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Eat the Seasons - September 2014


Fruit, Nuts & Fungi
Apples, blackberries, blueberries, damsons, elderberries, figs, grapes, greengages, loganberries, peaches, pears.  Lots of lovely mushrooms; Porcini, chanterelles, field mushrooms, horse mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, parasol mushrooms, puffballs, giant shaggy ink caps and summer truffles

Vegetables & Herbs
Artichoke, aubergine, beetroot, borlotti beans, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, courgettes, cucumber, fennel, French beans, garlic, horseradish, kale, leeks, lettuce, onions, parsnips, peppers, potatoes (maincrop), pumpkins & squash, rocket, runner beans, salsify, scorzonera, sweetcorn, tomatoes, watercress

Meat & Game
Farmed goose, grouse, mallard, rabbit, wood pigeon

Fish & Shellfish
Black Bream, crab, freshwater crayfish, eels, lobster, mussels, oysters, prawns, mackerel, wild salmon, scallops, sea bass, sprats, squid, brown and rainbow trout

Going out of season

Apricot, Bilberries, Courgette, Crab, Cucumber, French Beans, Greengages, Marrow, Pepper, Runner Beans, Sardine, Spring Onion, Tomato.

 

Sad as it can be to see another summer roll to an end I never tire of the glorious abundance of ripe fruit and vegetables available.  September brings us plums, apples and blackberries, and it is a great opportunity to make preserves with windfall fruit and late summer veggies.  This it the perfect time of year to mix sweet and savoury flavours, with the game season really coming into its own in late September as the weather cools, bringing richer autumnal flavours to savour alongside sweet fruit desserts. 

England’s temperate climate is very favourable to apples, pears, plums and soft fruit, giving it great depth of flavour, with a high level of acidity balancing the fructose and fruit sugars.  Make the most of these seasonal treats whilst you can, here is a lovely crumble recipe to get you started!

Apple, and quince tart with a hazelnut crumble topping (serves 4)

Perfumed quince puree and hazelnut crumble really makes this apple tart special.

Allow approximately 1.5 hours

Ingredients

For the tart

  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 2 Quince, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 3-4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 230g pre-rolled puff pastry
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 apples, cored and thinly sliced (Cox’s or Braeburns work well)
  • Honey to drizzle
  • 30g unsalted butter, melted

For the hazelnut crumble

  • 100g Self Raising flour
  • 50g butter
  • 50g sugar
  • 50g chopped hazelnuts

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.
  • Melt the butter in a pan, add the chopped quinces and cook over a gentle heat for 8-10 minutes. Stir in half the sugar and a splash of water and cook for a further 4-5 minutes, until softened.
  • Remove from the heat and puree using a hand blender until smooth.
  • Grease a baking tray and trim the puff pastry so that it fits onto the tray. Using a pastry brush, brush over the egg yolk and prick all over with a knife.
  • Spread the quince puree over the pastry and arrange the apple in vertical lines on top. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle the remaining 1-2 tablespoons of caster sugar over the top.
  • Make the crumble by rubbing the butter and flour together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Stir in the sugar and nuts and sprinkle mixture over the tart.
  • Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
  • Remove the tart from the oven, cut into 4 servings and drizzle with a little melted butter.
  • Serve with Crème Fraîche, cream or custard according to preference!