Have been baking today..
Sunday, November 05, 2006

Decided today that as it was a nice and crisp day I would do some winter baking, so I have made the following:

As our Asda was selling off pumpkins at 20p each this weekend we decided to buy a couple and here is the outcome:



Here's the receipe:

2 courgettes, trimmed and cut into chunks
1 red and and 1 yellow pepper, seeded and sliced
2 large tomatoes, sliced
1 red onion, peeled and sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
4 tbsp olive oil
850ml/1 1/2 pints of vegetable stock
1 pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
fresh basil leaves to garnish (optional)
toasted crusty bread to serve (optional)

Preheat the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/Gas Mark 6. Place the courgettes, peppers, onion and tomatoes in a large roasting tin: scatter over the garlic. Drizzle with oil; toss together to coat. Roast for 25 mins until tender when tested with a sharp knife.
Pour the stock into a pan; bring to the boil. Add the pumpkin; cook for 15 mins until tender. Drain, reserving the stock. Place the pumpkin in a food processor or blender. Reserve a few slices of pepper and onion for garshing; add remaining vegetables to the processor or blender.

Blend the vegetables until smooth. Stir into the stock. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Reheat gently. Pour into bowls; garnish with the reserved vegetables and basil. Serve with toasted crusty bread.

This can be frozen for up to 3 months.

My version came out a bit thicker than I wanted, but that was because I was using a new gadget I had just treated myself to - a stick hand blender. So it was trial and error really.. But it tasted gorgeous..

The other thing I had been baking was this: Lemon and raisin bars



85g self raising flour
85g porridge oats
50g soft brown sugar
85g butter
For the topping:
25g butter, melted
3 eggs
175g soft brown sugar
140g raisins
85g dessicated coconut
the grated rind and juice of a large lemon
50g icing sugar

Turn the oven to fan 160C/conventional 180C/gas 4. Put the flour, oats and sugar in a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips. Tip into the base of a 26x18cm tin and press until smooth. Bake for 10 minutes or until pale golden.

Beat the melted butter, eggs and sugar with the raisins, coconut, half the lemon rnd and 2 tbsp of juice. Pour over the baked base and return to the oven for 20 minutes more until the top is set and pale golden. Mark into 12 bars while still warm, then leave to cool before cutting through.

Tip the icing sugar into a small bowl and mix with the remaining lemon rind Stir in up to 3 tsps of lemon juice to make smooth icing then drizzle in diagonal lines over the top of each bar.

These will keep in a tin for up to a week. They are best NOT frozen as it will spoil their texture.

You can also try out different combinations of fruit as well, substituting cranberries instead of raisins, or apricots instead of the raisins, or half raisins and cranberries, or dried blueberries or really any dried fruit combination.

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Flying towards my dreams @7:35 pm

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