Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category

other than mincepies

mincemeat pinwheels

mincemeat pin-wheels

It is a shocking concept, but some folk don’t like mincepies.  True.

The good news is, there are many other ways to use mincemeat, and whilst some are a lovely festive alternative, others are really useful when it come to using up the leftover mincemeat after Christmas if, like me, you make large quantities.

mincemeat pin-wheels

Pre made puff pastry sheets


1 small egg, beaten

a little milk

a little icing sugar

Pre heat the oven to 180 C fan.  Prepare a couple of baking sheets with baking paper.

Unroll the pastry and spread a layer of mincemeat all over, about 1 piece of fruit thick, leaving a small border round the edges.  Roll up loosely(they need growing room),  rolling the long side.  Paint the edge with milk and press the ends in. Slice into 1 cm ish slices and move to  the baking sheets, pushing into a vague circular shape.

Mix the egg and remaining milk and paint the tops and sides with the mixture.

Bake for 10 – 15 minutes, until the pastry has risen and is golden and the mincemeat is bubbling.  Allow to cool and dust with icing sugar.

mincemeat flapjacks

4oz demerara sugar

4oz golden syrup

40z butter

8 oz oats

1 tablespoon of mincemeat

4oz demerara sugar

4oz golden syrup

40z butter

8 oz oats

 Preheat the oven to 180C / 160C fan, and grease or line a 9” square cake tin.

Melt the sugar syrup and butter together in a pan, gently, until the sugar has dissolved. 

When the  sugar mixture is ready stir in the oats and mincemeat, then pile the mixture into the tine, spread out evenly and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Allow to cool before cutting.

mincemeat loaf

4oz butter

6oz sugar

2 eggs

8oz plain flour

1.5 tsp baking powder

3 tbsp milk

3 tbsp mincemeat

Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the eggs. Fold in the flour and baking powder, and milk.  Stir in the mincemeat.

Pile into a 2 lb loaf tin, and cook at about 180C for about an hour, or until it springs back to the touch and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

 Allow to cool a little then turn out, and try to let it cool completely before eating it all!

mincemeat and clementine pavlova ….or mess

make a standard meringue pavlova base, pile high with whipped cream, scatter with mincemeat and fresh peeled clementine segments.  Alternatively make microwave meringues, break up and mix with whipped cream, mincemeat and clementines.

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beetroot hummus

beetroot hummus
If, like us, you like to prepare a halloween feast full of revolting themed foods, a sure winner is beetroot hummus.  A lurid colour, but all natural, and actually very very tasty.

beetroot hummus

250g cooked beetroot

480g cooked chickpeas (~225g dried pre-cooked weight)

2 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp salt

juice of 1/2 lemon

2 tbsp dark tahini (although it works without tahini – add more lemon juice and olive oil)

a good slug of olive oil

Peel the beetroot, if necessary. Then blend everything, and season to taste, adding more oil to get a smooth spreadable texture.

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raspberry cordial


raspberry cordial

400g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
400g sugar
300 ml water
30ml/ 2 tbsp lemon juice

Put all the ingredients in a pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook like this for 5 or 10 minutes, until the fruit has broken down. Strain and bottle in a sterilised bottle. Makes about 3/4 of a litre.

Keep in the fridge and use within a couple of weeks. Dilute to taste, with water, fizzy water, sparkling wine, or cider.

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18958845944_b5d9189a4f_oWe have been picking soft fruit for some weeks. here at Colour it Green towers.  We have raspberries, blackcurrants, loganberries, wild strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.

I realise I have listed raspberries twice, but there are so many of them, they deserved a second mention.  Our raspberry bed is a jungle. I haven’t been in and pruned out the old wood, the paths are lost to junior raspberry canes taking over triffid style, and the bed also seems to have willow, buddleia and bramble and bindweed, which we attempt to remove once we have climbed in for picking.  Still we are picking about a kilo of raspberries a day, we still have some of last year’s in the freezer, and for reasons that seemed logical at the time, last winter also established a bed of yellow autumn fruiting raspberries … Suffice to say, we need more ways to use raspberries. loganberry pavlova and a sunset

Firm favourites are raspberry crumble, jam, smoothies, in rumptopf, pavlova ice-cream, and eton mess (made with easy microwave meringues),  and raspberry flapjacks

I have a few recipes I haven’t shared yet and so will set about setting that right over the next few weeks, as well as trying some new ones.

Raspberry recipes very welcome.

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elderflower turkish delight
Just when you think you have tried all the good elderflower recipes – we have elderflower champagne, elderflower cordial and elderflower  fritters here every year, along comes another one. And it’s a winner: elderflower delight.

I’ve made Turkish delight before, but without success, either it didn’t set, or set into hard rubber.  But this one is just right, and I shall use it as the base for other flavours… but when elderflowers are in season, and you have an abundance of champagne, eaten more fritters than you ought to, and have a year’s supply of cordial,  what can you do.  The recipe is from the river cottage hedgerow handbook, and they have helpfully put it on their website too

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We don’t *do* Christmas cake in this house, or fruit cake of any kind really – none of us like it. Instead we have slices of leftover Christmas pudding, which we much prefer. But in the run up to the festivities, we like to make other things like biscuits, stollen and a family favourite:  panforte. Such an easy recipe, and kept wrapped up in an airtight container, it keeps for weeks.


150g blanched almonds
75g walnut pieces
100g hazelnuts
100g dried figs
150 candied peel – orange lemon and lime
50g plain flour
25g cocoa
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
175g sugar
175g honey
icing sugar

Begin by lining a 20cm cake tin with baking parchment – oiling first to stick it down.

Toast the nuts in a dry frying pan until slightly browned and chop roughly. Chop the figs and candied peel into small pieces. Mix the nuts, fruit, flour,cocoa and spices.

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Put the sugar and honey in a pan and warm gently until the sugar has melted, then turn up the heat and bring to a rolling boil. Be careful as it is very very hot. Pour this mixture over the other ingredients and mix until everything is wet. Pack into the prepared tin and level off. Bake for 30 minutes.

Allow to cool then remove from the tin, dust with icing sugar all over. Wrap in cling film and keep in an airtight container.

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courgette and tomato au gratin

courgette and tomato au gratinThe courgette mountain lives on, even though the plants have finally succumbed to the cold, and the green tomatoes that I gather as I strip the plants in the greenhouses continue to turn red.  What is wrong with this picture is that it is November – normally it is all over long before this.  The season is stunningly mild, we have only just started hedging, and the leaves are still not off the trees fully.  On the plus side, the log pile will last and we are still able to have this easy family favourite veg dish:

courgette and tomato au gratin

600g courgettes

300g cherry tomatoes

1 onion

tbsp olive oil


3 slices of bread – 100g breadcrumbs

100g cheddar cheese

2 cloves garlic

1/4 tsp salt

Halve and slice the courgettes and put in a large pan with the oil and sliced onions, cook gently while you slice the tomatoes, which you also add to the pan.  Cook gently until the juices run.  Season to taste then pile into a suitable oven dish.

Toast the bread and blitz into breadcrumbs ( or use stale bread), and mix with the cheese, crushed garlic and salt.  Sprinkle over the courgette mixture.

Bake in a preheated oven at  120C/140C fan for  40 mins to 1 hour, until the top is golden brown.

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