Spiced Plum and Blackberry Crumble

This wonderfully warming, autumnal crumble is very adaptable: I love the combination of plum and blackberries with the spices and hazelnuts, but you can use plums alone, or swap them for blackberry and apple, or just apples.

And it has one big advantage: you make the filling and topping a day or more ahead and bring them together just before you want to eat, giving you more time to spend with family and friends. And we all need a bit of that after the past 18 months.

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Plum Lovely Recipes

I’ve got a new recipe in development featuring greengages, but while I perfect it (hopefully before the wasps get them), here’s a reminder of some of the other plum and autumn fruit recipes you could be cooking. Continue reading

Lemon, Passionfruit and Blackberry Trifles

No jelly, no custard, definitely no Hundreds and Thousands, but these individual lemon, passionfruit and blackberry trifles are worthy of the name all the same. Ring the changes with different berries and citrus – they’re very versatile. They’re summery little desserts but you can make them all year round if you have fruit in the freezer. Continue reading

Easter Tiffin

If you have kids – and even if you don’t – Easter tends to be a time of unbridled chocolate eating, sugar rushes and sticky fingers. So you may as well go the whole hog and make this indulgent tiffin. Continue reading

A Coronavirus Christmas #2

My great-auntie Gertie, she of the rabbit-skinning speed record (Portly passim), used to keep a drawer full of gifts in her dressing table. Not ones she had bought in advance, the sort of thing you stash away on the off-chance you’ll match it to a suitable recipient, but ones she’d been given. It was not uncommon to get back the Christmas present you’d sent her a year or two earlier, neatly re-wrapped. Continue reading

Gingerbread Mummies

This is a Hallowe’en bake where, fortunately for me, having the icing skills of a pre-schooler is no disadvantage, so if you actually have a four (five, six, seven, eight or thereabouts) year old, you’re ahead on points.

It’s a fun and safe recipe to make with youngsters, hot oven trays apart, obviously. The gingerbread is a very forgiving dough, so it really doesn’t matter too much if your child mauls it during rolling and cutting. Happily, it tastes good enough to please all the family, while allowing for lots of yummy mummy jokes. Continue reading

Bonfire Night Tray Bake

We called it Guy Fawkes’ Night when I was a child, and saw nothing odd about burning the effigy of a human being on top of our back garden bonfires. Dad would fire off rockets from milk bottles buried in the ground, the Catherine Wheels would always fizzle out after a couple of revolutions, I’d make patterns with my sparkler and my big brother would try to terrorise me with bangers thrown near my feet. It was over in no time but then we’d crowd into the kitchen. Continue reading