Blackberry & Apple Crumble

If you are fortunate enough to live in a countryside or near by, you have to try hard not to spot the hedgerows of blackberries, as they are everywhere, they are the stars of the season right now. Although any sort of crumbles are usually associated with the cold weather, however blackberry picking  is a great way of sourcing perfect and very cheap summer pudding, which is so good with a dollop of any (single, clotted, ice) cream.

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BLACKBERRY AND APPLE CRUMBLE

Ingredients:

200g blackberries

2 apples

3 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

For Crumble topping:

100g butter

60g sugar

100g flour

50g oats

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream to serve

Method:

1. Preheat the over to 190C. To make the crumble topping, put all dry ingredients along with butter in a food processor and pulse it all few times until the mixture resembles light breadcrumbs texture. Alternatively, you can make it by hand, using your fingertips. The only thing, you shouldn’t over work it, otherwise the crumble will be rather heavy.

2. Peel, core and chop the apples into small chunks. Place the apples in a large buttered ovenproof dish, layer the blackberries on top, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and cover with the crumble topping evenly all over the fruits.

3. Bake it for about 45 minutes or until the fruits are cooked, bubbling juices seep through the topping and the crumble topping is golden coloured. Let it cool a few minute before serving with cream, ice cream or custard. 🙂

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Mighty Granola

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I don’t really like any type of breakfast cereals, maybe because I didn’t grow up with it, we never even heard of cereal when I was young, this came to our country only recently. I never heard of granola either until I moved to the UK. But I always liked oats hence I decided to try granola for breakfast one day. I tried it and I did fall in love with it instantly. I believe it came from US originally but it strongly grows in popularity all over.

I’ve tried all sorts of variations and for a long time my favourite was always plain granola topped with almonds , dried apricots  and figs. But recently I saw a recipe by Jack Monroe and had one of those moments when you think, “Why I didn’t think of that myself?’ The recipe is so simple and straightforward with only one twist in it – peanut butter (taking in account you like peanut butter, of course). However, variations are endless. She (Jack) recommends just with strawberry jam on top or banana – classic combinations! My recent addiction is just with lightly sweetened soya milk and fresh blueberries. Anything goes really when you have a good base.

I only twigged the quantity of oats because Jack’s recipe is super budget friendly and I wanted my granola to be a little bit richer and coated more with peanut butter flavour.

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PEANUT BUTTER GRANOLA

Ingredients:

25g butter

4 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter

4 tablespoons honey

200g rolled porridge oats

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

2. In a heavy saucepan/ovenproof dish on a low heat melt the butter, peanut butter and honey until incorporated.

3. Add the oats and mix together well until all oats are well coated.

4. Bake for about 15 minutes, stirring once half way through, until it becomes a golden brown but avoid it burning.

4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before transferring into airtight container, where you can keep it  for a few weeks. (In our house it doesn’t last longer than a few days 🙂

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Re-visiting the classics

We’ve been making this cheesecake (originally adapted from the M. Berry’s recipe) in many different variations for the past few years. The reason for that is that texture of this cheesecake is so divine and silky, and the white chocolate is a perfect companion to the magnificent flavours of raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, passion fruit, mint,- the result never disappoints. However, this time we tried blackberry with drizzled dark chocolate on top for an extra alluring and visually stunning after-meal treat.

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BAKED WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE

Ingredients

For the base:

50 g butter

150 g plain chocolate digestive biscuits, crushed

Filling:

300 g good-quality white chocolate

400 g full-fat cream cheese

2 eggs

150 ml soured cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To serve:

About 200 g blackberries

80 g dark chocolate
(melted over a pan of hot water or in a microwave for 30 seconds)

a dusting of cocoa powder

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease and line the base of a 20cm spring-form cake tin with the non-stick paper.

2. Melt the butter and stir in the crushed biscuits, press evenly over the base of the prepared tin. Chill in the fridge.

3. Break and melt the white chocolate per a pan of hot water (do not allow the chocolate to become too hot!), stirring occasionally with a spoon until runny and smooth.

4. Whisk the cream cheese and eggs together in a large bowl until smooth, then add the soured cream, vanilla and whisk again until completely smooth with no lumps. Stir in the melted chocolate and mix together.

5. Pour this mixture into the tin and spread evenly over the chilled base. Bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes until firm around the edge and just set in the middle (the centre should wobble a little). Remove from the oven. Run a small palette knife around the edge of the tin and then allow to cool and chill without removing from the spring-form (this is to avoid a big cracks).

6. Remove the outside ring and lift the base on to a serving plate. Arrange blackberries on top and sprinkle over with the melted dark chocolate and dusting of cocoa powder.

(!) The surface of the baked cheesecake may crack slightly in the middle, but don’t worry, it is part of its charm! Serve very thin slices as this cheesecake is very rich, but so delicious!

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