I’m used to the idea of foraging for autumn berries, foraging for orchard fruits is a new one to me! A recent trip on the local canal saw my Dad and I picking pears that were overhanging the water; small, crisp and slightly tart, these were an unexpected bonus to a pleasant day out.
When a neighbour gave me a bagful of very sweet windfall apples I felt I had the perfect combination for an autumnal crumble. I used my smallest diameter casserole dish, which is 6.5 inches, for an 8 inch casserole dish increase the quantities by 50%.
For the topping:
- 2 ounces ground almonds
- 2 ounces plain flour (white or wholemeal)
- 2 ounces granulated sugar
- 3 ounces butter (or dairy free spread suitable for baking), cut into small cubes
- 1 tablespoon flaked almonds
For the filling
- 3 eating apples
- 6 small, firm pears
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 3 star anise
Preheat oven to 160ºC fan or 180ºC conventional.
Make the topping by all the ingredients except the flaked almonds together between your fingers until you achieve your preferred crumble consistency. Set aside.
Core the fruit and chop into roughly ½ inch cubes.
Toss the fruit in the orange juice in your casserole dish.
Add the star anise, evenly spaced.
Cover the fruit with the crumble topping and sprinkle flaked almonds over the top.
Bake for approx’ 1 hour.
I missed 2 weeks of my recipe challenge, back to it this week though with…
Somerset apple, honey and pecan cake
I needed to bake a birthday cake, I should have baked a birthday cake a week earlier but we were still eating simnel cake. I happened to have a glut of apples in the kitchen so this tasty sounding treat looked perfect on paper. The recipe is from Vegetarian Recipes From The West Country, which was a gift from a family member in Cornwall.
It was slightly more interesting to make than the chocolate cake I originally planned to bake; a topping had to be made first and set aside, but didn’t seem difficult. At least, it didn’t seem difficult until the very end of baking! I had foolhardily trusted the recipe for cooking times, and after cooling in the tin for the recommended time the cake did seem done, this proved not to be my smartest move. When I came to turn the cake out it looked more like a soggy sandcastle disaster than a cake! The outer inch and a half was cooked all round but the middle was like quicksand, the whole cake started gently sinking through the cooling rack.
After a moment of dismay I decided to mount a rescue operation. I transferred the cake, topping and all, to a casserole dish, broke up the bigger chunks of cooked cake and mixed everything up before putting it back in the oven. Surprisingly, it turned out not just edible but tasty. I was disappointed to lose the beauty of the original cake but at least it wasn’t going to waste.
3 out of 5 for ease of baking: there are places the cooking instructions could be more clearly laid out (the oven temperature is hiding in the last paragraph) and the cooking time was woefully under stated.
4 out of 5 for flavour: if it tasted good with some over done bits after my rescue operation it should be delicious if I get it right next time.