Monday, 23 September 2013

A Tale of 2 Traybakes - or more things to do with apples.

If you've read this relatively frequently over the last few weeks, you'll have noticed that I'm quite preoccupied with the contents of the veg patch, the apple trees and all the free food that's around this time of year. Not that I'm not grateful, but it happens all at once, and then there's a mad panic to get things harvested and preserved for the colder months to come. I love it, I really do, but sometimes I think I am secretly a squirrel...

The other thing that has happened is that the Husband had to have an operation last Tuesday. It was unscheduled, although not life threatening - I'll let him tell you all about it over a beer sometime - and suffice to say, our pace of life has slowed down considerably. It's been LOVELY.

For example. Instead of whizzing round in 45 minutes flat, I spent nearly 2 hours out with the dog yesterday morning, ostensibly giving him a really good walk, but actually collecting blackberries and generally enjoying all that early autumn has to offer in the way of nature. If you've been paying attention, you'll remember that the dog is too badly behaved to be off the lead when I'm not concentrating on him, so he spent most of the time with a look of quiet indignation on his face, while I scratched and stung myself to blackberry heaven and made a mental note of where the really good sloes are this year.


Back home with about 1.5 kilos of blackberries, I wasn't really sure what to do with them because I already had pudding covered for Sunday, and I couldn't face jam, so hit upon the idea of making up bags of blackberry and apple mix to freeze and then whip out at a moment's notice for almost instant crumbles. I didn't make up the whole thing because I don't have enough dishes to consign too many to the freezer, so I used my usual crumble dish, filled it up with sliced apple and blackerries, a sprinkle of sugar, and then bagged it up accordingly. My dish takes 500g sliced apple, 250g blackberries and 40g demerara if you're interested.  I tossed the apple slices in lemon juice too, to stop them going brown. You can freeze crumble topping too, but I didn't go that far yesterday.

The other thing I did this weekend is have the opportunity for a really good cook up - fish pies (Friday night's dinner and also 2 in the freezer), a lovely casserole for supper using up some celeriac from the allotment, and not one, but 2 tray bakes to take some of the apples off my hands. Both were from the Good Food website, and both are worth a share, although one more so than the other. 

It's also a been a good exercise in what they think the cake should look like as opposed to what it turmed out like...

So first up is Toffee Apple Squares.  These are calorific and delicious, but I think probably take rather more effort than they have to. I say this mostly because you could manage the topping with a can of caramel rather than boiling up the condensed milk with sugar and butter (and also because I wasn't concentrating and burnt the sugar the sugar in my pan caught and added a rather interesting - but not entirely unpleasant -  'cinder' flavour to mine...). Also, I think the quantity of sauce is probably far too much. I mean, I have a pretty sweet tooth, but I used about half the resultant fudgy caramel sauce (we ate the rest on ice cream - mmm) and it was just right. 

I also signficantly reduced the amount of nuts in the topping, limiting it to a sprinkle of flaked almonds. A lovely treat, nonetheless.

The second is this Apple and Date Squares recipe. This is absolutely what you want to make for your kids to take to school and feel smugly virtuous. Apple, dates, oats - and utterly delicious too. It was really quick to make, although my apples took longer to mush down than the recipe suggested, but definitely one to make again. Pink raved about it after school today too - "Mummy I really LOVED the flapjack". 



  1. Just yum! Have a mountain of apples and now a delicious recipe to follow too!

  2. Toffee and apples is a match made in heaven!

  3. Oh I do love a good traybake...and it doesn't get any better than an apple one! Both look cracking!

  4. I want some! Off now, to go scrumping...

  5. Apple inspiration always welcome. They're like the magic porridge pot here, I use them all up then I get loads more..

    1. I know what you mean - we've pretty much finished the ones form the garden off, but came back from an outing this afternoon with a crate more from some friends... I found another one of those self saaucing apple/toffee puds on the good food website and made that on Friday night. The kids (ahem) can't get enough of it..


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