Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The September Issue

I love the month of September, I really do.  I spend the whole month crossing my fingers for an Indian Summer whilst also enjoying the thought of chunky knits and open fires.  As a child, September meant a new school term (and a new pencil case- oh the joys) and I still get that sense of ‘new beginnings’ at this time of year. 

This September I may well just get my wish as we are apparently expecting a mini Indian Summer at the end of the week.  My mother is already busy planning a picnic by the lake to wave off the summer and I am kicking myself for having packed all my summer clothes away rather prematurely.  Even my lavender is having a second wind and has re-flowered just in time for some warmer weather.  But let’s not get ahead of ourselves people, after the Weather Man’s empty promise of a ‘bbq summer’, I am not holding my breath.

I am however planning one last dinner outside before we slide ever closer into winter.  Sophie thinks I am mad but I think it is wildly romantic.  Plus it is a fantastic excuse to bring out our Bahara Parasol again! It is perfect for this time of year as it not only keeps in the warmth but it creates the most beautiful atmosphere when candle lit.  Throw in a couple of Andara’s Autumnal friendly Tangerine runners and napkins and the look is complete!  


There are lots of delicious recipes to chose from for an autumnal dinner but I am most excited by this recipe for amazing Apple Crumble Ice-Cream which couldn’t be more perfect for the Summer/ Autumn transition.

      300ml full-cream milk
      284ml carton double cream
      5 large egg yolks
      120g golden caster sugar
      2 tsp vanilla extract
      2 Bramley apples (about 500g in total)
      25g unsalted butter
      50g golden granulated sugar, to taste

For the crumble
      75g plain flour
      50g butter, chilled and cubed
      50g golden caster sugar

      1. Pour the milk and cream into a small pan and bring just to the boil.
      2. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar together in a bowl, until pale and creamy.
      3. Gradually stir the hot milk and cream mixture into the yolk mixture. Return to the pan over a gentle heat and cook, stirring, until it’s thick enough to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon. Stir in the vanilla extract, then set aside to cool. Chill overnight – this will speed up the freezing process.
      4. The next day, core and peel the apples and cut into 1cm cubes. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based frying pan, add the granulated sugar and cook over a medium heat until it resembles a toffee-coloured sauce. Add the chopped apples and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the fruit is tender but not falling apart. Check the sweetness: it needs to be a little tart but add more sugar if needed. Set aside to cool.
      5. Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan170°C/gas 5. Make the crumble. Sift the plain flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl, add the chilled butter and rub in until it resembles crumbs. Add the sugar and work the mixture between your fingers until it starts to clump together. Spread over a large baking tray and bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until the crumble is biscuit-coloured. Set aside to cool.
      6. To make the ice cream, churn the custard in an ice cream maker until nearly firm. Add the cooked apple mixture and baked crumble pieces, churn to lightly mix through, then serve straightaway.

I absolutely love these beautiful Indian Kadai bowls to keep warm but we have a small issue with space so I think for now I will have settle with a cashmere throw to keep the September chill at bay.

If only we had the space on the roof terrace for this wonderful fire bowl

For a bit of extra warmth, beautiful 2 tone cashmere throw

So enjoy the last few days of September before we have to say goodbye to this exemplary month for another year.  Andara are now off to sell our wares at a MacMillan charity sale, aptly titled “the Indian Summer coffee morning”, no jokes.

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