Tag Archives: apple

Warm crumble of apples and pears

A beautiful still life!

A beautiful still life!

A new Wild Food Market has blossomed in our neighbourhood and I got these apples and pears from one of the producers’ stalls. It was such a beautiful feature on my dining table I could hardly decide what to do with it!

Knowing that the beautiful Bramley apples turn into a light, soft snow once cooked, I decided to turn my display into a crumble once again…

Ingredients list:

  • 3 Bramley apples
  • 3 or four pears
  • Same amount of Flour, brown sugar and butter (150g)
  • Oatmeal or plain oats, 100g
  • Cinnamon, 1 Tbsp
  • ginger, 1 Tbsp
  • One capful of Orange blossom water
  • Cornflour, 1 tsp
  • A few blackberries (optional)

Butter up a deep dish  – terracotta or oven proof glass is best.

Peel and chop the fruit and squeeze some lemon juice over so as not to oxidise too rapidly.

With your fingers tips, rub the butter into the flour and sugar until it has the consistency of sifted sand. Leaving some bits and lumps is fine too. Mix the oatmeal in.

Add the cinnamon and ginger.

Spread the fruit into the dish.

Drip the capful of orange blossom water. Sprinkle with the cornflour and toss it all together.

Now sprinkle the flour mix over all of the surface, trying to cover it completely.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes at 180 degrees.

Serve warm with cream or ice-cream.

For a slightly different but equally delicious version, check out here my Blackberry and Apple Crumble or a GF version here.

An apple crumble is the very best of classical English baking! Never tire of it.

Have a beautiful week-end everyone.

Crumble of rhubarb, apples and blackcurrant GF

Pie is my favourite number...

Pie is my favourite number…

Over my years as a London based foodie, I have developed an addiction to pies, crumbles, cobblers and anything with a crust outside and stewed fruit inside… The simple mention of this sends a tremor along my spine: Fruit and crust, a very sexy combination indeed. I still do love tarts and tartines, but I think I slightly favour a crust ON TOP rather than UNDER.

Each season offers its own enticing variations and Autumn is a season for : rhubarb, sharp apples and black currants. All three are quite acidic so in this version, I have put a little more sugar than usual to counter balance the tartness of the fruit but you can make it less sweet if you wish.


  • 1 stalk of rhubarb
  • Bramley or other cooking apples, 2
  • Handful of frozen blackcurrant
  • Cornflour, 1 Tbsp
  • For the Gluten Free crust:
  • Ground almond, 100g
  • Chesnut flour or rice flour, 50g
  • Butter, 100g
  • sugar, 100g

Cut up all the fruit, mix it with the frozen berries and the cornflour – the object of the cornflour is to soak up the juice of the rhubarb to avoid a very wet pie!

Mix the flour, sugar and butter with the tip of your fingers until you have a sand-like texture. Lay the fruit in a pie dish or gratin dish. I have used frozen blackcurrants here, but you can opt for blackberries instead. They have a more subtle flavour but work deliciously toward a very British taste.

Top the fruit with the flour mix, trying to cover all of the fruit but do not worry if the lumps do not hide it perfectly. Just try and shake your sandy mix everywhere.

Put in a hot oven for 45min at 180º C.

Eat warm with some clotted cream or yogurt. If you are in France, it goes also well with a nice Faisselle or full fat fromage frais. This is the ultimate in homely, comforting puddings and with this GF version you won’t be leaving anybody out!

A patchy cover is not a problem...

A patchy cover is not a problem…


Pear, apple and caramel jam-boree in memory of a girly week-end

As good as gold...

Some smells, some tastes, have the power to anchor you in a past mood more forcefully than a thousand words or even a picture can do…

Last summer, I brought back in my luggage a small jar of gold: a precious jam bought before an evening picnic on the Plage de L’Espiguette… As my childhood friends will know, and as I keep repeating to my children every time I take them there, l’Espiguette is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. That evening, the evening of the picnic with my friend Caro, you could see the purple shadows of the Cevennes to your right, the golden reeds of the Camargue to your left and the vastness of the Mediterrannean in front of you, jutting into the horizon until the African coast! And before you, you had the luxury of hundreds of meters of soft, sandy emptiness… We threw a blanket on the dune and opened a cool rosé. Caro went straight into the water (as she always does) and I read a bit in my jumper before thinking ” What the HEll!” and plunging into the waves where the sun was setting. But what about the jam…

This pear, apple and salted caramel jam, in that gifted pot, was a wonder and a challenge to me. I was determined to achieve the same luxurious,indulgent and silky taste… And here it is! With Sticky toffee sauce instead of salted caramel, because I needed to make it mine with a little anglophile twist…

Sometimes living in two languages is a mixed blessing. At worst it can feel a bit schizophrenic ; at best you create a great mix!

Ingredients list:

You will need a jam pan and 6 clean jars. A jam thermometer is also a great help!

  • Lemon 1
  • Pears 3 (best seasonal ones like Williams)
  • Apples 4 (again, fresh and seasonal is best: Cox here)
  • Brown caster sugar, 2/3 of the total fruit weight (so about 660g for 1kg of fruit)
  • Vanilla pod 1
  • Two spoonful of Sticky Toffee sauce (Thermomix recipe) or bought caramel sauce or 4/5 caramels

The day before (that’s best but not an absolute): Peel and chop the fruit, squeeze the lemon juice over and cover with the sugar. Leave overnight covered in the fridge.

On the day: Clean in the dishwasher 6 to 8 Pots for 1 kg of fruit.

Put the macerating fruit into your jam pan and get to a rolling boil. Leave boiling at jam point (just over 100°) for 10 minutes.

Turn down. Add your caramels or 2 spoonfuls of the toffee sauce . Slit the pod and scrape the vanilla seeds into the pan.

Boil to jam point again for 5 minutes.

Put straight away into clean jars: I use a long ladle and a jam funnel to get the boiling jam into each pot quickly. This way the jam is sterilising its own pot! All you have to do is screw the top over the pot and turn it upside down on a kitchen towel. Write some nice labels and marvel at the sight of your pots- That’s what I do! I put them in a special basket at the bottom of my baker’s shelf so I can reach for one easily when I want to please a special guest…

As for a treat to my reader, I give you the best Christmas windows in London: Fortnum and Mason on Piccadilly have wonderfully girly  scenes and here are some photos just for you.

Wish you were... on the merry-go-round!

Cute boudoir scene at F&M

Apple and raisin yogurt cake for the week-end!


This is an appley variation on the classic Yogurt cake recipe, and by popular demand this is now our yogurt cake recipe! A delicious family secret.
Note: Pre-soak the raisins and currants in brandy the night before, it will give this cake a nice but subtle flavour.
Ingredients list:
Butter 150g
Flour 200g
Bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp
Yogurt 150g
Brown sugar 150g
Eggs 2
Raisins and currants 150g
Apples cored and sliced, 2
1 capful of Vanilla essence
Mix the sugar and butter in a food processor until creamy and light.
Add the slightly beaten eggs, flour with bicarbonate and yogurt: Use whole milk yogurt, not fat free!
The mix should be light and create a ribbon.
Fold in the drained raisins and the apple slices.
Bake 30 min at 180° C.
This has become a family favourite and my children absolutely loved it! 
   Yet it is surprisingly quick to make.

Apple and blackberry crumble


4 to 5 Bramley apples
A handful of frozen blackberries
A good cupful of rolled oats
A tsp of oats bran
Half a deck of cards of butter
A cup of brown granulated sugar
A Tsp of flour
A tsp of cornflour
A capful of orange blossom water

Mix the oats, bran, butter, sugar and flour in a bowl: Rub it between your fingers until it comes to a light and sandy texture.

Dice the fruit into a pie dish, add the frozen blackberries from last summer and dab with the orange blossom water. Dust with the cornflour, then sprinkle the topping generously until it covers most of it. This is not a neat recipe: no need to be prissy about it! The rougher, the better.

Bake at 180° for 45 min.
The crust needs to be golden and crunchy like a flapjack.

Eat warm with ice-cream.

This is such an iconic pudding it needs no introduction but the use of oats and bran instead of flour makes it a very healthy option because of the good fibre and the low sugar content.