Plum & ginger cobbler

Plum and ginger cobbler
Plum and ginger cobbler
Plum and ginger cobbler

So, this was supposed to be a peach and gooseberry cobbler, but Morrisons ran out of peaches and gooseberries (let’s be honest, it’s unlikely Morrisons stock gooseberries, but I live in hope). So my peach and gooseberry cobbler turned into an apricot and blackberry cobbler – but guess what? No blackberries. However, to my amazement, they had apricots. YES! But what goes with apricot other than peach? Plum? That old classic combination of plum and apricot. Is that a thing? Probably not, but I decided to give apricot and plum cobbler a chance.
So, after wrestling with a rather elderly but scrappy lady* for the last two packets of plums, I returned home only to realise my apricots were rock hard, so I settled for a plum and ginger cobbler – it was clearly meant to be.

*Don’t worry about the elderly scrappy lady, she could clearly look after herself and had a whiff of Stella Artois about her.


Plum & ginger cobbler
Serves 6 / Hands on time 35 mins /Total time 1 hr /
You’ll need: Deep casserole dish
For the filling
12 ripe plums, each sliced around the stone in 4 big chunks
80g light brown sugar
Juice and zest of a lemon
Juice of an orange
1 tbs self raising flour
1½ tsp ground ginger
For the topping
250g self-raising flour
100g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp ginger
60g caster sugar
90g cold unsalted butter, cubed
150g full fat Greek yogurt
4 tbs semi-skimmed milk
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Handful flaked almonds 
2 tsp soft brown sugar
Crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream to serve (optional)

Method
1. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400F/gas mark 6. Start by taking each individual plum and standing it upright on a chopping board. Using a sharp knife as close to the stone as possible, slice in a downwards motion on all four sides of the plum leaving you with four chunks. Discard the stone and repeat this process with the rest of the plums.
2. Tip the plums into a deep oven dish and squeeze over the juice of an orange and a lemon along with the lemon zest. Sprinkle over the soft brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of flour and ground ginger and give it all a good mix. Put in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
3. Meanwhile in a bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, milk, vanilla extract and egg yolk. Put to one side.
4. In a larger separate bowl, combine the self-raising flour, ground almonds, caster sugar, salt, ground ginger and the baking powder. Add the cubed cold butter and start rubbing it into the flour mixture using your hands until you have breadcrumbs.
5. By now your plums should be soft. Keeping the oven on, remove the plums and set aside to cool before mixing the wet ingredients with the dry (as soon as you combine the two they will start interacting with each other, you don’t want that as this could prevent a good rise later).
6. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well with a wooden spoon until you have a sticky dough. Using wet hands (this prevents the dough sticking to your hands) take small handfuls of dough, roll in-between your palms before topping the plums. Repeat this process until the plums are covered in an even layer of dough (don’t worry if the top looks a bit messy and you have a few holes, the dough will rise and expand in the oven disguising your shoddy workmanship). Sprinkle over a handful of flaked almonds and couple of teaspoons of soft brown sugar.
7. Bake in the oven for around 20-25 minutes or until the top of your cobbler is well risen and golden in colour. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. Spoon into bowls and top with crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream. 
Plum and ginger cobbler
Plum and ginger cobbler

If you’ve had a go at making my cobbler or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


V– Vegetarian     Once cooled, suitable for home freezing in an airtight container. Consume within 3 months.



Carrot & ginger soup with cashew cream

Carrot & ginger soup with cashew cream
Carrot & ginger soup with cashew cream

I know it’s early, I know I probably shouldn’t have done it – but it’s too late now, it’s happened. Last week, I made the momentous decision to transition. Gone are the black tights, gone are the warm winter coats and knee-high boots. That’s right, my winter wardrobe has been replaced with all things summer!
Last week, temperatures soared into the late-20s, making it the hottest April in the UK on record since 1949. But, of course, in true British fashion, the weather is set to nosedive back down again. Typical. I’m not surprised, but I will not surrender – I’m sick of living in stupid Narnia. So, if you see a rather pasty, 30-something woman, wearing denim shorts and a sun hat, shivering at a bus stop this week in the rain, pay her no heed.
So, in preparation for these plummeting temperatures, I’ve made a warming carrot and ginger soup for Jamie to spoon into my mouth as I curse my idiotic decision. It’s topped with a beautifully creamy cashew nut cream, which may be a new idea to some of you. I love cashew nut cream, my mum used to make it occasionally and pour it all over my apple crumble. It’s a great dairy-free alternative to cream, and goes wonderfully well with sweet or savoury dishes. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the cashew nut cream really makes this soup, so I strongly recommend you take the time to soak those cashews – you won’t regret it. Enjoy!


Carrot & ginger soup with cashew cream
Serves 4 / Hands on time 35 mins / Total time 50 mins + soaking / V Vn Df Gf
You’ll need:
A food processor
1 tbs olive oil
600g carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
1 large knob of ginger (roughly 50g), grated
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 ½ litre of vegetable stock, I use 1 ½ Knorr stock pots
Cashew cream
150g cashews
¼ tsp salt
1 small garlic clove, crushed
Squeeze of lemon juice
150ml water


Method
1. The night before, soak 150g of cashews in a bowl of water overnight.
2. Preheat your oven to 220°C/200°C fan/400°F/gas mark 7. Peel and roughly chop the carrots and put them in a large roasting tray, along with the grated ginger, chopped onion, bashed garlic, nutmeg and olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper and give it all a good mix, before roasting in the oven for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, make the cashew cream. Rinse and drain the cashews and put them in a food processor along with 150ml of water, a crushed garlic clove, a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper. Blitz for around 5-7 minutes or until you have a smooth creamy consistency. Put to one side.
3. Once the carrots are roasted, carefully pour them into a large cooking pot before adding a litre of vegetable stock and a drained can of chickpeas. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes before blending either in a food processor or with a hand blender.
4. Pour into bowls, top with lashing of cashew cream and serve with bread.

Carrot & ginger soup with cashew cream
Carrot & ginger soup with cashew cream

If you’ve had a go at making my soup or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


V– Vegetarian    Vn– Vegan    Gf– Gluten free    Df– Dairy free
– Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months. Freeze cashew cream separately. Keep for up to 3 months. 



Cucumber & ginger pickle

Cucumber and ginger pickle
Cucumber and ginger pickle

Cucumber & ginger pickle
Serves 2 as part of a bento box / Hands on time 5 mins / Total time 10 mins + pickling time /
V Vn Df
½ large cucumber
½ unripe conference pear
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp light soy sauce
3 tbs rice wine vinegar
½ tsp caster sugar
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
Knob of fresh finely grated ginger


Method
1. Slice the cucumber in half lengthways and scrap out all the seeds with a spoon. Slice the 2 boats in half lengthways again before cutting into chunks. Peel, core and finely chop the pear and pop in a large bowl with the cucumber. Sprinkle with a ¼ tsp of salt and put to one side.
2. In a small bowl add the rest of the salt, soy sauce, rice wine, sugar and chilli flakes and finely grated ginger. Give it a good stir and pour over the cucumber and pears. Put in an air tight container and leave over night or for an hour before serving in the fridge.


V– Vegetarian    Vn– Vegan    Df– Dairy free
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.