Saturday, 29 September 2007

Peanut butter and apple cake

6 oz butter and peanut butter (about 5 oz of butter and 1 tbsp of peanut butter is what I used)
6oz brown sugar
3 eggs
6 oz flour
2 small-medium cooking apples

  1. Cream the butter, peanut butter and sugar till soft and fluffy
  2. Beat in the eggs
  3. Fold in the flour and mix well
  4. Peel and core the apples and cut them into small pieces
  5. Stir the apple pieces into the mixture
  6. Grease a non-stick tin (2 lb loaf tin is about right). If it's not non-stick you'll need to base line it with greaseproof paper.
  7. Bake in a moderate oven for about 45 minutes. The skewer should come out clean when you test it: don't turn off the oven till it's properly done.
  8. Allow to cool for a few minutes before turning it out to cool on a rack.
  9. Serve at once hot with custard or cream, or serve it later, cold, for tea. Store it in a cold place, and make sure you eat it all within a few days.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Beetroot in citrus sauce

about 2 lbs beetroot (no tops required)
water to cover
1 1/2 tbsp cornflour
1 lemon, rind and juice
1 orange, rind and juice
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 oz butter

NB items 1 to 4 of the method should be done a bit in advance, or you can reheat beetroot that is already boiled and ready from another day.
  1. Scrub the beets carefully (we want to use some of the cooking water, so we don't want dirt in it).
  2. Put them in a pan and cover them with cold water. Bring to the boil and boil for about 45 minutes to an hour until tender.
  3. Drain off the liquid into a jug (we need about half a pint of this: the rest can go).
  4. Allow the beetroot to cool a bit, then peel them and slice them thinly.
  5. Mix the cornflour to a smooth paste in a jug, with a little of the cooled beetroot stock.
  6. Add further stock to make the sauce up to half a pint.
  7. Add the lemon rind and juice and orange rind and juice to the jug and mix well. Turn it into a large pan and heat gently over a low heat, stirring all the time until it thickens.
  8. Add the salt, sugar and ground cloves to the sauce.
  9. Add the butter and beat it in well with a wooden spoon.
  10. Heat the sauce to piping hot. Then add the beetroot and continue over the heat until the beetroot is thoroughly hot through.
  11. Serve hot as a vegetable accompaniment to strong dark meat or other winter meals, and with red wine.
It goes well with Christmas dinner or on Boxing Day.

Friday, 7 September 2007

Roast lamb

A joint of lamb (shoulder or leg)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
sprigs of rosemary
mint sauce
  1. Weigh the joint and calculate the cooking time
  2. Cut little slits in the skin of the lamb and slide the slices of garlic in just under the skin; do the same with some rosemary leaves.
  3. Put the joint in an enamel roasting tin
  4. Scatter the remaining rosemary in at the sides; put on the lid.
  5. Roast in the oven as follows:
Oven temperature: 190ºC, 375ºF, Gas 5, Fan oven 170
Time: for medium rare 20 minutes per lb plus 20 minutes; for well done 25 minutes per lb plus 25 minutes.

Roast potatoes can be added 45 minutes before the end, and should be turned at least once.

Serve with gravy and mint sauce.

Innovation biscuits


4 oz butter
4 oz brown sugar
6 oz self raising flour
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1 oz choc chips or currants or chopped nuts or other suitable additive
1 oz mixed peel
about 1/4 egg or a little milk
  1. Cream the butter and sugar until soft
  2. Add the flour and spice and work well together
  3. Use a little egg or milk to make the mixture bind together
  4. Add the chocolate chips (vel sim) and peel
  5. Roll into small balls and place on a greased tray
  6. Bake
Moderate oven, gas mark 4, fan oven 170º or less, about 20 minutes
Makes 28-30