Autumn Apple Crumble


Warm comfort food,woolly warm jumpers, steaming mugs of coffee, a cosy corner with a warm blanket and a good book or a long walk in the crisp Autumn air , when you think of Autumn what springs to mind ?

For me its all the above and the smell of warm apple crumble straight out of the oven. That warm apple and cinnamon smell that just makes the whole house seem so cosy. The middle farmer came home from work last week with a bucket of fresh apples so I had to make some crumble. The one thing about being coeliac is the flour, it is just rotten in most things and baking is never as nice but I think I nailed this crumble and it was just as nice or nicer than my old recipe for apple crumble. It lasted all of one night and was eaten by all the farmers with custard, what more could you want on a dark Autumn evening only warm crumble and custard.

So here is my apple crumble, if you want to make it and you can use normal flour then just change your flour for normal and leave out the xanthan gum.

  • Tray for baking crumble in, I used a glass one.
  • I used about 8 apples but use as much you need to have a nice layer in your tin.
  • 210g or so of gluten free/ normal flour.
  • 2 teaspoons of Xanthan gum if you are using gluten free flour only.
  • 50g roughly of porridge oats.
  • 70g sugar can use brown or white whichever you have.
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon.
  • 170g butter salted or unsalted butter.
  1. Peel and cut up your apples put them in your tray and cover with some extra sugar and a good sprinkle of cinnamon.
  2. Put your flour , oats , sugar , cinnamon and xanthan gum if you are using it into a bowl and then hand mix in the butter till it looks a little like bread crumbs and you have no lumps of butter next. ( leave out your butter for a few hours so its soft makes it so much easier to mix).
  3. Cover your apples with the crumble mix and then cover it with tin foil for the first 25 mins in the oven, bake at gas mark 5/6, this gives the apple a chance to cook and not just your crumble topping.
  4. After about 25mins take off the tin foil and put it back in the oven till your crumble topping is nice and golden. Take it out and enjoy with some custard.

So that’s it a very easy and we all think tasty Autumn Apple Crumble hope you enjoy it as much as we all did.

Porridge bread


Who loves their bread ? Me , Who loves really good homemade brown bread ? Me , Who can’t have gluten and misses having good bread ? ME !  and who just loves good bread ? ME well if you answered yes to any of these read on for a really good recipe. Since I found out I am Coeliac before the summer I have been making it my mission to try every made and mixture of gluten free bread and let me tell you they are all pretty crap in varying degrees. Some taste like the package they come in , some are so full of crap they make your mouth feel fuzzy and some are just plain nasty but what do you do ? you are very limited to choices being Coeliac . Gluten free bread is also a total rip off , some loaves only come with four or five slices and are just so expensive. I have found some good multi seed rolls from Lidl which are fairly nice but that is it for my bread intake.

So I had planned that when I was off on my Halloween break I would try make my own gluten free bread. So I spent last week looking up recipes for breads and nearly all were made using gluten free flour which to be honest is not good either , using it stops at pancake making after that I have yet to make a good cake or scones or buns using it. Then one recipe caught my eye and it was for porridge bread. Now porridge oats are gluten free naturally straight from the field but what can happen when they are in the grain store they can get mixed with other grains that do have gluten so the companies how make them can’t guarantee their oats are gluten free. There are lots of companies who do gluten free porridge oats and they can guarantee their oats haven’t mixed with any other grains so for me I can use them.

As I looked more porridge bread recipes up I decided I would give it a go and see how it turned out. I did change it a little because I add honey to it which I used to do when I was able to make normal brown bread.

Porridge Bread :

  • 300g of porridge oats , normal or gluten free if you need them it makes no difference in taste which you use.
  • 1 x 500g tub of natural yoghurt.
  • 1 x egg
  • 2 x teaspoons of bread soda
  • 1 x level teaspoon of salt
  • 1 x tablespoon of honey
  • 1 x 2lb loaf tin greased and lined
  •  I added a handfull of mixed seeds to mine and also sprinkled some on top.

Mix your honey  , yoghurt and egg together and add your seeds. Then add in your porridge , seeds ,  salt and bread soda and mix till well combined then put it all into your loaf tin and bake in the oven at gas mark 5 / 190c for about 50 to 60mins checking its cooked with a knife, it should come out clean when the bread is cooked.

It is such an easy and really tasty bread for anyone and its even better for someone who cant have gluten because it just tastes so good and its easy to make gluten free. I hope you guys enjoy it as much as we are at the minute.

Send me some pictures of your bread if you try it to my snapchat @ elaineslife or to my Instagram I would love to see how it turns out for you.

Elaine x

 

Food To Hibernate With.


Hibernation sounds so good except for the not eating for months, that part doesn’t sound as much food to someone who loves her food. The sleep part of Hibernation does sound really good as the evenings start to get a lot darker and the mornings the same. The air is getting more of a chill and you can feel autumn  really starting to take hold. The woolie hats and jumpers are starting to appear and the longing for comfort and warmth is growing.

When it gets to this time of the year all I would love to do is snuggle on the couch with a warm blanket , a huge mug of coffee, a good book or something comforting to eat. You just start to crave heat and comfort. 

When I think about hibernating and the perfect food to bring with me it has to be rice pudding. It’s creamy, warm , filling and sweet. It just shouts comfort and Hibernation, like a big warm creamy hug. So today when I had time I made rice pudding and we were also given some lovely apples today so I stewed some of them to go on top of my rice pudding.

Here is my rice pudding and stewed apple recipe so you can make your own Hibernation food.

  • 250g pudding rice
  • 1ltr of milk
  • 100g of sugar (I only used 70g because I don’t like it too sweet ) 
  • Place all the ingredients into an oven proof dish. Preheat your oven and bake for about 40 minutes at gas mark 4/5 till rice is nice and soft.
  • While your rice is baking peel and cut up two or three cooking apples depending on how much stewed apple you want at the end. Place it in a saucepan with a tablespoon of water , a sprinkle of cinnamon and some sugar to taste. Stew on a low heat till all the apples is nice and soft. 
  • When your pudding is done dish it into some bowls and place some stewed apple on top. Any left over apple goes really well on porridge. 

 So there it is my perfect food to hibernate with. Now all you need to do is find a comfy seat , a snuggly blanket and hibernate for a little bit while you enjoy your creamy pudding.

Elaine x 

Come say hi on my snapchat you will find me here elaineslife or on my Instagram .

Blackberry Pancakes.


We had picked some blackberries at the start of the season and had them with pancakes but hadn’t gone back to get any more. There is just something nice about going out to a field and getting to pick your fruit fresh from the bushes rather than having to pay €5 for them in a shop. 

Blackberries are really a sign that autumn is here and yesterday Sid had nagged me long enough to go blackberry so after the homework was done we put on our wellies and headed out to the field to pick some nice , juicy berries.

We spent about half an hour picking berries and the farmer even came to help, we picked enough for pancakes yesterday and we had some in smoothies today. So here is our pancake recipe and for any little or even big people who don’t like fruit you can blend the blackberries and make purple pancakes ! 

Blackberry Pancakes : 

100g of flour ( plain for flat pancakes, self raising for thick and gluten free for coeliac )

1 egg 

Milk or soya/almond/rice milk to make a nice batter.

1 tsp of vanilla extract  (so good in sweet pancakes)

Mix flour , egg , vanilla and milk in a bowl till you have a nice , smooth batter. Heat your frying pan and add a little butter then drop in your batter to make the size of pancake you want. Sid has four little pancakes. Then you can top them with blackberries and some honey on top , mix some blackberries into your batter before you cook your pancakes or you can blend your blackberries and mix it into your battery to make purple pancakes for anyone that doesn’t like their fruit. 

I hope you enjoy making these as much as myself and Sid did.

Elaine x 

Autumn Fruits.


Autumn is really the time of year for snuggling on the couch on a dark evening with something good to read and a nice coffee. It is also a time for walks in the crisp air and taking in all the vibrant colours of the changing landscape around you but it’s also a time for some really good fruit. 

Somehow making apple and blackberry crumble in the middle of the summer doesn’t have the same appeal as it does this time of the year. The smell of warm cinnamon and apple floating around the house is like a giant warm high and an invite to relax with a bowl of crumble and some custard guilt free.

So after the homework rush and while dinner was cooking I made some apple and blackberry crumble. I used apples from the farmers dad’s trees , they are always so much nicer than shop bought ones and tried it with gluten free flour and while it wasn’t as tasty as using proper flour it’s was still pretty good.

What are your favourite fruits of the autumn ? 

Apple and Blackberry crumble.

150g of gluten free flour or normal.

150g of gluten free porridge oats or normal.

175g of brown sugar or coconut sugar which I used.

200g of butter.

Sprinkle of cinnamon.

  • Mix the flour and butter together till you get a texture like bread crumbs mix in the sugar and oats well and this is your topping.
  • Peel and chop up cooking apples till you have enough for a good layer in the dish you are using. Add in as many blackberries as you like and Sprinkle the cinnamon on top as much or as little as you would like.
  • Cover the fruit with your crumble topping and bake in the oven till the topping is a nice golden colour.

I hope you all enjoy this as much as we did this evening.

Elaine x

Handwriting.


This is my handwriting photo for today. These belonged to my Gran she died in 2002 at the great old age of 93 and she loved to bake. These are old recipes of hers , the Christmas cake one she wrote in 1949 ! . Her handwriting was so exact and pretty not like my rushed scribble I do. I love having this recipe book that I can look back at and all her little handwritten notes she has in it. Tomorrow’s prompt is sweetness. 

Elaine x 

My Grans Apple Tart .


This is a recipe I have been keeping safe since it was given to me over twenty years ago . My Gran used to make apple tart nearly everyday as her house was normally full of work men from the farm to feed. As a child I spent most summers staying with her because it wasn’t always easy for my Mam to mind me being in a wheelchair. I loved every minute of the time I spent with her and have fond memories of her baking.

I remember watching her as she baked she never weighed anything it was always done by feel or by eye, a gift I was not blessed with 🙂. I still  remember she had this white plastic mat with blue circles on it for rolling out the pastry. Grandad if he wasn’t out on the farm always cut the apples for her when she was making the tarts. Sometimes I would get off the school bus at the farm and I was always aloud a slice of tart before my dinner and on the days I would forget to ask Gran would wonder was I sick I hadn’t asked for my apple tart 🙂. I asked her one day to write out her recipe for apple tart because I had never tasted one like it before and she did .Gran wrote it on a slip of paper she used to write her shopping lists on and I keep it in one of her recipe books.

I have never given this recipe to anyone else but will share it with you all so long as you let me know what you think of it if you try it ?. The only change I have made to it is in the last few years I add an egg to it other than that it is still the same as when my Gran made it and her mother before her. Hope you enjoy 🙂.

Grans Apple Tart.

2 cups of plain flour ( this cup is one you drink your tea / coffee out of ) , 4 tablespoon full of sugar , 4 oz of margarine , 1 egg , half cup of cold water , 4 or 5 large cooking apples , extra sugar for apples, Large plate buttered. This amount makes enough pastry for the top and bottom of your apple tart.

Measure out two cups of flour , the cup size will depend on how big your plate is.

Next add your 4 tablespoons of sugar mix it up a little then add your 4oz of marg and combine it with the flour till it looks like fine breadcrumbs.In the same cup you measured your flour half fill it with cold water and add your egg to it give it a bit of a mix . When its mixed add it to your flour and combine it altogether till you have a nice pastry , if its a little wet and sticky add some more flour or if a little dry add a little more water.

Next flour your work surface and cut your pastry in half one for bottom one for top of tart. Make sure you have coated your plate with butter so it doesn’t stick to it, I usually use a dinner plate . Roll out your pastry so it fits over the plate with a little spare.Next peel and slice up your apples and place them on top of the pastry keeping them in from the edges a little so it wont boil out on you as it cooks. When you have your apples all sliced you cover them in sugar this is a matter of personal taste and also depends on how sour the apples are. When I made mine on Friday I used 9 tablespoon fulls of sugar the farmers like fairly sweet apple tart.

When you have all the apples done roll out your second piece of pastry and place it over the top of the apples make it a little bigger than is needed. Pick up the plate and trim the edges , then press a fork all around the edges to seal it and prod the top with the fork to let the steam out this will stop the juice from leaking out . Place it in your oven at gas mark 6 for about forty minutes till nice and golden.

Any leftover pastry you have is nice if you roll it out spread some jam you like on it fold it over and bake it as well we call them jam pies 🙂. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.