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Spiced apple and raisin pie, by Delia Smith

After a huge amount of apples bought by my mum for an excessive amount of money (which doesn’t seem right to me…) my cooking thoughts have been revolving around apples and what I could do with them before they go out of date, even though my mum was told that they are magic apples that don’t go out of date for 6 months, I do not want any of them to go to waste, just in case. Half of them also taste like pears and the other half of lemons which is odd, but I won’t deny that they taste good. The first day I had a nice healthy salad with raisins and the normal apples that we need to use up before we start the “special” apples. Then I decided on an apple pie for saturday night, yum yum!

Delia Smith has been my parents cooking goddess since before I was born probably, we have loads of books by her and one has been used so much the cover has come of, been replaced, come off again, been replaced, etc. For me, she is like the fairy godmother of cooking. This was a very nice pie with spices, apples and raisins, my boyfriend was disappointed because he doesn’t like any of these things so he just had a bowl of custard but for those of us who have developed our taste buds beyond sweets and biscuits it was lovely!

Ingredients

For the pastry

110g of whole wheat flour

110g of self-raising flour

50g of margarine/butter

50g of lard

a pinch of salt

cold water, to mix

For the filling

700g of Bramley apples (or expensive ones that taste like pears in my case)

25g of soft brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

75g of raisins

1/4 whole nutmeg, grated

To glaze

milk and caster sugar

Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6/400 F/200 C. Grease a 9 1/2 inch (24cm) pie-plate.

2. Quarter and peel the apples then slice them thinly into a saucepan and mix them with the sugar, spices and raisins. Sprinkle in the water and cook for 10 mins or until the apples are soft and fluffy. Next, empty the mixture into a bowl to cool.

3. Make the pastry by mixing the flours together and rubbing the fat into the flour with your fingers. Add some water and the pinch of salt and you should have a nice ball of pastry. If it’s a sticky lump (which is what I had at first) just add a bit more flour. Cut the pastry ball in half and roll one half out to a round then transfer it to line the pie-plate. Spoon in the filling, then roll out the other half of the pastry and cover the rest of the pie like a lid. Trim it and decorate with the spare pastry, brush with milk and sugar glaze, then place the pie on a baking sheet and bake for 30 mins.

Yummy yummy apple pie…

Meggy x

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Black Beer Gingerbread

Last night we saw my heroine, Nigella Lawson, on the TV and she was doing a Christmas episode! She was throwing a cocktail for her glamorous friends in her beautiful house that was covered in fairy lights, and was making lots of snacky things to serve. She also made candles out of apples and cucumber which was (as she admitted) quite crazy but I liked it. One of the snacks she made was Black beer gingerbread, it looked very nice and my mum and I were drooling in front of the screen, you could almost smell the spices… So I made decided to make it!

Of course nothing goes smoothly in my kitchen. The first thing that I had trouble with were the measurements, which is in cups, but I soon got used to it.  Then I NEARLY forgot the golden syrup, so mum, who had been waiting for my mistake, swooped in and tried to take over. But everything was soon under control and the mixture was put in the oven.

Here is a picture of my gingerbread (that I tried to make look just like Nigella’s with the reindeer, snow and trees)! It is very nice! Even my boyfriend who doesn’t like spices likes it!

 

Ingredients

10 tablespoons of butter, plus some for greasing

1 cup of golden syrup

1 cup of dark brown sugar (packed) + 2 tablespoons

1 cup of stout

2 teaspoons of ground ginger

2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoons of ground cloves

2 cups of all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 ¼ cups of sour cream

2 eggs

1 rectangular aluminium foil pan, approximately 13 by 9 inches

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C/ 325 Fahrenheit and grease your foil pan
  2. Put the butter, syrup, dark brown sugar, stout, ginger, cinnamon and ground cloves into a pan and melt gently over a low heat
  3. Take off the heat and whisk in the flour and baking powder. You will need to get rid of any lumps
  4. Whisk the sour cream and eggs together then beat into the gingerbread mixture, whisking again for a smooth batter.
  5. Pour the mixture into your cake tin and bake for about 45 minutes, when it’s ready it will be gleamingly risen at the centre, and coming away from the pan at the sides.
  6. Let the gingerbread cool before cutting it into slices or squares.

Meggy x