The Best Handmade Ice Cream in Cumbria!

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The Handmade Ice Cream Company

I first met Steve at Cranstons, Orton Grange Charity Christmas Fair where he was quietly offering tasters of some of his delicious handmade ice-cream. I know from experience how difficult ice cream is to make especially for commercial sale so I was immediately impressed by the quality of his product. It has a warm velvety mouth feel and excellent flavour.  He was one of the first Cumbrian food producers that I contacted, and subsequently met, when setting out to do the research for my new book, At Home in Cumbria, A Recipe Book; written to celebrate 20 years of care in the community from Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland.  After visiting Steve at his business  The Handmade Ice Cream Company (article below), I was inspired to develop a dessert using his gingerbread ice cream.  Mini Baked Blencatharas  – a twist on a classic, epitomising the flavours of Cumbria.  Continue reading

Georgian Inspired Plum Chutney

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Georgian Style Plum Chutney

Its chutney time, and this year our orchard trees are groaning under the weight of beautifully ripening fruits. I have already made jams and jellies, and put pies and purees into the deepfreeze.  The last job of the season is to turn the remainder, and the later ripening fruits into chutneys and pickles. This year I thought I would try something a bit different and have developed a plum chutney inspired by the traditional plum sauce of Georgia. Continue reading

Two Autumn Tarts, and an explaination for my long absence!

Autumn seems to have arrived early this year – the hedgerows are burgeoning with black berries and orchard trees are heavy with soft fruits and early apples begging to be picked.  There is a limit to how much of this gorgeous produce one can consume while its fresh, so it is a busy time of year for cooks in the kitchen as we turn the excess into chutney, jams and jellies. I also like to make fruit pies that can be prepared for freezing and cooking later. It makes for very easy entertaining throughout the late autumn and winter months.

Here are two of my favourite recipe: 1: Fig Tart with Brown Sugar Frangipani and Spelt Pastry. 2: Apple, Pear and Blackberry Open Pie with a Dark Muscovado and Allspice Streusel Topping.   Continue reading

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