I won a copy of Apron Strings by Nessa Robins back in July and as my daughter lovingly turned the pages and ooohed and aaaahed, I promised her we would make some of the delicious looking desserts and cakes and I promised Nessa I would do a review here on the blog. Slight interruption for a crowdfunding campaign and the writing of a book, I made my first dessert from it last weekend! But it was worth the wait …. I promise!
I’m not a cookery book lover, I’m not one of these people who will turn the pages as though it is a cherished novel and imagine themselves cooking lots of delicious things. When Brian used to cook (pre-farming) he used to buy various cookery books such as Jamie Oliver and cook all sorts of scrumptious and complicated looking things. I say ‘complicated’ because I love cookery books that have a photo of every finished dish so I know what it should look like when it is finished. I like ones that have step by step photos too (so I know what it should look like as I go along)!!
Nessa used to be a nurse and she is a mum to four gorgeous kids, there is a sense of being wrapped in a soft blanket when you look at the photos and read the text – it’s all food that is good for you (lots of dairy products such as cream and butter) and look warm, nutritious, comforting and inviting, particularly on a cold winter’s day. Who hasn’t wanted to try Nettle soup but wasn’t sure how to make it – yes, there’s a recipe there for Stinging Nettle soup. ?More and more cookery books now have stories within them and I like the way Nessa has included various memories or tips at the beginning of each section.
Why did it take me so long to make some of these delicious recipes? I’m not the most organised and when I decide to bake something, I tend to be in a hurry, I won’t have the one essential ingredient that is needed and yet isn’t in my stock cupboard or I will just whip up the cake or queen cakes or biscuit cake that I could do blindfolded. ?We had visitors coming one Sunday and I decided to make the Bramley apple pudding. I couldn’t find the cinnamon in my very messy cupboard but I replaced it with mixed spice and it was delicious. As I had quite a few coming, I made a double amount. It wasn’t quite cooked when I tested it after the allocated time so I cooked it for another 15 minutes and it was fine – I suppose a double amount of cake mixture would need longer to cook when you think about it!
This was scrumptious. My husband isn’t a huge fan of apple tarts etc and he loved it. The juice from the apples soaked into the cake mixture and made it so moist, scrumptious with cream or lashings of hot custard. It is quite similar to a steamed pudding but without the hassle of steaming it for 90 minutes.
There are lots more delicious recipes in Apron Strings. If you are organised and have done all your Christmas shopping, I suggest you just buy yourself an extra present. If you are like me and still have loads to do, then put this on the list for one of your lucky recipients this Christmas.