This pie is a lovely thing to enjoy at this time of year, rich and warming and full of delicious autumnal flavours. It’s part apple pie, part strudel and part tarte tatin, what’s not to like? Rich, deep caramel sauce coated apples nestled beneath light […]
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 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.
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 […]
Like apple pie? Then you’re going to love these. Light, crisp choux pastry with a buttery spiced topping filled with sweet apple cream served with a rich sticky toffee sauce. I like to think of them as apple pie version 2.0, for when you want the comforting warming flavours of apple pie but whilst also being a little bit fancy.
There are a few elements to this but none of them are hard and none of the stages takes a particularly long time so don’t let the ingredient list put you off trying this one – it really is very, very good!
60g room temperature butter
75g soft light brown sugar
75g plain flour
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
115g plain flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp bourbon (optional)
400ml double cream
130g soft brown sugar
100ml double cream
big pinch of seasalt
Make the craquelin by creaming together the butter and the sugar before mixing in the flour and spices. Roll this out between two sheets of greaseproof paper so that it is just a few millimetres thick. Now whack this in the freezer to harden.
Pre-heat the oven to 200°c and line a large baking tray with parchment or a silicone mat.
Put the butter and water in a medium saucepan and bring it to boiling point. Once it’s bubbling away remove the pan from the heat. Add the flour to the pan, all in one go. Vigorously beat it with a wooden spoon until you end up with a soft ball of dough that comes cleanly away from the sides of the pan. Lightly beat the eggs. Add about a third of the egg to the pan and beat it in really well. Once it has been completely absorbed add another third and beat it again. After the third and final addition of egg, the dough should become soft, smooth and glossy. Only add enough of the egg to reach the soft glossy stage, you don’t want it to be sloppy.
Use a couple of teaspoons to drop blobs of the dough onto the prepared baking tray. Retrieve the frozen craquelin from the freezer and use a small cutter to cut out discs from the dough. Carefully place these on top of the choux pastry blobs.
Bake the profiteroles for 20 minutes, until they are golden brown, then turn off the oven and open the door a bit, leave them in the oven for a further 10 minutes to dry out a little. Once they are done you can transfer them to a wire rack to cool. It’s a good idea to poke a little steam hole in them, somewhere discreet, to prevent them from becoming soggy. You can use this later when you fill them.
Make the filling by peeling and coring the apples before finely dicing them. The chunks need to be small enough to not block the piping nozzle when you fill the profiteroles later. Combine the apple with the sugar, allspice, lemon juice and bourbon (if using) in a small pan and cook until the apple has become soft and tender but isn’t too mushy. Set aside to cool completely.
Whip the cream until it holds its shape and then fold in the cold apple mixture. Transfer this to a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle and carefully pipe the filling into each of the cooled profiteroles.
To make the toffee sauce simply melt all of the ingredients together in a pan and allow to bubble for a few minutes until you have a thick smooth toffee sauce. Allow to cool a little before serving along with the apple filled profiteroles.
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 afternoon. The soft sweet apple and tart, chewy, jewel-coloured dried cranberries are a perfect combination for this time of year.
150g strong white bread flour
80g wholemeal flour
7g easy blend yeast (1 sachet)
1 tsp sugar
big pinch of salt
125ml warm milk
250g(ish) cooking apples
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
35g soft butter
75g dried cranberries
pinch of ground allspice
icing sugar and milk or warmed honey to glaze
Sift the flours into a large bowl and mix through the salt, sugar and yeast. Rub the butter into this mix. Warm the milk a little (so it’s just tepid) and use a fork to beat the egg into it. Gradually pour the egg/milk mixture into the dry ingredients and bring it all together to form a soft dough. Remember that the flour may not be able to absorb all of the liquid, so it’s a good idea to add the wet ingredients a little at a time.
Once you have a nice soft ball of dough, turn it out onto a very lightly floured surface and knead it for a few minutes until if feels smooth and springy.
Wash and dry the bowl you mixed the dough in so that it’s nice and warm and lightly oil it. Pop the dough in the bowl, cover with oiled cling film and put it somewhere warm for about an hour, until it has doubled in size.
Whilst the dough rises you can prepare the filling. Peel and core the apples before chopping them into quite small pieces. Whisk together the sugar, cornflour and allspice in a large mixing bowl and then toss the apple and cranberries in it.
Once the dough has risen take it out of the bowl and knead it again for a minute or two on a lightly floured surface. This means that all the air bubbles will be evenly distributed throughout it. Roll the dough out into a rectangle, a little bigger than a piece of A4 paper. Spread the surface with the butter and then scatter over the filling mixture. Roll the dough up tightly, starting at the long edge. Cut it into eight even-sized pieces and place these, cut-side down into a generously buttered baking dish. Re-cover with cling film and put the dish back in a warm place for another hour until the buns have risen and are sitting quite snugly in the tin.
Pre-heat your oven to 190°c. Bake the buns for about 30 minutes until they are golden brown.
Make a simple glaze by combining a couple of tablespoons of icing sugar with a splash of milk and brushing onto the buns or simply warming some honey and drizzling it over them.