Blackberry and Apple Tea Cakes

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These easy tea cakes are a great way to use up any remaining Bramley apples you may have from this summer’s harvest. Throw in some blackberries, fresh or frozen, to enhance this seasonal, fruity, light cake. [Read more…]

Spiced Apple Cake

spicedapplecake-1-2This Spiced Apple Cake is a seasonal alternative to everybody’s favourite – carrot cake. Making the most of the abundant apples, this recipe uses Bramley (cooking) apples for the cake and the sweet, red dessert variety for the crispy, cinnamon sprinkled apple ‘crisp’ decoration. Throw in a cream cheese frosting, warming spices and drizzle with maple syrup to serve, this cake is rather delicious. [Read more…]

Blackberry and Apple Flapjacks

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These fruity flapjacks are homework ‘fuel’ for the whole family.

We are now in our second full week back at school and the carefree summer holidays are a bit of  a distant memory. After school, homework is order of the day – spellings, maths, reading, times tables with two weary children, plus a keen two year old eager to join the fray. It is not just the children that need a pick-me-up snack…I need it!

These chewy, fruit flapjacks hit the spot. (Indeed, even my husband has commented that I need to stop making these – I have made three batches – as they taste too good).

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To be honest, I have never been a huge flapjack fan. They can so easily be dry, too hard, too greasy or just too sickly sweet. I think these have the potential to convert any flapjack cynic.

Yes, slightly more labour intensive as the fresh fruit is layered between two layers of flapjack, they are still quick and easy to make. So what makes these special? They are light, chewy, a little moist as a result of the fresh fruit content yet have a ‘crunch’ thanks to the addition of rice and buckwheat porridge flakes, in addition to the regular oats. I have used unrefined brown sugar and either, agave or golden syrup. Use whichever you have in the cupboard. I have also added a little salt to give that lovely salty/sweet aftertaste.

blackappleflapjack-1-2Not only do these taste good, but I think they look pretty. A great way to use the end of season blackberries and of course, all those apples that are abundant at the moment.

Enjoy!

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Blackberry and Apple Flapjacks

Approximately 16 slices

Ingredients

  • 150g blackberries, rinsed
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 180g unsalted butter
  • 175g Demerara sugar
  • 275g porridge oats
  • 100g buckwheat and rice porridge (you can use rice flakes, buckwheat flakes, or a combination)
  • 1/2 teaspoon course sea salt, ground
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 150ml agave syrup or golden syrup
  • 100g Bramley apple, peeled and grated (approximately half a large apple)

Instructions

  1. Place the blackberries and caster sugar in a small saucepan and put over a gentle heat. Allow the berries to soften slightly and a syrup to form. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C, or Gas Mark 3. Prepare a 20cm square tin by lining with baking parchment.
  3. Put the butter, Demerara sugar, oats, porridge flakes, salt, water and syrup of your choice into a large heavy based saucepan and heat gently. Allow the butter to melt and the sugar to dissolve and mix thoroughly until well combined. Remove from the heat.
  4. Spoon just over half of the mixture into the prepared tin. Spread evenly with the back of a spoon, or fork, and push the mixture into the edges and corners, ensuring the mixture is level throughout the tin. With a slotted spoon, place the blackberries onto the mixture and distribute throughout. Grate the apple directly over the blackberries. Add the remaining flapjack mixture and distribute evenly, again pushing the mixture into the tin with the back of a spoon.
  5. Bake for approximately 30 minutes until the top of the flapjack is a rich, golden colour. Allow to cool completely in the tin. Remove from the tin and with a sharp knife, cut into portions.
  6. Store in an airtight container.
http://thecontentedbaker.com/blackberry-and-apple-flapjacks/

Source: The Contented Baker

Mixed Berry Fruit ‘Roll Ups’

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These fruit ‘roll ups’ are a fun, homemade confection I wanted try for the children as they go back to school tomorrow.

I thought they would be great as a quick, after school pick-me-up snack but having made them, they would also be a hit at children’s parties. ( I am now thinking alternative flavour combinations for Halloween…)

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As fresh berries are still so abundant for us right now, these ‘roll ups’ are a great use of them, and a completely different way of enjoying fresh fruit.

I have used a combination of blackberries, raspberries and strawberries along with Bramley apples which form the basis of this homemade confection.

The taste of these beauties is amazing! They give a sweet, fresh, blast of rich berries so intense that you instantly want to try another. Although I intended the ‘Roll Ups’ for the children, grown ups love these as well.

The method for making these is relatively easy – basically heat the fruit, puree in a blender, sieve and spread on a baking tray. The only drawback being the drying out time. They are not ready in an instant. If you want to give these a go, I would suggest starting them late afternoon/early evening, dry them on a low oven for 4-5 hours, transfer the papered rolls to a cooling rack and return to the oven (now switched off but still warm) and leave there overnight to dry out thoroughly.

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This gorgeous snack, which I can’t rate highly enough, is also freezeable. The fact of the matter is though, that these will never make it to the freezer.

They taste so good they will be gone before school even starts.

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Mixed Berry Fruit ‘Roll Ups’

Makes approximately 25-30 Roll Ups

Ingredients

  • 400g Bramley apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
  • 300g blackberries
  • 150g raspberries
  • 150g strawberries
  • 225g granulated sugar
  • 120ml water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients into a large saucepan and heat gently. Cover with lid and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove lid, stir and continue to simmer for approximately 10 minutes until the apple becomes soft.
  2. Pour the heated fruits into a food processor and blend to form a puree. Place a sieve over a large bowl and pour the puree through it, so catching some of the fruit seeds.
  3. Prepare two baking trays by lining with baking parchment. Ensure the trays have edges so that the puree will not spill over. Divide the puree equally between the two trays and spread with a palate knife so forming a thin, smooth layer.
  4. Set the oven to 80 degrees C, or Gas Mark 1/4. Place the trays in the warm oven for 4-5 hours. After that time, turn the oven off, swap the baking trays for wire cooling racks and return to the oven (which is now switched off). By transferring to cooling racks, the bottom of the 'roll ups' can dry out sufficient. Leave overnight to dry completely.
  5. Test the 'drying' by peeling the edge of the 'roll up' away from the parchment. If it peels easily it is ready.
  6. When dry, with a sharp knife, cut strips about 2cm wide across the short side of the dried puree. Repeat until all cut. Roll up the strips and serve.
  7. Store in an airtight container. Suitable for home freezing.
http://thecontentedbaker.com/mixed-berry-fruit-roll-ups/

Source: Adapted from ‘Waitrose Food Illustrated’