Friday, 26 May 2017

Nutty Apricot Crumble

This is not the most photogenic pudding I've ever created but it was one of the tastiest. I love a crumble, be it apple, blackberry, both, whatever fruit is offered I'm having some. It must be served piping hot, sticky around the edges and, if I'm allowed, it's to have both cream and ice cream on top. I love the contrast of really hot crumble and really cold ice cream - perfect!

This recipe is a little different from the usual crumble mix. It had pecans and almonds in the mix along with some vanilla. The apricots are kept deliberately sharp so there is a bite to the pudding just to counteract all the sweetness.

Recipe - enough for 4

1 punnet apricots - 500g
1 tablespoon caster sugar
100g plain flour
Pinch vanilla powder
50g ground almonds
50g chopped pecans
125g chilled butter
35g demerara sugar
35g caster sugar
handful porridge oats
handful of your favourite granola clusters

Pre-heat oven 200C /gas 6

First off wash, stone and slice your apricots, lay them in a pie dish and sprinkle over the tablespoon of caster sugar - if you want it sweeter add some more. I don't precook my fruit it's fine all going in at once with the topping on.

Next make up your crumble. Sift the flour in a bowl and add the ground almonds, the sugars and vanilla powder. Cut in the cold butter until it's in small cubes and then continue to rub in with your finger tips until you have something resembling a course breadcrumb mix. Now add your chopped pecans and the handful of porridge oats, stir in and then sprinkle the whole lot over the top of the apricots - I like to sprinkle it over so the crumble is mounded up in the middle and thin around the edges to allow for the fruit juices to bubble up. Sprinkle over the granola clusters and then pop into the oven.

Bake for 30 minutes until you have a golden topping and bubbling fruit.

Serve with cream, ice-cream, clotted cream, custard, all of these at once, or nothing at all........

I made my crumbles in deep individual bowls so there was room for the cream and ice-cream.

Have a lovely weekend
Love Lizx

 Apricot Crumble

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Sweet and Sticky Barbecued Partridge

We had a go at barbecuing a pair of partridge over the weekend and they were rather good. The sweet, succulent meat was perfect with the char grilled flavour and it was a very tasty, finger licking-ly good meal - yes I got into a bit of a mess eating it but that's what barbecue food is for - right?

Partridge are the perfect choice for the barbecue. They are much smaller than chicken, so one per person is a perfect portion size, the meat is not as strong a flavour as quail - more a cross between chicken and quail, they don't need to be cooked too long or they become tough and they hold their heat well - so your not eating a cold meal by accident!

In Britain we have two types of partridge there is the grey, which is our native species and the red-legged - I don't know where they came from, I suspect it was introduced as a game bird, anyway they taste damn good and are larger than the grey - it was red-legged that we cooked this time.

Before barbecuing I made up a rich, hedgerow themed glaze (it seemed appropriate as we often see partridge running around the country lanes) The glaze acted as a marinade and also a baste to brush on whilst cooking.

Recipe - Enough for 2

2 partridge
2 tablespoons bramble jelly - warmed
1 teaspoon dried wild thyme
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 allspice berries
Pinch salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
couple of bay leaves

Optional fresh rosemary sprigs for cooking

First off you need to spatchcock your partridge which basically means you cut out the back bone. Place the bird breast side down and, using a pair of kitchen scissor, cut along either side of the central back bone. It's fairly easy on partridge because the bones are quite small. Open the partridge out, turn the bird over and then place pressure on the breast bone to help flatten out a little more. Place the birds in a large bowl in the fridge whilst you make up the marinade.

For the glaze/marinade. Lightly crush the herbs and spices, add the warm bramble jelly  and then pour on the olive oil. Stir to combine and then brush over the whole of the partridge. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours - overnight would be great.

When your ready to cook, remove the birds from the fridge about 20 minutes before cooking, get the barbecue going and when the coals are a white heat, place the rosemary sprigs on the grill and pop the partridge on top - breast side up to start with.

They wont take long - approx 10-15 minutes either side. We kept rotating and basting.

If you want to cook them indoors - oven would be 180 C/ Gas 4 for 15 minutes, or you could pop them under a hot grill to cook through.

Once cooked envelope in foil to keep hot and allow the meat to relax before serving.

We serve ours with a green salad and some skinny parsnip fries.......

Have a great Wednesday
Love Lizx

 Barbecued Partridge