What’s not to love about this cosy autumn pudding? Richly spiced custard, crunchy, crisp buttery bread and soft sweet apple, this makes such a lovely change to the usual crumbles and pies that take centre stage once the cold weather sets in. This is also […]
I’ve spent what feels like forever waiting for my homegrown tomatoes to become deliciously ripe and ready to eat. They have, however, flatly refused to co-operate. I don’t know if it’s the weather or our shoddy light-weight greenhouse but they are not playing ball. I […]
I know it’s bit old fashioned and kitsch but I really do love a trifle. I tend to think of them as either a summer or Christmas dessert though, probably because my Grandma (and now my mum) always made one for Christmas. I just love the layers, the creamy custard and tangy fruit topped off with cool, fluffy cream. It’s the perfect combination for me. Which goes for this Autumnal version too, you can’t really go wrong with apple, blackberry and custard at this time of year, can you?!
serves 4-6 (depending on how greedy you are!)
3 egg yolks
4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
300ml double cream
pre-made sponge, enough to create a single layer
extra berries and mint leaves to decorate
Begin by making the compote. Peel, core and dice the apple and gently cook it in a small pan with the blackberries, 1 tbsp of the sugar and 1 tsp of the cornflour until the apple is tender and the berries have cooked down to a nice thick compote. Pour this mixture into your serving dish and top it with the sponge whilst it is still warm so that the cake can soak up any extra juices.
Make the custard by heating the milk with 100ml of the cream until it is quite warm but don’t let it boil. Whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla with the remaining 3 tbsp of sugar and 30g of cornflour until they are quite pale and fluffy. Strain the warm liquid through a sieve into a jug and rinse out the pan. Whilst continuously whisking, pour the warm milk mixture into the eggs in a slow steady stream. Return the custard to the pan and gently heat, stirring until it becomes very thick. Set aside to cool to almost room temperature before pouring over the sponge layer.
Softly whip the remaining 200ml of cream and then pipe or spoon it onto the cold custard layer. Decorate with extra berries and a few mint leaves and then chill before serving.
Cool, creamy coconut ice cream that you can whip up in few minutes, rippled with fragrant passion fruit sounds pretty good to me. This is an exotic dessert that you can keep stashed in the freezer for dreary days that need perking up. You can […]
It’s always nice to preserve some of the summer flavours for future days that perhaps aren’t so sunny and jam is a great way to use up a glut of fruit (or when you’ve found a special offer that you just couldn’t resist!) If I’m honest, the peaches only found their way into this because their skins were starting to look a little puckered in the fruit bowl!
I like to leave some of the fruit a little chunky – I always feel a little bit pleased with myself when a glistening hunk of fruit adorns my morning toast.
makes 3-4 jars
1 kg fruit (about 3 peaches and the rest strawberries)
1 kg sugar
juice of one lime
Start by placing a saucer in the freezer to help you test for the setting point later. Wash the fruit, stone the peaches and hull the strawberries. Roughly chop all of it, leave some pieces larger than others if, like me, you prefer a chunks in your jam.
Put the fruit into a very large saucepan and stir in the sugar. Heat until the fruit starts to bubble. Stir in the pectin and lime juice before allowing the mixture to boil for several minutes. If you have a jam thermometer then use this to check for the setting point. Otherwise carefully drop a spoonful of the jam onto the chilled saucer, leave it for a minute or two and then push your finger through it. If it wrinkles then it’s ready, if it doesn’t then let it boil a little longer and test again.
Once setting point has been reached, skim the foam from the surface, or use a knob of butter to disperse it. Pour the jam into warm sterilised jars and label.
I’ve been coveting my neighbours fig tree. It’s steadily ripening fruit keeps peeking over the fence and flirting with me! I’m always amazed when I see fig trees in the UK adorned with fruit. I always associate them with much warmer climates, like my friends […]
Whether you’re planning picnics or already thinking about packed lunches these are your new best friend. Crispy little filo parcels stuffed with sweet peas, creamy, salty feta and fresh mint – they’re absolutely delicious and very easy to make.
You can fold the parcels into any shape you like but I find it easiest to wrap long strips of filo pastry into triangles, which also makes the finished parcels extremely portable.
makes about eight (depending on size)
35g butter (melted)
200g filo pastry (approx 12 sheets)
200g frozen peas, thawed
2 spring onions
1 heaped tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
big pinch freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp chili flakes (optional)
sprinkling of sesame seeds (optional)
Pre-heat your oven to 180°c and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
Use a fork to crush the peas before crumbling in the feta. Finely slice the spring onion and then lightly mash all of the filling ingredients together.
Brush the filo sheets with a little of the melted butter before layering them up. I find that three layers is about right. Cut the pastry into lengths that will allow you to fold the parcels (you can make them any shape you like – I find triangles easiest). Spoon a heap of the filling mixture onto the pastry and then fold it into a parcel, making sure that the filling is fully encased by the pastry. Repeat until all of the filling and pastry has been used and then arrange the parcels on the baking sheet. Brush the outsides with a little melted butter and sprinkle on a few sesame seeds. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until crisp and golden. Enjoy whilst still warm or leave to cool for picnic treats.