Autumn Recipes

Apple Cake Recipe

Apple cakes are made all over Europe during the autumn. This recipe adds walnuts and cinnamon.


For a shallow 20cm (8") tin you will need:

  • 200g (8oz) wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 100g (4oz) local butter
  • 100g (4oz) brown sugar
  • 100g (4oz) sultanas or raisins
  • 50g (2oz) roughly chopped walnuts
  • 25g (1oz) finely chopped mixed peel
  • 150g (6oz) chopped cooking apples
  • 2 beaten eggs and milk to mix


Put  flour and cinnamon in a mixing bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add the dried fruit, nuts, apples and sugar and mix to a soft dropping consistency with the eggs - and milk if necessary. Place the mixture into a tin lined with greaseproof paper. Sprinkle the top with a little extra sugar and bake in a moderately hot oven for approximately 50 minutes or until well risen, a rich brown in colour and springy to touch.

This cake is best served warm with a good dollop of Devonshire clotted cream.


Blackberry Muffins

Makes 12 and is freezer friendly

Source: River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cook Book by Nikky Duffy


  • 125g wholemeal or unrefined spelt flour and 125g plain flour (or just 250 g of plain flour) if you prefer
  • 3 level tsp baking powder
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 125ml of plain full fat yogurt
  • 125ml of whole milk
  • 75g unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 100-200g blackberries


  1. Preheat oven to 1900C/gas mark 5 and put 12 large muffin cases into a muffin tray.
  2. In a large bowl, thoroughly combine the flours, baking powder, sugar and cinnamon
  3. In a jug, lightly beat the egg, yoghurt, milk and melted butter together to combine. Tip into the dry ingredients and mix lightly, then scatter in the blackberries and fold in until just combined
  4. Drop dessertspoonfuls of the mixture into the paper cases. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until risen and golden brown
  5. Transfer the muffins to a wire rack. Eat on the same day you bake them or freeze.
Nikky Duffy  

Chestnut Soup

SourceWild Food by Roger Phillips.

Serves: 4 hungry ones


  • 450g chestnuts
  • 1 pint of milk
  • 1 tsp of black pepper
  • ½ tsp of nutmeg
  • 1 onion
  • ¼ pint stock
  • ½ tspb of mace
  • 2 tbsp oil


  1. Cover chestnuts with water and boil for 30 mins. Remove chestnut skins
  2. Puree chestnuts in a blender, adding a little stock as required
  3. Finely chop the onions and fry in oil.
  4. Add stock to the onions, followed by the chestnut puree and simmer until it starts to thicken. Stir often
  5. Add half the milk and continue to simmer for 5 minutes, then add the rest stirring frequently
  6. Add spices, pepper and a little salt and cook for another 30 minutes or so. Serve as a main course with fresh bread.


Roger Phillips  

Rich & Creamy Chocolate Beetroot Cake



  • 1.5 cups Golden Caster Sugar (250gm)
  • 2 cups Flour (220gm)
  • 125 mg Butter or Stork
  • 3 level teaspoons Baking Powder (15gm)
  • 3-4 heaped Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
  • 100gm Dark Chocolate
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 3 medium beetroot (200gm)


  • 150 mg Sour Cream
  • 100 gm Dark Chocolate
  • 1-2 heaped Tablespoons Icing Powder


Mix butter and sugar till smooth, add eggs one at a time and beat until light and fluffy.

Gently melt the chocolate on a low heat (glass bowl in a steam pot). Finely grate or puree the cooked and peeled beetroot (plain not vinegar). Sift the dry ingredients (cocoa, flour and baking powder). Gently fold the dry ingredients into the mixture, add the melted chocolate and vanilla and finally the beetroot. Divide the mixture into 2 cake tins. Bake at 170-180 degrees for 25 minutes. Leave to cool.

For the Icing, melt the chocolate as before, mix in the sour cream and the icing sugar until thick, creamy and smooth. Allow to cool. Spread the Icing with a knife between two cake layers and also lots on top. Enjoy! You won't taste the beetroot and it helps to keep the cake moist. 


Crab Apple & Blackberry Jelly

Worked well last year and I can provide lots more crab apples for anyone who wants them.


  • 4lbs crab apples, just chopped up a bit
  • 3lbs blackberries, a couple of pints of water - stewed together


  1. When cool, pass through muslin suspended on an upside down stool.
  2. Measure the resulting liquid and add less than 1lb sugar for each pint.
  3. Boil as for jam until set and put in clean [scalded] warm jars.


Editors Note: "I made this last week and it is really flavoursome and tangy , great on toast and sets well."

Linda Lever  

Nut Cutlets

Source: Food for Free by Richard Mabey


  • 50g (2oz) oil
  • 50g (2oz) flour
  • 500ml (1 pint) stock
  • 75g (3oz) breadcrumbs
  • 50g (2oz) grated hazelnuts
  • milk or beaten egg for glazing
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Mix the oil and flour in a saucepan.  Add the stock and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring all the time.
  2. Add the breadcrumbs and grated hazelnuts. Season
  3. Cool the mixture and shape into cutlets
  4. Dip the cutlets into an egg and milk mixture. Coat with breadcrumbs and fry in oil until brown.
Richard Mabey  

Nut Roast


  • 8oz hazel nuts or cob nuts
  • A medium sized carrot
  • A medium sized onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp Vecon or other yeast extract
  • Plenty of celery leaf if you have it in the garden, or a stick of celery
  • A few sprigs of rosemary
  • Pepper and a little salt


  1. Whiz everything up in a blender.
  2. Grease a loaf tin and sprinkle sesame seeds around the tin for extra flavour.
  3. Pile into the tin and smooth out.
  4. Even better with some sliced mushrooms in the middle.
  5. Bake in a moderate oven 190 for about ¾ hour


If making this in the winter you can use any mixture of nuts and/or peanuts.


Honey Roast Parsnips

Parsnips are good when roasted with sage, onions and honey.


  • 1 lb parsnips
  • 1 large red onion
  • Salt, pepper and sage
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 dessertspoon honey


Wash and peel the parsnips and cut into wedges. Place in a saucepan, cover with cold water, add a little salt, bring to the boil and cook for five minutes, then drain.

Roughly chop the onions and fry [if possible in an oven proof dish] in the olive oil until soft. Add the drained parsnips and make sure they are coated with the oil and onions. Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle over the honey. Sprinkle with chopped sage and roast in a hot oven, until golden brown.

Paul Cleave  

Pumpkin Cakes


  • 225g pumpkin cut into 2.5cm chunks
  • 225g flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ tablespoon margarine
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat oven to 200C / 400F / Gas 6
  2. Boil pumpkin chunks until soft,  drain and mash in a mixing bowl with a little margarine and salt to taste
  3. Sieve the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and add to pumpkin with the margarine. Mix together.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball and press onto floured surface to ½ cm thick
  5. Cut out portions with a cup or pastry cutter
  6. Arrange on greased baking tray, prick with a fork & bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

Pumpkin soup



  • 1kg of pumpkin, diced
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 level teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley
  • Can of tomatoes or even better 1lb of fresh tomatoes skinned an chopped
  • 1 pint of water
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Sauté the pumpkin and garlic in the oil for 3 minutes. Add the fennel seeds and parsley and continue to fry for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and stir in well. Finally add the water, sea salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil and simmer with lid on for 20 minutes. Liquidise when slightly cooled and re-heat before serving.


Quince Chutney


  • 3lbs quinces, peeled and cored
  • 1 lb brown sugar
  • 1lb cooking apples, peeled and cored
  • 1 ¼ pts vinegar
  • 1 lb green tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1lb onions
  • 1 lb sultanas
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ salt spoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 oz pickling spice, tied in muslin and removed after cooking


Chop fruit and veg. Put everything in pan and cook slowly for 3 hours. Cool and spoon into clean jars. This makes a lot - you could use half quantities.


Quince Jam

Recipe 1:


  • 900g (2lb) quinces, peeled, cored and sliced (prepared weight)
  • 1.4 kg (3 lb) sugar
  • A knob of butter


Put the quinces in a preserving pan with 1 litre ( 1 3/4 pints) water and simmer very gently until the fruit is really soft and pulpy. Remove the pan from the heat, add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the butter, bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 15-20 minutes or until setting point is reached. Remove any scum with a slotted spoon, then pot and cover in the usual way.

If the quinces are really ripe add the juice of 1 lemon with the sugar. Its really yummy, more like a marmalade than jam.

Recipe 2:


  • 4 lbs quinces, peeled and cored                          
  • 4 lbs sugar
  • 1 ½ pints water
  • Juice of I lemon


Chop quinces and put in pan with water. Simmer until tender. Add lemon juice and warmed sugar. When sugar has all dissolved, bring to boil and boil hard until set [a little cooled on a saucer will wrinkle]. Put into warm jars which have been sterilized with boiling water.

Dee Ross  

Quince Pudding


  • 4 quinces, peeled, cored, cut in chunks poached until soft in ½ cup water with 2 tblsp sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 60gms butter
  • 1 cup SR flour
  • 1 egg amd a little milk


Spread quinces and juices in a baking dish.

Cream butter and sugar, beat in egg and fold in flour, adding a little milk for a soft cake mixture. Smooth over quinces.

Bake in moderate oven for 25 - 30 mins. Serve hot with cream or custard or eat cold as cake.


Devon Ratatouille

Devon Ratatouille

 This version uses local organic produce, and can be served hot with meat, fish or pasta, or cold as a salad or dip.


1 lb (450g) peeled and thinly sliced, or chopped courgettes

8oz (200g) peeled and chopped tomatoes

4oz (100g) peeled and sliced red onions

2 cloves garlic crushed,

Organic rapeseed oil, salt and black pepper


Cook the onions and garlic in 4 tablespoons of rapeseed oil until soft. Add the courgettes and tomatoes, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Season to taste and finish with chopped parsley or coriander.

Paul Cleave  

Seasonal Recipes: Devon Apple Pudding


1 ½ lbs (750 g) peeled, cored and quartered Devonshire cooking apples

zest of 1 lemon,

½ oz butter,

2-3 oz (50 -75g) granulated sugar,

2 large eggs, separated

4oz (100gm) caster sugar


Place the apples, lemon juice and granulated sugar in a buttered saucepan, cover with a lid, and cook until the apples have turned to a soft pulp. Remove from the heat and stir in the egg yolks, mixing thoroughly. Pour the mixture into a pie dish and allow to cool. To make the meringue, place the egg whites into a clean basin, whisk until light and snowy, and then gradually whisk in the caster sugar until the meringue forms stiff peaks. Pile on top of the apple mixture, and sprinkle with a little caster sugar. Bake in a moderate oven until the meringue is a pale caramel colour. This is good with Devonshire cream, or thick yogurt. Serves four to six. (Yum)

Paul Cleave  

Seasonal Recipes: Blackberry Fool

Make the most of this season's crop of blackberries


1 lb (500g) blackberries

Juice of half a lemon

3 tablespoons granulated sugar.

1 teaspoon cornflour

Thick natural yogurt


Put blackberries, lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan, bring to the boil, stirring gently (to keep the blackberries whole), and simmer for 2 minutes.

Mix cornflour with a little water, add to pan and bring back to boil. Allow to cool, and stir into yogurt for a healthy pudding.

Good for breakfast too!



Paul Cleave  

Autumn recipe: Apple Ginger

This is based on an old West Country recipe and is a good way of using up the windfalls! It makes a good base for an Apple Crumble, or is delicious eaten cold with cream or yogurt.

Stew peeled and cored cooking apples until soft, add sugar to taste. Continue cooking for 5 minutes then add the zest and juice of 1 lemon, and a teaspoonful of ground ginger to each 1 lb (500g) of apple pulp. If serving cold, try adding some chopped stem ginger.

Paul Cleave  

Potato, leek and parsley soup, economical and sustaining!


1 lb (500g) potatoes

8 oz (250g) leeks

a garlic clove - crushed

plenty of parsley - a handful

2 oz (50g) Devon butter

1 pint (500 ml) Chicken or vegetable stock

½ pint (250 ml) milk

salt and pepper to taste.


Peel, wash and slice the potatoes. Split the leeks lengthways, wash and cut into chunks. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the garlic, potatoes and leeks. Cook for two or three minutes, stirring well, without colouring. Add the stock and bring to the boil, then simmer gently until the potatoes are soft. Cool slightly and add the parsley (leaves only). 'Blitz' the soup until smooth, add the milk, and season to taste. Finish the soup by adding a walnut sized piece of butter. This is good with freshly baked soda bread.

 Paul Cleave


Using up those blackberries: make jam!


1 kg (2 ¼ lb)  blackberries washed

Juice of ½ a lemon

1 kg (2 ¼ lb) sugar with pectin

A knob of butter


Put the blackberries in a preserving pan (or very large saucepan) with the lemon juice and 100ml (4 fl oz) water. Simmer very gently for about 30 minutes or until the blackberries are very soft and the contents of the pan are well reduced.

Remove the pan from the heat,  add the sugar and stir until dissolved, then add the butter, bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 4 minutes or until setting point is reached.

Remove any scum with a slotted spoon, then pot and cover in the usual way.

If you have saved your  used jam or pickle jars OK, if not ask around you may find people who have saved more pots than they need or you can buy new from the local hardware shop.

Wash and warm your jars ready. Setting point  - a simple method is to have  a small plate to hand , remove the pan from the heat, then drop a small amount from a teaspoon on the plate, cool for a short while in the fridge then push your finger across the droplet and if it wrinkles then it is at setting point. Otherwise continue to boil for a few moments more. Pot covers can also be found at local hardware shops which have instructions if this is your first time making jam. Lots of useful information online about preserve making.

28 good uses for jam -

  Enjoy your delicious BlackBerry Jam!


October's recipe: apple flapjack


100 g (4 oz butter),

25 g (1 oz)caster sugar

2 ½ tablespoons golden syrup

200g (8 oz) porridge oats

50 g (2 oz) grated apple


Cream the butter, sugar and golden syrup until soft then add the oats and grated apple. Spread the mixture into a lightly greased 20 cm (8") tin and bake in a moderately hot oven until a rich golden brown. Allow to cool slightly and cut into 12 portions.


Paul Cleave  

Blackberry recipe time!

Blackberry and Apple Fool [4 - 6 portions]


1 lb (500g) peeled and cored cooking apples

½ lb (250g) blackberries

2 oz (50g) sugar

squeeze of lemon juice

¼ pint (150ml) lightly whipped double cream


Cook the fruit in a saucepan with the lemon juice and sugar until soft. Rub the cooked fruit through a sieve. When cold, blend with cream. Spoon into serving bowls or glasses and chill in the fridge before serving. Garnish with blackberries and a mint leaf. A rich buttery shortbread is good with this fool.





Pumpkin Soup Recipe

A warming recipe for those chilly November days...


2lb (1 kg) Pumpkin flesh cut into large chunks;
2 cloves garlic;
4 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil;
2 teaspoons paprika or curry powder;
1 tablespoon tomato puree;
1 1/2 pints (1 litre) vegetable stock;

A little milk, and 1oz (25g) butter.


Cook pumpkin, oil and garlic gently in a large saucepan for a few minutes.
Add paprika or curry powder, tomato puree and stock.
Bring to the boil then simmer until the pumpkin is soft.
Allow to cool then puree with a blender or food processor.
Season with salt and pepper and finish the soup with milk and butter.
This is good with homemade bread.

Paul Cleave