Sunday, 14 October 2012

A new season!

Pulling on my boots last night and an extra pair of socks marked the end of British Summertime and reminded me that Autumn is really here.  Feeling all 'wintery', I visited one of my favourite country pubs, The Green Dragon in Cowley, Gloucestershire, with my bestie-mate Sarah and sat by this gorgeous open fire. We ate fresh fish, drank hot chocolate and gossiped like pros.  Perfect evening, don't you think?!

Open fire at the Green Dragon in Cowley Gloucestershire.  No dragons allowed.
After a bit of a busy few weeks, this weekend I got back down to business,  put on my oven gloves and had a bit of a bake off.  The first of which was a recipe from my famous recipe swap with Vegetarian Ventures supremo, Shelly!

This recipe was a great treat to use up the last of the summer seasonal fruits.  Full of blueberries, peaches, vanilla and buttermilk - so moist and flavoursome, there was something very magic about it indeed.

I adapted it slightly to be Gluten Free, which was so easy do and worked wonderfully. You can also adapt the cake to be Vegan friendly too, just like Shelly did - use Almond Milk and a vegan butter like Earth Balance.  It also didn't contain any egg, again making it great for vegan diets.

I won't keep you waiting any longer - here's the recipe and I beg you to make this cake for yourselves and enjoy it just like we did today.  Grab those blueberries and peaches while they're still ripe!


1 cup (236 ml) milk
one lemon
2 cups (250 grams) Doves Gluten Free Plain Flour (or use regular flour if you're ok with Gluten)
1/3 cup (71 grams) caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Gluten free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ground all spice (or you could use 1/2 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons (85 grams) cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
about 1 1/2 cups of any summer fruit or berries, chopped if whole (I used two nectarines)
1/4 cup brown sugar (for sprinkling on the top to create the crusty bit!)
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup chopped peaches

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Line and grease a square pan and set aside.

- Put the lemon zest and half the lemon juice into a bowl. Then add the milk. Stir briefly and set aside. (This makes buttermilk!  Yes, really, it's amazing. No buttermilk. No problem :)

- Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, ground all spice, baking soda, and a pinch of the lemon zest. Whisk briefly to combine. Add the butter to the flour, toss each piece so that it is coated, rub together in your hands and get a 'crumble' sort of mixture going.

- Add the fruit to the flour mixture and toss to combine so each piece is coated. Stir the vanilla into the milk mixture then quickly add the liquid to the flour/fruit mixture (through a sift to catch the lemon zest bits).

- Stir but do not overmix!  Just combine.  Leave it.  Don't be tempted to mix anymore. Step away from the batter and put the spoon down!

- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

- Sprinkle well with the brown sugar sugar.

- Bake for 30 minutes. Or until the top has gone into a golden sparkly crust and a skewer or knife comes out clean.

Try not to eat the whole thing when it comes out of the oven. Willpower.  Willpower.   And I got to eat lots of it because it's GLUTEN FREAKIN' FREE!

Check out more of Shelly's awesome mid-west inspired vegetarian and vegan dishes and deserts over at Vegetarian Ventures.


  1. Yum!! Oh and your night with your friend sounds like so much fun. I do wish Arizona has cooler temperatures to make our winters more believable lol!

    The dessert looks so yummy and bet it was fun to bake as well! :)

    Cathy Trails

  2. Thanks Cathy! Yes I can imagine that Arizona might be a bit toastier than the UK for a while yet! ... I had to buy merino wool tights yesterday in preparation for those coming minus figures! Time to make lots of soup!!! Hope you're well love xx