Autumn is one of my favourite times of year. There is such an abundance of fruit in the garden and allotments and this time and I often find myself on the receiving end of home grown fruit from client’s gardens as they have almost too much to consume themselves! I thought that I’d share some easy recipes to help you use up all that lovely fruit. The apple crumble recipe was given to me by a lovely client who supplied both the apples and an incredibly simple recipe that even I managed to get great results from! The recipes for the plums and cranberries were taken from The Kitchen Garden Cookbook by Carina Contini and Delia’s Christmas Easy Magazine, 2003 and Delia’s Happy Christmas respectively . I like the fact the recipes are all straightforward, so even the most reluctant cook should have some fun and great results as well!
100g self – raising flour,
Doves Farm stuff has a nice flavour with no funny aftertaste which you can get with ‘cheap’ flour
50g margarine ( butter also works)
50g sugar – castor or everyday sugar
1. Mix the flour and margarine together until it resembles breadcrumbs, through in the sugar and give it a mix about.
2. Spread evenly onto fruit which has already been stewed and sweetened to taste.
3. Stuff in the oven at 180 degrees(ish) for 20-25 minutes. I find that if the oven has been on prior to that for roasting something else then 20 minutes is fine.
Pan-fried plums and parsnips
A flavoursome side to accompany a roast, especially poultry.
Kitchen Garden Cookbook by Carina Contini (Frances Lincoln)
3 firm parsnips
Salt to taste
25g unsalted butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
8 firm plums, halved and stoned
2 sprigs of lemon thyme
A large handful of watercress leaves
1. Peel, trim and cut the parsnips into cubes the same size as the plum halves. Blanch the parsnips by plunging them in boiling salted water for a few minutes until tender but not overcooked. Drain well and set aside.
2. Melt the butter and oil in a large frying pan. When they start to bubble, add the plums. Cook for about 5 minutes until they start to soften. Add the blanched parsnips and the lemon thyme. Just before serving, add the watercress and heat through.
Spiced Cranberry Chutney – Delia Smith
This, as you would expect, is a lovely, bright, Christmassy colour, and it’s excellent served with cold cuts, as well as sharp, assertive cheeses. Keep in a cool dark place for a month before eating.
Makes 2 x 1 lb (350 ml) capacity jars
2 Cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon of ground cloves
1 lb (450g) Cranberries
2 tablespoons freshly grated root ginger
1 medium red onion, chopped
12 oz (350g) of Demerara sugar grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
15 fl oz (425ml) good quality red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
15 fl oz (425 ml) good quality red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1. All you do here is place all the ingredients in a wide, shallow pan. bring everything up to simmering point and stir well, ignoring the scum that rises to the surface – it will soon disappear.
2. Now, keeping the heat at a gentle simmer, let the chutney bubble and reduce for about 45 minutes, or until you can draw a wooden spoon across the surface and leave a trail that doesn’t fill up with vinegar. Don’t forget it will thicken as it cools, so don’t let it get too thick.
3.Towards the end of the cooking time, sterilise the jars (see note below), then fill them with the hot chutney (you can discard the cinnamon now).
4. Cover with waxed discs, seal with the lids and label when cold.
NOTE: To sterilise jars, wash the jars and lids in warm soapy water, rinse well, then dry thoroughly with a clean tea cloth, place them on a baking tray and pop into a medium oven, gas mark 4, 350°F, 180°C, for 5 minutes.