Tuesday, 13 November 2012

dorset days

we had a gorgeous half term in a beautiful little village in Dorset. it was the first holiday in four years where i have properly switched off from the kids and read. i read a whole book in four days. it was so satisfying. granted it was a parenting book so not as escapist as i'd like. but it was an incredibly inspiring and helpful book ('screamfree parenting - how to raise your kids by keeping your cool'). it made me want to read more. and made me realise the joys of holidaying with other people with children - the kids just disappeared off with their cousins for hours.
we had lovely days out to the beach - being near the ocean is so good for the soul and the kids could spend hours digging, exploring and throwing rocks in to the sea -

and the woods - climbing, walking, chasing each others shadows and trying to find the patches of sunlight between the trees to stay warm.
my sister in law sent us home with cooking apples from their orchard. they have been staring at me all week.  orchard's and home-grown fruit carry a beautiful, magical weight to them that makes them so special and wholesome and feeling the need to do something delicious with them so great. i managed to make a simple apple turnover (with store bought puff pastry) for friends but there are still lots of apples sitting there - about to rot... ahhh. 
so tonight i had a crumble and pie making party... no i was alone... a fest. the crumble we'll eat with friends this weekend and the pie i'll freeze for christmas.... how organised is that?? yes!! these are useful things to have up your sleeve - pastry and crumble - good old fashioned dessert staples. i've kept it simple but you can experiment with adding berries, squeezed oranges, dried fruit, pears, apricots, chopped nuts.

apple pie:

crumble together with fingers - 450g flour and 250g butter - until it all well combined

stir in 150g sugar
crack in 3 eggs and stir until well combined
push the mix together in to a ball using your hands - but try to touch it as little as possible
wrap the ball of pastry in cling film and put in the fridge for half an hour.

roll out the pastry - using lots of flour and line the buttered dish
peel and slice 4-5 cooking apples and mix the slices with 2 tbspn caster sugar and 1 tsp cinnimon
pour the apples in to the pastry case
roll out enough pastry to cover the top and seal the sides together
cut some lines in the top of the pastry to let steam escape
brush the top with egg white and sprinkle a little caster sugar on top.
bake 180C for 45mins.

 basic apple crumble:
crumble together with your fingers:
100g flour, 75g butter and 75g sugar and 50g rolled oats
chop 2 large cooking apples and put the slices in a round baking dish
sprinkle the apple with 2 tsp caster sugar and 1/4 of a lemon
bake at 180C for 40mins

alternative awesome crumble
i used this topping on a pear and apricot crumble. my friend said it was the best crumble she had ever tasted.
so there we go...
crumble together with your fingers:  
100g flour, 100g brown muscovado sugar, 60g ground almonds, 125g butter and 50g oats
pour the crumble topping over the fruit and bake at 180C for 40 minutes

leftover pastry? 
keep it wrapped in cling film in the fridge and whenever you or the kids fancy a few cookies:
roll out the pastry, cut out shapes, sprinkle with caster sugar 
bake at 180C for 20mins or until starting to turn golden.


  1. The apple crumble looks delicious, I have saved it for next year as we have an apple tree in the garden and I never know what to do with all the apples!

    1. ah yes and it freezes well so you can make lots of crumbles :) Simple apple sauce is nice too.. boiled apples with sugar and cinnamon - lovely with plain yoghurt.

  2. Perfect apple dishes. If I had to choose for me it would always be apple pie, with extra custard!

    1. yes i love custard too! we poured lots of cream on the crumble :)

  3. Looks like such a wonderful vacation. Good for you. Inspiring on many levels.


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