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Posts from the ‘Autumn flavours’ Category

A good home for a couple of spare apples – gingerbread pudding!

Apple gingerbread pudding

Apple gingerbread pudding

Two bramley apples had been languishing in the fruit bowl for a couple of weeks. This was their destiny – a fruity, sticky, warm and spicy pudding.

As is the risk with any dish made off the cuff, this didn’t turn out exactly how I envisaged. I anticipated a layer of cooked apple topped with a layer of sticky ginger sponge. However, the batter was such that the pieces of apple floated to the top whilst baking so I ended up with apple pieces throughout rather than the layered effect. Nevertheless, the end result was just what we were after.

 Set the oven to 160C. Peel and chop 2 medium sized bramley apples into bite size pieces and place in the bottom of a 20cm square baking dish. Then make the batter. In a medium pan melt 75g butter with 100g dark brown sugar and 130g golden syrup. Once melted together add 250ml dark ale, 150g plain flour, 2 tsp ground ginger and 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp baking soda. This will thicken and needs a good stir to get any flour lumps out. Finally add 1 egg and 120ml plain yogurt or sour cream. If you have some available, some finely chopped stem ginger would also work a treat. Pour over the apples and bake for about an hour, having a look after 45 mins, using a skewer or similar to check the middle for uncooked batter. This hot and spicy pudding would be excellent with some cool, creamy vanilla ice cream.

Autumn roasted vegetables, hazelnut dukkah, tahini yogurt

Autumn roasted vegetables, hazelnut dukkah, tahini yogurt

Autumn roasted vegetables, hazelnut dukkah, tahini yogurt

Sunday night dinners are always some of my favourites. It’s the one night I try very hard to be at home, to have a relaxed night in, as a last bit of indulgence before the weekend is over. Sunday night is a recuperative night, to restore and soothe you for the week ahead. Good food is integral to this and I absolutely believe that a slow cooked supper is the best foundation for a languorous night on the sofa. If you can dedicate your mind to it, chopping and stirring can be almost meditative, having a gentle rhythm to help escape from that endless to-do list whirring around your mind. Not to mention that slow cooking naturally lends itself to comfort foods – succulent slow cooked meats, casseroles and puddings, such a luxury compared to weekday grab and go meals.

The rain felt endless this weekend. A deluge from the sky. The sort of weather where the most tempting activities are all sofa based. I’d eaten a lot of meat and rich food over the weekend, a big plate of roast veggies was just the thing I needed. Having spent the summer months without consuming anything resembling a root vegetable, roasted roots have regained their appeal, so I set about chopping with zeal. Without any accompaniment, this is probably enough for 3 or 4 portions, so providing a few leftovers for the two of us. Read more

Can it really be autumn?

There have been definite signs of autumn this week: 1. I’ve had the heating on in the last couple of evenings. 2. My opaque tights have been on a couple of outings. 3. There is a crumble in the oven.

Maybe its time to let go of summer after all. Baking a crumble seems like a definitive acknowledgement of autumn.Whilst I am still trying to deny it, to stretch out the last of the long warm days, my food preferences do change perceptibly with the change of seasons, so my stomach is in autumn even if my head isn’t. Although I do enjoy the rhythm of changing cooking with the seasons. The allure of a crisp cool salad slowly wanes in September, to be replaced with a longing for warm spices, squashes roasting in the oven, mushrooms and chestnuts, thick soups and crumbles, all soothing as the nights draw in. Read more