In this spirit of Thanksgiving, which has just passed, it seemed appropriate to bake a pie. My first thought was to bake a sweet potato pie, being typically American, but I just wasn’t confident about how it was going to taste, and let’s face it I’m not going to bake something that I can’t eat in vast quantities!
Plus there’s the pear kick that the blog is on at the moment so this pie was ticking many boxes. My dinner guests didn’t seem sold on the sweet potato pie either, they both thought it was a main course accompaniment – so uncultured!
This was my first ever full on pie. Bearing that in mind I think it went okay. In fact, I was pretty much delighted with it…before it went in to the oven. I got distracted by eating the delicious roast chicken and all the trimmings and overcooked it just a tad. Well, maybe a bit more than just a tad. Carefully selected photos and Photoshop are masking a multitude of sins!
Saying that, the end result was still pretty tasty and enjoyed by the three of us – with some leftovers, we’re not that bad. The filling is sweet and spicy but using Bramley apples helps to keep everything balanced.
I’m definitely looking forward to making another pie, and maybe turning my oven down a little the next time. (more…)
I always really enjoy making bread, or yeast based recipes I should say, even though I don’t make them very often. It’s always a bit of an experiment because of my lack of confidence and familiarity with bread techniques. It’s getting there though, practice makes perfect as they say!
One of my main problems is that I don’t stick to the basics enough. The best advice would be to start with a simple recipe, perfect it, and then start to play around with the flavours. Sometimes there just not enough time for all that and you just want to dive right in to combining two recipes with a dash of your own ideas.
Sometimes this is a disaster. Sometimes this is a success.
Now, perhaps if this focaccia recipe was presented to Paul Hollywood he would not be handing out any star baker accolades (sorry, I just finished watching the Bake Off) , but I thoroughly enjoy it. The bread has a slightly crispy exterior with a spicy, fruity, chewy interior and the maple glaze adds a perfect extra sweetness. It equally makes a great breakfast and bedtime snack served cold or warmed in the oven. (more…)
Deep in the midst of summer, as we are, I find that when I want cake I want there to be fruit involved. When the shelves of the supermarkets and grocers are actually filled with local fruit I think it would be such a shame not to take advantage, as this is when the flavours are at their height.
Apple and blackberry is a classic combination. Here, the apple is providing a subtle background sweetness which is pierced by bites of sharp blackberry. The sponge is delicate and moist, with the crumble topping adding the contrasting crunchy texture and a gently warming spice.
Wrap this crumble cake in parchment paper, make a flask of tea, grab a blanket, call a friend and head down to the park for a casual, al fresco afternoon tea. Sounds like a dreamy afternoon to me!