Easy apple crumble

What’s better than a good apple crumble? It may be an easy recipe to master filled with fond memories of home life, but satisfying it most definitely is. You may remember I purchased some lovely, locally-grown bramley apples from Studley Car Boot sale on Sunday, which made for a lovely base to a homely crumble. The recipe I used is from an equally traditional cook book and is one that will last me a long time to come yet. The only change I made is to double the crumble mix for extra crunch. If you’ve got a spare hour or so and some apples to use up, why not give it a go…and don’t forget to let me know how it turns out.

Five bramley apples picked from a local orchard - only £1. Perfect for an apple crumble

Five bramley apples picked from a local orchard – only £1. Perfect for an apple crumble

Easy_To_Make_Complete_Cookbook

Good Housekeeping’s Easy To Make Complete Cookbook will be a feature in my new kitchen

You will need:

250g plain flour
100g unsalted butter
100g sugar
5 large apples

Here’s how:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (160 fan). Put the flour, butter and sugar in a bowl and rub with your fingertips until the mix resembles breadcrumbs.
2. Arrange the apples in an oven-proof dish of your choice, sprinkle with one tablespoon of sugar. Sprinkle the crumble mix evenly on top and finish with an optional dusting of cinnamon.
3. Bake for around 45 minutes until the fruit is soft and the topping is golden brown.

Apple_crumble_recipe

The result: tasty and homely. Perfect for a Bank Holiday

Since it was a Bank Holiday, I was feeling particularly brave and decided to try my hand at making custard from scratch. I found a great BBC Food recipe which seemed easy enough and with plenty of whisking turned out well.

The results went down a treat with the Mr and my current housemate and proved that the car boot sale can have great (and tasty) rewards indeed.

Advertisements

Car booty

So far, my quest for bargain furniture and home accessories has led me to many clearances, antique fairs and charity shops, but this morning was the turn of the humble car boot. Instead of a lie in, Sunday breakfast and nice cup of coffee in front of the tele watching Saturday Kitchen Best Bites on BBC2, I made my way up the road to Studley Car Boot Sale in Stratford-On-Avon. The Mr decided he would sit this one out so off I went in search of cheap bits and bobs and ideas of what you can get from the boot sale if you look hard enough.

Studley_Car_Boot

There were plenty of stalls to mooch around at Studley Car Boot Sale

I found a few things to add to my list of ideas for the new house

I found a few things to add to my list of ideas for the new house

The place was huge. It was definitely the biggest car boot I have ever been to and was filled with eager bargain hunters like myself. There was plenty of tat, as you would expect, but among the old books, DVDs, kids toys and Playstation 1s, I found a real reindeer hide rug (very on trend), a bright purple retro-style phone, and a lot of nest table sets that would have looked great after a lick of paint.

But what I was really after was a plain old cork board to satisfy my craft craving to make a lovely notice board for the kitchen. Having looked in three different stationery shops yesterday with no luck, I was delighted to find one for 50p. I also picked up some bramley apples for a £1 and a Breton-style top that will be good for work (after a wash!).

The phone I saw was like this but in purple, I wouldn't mind one of these too

The phone I saw was like this but in purple, I wouldn’t mind one of these too

I found one! It may seem simple, but I was after a cork board for my next craft project

I found one! It may seem simple, but I was after a cork board for my next craft project

Five bramley apples picked from a local orchard - only £1. Perfect for an apple crumble

Five bramley apples picked from a local orchard – only £1. Perfect for an apple crumble

So now I have all I need for a productive afternoon including a crafty project to turn my cork board into a stylish notice board and a few locally-grown apples to bake a nice crumble – I’m sure the Mr will appreciated that car boot find after all. As for Studley Car Boot Sale, I’m sure I’ll be back in the new few weeks to continue my bargain hunt.

The best bread

I was thinking, a loaf of standard white sliced loaf can cost up to £1.50, so how much would I save by spending a little time and effort on baking my own? After being persuaded by Channel 4’s River Cottage: Bread I headed off to the supermarket for the basic ingredients. And basic they are.

Using just flour, salt, yeast and water, I made a lovely loaf of white bread that tasted (and smelled) miles better than the store bought version. With a little help from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and a BBC Good Food recipe, I am proud to share my latest baked goods and the ingredients cost me around £1 and will make three good-sized, hearty loaves.

Homemade bread tasted just as good.

One shall have her cake

Happy Jubilee weekend!

In true Diamond Jubilee spirit, I have put my DIY baking/decorating skills to the test. While some may have their bunting hanging, my kitchen has been brightened up by this gem. A classic victoria sponge inside, my Union Jack cake is enough to get me in a celebratory mood.

Continue reading

Tastes better when it’s free

Just as my Cafe Nero loyalty card was full up with stamps, a new one has been started. Of course, I bagged my free drink (Caramelatte if you’re wondering) and it was delicious. I even took a little pic of it to emphasise this and to show off my freebie of the day. My wet feet drama is now a distant memory.

Lovely free coffee to soothe the rainy day outside.

Only free coffee can get me through

When I walk my feet schwelch loud enough for others walking the streets of Manchester city centre to hear. It goes without saying that they are soaked through and through. This is bad enough, but in around 30 minutes I will be walking into an office with the aim of impressing a director of a company with my journalism expertise. I’m not sure schwelch makes the right first impression.

This, my second interview of the day, will hopefully go well and my car will not be blocked into a space by some incompetent driver who thinks it okay to park directly behind me – as happened after my first appointment. But, I must keep focus and maintain my manner of professionalism, remembering not to beg for a job. Gah.

Continue reading