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Devon Apple Cake - Award Winning Recipe

This is a regular autumnal warmer in our house that is dead simple to make and uses up at least one or two of your surplus cooking apples at...

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Goose Eggs - Look at the Size of These

I bought some goose eggs at Tibbs, the greengrocers in Teignmouth.  Tibbs is a bit of an institution - a 'proper' greengrocers, none of that fancy organic stuff, just a family run business selling honest fruit and veg at good prices, local where possible.

So, after paying for my veg, I was surprised to be asked if I wanted some goose eggs.  They were enormous.  They were also hidden away behind the scales, and there seemed to be something almost 'under the counter' about the experience.  Oh, definitely yes, but decided to just take three rather than six.  £1.25 for three seems pretty good value as they are the equivalent to 3-4 normal sized hen eggs.  I shall use one in a Victoria Sandwich and the other two as giant fried eggs.  The egg from our chicken looks so teensy in comparison.




Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Devon Apple Cake - Award Winning Recipe

This is a regular autumnal warmer in our house that is dead simple to make and uses up at least one or two of your surplus cooking apples at this time of year.  I won second prize with this cake in the local Village Show in early September.  Yes, I forgot to take a picture of it when it was whole - too eager to eat it.  It's a basic sponge cake and then has a lovely crumbly sugar and cinnamon topping.

Ingredients:

225g cooking apples (peeled, cored and chopped any size)
juice of half a lemon
225g plain flour
7.5ml baking powder
115g butter
165g sugar - I've used caster, soft light or dark brown - all good
1 beaten egg
30-45ml milk
2.5ml ground cinnamon

1 - Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Grease and line an 18cm round cake tin. **

2 - Toss the apple with the lemon juice and set aside.  Sift flour and baking powder then rub in butter until it resembles breadcrumbs (I throw this in the food processor)

3 -  Stir in 115g of the brown sugar (keeping 50g aside), the apple and egg and mix well adding enough milk to form a soft dropping consistency.

4 - Transfer batter to tin.  Mix the remaining 50g sugar with cinnamon - sprinkle this over the cake mixture.  Bake for 45- 50 mins until golden.  Leave to cool for 10 mins in the tin before transferring to wire rack and your mouth.

**I love these Lakeland cake tin liners for lining tins:

http://www.lakeland.co.uk/baking-parchment-cake-tin-liners/F/keyword/cake+liners/product/5550_5551

Surfing at Bantham - We're Here for the Beach

Long may this 'Indian Summer' continue.  I'm back in bare feet and sandals.

This was the view of Burgh Island from Bantham beach two weekends ago.  We went along with our two kids, two nephews and bumped into quite a few other familiar faces.  The summer crowds are long gone, and the waves were perfect for surfers and body boarders alike - the locals were making the most of it. 


Bantham is pretty basic - a large car park full of VW Campers and surfboards on roof racks, a toilet or two, no cafes or ice cream stalls - and that's what makes it special.  People's attitude is: we're here for the beach.

This is a great time of year to be in Devon.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Freeze Garden Herbs Now!

It's time to freeze our green herbs - this is our tea tray covered in a veritable mountain of flat leaf parsley from the garden.  I consulted my herb book which says that green herbs such as parsley, chives, basil, dill and coriander can all be frozen directly in freezer bags without any preparation like blanching or chopping.  Ideal.

I'm aware that frosts are around the corner so these herbs have a death sentence on them at the moment.  So quick, if you have any lovely, lush green herbs in your window box / veg patch, get them in the freezer for use over the cooler months.

My book recommends to freeze them in small batches in freezer bags and then place them in a larger box to prevent crushing.  It'll be interesting to see how intact they are when I use them from frozen, or whether they go khaki and mushy.