When the month has an ‘R’, in it then you can be sure that shellfish is in season, including native oysters, an exquisite but expensive treat. If your budget doesn’t stretch that far then mussels are a fraction of the price but will still add a touch of luxury (moules marinaire are my absolute favourite).
If you prefer fish, black bream and sea bass from the Cornish coast are the pick of the catch right now. As always when choosing any fish, look at its eyes to see that they glisten nicely. The skin should be firm – if you push it with your finger, it should bounce back to its original shape.
There are plenty of apples, pears & plums coming through now and still some soft fruit available. Our temperate climate gives them a great depth of flavour and they make wonderful crumbles, one of the most heartwarming, cosy of puddings. This version is much lower in fat than traditional crumble and is great for using up all sorts of odds and ends (a great way to help to reduce some of the 7 million tonnes of food and drink waste we generate each year, the majority of which could have been eaten).
Crunchy Fruit & Oat Crumble (serves 4)
15 minutes preparation time, 15-20 minutes cooking time
- 2-3 slices of bread (100g/3oz), crumbed (stale is fine)
- 50g (2oz) rolled oats (or muesli or granola)
- 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds (or sliced almonds)
- 400g (14oz) any fruit (e.g. 2 apples plus berries)
- 100ml (3ml oz) fruit juice (we use apple juice, but if you don’t have any fruit juice use a couple of teaspoons of jam or marmalade dissolved into 100ml (3fl oz) boiling water)
- 2 tablespoons of runny honey
- Add crumbed bread, oats and seeds/nuts to a bowl and mix well.
- Chop the unpeeled, cored apples and put into an ovenproof dish with the berries and fruit juice.
- Sprinkle the crumb mixture on top then drizzle with honey.
- Bake in a preheated oven 1800C/Gas 6/3500F for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
- Serve immediately with a little greek yoghurt, custard or cream or for real decadence serve with
a Crème Anglaise.
In season this month:
Fruit, Nuts & Fungi
Apples, blackberries, blueberries, damsons, elderberries, figs, grapes, greengages, loganberries, peaches, pears. Lots of lovely mushrooms; Porcini, chanterelles, field mushrooms, horse mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, parasol mushrooms, puffballs, giant shaggy ink caps and summer truffles
Vegetables & Herbs
Artichoke, aubergine, beetroot, borlotti beans, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, courgettes, cucumber, fennel, French beans, garlic, horseradish, kale, leeks, lettuce, onions, parsnips, peppers, potatoes (maincrop), pumpkins & squash, rocket, runner beans, salsify, scorzonera, sweetcorn, tomatoes, watercress
Meat & Game
Farmed goose, grouse, mallard, rabbit, wood pigeon
Suzanne is a professional chef, wife and mother who has lived in East Dulwich, London all her life.
You can email Suzanne with any comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
This feature first appeared in the September 2015 issue of SE22 magazine.