Photo challenge day 5: Five

Today’s theme for the fifth day of the First Thirty-one Photo Challenge (for more info, see Fourtuitous.com) is “Five”. This delicious mixed berry smoothie recipe from Frugal Feeding has only five scrumptious ingredients and took me about five minutes to make!

A deliciously simple five-ingredient smoothie!

A deliciously simple five-ingredient smoothie!

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Blog challenge recipe #9: traditional English pudding

Every country has its own varieties of sweet treats and tasty desserts but baked (and on occasion, steamed) puddings are a particularly English specialty: roly-poly pudding, Christmas pudding, bread and butter pudding, bread pudding, Bakewell pudding…

The English flag

I was recently browsing The Guardian website for new recipes from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall — I’ve introduced you to him before in my posts A cookbook review and a recipe too, Blog challenge #5: nettle soup and Beetroot and walnut hummus. He is a frequent contributor to their website and I enjoy cooking many of his recipes.

Anyhow, I digress… while I was browsing, I found this: a barley and berry pudding recipe. Since the recipe is a simple and traditionally English baked pudding, I thought it would be perfect for my blog challenge recipe number nine. And on Sunday, I made it for dessert. The verdict: delicious!

A slice of barley and berry pudding

I made a few changes to the recipe, however:

1. I used brown sugar, not granulated.
2. Also, I drastically reduced the amount of sugar from 1 cup (200 grams) to slightly less than half a cup (75 grams) because I really don’t think the pudding needs that amount of sugar. It would have been too sweet for me if I had used 1 cup of sugar.
3. I added 2 tbsp honey to the batter.
4. I cooked the pearl barley for a lot longer than the recipe states: at least 1 hour. The barley was still slightly firm even after I had cooked it for an hour. I recommend you follow the cooking instructions on the pack.

I tried eating it both warm and cold but it definitely needs to be served warm. I recommend serving with yogurt or cream.

By the way, the recipe does use UK measures so if you don’t have a digital scale, you’ll need to use a measurement converter — this one at Gourmet Sleuth is helpful. But don’t worry if your measurements aren’t exact; I often adjust quantities of ingredients and most all of my cooking is successful!

Baking: apple crisp

This recipe is great for this time of year because it’s apple season! 

I used apples from my own orchard for this recipe. They were windfalls, blown down by some strong winds which we had a couple of weeks back, and so it was necessary to cut out the bruised and damaged parts. Therefore I can’t give an exact measurement for the amount of apples you will need to use as the measurement I give in the ingredient list below is based on peeled and chopped apples. 

Apples from the orchard

 

It is my own recipe and the ingredient quantities are approximate. So if you find that the topping is too dry, add more margarine or if your apple mixture isn’t sweet enough, add more sugar. Some people say that baking is a fine art and it is true that in some recipes it is vitally important to use exactly the right quantities but in a rustic, traditional recipe like this it doesn’t matter so much if the ingredient quantities are more approximate than accurate. Just use common sense and you will be rewarded with a deliciously sweet treat!

INGREDIENTS

For the apple sauce:

7 cups/700 g chopped tart apple pieces

2 cups/100 g brown unrefined sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

For the topping:

1.5 cups/170 g all-purpose flour (I used a mixture of brown and white flour)

Two-thirds cup/85 g brown sugar

1/2 cup/50 g rolled oats

1/2 cup margarine

 

Method:

1. Peel the apples and chop them into approx. 2 inch pieces.

2. Cook the apples in a saucepan on a medium heat until they are like an applesauce with a few soft chunks of apple in the mixture.  This should take about 20 – 25 minutes. Mix the sugar and cinnamon into the apples when they are nearly cooked. The apples shouldn’t stick to the pan when cooking as long as you check them and stir them often, and lower the temperature if necessary. If they do stick, add a very small amount of water and stir.

3. Now that you have the apple sauce prepared, pre-heat the oven to 350F/180C. I use a convection oven and have to adjust oven temperatures but if you use a regular oven, pre-heat it to 390F/200C.

4. While the oven is heating up, prepare the topping for the apple crisp. Stir the flour, oats, cinnamon and sugar in a bowl, mixing well. Then add the margarine. Using your fingertips, mix the margarine into the flour mixture until crumbly.

5. Pour the apples into a large baking dish and evenly sprinkle with the topping mixture.

6. Bake in the oven for approx. 25 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and crunchy.

7.  Serve warm or cold, whichever you prefer. I like it warm served with crème fraîche or ice cream. But it is very tasty served cold for breakfast too! 

Enjoy!

A yummy serving of apple crisp!

As always, if you have any questions or comments about this recipe or anything on the blog, let me know.