Apple Crumble Recipe


If you Google ‘basic apple crumble recipe’ you get about 16 million or so results! Let’s keep it simple with this easy and, I believe,ย  traditional recipe that my family has loved for years. It even got a spot in my ‘Grow It, Cook It!’ book.

This recipe uses blackberries and apples – a winning combination – but just use apples for a true apple crumble!



2 large cooking apples, or 3-4 dessert apples
Enough blackberries to fill about a third of an ovenproof dish
A little sugar

For the crumble:

4-5oz (100-125g) flour
2oz (50g) hard butter (or alternative) cut into small cubes
2oz (50g) sugar


1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4 (350F, 180C)

2. Peel and core apples and cut them into thin slices. Put them into a pan with a little water.

3. Bring gently to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently until apples are soft. Don’t let them burn. Cooking apples will take longer to cook than dessert apples.

4. Drain, reserving the liquid.

5. Lay apples in an ovenproof dish and top with prepared blackberries, if using, to fill the dish to half or two thirds full.

6. Sprinkle a little sugar over the fruit and then pour over a couple of tablespoons of the reserved liquid from the cooking apples, or use water.

7. Make crumble mix by rubbing butter into the flour with the fingertips until mixture resembles breadcrumbs, adding a little more flour if too sticky. Stir in sugar then pile crumble mix on top of fruit, levelling out gently.

8. Bake in the centre of pre-heated oven for about half an hour, or until top starts to brown slightly. Don’t over-cook

9. Serve hot with custard, or cold with ice cream.

TIP: Cold butter rubs into the flour easier


Linda x

P.S. If you’re avoiding or cutting down on sugar, try a substitute like coconut sugar.

Red Pepper Soup



This hearty bright red soup will warm everyone up on a cold winter’s evening. Found in the 30 Minute Cookbook.




Ingredients (serves 4-6)

4 red peppers, seeded and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 small red chili, seeded and sliced
3 tablespoons of tomato puree
900mls (1.5 pints) chicken stock ( or veggie stock should be fine )
Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lime
salt and ground black pepper
shreds of pared lime rind to garnish


1. Cook the peppers and onion gently in the oil in a covered saucepan for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.
2. Stir in the garlic, then add the chili with the tomato puree. Stir in half the stock and bring to the boil. Cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Puree the mixture in a food processor or blender. Return to the pan and add the rest of the stock.
4. Add the grated lime rind and juice to the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Bring the soup back to the boil, then serve at once with strips of lime rind scattered onto each bowl.

Cook’s Tip:
Yellow or orange peppers could be substituted for the red peppers. If you haven’t got a fresh chili ( or don’t have time to seed and slice one), add a dash or two of Tabasco sauce to the soup instead.

Bon Appetit!
Linda x



Treacle Tart


I know, shouldn’t be doing the sugar thing but if you’re having a weekend firework night, this recipe is best made the day before, so collect your ingredients ready for a Friday bake. And it’s probably wise to serve the sugary stuff early in the evening or nobody will get any sleep!

I found this recipe in a Gordon Ramsay recipe book ‘Great British Pub Food’ – I feel like I should mention that I’ve never come across treacle tart in a pub before but hey, I very rarely visit pubs so who am I to judge!


Intro to Treacle Tart

This is the treacle tart to die for. It tastes even better a day after baking, when the breadcrumbs have had time to absorb the wonderfully moist filling. Serve individual slices with dollops of whipped cream or creme fraiche to tone down the sweetness of the filling.

Ingredients (serves 8)

300g. sweet flan pastry (recipe below)
450g. golden syrup
85g. white breadcrumbs
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
Half a teaspoon of ground ginger
60g. butter, melted
3 large egg yolks
70mls double cream
Half a teaspoon of black treacle

To serve:
whipped cream or creme fraiche


1. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a large round, the thickness of a ยฃ1 coin. Use this to line a 23-24cm round shallow tart tin with removable base, leaving some excess pastry overhanging the rim.
2. Leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 190C, Gas mark 5
3. Line the pastry case with baking paper and dried or ceramic baking beans and bake ‘blind’ for 15-20 minutes until the sides are set and lightly golden.
4. Remove the paper and beans and return to the oven for another 5 minutes or until the base is cooked through. While still warm, cut off the excess pastry to level with the rim of the tin
5. Lower the oven temperature to 140C, Gas mark 1.
6. For the filling, gently heat the golden syrup by immersing the bottle or tin in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes.
7. Mix the breadcrumbs, lemon zest and ground ginger together in a large bowl and make a well in the middle.
8. Pour in the warm golden syrup and add the melted butter, egg yolks, cream, treacle and lemon juice. Stir well to mix.
9. Pour the filling into the pastry case. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the top has just set, but the centre is slightly wobbly when you shake the tin gently. It should fell slightly soft in the centre.
10. Let the tart cool completely before slicing and serving with cream or creme fraiche.

Sweet Flan Pastry Recipe
This recipe assumes you have a food processor, but I imagine you could combine the ingredients successfully without one? Makes about 500g.

125g. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
90g. caster sugar
1 large egg
250g. plain flour
1 tablespoon ice-cold water if needed.

1. Place the butter and sugar in a food processor and whiz until just combined.
2. Add the egg and whiz for 30 seconds
3.Tip in the flour and process for a few seconds until the dough just comes together Do NOT over-process or it will become tough.
4. Add a little cold water if the dough seems too dry.
5. Knead the dough lightly on a floured surface and shape into a flat disc. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes before rolling out.

Happy Baking!

Linda x

P.S. The book I found these recipes in is still on Amazon, although it’s ten years old now…



Great British Pub Food




Fresh Tomato Soup with Cheese Croutes

tomatosoup-pinTomato Season! Although it feels a bit like Autumn in Cornwall at the moment, there are tomatoes to be eaten ๐Ÿ™‚ When you have a great crop of tomatoes in the garden, they can be a bit overwhelming. I’ve frozen many a tub of tomato puree for a summer lift in mid-winter.

But for the here and now, a bowl of fresh tomato soup will lift your spirits and nourish your body.

I used a very simple recipe years ago – it’s actually included in the tomato growing guide (scroll down for tomatoes)

And this one is a definite must -try. Found it in my favourite book for busy people ’30 Minute Cookbook’ (I’ve put a link below if you aspire to be a 30 minute gourmet chef!)

I’m copying it. more or less word for word, because I haven’t tried this one yet and I don’t want to miss anything ๐Ÿ™‚

So, here we go…

Fresh Tomato Soup with Cheese Croutes

(On a hot day this fresh tomato soup can be served chilled)

(serves 6)

1.5kg/3-3.5lbs of ripe tomatoes
400mls/14fl.oz. chicken or vegetable stock (good quality if you can)
45mls/3 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste
30-45mls/2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
10-15mls/2-3 teaspoons caster sugar
small handful of fresh basil leaves, plus a few extra to garnish
salt and ground black pepper
toasted cheese croutes and creme fraiche to serve.


1. Mark the tomatoes with a small cross at the base, plunge them into boiling water for 30 seconds, then refresh in cold water. Peel away the skins and quarter the tomatoes.

2. Put them in a large saucepan and pour over the chicken or vegetable stock. Bring just to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for about 10 minutes or until all the tomatoes are pulpy.


3. Stir in the tomato paste, vinegar, sugar and basil. Season with salt and pepper, then cook gently, stirring for 2 minutes.

4. Process the soup in a blender or food processor, then return to the pan and reheat gently.

5. Serve in heated bowls. Top each portion with one or two toasted cheese croutes and a spoonful of creme fraiche. Garnish with basil leaves.

My notes:

“If you don’t have a blender or food processor, finely chop the basil leaves before adding to the pan, then after step 3, stir really well and maybe use a potato masher to get a smooth soup”

“Although it doesn’t say how to make cheese croutes, I would guess thinly slicing a baguette and sprinkling on some grated cheese before lightly toasting under a grill would probably work”

Bon Appetit!

Linda x

P.S. As promised the 30 Minute Cookbook details:




Amazon direct link to The 30 Minute Cookbook





Spicy Pretzels



(Found in the book ‘Cookies Galore’)

These look fun – haven’t tried them yet but it reads fairly easy, just the twisting into shapes could be tricky.

If I can get a reasonable batch together, I’ll take a picture and replace the professional version here ๐Ÿ™‚




(Makes 30)

200g plain flour
Half a teaspoon of baking powder
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of curry paste
50mls boiling water
Beaten egg to glaze


1. Pre-heat oven to 180C / Gas mark 4. Lightly grease two baking sheets.

2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl and blend in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

3. Stir the curry paste into the boiling water, then add to the flour mixture and mix to form a soft dough.

4. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth.

5. Divide into 30 pieces and roll each piece into a strand about 20cm long. Twist into a pretzel shape by making a round, then twist the ends around each other to form a curved letter B. Press into position to secure and place on the prepared baking sheets.

6. Brush the pretzels with beaten egg. Bake until golden – about 18-20 minutes. carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool.

The pretzels can be stored in an airtight container for one to two weeks. Although I can’t imagine them lasting that long in my house ๐Ÿ™‚

Bon Apetit!
Linda x



1950s Pizza Recipe


Found a book online written by Bob Brown and published in 1955 called ‘The Complete Book of Cheese’. And believe me, for its time it had a lot to say about cheese. Possibly a lot of it would be discounted now.

We’ve come a long way in 60+ years …. or have we? Probably an argument for another time!

Anyway, there’s a fun looking pizza recipe I wanted to share. Copied exactly as written so it’s not my fault if you have to read it more than once ๐Ÿ™‚

Pizzaโ€”The Tomato Pie of Sicily


1 package yeast, dissolved in warm water
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

Make dough of this. Knead 12 to 20 minutes. Pat into a ball, cover it tight and let stand 3 hours in warm place until twice the size.


3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, sliced thin
1 can Italian tomato paste
8 to 10 anchovy filets, cut small
ยฝ teaspoon oregano
Crushed chili pepper
2ยฝ cups water
In the oil fry onion tender but not too brown, stir in tomato paste and keep stirring 3 or 4 minutes. Season, pour water over and simmer slowly 25 to 30 minutes. Add anchovies when sauce is done.


ยฝ cup grated Italian, Parmesan, Romano or Pecorino, depending on your pocketbook

Procure a low, wide and handsome tin pizza pan, or reasonable substitute, and grease well before spreading the well-raised dough ยฝ to ยพ inch thick. Poke your finger tips haphazardly into the dough to make marks that will catch the sauce when you pour it on generously. Shake on Parmesan or Parmesan-type cheese and bake in hot oven ยฝ hour, then ยผ hour more at lower heat until the pizza is golden-brown. Cut in wedges like any other pie and serve.

The proper pans come all tin and a yard wide, down to regular apple-pie size, but twelve-inch pans are the most popular.


Not exactly written as our recipes are today although a lot more coherent than Victorian times, when half the ingredients don’t seem to exist anymore and everything took hours.

Let me know if you try this one. I’d love to know how you get on – Did you find a ‘handsome tin’? ๐Ÿ˜€

Bon Appetit!

Linda x

Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin



Goodness knows why I haven’t discovered this recipe before but it looks so much easier than cauliflower cheese which involves stirring a white sauce for ages. Must give it a try.

This is another recipe from ’30 minute cookbook’.

(serves 4)
1 small cauliflower (about 250g./9oz.)
1 small head of broccoli (about 250g./9oz.)
150mls/quarter of a pint of natural yoghurt
115g./4oz. grated cheddar or red leicester cheese
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
2 tablespoons wholemeal breadcrumbs
salt and ground black pepper


1. Break the cauliflower and broccoli into small florets and cook in salted boiling water for about 8 minutes, or until tender. Drain well and transfer to a flameproof dish.

2. While the broccoli and cauliflower is cooking, mix together the mustard, cheese and yoghurt. Season with pepper.

3. Spoon cheese mixture over the vegetables. Preheat the grill

4. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top of the sauced vegetables and heat under the preheated grill until golden brown. Serve hot

NB: If the broccoli stems are young and tender, slice them fairly thinly and use rather than discarding them.

Bon Appetit!

Linda x


Garlic Baked Tomatoes


I tend to chop up a tomato and throw it on the plate but this looks a lot more appealing, especially if you’re putting the oven on anyway.

Found in 30 minute cooking – My go-to at the moment!

Prep time: just a few minutes
Cooking time – 15-25 minutes



(serves 4)

2 large beefsteak tomatoes (or equivalent smaller ones)
1 large garlic clove, crushed.
1 teaspoon of finely grated orange rind
40g. (1.5oz) unsalted butter
salt and ground black pepper
basil leaves to garnish


1. Preheat the oven to 200C or Ga mark 6.

2. Soften the butter and blend with crushed garlic, grated orange rind and seasoning. Chill for a few minutes

3. Cut tomatoes in half crossways and place in an ovenproof dish.

4. Spread the butter evenly over each tomato half.

5. Bake in the oven for 15-25 minutes, depending on the size of the tomatoes, until just tender.

6. Serve hot, sprinkled with basil leaves.

Bon Appetit!

Linda x

P.S. I’ve just finished updating all the Growing Guides so if you’re growing your own tomatoes, there may be a few helpful hints – as well as some more recipe ideas – to find.

P.P.S. The 30 minute cookbook (new edition) is on Amazon


Bonoffee Coffee


Okay,ย  hotting up for weekend treats today!

Found this recipe in a little book called Spices – now, I’m not really sure why this fits into a ‘spices’ theme but the book was published nearly 30 years ago and this recipe looks so delicious, they are completely forgiven!

You’ll need to be a grown-up with a food processor or blender and a sweet tooth! And it’s just perfect if you’ve got some posh glasses as well. ๐Ÿ™‚


Ingredients (serves 4-6)

3 teaspoons instant coffee granules
5fl.oz/155mls boiling water
16fl.oz/500mls vanilla ice cream
1 large banana
10fl.oz/315mls milk
3fl.oz/90mls Tia Maria (or other coffee liqueur)
few drops of vanilla essence

2 teaspoons drinking chocolate powder
chocolate flakes to serve (optional)


1. Mix together the coffee and boiling water and leave to cool

2. When cooled, place all ingredients, except the chocolate powder and flakes, in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

3. Pour into tall glasses and sprinkle the chocolate powder over the top. Serve with chocolate flakes.

Enjoy your weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

Linda x


Courgette Puffs


…. with Mixed Leaf Salad

Quick, easy and meat-free recipe from 30 Minute Cookbook

Whether you call them zucchini or courgettes, these puffs will make a marvelous meal.

According to the recipe, preparation time is 5 minutes and cooking time 6 minutes – Sounds good to me ๐Ÿ™‚



(serves 2-3)

450g/1lb courgettes
75g/3oz. fresh white breadcrumbs
1 egg
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh mint
oil for deep frying
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
200g/7oz. mixed salad leaves
salt and ground black pepper


1. Top and tail the courgettes. Coarsely grate them and put them into a colander. Squeeze out the excess water and put the courgettes into a bowl.

2. Add the white breadcrumbs, egg, cayenne pepper and chopped fresh mint, with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well with a spoon or clean hands.

3. Shape the mixture into balls about the size of walnuts.

4. Heat the oil for deep frying to 180C, or when a cube of bread, when added to the oil, browns in 30-40 seconds.

5. Deep fry the courgette balls in batches for 2 minutes. Drain on kitchen paper.

6. Whisk the vinegar and olive oil together and season well.

7. Put the salad leaves in a bowl and pour over the vinegar and oil dressing. Toss lightly to coat the leaves evenly.

8. Add the courgette puffs and toss lightly together. Serve at once while the courgette puffs are still crisp.

Bon Appetit!

Linda x