Month: November 2011

Spiced apple pudding







Here’s another winter warmer using apples. This light, apple sponge pudding with a sticky apple compote on the top is made more luxurious when accompanied with a creamy Somerset cider brandy custard.

Serves 4

150g soft butter

150g light brown sugar, plus a dessertspoon for the compote

2 eggs

125g plain flour

10g baking powder

25g ground almonds

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground mixed spice

2 Bramley apples

Firstly, peel and core the apples. Chop one into chunks, pop into a pan with about a dessertspoon of brown sugar, cook down until soft but with a chunky texture. Preheat your oven to about 120c and butter your pudding moulds well (I use individual ones which hold 1/4 pint). Spoon a little of the apple compote into the bottom of each pudding mould. Grate the other apple. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix in. Add the flour, baking powder, spices and ground almonds and fold in gently. Fold in the grated apple. Spoon or pipe into the pudding moulds. Place the moulds in a deep baking tray and pour about an inch of water into the tray; a bain marie. Cook for about 45 minutes, dip a skewer or small knife into the centre of one of the puddings, if it comes out clean they are cooked.

Cider brandy custard

300ml double cream (or a mixture of milk and cream)

50g egg yolks

40g sugar

Somerset cider brandy, to taste

Heat the cream in a pan until it reaches a simmer. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl. Pour half the cream into the egg yolk/sugar mix, stir gently to combine then pour the mixture back into the pan. Heat gently and stir continuously until the custard thickens. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve if necessary. Add the brandy.

For the apple crisps; finely slice an eating apple, no need to peel or core but remove the seeds. Place the slices on a lined baking tray, dust with icing sugar and cook/dry out in a very low oven, about 90c, for about an hour, or until crisp. Turn occasionally and dust with more icing sugar.


Cider Dinner 25th November

Bristol Cider Shop and I will be co-hosting another cider-themed supper evening at Bishopston Supper Club on Friday 25th November to demonstrate that cider can be a great alternative to wine when cooking and, matching with, food. I’ll be using some of their cider, perry and cider brandy in the cooking and each course will be accompanied by a carefully selected match from their wide range of products available, all made from 100% real juice by independent artisan producers within 30 miles of Bristol.

The menu will look something like this;

Mulled Brislington Braintwister, leek & Gruyere tartlets

Parsnip and perry soup, sage & onion focaccia – Oliver’s Bottle Conditioned Perry

River Foyle mussels with cider, garlic & thyme – Pip’s Dry Cider

Gloucester Old Spot pork tenderloin, local Blewitts & Somerset Cider Brandy sauce, mashed roots, cavolo nero – Once Upon A Tree Tumpy Ground

Apple tart tatin, Somerset Pomona ice cream – Somerset Pomona

Stinking Bishop – Ross-on-Wye rum barrel perry

Coffee/Lahloo teas and truffles – Somerset Cider Brandy

Arrival from 7.30pm, £40 all-inclusive (£10 deposit to be paid in advance to Bristol Cider Shop and the remaining £30 to be paid on the night).

There should be plenty to drink with the food but please feel free to bring your own drinks as well, if you wish.

To book – call, email or pop in the shop;

A year of the Resting Chef

November marks the end of my first year as the Resting Chef. Since my change of direction in life I have set up and run a successful supper club, worked in different kitchens, shops and even a festival. I’ve learned new skills, met lots of wonderful people, eaten amazing food, discovered real cider and delicious wines, experimented, foraged, and created a functioning kitchen garden (with a lot of help from a friend). I’ve grown so much this year it’s difficult to imagine myself going back.

At Bishopston Supper Club, which will be 1-year-old in December, there have been 11 supper evenings, 3 wine dinners, 3 birthday parties, a cider dinner, 2 Sunday lunches and an afternoon tea party, at which I’ve welcomed over 300 guests in total. Thanks to all who came along, helped, supported, and supplied the fantastic ingredients.

I have also had to make adjustments and sacrifices, and hopefully I’ve learnt from any mistakes. Thanks to those who have inspired me and those who’ve supported me through the highs and lows, without which, life would be pretty dull.

So, onto to the next year. I shall remain The Resting Chef in name if not in practice and will try to write more recipes and posts for this blog when I can. I plan to continue with the supper club as long as people want to come. One thing is for sure, I can’t go back to who and what I was. I love where I am now and have so many exciting plans for the future.