Firstly, butternut squash and carmelised onion galette from the wonderful smitten kitchen. Although I used half wholemeal instead of just white flour and skipped the pre-freezing (due partly to laziness, partly to a desire not to be eating at midnight and partly because my pantry didn’t seem a huge amount warmer than the freezer) the pastry turned out fantastically well. Something I found especially pleasing since I so rarely cook from recipes – it was nice to discover something that worked so well using ingredients I would never have thought to put together as pastry. The filling was also fantastic – although it would be really hard to go wrong with roast butternut squash, carmelised shallots and hard goats cheese even if I did cheat and use dried sage, trekking to my mum’s house to steal some from her garden wasn’t so appealing.
As for dessert, apple cake from one of my favourite ever cake recipes, which can also be vegan if you use margarine rather than butter and a non-dairy milk. It’s the apple, date and cinammon cake from the World Food Cafe 2, my copy of which now falls open to this page.
Beat together 4oz / 115g each butter and brown sugar, then mix in 1floz / 30ml sunflower oil, 2floz / 60ml milk. Fold in 70z / 200g flour, 2 tsps baking powder, 1 tbsps cinnamon. Stir in 3-5 grated apples depending on size and a handful of chopped dates. Pour into a prepared 9″ cake tin or individual muffin cases and sprinkle the top with a mixture of chopped nuts, cinammon and brown sugar. Bake at 350〫/ 180〫for about an hour and a quarter for a large cake and around 45 minutes for muffins.