All posts tagged: recipe

Elderflower Season | Two Ways

For a short while, they are everywhere: stems waltzing in the June breeze, tiny stellate blooms underfoot, spinning constellations scattered over the dining table and the kitchen sink, threaded through strands of my hair, and bubbling on the stove.  In this, my first elderflower season, I’ve been following a few self-imposed rules. First… Pick blooms away from busy roads or polluted areas. A scout of my local park revealed a bevy of blossoms which, while still in Zone 2 of our particulate-punctuated capital, are surely better than a bush I spotted off the Uxbridge Road. Secondly… Pick a few flower heads (called, somewhat wonderfully, umbels) from each shrub and no more. This will allow other fellow foragers to have their cordial and drink it, as well as ensuring some of the blooms remain to turn into elderberries come autumn. Last but not least… Use them, quick! Only pick as many as you’ll need or be able to use (which I am the first to admit is easier said than done, when they just smell so …

Let’s-Pretend-It’s-Still-Summer Quiche

It’s still summer here, at least where our palates are concerned. (Aside: it’s definitely autumn, the sky is already blue as the midnight sea as I hurry home from work and the temperature’s dropped to single figures.) We baked this quiche together last week after I carted the shortcrust along two tube lines and down the road in the rain. It’s a pie full of cream and greens and cheese, perfectly summery and hardly as heavy as it sounds. If you’re counting your calories, feel free to substitute the cream for something a little less decadent or omit it altogether. (Though between you mean, pastry plus cream is the best over-the-counter equation for curing the first hint of winter blues – particularly in the form of a summery quiche.) We ate our slices warm, on plates balanced on our knees in front of the Great British Bake-Off Final and it did not disappoint (both the quiche and the bake-off’s last hurrah.) The only thing better than watching people making pastry is eating it yourself, right? To quiches …

Apple & Blackberry Crumble

Fruit crumble is quintessential winter comfort food. Chewy, buttery, gooey, hot. I had forgotten how much I liked it until this afternoon. Will and I picked up a bag of brown sugar on the way home from brunch in a nearby town. Once home I ran out to the apple trees at the bottom of the garden in my father’s loafers and plucked four apples from the tree. Mama extracted a bag of blackberries from the depths of the freezer, lovingly picked some long ago summer noon. There’s a particular satisfaction in making something with the fruits that grow just beyond your door – and a tactile joy in crunching the sugar and butter between floury fingers. Even better, crumble is truly foolproof, even for self-proclaimed hit-and-miss bakers like yours truly. Ingredients For the crumble 300g plain flour (though I used self-raising and it didn’t seem to matter one bit) 150g brown sugar 200g cubed butter (room temperature) For the filling 5 apples A helping of soft fruit (blackberries grow in our garden and are a particular favourite) as small or as …