Apples are everywhere at the moment. They are falling out of trays at the market, falling off the trees along the road and falling onto my plate at any given opportunity. As much as I enjoy an apple on its own, it has to be a good one mind, sometimes you can have too many to know what to do with. Apple cakes, crumbles, pies and flapjacks are all lovely but I wanted to enjoy some apples at their very best and not shrouded by too many other flavours.
Pastry has to be, without doubt, the best cradle, blanket or hat for any rich, sumptuous bed of fruit, meat or vegetables. It is that crunch, that warmth and that way it crumbles which makes it just so. I thought of pastry as my nemesis. Stupid stuff that was invariably delicious when prepared by anyone but myself. All this was to change when I met Jane.
Jane makes an awful lot of pastry. She is Jane of Jane's Kitchen and prepares a marvellous
Crumble is the food I turn to when the evenings start getting darker and it starts getting cooler. The way the sweet, slightly tart fruit of choice bubbles and seeps through the crunchy, crumbly, biscuity top is a sure fire way to warm you from inside to out. What I love about crumble is that it's so versatile; the fruit is whatever fruit you can get your hands on.
I think that a person's crumble is as unique as their fingerprint. Some crumbles
There have been cakes in my past which I tried either when I was too young to appreciate them or they were a mass produced poor version of what is actually a beautiful cake. An example of this is carrot cake. What I thought carrot cake tasted like was nothing compared to when I made one for myself; it wasn't dry it was moist, it wasn't boring it was luscious and the icing is by far my favourite of all icing.
Another cake I had always ignored
Summer is a wonderful time for unctuous puddings. Sweet ones, sharp ones, gooey ones and normally in some shade of pink. I wish I had the willpower to buy millions of summer berries and freeze them so I can knock up a pudding anytime I fancy, but I can barely resist them enough for them to make it to the saucepan. How can you go wrong with inky blackcurrants and vibrant gooseberries? Over the weekend I had occasion to make luscious puddings with
I have been doing many things recently that I have not done before. I recently de-boned a chicken, which I was pretty apprehensive about because it was new to me, but I am pleased to confirm it couldn't have gone better. This recipe is another example of trying to do something I was thoroughly convinced was complicated and time consuming.
I had never previously bought a whole fish and so I bought two strikingly golden smoked trout from the
A new year and many resolutions to break. I decided to start with good intentions however with a fresh, earthy and filling soup.
It had three main ingredients; celeriac, leek and apple. To be frank and somewhat rude, the celeriac is not a looker. If you've been through life without the celeriac, please overlook its brutal looks in favour of its wonderful flavour. My apple was half a Russet and half a Kentish somethingorother and rather strikingly
Where a few months ago a slice of lemon drizzle cake or a blueberry muffin would have cheered up my lunchbox I needed something more substantial, more buttery and more comforting. All this snow has meant I've been raiding the cupboards and I found jars and bottles full of stuff that really I'm never going to use. I also figured if any of my nearest and dearest know me, I'll be getting many more jars of treats on the 25th.
I managed to find some
The quince used to be a hidden fruit. It seems it was embarrassed of its furry skin, ever varying sizes and odd looks. I had heard rumours of it returning to its former glory and I kept my eyes peeled and nostrils ready for a sight or a whiff of this mysterious fruit.
I found it. If you have not ever been lucky enough to encounter the quince then scrap any plans this weekend and go and hunt some down. It looks like a pear, is tough like a pumpkin,
When one suffers from less than optimal circulation in the extremities, they certainly know when the days are shortening and the evenings cooling. To rectify this and to warm the cockles there was only one thing for it. Apple crumble.
Not just any apple crumble but one which I had discussed with my Grandmother just hours before. "Oooh, the other day I saw someone put butter and sugar into the apples for a crumble. It did look nice". I took this little