Friday, 12 October 2012

Autumnal baking: an extravaganza of Apple and Pear recipes

The Autumn.

Wrap up snuggly, we're off for an amble, 'in the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness', as Keats wrote.

Bright sunshine, clear skies, invigorating air. The leaves are a blaze of glory: the coppers, golden yellows, oranges and deep reds. 

The sun sinks early, cheeks glow with fresh air and a hearty appetite has developed. 

And we head indoors for the most comforting of bakes to end an Autumnal day.

This weekend is all about the glut of fruits the Autumn brings, the British apple and pear.

Not one, not two, but three scrumptious seasonal bakes to tuck right into.

(After the obligatory walk of course).

Apple and Cinnamon Scones

225g sifted self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
55g butter
4 tbsp caster sugar
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
2 apples, cored, peeled and diced (I used Egremont Russets)
125ml milk, warmed
1 beaten egg for brushing

1. Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/Gas Mark 7
2. Pop the flour, baking powder and butter into a large bowl. Rub together with the tips of your fingers until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. 
3. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon and add in the apple. Give everything a gently stir and make a well in the centre of the mixture
4. Pour in the warmed milk and combine quickly with a knife before tipping the dough out onto a floured work surface. Fold the dough over two or three times until smoother and pat into a round shape approximately 4cm deep. Using a smooth edged cutter dipped in flour, cut out the scones
5. Brush the tops with the beaten egg and place onto a floured baking sheet before baking for 18-20 minutes until risen and golden
6. Serve warm from the oven and with some lovely homemade jam

Pear and Ginger Oaty Crumble
aka the Ultimate Autumnal Crumble


For the crumble:
100g plain or wholemeal flour
1 tsp ground ginger
100g butter, diced
100g light muscovado sugar
120g porridge oats
1 tbsp golden syrup

For the pear filling:
100g caster sugar 
100ml water 
4-5  ripe Conference pears, peeled, cored and cut into chunks 
5 pieces of stem ginger in syrup, finely chopped 

1. Preheat your oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas Mark 6
2. For the crumble: sift the flour in a bowl, add in the sugar and ginger. Add in diced butter and mix with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the oats and syrup. Set aside
3. For the filling: stir the water and sugar in a small saucepan over a gentle heat until beginning to boil. Add in the pear and simmer for a few minutes. Add the chopped ginger and stir together. 
4. Spoon the fruit into a large ovenproof dish and sprinkle over the crumble topping. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the crumble is golden on top
5. Serve with a very large portion of custard

Caramalised Apple Cake with a Streusel Topping

For the caramelized apples:
450g Bramley apples, cored, peeled and diced
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sugar

For the streusel topping:
25g plain flour
85g demerara sugar
1tsp ground cinnamon
50g cold butter
3 tbsp toasted flaked almonds

For the cake:
225g butter, softened
225g caster sugar
3 large eggs
225g self raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
25g ground almonds

1. For the caramelised apples: heat the butter and sugar in a frying pan until the sugar begins to melt. Add in the apples and cook for approximately 5-7 minutes until browned and a rich caramel sauce has developed. Set aside to cool.
2. For the streusel topping: using the tips of your fingers, rub together the flour, sugar, cinnamon and cold butter until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the almonds. Set aside in a cool place.
3. For the cake: Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin with a removable base. Cream together the butter and caster sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy, approximately 5-8 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Sift in the flour and the baking powder and fold in with the ground almonds. Stir in the apples.
4. Spoon into the prepared cake tin, lightly level the top and sprinkle with streusel topping. Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. If, after forty minutes or so the cake starts to look a little too brown, cover with a sheet of baking paper or foil.
5. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack. Serve with a great big dollop of creme fraiche 

Baker's notes...

  • Which will it be? Comforting, warming crumble? A moist seasonal cake with a crunchy, nutty topping? Or a fruity scone with sweet, scrumptious jam?
  • With many thanks to Sainsbury's who kindly sent me samples of British apples and pears to bake with to celebrate the season- over fifty two British apple varieties and over ten delicious varieties of pear are currently in store.


  1. What a perfect collection of Autumnal sweet treats. I would like to be able to sample all three after a good long brisk walk along the coast in Dorset, where I will be this weekend. xx

  2. OMG! It's a apple and pear bonanza Kate and what LOVELY recipes too! I love autumn and you have for me all snuggly now, ready for fires and toast and walks in woods! Karen

  3. Pear and ginger crumble with custard for me please. There's something to be said for the chill in the air now - it makes all of these autumnal delights particularly appealing!

  4. You've made me feel all autumnal. I particularly fancy a piece of that apple cake, maybe while standing around a bonfire.

  5. Aww I keep getting really downabout this transition switch to autumn (in my mind we are moving straight to winter!) but these baked look so homely and comforting it makes me want to enjoy the season instead!! Beautifully written too. Thanks xx

  6. Gorgeous ode to autumn Kate and your apple cake looks divine!

  7. Gorgeous photo's and some lovely recipes too. Almost makes me happy to see Autumn ;0)

  8. I love the colours of autumn. Love your bakes too.
    For me, autumn is apples and spices. And custard...lots of custard!

  9. Autumn is definitely my favourite time of year...all those lovely fruits for baking too! They all look fab but I'd go for that Apple and Cinnamon Scone...perfect with a cup of tea! :-)

  10. delicious! the thought of scones makes me miss dear England..thanks for the poetry!


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