Thursday, October 15, 2015

October kitchen

I always love spending time in the kitchen, whatever the season, but autumn is a bit special. I love how the menu shifts unashamedly into warm, spicy, rich mode. I thought I would share some of the foody goings on in my kitchen this month.

Spiced banana muffins - recipe from here, except I substituted the cinnamon and nutmeg for 1 tsp of pumpkin spice. Well, it is October, after all.

These were delicious freshly baked, and lasted well too. We enjoyed them warm, with butter for breakfast next day.

We've been eating lots of soups, stews and risottos. Pumpkin risotto is our all time favourite meal.  I tried this recipe, for chicken stew with dumplings, just for a change. We did enjoy the stew very much, but the dough balls just weren't a hit. I possibly didn't cook them for long enough, but they were disappointing and stodgy. We'll just stick to potatoes and rice.

Much more success with my Caramelised Apple Turnovers. Peel and chop 5 apples - I just used a selection from whatever was sitting in the fruit bowl. Add to a pan with 2 oz brown sugar and 1 oz butter. allow the butter and sugar to melt.  Add spice if you like, but I like the pure apple taste in this recipe.

Simmer away in the carmerlised juices until the apple is soft. As these were desert apples, they stayed firm when cooked. Leave to cool. Make shortcrust pastry. I used 8oz plain flour and 4 oz butter. Allow pastry to rest in the 'fridge. While all this resting and cooling is going on, let's pop out for a wee stroll down to the pier. 

Enjoy the autumn seaside colours.

Watch the waves.

Wish you had brought a basket.

Notice the beauty everywhere. 

And now we're back and its time to make the turnovers. Roll out the pastry, and using a tea plate as a pattern, cut into rounds. There was enough for 4. 

Spoon some of the apple caramel onto one half of the pastry round and then turn the other half over and seal the edges together. I added a spoonful of cream cheese to a couple of the turnovers, just because I thought of it at the time. Brush tops with milk and bake until golden brown - about 20 - 30 minutes at 190C (375F) 

Dust with icing (confectioner's) sugar when done, then  serve with cream, ice cream, custard or whatever you fancy.

.I love that Americans call them hand pies - they are made to be held in the hand, and munched as you walk around the garden. Perfectly portable.

If you have any leftover caramel apple, which we did, it is delicious as a topping for porridge, yogurt or ice cream.

So that's what has been going on around the my table this month - good, hearty, comforting food, What's cooking in your kitchen? xxx


  1. Those apple turnovers look dreamy :) Scrumped a few on a walk yesterday so this might be the perfect way of using them up!
    Hope you're enjoying this lovely October sunshine
    Abel x

  2. I can just smell that breeze from the sea, perfumed and punctuated up close by the homey scent and rich bites of that deep sugary caramel and fruit. What a perfect picnic---this taste-memory eclipses the wan delicacy of Proust's Madeleines.

    .It is a time of turning, of closing in, of setting by, this cooling season. In the South, we call it "Fall," perhaps for all the drifting leaves. And the scents and heavier, more sturdy creations from pots and pans and ovens are one of the lovelier parts of the whole that it Autumn.

    We've just had a great pot of "snap beans," cooked long and low, after being snapped at the breakfast table with the eight-year-old GRAND, whose hands can be seen in a long of pictures from babyhood, learning little kitchen chores. A big meaty smoked-ham bone tucked down amongst the beans to start and simmer, and some golf-ball-sized Yukon Gold potatoes atop for the last half hour to steam. A rich, moist Carrot Cake, redolent of ginger and cinnamon, with little nuggets of pineapple scattered through, a shake of Pumpkin Spice into my coffee, and lots of roasted vegetables.

    Your chicken soup is absolutely a scrumptious feast, and those bowls of porridge with the apples! Simply perfect.


  3. Ooh this all looks just grand! I must try each recipe. Thank you for sharing!

  4. I have had a busy week in the kitchen as I have been making extra meals for the freezer for when I return from holidays. Those apple turnovers look delicious, my mouth is watering. Take care.

  5. Oh that all looks so good! This week has been chilly here so I have been making gallons of soup, butternut squash and sweet potato, carrot and coriander, cream of parsnip. Toad in the hole is back on the menu too - Tam

  6. I've been making apple hand pies here, but they lacked the special touch of cream cheese, what a fabulous idea and one I will be doing soon.
    Tonight we are having homemade pear sauce with ginger and I have eaten more than my share!

  7. Ooh can I join you in your kitchen, all looks yummy! What's cooking, colcannon which I make with cream cheese too, lots of stews cooked really slowly all day and soup, always soup :)

  8. Great post, I can almost feel the sea breeze and taste the caramelly apple turnovers. Will try them soon. Today we are eating bean stew, traditional autumn and winter fare in the Balkans.

  9. I want to come to your house.... :) xx

  10. Yummy post! I have been dreaming of dumplings but have never tried to make them . Love warm comforting foods this time of year!

  11. Delightful foody post.... Made me feel hungry.

  12. Cooling weather does have its charms, as your beautiful post shows us, Jacqui.

    I've been eating an apple a day, trying out apple varieties that are new to me. Now you've got me considering making some turnovers. Funny, I've heard the expression hand pies, but it's not the term that was used by my friends and family ... these little pastries were always turnovers.


  13. Oh...YUM! So much deliciousness in your kitchen and so much beauty in your part of the world. :)

  14. beautiful post, I bet your kitchen smells delightful and "homey". I love this time of year when the food changes with the weather and pumpkins and apples are eaten abundantly!!

  15. Your post has inspired me to make my chicken and dumpling on Saturday...I'll send you my dumpling recipe you might want to try....

  16. Lovely blog and recipes, making me hungry and I've just eaten dinner! Lovely photos too, take care x

  17. Yum ~ Thanks for the recipe links ~ I am anxious to try some of them...especially that yummy "Hand pie"! I am always impressed with a good pie crust and that is a rarity to find in America these days. So glad my mother taught me that skill!

  18. The view from your kitchen is just so amazing!! I'm thinking I have to try making some of those hand pies. They look scrumptious!!! I love the transition from summer to autumn. My favorite time of the year!!! xoxo

    ~ Wendy

  19. ah, i just finished up a post on my apple crumble. butter and brown ugar make anything taste good ;)

  20. I'm not sure if what you call dumplings is the same as what we make here but for us the trick is to have them set on top of the stew or thick soup, dropping them into a simmering pot. No lid for the first 10 minutes and then the lid back on, but cocked for the steam to escape, for the last 10 minutes. Dumplings should be fluffy and done to the centers. Like a what we call biscuit but softer.

    1. Thanks for that JM - I didn't do the uncovered bit. Dumplings, or dough balls haven't really featured in my culinary history, so I don't really know what a good one should be like xx


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