Thoughts from category: autumnal

diane's buns of joy

This weekend's baking treat comes from Eleanor's mum, Diane. Diane also wrote us a recipe for a lemon curd and fromage frais smoothie which features on p.176 of our recipe book.

According to Eleanor, there is always a copy of the book on Diane's coffee table at home, casually left open on p.176.

Diane’s apple and cinnamon buns Makes 12 large buns


2 medium cooking apples

225g self raising wholemeal flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

175g butter

50g brown sugar

1 large beaten free range egg

What you need to do

1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 5(375F/190C).

2. Peel, core and dice the apples then put to one side.

3. Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl.

4. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles breadcrumbs.

5. Add the apple, sugar and beaten egg to the bowl and mix combine well with a fork (if the mixture seems a bit dry, you can add a few drops on milk)

6. Place heaped spoonfuls of the mixture onto a greased/non-stick baking tray.

7. Bake for 20-25 mins until golden.

Perfect for a sit down and cup of tea.

crumbly goodness

Thanks to everyone who posted their excellent baking recipes on last Friday's post.

This week's Sunday baking recipe comes from JT's mum, Pat, with her recipe for a good old fashioned crumble.


Pat’s apple and blackberry crumble
Serves 6


4oz plain flour
4oz porridge oats
3oz butter
3-4oz soft brown sugar
1lb Bramley apples, peeled and sliced
8oz blackberries washed
3oz granulated sugar

What you need to do:

1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4 (350F/180C)

2. Place apples, blackberries and granulated sugar in a saucepan with little water and cook gently till apples are soft.

3. Spoon mixture into pie dish or a 9-10inch shallow gratin dish.

4. Place flour, butter and oats in a mixing bowl and rub together till crumbly. Then add the brown sugar and mix a bit more.

5. Sprinkle crumble mixture over the fruit and use a fork to even it out (Pat likes to press down with the fork and then sprinkle a little amount of granulated sugar on top as this makes it all crunchy when cooked.)

6. Place in oven and cook for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.

Best enjoyed after a long, brisk walk, with lashings of custard, sat in front of The Antiques Roadshow.

Roll on Sunday.

like mum used to make

Sundays are all about baking.

Especially when it's peeing it down outside, you can't be faffed to go to the shops and there's someone you want to impress coming to tea.


Seeing as it's the perfect time of year for steaming puds and a hearty slice of something tasty to go with your cuppa, each Friday, we'll post a recipe courtesy of the best bakers we know (our mums).

Then all you need to do is pick up the ingredients on your way home and then come Sunday, you'll be all set for baking bliss.

First up is Kat H's mum, Anne, with her infamous recipe for tealoaf.

Its best enjoyed with a generous helping of butter, a big mug of tea and keeps well if you wrap it in greaseproof paper.


Anne's Tea Loaf


170ml (1/2 pint) cold tea
300g dried mixed fruit
125g muscovado sugar
300g self raising flour
1 large egg - beaten
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg

What you need to do:

1. Pour the cold tea (minus tea-leaves) over the mixed fruit and sugar and leave to soak overnight (or a minimum of 4 hours).

2. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 3 (325F/170C)

3. Mix in the beaten egg and add sieved flour and spices. If the mixture seems a bit dry, you can always add orange juice. And if you're feeling fancy, you can also chuck in some apricots (dried or tinned), glace cherries or nuts of your choice to the mixture before cooking.

4. When you're done mixing, spoon the mixture in a greased loaf tin and cook for about 1 hour. You’ll know it’s ready when you pop a skewer into centre of loaf and it comes out clean.

5. Leave to cool on a wire rack and then eat sliced by itself or with butter.

So come Sunday, not only will your kitchen smell wonderful but your all important tea guest will think you're a natural domestic god/goddess.

More Sunday baking gems next Friday.

out and about

Bedding plants. Gardening gloves. A sunny afternoon. A trowel. And a flask of hot tea.

Just the perfect components for a spot of bi-annual bedding action.


Earlier this week, some of the ladies (and Oli) from Fruit Towers popped down to Holland Park to volunteer their green fingers to help plant the thousands of plants and bulbs that need planting now so as to be ready for spring.


Everyone got stuck in with their trowels though planting in a straight line is apparently not as easy as it looks.


Despite a few wiggly rows of golden yellows, things looked much neater when they left.


The team at Holland Park are always keen for a hand with gardening, so if you fancy getting involved, just drop Head Gardener Marcus a line here

william the conkerer

On Sunday, our Will J stepped out alongside 600 other conker hopefuls to fight for the coveted title of World Conker Champion 2008.

After weeks of practicing, his team, The St. Tanktonian Olympiad, rose early, dressed for combat and discussed tactics in the carpark.


They then waged many a battle


Against some strong competition


But were eventually beaten by a man who used kinetic energy theory to bash all his opponents out the conker ring and a lady from Essex who had a cracking aim.

Not that this stopped Will getting in some practice for taking the winners podium next year.


Next year, Will.

Next year.