Saturday 17 October 2009

Half Term - Half Measures

A very busy Saturday, both of us getting ready for leading and preaching at two services tomorrow and a Half-term Holiday trip to Cornerstones afterwards. I am planning to take a fair bit of food with me - but also eating up a few bits and pieces first which I fear will not travel well. Yesterday I cooked a pork shoulder joint from Sainsbury's and we had that last night and tonight - and we will finish it for lunch tomorrow. thrifty cookbook

Picked up this book in the library last week, and I have to say it is packed full of good ideas and sensible advice. Elizabeth David says in one of her book that the Good Cook Never Has Leftovers - but I think she maybe wrong. The GC makes sure she has enough food to feed everyone - and sometimes the numbers of guests and the size of their appetites cannot be predicted, so she cooks a little more to ensure there is an adequate meal for all. Kate Colquhoun's book is much more realistic - read more about it here on her website. It gave me an idea for tonight's dessert.

A few - rather ancient - apples, which were beyond their best for eating raw and needed peeling and cooking made a good Brown Betty. I did cheat a little - many recipes suggest you layer everything then oven it for 50 minutes. I prepared and cooked the layers separately then put it in the hot oven for about 10 minutes to crisp the top.

In the best traditions of leftover meals, no exact quantities here!

2 cups of prepared apples [ie peeled, cored, cut into chunks]

2 tbsp demerara sugar

2 tbsp water

2 cups of brown breadcrumbs

2 tbsp butter

1 tsp mixed spice

First - put the apples, water and half the sugar in a pan and cook till the apples are soft, but not mushy

Meanwhile - melt half the butter in a frying pan, and stir in the breadcrumbs. Cook gently for about 4 minutes, stirring and turning till the crumbs go brown and crisp.

Mix the remaining 1tbsp sugar with the spice.

Now layer in a Pyrex dish IN THIS ORDER

half the apples

half the sugar

half the crumbs

half the apple

half the crumbs

half the sugar

now dot with remaining 1 tbsp butter cut into little bits

At this point, I give it 2 minutes in a microwave

Now put into a hot oven and leave for 10 minutes or so.

Serve with custard [or cream, ice cream or Greek yogurt]

Serves 4


or, in our case, we will eat half today and half tomorrow!


  1. That's a bit like what we used to call Apple Charlotte, lovely , warm and comforting!
    I do agree, good cooks just know how to use up leftovers!
    Have a lovely restful half term.

  2. Personally I'm a big fan of making enough for 4, and freezing two of the portions after me and the OH have eaten in individual containers - eh walla - instant microwave meals.

  3. I'm definitely with you on good cooks knowing how to use up leftovers! When the kids still lived at home, and even now for the two of us, I actually, I 'plan' for leftovers!! If I'm making our favorite Rouladen, a German meat dish, I make 40 to roast in the oven. It's the same messy counter for 10 then it is for 40! That's enough for a our big family dinner and quite a few to portion into containers for each family to freeze for a few weeks down the road, for a day when we'd like a little break from cooking!

    Your dessert sounds great and I like the idea of preparing it separately and finish it off together! Yum!


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