Take a banana malt milkshake with a side of cookies, then convert that into a cake. Read More
These Christmas Fruit Parcels are a lighter alternative to cakes and puddings and have no suet and very little fat, no eggs and can be prepared quickly. They can easily be adapted for vegans too. Read More
By special request, I’ve collated some of my best apple recipes, along with a new recipe for an open apple pie, in the one spot. This will make it easy for that somebody who has a glut and there are a couple of savoury options as well as sweet. My big secret with apples is that I use them instead of a sweetener such as sugar or even honey in recipes. They boost the flavour in a sauce or a soup and I even use the peel to make my jams and marmalades set. It’s no wonder they are one of my favourite seasonal and Irish fruits!
*Cough* It is World Pi Day after all… ;)If you’re wondering what to do with your apples, here are some ideas for you to consider:
Pork and apples go so well together but I often find it’s a bit too much of a stretch to get the kids to eat apple sauce with their pork chops. Because apples contain so much citric acid and pectin, they cut through fatty meals very well so if you have a heavy dinner, apple crumble with a little low-fat yoghurt is a great way to finish a meal.
I don’t know about you but having a nice pudding or “puddy” as it’s called in our house (thanks Dad) is handy for bribing kids to eat their meal. I love that this is fruit based.
When I was 5 our moved to live in my father’s family home. It was a home that his father, my grandfather had built with hopes and dreams for his young family many years before that.
My grandmother, used to grow all sorts of fruit in the gardens at the house, but as we grew older the strawberry plants, raspberry canes, and blackcurrant bushes waned. The espalier fruit trees that my grandparents had planted outside still thrive and are fruiting at the moment.
Last Sunday we gathered as a family to say goodbye to the family home. My parents are moving on now; they have no need for such a large space anymore. They now have 8 grandchildren (not all my children I hasten to add!), and excepting the newest (my 9 week old nephew), and the reluctant teen the rest ran around the garden making the most of the good weather.
Dad lifted his bonny grandkids up to pick their own apples for the last time, and my 3-year-old munched and crunched to his heart’s content. My love of apples comes from this simple action of reaching up and picking when they are ripe. I never knew how lucky I was when I lived with my parents. We’ve already planted 1 apple tree in the past year, and I’ve resolved to plant many more since.
I’ve lived in my home for almost as long as I lived in my childhood home now, I’ll always call dessert “puddy” though.
Ingredients Method Preheat your (fan) oven to 160 degrees Celcius. Fill a large bowl with water and squeeze in the juice of the lemon straight into the water. Peel, core and chop each apple into bite-sized chunks and submerge the pieces in the lemon water. This will stop them from turning brown. In the meantime rub together the butter and wholemeal flour until you get a breadcrumb like texture. Then add 50g of caster sugar and the porridge oats and stir. Set to one side. Layer a large ovenproof baking dish with half the apples. Sprinkle 25g caster sugar on top, then repeat with the second half and the rest of the sugar. The next part is key to making great crumble. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the apples from a height. Do not press it down or compact it in anyway. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes and serve with yoghurt, cream or custard.
Preheat your (fan) oven to 160 degrees Celcius.
Fill a large bowl with water and squeeze in the juice of the lemon straight into the water. Peel, core and chop each apple into bite-sized chunks and submerge the pieces in the lemon water. This will stop them from turning brown.
In the meantime rub together the butter and wholemeal flour until you get a breadcrumb like texture. Then add 50g of caster sugar and the porridge oats and stir. Set to one side.
Layer a large ovenproof baking dish with half the apples. Sprinkle 25g caster sugar on top, then repeat with the second half and the rest of the sugar.
The next part is key to making great crumble. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the apples from a height. Do not press it down or compact it in anyway.
Bake in the oven for 45 minutes and serve with yoghurt, cream or custard.
What is curd? Sweet curd is made with 4 main ingredients. 3 of which are always butter, sugar, and eggs. The 4th ingredient is normally a tart or citrus flavour. Once made properly it sets to a dropping consistency. This is because both the butter and the egg yolks play a part in the setting process.
You’ve probably heard of lemon curd. It is extremely easy to make – in fact, if you want to see me make it, plus get the recipe you can head on over to my lemon curd recipe by clicking the image below. Read More
And so my quest for sugar-free treats continues. I went into the supermarket the other day to take a look at jelly. I don’t mean the super-sweet bag of sweets, I mean the jelly that you make up yourself. The kids and I like it for a sweet treat on occasion.
First up, the block of jelly that you cut into cubes then dissolve in hot water. That contains a lot of sugar. Instantly that got crossed off my list.
Next, the powdered jelly in sachets that you dissolve in hot water. They’re marked sugar-free. Hooray I thought, only when I had a good look at the ingredients list I read that their sweetener was aspartame – which we don’t eat in our house for various reasons.
The two normal off-the-shelf options I won’t be buying again. That leaves me with a third option, which is to make my own using gelatin (not suitable if you’re a vegetarian) or an alternative like agar. I chose gelatin simply because it’s easier in the supermarket and we’re not vegetarian. Your health food store will help you out if you want to source agar.
Making homemade sugar-free fruit jelly, it turns out, is a doddle. Read More
I’ve lost 17lbs since the start of September. This is a lighter October than last year or the year before.
I’ll rewind to a point last Summer where I watched “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead“; at the time I thought it was a great film (it’s available on Netflix) but I didn’t connect Joe Cross’ lifestyle to mine. After all, I’m “Wholesome” and I eat healthy food; why would I need to watch what I eat more closely? Then we went to the Aran Islands and I struggled with the climb up to Dun Aonghusa. I was out of breath, and then when I looked at photos we’d taken up the top I realised I couldn’t share them on the blog or social media.
I am so upset with myself. I am the only one who is in charge of my health and I let things get this bad. Read More
Don’t worry, this raspberry poke cake isn’t a technical bake, it’s more of a crumbly gooey fun cake to make and enjoy. It won’t take you too long, and the most arduous part of this cake is the fact that you have to wait until it’s completely cool to enjoy it. Read More
These are blood orange crisps, but this recipe isn’t just limited to blood oranges, it’s just I had blood oranges and they look so pretty when they’re preserved. If you want to make an incredibly easy gift that looks amazing in jar, like you paid loads of money to buy then keep on reading. They can also be used to decorate cakes, or hung on ribbons in the house. Read More
I mentioned on Saturday that I was making gur cake. I really didn’t expect the response I would get on all my social media channels from Dubs (people from Dublin), Corkonians (who call it chester cake) and Deise natives (from Waterford, who call it donkey gudge cake apparently). This is a cake that has huge heritage, and yet comes from a very humble beginning. Read More
Baking in this house requires organisation because the 2 year old understands when I’ve something baking. He likes to sit in front of the oven and demand instant results. His naps are beginning to shorten too so if I want to bake I need to be able to lash a cake batter together rapidly and have it cooked and cooling by the time he wakes up.
I buy fresh berries in bulk and then freeze them to use over the winter. Berries go into smoothies, baking, jellies, salads and sometimes into something that is so decadent you won’t want to share. In fact you’ll want to eat this blueberry slice right out of the baking tray. Read More