Strawberries and cream on pancakes

I had some strawberries in the fridge but they started to go mouldy so I cut off the bad bits and chopped them up. I made pancakes with two cups of self raising flour, three eggs and milk to make a thickish batter. I let it rest in the fridge and whipped some cream.

If you heat a frying pan with oil in it till its hot you get better pancakes. Pour off any excess oil to reuse after cooking your first pancake. Swirl the batter round the pan to get it level. If you watch, as the batter cooks the top of it will start to bubble and dry out. You can see its setting as it cooks. I use a spatula to turn it over. When cooked add cream and chopped strawberries. I used sweetner rather than sugar and would have used lemon juice if I had any in.

First pancake

Mix flour (I use self raising flour), eggs and milk to a liquid the consistency of double (heavy) cream. (I suggest put in the flour first, then add eggs till its a softish mix, then add milk to make it more like double cream.) (this is the pancake batter) let it rest for a while then heat fat in a pan (butter or oil) so it coats the pan but pour off any excess. Make sure the oil is good and hot but not burning. Pour the batter in to cover the base of the pan, pour out any excess. Cook over the heat, you will see the batter bubble and dry out. When it’s dry use a spatula to turn it over. It should hold together and look like the photo. Tip out on a plate, add sugar or sweetener and lemon juice squeezed over the top. Make sure you don’t allow the oil to burn while transferring the pancake, add a bit more fat then pour in more batter. Cook again. Keep going and stacking till the batter runs out. Enjoy. (you can also add banana or chocolate). Amounts of ingredients vary depending on how many pancakes you want to eat.

Trifle and curling, a quiet afternoon

Have you ever seen curling? Curling 🥌 is a game on ice where two teams take it in turn to slide curling stones on an icy surface along to a target 🎯 area. The closest to the centre (button) wins its a game of strategy. Curling stones can be set to guard the target, preventing the other team from getting close to the centre. Curling stones can be sent gently down the ice, or hard, to knock the other teams stones out of the target area. Each team gets the ‘hammer’ in turn, which means going last in the end. An advantage as you may get a stone in the best position on the last curl of the end. There are different games using slightly different rules. I was watching the UK against Sweden at the Olympics today. And that’s where the trifle comes in. I had dome of it for lunch. Then noticed the bade of the dish has circles in it a bit like a curling target! Just a nice gentle lunch and bit of telly watching. X

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?