Lovely Lyme Regis

The visit to Lyme Regis was great fun, if only it could have been longer. The gluten-free crumble was a great success and we certainly threw ourselves into the birthday celebrations! We were so lucky with the weather, it was raining at home but we had three dry days and Monday was glorious.

Lyme Regis BoatsThere were several walks along the beach and out onto The Cobb with plenty of beach combing and fossil hunting thrown in.  This rock pool was so beautiful and I discovered these mushrooms on a woodland walk in the sunshine.

When not walking or celebrating I continued with crocheting my granny squares. The original intention was to make a large cushion cover but, having run out of yarn with just two squares to go, I decided to buy more yarn and press on until I have enough for a blanket.

I think some of the weekend’s efforts will be neater than others depending on whether champagne had been consumed beforehand but I’m sure the overall effect will be fine! I’m up to about 60 in total so far, although the thought of all those ends to weave in is a bit daunting.

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A gluten free crumble

The challenge of Sober October was surprisingly easily met and, apart from a gin and tonic while catching up with a friend the other day, has turned into Almost Sober November!

Combining a few alcohol-free weeks with the introduction to our kitchen of a Nutribullet blender has certainly had some real benefits – not least a clear head, a few pounds lost – and the determination to start this blog to record some of the creative activities in my life.

I think a friend’s landmark birthday celebration on Lyme Regis this weekend will see a temporary suspension of the new regime and we are really looking forward to a few days of relaxing, walking and eating (and wine/beer!).

One of my contributions will be a blackberry and apple crumble. This needs to be gluten and nut free to meet some dietary restrictions and after a visit to the wonderful Manuka Wholefoods in Chichester I decided to experiment with a combination of rice flour and buckwheat flakes for the crumble.

Gluten Free Blackberry & Apple Crumble
Makes one large family size crumble and one small one for a taste test.

Preheat oven to 180° for a fan oven.

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For the fruit filling

5 medium size Bramley apples
450g blackberries
75g sugar. I used golden caster. My blackberries were very sweet. If yours are sharper use more sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Peel, core and cut the apples into thick slices. Spread in a layer in the dish/dishes and scatter the blackberries amongst the apple slices. Sprinkle with the sugar and vanilla extract

For the topping

320g rice flour
100g rolled buckwheat flakes
Half a teaspoon ground cinnamon
200g sugar. Again I used golden caster but soft brown would be nice
250g butter, cubed. This is a bit more than I would normally use in proportion to flour but I’ve noticed that buckwheat flakes need a bit more water than normal oats when making porridge so I thought an increase in fat content might be necessary

Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Spread the crumble mixture over the fruit and press down gently.

Bake for 30 minutes (small crumble) and 45 minutes for the larger one until the crumble is light gold in colour and the fruit has started to bubble up.

Serve hot, warm or cold.

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The outcome was very successful and the small one was consumed shortly after it came out of the oven. The large one is now in the freezer to prevent any sneaky eating before the weekend!