Archive of ‘dessert’ category

Apple Butter Hand Pies

These intensely buttery and flaky hand pies are like a posh man’s McDonalds apple pie. If you read the recipe ahead and bake them over two days though, they can be enjoyed by anyone. And they darn well should be, because nobody should be subjected to applesauce that tastes like wall glue.
Ingredients:  

Apple Butter 
14-16 Braeburn or Pink Lady apples, peeled, cored & sliced into chunks 
1 cup (275ml) apple juice 
2 tbsp brandy 
1 cinnamon stick 
1 tsp ground ginger 
½ tsp ground nutmeg 
¼ tsp ground cloves 
1 cup (220g) caster sugar 
2 tbsp lemon juice  
Pie Dough 
2 ½ cups (290g) plain flour 
1 tsp salt 
1 tsp sugar 
1 cup (230g) cold, cubed butter 
¼ / ½ cup (around 100ml) cup cold water plus extra for brushing  
½ cup (110g) sugar 
1 tsp cinnamon   
Notes: as the apples are cooked down, it doesn’t matter which apples you choose for this recipe, just go for the ones that you believe have the best flavour.


Recipe:  

Day One  
Put the flour, sugar, salt and cubed butter in a food processor and pulse until breadcrumbs form. Before it forms a ball, slowly add the water – add a little extra if it feels dry, pulse until dough forms. Pat the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes, preferably overnight.    

Make the filling. Combine all ingredients in a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat and stir every so often. The apples will start to break down and will eventually reach a saucy consistency. Cook for 45 minutes and mash up unbroken pieces of apple. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook for 2 hours until the sauce is much darker, thicker and half the amount. Transfer to a jar and let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate, will last there for 1 month or up to 6 months in the freezer.   

Day Two  
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out a ¼ inch thick. Take a 4/5 inch cookie cutter and cut out as many rounds as you can, you should have about 16. Place the rounds on a baking tray, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Spoon 1 ½ teaspoons of apple butter in the centre of half the rounds, making sure to leave a 1/2 inch gap between the edges of the pastry. Brush water around the edges of rounds and place another round on top. Gently seal the dough with your fingers and create a cross in the centre using a knife. Repeat with the rest of the rounds. Place back on baking sheet, cover and and refrigerate for 30 minutes.   

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Brush pies with water and then sprinkle with cinnamon before baking. Bake for 22 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool or eat warm, lasts for 3 months in the freezer or 4 days at room temperature.




Recipe and photography bu Emine Hassan

Apricot and Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls

The smell of baked cinnamon rolls wafting through the house is the ultimate in festive comfort at this time of year. Added cranberries and apricots give these a seasonal twist – the perfect thing to enjoy on a cold winters morning. 
Ingredients
For the rolls
450g strong white flour
75g dried cranberries
1tsp fast acting dried yeast
1tsp salt
1 ½ tbsp caster sugar
150ml hot milk and 150ml hot water mixed together – hot but not boiling!
For the filling
25g butter, melted
50g light brown sugar
2tbsp ground cinnamon
75g dried apricots, cut into small pieces
Makes 8 rolls

Method
- Place the flour, cranberries, yeast, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl and stir together. Now add the hot milk and water and mix together using an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment for 5 minutes – if you don’t have an electric mixer that’s fine, you can just use your hands and mix and knead for about 10 minutes. Once the dough has been mixed and kneaded, cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for 1 ½ hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for another 5 minutes. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle about 1 cm thick, spread the surface with the melted butter and scatter over the sugar, cinnamon and apricot pieces in an even layer, making sure you reach the edges. Now roll the dough into a tight sausage shape, slice into 8 even pieces and place these, swirl side up on a lightly oiled baking tray.
- Leave in a warm place for a further 30 minutes, or if you want to make these for breakfast next day you can leave them in the fridge overnight (although if you do this, you will need to take the rolls out of the fridge and leave for 30 minutes to come up to room temperature before baking).
- When you are ready to bake the rolls, preheat the oven to 180°C and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until the rolls are well risen and a lovely golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly. You can eat the rolls as they are, but for an extra delicious twist make up some icing using 3tbsp icing sugar, 1tbsp water and 1tsp vanilla extract and drizzle over the top of the hot rolls. Tear off and eat warm – heavenly!
By Millie Norton

Chocolate and Raspberry Fondant

Chocolate fondants look so impressive but are secretly really easy to make! These make a lovely dessert to follow a winter supper and can be made a couple of hours ahead of baking.
Ingredients
Raspberry Sauce
100g raspberries, lightly crushed 
2tbsp water 
1tbsp caster sugar 
Chocolate Fondant
50g butter, plus extra for greasing 
50g dark chocolate 
50g caster sugar 
1 egg 
50g self-raising flour 
1tsp cocoa powder 
You will also need 2 ramekins or pudding moulds 
Start by making the raspberry sauce; Place the raspberries, sugar and water into a pan and gently heat, until the raspberries are soft and the mixture is syrupy. Remove from the heat and take 4 tablespoons of the sauce and pass through a sieve to remove any seeds. Leave to cool.
For the chocolate fondant, prepare the ramekins by brushing them with butter followed by a dusting of cocoa powder. Place the butter, chocolate and sugar into a microwaveable bowl and microwave on a medium heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until the chocolate has just melted. Give the mixture a really good stir until it’s completely smooth, then whisk in the egg and then add the flour. Stir through 2 tablespoons of the smooth raspberry sauce and give the whole mix a really good whisk until everything is fully combined.
Spoon the mixture into the ramekins, cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, although they can be left for a good few hours before baking.
When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200°C, remove the fondants from the fridge, take off the clingfilm and bake for 14 minutes exactly. The timing is really important here; over-baking with result in a fondant without a gooey middle and under-baking will leave you with a chocolatey mess!
Take the fondants out of the oven and leave for one minute to rest. Turn them out onto a plate, spoon some more raspberry sauce over the top, add a dusting of icing sugar and a couple of raspberries for decoration and serve immediately.
Recipe by Millie Norton

Spiced Toffee Apple Pie

Ginger spiced toffee sauce and buttery apples come together to give this classic dessert a modern twist!
Ingredients
Pastry
350g plain flour
175g salted butter
pinch salt
Approx. 6tbsp cold water
Apple filling
2 bramley apples
1tsp cinnamon
1tbsp dark brown sugar
Ginger Toffee Sauce
125g dark brown sugar
125ml golden syrup
100ml double cream
50g salted butter
3tsp ground ginger
Method
- First make the pastry. To do this, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembled breadcrumbs. Next add the water a tablespoon at a time, mixing with a knife until the pastry starts to come together – you might not need to add all the water for this to happen. Now use your hands to bring the pastry together in a ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- While the pastry chills, peel and core the apples. Cut into rough 1cm chunks and toss in a bowl with the cinnamon, sugar and a little lemon juice to prevent them from browning. Melt a knob of butter in a deep frying pan over a medium heat and add the apples, cooking for about 10 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Take off the heat and drain away any juice or butter left in the pan.
- Next make the toffee sauce. Simply put all the sauce ingredients into a saucepan and melt over a medium heat. When the mixture starts to bubble, leave to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring gently. When the sauce starts to thicken, remove from the heat and leave to one side to cool slightly.
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll out on a floured surface until ½ cm thick then use to line a lightly buttered pie dish. Add the apples and drizzle a couple of tablespoons of toffee sauce over the top, putting the leftover sauce to one side to serve. Now roll out the pastry for the pie lid and gently place on top of the pie. Cut two small air holes in the middle of the pie and use any leftover pastry for decoration. Using short downward strokes and a sharp knife cut any leftover pastry away and pinch together the lid and base to create a firm seal.

- Place in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat to 180ºC and bake for a further 30 minutes, or until the pastry on top is golden and the filling soft and bubbling. Serve with a generous drizzling of toffee sauce and double cream. Delicious! 

By Millie Norton

Raspberry Delight

Now the weather is finally warming up, we have the perfect emergency recipe for you this week; raspberry delight. Tickle your tastebuds with this creamy fruity treat: lemon, melon, cream cheese and raspberries – fight the spring blues! 
 Ingredients 
4 mini lemon cakes (broken up) 
200g raspberries 
200g cream cheese 
1 dessert spoon sugar 
100g melon (cut in to chunks) 
 Method 
- Whip the cream cheese and then beat the sugar in thoroughly. 
- Pop 8 raspberries in to a bowl and microwave for 15 seconds, pop half the mixture in a wine glass and the rest in to another. Put the glasses in the fridge until mixture is cool.
- Once it is has cooled, add some cut melon on top, leaving aside one chunk to put on top for decoration. 
- Put 3/4 of the cream cheese mixture in to the glasses on top of the melon, dividing between the two glasses. – Add on top the lemon cake mixture, dividing between the two glasses. 
- Next a couple more dollops of cream cheese mixture and raspberries and decorate with a slice of lemon 
- Emergency pudding sorted!
By Melodie Walter

Limoncello and Lime Flat Cakes

Limoncello – a divine Italian liqueur – soaked up in our own special flat cupcakes with lots of cream make for one ridiculously good dessert or a great accompaniment for afternoon tea!


Ingredients
Makes 12
Sponge
100g butter
100g caster sugar
Tiny pinch salt
2 medium eggs
100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Limoncello syrup
150ml bottled/fresh lime juice
150g caster sugar
50ml Limoncello liqueur
Icing
80g butter
80g icing sugar
Pink food colouring
Cream (whipped double cream/squirty cream)
Method
-       Note: make sure eggs and butter room temp before starting!
-       Heat oven to 180C
-       Cream together the butter, sugar, salt until pale and fluffy and beat in the eggs slowly (add a little flour if the mixture starts to curdle)
-       Add in the flour or the rest of the flour – depending on whether you used some to prevent the mixture curdling!
-       Divide mixture into well greased non-stick cupcake tin tray and bake for 15-20 mins
-       Make syrup by heating the lime juice and sugar in a pan and bring to the boil; allow this to cool before you add the Limoncello liqueur
-       Once the cakes are out of the oven wait 10mins or so before you brush the syrup on top (be generous!)
-       Allow the liqueur to soak into the sponge while you make the icing: simply cream the icing sugar and butter and food colouring together (we did ours slightly differently but if you want standard butter icing then this is the format)
-       Pipe cream on top and indulge!

By Melodie Walter

Honey Apple Pie

You’d be right in thinking that apple pie is not the most original dessert out there but we think it’s one of the most homely for a January treat, come rain or wind or flood (oh Britain how we love her erratic weather dearly). 
If you don’t make your own pastry it’s surprisingly straight forward and won’t cost you too many pennies, plus we’ve put our own twist on it it with honey, orange and spice.
Ingredients
Pastry
500g buy ready-made (or if you’d prefer make your own!)

Filling
2 large cooking apples
1 tsp cinnamon
125g soft light brown sugar
Juice of tangerine
2-3 tbsp honey
Demerara sugar

Method
* Heat the oven to 220C
* Roll out 2/3 of the pastry to fit a pie plate of 23cm
* Peel and core the apples and cut into thin slices
* Gently heat the orange juice, cinnamon and honey in a heavy based pan until the mixture starts to caramelise, then put in the apple slices until they are caramelised on both sides
* Tip the mixture into a bowl and stir in the brown sugar and then pack it in the pastry case
* With a little warm water dampen the edges and of the pie rim and roll out a lid for the pie, press it on top and trim any excess edge
* Use a fork to press down the edge and prick the top of the pie
* Sprinkle Demerara sugar on top of the lid evenly
* Bake for 20mins and then reduce the heat to 180C and bake for a further 30mins
* Serve hot with cream

By Melodie Walter