Tag Archives: Pie

Apricot Compote For Dusk & Dawn

Feasting At Dawn, Rocking Dog

Feasting At Dawn

With summer in full swing it is lovely to find blushed ripe apricots in season. Apricots, however are a fruit that benefit nearly always from gentle cooking.

With two large punnets full of these soft velvety beauties, I halved each fruit removing their stone. Placed in a large pan I added a little water, a split vanilla pod and some golden caster sugar. Slowly brought to the boil, I stirred, and then covered the pan with a close fitting lid, reducing the heat to a simmer. I cooked the apricots until they were tender (approximately 10 minutes) and left the compote to cool. Later I poured the fruit and its thick juice into a large jar (or use a lidded box). Refrigerate.

The fruit will form the basis of our breakfast for the next week. We will savour the gorgeous taste of the fleeting summer, adding granola, some Greek yoghurt and a trek into the garden!

Alternatively, the compote can be used as the basis for some delicious summery desserts. For a simple light pie, put a generous layer of compote into a shallow dish before topping with a packets worth of crumpled up filo pastry. Brush lavishly with melted butter, sprinkle with sugar and bake in a hot oven until golden brown. A contemporary trifle can be concocted with amaretti biscuits, Amaretto, homemade custard, mascarpone cream… and of course the apricots! Even simpler, lightly toast brioche and top with the compote and good quality ice-cream. Crumbles, pancake filling, waffle topping- the possibilities are endless!

For a W.I. take, bake a batch of light and fluffy scones (gorgeous with the addition of some chopped stem ginger and ginger spice). Serve warm with the compote and lashings of clotted cream.

Thanks to the lovely Matt Waite for his gorgeous cups, bowls etc.. Wonderously, the talented potter bears a passing resemblance to a young Sean Bean!

.....And Dusk!, Rocking Dog

…..And Dusk!

Summer In A Jar, Rocking Dog

Summer In A Jar

Alfresco Breakfast, Rocking Dog

Alfresco Breakfast

What Have You Got Cooking Rocking Dog?

The Magic Begins!, Rocking Dog

The Magic Begins!

The answer, another simple dessert to blag, oops, blog about! My lovely Mum’s recipe for Scandinavian Peasant Girl With Veil delighted many a guest during the 70’s. It was often the perfect end to a dinner party which had normally begun with Beef Stroganoff or Athenian Mince (rather like lasagne but the pasta layer being replaced with boiled thickly sliced potatoes). Another pudding staple was cherry pie (Morton’s black cherry pie filling trapped in a homemade pastry case). The pie was normally decorated with large pastry stars, had a hole to let the steam escape, and a generous sprinkling of sugar before baking. Pudding plates cleared, it was my Dad Doug’s piece de resistance to offer a range of liquors. Holiday travel abroad was in it’s infancy but there’d be some weird concoction from Palma de Mallorca, French hypermarket buys together with Drambuie and Tia Maria. Latterly I remember one of Dad’s less successful liquer buys, a kiwi flavoured liquer with two whole kiwi unappetisingly floating about in it. It rather resembled a specimen jar on some gory hospital lab’ shelf!

Unfortunately, I do not know where the original recipe for Scandinavian Peasant Girl came from. My Mum Barbara, had a small shelf of cookery books and recipe cards, but for weekday cooking she relied on a selection of regular stored in the head recipes. I remember her loving Graham Kerr, The Galloping Gourmet when he hit the TV screens, she definitely said he was dishy! She certainly couldn’t abide the bullying Fanny Craddock but was rather fond of Keith Floyd

We ate this nostalgic pud’ yesterday for a small gathering, and I hope my children will keep this family recipe in their repertoire. I tried to look for Barbara’s glass trifle bowl to get the whole 70’s vibe, alas my cellar is much to untidy to lay my hands on it! (job 476 on the list) Although a grating of 70% dark chocolate would be more PC these days, I still personally love the Cadbury’s Flake to remind me of this pudding being served up at home by my mum in a jazzy trouser suit!

So the recipe for Barbara’s Scandinavian Peasant Girl With Veil.

(serves 6 very generously)
3/4 large sliced wholemeal loaf (day old bread perfect)
250g butter
100g soft brown sugar
4 large Bramley apples
4 tbsp white sugar
200ml double cream
2 Flake bars or grated chocolate

*Peel, core and slice apples and put in a pan with a little water and the white sugar. Cook until pulpy. Cool.
*Break the bread slices into pieces and blitz to coarse breadcrumbs with a stick blender or in a processor.
*Melt the butter on a medium heat in a large high sided frying pan.
*When butter melted add in the breadcrumbs and continue cooking over a medium heat. Stir constantly!
*After about 15 minutes the breadcrumbs will be crisper and a chestnut brown colour. Remove from the heat.
*Stir the brown sugar into the breadcrumbs.Leave to cool.
*When apple and breadcrumb mixes are both cold, whip your cream into peaks.
*Layer the apple and breadcrumb mixtures in a large glass bowl/glasses. End with a breadcrumb layer.
*Dollop the veil (cream) on top of your dessert(s) and break over some shards of Flake or grated chocolate.
*Refrigerate until serving.

If you were making this dessert ahead of time I would suggest making the apple and breadcrumb mixes and storing them separately in airtight containers in the fridge. Assemble up to 2 hours before guests arrive. No Hostess Trolley required!

Thank you to Malago WI for the lovely Emily Ketteringham tea towel which features in my photo’s. Simply too lovely to dry dishes with!

Mother and Brother, Rocking Dog

Mother and Brother

Scandi' Pud', Rocking Dog

Scandi’ Pud’

Cake For The Prodigal Son

Cake for the boy!, Rocking Dog

Cake for the boy!

My boy is home today and so I baked cake. His favourite is Carrot Cake, so I took out my favourite recipe by good old Delia Smith.

Easy to make, quick to bake and very moist and yummy to eat, it’s a winner! The cakes are baked and on leaving the oven have a citrus syrup poured over. Having cooled they are turned out of their tins and filled and topped.

Ms Smiths recipe includes a topping made from fromage frais and mascarpone, together with a little sugar and cinnamon. In my experience this proves to be very runny, so I use mascarpone with some full fat cheese, sugar, cinnamon and a little finely grated orange zest. I stir the ingredients together carefully, rather than whisking.

Frouing is optional but I have used some clementine halves and fresh bay leaves.

There are a bunch of skiers who will also no doubt enjoy thick wedges of cake as they wend their way through France by train. Thus the cake tin will soon be empty once again!

Whatever your plans are for the weekend have a lovely time and wrap up warm. I’m dusting off my sledge in the hope there’ll be snow!

Coffee & Cake

Coffee & Cake

Prodigal Son Pie, Rocking Dog

Prodigal Son Pie

Rocking Dog Sews For Spring

Vintage Lace, Rocking Dog

Vintage Lace

Rocking Dog is beginning to think of projects to embrace the forthcoming spring.
With a gorgeous stash of vintage lace and frou I am looking forward to make pretty things to entice those with beautiful boudoirs or with nuptials to celebrate.

With my son’s recent engagement I have yet to be given my orders regarding what they would like me to “run up”. It’s early days and I hope the lovestruck couple enjoy the planning of their special day. I am sure it will be very unique and meaningful, and maybe I need to sew some lace edged handkerchiefs for the day!

Until then I can make lovely things for other brides and grooms. I am very happy to work with couples and make bespoke decor and additionally can help with wedding styling. How I love frouing!

My advice to anyone planning a wedding is to delegate with a capital D! It is very tempting to try and do everything as a small family group but ….here’s a stark warning! We as a family sourced and did all the food, marquee flowers, setting up, made 1000’s miles bunting, sourced and bought 120 sets vintage china and Babycham glasses, baked and decorated the cake, decorated the chapel, sourced and bought all the booze, did all the wedding stationery, made night lanterns etc….etc..for lovely daughters wedding and …..felt totally wrecked! I had three hours sleep, literally had ten minutes to get ready, and had none of those tender proud parent moments as I was too busy ferreting in the fridge for 120 Panna Cotta’s and the evenings Pieminister pies! Meanwhile, Andyman was still in a towel when the white Cadillac arrived! It was mad! Though in a somewhat trance like state it was a great wedding, but I do wish I’d just been able to let my control freak nature to let go just a little and I think that goes for the bride too and we’d… DELEGATE!

On the very plus side we have some very lovely vintage china in our cellar which we have been able to use for charity events, loan to friends and groups. Rocking Dog hopes to host a charity pop up vintage afternoon tea later this year. Please contact me if you would like me to send you an invite.

Looking forward to finally putting Christmas to bed, with decorations boxed, fridge cleared of naughtiness and thank you letters written. Then I can make lovely Rocking Dog things, and watch for the first signs of spring.

Vintage Frou, Rocking Dog

Vintage Frou

Wedding Pudding Box, Rocking Dog

Wedding Pudding Box

DIY Wedding, Rocking Dog

DIY Wedding

Special Apple Pie!

Apple Pie

Why do I give into the demands of my son?! My gorgeous girls come home and accept whatever is put on the table, but Golden Boy tongue in sort of cheek goads me for Yorkshire Puddings, Apple Pie.. etc.. etc… Anyway today’s pie Alex.. While we are on the subject of men .. one of my photo’s shows my beloved rolling pin.
The said rolling pin was a present from my parents, locally crafted from beautiful cross-sections of wood and truly coveted. One day I could hear all this banging from our cellar – and found Andyman defrosting the freezer by bashing the ice with my rolling pin! I could have wept.
It survived pretty much unscathed, but I did feel like hitting the enthusiastic rolling pin wielding thug ! Sorry must go and get The Special One’s pie baked!!

Pastry Cutters

Pastry Cutters

Rolling Pin

Rolling Pin