Seasonal local food recipe No.347 – Jamie’s roasted apple and squash soup


Mark, one of our core group members, recommends this soup recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain.  We don’t bother with the cream though,” Mark says, “as it’s rich enough!” Although the recipe uses the butternut variety, any decent squash would do.

Serves 4-6

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 60 minutes

1 squash (roughly 1kg), peeled, de-seeded and chopped into 2.5 cm chunks
3 good eating apples, peeled, cored and quartered
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 or 2 fresh red chillies, halved and de-seeded

4 cloves garlic, unpeeled and bashed
Olive oil
Sea salt and ground pepper
Pinch of coriander seeds
Few sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
3 heaped tablespoons pumpkin seeds
Pinch of cayenne pepper
800ml cups organic vegetable or chicken stock
150ml single cream


Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6.  Put the chunks of squash, apple, onion, chillies and garlic on to a baking sheet and drizzle with a good amount of olive oil.  Add a good pinch of salt and pepper and a pinch of coriander seeds and a little chopped rosemary.  Toss everything together so all the veg is nicely coated then cook for around 45 minutes or until everything is cooked through, intensely golden and delicious.

Toss the pumpkin seeds with salt, pepper, olive oil and the cayenne.  Spread on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes then put aside for later.

Put some of the roasted veg into a blender, making sure you squeeze the garlic flesh out of its skin first.  Add a swig of stock and gently blitz until smooth and lovely.  Put this into a large pan while you blitz the rest.  Pour in most of the cream and bring to a simmer over a medium to low heat.

Have a taste, season to perfection. To serve, divide between bowls and add a swirl of cream and a sprinkling of roasted seeds.

Seasonal local food recipe No.339 – Sticky toffee apple pudding with calvados caramel sauce

My husband made this delicious cake recently – it is definitely one to repeat!  It’s from James Martin at BBC Food.

Serves 6-8

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30-60 minutes

For the pudding
140 g butter, softened at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
300 g Bramley apples, peeled, cored and chopped
50 ml water
75 g caster sugar
2 Tbsp calvados
175 g light soft brown sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
3 Tbsp golden syrup
2 free-range eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
200 g self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 Cox’s Orange Pippin apple, cored and finely sliced
For the sauce
110 g dark soft brown sugar
110 g butter
2 Tbsp calvados
175 ml double cream

Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas Mark 5.  Grease and flour a 23 cm(9in) spring-form tin.  Melt 25 g of the butter in a saucepan and add the apples, water and caster sugar.  Cook over a gentle heat until steam appears from the saucepan, then cover with a lid and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until thick and fluffy.  Remove the lid and beat the mixture to remove any lumps.  Add the calvados and beat until well combined.

Beat 90 g of the butter and the soft brown sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy.  Add the golden syrup, eggs and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.  Fold the self-raising flour into the cake mixture.  Meanwhile, add the bicarbonate of soda to the apple puree and mix well, then stir this quickly into the cake mixture.  Pour into the cake tin and gently tap the sides of the tin to evenly disperse the mixture.  Bake for about 40-45 minutes in total.

While the cake is baking, melt the remaining 25 g of butter in a saucepan.  After the cake has been been in the oven for 30 minutes, arrange the sliced apple over the top of the cake in a circle, and brush with the melted butter.  Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the cake and return to the oven.  Once the cake is cooled, allow to cool slightly before turning out.

For the calvados caramel sauce, place the sugar and butter into a small pan and cook until melted and well combined.  Pour in the double cream and calvados.  Simmer gently for 3-5 minutes, or until the mixture thickens slightly.

To serve, cut the cake into slices and put a spoonful of ice-cream on top.  Finish by drizzling over some of the sauce.

Seasonal local food recipe No. 297 – Hugh’s chunky apple and marmalade cake

I am going to make this cake for pudding tonight.  It’s from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Fruit Every Day!  The recipe calls for eating apples but I’m trying it with the veg box apples which are cookers.  If you have a nut allergy leave out the ground almonds and substitute with an extra 5 g flour.

Serves 10-12

Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

3 tbsp whisky
100 g sultanas
100 g ground almonds
175 g light brown flour
2 tsp baking powder
a pinch salt
500 g apples, peeled, cored and cut into thick slices
200 g butter, softened
200 g dark muscovado sugar
3 large free-range eggs
150 g thick-cut orange marmalade
25 g demerara sugar

Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas mark 3.  Grease a 20 cm springform cake tin, line the base with baking parchment and lightly butter the paper.  Warm the whisky in a small pan, then remove from the heat, add the sultanas and leave to soak while you prepare the cake.

Put the ground almonds, flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, combine thoroughly and set aside.  Beat the butter and muscovado sugar together thoroughly until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a spoonful of the flour mix with each, and amalgamating each thoroughly before adding the next.  Add the remaining flour mix and fold in.  Beat the marmalade to loosen it, then fold into the cake mixture.  Fold in the sultanas and whisky and finally the slices of apple.

Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared cake tin and scatter the Demerara sugar over the surface.  Bake for about 1 1/4 hours, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Let the cake cool slightly in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

Seasonal local food recipes No.246 – Crusty apple pudding

This is an old family recipe – much loved and much used, I think it probably came off the side of a porage oats box many years ago.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15-20 mins
Cooking time: 30-40 mins

100g porage oats
100g butter
75g sugar
4 medium apples, peeled and thinly sliced
for decoration:
1 apple, peeled, cored and quartered
golden syrup

Melt the butter and sugar then mix in the oats.  Fill a greased 2 litre baking dish with alternate layers of sliced apple and oat mixture, finishing with a layer of oats.  Thinly slice the apple quarters and arrange on top of the dish and glaze with the golden syrup.  Bake in the oven Gas Mark 4/180°C for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.  Serve with pouring cream or custard.

Seasonal local food recipe No.167: Kohlrabi, apple and walnut salad

I was amused to come across the WTF, CSA section in the Huffington Post (thanks to Rupert Dunn).

The idea is that when you shout “WTF?” into your weekly veg box Huffington can tell you what on earth to do with a glut of basil, or aubergine fatigue, or a particularly tricky vegetable like the kohlrabi we’ve got in Camel CSA’s small boxes this week.

Now I don’t see the point of cooking kohlrabi (although there are some perfectly nice-sounding recipes). I prefer to eat it raw as it’s deliciously crunchy and juicy. Just make sure you peel off the tough skin before sticking your teeth in.

This take on the famous Waldorf salad is from Riverford Organic.

If you have just one kohlrabi, this salad works for two people – simply divide the amounts by three.

Serves: 6
Preparation time: 15 minutes


3 kohlrabi, peeled + cut into small segments
2 crisp, red-skinned apples, cored + diced
2 little gem lettuces, shredded (or mixed salad leaves)
a little lemon juice
a handful of watercress (optional)
75g walnuts, lightly toasted + broken into pieces

For the walnut dressing
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp light olive oil
2 tbsp walnut oil
a pinch each of celery salt, salt + pepper

Combine the kohl rabi, apples and little gem lettuces in a serving bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning. Add the watercress, if using, and the toasted walnuts.

Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well.

Seasonal local food recipe No 121: Mincemeat

Mincemeat? A recipe for mincemeat? In a vegetable box?

The best homemade Christmas mincemeat recipe I’ve ever tasted is one of the simplest. It comes from my stained and much-thumbed edition of a cookery classic – Elizabeth David’s Spices, Salt and Aromatics in the English Kitchen. It’s easy to make – an assembly job really – and is a thousand times better than the sickly, glace-cherry-studded supermarket versions.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the secret of her method, which was passed on to her by a friend (the best recipes always are!), is the generous amount of chopped apple which adds chewy moistness and a delicious tang.

So why not use the apples in Camel CSA’s veg boxes this week?

Elizabeth David made her mincemeat with shredded beef suet of course, in the traditional manner, but I find that vegetarian suet does just as well. Use light or dark brown sugar – I like dark muscovado.

Make this mincemeat at least two weeks before you want to use it, to allow the flavours to mingle. This amount makes approximately six decent-sized jars. If you want less, just halve the ingredients.

It normally gets used up pretty quickly in this household, but I have kept jars of it for up to two years in the fridge. An additional splash of brandy helps.

Preparation: up to an hour
Cooking: none

800g sharp apples
350g raisins
350g currants
350g sultanas
350g shredded suet (vegetarian if you prefer)
350g soft brown sugar
100g mixed peel
50g skinned and coarsely chopped almonds
Half a teaspoon each of grated nutmeg, cinnamon and mace
Grated rind and juice of one lemon and one orange
75ml brandy, rum or whisky

Dice the peeled and carefully cored apples. Mix all the ingredients together, adding the alcohol last. Leave the mixture to steep in a cool place for 24 hours, to allow the flavours to mingle.

Fill glass or stoneware jars that you have sterilised first – either by putting them through the dishwasher on a hot cycle or washing by hand and drying them in a low oven (but make sure they’ve cooled down before you fill them). Use screw lids or clip-on tops and store in a cool place.

Seasonal local food recipe No 66: Westcountry apple cake

This is one of those Cornish cake recipes that I’ve been making for years but can’t remember where it came from.

I remember baking it for tea on my older daughter’s first birthday. She went off to university earlier this month and I’ve continued to serve this cake up regularly in the intervening years – including last Sunday at Camel CSA’s apple harvest.

Use cooking apples or dessert apples with attitude – like the Lord Hindlip variety in Camel CSA’s veg boxes.

Serves 8

Preparation and cooking: 1 hour 20 minutes

175g butter or margarine
175g soft brown sugar
3 large eggs
225g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large cooking apples
½ teaspoon vanilla essence or ground cinnamon
lemon juice
Demerara sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Lightly grease a square or round 18cm tin and line the base with baking paper.

Peel, core and dice the apples into small pieces. Sprinkle them with a little lemon juice to prevent them discolouring.

Mix the butter and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs. Fold in the sieved flour, baking powder and vanilla or cinnamon. Then carefully stir in the diced apple.

Scoop the mixture into the tin and sprinkle the surface with a dessertspoon of demerara sugar. Bake in the oven for 55-60 minutes until golden brown on top. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning it out on to a rack.

It’s delicious served lukewarm – maybe with some Cornish clotted cream.

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