Cottage Pie

Another page in the calendar has flipped over and the clocks have hopped back an hour, so it’s definitely time to dust off the casserole dish and make a hearty cottage pie. If you don’t know what a cottage pie is, it’s basically a shepherd’s pie, but made with beef mince instead of lamb – because for some reason or another, lamb and I just don’t get on.  The beef version is every bit as tasty, in my opinion, and it’s a little bit cheaper to make.

I’m sure most people have an old family recipe for cottage pie, or at least their own way of doing it, but I made one recently and thought I might as well throw my recipe into the ring.

Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 large packet beef mince
  • 2 onions
  • 6 carrots
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Knorr beef stock pot
  • salt and pepper
  • a pot of good mashing potatoes, such as Maris Pipers
  • knob butter
  • splash milk or cream
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • a few gratings of nutmeg
  • 200g mature cheddar

Instructions

  1. In a large frying pan on a high heat, brown off the mince in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan and risking it boiling. Colour = flavour! Reserve each browned batch in a bowl or plate to the side for the meantime.
  2. Finely chop the onions, grate the garlic and chop the carrots into quarter discs, and cook these off over allow to medium heat in the pan, until the onions have started to turn translucent.
  3. Transfer into a large saucepan or casserole pot and add the tomato puree. Cook that out for a couple of minutes, mixing into the vegetables.
  4. Add the mince back into the pot and add the herbs, cinnamon, Worcestershire sauce and stock pot, plus enough water to just cover the mince. Put a lid on the pot and allow to simmer over a low heat, stirring every now and then. If it's getting too dry, add a little more water, but we're not going to add anything to thicken it later, so don't go too mad.
  5. The amount of mashed potato you will need for the top will depend how big your casserole dish is and how deep you like your potato, so it's easiest to work that out by eye. Just start peeling and quartering your potatoes and stop when you think they'll make enough mash. It's not very scientific I'm afraid but it's how I do it!
  6. Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender when prodded with a knife. Drain the water out then add the butter, cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg and mustard and mash until creamy and lump-free. That can be set aside with the lid on until you're ready to construct the pie.
  7. The mince should be given at least 45 minutes to simmer, but an hour and a half would be better.
  8. When you're ready to construct the pie, preheat the oven to 200c and grab a nice oblong or square oven safe casserole dish. Spread the mince into the bottom then carefully layer the mash on top, smoothing it out gently with a fork.
  9. When it's all nice and smooth, drag a fork through the top in furrows like a ploughed field. This helps to make the pie nice and compacted, but also gives the surface of the mash some texture, which will help it to crisp up in the oven.
  10. Sprinkle the cheese on top and then put back in the oven for at least half an hour, or until the mince is bubbling and the top is turning golden brown.
  11. Serve up with some lovely green vegetables and maybe some Branston pickle!
  12. Enjoy!
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If you liked this British classic, why not try Charles’ Pork and Cider Stew with Sage Dumplings?

Apple Crumble Cupcakes

It’s definitely getting colder as the days go on but we haven’t quite reached ‘batten down the hatches, all food must be hot including puddings’ weather, so these apple crumble cupcakes are a nice seasonal compromise, delicious with a cup of tea.  They are quite messy though so I’d recommend eating them with a fork and a plate!

If you like cake, apples, cinnamon and biscuity crumble, these are definitely for you, and the apple helps to keep them moister than your average cupcake for a good few days after you bake them.  If you’re not a fan of the sweetness of traditional butter icing, you might be converted by these guys, as the tart apples and almost savoury crumble temper the icing sugar’s sweetness.  Anyway, try them! They are a little bit of a time investment due to the number of stages involved, but on the bright side they are very quick to decorate!

Apple Crumble Cupcakes

Apple Crumble Cupcakes

Ingredients

    For the apple filling:
  • 2 bramley apples
  • 55g light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • For the cakes:
  • 175g soft salted butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • For the icing:
  • 150g salted butter
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • For the crumble topping:
  • 25g salted butter
  • 25g light brown sugar
  • 50g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Start by peeling the apples and cutting them up into cubes. Bramleys have a habit of turning brown relatively quickly once they hit the air but don't worry too much about this as they are going to be cooked in lots of brown sugar and cinnamon anyway.
  2. Toss the apples in the sugar and cinnamon and then put into a smallish saucepan over a medium heat, stirring every now and then until they have become tender and syrupy, but take them off the heat before they lose their shape entirely and allow to cool.
  3. Once cool, set out 12 cake cases into a muffin tin and spoon a couple of tablsepoonfuls of apple mixture into the base of each one - you really just want a single even layer in each. Any leftovers will be used later so no panic to use it all up.
  4. Now make the cake batter by whipping up the butter on its own before adding the sugar for another whisk, followed by the eggs and finally the flour and milk. As usual, whisk as much as you like (in fact, the longer the better) up to and including the addition of the eggs, but only whisk in the flour and milk until they are just combined with everything else. Spoon the finished batter into the cupcake cases on top of the apple, to come just underneath the top of the cases. If you have too much batter, you can always fill more cases after the initial 12 have baked.
  5. Bake in the oven at 160c fan for 15 minutes or so, or until risen, golden and springy to the touch, then remove from the oven to cool.
  6. While those are baking, you can get to work on the icing and crumble. For the icing, combine all the ingredients together and whisk together in a bowl, adding in any leftover apples you have. If there aren't any, cinnamon icing is just as good, but if you have any leftover apple mixture it'll add a little more interest.
  7. When the cakes are cool, remove from the tray and spread with a relatively thin but even layer of the icing. It's up to you how much you want to use, but if you go too thick the end result could be a little too sweet and cloying. If the cakes are a little greasy in the tin, place them all on kitchen towel as you're icing them to soak up the excess.
  8. http://brookersofbluntys.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/iced-cakes.jpg
  9. In another bowl, rub together the butter, sugar, flour and cinnamon to make your crumble mixture - the mixture should resemble largeish breadcrumbs of varying sizes.
  10. Spread this out on a baking tray and put in the oven until the crumble is golden and toasty.
  11. Let that cool and then sprinkle over the iced cakes.
  12. And voila, you have a batch of delicious autumnal goodness to share with whoever you like, or keep all for yourself.
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If you liked this recipe, why not try our Chocolate Orange Bonfire Night Cupcakes or Coconut and Jam Cupcakes for Halloween?

Pork and Cider Stew with Sage Dumplings

Now, I am not one for semantics but was in a bit of a pickle as to whether this pork and cider stew with sage dumplings really was a stew, or whether it would be better classified as a casserole which then led me to looking on the internet for a definitive distinction between the two and abruptly stopped when I saw Marco Pierre White said “there’s no bloody difference at all!”. I went with stew because what sort of a monster has dumplings with a casserole?!

Pork and cider is such a classic combination but I was slightly worried about it being a bit too sweet in stew form so added the mustard to calm it down. The amount used just rounded the edges off the sweetness without adding any kick. You could certainly add more mustard if you wanted to have a spicier taste.

We are slowly getting into a routine here at Blunty’s, but there has been call for many late night suppers recently, which means preparing ahead but also making sure we’re eating well in a way that warms us from the inside out.  We’re still battling to stop the heating being turned on!

These quantities served two for supper and then a little lunch each the next day.

Pork and Cider Stew with Sage Dumplings

Pork and Cider Stew with Sage Dumplings

Ingredients

  • 4 pork shoulder steaks (diced)
  • 1.5 cans cider
  • 2 onions cut in strips
  • 5 or 6 mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp rosemary
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 grated garlic clove (or squeeze of garlic paste)
  • 1 large tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Dumplings:
  • 80g vegetable suet
  • 160g self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp sage
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • some cold water
  • A beaten egg

Instructions

  1. Heat a casserole pot as high as the hob will allow and aggressively brown the diced pork, you want to add colour without cooking the pork through or it won’t be as tender at the end. I did this in 4 batches, deglazing the pan with cider between batches and then pouring in over the resting pork.
  2. Throw the onions into the pot) and give them a decent amount of colour before pouring in the cider and all other ingredients (except mushrooms).
  3. Add the browned pork and pop it into a 130° oven with the lid on for 2 hours. Checking every so often to adjust flavour etc. and add more cider if need to (provided you haven’t polished off the can!).
  4. While the stew is slowly cooking combine the flour, salt, suet and herbs and slowly add the water a bit at a time. you don’t want to over-work it and leave it so you can still see grains of suet but it is a soft dough. - You want to let the dumpling mixture rest for half an hour before using it.
  5. When you are 30 minutes from serving time add the mushrooms and Roll the dumpling mix into balls and gently place them on top of the stew, try to avoid them sinking down too low, also given them plenty of space to expand, giving them a light egg wash to help them go golden and put the stew back in the oven at a temperature of 180° for the last 30 minutes.
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If you liked this stew, why not try some of our other winter warmers such as this Chicken and Chorizo Cassoulet or this simple Coq au Vin?

Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

It’s that time of year again when the Terry’s Chocolate Orange is appearing everywhere, so when Charles asked me to make pudding for supper with a family friend recently this chocolate orange cheesecake came to mind.  So many chocolate orange cheesecake recipes around these days focus on the Terry’s Chocolate Orange as an ingredient, but any of the milk chocolate ones we’ve had recently have been pretty disappointing, and if you want a decent chocolate flavour after introducing cream and cream cheese, I’m convinced the inclusion of some proper chocolate is in order. And fresh orange zest, of course.

This recipe is so simple and delicious – a real crowd pleaser, and with no need to mess about with the oven, it’s a great one to make with kids. Add some extra decor if it’s a really special occasion, or just serve it up with some orange slices (ours were marinated in dark rum) and cream or ice cream and let the taste speak for itself.  If you don’t like the chocolate orange flavour, you can easily leave out the orange zest and have a plain chocolate cheesecake instead.

Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 200g digestive biscuits
  • 50g salted butter
  • 200g plain chocolate
  • zest of one orange
  • 560g full-fat cream cheese
  • 300ml double cream
  • 5 tbsp icing sugar

Instructions

  1. Start off by putting the digestive biscuits into a freezer bag, tying it at the top with no air trapped inside. Now bash them up into fine crumbs, using a rolling pin or whatever you have to hand. I like to leave some slightly larger crumbs to make sure the base has a good level of crunch and interest.
  2. In the mean time, gently melt the butter in a saucepan. When it's just melted, add the biscuit crumbs and mix together. Now grab a springform tin and tip the biscuit mixture into the bottom. Spread it out evenly and push down with a spoon until you have a nice level surface. Leave to cool then put in the fridge to set for around half an hour.
  3. Now you can make the cheesecake filling. Start by melting the chocolate in a glass bowl suspended over a saucepan of simmering water and then set aside to cool.
  4. Add the cream cheese to a large bowl and whisk it up a little with an electric whisk to loosen it off a little. Add the orange zest and mix together.
  5. In a separate bowl, whip the double cream until just standing in semi-stiff peaks.
  6. When the chocolate is cool, mix it into the cream cheese mixture until well combined, then finally add the whipped cream and gently fold or whisk it in until just combined.
  7. Grab your springform tin and check the base is solid and chilled and spread the filling evenly over the base, smoothing the top so that it is even, as the mixture is too dense to even itself out.
  8. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours then serve in wedges. It should keep for around 4 days if kept in the fridge.
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If you liked this cheesecake, why not give our Baileys Cheesecake a whirl, or if you prefer your chocolate orange in cake form, why not try these Chocolate Orange Cupcakes?

Bacon and Onion Soda Bread

This deliciously comforting bacon and onion soda bread is the first white flour soda bread I’ve made.  I have to admit to having my doubts as wholemeal soda bread topped with oats is such a mealy, tasty treat that I couldn’t quite imagine the same depth of flavour from a white flour, but when you’ve used up your wholemeal flour but you want to whip up a quick bread to serve up with your chicken and chorizo cassoulet, what are you to do?  It turns out that white soda bread offers a deliciously crunchy crust and a soft texture, and is the perfect vehicle for adding flavour to in the form of additional ingredients, such as onion, bacon, fresh herbs and cheese.  Much like this recipe!  And it turns out that you can earn a decent quota of wife points from serving up bread with bacon in it….

This recipe is so quick and simple – no intense kneading necessary – and you can change up the ingredients to whatever you prefer or have to hand – cheese and onion alone would be pretty tasty.  The only essential ingredients are the flour and buttermilk, so make sure you have those ready.  This bread is delicious to serve up with a hearty soup or stew on a cold night, and is also lovely warmed up again for the next couple of days.

Bacon and Onion Soda Bread

Bacon and Onion Soda Bread

Ingredients

  • 4 rashers smoked bacon
  • 1/2 large onion, or 1 whole small onion, sliced
  • 450g plain white flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 25g cold butter
  • 350ml buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives, thyme and tarragon
  • Around 75g grated hard cheese, such as parmesan or cheddar

Instructions

  1. First, prepare the flavourings for the bread by frying off the bacon until crisp, and then gently cooking the sliced onions until soft in the bacony pan. Once the bacon is cool, slice it into chunks or strips, small enough to mix into the bread but not so big that they're more than a mouthful.
  2. Preheat the oven to 210c fan. Slip a baking sheet into the middle of the oven to preheat to help your bread to form a beautiful crust.
  3. Measure out the flour, bicarb and salt into a large bowl and mix together. Now cube the butter and add to the bowl, rubbing it into the flour as if you were making a batch of scones.
  4. Chop the herbs and add to the mixture along with the onion and bacon at this stage as they can more easily be mixed through the dough.
  5. Mix together and then make a well in the centre for the buttermilk to be poured into. Pour in the buttermilk and mix everything together, kneading gently until everything has just come together to form a consistent dough which is just holding together.
  6. Form into a ball and flatten into a round, then cut a large cross into the top.
  7. Place onto the preheated baking sheet (careful now!) and bake for around 40-45 minutes, until crisp on the outside and hollow-sounding when knocked.
  8. Enjoy with lashings of butter and something wintery and delicious.
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Speedy Chorizo Macaroni Cheese

This speedy chorizo macaroni cheese recipe is a bit of a twist on traditional macaroni cheese, or even on my usual take on macaroni cheese (the secret ingredient in that bad boy is bacon). That’s down to it being much quicker and less complicated to put together than the old fashioned style of macaroni cheese due to there being no white sauce anywhere near it.  Let me explain.  Traditionally, macaroni cheese uses a cheese sauce which is made by adding a considerable quantity of grated cheese to a white sauce, which is made by combining flour with melted butter (a roux) and milk and stirring for dear life, hoping it doesn’t turn out lumpy or grainy.  Charles has an uncompromising objection to white sauce (I say uncompromising but he will eat lasagne, which is topped with bechamel sauce which is just another way of saying white sauce if you weren’t old enough to be cooking in the 80s), which means no cauliflower cheese, parsley sauce or macaroni cheese.  Until now, as I have found a way to make this delightful comfort food without putting flour anywhere near the saucepan.  The secret? Evaporated milk.  Let’s begin…

Speedy Chorizo Macaroni Cheese

Speedy Chorizo Macaroni Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1/3 chorizo ring or one whole small cooking chorizo
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Knorr vegetable stock pot
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp dried or fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • half a packet of macaroni or similar short-cut pasta
  • 200g cheddar cheese, plus extra for grating on top
  • 4 tomatoes, sliced

Instructions

  1. Tip the can of evaporated milk into a large saucepan and add the various seasonings and herbs, setting it over a medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, chop the chorizo into small pieces and add these to a cold frying pan. Turn the heat up to medium and allow the fat to render out before the chorizo starts to brown. Turn the heat off once the chorizo has turned golden brown on both sides. Preheat an oven to 200c.
  3. Grate the cheese and add this to the evaporated milk mixture, followed by the mustard and milk. Continue to heat and stir this saucepan until the cheese has melted and the sauce has thickened a little, being careful not to let it boil too hard. Add the chorizo.
  4. Part cook the macaroni (or preferred pasta type) in a large saucepan of boiling water, turning it off and draining it before it reaches al dente stage - if you cook the pasta until it's completely ready you risk it turning soggy in the oven.
  5. Mix together the macaroni and sauce and tip it into a large casserole dish. Top with sliced tomatoes and then grate some extra cheese on top.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until the cheese on top is starting to brown, then serve up with some veggies.
  7. Enjoy, and tell us that could have been easier!!
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If you love chorizo but you’re not that keen on mac and cheese, why not try some of our other chorizo celebrating recipes, such as Chicken and Chorizo Paella, Chicken and Chorizo Cassoulet or Chicken and Chorizo Enchiladas?

Honey and Lemon Madeleines

I’ve been making madeleines for a while now and think they’re a very much underappreciated bakery item so it’s about time I shared these honey and lemon madeleines with you. Madeleines, for those of you who don’t know, are essentially buttery, light, fluffy little sponge cakes, usually shell-shaped, offering a little morsel of sweetness to enjoy along with a cup of coffee. Originating in France (like all the best patisserie), madeleines are seemingly very plain and simple, but served up fresh and warm they are a pure buttery expression of love.  They can be flavoured or filled in all sorts of ways, and are pretty quick to whip up.  In fact, you can make up the batter the night before, settle them in the fridge for a few hours and quickly bake them off in the morning for a quick, delicious and downright impressive petit dejeuner or morning snack.  In fact, I think there’s a pretty strong case for the madeleine being the new cupcake.  Or macaron.

Although madeleines are traditionally baked in a shell-shaped tin (which have recently become fairly readily available in the UK), they would taste just as good baked in a shallow muffin tin or similar – essentially anything that will let you bake little cakes in a uniform shape. Whilst they are pretty easy to make, it is essential to chill the batter for around an hour and then bake it at a high heat, so prepare ahead!

This honey and lemon madeleine recipe is the one I return to most frequently, as it gives you that classic moreish hit of lemon as well as a sticky madeira cake-esque coating which raises these seemingly one-dimensional little pillows into something so much more complex.

Honey and Lemon Madeleines

Honey and Lemon Madeleines

Ingredients

  • 150g salted butter
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g caster sugar
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 level tsp baking powder

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter and honey together gently in a saucepan then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Whisk the eggs and sugar together until the combination is light and moussey in texture. Get lots of air in!
  3. Add the flour, baking powder and lemon zest and gently fold together. Finally, add the butter and honey mixture (when cool) and fold this in.
  4. Put the batter in the fridge for at least an hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 210c. Prepare your madeleine tin by buttering and lightly flouring each little shell shape.
  6. Put a tablespoon of mixture into each shell-shaped hollow and slide the tin into the middle of the oven. Immediately turn the heat down to 200c.
  7. Bake for around 10 minutes, until the centres have risen and the sponges are springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and remove from the tin - this should be achievable after only a couple of minutes of cooling with a gentle push sideways with your finger or a knife. Leave to cool and then dust with icing sugar. Repeat until all the batter has been used - you should get around 30 little cakes, depending how full you fill the tin each time.
  8. Enjoy warm, or cold for a couple of days, although they start to turn stale after the first day, so you may wish to keep some of the batter unbaked in the fridge to enjoy again.
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If you love lemon but would prefer something a little more complex or impressive, why not try putting together our Luscious Lemon Cake or Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes?

Broccoli Soup

This broccoli soup recipe marks the calendar with finally being the time of year when it’s getting cold enough to drag out the old soup pot, chop up some vegetables and enjoy a steamy bowl of warming soup.  With the sun still shining, we can’t be too depressed about the imminent winter, but can instead celebrate the best of the season’s produce and remember all the good things that come with the changing seasons, and even the seemingly never-ending British winter when it gets here.  You have to admit to looking forward to a full roast dinner, shepherd’s pie or casserole at some point this summer while forking your way through yet another crisp salad….

The nights are drawing in and there’s a morning chill in the air, so head to the supermarket or your local farmers’ market and pick up some cheap, seasonal broccoli and put together this deliciously quick and simple soup.  Trust me, it tastes much better than it sounds!  It may be green but remember you have all that leek, onion and chicken stock to give you flavour.  Don’t overcook the broccoli and add plenty of black pepper and the job’s a good’un. Charles ate his up topped with some finely grated Italian Hard Cheese (Parmesan that isn’t from Parmegiano, in other words), but it’s great on its own as well. I used mostly fresh herbs for this recipe because Charles is pretty good about making sure we have plenty of them in the garden but dried herbs will work too if that’s the most economical option for you.

Broccoli Soup

Broccoli Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves grated garlic
  • 1 large leek
  • 4 heads of broccoli
  • 3 chicken stock cubes
  • sprig fresh mint
  • a few leaves of fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • plenty of salt and pepper
  • a soup pot and a stick blender are also pretty essential!

Instructions

  1. Drag your soup pot out onto the hob and add the olive oil. Turn the hob up to medium and add in the sliced onion and garlic.
  2. Cut off the woodiest ends of the leek, clean all the grit out and slice and add it to the pot. Cook until turning translucent, whilst chopping the broccoli into florets and chunks of stalk, removing any leaves.
  3. Prepare the stock by dissolving the stock cubes in boiling water and add to the soup pot. Add the broccoli and top up with water until covered.
  4. Add the herbs and seasoning and cover the pot with its lid.
  5. Simmer for around 10 to 15 minutes or until the broccoli is cooked through.
  6. Allow to cool a little and then blend until smooth with your stick blender. I prefer to decant it into a large bowl first to protect my non-stick soup pot. If you only have a jug blender, I would recommend leaving the soup until it's completely cool to avoid the risk of scalding yourself.
  7. Once the soup has been blended to an even consistency, taste for seasoning and season to taste, including lots of black pepper.
  8. Now serve it up for lunch. It should keep in the fridge for 4-5 days, stored in airtight containers, but will also freeze really well in ready-to-heat portions.
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If you enjoyed this recipe, why not try our Beef and Broccoli recipe?  Or even another of our soup recipes if broccoli isn’t your thing.

Rhubarb Streusel Tart

This rhubarb streusel tart was born out of a desire to recreate a delicious rhubarb cake which was demonstrated at a cookery course I attended years ago, but somewhere along the way a hankering for a good old fashioned crumble took the recipe in a slightly different direction.  I wasn’t sure what the results would be, but it smelled darn good in the oven, and Charles declared it to be an unreserved success, so it was made again as the pudding for supper with a family friend within the week.  The result is not quite a tart, not quite a cake, and not quite a crumble either, but it combines the best parts of each without the fuss of making pastry and gives a result which has so much more structural integrity than a crumble, so it can be served in neat slices and eaten hot or cold.

The turn of summer to autumn is one of my favourite times of the year, so I’m bracing myself for long walks in amber leaves with the dog and the warming, hearty things we can cook up with the best of autumnal produce and a pinch of mixed spice – apples, plums, squash, pumpkins, beetroot – you can’t help but love this time of year.  Charles makes fun of me for being such a big fan of the season, but then he’s not at all big on Halloween, and he doesn’t understand the comfort I find in the stirring of a simmering soup pot.  Soup recipes to follow, of course.

Rhubarb Streusel Tart

Rhubarb Streusel Tart

Ingredients

    For the fruity middle:
  • 500g rhubarb
  • 75g light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • For the thin cakey base:
  • 125g soft butter
  • 40g light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 75g self-raising flour
  • For the crumble topping:
  • 125g butter
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 100g plain flour
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 50g flaked almonds

Instructions

  1. Start by chopping up the rhubarb into pieces around 1 cm wide. Toss it into a large bowl and add the brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Now, pour spread the whole lot onto a baking tray and slip it into the oven at 180c for around 30 minutes, or until the rhubarb has cooked right down and the sugar has melted into a caramel.
  2. While the fruit is in the oven, get the base started by creaming together the butter and sugar, adding the egg and then mixing in the flour and ground almonds. Grease the bottom of the springform tin and spread the mixture over its base in a thin layer, as evenly as you can manage. Slide that into the oven and bake for around 15 minutes.
  3. Now you can get the crumble topping on the go. Rub together the butter, flour, cinnamon and ground almonds until they form an uneven crumb, then mix in the flaked almonds. Set aside until the cake it ready to assemble.
  4. When the fruit is ready, carefully mash it all down and allow it to cool slightly.
  5. Remove the cake base from the oven when evenly lightly brown and springy to the touch. Spread the fruit evenly over the cake base.
  6. Finally, you can sprinkle over the crumble topping.
  7. Slide it back into the oven and bake for around half an hour until the crumble topping is starting to brown.
  8. Release from the springform tin once it has cooled somewhat and serve up in slices, cold or warm, with cream, ice cream or custard.
  9. Delicious!
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If you don’t like or can’t source rhubarb, it’ll work just as well with plums, apples, pears, blueberries, or whichever other fruit you can get your hands on, provided it’s made more delicious with heating!  Simply adjust the fruit roasting time accordingly so it doesn’t lose its structure entirely.

If you have a fancy for something more traditional, why not try our Apple and Blueberry Pie recipe?

We’d love to see your recreations, so get onto Twitter, follow us and tweet us! We’d love to hear from you.

 

Beef Rendang

This Beef Rendang is a deliciously different Malaysian curry.  This recipe is largely based on the Sainsbury’s Curry Recipe Collection Beef Rendang, but I’ve switched out the galangal for ginger (because who can get hold of fresh galangal outside of the city?) and toned down the chilli a little to make it appeal to a wider audience (an audience that includes me, although Charles is trying to encourage me to try increasingly spicy food to help to build up a tolerance.

This curry is much different to the usual curry recipes you can find when you’re looking to whip up something tasty for supper (Thai Green, Thai Red, Chicken Bhuna, Tikka Masala…), firstly because it uses slow cooked beef, and secondly because it is based on a lovely blend of Malaysian flavours – coconut, chilli and tamarind (which you can pick up as a paste in Sainsbury’s).

You can also buy Rendang curry paste from all sorts of places, but we at Blunty’s prefer to make our own – the recipe for which was our very last post.

Beef Rendang

Beef Rendang

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 450g or so of lean casserole steak
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4-5 tbsp rendang curry paste
  • 1 red chilli, sliced and deseeded (including the white membrane)
  • 400ml tin coconut milk
  • 3/4 tbsp dark soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp tamarind paste
  • one onion, sliced
  • 1 red and one orange pepper, sliced
  • juice of one lime

Instructions

  1. Firstly, add the oil to a large pan and get it screaming hot - the first step is to brown off the beef without letting it start to cook through. It's usually easiest to do half at a time. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Next, toast off the cinnamon sticks and set them aside.
  3. Turn down the heat to medium and add the onion and pepper to the pan and allow them to start to cook through and turn soft, before adding the curry paste and mixing it together, allowing the paste to warm through and start to release its flavour.
  4. Add the coconut milk, chilli, sugar and tamarind paste and mix together, before turning the heat right down adding the beef and cinnamon back in.
  5. Cover and cook on a low heat, stirring occasionally, for around 2 hours.
  6. Serve up with rice and vegetables, garnish with desiccated coconut and enjoy.
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Why not serve it up with our homemade Parathas?

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Common Sense recipes for everyday eating