Posts Tagged ‘Autumn’

ROAST PUMPKIN SOUP

This rich, warming soup is perfect for an autumn night. Nutty roasted pumpkin and glorious melting cheese come together for the perfect supper to snuggle up with now the weather is cooling off…

Autumn Pumpkin Soup
Ingredients

Serves 6

Soup
1 small pumpkin (1.3 – 1.6kg)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
850ml vegetable stock
425ml whole milk
25g butter
Salt, pepper and ground nutmeg, to season

Croutons
2 thick slices crusty white bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper

To serve
100g melting cheese, such as gruyere or mozzarella, grated

Method
Preheat oven to 240 °C. Start by cutting the pumpkin into quarters, scoop out the seeds, then cut each quarter in half. Brush the surface of each section with the oil and season with a liberal sprinkling of salt and pepper. Pop into the oven to roast for 30-35 minutes, or until the flesh is soft when tested with a skewer.

While the pumpkin is roasting, melt the butter in a large saucepan over a high heat, add the onion and stir. After 5 minutes, turn the heat down low and leave the onion to cook gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once the pumpkin is cooked, remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Add the stock and the milk to the onion and turn the heat up to medium. Once the mixture is simmering, scoop out the pumpkin flesh and add to the pan along with the seasoning of salt, pepper and nutmeg. Turn the heat down to low and leave to gently simmer for a further 20 minutes.

This is the perfect time to make the croutons. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut the bread into cubes and toss in a bowl with the oil and salt and pepper seasoning, making sure each crouton gets an even coating. Place onto a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, until they are light and crispy.

Next, puree the soup using a hand blender or food processor and whizz until smooth. Season to taste, and when you’re ready to serve, slowly reheat the soup over a medium heat – keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn’t boil as this would compromise the taste. Ladle into warm bowls, top with a handful of croutons and a generous scattering of cheese.

Snug up and enjoy!

By Millie Norton

DIY: Autumnal Floral Crown

 The nights are drawing in and the temperatures are dropping… We’re well and truly into autumn. Let’s face it, autumn is one of the best seasons with the changing colours of the leaves, hearty grub to keep you warm and the excuse to stay in and keep cosy. In celebration of the season, make yourself this Autumnal Floral Crown!

DIY Autumn-flower-crown

You will need:
Scissors, Needle and thread, 1 metre of ribbon, Selection of coloured felt squares and glue

Autumn-flower-crown ingredients

Step 1
To make a heart flower, cut 3 tear shaped petals, 4 heart shaped petals and 3 double petals. Stitch through the bottom of each of the petals starting with the smallest moving up to the bigger petals. Gather them up and twist them around to make the flower and glue it in to place.

Autumn-flower-crown

Step 2
To create the pompom flower, first take a strip of felt and fold it in half along the length, then cut lots of small slits along the fold. Starting at one end roll up the length gluing it in place as you roll. Secure the end in place with a stitch for extra strength.

Autumn-flower-crown

Step 3
Don’t forget to cut a selection of leaves in different shapes and colours.

Autumn-flower-crown

Step 4
To make a rose style flower, cut a circle of felt then cut a scalloped spiral into the middle. Starting at the centre twist the spiral so the petals curl up around the centre. It helps to catch it in place with a few stitches here and there as you twist it around.

Autumn-flower-crown

Step 5
To make a succulent flower, cut 6 pointed tear drop petals then 12 larger pointed petals and a small disc of felt to attach them to. Glue 6 of the larger petals around the edge of the felt disc, then a little closer in – glue the next 6 so they sit in between the first 6. Then interleaving the smaller petals glue them into the centre.

Autumn-flower-crown (6)

Step 6
To make a thistle flower, cut two lengths of coordinating felt and along the length of one cut v shapes into it to create a grass type look. Then like the pompom flower take the other piece and cut small slits along the length. Start with the second piece and start rolling it up, gluing it in place as you roll. Then when you reach the end, start to roll the grass layer around the outside. Again gluing it in place and securing with a small stitch.

Autumn-flower-crown (7)

Step 7
To make a tropical bloom flower, simply cut 8 spiky petals and stitch them together at the base, pulling them together tightly and securing with a few extra stitches.

Autumn-flower-crown (8)

Step 8
To assemble your flower crown take a length of felt approximately 25cm long by 5cm wide and round off the top corners. Take the length of ribbon and glue it in place matching up the centre of the ribbon to the centre of the felt strip.

Autumn-flower-crown (9)

Step 9
Start by laying out all the flowers you have made in a nice arrangement above the headband. Then begin gluing the leaves you have cut to the headband, before gluing the rest of your felt blooms in place starting at the outside edges and working your way to the middle.

Autumn-flower-crown (10)

Step 10
We highly recommend using a specialist fabric glue, but a glue gun would also work. If you don’t have any glue you can always sew the felt leaves and flowers to the headband. Once the glue has fully dried you can place the crown on your head and tie the ribbon in place at the base of your hairline.

Autumn-flower-crown (11)

Words and Photography  Liveitloveitmakeit

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.

Apple Butter Hand Pies

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.

Apple Butter Hand Pies

Method

1. 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.    

2. 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.   


3. 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.   

4. 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.

Apple Butter Hand Pies finished

Recipe and photography by Emine Hassan