Cook’s Corner

Back in England last week, I picked up the latest Waitrose magazine, always good for a few recipes.  And here’s something I found….

Sunken Apricot and Almond Cake

3 medium free-range eggs

180 g. caster sugar

200g. butternut squash, peeled and finely grated.

1 tsp. almond essence (I used a slonk of amaretto instead)

60g.white rice flour

200 g. ground almonds

2 tsp. mixed spice

2 tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

240g. canned apricot halves, drained, or if you’re lucky enough to have home bottled apricots, as I have, use those.

Icing sugar for dusting.

1. Preheat the oven to 180degrees C/gas mark 4

2. Lightly grease ten 8cm. x 5cm. deep loose-bottomed tart tins with oil.  I didn’t have enough, so I made just one 28cm. tart.

3. Whisk the eggs and sugar for 4 minutes till pale and fluffy.  Add the butternut squash and almond essence, and whisk briefly to combine.

4. Add the ground almonds, spice, baking powder and salt, mixing until well combined.

5. Pour the mixture into the tin(s) and either place 2 apricot halves in each, or arrange the apricots onto the top of the large tart.  Bake in the centre of the oven for 35 minutes, or till cooked.

6. Remove from the oven and gently ease the cake(s) away from the sides of the tin.  Allow to stand a few minutes before dusting with icing sugar.

Eat warm, cold, with or without cream, crème fraîche……

Do try it.  It might not be the cheapest cake in the world, but it’s certainly good, whether you choose to serve it as a pudding or a tea-time treat.

Well, we DID have it as a tea time treat, so by the time it came to the evening meal, we needed simpler fare.

I don’t know where I first heard this recipe, but I remembered it yesterday because we’d spent an hour or so sorting and shelling our haul of walnuts from all the trees nearby that are shedding nuts faster than anyone can gather them.

A Very Un-Italian Pesto

A handful of walnuts, crushed

A handful of parsley, finely chopped

A cob of parmesan, grated

A clove or so of garlic, crushed

A big glug of olive oil.

Combine the ingredients to a coarse paste, and add to a dish of pasta

2 thoughts on “Cook’s Corner”

  1. Ah, but you see Pesto di Noce is a speciality of Liguria, so it’s not really Un-Italian at all! I first had it in Genova, where it’s on every menu, especially at this time of year. It often has ricotta and marjoram in it as well (and sometimes instead of) parmigiano and parsley, and it’s usually served over trenette. (Don’t tell anyone, but I bought several packs of trenette in – um – Lidl earlier this year …).

    And it’s good. Very good.

    K xx


    1. Knew I should have run it past you first! I never met a pesto like this when I lived in Italy, but then I was in Tuscany, and, apart from the even then ubiqitous pizza, dishes were still very regionalised in those days


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