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Recipe #7: Traditional Gluhwein and Spice Biscuits

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When I was very young, we had the most ridiculous Christmasses. Every year, my family would fly to Switzerland. My grandparents would pick us up in a white Rover and drive us into the Alps, where we’d ski, build snowmen and ramble through the frost-sparkling woodlands. I was too young to drink, but nothing takes me back to those glorious days quite like the smell of hot spiced wine, or gluhwein. (Actually, the smell of snow works too, but it’s hard to find snow to smell in South Africa.)

Gluhwein has become quite popular in South Africa lately, but, as I discovered last Christmas, it’s still relatively unknown in California – which shows that in SA we are ahead of the curve in some things. This is my mother’s recipe for gluhwein, presumably passed down through generations of mountain-dwelling, snow-schussing Swiss ancestors. (The brandy is my own addition, however. There was a bottle in the cupboard that needed to be finished.)

Gluhwein recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 bottle red wine (3 cups, if you’re using box wine, which is what I did)
  • 2 tots of brandy (I used Oude Meester VSOB)
  • 2 lemons
  • 3 sticks of cinnamon
  • A handful of whole cloves
  • 2 teaspoons of mixed spice or 20 whole all spice

What to do

  • Put the water, sugar, cinnamon and mixed/all spice in a pot and heat for about 5 minutes until it reaches boiling point.
  • Meanwhile, slice the lemons and stud the slices with cloves.

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  • Take the pot off the heat, add the lemon slices and leave to stand for about half an hour. (You can make the biscuits in that time.)
  • Add the wine and heat very slowly until just before boiling point.
  • Serve with a ladle in heat-resistant glasses with handles or stems. You can choose to strain before serving, but I don’t bother.
  • This recipe only makes about 6 to 8 servings, so I’d double it if there are more than 2 or 3 of you.

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Cunning plan

Refrigerate leftovers overnight and serve chilled as cocktails, with one part soda water, one part gluhwein and plenty of ice. Yum!

The hot version is perfect for chilly nights, but the cold version is terrific on sunny afternoons!

The hot version is perfect for chilly nights, but the cold version is terrific on sunny afternoons!

Food pairing suggestion

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When I asked my mother what’s best to serve with gluhwein, she suggested spiced ginger biscuits and promised to send me her recipe for those too. Five minutes later, she realised that it was buried in boxes in the garage, so she’s spending all weekend looking for it. In the meantime, I went ahead and invented one.

Spice biscuits recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar (brown or white, it doesn’t matter)
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • A chunk of butter (maybe around 1/2 or 1/3 cup? I can’t say for sure, I just plonked some in)
  • 1 egg yolk (save the white for an omelette or something)
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • Some raw almonds

What to do

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • Put the sugar and butter in a bowl together. If the butter is hard, nuke it for a few seconds until it’s soft enough to blend with the sugar till it’s creamy.
  • Add the egg yolk and mix and then add the flour, spices and bicarb. Mix thorougly and squish together to form stiff little dough balls. Make them as small as possible – just large enough to put one almond on top of.
  • Bake for 15 minutes and leave to cool before serving.
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You have to make them tiny to start with because they spread out quite a lot.

Dishes dirtied:

  • 1 pot
  • 1 chopping board
  • 1 knife
  • 2 wooden spoons
  • 1 cup measure
  • 1 bowl
  • 1 baking tray

Time taken:

  • Gluhwein: 10 minutes to make, 30 minutes for syrup to stand
  • Biscuits: 10 minutes to make, 15 minutes to bake
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Recipe #6: Russell’s Ratatouille

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Apart from the ability to quote from every episode of Blackadder and to read reams of very silly science fiction, my dad and I share a love of cooking simple, tasty food. In fact, my father (whose name is Russell) has even published* his recipes – or, as he calls them, Russipes.

*By ‘published’, I mean he has typed them up and printed them out for me.

One of my favourites is this ratatouille recipe. Dad has some strict rules about what it takes to make certain meals properly. In the case of spaghetti bolognaise, it is breaking the mince up so that there are no large lumps. And in the case of his ratatouille, it is compulsory to squish the bitter juices out of the brinjals. Every time I tell him I am making ratatouille I know exactly what his next sentence will be: “Have you pressed the aubergines?”

So, before you start, please don’t skip this vital step. My father and I will have nothing to do with bitter, unsquashed eggplants!

Ingredients

  • 1 large aubergine/eggplant/brinjal/whateveryoucallthem or 2-3 smaller ones
  • 1 large green pepper and 1 small red pepper
  • 3 or four courgettes/baby marrows
  • A punnet of button mushrooms
  • 2 onions
  • 1 tin whole peeled tomatos
  • Some tomato paste (not in the Russipe, but I like it)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • A hefty splash of olive oil
  • Chopped parsley or friend bacon to garnish

What to do

  • Cut the ends off the aubergines and courgettes. Wash and cut them into fairly thick slices. Sprinkle liberally with salt and layer them in a colander over a plate. Squash them down with something heavy (I use a pot filled with water). Leave for at least an hour until all the moisture has been pressed out.
This is my aubergine-squashing contraption. See the brown stuff on the plate? Those are the bitter juices!

This is my aubergine-squashing contraption. See the brown stuff on the plate? Those are the bitter juices!

  • Chop the peppers, onion and garlic and roughly chop the tinned tomatoes.
With all the veggie chopping involved in this recipe, I do sometimes think of getting one of those slicer dicer things you see on TV.

With all the veggie chopping involved in this recipe, I do sometimes think of getting one of those slicer dicer things you see on TV.

  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions and garlic for five minutes over a low heat until transparent.
  • Add the mushrooms and peppers and cook for another 10 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Cover the pan and simmer over a low heat for at least half an hour, stirring occasionally and correcting the seasoning, until the liquid thickens.

There are a couple of ways you can serve your ratatouille:

As a lovely veggie stew

In which case, simply ‘present on a bed of boiled rice’ (dad’s instructions). This is a great option for dinner parties, especially if any of your guests are vegetarian. For a change, they will not feel left out or second best. If any of your other guests are hardened meat eaters, garnish your ratatouille with bacon. This is sure to amuse.

As a side dish with meat

If you (or your loved ones) prefer meat, it can be tough to make veggies the exciting part of a meal. This ratatouille is just as toothsome and tasty as sirloin and is the perfect way to get vitamins and minerals into recalcitrant carnivores.

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I am a recalcitrant carnivore myself.

Wine pairing suggestion

Vondeling Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot

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This particular vintage got four stars from Platter, but we managed to get it at a bargain price. (Isn’t buying wine in SA so much fun? You should see the colour my boyfriend’s American friends turn when they drink our wine and then we tell them what it cost.)

The point here is that this is a vegetable stew that deserves to be paired with a wine that you’d normally serve with red meat. The lovely black peppery aromas of this full-bodied red go brilliantly with the simple seasoning of the ratatouille.

Time needed

  • Veggie chopping: 15 minutes
  • Brinjal squashing: 1-2 hours
  • Frying and simmering: 45 minutes

Dishes dirtied

  • 1 chopping board
  • 1 knife
  • 1 colander
  • 1 plate
  • 1 frying pan
  • 1 wooden spoon
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Recipe #5: The World’s Fluffiest Omelette

This is no ordinary omelette.

This is no ordinary omelette. This is the Hamley’s teddy bear of omelettes.

Today I’m going to do something I would never ordinarily do. I’m going to complicate a recipe – but just a little bit, and only because the reward is totally worth it.

Have you ever wanted to be known as ‘The Best Something-or-Otherer’? As in, ‘Oh, Alison? Why, yes, she’s the world’s best drunken night-time rollerblader!’ (I believe I was, once, a long time ago.) Well, here is your chance to become known by anyone you come into breakfast-time contact with as the World’s Best and Fluffiest Omelette Maker. From now on, ex-boyfriends (and/or girlfriends) will sigh mournfully over their stodgy eggs and remember the golden, happy days when you served them this…

Wazzuuuup!

Wazzuuuup!

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • Splash of milk/cream/sour cream
  • Knob of butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Half a tomato
  • A handful of excellent vintage cheddar, grated (Remember – NEVER skimp on cheese!)
  • Some chopped parsley or chives

What to do

There is a slightly tricky skill you’re going to need to achieve World Omelette Domination. You need to be able to separate eggs.

Until recently, I was absolutely convinced that if I got so much as a molecule of egg yellow into my egg white when separating them, the game was up and I would have to start all over again. This resulted in a large number of eggs being scrambled instead of meringued. But fear not! When I told this to a friend recently, she poo-pooed me so vigorously (and Google-proved it to boot) that I actually tested it today (accidentally). I am happy to inform you that egg whites do still beat into proper peaks, even with bits of yellow in them.

So, let’s get started!

  • Turn a plate on your stove to medium and turn on your oven’s grill.
  • Separate your eggs, and don’t despair if you get some yellow in the whites. Beat the whites until they form fairly stiff peaks (secret strategy no. 1) and then add the yolks and some milk, cream or sour cream.

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  • Heat a small frying pan with the knob of butter in it. You want it to be medium hot before you put the egg mixture in.
  • Wait a couple of minutes and then very, very gently, sprinkle the cheese, parsley/chives and tomatos on top of the eggy mousse in the frying pan.

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  • When the underneath is golden brown (lift it up and peek underneath to check) put the pan under the grill (secret strategy no. 2) so that the top gets a little bit cooked too. (Remember not to put the pan handle in the oven, and use an oven glove to take the pan out again.)

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  • Carefully flip one half over with the egg lifter and slide onto a plate.
  • Pause for audience applause.

Time needed

  • Normal omelette: 10 minutes
  • World’s Fluffiest Omelette: 15 minutes

Dishes dirtied

  • 1 chopping board
  • 1 knife
  • 1 frying pan
  • 1 egg lifter
  • 1 bowl
  • Another bowl*
  • A beater*

*Not required for Ordinary Omelettes

To sum up: 5 extra minutes and 2 extra things to wash up. That’s all it takes to become World Omelette Champion!

Wine pairing suggestion

Backsberg Brut MCC

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Unlike scones, omelettes are a manly breakfast, even when they are soft and fluffy. No pink bubbles for this then! The creamy, smooth mousse of the Backsberg MCC will be as frothy as your amazing omelette.

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Recipe #4: Coq Au Vin à la Sud-Africaine

Just what you want when it's cold and dark outside.

Just what you want when it’s cold and dark outside.

I took my (slightly chewed) apple crumble with me to a dinner party last week, where we were served superb pistachio-nut soup topped with Turkish saffron, followed by a traditional French coq au vin, stewed for hours in a Le Creuset casserole, complete with shallots brought specially from France. My hosts had slaved for hours over these dishes, so I felt a little cheeky pulling out the humble crumble, but it seemed to go down rather well anyway.

Despite the exotic allure of the soup, I was put off by grim stories of spending hours shelling nuts so, although I asked my friend for both recipes, I only intended to try the coq au vin. And, of course, I planned to make it as easy on myself as possible. Good news: I succeeded.

Here then, is my coq au vin recipe à la Sud-Africaine.

Ingredients

Yes, there are a lot of them, but they’re very simple and you should have most of them in your kitchen already.

  • 1 very cold and rainy day when you have a few hours to kill and want an excuse to drink wine.
  • 1 large, fresh chicken. Or two. It depends on how many people you plan to feed and how big your casserole dish is.
  • 2 or 3 bottles of Pinotage. Traditional coq au vin calls for Burgundy, which is usually Pinot Noir. But with the price of Pinot Noir in this country, there’s no way I’m cooking with it. I chose an el cheapo Black Tie Pinotage, available for about R26 a bottle at Pick ‘n Pay.
  • 2 or 3 shots of brandy. Not your best stuff, please.
  • 1 packet streaky bacon, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • A few sprigs of fresh parsley, thyme and rosemary, tied up with string. Or, in my case, an elastic band. I’ve seen Bridget Jones.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 or 4 cloves of garlic
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Small sachet of tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • A punnet of white button mushrooms
  • Plenty of butter and olive oil
You need a fairly large frying pan to fit a whole chicken into. Remember to turn it over.

You need a fairly large frying pan to fit a whole chicken into. Remember to turn it over. The chicken, not the frying pan.

What to do

  • Preheat the oven to 140 C.
  • Fry the bacon, onions and chicken (whole) in a large frying pan with some olive oil. Then put them all in the casserole dish.
  • Pour the brandy over the chicken. Attempt to ignite it, as per friend’s fancy French recipe. Fail. Sulk. Carry on.
You probably need two people to do the 'igniting the brandy while pouring it on' routine.

You probably need two people to do the ‘igniting the brandy while pouring it on’ routine. Poking the brandy-splashed chicken with a match doesn’t work.

  • Add 1 bottle of red wine, the herbs, bay leaves, sugar, lemon juice, tomato paste and garlic, cover the dish, and put it in the oven for 2 to 2.5 hours. If your chicken/s aren’t covered by the wine, take them out and turn them over once or twice.
  • In the same large frying pan as before, fry the mushrooms whole, with plenty of butter and olive oil and a bit of fresh thyme. Keep them until the chicken is ready.
  • When the chicken is very tender, melt some more butter (about half a cup) in a small saucepan, add the flour and mix to form a creamy paste (it’s called a beurre manié if you’re posh. Or French). Take the chicken out of the oven and add the beurre stuff to it, along with the mushrooms.
  • Serve in the casserole dish, sprinkled generously with parsley (after all, it’s the only green stuff in the meal).
It's going to take a fair bit of willpower not to just gobble these up as soon as they're fried. Maybe wait until just before the chicken is ready.

It’s going to take a fair bit of willpower not to just gobble these up. Maybe wait until just before the chicken is ready to fry them.

Wine pairing suggestion

I was almost stymied until I realised that there is only one wine you can serve with coq au vin, and that is the wine you made it with. That is why, my observant readers, I said you need 2 or 3 bottles of wine, even though the recipe only calls for one.

I did try drinking a very good Bordeaux-style blend, but it simply didn’t work, and I had to recork it. Which is why tonight I am drinking this:

It's cheap, but you can drink it.

Black Tie. It’s cheap, but you can drink it.

It’s really not as bad as it looks. A friend of mine reckons that some winery had oodles of excess good stuff and just packaged it in these awful-looking bottles so they could sell it off cheap. I don’t think that’s true, but it’s still quite drinkable and exceptional value. And, if you’re making this meal for a boozy dinner party, here’s the really good news: It comes in five-litre boxes too.

Time needed

  • Actually doing stuff: 20-30 minutes
  • In the oven: 2-2.5 hours

Dishes dirtied

  • 1 chopping board
  • 1 knife
  • 1 large frying pan
  • 1 small saucepan
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • 1 casserole dish
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Recipe #3: No-machine chocolate ice-cream

I MADE this. And it was EASY!

I MADE this. And it was EASY!

Skip the waffle, get to the ice-cream.

I think there’s a conspiracy among household appliance-makers to give cooks an incompetence complex. For example: ice-cream machines.

When I was in school, about 20 thousand years ago, we had a home economics class (yes, that’s how long ago it was) where we were taught how to make ice-cream. It was one of the most memorable and most useless pieces of education I’ve received, as our home economics teacher, a most glamorous woman, did this using her ice-cream maker, which she’d imported from overseas. (Such hi-tech items weren’t available in South Africa back then.) Since that class, I didn’t think it was possible for me, an ordinary, non-icecream-machine-owning mortal, to make my own ice-cream.

Then, a couple of months ago, I was sitting in a waiting room, browsing through a copy of Fresh Living, when I came across a recipe for yoghurt fruit ice-cream, with these wonderfully simple instructions:

Mix a tin of condensed milk, 300ml greek yoghurt and 300g berries. Beat 300ml of cream and fold in. Freeze overnight.

No machine needed! Unless you count the beaters, which would be a bit nitpicky of you.

I’ve made this ice-cream several times – usually with the raspberries and passionfruit that my darling absent-minded boyfriend buys for his breakfast and then forgets about – and it always gets rave reviews. But then, yesterday, I started wondering: what if I could make chocolate ice-cream?

This thought was sparked by two things in the fridge that needed using.

1. I’d bought a litre of cream at the supermarket a while ago, simply because it was CREAM and I didn’t realise it came in LITRES before. It would be more economical this way, I’d reasoned. Of course, that would depend on me actually using the cream before it went off. Yesterday was a day past the cream’s sell-by date. Eeek!

2. There’s an enormous great hunk of organic dark chocolate that has been lurking in the fridge for months. My boyfriend might be absent-minded when it comes to the contents of fridges, but he is something of a genius otherwise, and 88mph awarded him this giant chocolate numberplate for being their mentor of the year. (What do you give the tech guru who has everything? A giant chocolate number plate – obviously!)

You need some imagination to work out what to do with a giant chocolate numberplate.

You need some imagination to work out what to do with a giant chocolate numberplate.

I was too lazy to walk 500 metres to the shops for a tin of condensed milk, and I do get a bit annoyed at how expensive condensed milk is, so I thought using extra cream and a half-packet of castor sugar (one of the six Hefty-bagged sugars in the cupboard) would be a decent substitute.

Castor sugar, cream and chocolate numberplate.

Castor sugar, cream and chocolate numberplate.

So, here is what I came up with:

Ingredients:

  • About 500/600ml cream (pour until it feels like enough)
  • 300ml double-cream greek yoghurt
  • About 100g dark chocolate (I broke a random chunk off the numberplate)
  • About 200g castor sugar
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons cocoa (for extra chocolateyness)
  • Optional: some chopped nuts

What to do:

  • Break/cut the chocolate into smallish pieces and put them into a pot with a little of the cream and most of the sugar. Melt the chocolate into the mixture over a very low heat.
  • Beat the cream with the cocoa and a little bit of sugar (adding the sugar makes the cream solidify faster, which helps if you’re using a hand-beater). You want it to make stiff peaks – but don’t turn it into cocoa butter! (I beat cream into butter once when I got a bit enthusiastic. It was slightly traumatising.)
  • Pour the chocolate mixture into the cream, gently stirring until thoroughly mixed.
  • Put into whatever Tupperware/old ice-cream/yoghurt containers you have available and freeze for at least 6 hours.

The result: an extremely creamy, highly chocolatey and slightly tart chocolate ice-cream. Hurrah!

This part is fun!

This part is fun!

Dishes dirtied:

  • 1 pot
  • 1 bowl
  • 1 spoon
  • 1 knife
  • 1 chopping board
  • Beaters

Time needed:

  • Preparation: 10-15 minutes (depending on how easy your chocolate is to cut)
  • Freezing: 6-8 hours
The finished product, ready for freezing.

The finished product, ready for freezing.

Wine pairing suggestion

Savignac Potstill Brandy

marmalade and molasses, cinnamon and clove, coffee and chocolate, hazelnut and nutmeg, old rose and raisin, vanilla and sandalwood all in a whiff. That's how Jorgensen's describe their Savignac - and I agree.

Marmalade and molasses, cinnamon and clove, coffee and chocolate, hazelnut and nutmeg, old rose and raisin, vanilla and sandalwood all in a whiff. That’s how Jorgensen’s describe their Savignac – and I agree.

Yeah, yeah, I know that technically brandy isn’t wine, but it is brandewijn (burnt wine), so I think it  counts. And nothing, but nothing, could make this ice-cream taste better than partnering it with this incredible brandy from Roger Jorgensen. Er. Mer. Gerd.

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Recipe #2: Super-fast easy-peasy scones

One of my favourite places in the world is a little town two hours north-east of Cape Town called Montagu. It’s the sort of place you want to retire to immediately, even if you are not yet 40.

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One of my favourite things about Montagu is waking up on a sunny Sunday and walking to the Montagu Country Hotel for breakfast. The highlight of the Montagu Country Hotel breakfast is the scones. Golden brown and slightly crispy on the outside; light, soft and fluffy on the inside. It didn’t matter how much I tried to resist, I always ate two and always thought longingly about eating a third.

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It took me a while to summon the gumption to ask for the recipe but, with a thick spreading of flattery, the cook was persuaded to write down five ingredients on a scrap of paper:

Ingredients

  • 500 ml buttermilk
  • 1kg self raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of salt

No instructions were provided, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out…

What to do

  • Preheat the oven to 200 C.
  • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until they form a nice soft dough.
  • Sprinkle some flour on a baking tray and press the dough out into a 5cm thick sheet. Cut into rounds using a mug or glass. (I do this on the baking tray to save cleaning up but you can do it on a floured counter top too.)
  • Paint with buttermilk, milk or the egg white still left in the egg shells. (Use your finger if you don’t have a basting brush.)
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden on top. If you’re in doubt whether they’re ready, just break one in half to check.
  • Serve hot with butter (not margarine. I will disown you if you use margarine on scones!), your favourite jam and – if you have it – double thick cream.

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Since this is a hotel recipe, it makes about 5 million scones, so when I make this, I usually halve the quantities unless there are ravenous hordes in residence. Buttermilk comes in 500ml bottles, but it keeps practically forever, so you can stash the other half of the bottle in the fridge until the next time the scone urge hits.

Wine pairing suggestion

Du Preez Estate Maranda Cape Classique Rosé NV

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Aha! You thought scones don’t go with wine? Anything goes with this stuff – and what is Sunday brunch without bubbly, after all?

Time needed

  • 10 minutes preparation
  • 15 minutes baking

Dishes dirtied

  • 1 bowl
  • 1 baking tray
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • 1 glass/mug
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Recipe #1: Left-over muesli apple crumble

Convert your unwanted food to sweet awesomeness.

Convert your unwanted food to sweet awesomeness.

I’m not sure if this  happens to other people, but I have a boyfriend who loves to buy food and then forgets he has it (for the simple reason that he never  opens the fridge or the food cupboard doors) so then he buys more of what he already has and the first lot of food that he bought sits sadly in Hefty zip bags (which he imports specially from America, presumably for exactly this purpose) until I haul it out and try to figure out what to do with it before it must be consigned to the bin, producing that special guilt that comes from throwing food away.

For example: he has six (6!) Hefty bags containing different kinds of sugar. He doesn't even EAT sugar!

For example: he has six (6!) Hefty bags containing different kinds of sugar. He doesn’t even EAT sugar!

Today I was wondering what to do with a quarter of a bag of cranberry and apple muesli, which had been bought a couple of months before for a camping trip and left to languish ever since. There were also some apples – not granny smiths that are recommended for cooking – but golden delicious and some fancy red varietal from Woolies, which had been maturing in a fruit bowl for several weeks. It was cold and rainy and I needed an excuse to turn on the oven and heat up the apartment. So I made an apple crumble.

If you too have months-old muesli and apples that are getting a little wrinkly, here’s how to get rid of them and make your whole house smell happy in one go.

Ingredients

Crumble:

  • A cup or two of muesli. Can be any kind. If you don’t have muesli, use oats. Tiger Oats are better, but you could get away with Jungle Oats too.
  • About half a cup of flour – plain or self-raising. Don’t stress.
  • Some sugar. You decide how much. It depends on how healthy you want to be. I used half a cup (ish)
  • Half a cup of butter. This is a stupid measurement, I know, because butter doesn’t come in cups. Sorry.
  • A few raisins. They go nice and crunchy in the oven.

Filling:

  • 4 apples. Any kind. Don’t bother peeling them. Just give them a good wash, quarter, core and cut them into thin slices.
  • A handful or two of raisins. These get all nice and juicy in the oven.
  • A good sprinkle of cinnamon. Not turmeric. (Although I must say, a bit of turmeric can add a certain something to the flavour if you happen to sprinkle a bit on accidentally.)
  • Half a lemon – zest and juice.
  • Some sugar. Your call how much again. I used about three tablespoons.
I bought the raisins once to make boboti because I couldn't find sultanas. Don't listen to what the recipes say: Boboti is great with raisins. #justsaying

I bought the raisins once to make boboti because I couldn’t find sultanas. Don’t listen to what the recipes say: Boboti is great with raisins. #justsaying

What to do

  • Preheat your oven to 180 C. Get some kind of ovenproof dish to put everything in. You can grease it if you’re feeling diligent, but it really doesn’t matter. I didn’t.
  • Put the sliced apples and raisins in the dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice and zest, then sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar.
  • Put the butter in a pot and melt until it bubbles nicely and goes a bit golden brown. Take it off the heat. Add the muesli, flour, raisins and sugar and stir well, then put the mixture on top of the apples, trying to cover them evenly.
  • Bake for 45 minutes.
  • Serve  hot with ice-cream, whipped cream, creme fraiche, greek yoghurt or sour cream. Any kind of cream-like substance will do.
  • Eat two helpings before remembering you’re supposed to be going to a dinner party shortly.
  • Tell boyfriend he may now buy more muesli.
Evenly distributed crumble. A proud moment.

Evenly distributed crumble. A proud moment.

Wine pairing suggestion

Backsberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

I made sure I finished this off too. Wasting good wine is the only thing worse than wasting food.

I made sure I finished this off too. Wasting good wine is the only thing worse than wasting food.

The robust tannins cut through the sugaryness of the crumble and the plum and blackberry flavours compliment the tartness of the apples and the sour cream.

Dishes dirtied

  • 1 pot
  • 1 chopping board
  • 1 knife
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • 1 ovenproof dish