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Blackberry and apple crumble

Defrost those summer blackberries, get hold of some of those bramley apples… Make a cracking crumble.

Ingredients 

100g plain flour

40g caster sugar (for the crumble)

40g unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into pieces (for the crumble)

250-300g Bramley apples

25-30g unsalted butter

30g demerara sugar

115-120g blackberries

 

Method

1. First pre-heat the oven to 190C/Gas mark 5.  To make the crumble, place the butter (40g), sugar (40g) and flour into a bowl and rub together until it resembles breadcrumbs. Lay flat onto a baking tray, lined with greaseproof paper and bake for around 12-15 minutes in the oven.

2. Peel, core and dice the apples and place into a suitable baking dish.  Add the blackberries and coat with the demerara sugar and the butter, cut into chunks.  Coat the top of the dish with the breadcrumbs.

3.  Bake the mixture for approximately 10-15 minutes, or until the apple is soft and the top is a lovely golden brown.

Serve with lashings of cream, or ice cream.

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Butternut squash and garlic soup

Word of warning with this one – if you’re planning on going on a date or interacting with people on a conversational level, be sure to pack some mints or breath fresheners – other than that, this is a great soup which really does make you feel warm and cosy inside.

Ingredients 

2 whole garlic bulbs

900g butternut squash (or pumpkin, either is just as good)

2 tablespoons of thyme

25g of butter

1 large spanish onion, chopped

1 tablespoon flour

1 litre of chicken stock

Method

1. First pre-heat the oven to 190C/Gas mark 5. Line a roasting tin with foil and place in the garlic. Peel, de-seed and dice the butternut squash and cover with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for one hour or until the squash and garlic are soft.

2. In a saucepan melt the butter, add the onion and fry off until soft, this should on take a few minutes if you apply a medium to high heat, add the  chicken stock and keep on a low to medium heat.

3.  Once the butternut squash has browned, crush the gloves of garlic add the whole of the roasting tin to the saucepan.  Cook for 10 minutes on the same heat.

4. Add the thyme, blend and serve warm.  To make it look really fancy, and add flavour of course, drizzle over olive oil and add a dollop of creme fraiche.

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Borscht – Beetroot Soup

Borscht - Beetroot Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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A gorgeous beetroot soup to indulge in

Going down with a cold? Borscht this down the hatch – this beetroot soup is unbelievably good for you (and kind of funky looking!)

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Marrow and Vegetable Lasagne

You’ll probably notice a few recipes that utilises marrows… The fact of the matter is because the prolonged rain at the beginning of the year followed by the sustained heat, we’ve found we’ve had a glutton of pretty much everything.

Ingredients

For the Bechemel sauce

430ml milk
1 Bay leaf
5 Whole black peppercorns
Half a small onion
40g Butter
20g Plain flour
1 Small carrot (peeled and cut lengthways)
1 Small leak
1 teaspoon of English mustard

For the tomato and marrow bolognese filling

1 Medium to large marrow (peeled, hollowed and diced into chunks)
1 1/2 Onion (roughly chopped)
5 Button mushrooms (roughly chopped)
1 Tin of chopped tomatoes
Sprinkle of mixed herbs
Tomato purée
Healthy glug of Worcester sauce
Squirt of tomato ketchup (optional)

Extras

Pasta sheets
Cheddar cheese

Method

For the bechemel sauce

1. First place the milk in a saucepan and add the bay leaf, peppercorns, carrot and onion.

2.Then place it over a low heat and keep it on simmering point, which will take around 5 minutes. Then remove the saucepan from the heat and strain the milk into a jug using a siv. The onion and carrot should par-boiled or soft-ish. Keep hold of these leftover ingredients, we’ll need these later.

3. Wash the pan and melt the butter gently – don’t over-heat it or let it brown, as this will affect the colour and flavour of the sauce. As soon as the butter melts – add the flour and, over a medium heat and using a small pointed wooden spoon, stir quite vigorously until this is a smooth paste.

4. Now begin adding the infused milk a little at a time – about 1fl oz/25ml first of all and stir again vigorously. Then, when this milk is incorporated, add the next amount and continue incorporating each bit of liquid before you add the next. When about half the milk is in, switch to a balloon whisk and start adding large amounts of milk, but always whisking briskly. Your reward will be a smooth, glossy, creamy sauce.

5. Now turn the heat down to its lowest setting and let the sauce cook for 5 minutes, whisking from time to time. While that’s happening, taste and season with salt and freshly milled black pepper. If you wish to keep the sauce warm, all you do is pour it into a warmed jug and cover the surface with cling-film to stop a skin from forming, then place the jug in a pan of barely simmering water.

For the tomato and marrow filling (pre-heat oven to 200c/180c fan/gas 6)

1. Fry off the onion along with the mushroom, carrot and marrow until soft.  If find the marrow turning a little hard, add a splash of boiling water and increase the heat.

2. Add the chop tomatoes, mixed herbs, Worcester sauce, ketchup and puree, turn the heat down to a simmering level and simmer for around 20 minutes.

3. In a long baking dish, evenly spread the tomato filling, followed by the pasta sheets, followed by an even layer of Bechemel sauce.  Repeat this pattern until the dish is filled.  Be sure to finish with Bechemel sauce and a decent layer of cheese.

4. Bake in the oven for between 40 – 60 minutes or until the pasta is soft and the cheese is golden brown.

Serve with a large glass of red!

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Recipes

Summer Blackberry Smoothie

Summer Blackberry Smoothie

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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A perfect way to use blackberries picked fresh from the garden

Great if you have a sweet tooth!

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Spicy Marrow Soup

Spicy Marrow Soup

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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A curried marrow soup recipe

A lovely winter warmer or a cool summer starter!