Easy Apple Tart Recipe (Vegan)

Vegan apple tart

For me, one of the triumphs of the autumnal season in the UK is the humble apple. I will take any opportunity to eat a cooked apple, and as the recipient of a bagful of fat, bulbous Bramley apples – and finding a spare 20 minutes one evening whilst E took a quick nap – I decided to make a simple but super tasty (vegan) apple tart.

Bramley apples

Here’s how I did it with minimum prep and maximum flavour. Just let those yummy apples do all the work:

INGREDIENTS

2 – 3 large Bramley apples, peeled & cored

Ready-made rolled (vegan) puff pastry (I used Tesco)

Demerera sugar for sprinkling

Apricot jam for glazing

 

METHOD

1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 5/190C/375F, and grease or line a tart tin or flan dish with baking parchment.

2. Using the tin upside down as a guide, cut a large disc of the puff pastry to size, leaving an extra 2cm or so for the crust. Place inside baking tin and mould to the sides. Don’t worry too much about being neat!

3. Slice the apple and place on the tin in a spiral pattern, starting at the outside edge and working inwards, overlapping each slice.

4. Sprinkle Demerera sugar over the sliced apple and put the tin in the oven on the middle shelf. Bake until the pastry is a light golden brown and ensure it has baked thoroughly in the middle (should take around 20 minutes).

5. Once baked, leave to cool and glaze with apricot jam. Serve with vegan ice cream or Alpro custard!

I also tried making tartlets with the above recipe by using a shallow muffin tray  – perfection!

Autumn comfort eating – Instant Pot Butternut squash soup

Today was a good day. E is almost 5 weeks old and it’s still very much a round-the-clock job looking after her. So days like today, when I’ve grabbed 15 minutes here and there to tick a few jobs off the list, feel like a triumph.

In the days straight after E was born, hot meals were hard to come by. My mum came to the rescue with stew and soup, and kept us going until we found our feet.

I’m still finding my feet, but making a concerted effort to start a routine, and part of that is home cooked food and a decent meal each night.

A timesaver and somewhat of a God-send has been the Instant Pot. If your food has finished cooking, then it automatically goes onto a keep warm mode – no cold food, and no burned saucepans!

Today E decided to have a quick 15-min nap after we’d been out for a walk, so I took advantage and threw together  some ingredients to make an earthy, autumnal soup. Perfect for these cooler days, and something I can store for a couple more lunches this week:
Cheap meals - Autumn Butternut Squash soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 butternut squash, chopped & cubed roughly
  • 1 large floury potato (eg Maris Piper), chopped & cubed
  • 2 large onions ( I also added a few small homegrown banana shallots), diced roughly
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped & cubed
  • 2 – 2.5 cups of water
  • About two heaped dessert spoons of Marigold vegan bouillon
  • Liberal dash of cayenne pepper

METHOD

1. Dice onions and add cooking oil (I use a mild olive oil mix). Press Sauté on the Instant Pot. Cook until soft, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the rest of the chopped veg and continue to sauté for a few mins, sweating down veggies.

3. Add water and bouillon, then cayenne pepper to taste.

4. Place lid of Instant Pot on, set to Manual for 15 mins.

5. Once the manual programme has finished, allow steam to vent. Open Instant Pot and blend down ingredients to a smooth consistency.

6. Serve with crusty bread!

 

Pumpkin Bread Roll Recipe

Pumpkin bread is my new thing.

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If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that in the midst of this glorious Autumn, I’m really enjoying pumpkins right now! After visiting the Bromham Mill Apple Day festival in Bedfordshire and buying a loaf of pumpkin bread that was on sale there, I decided to have a go at making my own.

The rolls have a lovely warm pumpkin-coloured hue and the pumpkin seeds really make for a delicious recipe.

It was my first time making pumpkin bread so my recipe is a little fly by the seat of your pants. I tend to start with a base recipe and then just adjust as I go along – air temperature, humidity, flour type etc can all have an effect so just trust your judgement! I worked with American cup sizes so have tried to convert as best I can, but it’s always worth double checking!

Pumpkin bread rolls recipe

Basic Pumpkin Bread Dough Recipe (Vegan)

Ingredients:
700g/25 oz/5.5 cups strong white bread flour  (I used Duchy Organic)
170g/6 oz/ 3/4 cup of tinned pumpkin puree or cooked & mashed pumpkin
470ml/ 16 fl oz/ 2 cups of lukewarm water (have more on standby!)
1 dessert spoon salt
1 – 1 1/2 tsp active yeast (I used Allinson Easy Bake yeast)
Small handful of pumpkin seeds

Method:

1. Sift a little of the flour, the salt and the yeast into a large mixing bowl. Add some water and pumpkin puree and begin combining  into a wet dough.
2. Continue to add the flour, water and pumpkin puree until all the ingredients are combined in the bowl. You might find at this stage that the dough is a little dry, so add water or pumpkin puree as required. Likewise if you’re finding the dough is too wet, add some extra flour sparingly. Too much flour can make for a dense texture, so be careful!
3. Knead the bread on a clean surface with a dusting of flour, or add into a dough mixer for 5-10 minutes, depending on how long you have to prove the bread – a longer prove will need less kneading/mixing. We bunged our dough into a Kenwood mixer with the dough hook, took it out a couple of times and worked it for a few seconds and then added it back in. You really want to get the gluten forming but overkneading/overworking can also result in a dense bread!
4. Take the dough and make into a little ball and put in a large bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave at room temperature for 12-18 hours, up to 24 hours and no longer than 48 hours. This is when the magic happens. So be careful that you don’t grow a big dough monster that spills over the bowl! If the yeast is TOO active, then putting the dough in the fridge can slow things down, but the dough will need to be brought back up to room temperature before working it again.
5. Once the dough has proved and basically doubled in size, remove it, add in the pumpkin seeds, and then make your bread shapes – rolls, loaves or whatever you fancy. Place on a baking sheet, cover with a tea towel to avoid the unbaked dough crusting, and allow to prove one last time until the dough has almost doubled in size (this should only take an hour or so at room temperature). Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven at Gas Mark 6/200C/180C fan assist/390F/350F fan-assist. 6. Place the baking sheet and dough in the oven and bake your bread until golden broad and cracked. For extra crusty bread, use a sterile (new!) plant sprayer and sporadically mist the bread with water during the bake. Keep the time that the oven door is open at a complete minimum!
7. Once the bread is baked, switch the oven off, open the door and allow the bread to cool inside the oven. Then remove your freshly baked bread and leave on a wire rack until completely cooled in the centre.
8. Serve with soup, enjoy with homemade jam or make a lovely sandwich!

You can also use this recipe for dutch oven bread.

Delicious pumpkin bread roll