The weather here has been so hot that I decided to make some real lemonade. I used the recipe from Delia's 'Summer Collection'

You need:
6 lemons
150g sugar

Scrub the lemons and thinly pare the outer coloured zest from 3 of the lemons. Remove any white pith as it will make the lemonade taste bitter.
Put the zest in a large bowl and add the lemon juice and the sugar. Pour in 1.4 litres of boiling water, stir well, cover and leave overnight in a cool place.

Next day stir again and check for sweetness. Add more sugar if necessary. Serve chilled with lots of ice.


An easy fruit pie

One of the books I've had for a long time but never used is Delia's 'Summer Collection'. I decided I'd like to try her easy one-crust pie, so having bought some apricots, we [my granddaughter and I] made it today. I have to admit that I didn't use the semolina flour or the egg in the tart base, but it turned out fine. Maybe with fruit that are have more liquid, like rhubarb, you should use them.I didn't use the crushed sugar cubes and egg white on the top either - just brushed it with milk.

The recipe:
for the pastry:
175g plain flour
40g lard
40g butter or margarine
cold water to mix
for the filling:
750g prepared fruit [rhubarb,gooseberries or really any fruit at all][I used apricots stoned and 1/4d and added 25g flaked almonds]
75g caster sugar
2 rounded tbspns semolina flour
for the glaze:
1 egg white
6 crushed sugar cubes

Sift flour into a bowl and rub in fat. Add enough cold water to make a smooth dough. Chill in the fridge for 30 mins.
Preheat oven 200C/gas 6
Roll pastry out to a round of approx. 35 cms.Transfer to the centre of a greased baking sheet.

Paint the base of the pastry with egg yolk and sprinkle with the semolina flour.
Pile the fruit into the centre of the pastry sprinkling each layer with caster sugar, and turn up the edges of the pastry.If it breaks, patch it!
Brush the pastry with egg white and sprinkle the crushed sugar cubes over it.

Bake for about 35 mins till golden. Serve with cream or ice cream.


Apples galore!

When we first came to live in France, we brought 2 Bramley apple trees with us. This type of apple is unknown here. The trees have done well, and this year have been loaded with fruit.
What to do with them all?

Today I decided to try an apple muffin recipe from Susan Reimer's excellent book 'Muffins fast and fantastic'.
It's a nice and easy treat to makeThis is the recipe which I have changed a little.
Apple muffins - makes about 10 -12 muffins

250g sr flour
1 tspn baking powder
11/2 tspns mixed spice
85g sugar
1 egg
150ml milk
170g peeled, cored and chopped Bramley [or any other type] apple
90ml vegetable oil

soft brown sugar for the tops

Preheat oven 200C/400F/gas6 and grease muffin tin.

In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder and spice together. Add the chopped apple.
In another bowl beat egg into the milk and add the oil. Mix together well.
Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture and stir till just combined.
Spoon this into the muffin tin and sprinkle brown sugar over.
Bake for 20-25 mins till lightly browned.
Cool for 5 mins then remove from tin to a wire rack.

My granddaughter is with us and is keen on baking, so she wanted to make the apple muffins and then helped me make an apple scone round. This recipe comes from my Mum's old hand-written notebook, so I don't know where it originated.

Apple scone

1 large cooking apple,peeled cored and diced
250g sr flour
1 level tspn baking powder
60g caster sugar
60g butter or margarine
little milk to mix
brown sugar for topping

Preheat oven 200C/400F/gas6

Sieve flour and baking powder into a bowl. Rub in the fat.
Add the caster sugar and chopped apple.
Mix with milk to make a soft but not sticky dough.
Make into a round and mark into sections with a knife.
Sprinkle brown sugar on top and bake in oven for 25-30 mins till golden.


Back again.

We came back from out holidays on Tuesday night. Had typically British weather! The caravan in Norfolk was much bigger than I thought it would be. We went to the sea a couple of times, the second time we had rain, but determinedly sat under our umbrellas waiting for the rain to stop - how British!

Got back to find the garden growing like the Triffids. No-one had picked the courgettes so one had grown into a huge marrow - 54 cms long. Lots of tomatoes, aubergines and peppers - so a ratatouille is called for methinks.

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