Wednesday, 21 November 2018

spiced pear cake

oh this is the bees knees…
pears, cloves, ginger and warm citrus flavours…
a perfect cake to share on a chilly november day.

another new favourite!
i have so many apple and pear recipes collected. 
i have wanted to try this spiced pear cake from linda lomelino for a while. 
i was gifted her beautiful book on pies and was smitten.

spiced pear cake 
i did change linda's recipe a little. 


200 g. (1 1/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tbsp) all apurose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda 
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
125 g softened salted butter
200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
zest from 1 orange
zest from 1 lemon
2 large eggs
150 ml (2/3 cup) crème fraîche or thick yoghurt at room temperature
5 very firm pears bartlett or bosc  - i used bosc 
powdered sugar for dusting

1. preheat oven to 350˚. butter and flour a 9 inch springform cake pan.

2. combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and cloves in a medium bowl. set aside. 

3. in a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and zests until light and creamy, about 3 ish minutes. add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. stir in the flour in three additions, and the crème fraîche in two…beginning and ending with the flour…1/3 of the flour mixture, 1/2 of the crème fraîche, another 1/3 of the flour mixture, the remaining crème fraîche, then the remaining flour mixture. 

4. pour (spoon) the batter into the prepared springform pan. smooth the surface with an offset spatula. cut off a little bit of the bottom of each pear so they will stand up straight in the batter. if you skip this step they will tip over. press the pears down into the batter, stem end up.

5. bake the cake on the lowest rack of the oven for 50-55 ish minutes. (my oven took longer.) start checking around 40 minutes…as you might need to cover the cake with foil if the pears are browning too much.

6. remove the cake from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove the sides of the springform pan. dust with powdered sugar before serving. 

you are going to love this! 

earlier this month, the colours in the orchard were absolutely magnificent. 
pure opulence!

and all at once…autumn turned to winter. 

hope you are warm and cozy and get a chance to try the cake. 

Thursday, 1 November 2018

hello november!

it is always a sad feeling when we close the gate for the season.  
what fun we have had with you, our dear guests and our family of wonderful staff. 
 thanks so much for joining us for another terrific harvest!
we have many exciting plans for our next autumn with you! 

the first frost and snowfall cast a little spell on the farm… 

what are you going to do with your apples? 

i have another fabulous recipe to share soon. 

warm hugs,

Thursday, 25 October 2018

oh how can it already be our last weekend of the season to to invite you to pick apples?

finally last but not least to be ripe are our granny smith apples. 
we still have mutsu, idared, russet, empire and johnagold red apples for you.

granny smith

 originally from australia, granny smiths are named after maria anne smith, 
who discovered a chance seedling and was responsible for propagating this new cultivar. 

granny smiths are a favourite for their tart, sharp taste. 
they store very well.  
wonderful and crisp enjoyed fresh, they are also terrific to cook with!
hello crumbles, pies, tarts and cakes! 

isn't this just gorgeous? 

it is an apple rose tart with maple custard and walnut crust.

you can find the recipe here. 
you will also find a little video that is very helpful. 

this takes a while to make…a perfect rainy day project. 
the custard requires chilling for a couple of hours. 
i was lucky to have a partner in crime.. my sister nancy 
who was visiting from the west, and is a marvellous, patient cook.

a few things we thought you might like to know if you make this…
keep a close eye on the walnut crust while you are baking it…i burned the first one we made. 
i don’t have a microwave, so we simmered the apple slices in water and lemon juice 
for a couple of minutes until they were pliable. 
we used empire apples.
 the custard thickens very slowly while you are stirring, 
and then all of a sudden it becomes exceptionally thick.  
it is a lovely breakfast. 

nancy dusted the tart with icing sugar for a special finish. 

have you met our animals yet? 
we have fallen in love with all of them. 

and what a pleasure to enjoy fresh eggs from the ladies!

is anyone else getting excited for hallowe’en?

put on your favourite rubber boots and come and visit the farm this weekend!

warm hugs,

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

bumper crop

we sure have a bumper crop of apples this year!
we are still picking our idareds, mutsus, johnagolds, red delicious, golden delicious, and empires.

all of these late harvest apples are excellent apples to store.  in a fridge is ideal. 
the idareds are exceptional…they will last ’til the spring. 

i don’t know why, but on dreary rainy days, i love to bake. i have so many apple recipes to try…
this is my new favourite apple cake.

i think it is a combination of its italian heritage and my new love of cardamom that has me smitten.
 after our farm tour of italy, i love everything italian.

this tuscan apple cake with olive oil is dreamy…not too sweet and deliciously appley. 
it is a perfect little breakfast bite…or a late afternoon pick me up with a cup of tea.

the apples make it very moist. it keeps for a few days on the kitchen table, covered with a tea towel...
unless you have friends drop in. 

the original recipe is from giulia scarpaleggis who’s instagram and blog i follow and love.

 i did change it a little. i am sure you will love it too! 

apple olive oil cake 


•    5 apples 
        i used idared apples. you could use cortland, mustu, golden delicious or jonagold. 
 •     juice from 1 lemon
4 medium eggs
180 g - 3/4 cup - 6.3 oz of sugar + 2 tablespoons for the apples
120 ml -1/2 cup - 4 fl oz of extra virgin olive oil
240 g -1 3/4 cup - 8.4 oz cake flour
8 g - 1 3/4 teaspoon - of baking powder
     1/2  teaspoon of cardamom powder
1 pinch of salt
Butter to grease the cake mould
2 tablespoons of apricot jam

1   Preheat oven to 180°C. - 356˚F. 
2 Peel, core and slice three apples. Put aside the other two apples. You’ll need them later. Collect them in a bowl, drizzle them with the juice of a lemon and sprinkle them with two tablespoons of sugar. Give them a quick stir and put aside.
3   Whip eggs and sugar until light and foamy. Whisk in the extra virgin olive oil, then fold in the flour sifted with baking powder, cardamom and salt.
4   Now add the apples, also pouring in the lemon juice left in the bowl. Gently fold the apples into the batter.
5   Grease a 26 cm round cake mould with a knob of butter and dust it with flour. Scrape the batter into the cake mould and smooth the surface with a spatula.
6   Peel core and slice the two apples you put aside. Use these apple slices to decorate the surface of the cake, placing them in concentric circles, starting from the outside.
7   Bake the cake in a preheated oven for about 45-50 minutes, checking if the cake is done with a toothpick: when you insert it in the centre of the cake it should come out clean.
8   Once ready, remove the cake from the oven, allowing it a few minutes to cool down on a wire rack, then remove it from the cake mould and place it on a plate.
        9   Dissolve the apricot jam in a saucepan with two tablespoons of water, warming it on low heat until it starts to boil. Brush the cake with the apricot glaze. Let it cool down completely before slicing it.

 we have a bumper crop of pumpkins too!

have you seen the quaint pumpkin washing tub we have for you?

find our enchanted pumpkins right from the fairy tales
 in pinks, dove greys, greens, buttercup yellows, creams…

who else is thinking about halloween? 

 warm hugs on this chilly october day,