Tag: apple

Sunday cooking

I’m desperately trying to make some space in the freezer for the festering season, and also the weather here is utterly vile, so I had a bit of a Reactive day yesterday.

Chicken Pudding

I had a rather small tub of chicken pie filling – chicken left over from a roast, with bacon and veg in a white sauce. It wasn’t really enough for a respectable pie. So I chopped up a big leek, and sautéd it down in some olive oil. Half the leek went into the soup pot (more on that later) and the other half to bulk up the pie filling.

Then I made a suet crust with 6oz wholemeal flour, a bit of baking powder, 3oz of low fat veg suet (I know, I know, but it’s healthier), and some water. Lined a greased bowl with 2/3rds of it, popped in the filling, rolled the rest out to a lid. Topped with a piece of folded tinfoil, secured with a rubber band, courtesy of the postman, and bunged it in the slow cooker for 5 hours. We ate it accompanied with buttery sprouts and a really, honestly, tiny number of potatoes roasted in duck fat. And there’s half a pud left for later this week!

Plum and wizened apple crumble

I had a punnet of plums to use up, and three very wrinkled apples from the fruit bowl; they weren’t particularly nice apples to eat, but I couldn’t bear to just chuck them. I cut the plums in half, and laid them flat in a shallow pan; sprinkled them with some five spice powder, added half an inch or so of cold water, and then – in a spirit of experimentation – a tablespoon of Amaretto liqueur. These plums were quite hard, so it took about 12 minutes to soften them, turning them occasionally, and while they were cooking, I chopped the apples into fairly small dice. I did core them, but peeling them seemed like too much hard work.

I transferred the plums to an ovenproof dish, then bunged the apple into the liquor and softened it over a fairly high heat, so that the liquid reduced. Poured the resultant gloop over the plums.

Crumble topping was standard for this household – 2 parts wholemeal flour, 1 part porridge oats, 1 part sugar, 1 part marg. Blitz in the Magimix, pour on top of the fruit, pat it down. Bake at 180˚ for about 45 minutes. Serve with double cream. This pud will do us three evenings, as we try not to eat too much sweet stuff.

Meat loaf

We haven’t had a meat loaf for ages, and it’s a really nice thing to eat on a cold winter evening (it’s -5˚ here in Hull as I type, and it’s only just 4 p.m.!).

I’m not really a purist about these things, I just bung in what I have. So there was a pack of sausage meat, seasoned with sage and onion, that I got from Fields of Anlaby when I collected the goose last Christmas (!), a pack of pork mince, and a pack of beef mince. Probably about 700g in all. I found a pack of stuffing mix in the pantry, which bore a legend of “best before Oct 07” (oh dear). We opened it, and sniffed it, and it seemed OK, so I made it up with boiling water.

Pete finely chopped a couple of shallots, and then manfully mixed the meats and the stuffing by squidging with his (clean) hands, and he bunged in some tomato ketchup and some Lea and Perrins Worcester sauce. We pressed the mixture into two silicon loaf “tins”, put them in a bain marie, and baked at gas 4 for about an hour.

I left them overnight to cool right down, and today I turned them out of the silicone, and cut each one into three – that 700g of meat has made 12 portions; they don’t look big, but they’re solid meat.

Wrapped the portions in tin foil, and put them in the freezer (well, five of them – we’ll eat one tonight, probably). They can come out, and be cooked in the foil for a nice quick supper. Eat with a nice gravy, or even baked beans if you’re in a rush – who needs supermarket ready meals?!

plum and apple porridgy crumble

We had some plums going scrotal in the fruit bowl, so I cut them in to quarters and destoned them, and put them in an ovenproof dish. They didn’t look enough, somehow, so I got a Bramley out of the fridge and peeled and chopped it, and into the dish it went.

Added a drizzle of honey (I much prefer fruit cooked with honey to sugar), a couple of star anise, a decent grating of fresh ginger, and about 1/2″ of water, and zapped it in the microwave for 4 minutes to kick start the cooking.

Made a crumble topping of 6oz plain flour, 2oz porridge oats, 3oz demerara sugar and 3.5oz of margarine, blitzed to crumbs in the Magimix. Patted it down on top oF the fruit, and baked at gas 4 for 45 minutes.

Needless to say, I got all the bits of star anise in my portion, but it was worth it. Trust me.

kiwi fruit and apple crumble

kiwi fruit

using up: kiwi fruit, windfall apples

The veg box from the week before last (!) included four kiwi fruit.  Neither P nor I are enamoured of these little hairy chaps, and the only things people suggested we do with them were pavlova (Pete doesn’t like meringue) or cheesecake, which I couldn’t be bothered to make.

We still had a fair few windfall apples left, so this is what I did.

Peeled, cored and cut out the worst bruised bits of the windfalls, and put them in a pan with some water, and simmered gently for about five minutes.  I did this because I thought there was too much for one crumble, and I was going to freeze the balance.

P peeled and sliced the green things.  We drained the apple, and put a layer in the crumble dish.  There didn’t seem to be a lot of apple left at that point, so we added the rest (none to freeze).  I grated some fresh ginger over the top, and added a drizzle of honey, then we piled on the kiwi fruit.

Then a crumble mix: 6oz plain flour, 3oz brown sugar, 3oz butter, and about 1oz of hazelnuts went into the Magimix.  Whizzed it to breadcrumb texture, put it on top of the fruit, then into the oven at gas 4 for about 45 minutes.

It was … OK. We ate it, and we will finish the rest.  But we still don’t really like kiwi fruit.

a plum and apple pudding

plum and apple puddingusing up: four plums and a wrinkly cooking apple

Peel and core the apple, and cut into chunks.  Set in an ovenproof dish.

Cut the plums in half, and remove the stones.  Set cut side down in a shallow pan, and add about 1/2″ of water, two star anise, and half a cinnamon stick, and some honey (how big a spoon is up to you – we don’t like things sweet, so it was probably a teaspoon or so for us). Poach for about 5 minutes.

Remove the plums and pile them on top of the apple.  Turn up the heat under the cooking liquor and boil ferociously until it reduces to a syrup, then remove the star anise and cinnamon and decant the liquid onto the fruit.

Bung 4oz each of ground almonds, butter and caster sugar, together with two eggs, into the food processor and blitz until combined. Spoon on to the fruit mix, and bake for 50 minutes to an hour at gas 4.  We didn’t have any cream, so we had to slum it with vanilla ice cream.  It still worked 🙂