Autumn Plum and Apple Galette

It’s a properly gloomy autumn day today and there’s even a storm warning here in the South West, so I’m baking for the weather and it’s comfort food all the way in the form of a plum and apple galette.

A galette is a French term for any type of free form tart with the filling in the middle and the sides pulled up – it can be sweet or savoury and I think the haphazard pastry surrounding, with its heaped up filling looks delicious.

In Ottolenghi and Helen Goh’s book Sweet, they use a lemony, cream cheese pastry for Rugelah which I love to use for this recipe too. The galette is also absolutely perfect with standard shortcrust, either homemade or shop bought – the choice is yours.

 

Ingredients:

1 punnet of plums (about 400g)

2 apples ( I like Braeburn)

1 tbs ground almonds

2tbs golden caster sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Pastry – 500g

1 egg, beaten

 

Method:

If you are making your own pastry, do this first and let it chill in the fridge for half an hour before you start the next step.

Preheat the oven to 200c and line a large baking sheet with baking parchment.

Stone and slice your plums, then peel, core and slice your apples. Add them to a large bowl with the almonds, sugar and cinnamon and stir through, completely coating the fruit. Leave to sit for ten minutes.

Roll out your pastry into a rough disc about 1/2cm thick and then drain and arrange the fruit in the centre – you can pile it on or fan it out in a beautiful pattern as long as you leave at least 2cm around the edges for the folding up.

When this is done, gently fold your pastry up and around the edges of the fruit so that they fold over, pushing carefully so that the creases stick together and the edges hold the filling in – you want it to look rustic and uneven so don’t worry too much about being neat.

Brush the pastry with the beaten egg and sprinkle with caster sugar, then bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes, turning the oven down to 180c after 30 mins.

When the galette is a deep golden colour, remove from the oven and serve with vanilla ice cream whilst making witty observations about the horrendous weather we are having lately…

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Carrot, Apple and Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Christmas has been and gone and it really was lovely, but we are nearing the end of January now (which, for the record always feels about six weeks long) and as we tick over into February, I am always desperate for Spring to arrive. I have spent much of this month wondering when the days will get longer (soon), when will we start walking to school in warm early spring sunshine (er, that’s never happened) and when will Winter runs not be spent soaking wet, freezing cold and fighting gale force winds (hmm, again…).

As a small time food blogger with all the patience of a three year old, one of my ’issues’ with this time of year is the lack of daylight (first world problem anyone?) – that orangey-yellow pixelated light that is cast over all photos taken after 3pm drives me a bit mad, which is silly really because all moaning aside, Winter is beautiful –  particularly in this part of the world, where the low light over the sea gives the waves that amazing off white hue, and the shops are full of glorious root vegetables and greens. Plus, Winter was made for slow cooking, baking, soups, stews and feel good food and there is nothing not to like about that…

Below is the recipe for my current favourite soup – carrot, butternut squash and apple with thyme. I like it with a slab of warm, buttered sourdough and at least three holiday magazines. It’s dead easy – let me know what you think.

 

1 x small butternut squash

7-8 decent sized carrots

2 apples (whatever is loitering in the fruit bowl)

Fresh thyme

1 bay leaf (fresh or dried)

Vegetable stock – 600ml

Salt and pepper to taste.

Creme fraiche

 

Halve and drizzle the squash with olive oil before baking in a low oven with a few sprigs of thyme and a bay leaf – time will vary depending on the size of the your squash.

In the meantime peel, chop and boil your carrots and apples in the vegetable stock, making sure to add the apples towards the end of the cooking time.  

When everything is cooked, add in your roasted butternut squash and some more thyme before whizzing everything up in a blender. At this point you might want to add more stock or water depending on how thick you like your soup – I like mine quite thick. Season to taste, sloop into a bowl, then shake on some thyme leaves and a good sized spoonful of creme fraiche.

Best enjoyed after a freezing cold dog walk while someone else is bathes your sodden, muddy dog.

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