Easy Apple Turnovers Recipe

Autumn’s not autumn without cinnamon, right? Regardless of how many ‘pumpkin spice’ things you eat, you’d notice if this little spice wasn’t there to welcome you home every October. The marriage of cinnamon and apple is a perfect and harmonious one- add buttery pastry and you’ve died and gone to heaven! I’m a lover of freshly made pastry and a rough puff would be awesome to use for these but sometimes you just don’t have the time! I always keep a ready made all-butter puff block in my freezer for super speedy pies but if you’ve got a couple of apples looking a bit worse for wear then stick ‘em in these little parcels of joy. They’re great for packed lunches or even breakfast- or go all out and reheat and serve with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream. YUM.

Makes 6

Ingredients:

1 pack ready-made all-butter puff pastry

500g chopped apples

1 knob of butter

1tsp ground cinnamon

3tbsp brown sugar

cinnamon sugar: ½tsp ground cinnamon for every 1tbsp of white sugar

 

Recipe:

1.   Pop the butter and apples in a pan over a low heat and add the 1tsp of ground cinnamon and brown sugar. Add a splash of water and cook until the apples are just beginning to soften and caramelise. Leave to cool.

2.   Cut your puff pastry into squares and roll out.

3.   On one half spoon in a dollop of the stewed apples.

4.   Run a drop of water around the edge of the pastry and then fold it over in half. Use a fork to crimp the edges and seal.

5.   Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake for 15-20 mins at 180c.

Boozy Mini Eccles Cakes Recipe

Eccles cakes improve any afternoon tea spread and with the addition of brandy, these spiked ones are certainly a hit with grown ups! The fruit filling is similar to that of a Christmas cake or Christmas pudding but without the festive spices. Of course, it it ‘tis the season, then please do add some mixed spice or nutmeg to give them a wintery warmth, however just as is with a hunk of cheese is my absolute favourite way of enjoying them. 

Makes 12 mini’s or 6 large

Ingredients:

 

For the pastry:

250g block of butter (frozen)

350g plain flour

pinch of salt

ice water

 

For the cakes:

In addition to the above pastry or 1 pack shop bought puff pastry

200g sultanas

50g mixed peel

75ml brandy

juice and zest of 1 orange

zest of 1 lemon

 

100g soft brown sugar

1 tsp each of ground cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger

50g butter

50g brown sugar, plus 2tbsp extra for scattering

 

 

Recipe:

1.   The night before wrap the butter in foil and stick in the freezer. Pop your sultanas and mixed peel in a large bowl and let soak in the brandy and orange juice overnight too.

2.   The next day, grab a large bowl and sift the flour and salt in. Keeping the butter in the foil to keep it cold, grate it into the flour. Dip the end in the flour occasionally to make it easier. Take a knife and start to mix the butter and flour together. Sprinkle a tbsp. of water over and still using the knife, add a couple more to bring the pastry together. Finally use your hands to squish it into one mass. Cling wrap and stick in fridge to harden.

3.   While waiting for pastry to harden, melt the butter for the cakes and stir it into the sultanas and peel. Add the sugar and spices. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

4.   Preheat the oven to 200c. Roll out the pastry and cut out circles. Dollop a spoonful of the fruit mix in the centre and pinch up the sides. Place on a baking tray, pinch side down and slit the tops.

5.   Bake for 15-20mins or until golden brown and then scatter with sugar. Delicious warm with a cuppa or cold with a hunk of Wensleydale.

Limoncello Meringue Pie Recipe

Lemon meringue pie has to be one of the most famous puds out there and for good reason! This one’s been inspired by my recent trip to the Amalfi coast where the lemons are something else entirely. You could easily make this with oranges and Cointreau if you preferred but the tartness of the lemons against the sweetness of meringue makes for an unbeatable combination in my opinion. 

Makes 6

Ingredients:

300g plain flour

1 tbsp icing sugar

125g chilled unsalted butter, cubed

4 egg yolks (separated 3 and 1)

35g cornflour

250ml water

100ml lemon juice

110g caster sugar

65g chilled unsalted butter

80ml limoncello liqueur

2 egg whites

110g caster sugar

 

Method:

1.   Rub together or stick in the food processor the flour, icing sugar, 125g butter and a pinch of salt until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 1 yolk and 2-3 tablespoons iced water, and continue until mixture comes together in a smooth ball. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

2.   Meanwhile, place cornflour in a bowl with the water and stir until smooth. Place in a pan with lemon juice and the 110g caster sugar, and stir over low heat for 5-6 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and add remaining yolks, one at a time, combining well with a wooden spoon.

3.   Stir in limoncello and remaining 65g butter, then cover surface with a piece of cling film (to prevent a skin from forming) and cool.

4.   Lightly grease 4-6 tart tins. Roll out pastry and fit in the tins. Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

5.   Preheat oven to 180°C. Bake for 15 minutes. Pour lemon filling into the pastry cases and chill for 1 hour.

6.   Whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar and beat until glossy and firm. Pipe or spoon onto tarts and either stick under the grill or torch to get toasty!