Apparently this week is National Baking Week.
Just a little something I made for a friend’s birthday. (It taught me the importance of buying proper colouring gels for dying the sponge.) Sorry for the rubbish instagram photo. I may show you some cake fun some other time if you’d like? T’was an afternoon well spent!
So why am I talking about baking? Well it’s because you can have some Wednesday fun for very few pennies without piling on the pounds either. You can bake with your girl or boy and then take the goodies to work or perhaps host a little charity coffee morning.
We have the teeniest of apple trees which apparently like to bear giant fruit. Huzzah for us. I picked them and didn’t really know what to do with them. I fancied doing something a wee it more exciting than my usual crumble (although I do make a monster crumble – semolina and ground almond all the way) and I knew we had some puff pastry in the freezer. So I started having some fun.
I’m not usually good with the images, despite my love for pinterest, and my skills are certainly minimal but let’s have a go anyway!
What you shall need for far from the wedding crowd’s crossed hearts.
- Fruits – a couple of cooking apples go a long way but around 500g will see you good for a while and leave you lots left over for later in the week*
- Sugar – whatever you sugar desire may be – I used granulated because it was all we had but caster or brown fits the bill. You only need a little.
- Spices to suit – from cinnamon and cloves to ginger and well anything.
- Puff pastry – please just buy!
- Milk or egg for brushing.
1. Cut up your fruits. Mmm apples.
2. Put them in a pan and add a couple tablespoons of water. I usually just guess and add too much but no matter! As for sugar. Most fruits are rather sweet (obvs) so you don’t need to add too much. Start with one heaped teaspoon and add to taste.
3. Leave fruit to simmer and soften, take picture and forget about steam.
4. Remember about steam and show how the mixture has softened. Add spices.
5. I added some loganberry jam instead of adding sugar. Let it simmer away until thickened.
6. Prepare your pastry, Bean cut out these sweet hearts (we were going to make pie pops but had a slight change of heart). Turn on your oven, usually around 180°C but you know your oven best.
7. When your mixture is soft and sweet enough, allow it to cool slightly and then add small amounts onto your pastry.
8. Behold our untidy strips of pastry. We hit upon this idea a bit after I had scrunched up the remaining pastry. TOP TIP – look after your pastry!
9. Brush with milk or egg. Or not, I’m sure it wouldn’t matter that much.
10. Leave in the oven until golden brown. Usually for around 10-15 mins. Just watch until golden brown.
11. Tada and nom or pack up carefully for distribution to your delighted colleagues tomorrow!
*Oh and if you happen to have much stewed fruit may I suggest custard, open fires and blankets? Although crumbles, Greek yoghurt and pancakes are all other good choices!
And like that, they were gone!