It's bake off time again, or, to be precise English Mum's Great Big Autumn Bakeoff. Autumn to me is the prefect time for baking, not that I don't stop baking any other time of year but there's something about autumn, its misty mornings and berry-laden trees that sends me into the kitchen.
Bread is my number one for autumn baking. Summer is somehow time for fast things like focaccia and flat bread to wrap around salady stuff, but autumn is for soup and soup needs bread. This is a split pea and ham soup accompanied by bread rolls with honey and sesame. The sweetness of the honey and the nuttiness of the sesame seeds (which are on the inside of the rolls as well as the outside) make for the perfect accompaniment to the salty smokiness of the soup. R6 loves helping to shape them too so we get all kinds of faces, hedgehogs and plaits.
Autumn is crumble time too and who could resist the fragrant delights of an apple and blackberry crumble? I'm delighted to say that the apples are from our own trees and the blackberries were picked from around the farm. There's something wonderful about picking and then cooking your own produce and I'll never get tired of it.
It's been such an unusually bumper year for our apples that I keep making Hugh Fearnely-Whittingstalls apple and almond pudding cake too. This lovely thing - which is my official entry for English Mum's bakeoff - was featured on River Cottage Every Day a few weeks back. Freshly baked and still warm from the over it is divine with custard but I almost love it more cold from the fridge the following morning for (a very decadent) breakfast served with a spoonful of natural yoghurt.