Tag Archives: autumn

Bake: Pumpkin & Spice sugar buns

love an ornamental gourd

Autumn sees the return of a most versatile root veg, the humble pumpkin/squash/gourd. Each year I have a little word with myself and promise not to get over excited when the gourds finally hit the stores, and yet, every year come October I have a veritable collection. So far this year I have managed to restrain myself to just the above, along with several butternuts that were of course purely for recipe development purposes and not because I need as many pumpkins as I can possibly lay hands on to deck my halls.

Yes, we’re big fans of pumpkins here at make, do and spend. We hold an annual pumpkin carving party which usually involves good food, friends and some outrageous pumpkin creativity. Highlights of which include last years winner Walter White, enchanted forest scenes and my personal favourite, the bread bus which was born out of a Narborough Rd wide pumpkin shortage!

pumpkin carving party

So theres always quite a bit of pumpkin to be eaten at this time of year and it lends itself particularly well to sweet treats. I’ll be eating these little buns for breakfast this week, these are my kind of comfort food. At this time of year enriched buttery doughs are what I crave, particularly when combined with dark sugar and spice!

To Make 12 Pumpkin and spice sugar buns you will need

  • 430g strong bread flour
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 7g salt
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 1 medium egg
  • 10g yeast
  • 150ml whole milk
  • 130g pumpkin puree- this is around half a pumpkin squash, roasted to the below method

for the filling

  • 30g butter at room temporature
  • 2 tbls dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 tbls ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbls ground ginger

for maple and cream cheese topping

  • 150g cream cheese
  • 30g maple syrup

how to roast pumpkin

To make the pumpkin puree pre-heat an oven to 180°C and cut the pumpkin into chunks leaving the skin on. place in a roasting tray and pour about 1/2 an inch of water into the base- this will add steam to the roasting process and help break down the fibers of the pumpkin. Roast the pumpkin for around 20-30 minutes until soft. Allow too cool, then peel off the skins and puree using a  blender.

To make the dough warm the milk to blood temp, so it’s cool enough to comfortably hold your little finger in for a few seconds. Add the yeast, stir until both are well combined and set aside.

Place the flour, pumpkin puree, salt, sugar, butter and egg into the bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment. Start the mixer on a slow speed and stream in the yeast and milk mixture slowly until all the ingredients come together to form a dough, turn the mixer up a little and knead the dough for around 5 minutes so the butter is well incorporated and the dough smooth and shiny. Allow the dough to prove for 1 hr or so until doubled in size.

rolling

Once proved transfer the dough to a well floured surface and roll the dough into a rectangle measuring around 30cm x 55cm.

dot the butter across the surface of the dough then sprinkle over the sugar and spices.

Starting with the long edge roll the dough tightly into a long sausage then divide the dough into 12 equal pieces.

cinnamon buns rolled

Lightly grease a muffin tin with butter or non stick baking spray and place each bun into the tray, cut side up so the swirl of the sugar and spice is visible, allow the dough to prove for a further 30 minutes and pre-heat oven to 160°C. once the buns have doubled in size transfer to the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and the buns make a hollow sound when tapped on the base

just baked

Allow to cool whilst preparing the cream cheese topping, in a mixing bowl combine both the cream cheese and maple syrup and fold together. place a spoonfull of the topping over each bun and smooth with the back of a spoon.

for the frosting 3

What are your favourite pumpkin recipes?

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Make: Rosehip syrup

rosehips I’m a massive fan of free food, I may have mentioned this before. Fruit, berrys, vegetables, anything that can be foraged from within a 2 mile radius of my home is a bonus, particularly when it comes to preserving. Foraging may seem an unlikely pastime for a city centre dweller but i’m constantly surprised by the amount of free pickings. So today the first of hopefully many autumnal leaps into the unknown, rosehips.

Rosehips are the seeded fruit of the Dog Rose, a scrambling shrub usually to be found amongst hedgerows. They are GB’s most prolific native wild rose. I’ve had my eye on these little beauties for some time, it was back in July that I first spotted a small unassuming bush in the hedgerow with delicate white flowers. All I had to do was wait (And hope no one else got to them first!)

Picking them was a prickly business, I recommend long sleeved clothing and good company (many thanks to my Mum for helping me collect these little fellows) and of course, always pick above hip height to avoid contamination from passing dogs/wild rambling animals

Recipe wise, the possibilities are endless as they are in season with so many other amazing fruits and berrys, Rosehip and apple/crab apple or blackberry are common flavour pairings in jams jellies and cordials, but as I’d never tried rose hip in any capacity before I wanted to make something simple that would let it’s true flavour shine through, as follows

To Make Rosehip syrup you will need:

  • 500g rosehips
  • 1 litre of water
  • Fine Muslin cloth/J cloth for straining
  • 250g sugar- caster or granulated
  • 1 litre bottle for storing the syrup

This recipe makes approximately 1 litre of syrup and can be stored unopened in a sterilised bottle for 2 to 3 monthsrosehip 1 Wash and clean the rose hips thoroughly then blitz them in a food processor. Place the rose hip pulp and the water into a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil then turn the heat down to a simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain the liquid through a muslin cloth to strain off all the pulp, this stage is import and as the tiny little hairs contained within the seed pod are highly irritant, rose hips can also be used to make itching powder! After about 20 minutes, once all the liquid has been strained off discard the pulp and re-boil the liquid with the sugar rapidly for around 10 minutes until all the sugar has dissolved. Store in a sterilised bottle until ready to use The syrup can be diluted as a cordial with soda water, is amazing poured over ice cream, apple pie, or baclava. Or alternatively,

Make rose hip and pomegranate martinis

  • 50ml vodka
  • 100ml pomegranate juice
  • 25ml rosehip syrup
  • a squeeze of lemon juice to taste

Place all ingredients into a Cocktail shaker along with a handful of ice, shake well and strain into a martini glass, sip slowly and enjoy! rosehip martini

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My 2012 E

Some of my favourite moments from 2012

January Morocco

cactus in morocco

February Hambleton Hall

narcissus

March  grow

kale

April

blossom

Ranunculus

May comfort food

comfort food

June Jubilee Celebrations

CNV00034

Holkham Beach

Holkham beach

July Road trip

Ambleside

August rowing in stratford

Visiting Stratford

Meeting Jen and Kerry

afternoon tea at the White Rabbit

September foraging, jam making and baking

Rhubarb Raspberry and Ginger jam

October infusing and bottling

Chilli, Garlic and Herb olive oil

pumpkin selection

 

November Clandestine baking

Raspberry Sherbet Bundt cake

Christmas puddings

clementines

December 

Christmas Tree

Homemade Christmas hampers

kitchen aid

 

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Make: Spiced plum Whiskey

This recipe is something of an experiment. I’ve made Sloe gin before and i’ve tasted damson Whiskey which was very delicious. However this flavour combination, in this application, is a venture into the unknown……………….

Now is a great time to be making flavoured alcohol, Autumn fruits are ready to be harvested and preserved so the flavours will have a few months to infuse, ready just in time for Christmas. This Spiced Plum Whisky is to be added to my Christmas gift hampers, so fingers crossed it works!

To make my Spiced Plum Whisky I have used:

  • 3 litres of Whisky
  • 20 plums
  • 440g soft brown sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 cloves
  • 4 star anise
  • A splash of vanilla extract (roughly 5-10ml)

I quartered the plums into an ovenproof dish then added the brown sugar, spices and vanilla extract. I then roasted them for 25 minutes at 160 degrees c until the plums turned a golden amber colour and started to release their juices, then I let the plums cool completely. Next I transferred them, along with the Whisky into a large Tupperware container with a tight fitting lid. I’m storing the whisky in a cool dark place, in a few weeks time I’ll be tasting the Whisky to make sure the flavours are coming along nicely and will tweak if necessary, i’m not a big Whisky fan but I love all the other flavours and am hoping for some tasty results!

Do you have any alcohol infusing tips or flavour pairing suggestions?

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Visit: Melton Mowbray

The first weekend of October was the East Midlands Food and Drink Festival in Melton Mowbray.

The Make, Do and Spend team – B, C, D and E – enjoyed a lovely Saturday afternoon of Autumn sunshine, beer, street food and regional produce in the UK’s rural capital of food.

We came away with plenty of cheese and chilli based treasures to savour! Here are a few snaps from our day…

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