I’m slowly but surely working my way through the fruit that’s weighing down the branches of my apple tree. This recipe only used a few apples but they made all the difference to a classic treacle tart recipe. It basically becomes a toffee apple tart […]
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 […]
It might be my Cornish bias but I really think that when it comes to fish its hard to beat really fresh mackerel. In the UK it’s readily available and generally reasonably priced plus it’s really good for you.
The oily ‘meatiness’ of mackerel makes it a great choice for fish cakes as it’s less likely to disintegrate. It pairs really well here with the tart freshness of apple and the zesty heat of horseradish. These almost have a sort of Scandinavian feel to them.
I think I got the idea from something that mum occasionally used to make for barbecues which was a whole fish stuffed with apple, herbs and buttered breadcrumbs. I’ve only got a vague memory of it so I can’t really remember if it was trout or mackerel and I should imagine that either would work in these.
350g cooked skinless mackerel fillets
1 tart green apple
2 creamy horseradish sauce
2 tbsp chopped parsley
salt and pepper
1 egg (beaten)
3 tbsp flour
6-8 tbsp panko bread crumbs
Bring a large pan of water to boiling point and cut the potatoes into large chunks. Add them to the pan and boil until they are just tender. Drain them well and then return them to the hot pan so that they can steam and dry out a little. Add the horseradish and the salt and pepper and mash the potatoes until they are smooth. Let them cool.
Finely dice the onion and fry it in a little oil or butter until it is tender and just starting to brown.
Chop the apple into small pieces and mix this into the potato along with the onion and parsley.
Flake the cooked mackerel and fold this into the cooled potato mixture.
Take 3 shallow dishes and add the flour to one, the egg to another and the breadcrumbs to the last one.
Shape the fishcake mixture into even sized patties. Coat each one in the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs and put them on a baking sheet. Chill them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before frying.
Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and fry the fishcakes for a few minutes on each side, until they are crisp and golden and hot in the middle.