Thick, rich and velvety, this is the perfect winter soup! It might sound like an odd combination of flavours but it really works. The sweet, earthy parsnip and the slightly peppery celeriac, the tangy apple and the warming horseradish, it’s all just wonderful together. Like […]
Last weeks high winds seem to have brought down most of the remaining apples from the tree in my garden, at least the ones that our resident squirrel hasn’t already nibbled. He’s very picky and won’t touch them once they’ve hit the ground!
This is a great way of making sure that those windfalls don’t go to waste as you can simply cut away any bruised parts of the fruit. It’s also a great way of using a few of my home-grown chilis. I’m not sure what variety they are but they’re mighty fierce! This calms them down a lot and it’s a great condiment to serve with fish, seafood and cheese – I especially like it with Galician tetilla cheese and fresh bread.
This recipe is more about ratios than weights but I’ve included them as a guide anyway.
makes 2 jars
1.5 pints of water
500g of sugar for every 500ml of liquid
100ml cider vinegar
2-3 red and green chilis (deseeded if you don’t want it too hot!)
Wash the apples and roughly chop them, peel, cores and all. Place them in a large pan with the water, bring to the boil and then cook until the fruit becomes pulpy.
Strain the fruit through a jelly bag into a large clean bowl. Don’t squeeze the bag (as tempting as it might be) or you will make the jelly cloudy. I like to leave my fruit to strain overnight so that I can be sure I’ve got every last drop of liquid out of it. You can discard the remaining pulp.
Place a saucer in your freezer to chill so that you can test for setting point later. Add the vinegar to the juice and use 500g of sugar for every 500ml of liquid that you have. Combine them in a pan and let them bubble away for 20 minutes. Drop a teaspoon of the jam onto the chilled plate, leave it for a minute and then push your finger through it, if it wrinkles then you’ve reached setting point. If not then continue to cook the jam for a few minutes more and re-test it.
Once setting point has been reached remove the pan from the heat. Finely chop the chilis and divide them evenly between sterilised jars. Carefully pour the jam into the jars and leave to cool. You’ll need to stir the jam every now and then as it cools and sets in order to make sure that the chili is evenly distributed. Seal and label the jars and store in a dark place.
You just can’t go wrong with a Chelsea bun. Soft enriched dough crammed full of rich, sweet fillings and covered in finger-licking sticky glaze. Always a winner! I love these warm for wintry breakfasts or with a cup of piping hot tea on a chilly […]
I find that with all this January healthy eating lark it’s a lot easier to take things steadily, rather than going cold turkey after all that, well, turkey. Yes, we’re all in need of a little more nourishment and a little less indulgence but it’s still winter so comfort and warmth are still on the menu.
Butternut squash, kale and apple. All nutrient rich and so very good for you. Crème fraîche and cheese…not so much, but we can’t be good all the time can we. This is such a comforting winter side dish, super-satisfying for vegetarians or a great accompaniment to roast pork.
300g butternut squash (approx 1/2 a small one)
1 medium eating apple (something tart)
2-3 really big handfuls of curly kale
butter for greasing
2 sprigs of sage
salt and pepper
200g crème fraîche
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
50g mature cheddar, grated
3 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
Pre-heat your oven to 200°c and generously grease a deep baking dish.
Wash and dry the apple and the veg and then lightly steam the kale. Squeeze any excess moisture out of it and then set it aside. Finely chop the sage and put this to one side too.
I don’t bother to peel any of the fruit/veg, I’m pretty certain we’ve all got better things to do with our time. De-seed the squash and core the apple and then slice them and the potato as thinly as you can.
Layer half of the potato into the baking dish, lightly season with salt and pepper and sprinkle on a little of the chopped sage. Top this with half of the squash and season again with salt, pepper and sage. Spread the kale onto the squash and then follow this with the apple slices. Season again and then layer on the last of the squash. Season with a little more salt and pepper. Finish off with a layer of potato. Whisk together the crème fraîche, milk and nutmeg and then pour this all over the top.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Mix together the cheese, breadcrumbs and any remaining sage. Remove the foil and scatter this over the top. Return the dish to the oven (uncovered) and bake for a further 15 minutes, by which time the vegetables should be tender and the topping should be enticingly golden.
This is such a lovely dessert for chilly evenings. It’s comforting but not too heavy. It’s also another excellent way for me to make use of the apples from the tree in my back garden.
You don’t have to make your own pancakes for this, ready-made ones work fine (and save you a lot of time) but this recipe never lets me down if you want to make the whole dish from scratch. This is also quite a good dish to make ahead of time, just popping it in the oven to warm through a little before serving.
6 pancakes (British style, either bought or homemade)
1/2 tsp allspice
thick double cream (if you can’t get this then use very lightly whipped cream)
1/2 tsp sugar
Pre-heat your oven to 180°c.
Peel and core the apples and cut them into wedges. Melt the butter, sugar and allspice together in a heavy pan and toss in the apples. Let the apples sit and caramelise a little and then carefully turn them over. Keep doing this until the fruit starts to feel tender and they are nicely caramelised and coated in the toffee sauce.
Put a big spoonful of the saucy apples in the centre of each pancake, roll it up and pop it into a baking dish. Repeat this until all of the apple and pancakes have been used.
Bake the dish for about 15 minutes to ensure that everything is nice and warm.
Mix together the cream, bourbon and sugar and then serve this along with the baked pancakes.
Before the blackberry season draws to a close I think there’s still enough forageable fruit left to make these beauties. There are still more than a few apples left on the tree in my garden too so I’m always looking for new recipes to make […]