Tuesday, 22 September 2020


An Autumn Cake

This lovely recipe is taken from an old  Cornwall WI booklet and of course, as it is Autumn now, uses cooking apples. The cake is very moist and is a good keeper. The apples need to be peeled, cored and simmered in a tablespoonful of water then mashed well, giving you a very slightly pulpy mixture. You will need about 3 medium apples.

You will need a 8 inch spring form cake tin, buttered and lined. and pre heat your fan oven to 160C

5-6 oz apple pulp

5 oz softened butter

5 oz soft light brown sugar

2 eggs

½ teaspoonful cinnamon

½ teaspoonful mixed spice

½ teaspoonful bicarbonate of soda

8 oz plain flour

3 ox chopped glacé cherries

3 oz any chopped nuts - I used pecans

zest of a lemon

demerara sugar for sprinkling

[although not in the original recipe, I added a handful of raisins]

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the beaten eggs. Then add the flour and spices and bicarb. Mix well, then add the fruit, nuts and lastly the apple pulp and lemon zest.

Tip into your prepared tin and level off then sprinkle over some lovely crunchy demerara.

Bake for about 45 mins until firm to the touch. Just scrummy. Trust me, this is a special cake!!

Note: I used one large Bramley and two Gala eating apples to give a variety off texture.

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Lemon and Spicy Ginger Cake

Such amazing flavours blend in this easy peasy loaf cake. I found this recipe yonks ago in a magazine while having my hair done! Well, you have to pass the time somehow! You will need a 2lb loaf tin, lightly greased and lay a strip of parchment across the long sides, hanging over to help lift it out. Don’t be alarmed at how runny the mixture is!!

Pre heat your fan oven to 160C

8 oz golden syrup

4 oz butter

4 oz soft light brown sugar

8 oz plain flour

2 teaspoonfuls ground ginger

1 teaspoonful cinnamon

1 teaspoonful mixed spice

½ teaspoonful bicarbonate of soda

2 large eggs

about 3 tablespoonfuls milk, pref whole

Place the butter, syrup and sugar in a medium saucepan and gently heat until it feels smooth and the sugar has melted. Set aside to cool.

Place the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir well, then pour in the buttery mixture, beaten eggs and milk. Mix well and pour into your prepared tin. So easy!

Bake for about 55-60 mins but check after 50 mins or turn down if too brown. Leave in the tin for ten mins then cool on a rack. Meanwhile…

8 oz icing sugar

zest of a large lemon

plus the juice

Make a lemon icing with the icing sugar and lemon juice. Not too runny but enough to spoon over the top of your cooled cake and run down the sides. Just before it sets, sprinkle generously with the lemon zest.

Absolutely delish! Enjoy.

Friday, 11 September 2020

Apricot Cream Cake

Oh my! this is just so delicious. I wish I could send the taste of this cake through the ether to you! I found it many years ago in a Farmer’s Weekly collection booklet. An impressive dessert cake if you wish, or can equally be ate at any time. I made it for an afternoon of Bridge. You can use either butter icing or double cream in the filling. The recipe called for the apricots to be soaked overnight to soften, but of course, these days we can buy the apricots, all lovely soft and squishy.
You will need a 7 inch spring form deep cake tin, greased and lined. Pre heat your fan oven to 160C
8 oz dried apricots
¾ pint water
6 oz softened butter
6 oz dark muscovado sugar
3 large eggs
6 oz wholemeal plain flour
1 teaspoonful baking powder
2 teaspoonfuls cinnamon
1 teaspoonful mixed spice
Double cream, plus more to decorate OR
butter icing - see below
any chopped nuts to decorate. I used chopped hazelnuts
Place the apricots in the water overnight and then simmer for about half an hour, uncovered. Drain well but keep the liquid. [I did not bother with the overnight bit, just an hour], Chop and mash the drained apricots with a fork and set aside. Do not discard the juice!! You will need it in a mo.
Cream the butter and sugar, then add the eggs, one at a time with a small amount of the flour.
Fold in the flour, bp and spices and mix well then tip into your prepared tin and bake for about one hour but check after 50 mins.
Cool on a rack then cut the cake into three equal [ish] layers. Brush each layer to moisten, with the retained apricot juice.
Fill each layer with a third of the mashed apricots and the cream of your choice and sandwich together. Moisten the top and spread the last third of the apricots on top. Pipe or swirl more cream as you wish. Sprinkle over the nuts and tuck in. Absolutely deliciously moist and yummy.
Store in the fridge after making. I used buttercream.
Butter cream icing = double icing sugar to softened butter plus a little vanilla extract or bean paste, and a very small amount of water or the drained juice. I used some drained juice and for the above 4 oz butter and 8 oz icing sugar.
Note: if you are having any problems obtaining any muscovado sugar in these strange times [Asda has none, or my Sainsburys] but Morrisons have plenty


Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Liver and Onions with Apple Bake

Now, I do realise many of you will go “Yuk, I hate liver”. But we love it and in the past I have always tossed it in flour and pan fried, served alongside some fried onions and bacon. with mashed potatoes!  But then as I was trawling though an old Cornish recipe book, I found this basic idea and I adapted it from there. The added grated apple and juice makes it remarkably tasty! It is a lovely easy meal, if you enjoy liver. This quantity serves 4.

You will need an ovenproof dish, well greased. Pre heat your fan oven to 190C.

1½lb lambs liver, thinly sliced with all the tube bits etc cut off

2 tablespoonfuls plain flour 

Salt and fresh ground pepper

In a poly bag place the above, the liver you have patted dry with kitchen paper, and toss until it is evenly coated with the flour. Set aside for a mo.

2 onions finely sliced

2 tablespoonfuls of oil and butter to fry

5 fl oz apple juice

1 grated granny smith [or similar]

5 fl oz good stock of your choice [I used an Oxo cube]

Approx 1½ - 2lb of evenly sized potatoes that you have parboiled but still just firm.

melted butter for brushing over the top

parsley to garnish 

In a med-large fry pan, heat the oil and butter and fry the onions until just soft, place in the bottom of your dish. Add the liver and and cook until lightly browed on both sides. Transfer to your baking dish, levelling the liver out. In a jug, mix together the stock, grated apple and apple juice then pour over the liver. Thinly slice the cooled potatoes and neatly arrange on the top. Brush with butter and season once more.

Bake for about 30 mins, maybe a little more until browning and bubbling. Longer if cooking from cold, if you have prepared it in the morning for cooking later. Sprinkle over some chopped parsley and serve with veg of your choice. Simple, easy, economical and delicious.


Note: In the past I have always preferred pigs liver, but the lamb’s was delish.

Thursday, 27 August 2020

Lemon Biscuits

Easy, so crumbly and utterly delicious and melt in the mouth moreish. The trouble being, one is never enough. Hey ho. I have had this recipe for years and they never fail. This quantity makes about 18-20 according to size of course, but easily doubled of course.  Made and cooked in about 20 mins plus chilling. Store in an airtight container. Please use unwaxed lemons.

Pre heat your fan oven to 160C and lightly butter a large baking tray.

In a medium mixing bowl: place

6 oz plain flour

the finely grated zest of a very large lemon or two small/medium

4 oz softened, [warm, room temp] butter

Using your hand, gradually work the butter, zest and flour together to form a stiff mixture, then work in:

2 oz caster sugar

Chill for 30 mins.

Transfer to your work surface and carefully roll out until your mixture is about ¼ inch thick. Cut into rounds or whatever shape takes your fancy. I used a simple fluted 2½ cutter. Bring together and re roll off cuts. Carefully place the dough on your prepared baking sheet and bake for about 12 mins. Allow to cool on the tray for a moment or three then cool on a rack. Sprinkle over a little caster.

Oh my! Yum yum. So lemony and buttery. The minute the above were cold my husband ate four right off!! I had to rescue some to take the photo.

Sunday, 23 August 2020

Jan’s Grandmother’s Upside Down Cake

Jan, my friend and distant cousin from down under, has passed to me her Grandmother’s and then her Mother’s Upside Down cake recipe. You don’t need to me tell you is is deliciously buttery and very yummy. Jan says her mother often used a different combo of fruit for the topping or even crushed pineapple. She also used almonds, although I used toasted hazelnuts, mostly because that is what needed to be used up!

You will need any non loose bottomed tin, although I used a ring tin. I like them!  But a round or square will do, probably about 6 or 7 inches.

Pre heat your fan oven to “moderate”. I plumped for 150C

4 oz butter

3 oz sugar - I used caster

2 large eggs

4 oz plain flour

1 teaspoonful baking powder

pinch salt


2 oz melted butter

2 oz brown sugar - I used demerara

2 oz chopped nuts

2 oz sultanas and /or cherries

In the base of your tin, tip the melted butter and also brush the sides with it, then arrange the remainder of your topping ingredients into the butter

In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar then add the beaten eggs and finally the flour and bp. Tip the cake mixture over the buttery fruit.

Bake for about 35-40 mins. Invert onto a cooling rack and enjoy! We found it even better the next day.

Note: Give the base a good tap to loosen any fruit that might have decided to stick. I had a couple that did not budge, but they are easy to pop on the top by hand.

Monday, 17 August 2020

Cherry Clafoutis

Nothing Cornish, or even English about this, but I just love Clafoutis. It is my current favourite easy dessert. Just a plain batter and it is made and ready in just over hour. It is traditional [in France of course] to use fresh cherries, although I think tinned black are easier. I have also used blackberries, raspberries etc. It can be eaten warm or cold [not hot] and is even good the next day. Please use whole milk [I like gold top] for the lovely milky flavour and if you keep a jar or tin of black cherries in the cupboard you always have an easy dessert to hand. I have tried many recipes for the perfect clafoutis and I can assure you this is the business!

You will need a shallow ish non stick fry pan, with a detachable handle or one with a metal handle that you can place in the oven. about 10 or 11 inches across. Pre heat your fan oven to 180C

2 large eggs separated

3 oz caster sugar

1 teaspoonful vanilla extract

4 oz plain flour

7 fl oz whole milk

grated zest of a lemon

2 tablespoonfuls melted butter for frying

Well drained morello cherries or fresh cherries if in season [but stoning them is a pain]

icing sugar for dusting before serving

In a medium bowl, place the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla and whisk until pale, smooth and frothy. This is much easier with an electric hand whisk.  About 2 mins. Add the remaining ingredients, except the egg white and beat until smooth. Rest for 20 mins.

Whisk the egg whites until you have medium stiff peaks. Then fold this into your rested batter. Heat the butter in the pan over a medium heat, then pour in your batter and cook on the top of your oven for 5-7 mins until the bottom is nicely browned. While this is cooking, just before you place in the oven, scatter over your cherries. Transfer to your pre heated oven and bake for about 20 mins.

Slide out of the pan onto a cake plate or similar and dust with icing sugar before serving.

Yum Yum. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Enjoy. I hope you have a go!