Thursday, 30 October 2008

Apple Pie

This is a recipe I cut out from a BBC Good Food Magazine years ago, it is a trusted favorite!

Serves 8


1kg Bramley apples
140g golden caster sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp flour
225g butter. room temperature
50g golden caster sugar
2 eggs
350g plain flour
softly whipped cream to serve

1. Put a layer of paper towels on a large baking sheet. Quarter, core, peel and slice the apple about 5mm thick and lay evenly on the baking sheet. Put paper towels on top and set aside while you make and chill the pastry.

2. For the pastry, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until just mixed. Break in a whole egg and a yolk (keep the white for glazing later). Beat together for just under 1 minute - it will look a bit like scrambled egg. Now work in the flour with a wooden spoon, a third at a time, until it's beginning to clump up, then finish gathering it together with your hands. Gently work the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill for 45 mins. Now mix the 140g sugar, the cinnamon and flour for the filling into a bowl that is large enough to take the apple later.

3. After the pastry has chilled, heat the oven tp 190/fan 170/gas 5. Lightly beat the egg white with a fork. Cut off a third of the pastry and keep it wrapped while you roll out the rest, and use this to line a pie tin - 20-22cm round and 4am deep-leaving a slight overhang. Roll the remaining third to a circle about 28cm in diameter. Pat the apples dry with kitchen towel, and tip them into the bowl with cinnamon-sugar mix. Give a quick mix with your hands and immediately pile high into the pastry-lined tin.

4. Brush a little water around the pastry rim and lay the pastry lid over the apples pressing the edges together to seal. Trim the edges with a sharp knife and make 5 little slashes on top of the lid for steam to escape (can be frozen at this stage). Brush it all over with the egg white and sprinkle with a little caster sugar. Bake for 40-45 mins, until golden, then remove and let it sit for 5-10 mins. Sprinkle with more sugar and serve whilst still warm from the oven with softly whipped cream.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Lambert Christmas Pudding

This is Jonathan's mum's recipe for Christmas pudding. I think I have halved the amount of everything as it made such a huge pudding and I find that not many people eat it anymore. But it will keep for years!

2oz Flour (plain or self raising!)

4oz breadcrumbs

1 tsp grated nutmeg

1 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp cinnamon

2oz chopped almonds

2oz soft brown sugar

1 tbsp black treacle

2 eggs

3 tbsp brandy or rum

4 oz sultanas

4 oz raisins

4 oz currants

2 oz chopped prunes

2 oz chopped crystallized peel

1 medium apple, grated

4 oz shredded suet

grated rind 1/2 lemon

1/4 pint old ale

Sieve together the flour and spices, add the suet, breadcrumbs, lemon rind, sugar, nuts and dried fruit.

Warm the treacle in a pan until it becomes runny, add the rum, ale and lemon juice.

Pour over the eggs and mix together. Add to the dry ingredients, mix thoroughly.

Cover and leave to stand overnight. Add a little milk if the mixture has stiffened.

Pre-heat the slow cooker for 20 minutes. Turn the mixture into a buttered pudding basin - selecting a basin which comfortably fits in the slow cooked without raising the lid. Cover with foil. Stand the basin in the slow cooker and add enough boiling water to come 2/3 of the way up the sides of the basin. Cook on high for 13 hours.

Allow to become cold, remove foil and recover with greaseproof paper and fresh foil. re-heat in slow cooker as above for 5 hours.

I would assume that this could be cooked on the hob or in the oven standing in water to allow it to steam.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Nana Marjoram's Boiled Christmas Cake

This is a recipe from my paternal Grandmother. As a young girl she was in service at one of the large houses in Bury St Edmunds and this recipe was given to her by the cook at the time.
1. 200 butter
2. 100g brown sugar
3. 8fl oz water
4. 1 tsp mixed spice
5. 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
6.1 tbsp rum or brandy
7. 600g dried fruit:- 200g sultanas, 200g raisins, 200g mixed fruit
8. 200g chopped glace cherries
9. 1 tsp bi-carb soda
10. 3 large eggs, well beaten
11. 100g self raising flour
12. 100g plain flour
13. good pinch salt
14. 1 tsp almond essence

Put first 9 ingredients into a large saucepan.
Bring to the boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
Leave until almost cold and then add all the other ingredients.
Leave in the saucepan overnight, covered with a cloth.
Lin a square or round tin with brown paper and the greaseproof paper and grease.
Pour all ingredients into tin and bake for 2-21/2 hours on 180 c (slightly less for fan oven)
When cooked sprinkle with more rum or brandy, cover with a cloth and leave in tin until cold.
Keep at least 4 weeks until cutting (keep as long as possible)

When it comes to the time I will pass on my recipe for almond paste to cover it with!