(Slightly Soft) Leftover Pear & Vanilla crumble

(Slightly Soft) Leftover Pear & Vanilla crumble

So roasted pears with cheese and nuts isn’t for everyone – fair enough!  As I said, a younger me would not have touched it with a bargepole. What else to do with 2, 3, or 4 too soft pears?

In The Fruit Testing Fruit Demolishing Toddler Years, my resident Fruit Bat would try every single apple/pear/plum.  She left me with bowlfuls of fruit that hadn’t passed her test, stacking up in the fridge, the places where her little teeth had bitten into them browning and softening.  And now her sister wouldn’t eat it.  And they were spoiling because the skin was damaged.  And I couldn’t afford to waste a single fruit.

So often, the humble crumble would come to my rescue.  Two apples and two pears? In.  Three plums and one stick of rhubarb – oh, that’s my *favourite*.

But … just pear?  I hate to say it, but I prefer it to apple crumble!  Sorry mum.  With some vanilla essence. or half a vanilla pod if you’re feeling fancy/flush, the whole bowlful is light and floral.  And with heart-stopping pours of double cream, you’ll love your leftover pear crumble.

TIP: if you don’t have the time to eat all your soft pears before they go off, and you know that you won’t get through the crumble, make the crumble and freeze it!  easy preserving!

(Slightly Soft) Pear & Vanilla crumble

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

3-4 pears
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
175 grams plain flour or half and half wholemeal + plain
125 grams butter/hard vegan alternative
75 grams sugar (I used dark brown but any will do)
Pinch of salt

LOADS of cream/ice cream to serve

Tools

Teaspoon
Scales
Chopping board
Knife
Mixing bowl
Oven proof bowl
Tea towel/kitchen paper

Time

20-30 minutes prep
40 minutes to bake

Prep

Mix flour, sugar and salt
Turn the oven to 180C

Method

If you want, sift the flour, salt and sugar together
Cut the butter/vegan alternative into chunks around 1cm
Rub the butter into the flour mixture until it looks sandy (I have hot hands so it’s never perfect)
ONLY WHEN THE CRUMBLE IS READY peel, quarter and core the pears
Place the pears in your oven proof dish
Sprinkle over the vanilla extract
Gently sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top – don’t pat down, else you’ll have a shortbread top
Place in the oven and bake
Check after 30 minutes; it’s ready when the juice bubbles up from underneath

Storage
You can store the crumble for a few days in your fridge
If you don’t have the time to eat the pears, freeze the crumble in the dish and eat within three months

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

(Slightly soggy) courgette cake

(Slightly soggy) courgette cake

Okay okay this is two Nigella’s in as many weeks but I implore you to try this cake, please!  Have you ever eaten carrot cake and enjoyed it?  Did you find it at all weird?  No.  Because it’s amazing.  So courgette cake is just as amazing.  The courgettes, in my view, just make for a creamy and slightly dense cake.
I first made this cake with an orange buttercream and I still love it.  I only used orange because I had orange essence in the cupboard, no limes and  a half hour walk to the nearest shop.
When a leftover stumps you, try to think of what flavours it has – what do you like to eat it with?  So for me, courgette is great because it has so many uses  – this week’s were trying to keep it basic but there’s room for courgette week 2. (Needless to say my children *love* my work.  So many courgette recipes for them to be eating…).  So, courgettes are mild and can blend into the background and, to me, that’s a benefit.  They just make this cake extra dense, in a way that a carrot or fudge cake is.
THOUGH- note to feeders of picky people: if you need to hide the courgette then peel it because, unpeeled, you get a light green marbled colour.  Though little kids who want to be the Hulk or a Ninja Turtle may be convinced that way…

Courgette cake

Based on St Queen Nigella Lawson, ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’ pp18-19

Ingredients

250g courgettes (2-3) weighed before grating
2 large eggs
125 ml vegetable oil
150g caster sugar
220g plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 bicarbonate of soda
Pinch salt

Icing

100g cream cheese
100g unsalted butter OR 200g unsalted butter
500g caster sugar
100g icing sugar
few drops orange essence (no more than 1/4 teaspoon)

Tools

Scales
Box grater
Sieve
Two large mixing bowls
Measuring jug
x2 7 inch round cake tins
Fork
Balloon Whisk
Greaseproof paper
Scissors
Teaspoon
Wire cooling rack

Optional/Helpful
Electric whisk/stand mixer/food processor
Measuring spoons

Time
10 minutes prep
10-20 minutes to mix the cake
30-40 minutes baking
Couple of hours to cool fully

Level
Medium

Prep

Line the bottom of your cake tin with greaseproof paper
Turn the oven to 180C
Grate the courgettes on the chunky side of the box grater – do not use anything
finer because that will make mush. Mmm mush
Turn into a sieve so that any excess water will drip out

Method

Whisk/sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt into a small bowl and set aside
In a larger bowl, whisk together eggs, oil and sugar in a bowl until creamy
Sieve in the dry mixture
Stir in grated courgette
Pour mixture in tins
Bake for 30 minutes until browned and firm to the touch
Leave in tins on a rack for 5-10 minutes before turning out then leave on rack to cool completely

Icing

Place cream cheese/butter in a large bowl
Sift over icing sugar
Add orange essence
Beat together
Add milk a tablespoon-full at a time until you have an icing that is thin enough to spread

Combine the cakes

Look at the two cakes. Take the fattest and use it for the bottom
If it’s got a big hill in the middle, take a bread/serrated knife and slice off a little to make it (more or less) flat. Eat that bit (never a leftover & all that)
Take about quarter of the icing and place in the middle of the cake
Use your spatula to spread it out
Pop the next quarter on and add it
Place second cake on top and repeat the icing steps
I am unable to ice a cake neatly so always go with “intentionally messy”

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

Manky Melon Salad

Manky Melon Salad

Fruit salad can be another saviour of the sad fruit bowl.  Woolly melon needs disguising guys.  I could have given you a recipe for a Russian chilled melon soup or tart but … but melon recipes always say “you must have the sweetest the best the most flavoursome fruit”.  And we don’t have that, always, do we? We have sad, flavourless fruits that really we want to bin.

 

But we are food waste warriors and we are not about to chuck this food that has taken farmers months to grow, has used petrol and fertilisers to get to us and, quite frankly, your hard earned cash to buy.

 

Sometimes it’s good to hide in plain sight.  So, I mixed my shitty old melon with a lovely, sweet mango. Add loads of grapes and a skinned nectarine (note: eldest child told me the nectarine didn’t work. I disagree. You decide).  Pour over a little apple juice if you like, and maybe serve with ice cream. That’s it.

 

Waste averted, bellies full. Happy days!

 

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

Cake Crumb topping for ice cream

Cake Crumb topping for ice cream

It’s summer fete season, oh lord it is. Baking and buying cakes for school and community fairs and then … buying them back again. And chez StorrCupboard it’s birthday season, so there’s an awful lot of butter, eggs, flour, sugar and all sorts going everywhere.
You get your tupperware back or you bring your box of cake from the fair and there’s a mass of crumbs …. everywhere. Or as you clear away a birthday cake, how much goes in the kids and how much on the floor, plates, mashed everywhere?
Cakes are wonderful, delicious and flipping expensive to bake. Full of butter, eggs and sugar, cakes are food-energy high foods. The chicken that laid your egg needed feeding and that egg was transported all around the goddam country for before it got as far as your basket. The (likely) wheat in your cake may be UK but could also be from as far as the US or Canada. The sugar is probably not British sugar beet, and is likely to have come from countries in Africa.  Not to mention the feed that the cows ate to produce to the milk that was transported to make the butter –
Sorry what? You were going to chuck that cake? No, come on now, you weren’t, were you?
This leftover idea comes from the amazing Rosie Ramsden. I have simplified a simple recipe, but sometimes it doesn’t take much to go from bin fodder to something delicous and more-ish. Take your cake crumbs, icing and all (which will bake into the cake and help it to caramelise), pop them in a warm oven and ten minutes later you have a tasty, topping for a bowl of ice-cream. You can use any cake for this, so happy baking!

Crunchy cake crumbe for ice cream

Barely adapted from Rosie Ramsden, ‘The Recipe Wheel, p253

Ingredients

As many cake crumbs as you have!

Tools
Baking tray

Time
Time for your oven to preheat
5-10 minutes to bake

Level
Super easy

Method

Turn the oven to 180C
Line the baking tray with greaseproof paper
Crumble the cake onto the tray
Place the tray into the pre-heated oven
Toast for 5-10 minutes until crisp
Either leave to cool or sprinkle over whilst still warm and let it melt the ice-cream

 

 

 

 

 

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

Leftover cake crumb trifle

Leftover cake crumb trifle

Yes, trifle! I didn’t grow up eating trifle, which is probably A Good Thing, because it means that I can come to this pudding, this English tiramisu, with happy abandon.
Keeping it cheap, though, well this isn’t a traditional trifle; chunks or layers of cake crumbs are fudgy because any icing will soak into the cake along with fruit. Trifle usually has lots of sherry but I want the kids to eat it and I’m not spending £6 or so on booze for one pudding, thanks.
Not sure which fruit to use?  You’ll want to use a fruit that pairs nicely with the cake. I had chocolate cake, so I used raspberries, though strawberries or cherries would be great.  Coffee and walnut?  Fruit can be tricky here, but some chocolate sauce would be delicious.  Victoria sponge cake would pair nicely with berries.  Carrot cake? Maybe some sultanas soaked in juice or rum. This pudding is a perfect use up for picnic bashed berries and over-ripe fruits.
I used fresh bought custard because it was easier, but if you want to make your own, or use powder, just go for making half a litre and you’ll be fine.
Take that stale cake that box full of crumbs or two sad slices of stale cake and look!  waste-less, cheap, tasty food for everyone, and never a leftover, leftover.

 

 

Cake Crumb Trifle

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

Around 150g cake crumbs/stale cake
1-2 punnets raspberries/strawberries
Large pot custard (I used a 500g pot)
1 300ml pot double cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons caster sugar

Tools

Scales
Mixing bowls
Whisk
Teaspoon
Bowl for whisking
Bowl for serving

Optional tools

Electric whisk/stand mixer
Measuring spoons

Time

15m prep
10m to combine
At least 1 hour to rest before serving

Prep

If you have slices of cake, cut into cubes
Wash and dry fruit
Whisk the cream with vanilla and sugar until you have soft peaks

Method

Place cake cubes/crumbs in the bottom of serving bowl
Fruit on top
Pour over the custard
Spoon the cream on top
Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving

 

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

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