry Chef, then Senior Sous Chef for over four years before being promoted to Head Chef in March 2020.  As with many Chefs who began their careers in the Pastry section it is this area that always draws her back.

Her Nan is one of Anna’s inspirations and it was she who taught her to make the Apple Galette, using apples from her own garden.  It’s a dish that combines three distinct aspects with the aim to achieve crisp butter pastry and a delicate frangipane that is the perfect foil for sharp apples.

It was the abundance of apples in Weston’s orchards that prompted Anna to introduce the dish to the Granary Brasserie and it is rarely off the menu.  It’s also a great dish to be enjoyed at home as part of Sunday lunch, things don’t get much better.

Whilst Anna makes all the elements from scratch there is no harm in using shop bought puff pastry and a really good quality Salted Caramel Ice Cream to go with it.  The perfect wine partner is a glass of Beumes de Venice dessert wine.

Anna Moore’s Apple Galette with Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Puff Pastry Base:

125g plain flour

30g melted butter

70ml water

Pinch of salt

200g cold butter

Make a dough using the plain flour, melted butter, water and salt. Let this rest for half an hour.   Roll out the dough and place the cold butter in the middle, fold over the dough to cover the butter and roll out. Keep rolling and folding the dough to create puff pastry layers.

Leave to rest in the fridge for half an hour

Frangipane

120g butter

120g sugar

90g almonds

25g plain flour

2 eggs

Beat all the ingredients together until combined.  Roll out the puff pastry to 2cm thickness, into a square with tidy edges.  Layer the frangipane onto the pastry.

Core the apples, keeping the skin on and slice to 1 ½ cm. Layer on top of the frangipane, overlapping slightly as you go.

Dust with icing sugar and bake at 170c for 12 minutes.

Slice into portions and serve with Salted Caramel Ice cream.

Enjoy!