Apple Cheddar Thyme Crumble Cake {gluten-free}

Crammed with apples, subtly fragrant with thyme and blanketed with a cheddar crumble this gluten-free Apple Cheddar Thyme Crumble Cake is the perfect comforting Autumnal cake.

Apple Cheddar Thyme Crumble Cake

It would be remiss of me not to explain the absence of a blog post last week. If you follow me on Instagram then you’ll know, since I have spoken about it in my last few posts, that my father passed away very suddenly last weekend. I have written before that my father and I had a difficult relationship at times and with that comes an absurd arrange of emotions about his death. Childhood stuff that I have long since moved past now disturb my sleep anew. However I try to take comfort that in the last few years we had reached a more comfortable place. We would speak every few weeks and connect on our love of food and kitchen adventures and I would give him the latest on the children. A photograph that I took of Dad, Cole and Beau on our last visit was such a treasure to him and I just feel incredibly sad that he won’t get to see them grow up.

Apple Cheddar Thyme Crumble Cake

Cake always goes hand in hand for me with any significant life event. Luke took Cole and Beau out for a couple of hours to soft play the day after he died so I could have some peace with my thoughts and freedom to cry. I stepped straight into the kitchen and grabbed the flour, sugar and butter to seek solace. I feel guilty that this cake will be mired in the melancholy that surrounds this post but it’s almost fitting as a slice of this cake is a huge comfort.

Apple Cheddar Thyme Crumble Cake

The sour cream sponge is densely crammed with apples and fragrant with thyme. A soft cheddar crumble blankets the surface to add a delicious mature nuttiness. I have chosen the earthy flavour of sorghum flour to compliment the cake, sweet rice flour to bind and give texture and potato flour to add fluffiness which works because of its hydroscopic nature.

Apple Cheddar Thyme Crumble Cake

I have had this cake on the cake stall many times and I am often asked what gave me inspiration for this slightly unusual combination. I have always loved apple pie with a cheese pastry crust, the smooth balance of a fine crumbly cheddar and sweet crisp autumn apples is never a taste I tire of. And cheese cake is a thing right?

Dad didn’t have a sweet tooth, he preferred the cheese board after a meal. I think this Apple Cheddar and Thyme Crumble Cake then is a fitting tribute.

Apple Cheddar Thyme Crumble Cake

I urge you to give this Apple Cheddar and Thyme Crumble Cake a try and if you do then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. I’d also love it if you’d share your version and tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.

Print Recipe
Apple Cheddar Thyme Crumble Cake {gluten-free}
This gluten-free Apple Cheddar Thyme Crumble Cake is the perfect comforting Autumnal cake, crammed with apples with a delicious cheddar crumble topping.
Apple Cheddar Thyme Crumble Cake
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
16
Ingredients
For the cheddar crumble top:
  • 140 g caster sugar
  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • 80 g sweet rice flour
  • 70 g sorghum flour
  • 20 g potato flour
  • 100 g cheddar grated
For the cake:
  • 215 g sweet rice flour
  • 200 g sorghum flour
  • 40 g potato flour
  • 3 teaspoons thyme leaves
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 340 g unsalted butter
  • 340 g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 300 g sour cream
  • 4 granny smiths peeled, cored and cubed
For the glaze:
  • 140 g icing sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons whole milk
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
16
Ingredients
For the cheddar crumble top:
  • 140 g caster sugar
  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • 80 g sweet rice flour
  • 70 g sorghum flour
  • 20 g potato flour
  • 100 g cheddar grated
For the cake:
  • 215 g sweet rice flour
  • 200 g sorghum flour
  • 40 g potato flour
  • 3 teaspoons thyme leaves
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 340 g unsalted butter
  • 340 g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 300 g sour cream
  • 4 granny smiths peeled, cored and cubed
For the glaze:
  • 140 g icing sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons whole milk
Apple Cheddar Thyme Crumble Cake
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 170°C/160°C (fan oven)/gas mark 4 and line and grease a 9x13” rectangular cake tin.
  2. First make the crumble topping by rubbing together all the ingredients except the cheddar. Then stir in the cheddar cheese. Spread out onto a baking sheet and place in the freezer whilst you prepare the rest of the cake.
  3. In a large bowl sift the flours together with the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, thyme leaves and set aside.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar in a food mixer for 10 minutes until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs, beating in one by one then add the vanilla extract.
  6. Spoon in 1/3 of the flour mix, beat into the batter then add 1/2 of the sour cream and beat in. Repeat again and then add the last 1/3 of flour mix, beating until the batter is smooth.
  7. Pour half of the cake mixture into the cake tin, then tumble in half of the chopped apples. Pour the rest of the cake mixture over, smooth and then scatter the rest of the apples over the top.
  8. Finally sprinkle over the crumble topping so all the apples are covered.
  9. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes, check after 25 minutes and if you think the cheese is browning too much then place a loose sheet of tin foil over the top of the cake tin for the rest of the bake.
  10. Remove the cake from the oven, leave to rest for 5 minutes then carefully remove from the tin.
  11. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack until you decorate with the glaze.
  12. To make the glaze mixing the icing sugar with the milk until thick but pourable. Drizzle over the cake and then leave to set for at least an hour before cutting into squares.

SHOP THE RECIPE

The cake tin I use for all my tray bakes and sheet cakes is the KitchenCraft Chicago Metallic Professional Non-Stick Baking and Roasting Tin, 33 x 23 cm (13″ x 9″) which I love because it’s robust and easy to clean.

It’s not easy to buy certified gluten-free sweet rice flour in the UK, for some reason Bob’s Red Mill is astronomically expensive. However I have finally found a brand which is 100% certified gluten-free and it’s fantastic. The brand is yourhealthstore Premium Gluten Free Sweet Rice Flour (glutinous) 1kg

This is the sorghum flour I’ve been using recently and I’ve been really loving it.yourhealthstore Premium Whole Grain Gluten Free Sorghum Flour 1kg (sweet white) It’s earthy, nutty and compliments the apples, thyme and cheddar in this cake perfectly.

You want to use potato flour and not potato starch in this cake, they are different ingredients and do different things so make sure you are using the right one. I use Wholefood Earth Organic Potato Flour, 1 kg which is a lovely fine flour.

This post is not sponsored but the images above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these link to make your purchases then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

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Blackcurrant White Chocolate and Thyme Muffins {gluten-free}

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Apple Cheddar Thyme Crumble Cake

Maple Galettes with Wiltshire Ham and Gruyere

Maple Galettes with Wiltshire Ham and Gruyere are a wonderful savoury and gluten-free way to celebrate Pancake Day. These nutty buckwheat pancakes which hint at sweetness due to the maple syrup encase deliciously oozing gruyere and tasty ham.

Maple Galettes with Wiltshire Ham and Gruyere

It’s Shrove Tuesday today, the day before the start of Lent when we’re supposed to be purging our larders of all the ungodly ingredients. Funny how the ungodly ingredients lead to pancakes which are about as heavenly a food as invented.

However, for many years I never really bothered with acknowledging Shrove Tuesday as I was usually on a diet and then eventually became gluten-free which really put paid to my crepe affair. However, recently I have been indulging in galettes which are a traditional French style of savoury pancake made from buckwheat flour. Handily buckwheat flour is also naturally gluten-free which means this year since I am definitely not dieting (is embracing gluttony the opposite of dieting?) I have no excuses for forsaking Pancake Day. In fact, I am diving in with gusto.

Maple Galettes with Wiltshire Ham and Gruyere

Galettes are usually made with a savoury filling which is ideal for me as pancakes which you can eat in lieu of breakfast, dinner or lunch are my favourite. In particular I find you cannot beat good old ham and cheese. The cheese melts and oozes out of the galette and the ham provides some delicious meaty substance to the proceedings. This week I made a stack of galettes at the weekend and have been re-heating them in the pan for a quick breakfast which has turned out to be a great way to meal prep. I love a pre-prepped breakfast as I find the first meal of the day my most difficult to conquer. I am a nightmare when it comes to breakfast. I can’t handle anything sweet in the mornings, I don’t like eggs and recently my digestive system has been rejecting gluten-free bread. This might be due to the xanthan gum present in most brands which doesn’t really agree with me. Anyhow these galettes are ideal in ensuring I get a good savoury kick-start to the day.

Maple Galettes with Wiltshire Ham and Gruyere

If you have ever eaten galettes made properly on a billig, which is one of those traditional crepe makers you see being manned at food markets, you know them to be wafer thin, light, lacy and crisp. However, making them homestyle in a cast iron skillet pan yielded perfectly acceptable results in my opinion and means I can get my galette fix whenever I need it.

Maple Galettes with Wiltshire Ham and Gruyere

I chose to use gruyere for the cheese in this recipe because it melts so well and gives a lovely strong nutty taste. I used really good Wiltshire ham as well that, although it was packaged ham, was beautifully thin and dry. I find a lot of ham which you can buy at the supermarket to be wet and bland tasting so make sure you get some nice stuff, if you can make it to your local deli then even better. These Maple Galettes with Yorkshire Ham and Gruyere are pure perfection with the best ingredients. As you can tell by the title I went a little off-piste from the usual French recipe by adding a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup to the batter. This adds a delicious sweetness and depth and really brings out the taste of the cheese.

Maple Galettes with Wiltshire Ham and Gruyere

To be honest I’m not sure I’m going to limit myself to only eating these galettes on Pancake Day as now I’ve got this recipe under my belt they might become a bit of a staple for the next few weeks. So much for purging my larder, I’m just going to stock up with my ungodly ingredients afresh.

Maple Galettes with Wiltshire Ham and Gruyere

Print Recipe
Maple Galettes with Wiltshire Ham and Gruyere
Maple Galettes with Wiltshire Ham and Gruyere are a wonderful savoury and gluten-free way to celebrate Pancake Day. These nutty buckwheat pancakes which hint at sweetness due to the maple syrup encase deliciously oozing gruyere and tasty ham.
Maple Galettes with Wiltshire Ham and Gruyere
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
6 people
Ingredients
  • 100 g buckwheat flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 300 ml whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 30 g unsalted butter
  • 180 g gruyere grated
  • 200 g Wiltshire ham torn
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
6 people
Ingredients
  • 100 g buckwheat flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 300 ml whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 30 g unsalted butter
  • 180 g gruyere grated
  • 200 g Wiltshire ham torn
Maple Galettes with Wiltshire Ham and Gruyere
Instructions
  1. Whisk buckwheat flour, salt, egg and half the milk in a medium sized mixing bowl until it forms a paste. Then pour in the rest of the milk and the maple syrup and whisk well to form a smooth batter.
  2. Heat all the butter in a 9 inch bottomed cast iron skillet pan on a medium-high heat until the butter has melted.
  3. Swirl the pan around so the butter completely covers the pan then pour out the excess butter into a cup and set aside.
  4. Pour 80ml (1/3 cup) of the galette batter into pan, tipping the pan so that the batter thinly covers the bottom of it.
  5. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until the bottom of the galette is getting golden and crisp, then sprinkle on 30g of the gruyere all over the galette plus a few slices of the torn ham.
  6. Then fold the galette in half, and then half again. Remove from the pan and set aside to rest on a warm plate (or in a very low oven) whilst you prepare the rest of the galettes.
  7. Wipe the pan with some kitchen towel to remove any melted cheese or sticky bits of galette.
  8. Pour in a teaspoon or so of the pre-melted butter, swirl the pan to cover the bottom then add another 80ml of the batter to produce another galette and follow the rest of the instructions as before.
  9. Make as many galettes as the batter allows.
  10. Serve the galettes piping hot.

SHOP THE RECIPE

The buckwheat flour I use for this recipe is Amisa Organic Buckwheat Flour GF. It’s a lovely wholegrain flour with tonnes of flavour and is certified gluten-free.

One of my very favourite saucepans is my cast iron skillet pan and is perfect for making these galettes. I originally asked Luke to get me this for Christmas a couple of years ago as I was keen on an implement that could be easily transferred from hob to oven and this is ideal. I use it mostly for cooking whole chicken breasts, by searing the chicken on in the skillet on the hob and then finishing off for 10 minutes in the oven. It’s now invaluable to me and the pan I have is the Dust 40510-617-0 Frypan with cast iron handle, cast iron, black, 26 cm which I love love love.

The links above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to click through to buy then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. It’s just a way for me to fund the blog so if you do click through then many thanks!!

Brazilian Cheese Rolls {Pão de Queijo}

These Brazilian Cheese Rolls are crisp on the outside, chewy in the middle and utterly irresistible. They are naturally gluten-free as a complete bonus since they are made with tapioca flour.

Brazilian Cheese Rolls {Pão de Queijo}

These Brazilian Cheese Rolls have been on my to-bake list for a couple of years now, ever since my days at Tottenham Green Market where I would begin every market with a freshly baked ‘cheese snack’ (as they called them) from the Portuguese bakery stall Silmar’s Taste. I never have any time for breakfast on market days and I was addicted to these rolls. I would get one, two or maybe more for breakfast and snacking throughout the day.

Brazilian Cheese Rolls {Pão de Queijo}

Then I changed markets to Stroud Green Market and blow me if these cheese rolls were not back in my life again but under a different guise. I am not understating it when I say that The Chef is Home at Stroud Green Market does the best burgers I have ever tasted. And they do a gluten-free option thanks to these amazing rolls. To be honest, I think it’s the rolls that make them my favourite burgers.

Brazilian Cheese Rolls {Pão de Queijo}

Unfortunately I won’t be attending the market every week for the next few months as a trader due to my burgeoning bump so I bit the bullet and finally made my own Brazilian Cheese Rolls. Gosh darn by golly wow, why haven’t I made them sooner? The first ‘test’ batch I made I ate in one sitting. Please, I’m pregnant, forgive me. Also, don’t remind me when I’m slogging my guts out in a few months time trying to shift the baby weight. So I guessed the recipe was pretty spot on from the off, although it doesn’t mean I haven’t made them most days over the past couple of weeks just to make sure.

Brazilian Cheese Rolls {Pão de Queijo}

These rolls are perfect directly from the oven, eaten by themselves. They are ridiculously addictive. Crisp on the outside, cheesy and chewy in the middle. The only flour they use is tapioca flour and here the flour shines, giving the rolls their unique texture and lightness but with a lovely crisp exterior. They are not like your average bread roll and Silmar’s Taste were very clear that they shouldn’t be associated with bread at all, they have their own identity. But really these rolls are so versatile. Here I have made them nice and big, burger roll size so I can make my own gluten-free burgers (more on those in my next post). However, the more traditional way to make them is just to spoon the dough in small amounts onto a baking tray for small bite sized rolls. If you do it that way then they really only need 15 minutes in the oven. You can mix up the cheeses, add stronger and different cheese. I used a mixture of mozzarella and cheddar as I didn’t want to the cheese to be too powerful as I like to use these rolls with fillings.

These Brazilian Cheese Rolls are really quick and easy to make, unfortunately even quicker and easier to eat and I really encourage you to give them a go whether you’re gluten-free or not. I cannot stress how good these bad boys are.

Brazilian Cheese Rolls {Pão de Queijo}

Print Recipe
Brazilian Cheese Rolls {Pão de Queijo}
These Brazilian Cheese Rolls are crisp on the outside, chewy in the middle and utterly irresistible. They are naturally gluten-free as a complete bonus since they are made with tapioca flour.
Brazilian Cheese Rolls {Pão de Queijo}
Course bread
Cuisine brazilian
Keyword bread
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
4 rolls
Ingredients
  • 240 g tapioca flour
  • 150 ml whole milk
  • 60 ml water
  • 3 tablespoons mild and light olive oil
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 80 g mozzarella cheese cubed
  • 40 g cheddar cheese grated
Course bread
Cuisine brazilian
Keyword bread
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
4 rolls
Ingredients
  • 240 g tapioca flour
  • 150 ml whole milk
  • 60 ml water
  • 3 tablespoons mild and light olive oil
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 80 g mozzarella cheese cubed
  • 40 g cheddar cheese grated
Brazilian Cheese Rolls {Pão de Queijo}
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C fan.
  2. Grease 4 x 10cm tart tins*
  3. Place tapioca flour into a stand mixer or large bowl.
  4. Pour milk, water and olive oil into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  5. Remove the saucepan from the hob and pour the hot liquid over the tapioca flour. Beat the mixture on medium-high speed for about 10 minutes until very sticky and cooled.
  6. Add the egg and salt and beat in for a couple of minutes until the mixture is glossy and smooth.
  7. Add the mozzarella and cheddar a little at a time until completely mixed in.
  8. Using a spoon, divide mixture into 4 greased tart tins and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden.
  9. Remove the rolls from the tins straightaway onto a cooling rack.
Recipe Notes

*It is not imperative to use tins to bake these rolls, you can just spoon the mixture and bake them directly onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper but it does ensure the rolls achieve the desired size.

*The rolls are delicious eaten directly from the oven and should really be eaten the same day. You can wrap them in foil once cooled and enjoy them the following day too but they get stale quite quickly.

*Recipe adapted from Olivia's Cuisine and BBC Good Food

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Gluten-Free Flour: Tapioca Flour

Text saying Guide To Gluten-Free Flours: Tapioca Flour: What is it and how should we use it: fromthelarder.co.uk on an image showing tapioca flour on a board and in a mug

Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones {gluten-free}

These gluten-free Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones are the real deal. Brilliantly portable for picnics and essential for afternoon tea.

Gluten-Free Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones

These Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones are a particularly special recipe to me. I make a lot of scones in the summer months. As soon as this season’s jams start to appear in the kitchen then I am hard pressed not to find a reason where an impromptu cream tea isn’t required. Scones are an ideal last minute bake as the ingredients are usually in, needing little more than the essentials; flour, eggs, sugar and milk.

Gluten-Free Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones

Whenever I make scones though my mum usually makes a not so gentle request for cheese scones as she has much more of a savoury tooth. Cheese scones are so delightful to bring along to picnics and family gatherings as they don’t suffer from being schlepped around. They are at their best with a spot of butter but really pretty good straight from the tupperware.

Olives

Gluten-Free Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones

Gluten-Free Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones

I had only baked these Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones once up until now. They had got lost in the shuffle when I started baking only gluten-free as it took me a while to perfect my gluten-free scone recipe. Now I finally have a scone which can pass muster alongside its wheat filled brethren it seemed appropriate to bring these guys out of hiding this week.

Gluten-Free Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones

I originally created the recipe in memory of my Nan after she passed away two summers ago. It would have been her birthday next week and although I’m sure she would never have described herself as a great cook, (she was much more known for her immense family love, great humour, fierce loyalty and utter stubbornness) she cooked memorable meals for us throughout my childhood and I wanted to remember her this week by baking in her honour. Her name was Olive and she would have really loved these scones.

Gluten-Free Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones

Print Recipe
Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones
These gluten-free Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones are the real deal. Brilliantly portable for picnics and essential for afternoon tea.
Gluten-Free Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
15 scones
Ingredients
  • 140 g sweet rice flour
  • 100 g oat flour
  • 80 g millet flour
  • 40 g potato starch
  • 40 g tapioca starch
  • 60 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 170 g cheddar cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten + 1 egg for the egg wash
  • 175 ml buttermilk + a splash extra for the egg wash
  • 100 g pitted olives mixture of green and black
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
15 scones
Ingredients
  • 140 g sweet rice flour
  • 100 g oat flour
  • 80 g millet flour
  • 40 g potato starch
  • 40 g tapioca starch
  • 60 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 170 g cheddar cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten + 1 egg for the egg wash
  • 175 ml buttermilk + a splash extra for the egg wash
  • 100 g pitted olives mixture of green and black
Gluten-Free Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and line a large baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. Tip the flours and starches into a large mixing bowl and whisk together well. Add the butter then rub together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Stir in the white pepper, mustard powder and baking powder.
  4. Grate the cheese into the bowl and gently stir into the other ingredients.
  5. Pour in the beaten eggs and turn into the mixture with a wooden spoon until completely incorporated.
  6. Finally stir in the olives.
  7. Once the olives are evenly dispersed carefully pour in the buttermilk, bringing the dough together with a wooden spoon.
  8. Tip the dough onto a floured surface (you can use any flour, but not too much) and pat the mixture together, gently folding and turning the dough until the flour is incorporated.
  9. Once the dough is dry enough to work with then using the palm of your hands flatten out to 1 inch thickness.
  10. Cut the scones out of the dough using a 68mm round pastry/biscuit cutter with fluted edges.
  11. Place the scones on the baking trays, then brush the tops with a little beaten egg mixed with a splash of buttermilk. Be careful not to let the egg wash drip over the sides of the scones or they will not rise evenly.
  12. Bake the scones in the oven for 12-15 minutes until risen and golden.
  13. Serve with plenty of whipped butter.
Recipe Notes
  • The scones are at their best warm from the oven. They don’t really last longer than a day before getting a little stale.
  • If you are not gluten-free then just substitute the sweet rice flour, oat flour, millet flour, potato starch and tapioca starch for 400g plain wheat flour.
  • If you don’t have buttermilk to hand you can use whole milk. Using the buttermilk though gives the scones a lovely soft crumb and a bit of a tangy note which pairs nicely with the salty olives and cheese.

Wensleydale and Bacon Ale Jam Scones

Wensleydale and Bacon Ale Jam Scones
When I think of Wensleydale cheese I think of Wallace and Gromit and it’s not long before I’m thinking of Wensleydale that my unique Yorkshire accent is produced for all and sundry to enjoy.  I love a good accent and take great pride in butchering every one I attempt.

Wensleydale and Bacon Ale Jam Scones  |  Stroud Green Larder

If you are not terribly familiar with Wensleydale it might be because you live in Stroud Green, it took me an absolute age to track down some of this wonderfully traditional British cheese that wasn’t contaminated with cranberries or apricots.  This is such a delicate summery cheese that it’s a shame it only comes into full force at Christmas as a novelty item on the cheeseboard.

Wensleydale and Bacon Ale Jam Scones  |  Stroud Green Larder

I was on the Wensleydale hunt particularly for this delicious scone recipe which I made for our last WI meeting.  We had thrown open our doors to the public for all and sundry to come and listen to author Gillian Tindall give a talk on our local historical building, Stapleton Hall, and we took pride in our WI reputation by providing homemade cakes and bakes for everyone to enjoy.

Wensleydale and Bacon Ale Jam Scones  |  Stroud Green Larder

I will often take a punnet of scones to a potluck or a picnic as they transport excellently and if you stuff enough cheese into them they will always be better received than a sweaty cheese sandwich.  However, I wanted to add a bit of something extra this time round and bake the jam into the scone, which would certainly save room in the picnic basket.  If you have any bacon jam in the fridge, as you absolutely must if you have learnt anything from food bloggers over the last few years, then do use that, or have a go at my new bacon jam recipe which I posted yesterday.  I will confess now that I made the bacon jam especially for these scones.  I wanted a very British scone where the ale in the jam could pair delightfully with the Wensleydale baked into the dough.

Wensleydale and Bacon Ale Jam Scones  |  Stroud Green Larder

The only way to eat a savoury scone is to crack it open at the middle, pulling the warmed dough apart and liberally spreading with whipped butter.  As I say, to eat at a picnic is an absolute joy but to eat at home is a luxury as then you can warm your scones up lightly in the oven so the steam rushes out when you break it open and the butter melts with abandon.

Wensleydale and Bacon Ale Jam Scones  |  Stroud Green Larder

Wensleydale, and Bacon Ale Jam Scones
Makes about 18 scones

550g strong bread flour, plus a little extra for rolling out
80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g Wensleydale Cheese
Black Pepper
1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
125g Bacon Ale Jam
200ml milk
1 free-range egg, beaten, for the egg wash

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C and line two large baking trays with baking parchment.
  2. Tip 500g of the flour into a large mixing bowl along with the butter then rub them together with your fingertips until they resemble breadcrumbs.
  3. Crumble up the Wensleydale into the bowl with the black pepper. Rub the larger lumps of cheese in a little bit into the flour.
  4. Then add the baking powder, mixing in well.
  5. Pour in the beaten eggs and turn it into the mixture with a wooden spoon until completely incorporated.
  6. Then add in the bacon jam and the other 50g of the flour. Use the flour as a carrier for the fat in the bacon jam and rub into the other ingredients.
  7. Once the bacon jam is evenly dispersed, pour the milk in carefully, stirring in with a wooden spoon. The mixture will become quite wet.
  8. Tip the mixture onto a floured surface and pat the mixture together, if the dough is still too wet add in a little more flour, folding and turning the dough until the flour is incorporated. You want to work this dough as little as possible.
  9. Once the dough is dry enough to work with then roll out to 1 inch thickness and cut out circles using a 68mm round pastry cutter.
  10. Place the scones on the baking trays, then brush with the egg wash.
  11. Bake the scones in the oven for 12-15 minutes until risen and golden.
  12. Serve with plenty of whipped butter.

Mango Chutney

Mango Chutney
This is my first chutney of the year.  I managed to divest my laden larder with a good majority of pickles, jams and chutneys over the festive period but now it’s about the time where I start to build up my stores again.

If I am honest I made this chutney a few weeks ago when the calls of our local Fruit and Veg man hollering outside Finsbury Park asking us to ‘Taste the mango’ got the better of me.  I did want to taste the mango.  Then it reminded me how long it’s been since I had a good cheese and mango chutney sandwich.  Since I didn’t have any mangos in, I put the abundance of mangoes on the stall to good use and stirred up a very quick and fragrant chutney that afternoon.  I followed Diana Henry’s advice on mango chutney but did not carry through the hotness of her recipe, instead toning it down as I wanted to create something more subtle.

Cheese loves a good mellow chutney or jam; please see my earlier obsession with cheese and peach jam.  Mango chutney is a perfect partner and I particularly like a softly spiced version so that the delicate mango flavour isn’t powered out, bedding down nicely a good crumbly cheese.

Mango Chutney

This classic sandwich combination always reminds me of my mother who at the mere mention of mango chutney will without fail wax lyrical about a good mango chutney and cheese sandwich.  And with good reason, a generous dollop of sticky chutney oozing out a toasted sandwich filled with gooey English cheddar is truly a magnificent lunch and reminds me a lot of my childhood.

I don’t eat as many sandwiches as I used to but this doesn’t mean my chutney consumption has calmed down.  My current favourite use is to add a delicate amount to a salad of nutty emmental, cucumber and iceberg lettuce.  All you need then is a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper to finish it off.  The mango chutney adds a lovely balance of sweet and sourness to this simple salad.

And of course, it would be remiss not to discuss how a lovely tablespoon of this chutney added to a homemade curry can provide its own dimension to the recipe, adding a mellowed sweetness to counteract your spicing.

Mango Chutney

Mango Chutney
Adapted from Diana Henry’s Very Hot Mango Chutney in ‘Salt Sugar Smoke’

6 mangos
¼ tsp cloves
8 cardamom pods, deshelled
1.5 tsp coriander seeds
4 black peppercorns
1 tsp black mustard seeds
500g onions, diced
500g granulated sugar
600ml cider vinegar
3 green chillies, deseeded
nutmeg
30g fresh ginger, diced finely
zest and juice of 2 limes

  • Peel the mangos and cut the flesh of the fruit from around the middle stone. Chop the fruit into cubes, there might not be much uniformity from the flesh cut close from the stone. Set aside.
  • In a large preserving pan toast the cloves, cardamom seeds, coriander seeds, black peppercorns and mustard seeds over a low heat for a minute or so to release their fragrance.
  • Add the diced onions, sugar, vinegar and chillies to the pan, bring to a gentle simmer and cook through for about 10 mins.
  • Add the mango, nutmeg, ginger and lime zest. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 20 mins until the mixture is jam like.
  • Stir through the lime juice for the last couple of minutes of cooking, then decant into sterilised jars.
  • The chutney is best left for at least 4 weeks for the flavour to mature.