Hot Spiced Cranberry Apple Punch
This is a spicy punch which will warm you up perfectly on either Halloween or Bonfire night.
1½ pints cranberry juice
4 cups apple cider
½ pint water
4oz caster sugar
Juice of one lemon
4 cinnamon sticks
1 whole nutmeg
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 cups rum (optional)
Lemon wedges and cranberries for garnish
Mix together the cranberry juice, cider, water, sugar and lemon juice in a large pan. Bring to a boil. Wrap the spices in a cheesecloth bag and add to the pan. Simmer for twenty minutes. Add the rum if desired. Ladle into warm mugs and garnish with lemon wedges and whole cranberries if desired.
Spicy Black Bean Soup
Serve this soup in wide shallow bowls and if you are feeling really clever, try piping or trailing sour cream spider webs onto the top. If you are making this soup for children, consider adjusting the spices. This soup is quick and easy to make, especially if you use canned beans. If you use canned beans, just reserve one cup of the liquid they were canned with and drain and rinse the beans well.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
2 medium chopped onions
4 minced garlic cloves
2 tsp minced crumbled dried thyme
5 cups cooked black beans, with one cup of cooking liquid reserved
4 cups chicken stock
1 14oz tin chopped tomatoes
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp tabasco sauce
Place the butter and oil in a large pan and melt over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until the onion is softened and translucent. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for an additional three minutes. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. then reduce the heat to medium low. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove three cups of the soup from the pot and puree in a food processor until smooth. (Tip: Do this a cup at a time, unless you want to redecorate your kitchen! Add the puree back to the soup. Reheat until the soup is thoroughly warmed again. Spoon into serving bowls and garnish with sour cream.
1 medium onion, peeled
50g / 2oz butter
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
900g / 2lb pumpkin
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 small dried chillies
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 pints vegetable or chicken stock
4 rasher smoked bacon
4 fl oz single cream
Chop the onion. Melt the butter in a large heavy based pan and cook the onion and garlic in it until soft. Peel the pumpkin, removing the seeds and pith. Cut the flesh into cubes and add to the onion. Cook until the cubes are golden around the edges.
Roast the coriander and cumin seeds in a small frying pan over a low heat for about 2 minutes. Grind the spices and add them, the chillies and the turmeric to the pumpkin and onion. Cook for a few minutes and then add the stock. Simmer for 20 minutes until the pumpkin is tender.
Fry the bacon until crisp, in the pan you used for the spices. When cool, snip into small pieces with scissors.
Puree the pumpkin in a food processor. Pour in the cream and season to taste. Return to the pan, reheat and serve piping hot, sprinkled with bacon pieces.
10 apples, small
8 oz / 225g black treacle
4 oz / 125g butter
1lb / 450g brown sugar
1 tbsp vinegar
Thoroughly wash the apples then dry with kitchen paper.
Insert a wooden stick in each, downwards through the core, to act as handles.
Put the butter, treacle, sugar and vinegar in a pan, mix together and bring to the boil for about 20 minutes (Be careful, this mixture can burn!)
Quickly dip and coat the apples in the hot mixture and then place on a baking try lined with waxed paper to set.
For the pastry:
6oz / 175g plain flour
4oz / 125g butter
1 egg yolk
2-3 teasp. cold water
For the filling:
1lb cooked and mashed pumpkin
½ pint / 10 fl oz evaporated milk
2 oz / 50g brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
To make pastry:
Sift the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and water and mix to a firm dough.
Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for half an hour. Then roll out and line an 8" / 20cm pie dish (fluted if you have it).
Bake blind for 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 220C / 425F / Gas Mark 7
To make filling:
Place all the filling ingredients in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into the pie crust and bake at 220C / 425F / Gas Mark 7 for 10 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 180C / 350F /Gas Mark 4 and bake for a further 40-50 minutes until the filling is set.
Serve warm or cold with cream or ice cream.