Friday, October 21, 2011

Apple Crumble Bars

Apple Crumble BarsI was fortunate enough to be given about 20 kilos of apples last month and they have kept me busy experimenting with various apple recipes that I will be posting over the next few weeks.  This is a really simple and absolutely delicious recipe that really pleased all the tastes, even my non-fruit eater.  I served it when some friends were over for coffee and it went down a bomb.  You could easily use other fruit like peaches, apricots or berries, making this a year round treat as well.  Perfect served with some good vanilla ice-cream or a rich custard.



  • 3 cups  flour

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • 1 cup (8 oz) butter, cold

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 5 cups sliced apples

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

  • ½ cup flour

  • 1 cup sugar

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • ½ tsp cinnamon

  • ¼ tsp nutmeg

  • ¼ tsp mixed spice

Preheat the oven to 190C /375 F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together.

Use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut in the butter, and then the egg. The dough will be crumbly. Pat half of the dough into the pan, pressing down to coat the bottom. Place the pan and the remaining  dough in the fridge while you make the filling.

Place theapples in a large bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice. Add the flour, sugar, salt, and spice and mix gently.

Spread the apple mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble the remaining dough over the apple layer.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Weeknight Sausage Pasta

This is a really quick and easy budget-friendly family meal.  If you can get Italian sausage use it and omit the fennel and red pepper flakes, but if you're using plain sausages add them to flavour the meal accordingly.  Herb sausages work really well here, but do add the fennel seeds to get that authentic Italian sausage flavour.  This whips together in 20 minutes and the whole family seems to love it here.  I use the jarred roasted red peppers from Lidl.  They are brilliant and are great for making omelettes and quiches, but by all means roast your own if you have the time.  I serve this with garlic bread and a nice green salad for a complete meal.


  • 1lb Sausage, casings removed

  • 1 large white onion, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, diced

  • 2 large red peppers, roasted and diced

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds

  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

  • 3/4 cup (180ml) cream

  • 1 lb dried pasta

  • basil leaves and grated Parmesan, to garnish

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.

Brown the sausage in a large skillet until fat renders.  Drain most of the fat then add the onions.  Once softened, add the herbs and spices and red pepper.  Saute until quite fragrant.  Add the cream and garlic and simmer for a few minutes until pasta is cooked through.

Drain pasta, tip into skillet with sausage mixture and toss until well coated.   Garnish with grated parmesan cheese and torn basil leaves.

Buon appetito!


Parties: Full Plate Thursday, Strut Your Stuff, It's A Keeper, Frugal Fridays and Hookin Up With HoH