Late Summer Breakfast Crumble

late summer crumble
I like to think that at the end of every season, there comes one day where you feel a definite change in the air.
Wether it be the subtle blossom aroma in the arrival of spring or the slight chill in the breeze as autumn makes its presence known amongst the late summer merriment.

I for one definitely caught up in the action of the hot season, cooking… eating… aka working… on repeat. I ain’t complaining. And all of a sudden, Autumn has crept up…  a leaf fell right in front of me the other day, and a bit of me got very excited over all the impending pumpkin i’m going to eat.

With book work is wrapping up, and only a couple of months to go here in London, I’m beginning to mentally prepare myself for going back home, and right in time for Summer in Melbourne! Dare I say ‘where has the year gone?!’. For reals, I feel like I blinked in May and transported myself September.

So amongst a day off spent freely lounging on my bed with the windows blowing in the warm and gentle wind, my mind said ‘fruity crumble’. So I did.
Making the most of the fruit that’s in season, I thought i’d keep it simple and celebrate their beautiful sweet and tart flavours… and then make it in breakfast form so i can eat it first thing in the morning… genius.
I served the crumble with greek yoghurt to echo that breakfast vibe, but of course ice-cream is 100% acceptable. Always.
Adapt the recipes to fruits in season so you can eat crumble all year round! (I can just hear the apples calling my from Autumn – I’m coming!)

Make the crumble in the morning after you stumble out of bed, and let the buttery sweet aroma fill your house and gently wake you up. Best served with a coffee and a good book.

Also: here’s also some behind the scene shots from the book shoot! woooo x 10000

(recipe for the crumble after the photos)

serves 4

3 nectarines, sliced into wedges
150g blackberries
150g raspberries
150g blueberries
2 tbsp corn flour
2 tbsp lemon juice
60g coconut sugar

4 heaped tbsp plain flour
100g oats
1 tsp cinnamon
60g brown sugar
120g butter, chilled, cut into cubes
30g pumpkin seeds
20g coconut chips
60g almonds, roughly chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 200C. In a large baking dish gently stir together the the nectarines, berries, corn flour, lemon juice and sugar (adding more if the nectarines aren’t quite ripe yet).
2. To make the crumble, in a bowl mix together the flour, oats, cinnamon, and sugar. Add the butter, and rub into the mixture until it becomes crumbly and the butter is all distributed. Stir in the pumpkin seeds, coconut and almonds.
3. Sprinkle the crumble over the fruit, and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
4. To make a breakfast meal, serve with greek yoghurt and enjoy!

Summer Berry & Thyme Jam ~ Gifts from Afar

summer berry and thyme jam
Let’s all be honest.. one of the best things about birthdays and Christmas is the gifts
I know we all wish we were better people (well I do) that say we wake up on the mornings of these occasions and think of anything BUT gifts… but then I’d be lying…

BUT don’t worry! It ain’t all gifts for me… but also the fun and joy of giving gifts to others.
And oh the absolute satisfaction and excitement you get when you pick out the perfect present for someone that you just can’t wait to give. THAT’S the good gift feeling.
(and crossing every finger that they won’t have to put their actor hat on and pretend to love it when we all know, they’re just hoping the gift receipt is somewhere tucked in there so you can return it… oh the honesty hurts)

As a lover of gift giving (and gift receiving.. cause… duh.. i’m not a robot) I always try to make sure I add a personal touch to make sure the receiver really knows how much a value them. (man I could go all levels of deep here).
I love the large tangible sort of gifts, that aren’t necessarily too expensive, but speak a volume of words of memories and understanding of what the other likes.

summer berry and thyme jam
So you can understand my enthusiasm when a family members birthday pops up on the calendar! Ooo boy it’s time to impress.
This time, it was Dad’s birthday. An absolute crack-up and a foodie fiend with a sweet tooth just like me. (thanks for that dad by the way.) So when it came time to get a present, there’s nothing that seemed more obvious and special…

To back track a little, if I mayyyyy;
Ever since we were little tackers, eating croissants for lunch was a sunday tradition. ALWAYS accompanied with jam. Without a doubt. I mean the thought of a plain croissant was simply ludicrous! And as always, Dad (like myself) believed in the firm philosophy of having croissants WITH our jam. (just like he has his vegemite on toast… but that’s another story…).
About a year ago, I made a huge batch of jam (I’m talking a good gang of jars) which dad single handedly finished polished off himself. Not even breaking a sweat. Please, give the man a challenge.

So coming up to his birthday I thought, let’s replenish the jam supply and give him something he loves, and a little flashback to me cooking right beside him while we’re on opposite sides of the earth.
Something we both enjoy the simple pleasures of.

You guessed it…. JAM!
Jam for the man!

summer berry and thyme jam
Also, man, I love getting gifts in the post. The whole anticipation of receiving a parcel is also half the fun of the surprise! Oh the joy when I see something waiting at the door! It’s like unwrapping a present times 2! Gotta love a little mystery.

So, this was just like the joy I had when Kylee Newton’s book ‘The Modern Preserver’ arrived in the mail!
And how much more serendipitous does it get when I use one of her jam recipes as a gift to send back in the post!
Coincidence? I think not.

If you haven’t picked up a copy of Kylee’s beautiful cookbook then this is the perfect time! (after all it tis the gift giving season).  And nothing says homemade with love more than a lovingly made preserve wonderfully based around seasonal produce and the waste-not want-not mantra. With beautiful pictures and recipes for any level of preserver this is a little gift guide gold mine. Get round it yo. Kylee you’re a legend!

There’s nothing quite like homemade jam. And once you make it from scratch… I warn you, you’ll never stop. (But don’t worry, your neighbours and gift receivers will love you for it).

recipe by Kylee Newton ‘The Modern Preserver’

1.5kg mixed berries (strawberries – halved , blackberries, raspberries)
20ml water
70ml lemon juice (around 1 large lemon)
900g jam/caster sugar
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or the recipe calls for lemon thyme although this wasn’t available at the time)

You will need:
Plates in the freezer for wrinkle test
Sterilised jam jars

1. Put the berries in a large pan with the water and soften for 10 minutes on a moderate heat.
2. Add the lemon juice and sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar then bring it to the boil at around 104C, stirring intermittently, for a further 20 minutes. Use the wrinkle test*, as needed, to check when it has reached a soft setting point.
3. When it is ready, take off the heat, skim off any scum from the surface and stir through the thyme leaves.
4. Leave to sit for 5 minutes then ladle into warm, dry sterilised jars and seal.

Keep unopened for up to 6 months. Once opened, refrigerate and eat within 4-6 weeks.

*To do the wrinkle test, place a small plate in the freezer at the beginning of making the jam, then when ready to test, take the jam off the heat and place a small teaspoon of jam on the plate, leave to stand for a minute or so. Then push the blob of jam with your finger, and if it wrinkles the jam is done, if not leave on the heat for another 3-5 minutes until the jam wrinkles.

Thanks for stopping by!


Gingerbread Bundt Cakes with Blackberry Sauce

Gingerbread Bundt Cakes with Blackberry Sauce
I’m calling it. Autumn is upon us.
(could this kid talk about autumn more if she tried? Nope.)
The leaves have officially turned. And this kid likes it.
It’s crisp in the mornings and the wind is whispering pumpkin, cinnamon and apple in my ear.

Scarf opportunities are starting to sneak in on me too… but that’s maybe cause i’m an aussie kid, and right now it’s what Winter would be like back in Melbourne, but for the sake of trying to really pull off the “I’m a born and bred Londer”, I’m all “pishhhh who needs a scarf it’s warm” but the moment I step outside imma like “ma neck is freeezzzing mate!!” and hating past me for being like “I’m too london to wear a scarf!”
ANYWAYS! Enough of scarfs Bec and your weird dressing issues…

Gingerbread Bundt Cakes with Blackberry Sauce
With the coldness is it too early to chat about Christmas with you?
Answer: it’s never to early to talk about Christmas unless you’re having that monthly ‘OMG the year has gone so fast, chrismtas is only x amount of months away’ which I seem to be having more and more…

So, I was baking this Gingerbread Bundt Cakes the other day, cause, what else do you do for cozy weather baking, and it dawned on my as the smells wafted out of the oven…. it’s smells like Christmas in a cake right now and I can’t help but feel every so slightly inclined to put some fairy lights up and whip up some egg nog (even though i’ve never had it, I just thought it sounded chrismtasy… is this something I should be trying?).

I even heard on the radio the other day that some people have started their Christmas shopping…. I really don’t even know how to feel about this, excited, concerned, perplexed, dumbfounded… (anymore adjectives you can think of??)
Should I feel shocked or delighted?
Sorry, I shouldn’t’ be turning to you… you’re not the emotional cake I normally chat to about my problems….

Gingerbread Bundt Cakes with Blackberry Sauce
Okkayyyy that’s enough Christmas talk for now Bec!

Onto these cakes!
They are full of gingery goodness, moist and hit with the sweetness and acidity of the blackberries.
It’s really just what I’d kick back with a cup of tea with on a rainy afternoon… cause now I’m actually enjoying your classic tea and milk – I’m pretty much a whole new person really…

Another plus is, no mixer required, so if your like me and only have a hand mixer (which makes meringues an absolute handful… – mind the pun- … to make) this is a dream.

And maybe once you make them you’ll see what I mean by Christmassy aromas so I won’t sound to much like a mega christmas fanatic//elf that santa has sent home from the north pole for over eagerness, but really santa would never do that…

Recipe….. after the pic of course 😛

Gingerbread Bundt Cakes with Blackberry Sauce
recipe adapted from Delicious Magazine UK

100g unsalted butter, plus extra to grease
150g dark muscovado sugar
100g black treacle
1 large free-range egg, beaten
100g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
110 ml natural yogurt
icing sugar to dust

Blackberry Sauce:
340g blackberries, plus extra to decorate
1/4 cup sugar
Juice of 1 lime
2 tsp cornstarch

1. Heat the oven to 180°C. Generously grease and flour a 6 mini bundt tin. Heat the butter, sugar and treacle gently in a pan until the butter and sugar have melted. Beat in the egg with a balloon whisk.
2. Sift the flour, bicarb and spices into a large bowl. Pour in the sugar/butter mixture and stir with a balloon whisk, then stir in the yogurt until combined. Pour into the greased bundt tin.
3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
3. For the sauce (which can be made up to 3 days in advance): bring the berries and sugar to simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often. Simmer 1 minute. Break the blackberries apart with a fork or the back of a spoon. Stir 1/2 the lime juice and cornstarch in small bowl until cornstarch dissolves. Add to berries and stir until thickened, about 1 minute. Mix in remaining lime juice. Place in the fridge to come to room temp.
4. To decorate: Spoon over the blackberry sauce, and decorate with halved blackberries and icing sugar.