I have some very exciting news on my much documented (by me here... mostly) continuing journey toward world domination. Today I met with Caroline Bingham, Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Life Magazine... in fact she came to my home and amongst the rubble and dust of my kitchen extension, I managed to charm her into commissioning me to write for the magazine.
It's really thrilling for me to see this all coming together and I hope I can prove to her and her loyal readers that I can do a good job... my plan of attack is to be the 'home-spun', family cook, using local ingredients and championing local food heroes, creating recipes that the everyday home-cook can easliy make and enjoy... much like I do here on the blog.
I am starting with a couple of sample articles that I will submit for the September issue, (apple's are ripe and its the start of the Game season here in Lincolnshire) the first of which you will find below... of course I would love your feedback... so let me know!
Belleau Kitchen (this will run alongside the first article only)
I write a food blog from my kitchen here in the beautiful Lincolnshire Wolds and when i'm not covered in flour and gravy I work as an event manager at Gunby Hall in Spilsby whose gardens provide me with a year-round bounty of herbs, vegetables and fruit. I'm very proud to be living in Lincolnshire, surrounded by some of the UK's best food produce and producers and its from this that I take my cooking inspiration. I consider myself to be a cook, not a chef and my recipes are all about having a go in the kitchen. If you can read and hold a frying pan, (not necessarily at the same time) then you can cook and enjoy my food!
Gunby Apple Cake (this will run alongside a feature they are writing on the new tenants at Gunby)
One of the many wonderful things about working at Gunby Hall is being able to walk into the fruit and vegetable gardens and pluck whatever's ready from the ground and cook with it. Sometimes I will spend a lazy hour meandering through the rows of succulent waiting for the plants to inspire me... should I go for a turnip and watercress soup... or a golden beetroot cake... or courgette fritters... or gooseberry ice-cream... but other times, when we've suddenly had a boost on visitors and Jane in the tea-room is screaming for more cake, I will run into the garden, grab the first thing I see and get busy baking!
We have 20 varieties of apple tree here at Gunby and some of the apples are ready, particularly the Beauty of Bath, which you have literally 4 seconds once its plucked from the tree before it turns bad or, better for cooking, the Revere, which i've used here. This apple cake is simply divine... its one of those cakes which is part cake, part pudding and eating it slightly warm is eating it at its best, also the recipe is so versitle as the batter mix can be used with any other fruit, simply replace like for like. I've made this with all kinds of berries, pears and even rhubarb, which should be lightly poached first.
1lb apples - peeled and diced
6oz Sugar (i used light brown sugar)
6oz softened butter or margarine at room temp
2 eggs - beaten
2 tablespoons milk
9oz self raising flour
a handful of saltanas
1 teaspoon cinnamon
- in a large mixing blow, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, sprinkle in the cinnamon
- add one egg and whisk it into the batter, then add half the flour and whisk again, repeat with the other egg and the remainder of the flour
- add the milk to slacken the batter slightly.
- fold in the saltanas and the apple chunks (it may seem like a lot of apples but believe me it works!)
- pour in to a greased and lined caked tin... I used a 9inch square but any shape will work.
- line the top of the cake with finely sliced apple segments and brush with melted Lincolnshire honey.
- bake for 45 minutes at 170C
here's the cake made with fresh red currants which I folded in at the same stage as the apples, it was a spectacular success!
eat and of course, enjoy!