Sweet apples, Wassail style.

I decided to stew four apples that were starting to soften. I wanted to use them up and also half a tub of clotted cream.

Ingredients :

Four medium sized eating apples

A couple of teaspoons of sucralose based sweetener (or sugar to taste).

A level teaspoon of cinnamon powder.

A single measure of whisky, or you could substitute a small amount of lemon or orange juice.

About three or four tablespoons of water to stop the apples burning onto the pan.

A tablespoonful of clotted cream or whipped cream.

I roughly cored and chopped the apples and left the skin on. I put them in a pan with a little boiling water to stop the apple flesh burning. I cooked the apples for about 15 to 20 minutes till they softened. Stirring and mashing them until they were a chunky pulp.

I added a couple of teaspoons of sucralose based sweetener to make the apples less sharp. Then I added a single measure of whisky and a level teaspoonful of cinnamon and cooked the mix for a couple minutes more. You could substitute fruit juice for the whisky and leave out the cinnamon if you don’t like it.

Serve hot in a bowl with the clotted cream or whipped cream dolloped on top.

This reminds me of the Wassails we usually go on in January. They are to celebrate the local apple trees and wish for a good crop of apples the following autumn.

Guess what we had for tea.

Yes, another trifle. I used sugar free jelly, but I added blueberries. Of course there was fat in it, but I made strawberry blancmange with semiskimmed milk and a sweetener instead of sugar. I used half the amount of whipped cream than I usually do. So I guess it was reasonably healthy, especially compared with other festive treats, such as stollen, mince pies and Christmas pudding (which I sadly indulged in too!).

Port trifle

Trifle time, I always make trifle at this time of year. I used raspberry jelly, trifle sponges and fresh black cherries. I added a bit of port to the jelly liquid (reduced the amount of boiling water by the same amount). Then a layer of strawberry blancmange and whipped cream on top. Blancmange is like flavoured custard. I used to be able to get chocolate, raspberry, vanilla and strawberry blancmange powder made by a company called pierce and duff, but over the last couple of years I’ve only been able to get the strawberry one in a plastic packet. It seems a shame, but I’m obviously an old fashioned cook. Anyway I have just had a portion of this delicious dessert. X

Bread and butter pudding, again!

A friend posted two recipes on making bread and butter pudding. Here they are :

I used to make this 2 different ways:
1: buttered leftover bread cut into triangles and put overlapping into a dish with sides.
Sprinkle with raisins and sugar/sweetener.
Beat an egg into about 3/4 of a pint of milk and a pinch of salt, and pour over the bread.
Make sure it’s properly soaked.
Dot with butter and bake in a moderate oven until golden and crispy on top- probably about 30mins.

2: The posh version:
Use a brioche loaf.
Slice but don’t butter
Place overlapping slices in a dish with sides.
Sprinkle with chocolate chips or raisins and a little sugar or sweetener
Beat an egg into a mixture of single cream and milk with a pinch of salt.
Leave to soak. Dot with butter.
Bake in a moderate oven until golden and crispy on top- probably about 30mins

Banana, custard and chocolate?

It looks weird, but it was tasty. I made up some custard powder, I use sweetner and semi skimmed milk to make it. Once it’s boiled up and thickened I just pour it over the chopped banana. But as an extra treat I added a large square of dark, low sugar (less than 5%) on top of the banana before I poured the custard. The heat made it melt. I could have been artistic with the swirls, but messy tastes nice too!

How do you release jelly (jello?)

Trying to make a ginger (orange flavour) cat jelly.

I was given a cat shaped jelly mould a few years ago but never used it. Then yesterday I decided to make an orange jelly for fun. I could have added fruit or trifle sponges to strengthen it but I wanted it to be pure jelly, and I was going to call it ginger and maybe take a few photos in different places before we have it for tea.

I tried mixing the jelly powder but I didn’t realise it hadn’t all dissolved until I cleaned the bowl I’d made it in, would that weaken the jelly? Then I couldn’t lie it down level because it’s head is higher so I had to prop it up in a bowl to put in the fridge. I let it set overnight. But how to get it loose? I tried running a thin knife round the edge, then turned it up on a plate, wobble, no! Tried running the mould under the hot tap, no! Tried tapping the mould, whoosh, a few bits dropped out, tried a knife again and tapping.. It finally came out, a saggy, wibbly wobbly brother cat to the solid mould.

Does anyone know what I should have done?

Apple and custard treat

I had leftover cooking apples from this years crop that were starting to go soft. I didn’t want to cook a cake so I decided to poach them, with a twist…..

Ingredients:

2 or 3 cooking apples

A half cup of diet ginger ale/ ginger ale or water and a couple of teaspoons of sugar or a small amount of sweetner.

Custard powder

Milk

Sweetner or sugar

Method:

Cook the chopped apples with the diet ginger ale (or ginger ale or water and sugar), choose which you prefer, the ginger ale does give the apples sweetness and a bit more of a bite.

The apples will soften and as they do will give off liquid, stop the cooking when they are still slightly firm.

Put into serving dishes.

Mix up the powdered custard as described on the pack. Substitute the liquid from the apples for some of the milk that is needed for the custard. Top up with milk to the desired amount. (I add less for thicker custard). Add sugar or sweetner to taste.

Once the custard mix has been boiled to the right thickness pour over the apples

Serve

Result, a tasty treat for tea. The ginger ale does add an extra bit of flavour.

You could probably make further substitutes to create a vegan treat.

Another cake?

I really want to make another apple cake but I keep getting distracted. I have paintings to take to a gallery who are going to try to sell them on line for me. I have to get my cats flea treatments from the vets. I have online lectures to attend. I don’t know how much longer the apples will last. Yesterday I used a large one to make apple sauce. I added cider instead of water and cooked the fruit slowly over a low heat v gradually mashing down the apples. Delicious with cream.

X

Easy dessert

Ingredients :

Two croissants,

One Banana

Half a tub of extra thick double cream

Sugar or sweetner to taste.

A few raspberries for decoration.

Method :

Take the two croissants, cut them in half horizontally. Slice a banana in half lengthways. Place one half in each croissant. Sprinkle with a little sugar or sweetner. Dollop the thick cream on top of the banana, then place the top of the croissant back on top. Serve as it is or with a few raspberries on the plate. Tasty and easy.

Serves two.

Youcan substitute whipping cream or squirty cream if you want. X