Author: Kathleen Garnett

The Great British Remainalade

Don’t believe for a single moment that Brexiteers own the rights to British patriotism and identity. I am a British patriot and I am one hundred per cent behind Britain remaining in the EU. If May talks about a red, white and blue Brexit we fight back with a traditional, British Remainalade. I love my country for its long history of openness, tolerance and desire to trade with the world. I love my country’s cliff-walks, right-of-ways for ramblers, the sound of leather balls hitting a cricket bat on lazy summer afternoon, I am proud of Pimms with mint, cucumber and strawberries, I love British pies, camping in Cornwall, walking in Snowdonia and hiking in the Lake District. I love it that Manchester had a club scene in the 1990’s, that it is a country which produced Train Spotting 1 (and now 2) and that it is a land full of eccentric writers, musicians and muses. No other country I can think of has come up with anything comparable to The Sex Pistols or The Cure. I …

Baked Apples in Rum

At a recent advent’s market in Germany I was treated to some seriously good boscoop apples baked above an open fire. They were served with raisins either soaked in rum or apple-juice (the kid friendly version). I went for the rum and raisins option – hey – it was freezing outside and a girl needs to keep warm! Baking apples in the oven is an age-old recipe. Long forgotten but really worth the while since it is so easy and delicious. You can also make these plain and roast them for 30 minutes in the oven alongside a roast pork dish. Here though is the advent version. Ingredients 6 belle de boscoop apples 100 gr. almonds 100 gr. hazelnuts 100 gr. walnuts 150 gr. sultanas or raisins 120 ml rum or port or apple juice Method Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. With a sharp kitchen knife chop the nuts into small pieces. Put them into a bowl together with the raisins or sultanas and add the liquid of your choice. Cut the core out of …

Roasted haunch of venison

Unlike the tougher neck or “chuck” of a comforting venison stew,  traditional best practice requires neither a marinade nor a slow cook for a haunch of venison. There are, nevertheless, a couple of steps that should be followed in order to make the most of this prime, expensive piece of meat.  As for accomanying flavours the choice is yours – the cook can experiment with herbs and spices. Traditionally juniper berries have always accompanyed a venison be it in a venison stew or a game pie – but so do bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, red wine, quince jelly or red currant jelly …. that is because these flavours complement the late autumn robustness of this wonderful cut so well. For supper on Sunday we ate roasted haunch of venison with a potato and swede bake, red cabbage and a green winter salad (purslane). You could also serve the roast venison alongside creamed or buttered spinach,  roast potatoes and cabbages fried with some bacon. Alternatively, creamed celeriac is a popular choice. There are so many wonderful late autumn flavours to experiment with. The choice, as …

Port & Prune Bundt Cake

This is a substantial cake which stays fresh for up to three days if it can’t all be eaten in one sitting. If you want you can reduce the sugar by half and eat the slices with butter and jam. For the sponge 300 gr. plain white flour 100 gr. ground almonds 250 gr. butter 300 gr. dark brown sugar 3 tbs. treacle (dark molasses) 1 tsp. mixed spice 4 eggs 250 gr. dried prunes 100 ml. port 1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda 100 ml buttermilk or yoghurt A pinch of salt For the icing 150 gr. dark chocolate 100 ml. cream 100 ml. port Method Begin by soaking the prunes in the port overnight before blending into a pulp. Put the flour, mixed spice, bicarb. of soda and pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl. Melt the butter, treacle and sugar on a low heat and add to the flour. Add the four eggs, the buttermilk and the blended prunes to the flour and thoroughly mix all the ingredients together. Grease the cake tin and pour the …

Apple & cinnamon tart

Ingredients For the sweet pastry 200 gr. plain white flour 100 gr. butter 80 gr. sugar 1 tsp. cinnamon 1 beaten egg A pinch of salt For the filling 2 large apples (preferably tart), thinly sliced with red peel still on 1 tsp. cinnamon & 1 tsp, sugar. mixed 100 ml. cream 2 tbs. plain white flour 3 eggs, beaten 100 gr. sugar 3 tbs. honey vanilla pod. Method Begin by making and blind baking the sweet pastry, the recipe of which is set out here. For the filling Gently heat the milk, vanilla pod and honey together on the hob for five minutes allowing the vanilla flavour to infuse with the cream. Take off the hob and leave to cool until it no longer scalds. Whisk the eggs, flour, cinnamon and sugar together in a bowl. When the cream has cooled mix the eggy mixture together with the cream and pour into the tart. Over lap the thinly sliced apples over the top of the custard beginning from the outside and working your way in. Sprinkle the …

Sweet potato frangipane tart

Ingredients For the sweet pastry 150 gr. plain white flour 50 gr ground almonds 100 gr. butter 80 gr. sugar 1 tsp. spekuloos spices (or mixed spice) 1 beaten egg A pinch of salt. For the filling 200 gr. baked sweet potato 1 pear, cored, peeled and thinly sliced. 150 gr. ground almonds 150 gr butter 100 gr sugar 3 tbs. honey 2 tbs. plain white flour 3 eggs 1 tsp. speculaas spices Raspberry jam Method Begin by making and blind baking the sweet pastry, the recipe of which is set out here. For the filling Purée the baked sweet potato until soft.  Over a medium heat melt the butter and then add the almonds, sugar and honey. Whisk the eggs together with the flour. When the butter, almond, honey and sugar mixture has cooled so that it no longer scalds the hand add the mixed eggs and flour. Layer the bottom of the baked pie with some raspberry jam. Pour the almond custard into the pastry case. Slice the pears thinly and shape like a star over the tart. Place in …

Quince & cardamom-vanilla tart

Ingredients For the sweet pastry 200 gr. plain white flour 100 gr. butter 80 gr. sugar 1 beaten egg A pinch of salt For the filling 3 quinces (or pears if you can’t find quince) 100 ml. cream 2 tbs. plain white flour 3 eggs, beaten 100 gr. sugar 3 tbs. honey 1 vanilla pod 8 cardamom pods, seeded Method Begin by making and blind baking the sweet pastry, the recipe of which is set out here. For the filling If you are using quince they first need to be peeled, cored, thinly sliced and then softened in boiling water for around 40 minutes. If you are using pears you do not need to boil them first. Gently heat the milk, vanilla pod,  cardamom seeds and honey together on the hob for five minutes allowing the vanilla and cardamom to infuse with the cream. Take off the hob and leave to cool until it no longer scalds. Whisk the eggs, flour,  and sugar together in a bowl. When the cream has cooled add the eggy mixture together with the cream …