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Entries in apple (5)

Wednesday
Dec232015

Bigos

Buon Natale, Wesołych Świąt, Merry Christmas. 

I'm writing this from Bormio in the Dolomites, a mountain range in northeastern Italy. This morning I braved the cold at first light and walked halfway up the nearby snow-capped peaks. I hoped to capture the sunrise, but my camera did it no justice at all. After several hours shopping for Christmas lunch I headed up to Bagni Vecchi, the ancient thermal baths just out of town:

Today I am sharing a Polish Christmas recipe called bigos. I have been writing a series for Borough Market about food and identity, where I interview traders about the foods that are important to them. One of my interviewees, Ewa Weremij, is Polish. She told me that bigos "is a special dish for the Christmas time". You can read more about the Christmas traditions that Ewa and her family observe on the Borough Market blog.

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Tuesday
Aug252015

Apple and greengage crumble

There is only one month left of summer and while everyone else is busy catching the last rays of sun, I am trying to make the most of all the wonderful summer fruits at Natoora before they go out of season.

One of my new favourites is the Reine Claude Doree greengage. It is the variety from which all other greengage plums originate. Doree means golden; unlike most greengages, which have green flesh, these are golden when fully ripened.

The golden, jammy flesh of the Reine Claude Doree works beautifully in this summer crumble. The natural sweetness of the fruit is well balanced with crisp, tart green apples. Sweetened with honey and topped with a crumble packed with cobnuts, this recipe turns a simple dessert into something special.

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Wednesday
Dec082010

Pam Corbin's Bramley lemon curd

How does it always end up getting so busy at this time of year? Two months ago I was starting to contemplate Christmas shopping and in an ideal world my next sentence would be: “A month later I decided to bite the bullet and get it done early this year”. No such luck. More important engagements have kept popping up and it has been sidelined, postponed, rescheduled and then put off again. As a result I have spent the past two nights on the high street in an effort to avoid the weekend crowds and am still going to have to spend at least two more nights there because, although I thought about the task a few months ago, I did not consider what I would actually buy.

I did have the foresight to save myself one trip though. Last weekend we had an early Christmas dinner with my Mums’s side of the family. There were quite a few people to buy for, some of whom I hadn’t seen in a long time, so rather than getting them all a generic present from the gift section at John Lewis, I decided to make something. I cannot draw, paint, knit or sew so that meant cooking.

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Monday
Oct112010

Amazing cake, how sweet and round...

Deborah Mele's Rustic apple cake with rosemary syrup

‘That cake was absolutely f**king …’

‘Amazing?’

‘Yeah’  

I made this cake a few nights ago and it was by all accounts ‘amazing’. Normally, when the boyfriend is around I am only allowed to take in enough cake to share with my team, but as he was away on business I was able to take the whole thing to work. I should do so more often; my colleagues are certainly more vocal in their gratitude and, hey, even if I am buying the attention, it is nice to bask in the glory of an amazing cake for a few hours. 

Luisa Weiss, of The Wednesday Chef put me onto the idea of using rosemary in baking, when she blogged about her new discovery in Kim Boyce’s cookbook:

I did not think I would ever be a fan of rosemary in cake. I like it on my potatoes just fine, but in my desserts? Nah, no thanks.

Silly me ... I don't know how she figured this out, but the fruity olive oil, the dark funk of the chocolate and the herbal, aggressive rosemary combine in the heat of the oven to produce the most astonishing thing: a simple tea cake that tastes complex and deep and delicious, with a flavor that is very, very difficult to put your figure on. It tastes so bewitchingly good, you will find yourself thinking about the cake the day after you make it, and the day after that as well, trying to find excuses to bake another round of it.

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Friday
Aug272010

Would you like some apple with that crumble?

Updated on Monday, August 30, 2010 at 12:09PM by Registered CommenterVix

Apple and pear crumble

Apple crumble was probably one of the first desserts I learnt to make; it is very simple, so I assume this is why Dad trusted me to do it. I cannot remember whether he taught me or just told me what went in it, but either way at some point it became my job rather than his when someone in the family (read sister) demanded crumble.

Over the years my version has become known as “crumble apple” because the crumble is really the central feature, the apple a token gesture to the dishes origins*. And why not? Everyone knows the crumble is the best bit! Indeed, the name crumble apple isn’t even especially accurate, because very often I include other fruits as well. I have always been very big on berries, as has my sister, so it was ‘crumble berry apple’ for most of our teenage years, and later when I became more adventurous, ‘crumble apple plum’ ...or rhubarb ...or pear.

Some may think this recipe too simple to warrant a post and it is true that it is fairly intuitive. It is for this reason that when asked in the past for my recipe (most frequently by Miss Ger-al-din-uhhh) I have not been particularly forthcoming. As she remembers it, I used to say that it was a secret family recipe, but the truth is there wasn’t one. I would just use as much fruit as I had, pick a dish depending on that, and then make an absurd amount of crumble to top it.

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