The best of the Autumn hues are fading now, the reds and golds giving way to the cool grey skies of early winter. Through the window falls a steady drizzle of rain and most of the trees are bereft of their leaves. I’ve really been enjoying the past few weeks – out with my camera – and discovered some surprising colours like the delicate pinky purples in a vast bed of woodland cyclamen. As a family, we’ve spent time outside walking, cycling, picking apples, and celebrating with bonfires and pumpkins. But pumpkins are not just for carving and decorating are they? They make beautiful subjects for photography – and delicious eating too!
Pumpkin and winter squashes are particularly delicious roasted – it concentrates the sugars and intensifies the flavours. I like to use roasted pumpkin in lasagna, pasties, or Caribbean curries and rotis. I also love pumpkin in breads, muffins and cakes. Wonderful for Autumn walks and picnics.
My grandmother loves – adores – cakes, especially cakes rich with fruit and nuts. When I visit her, there is nothing I can bring that will delight her more than a home baked cake like this teacake. In fact, it was just for my lovely granny that I made this cake, and it’s twin. (The recipe makes two loaves.) Like many old folks (I can call her old, because she really is!) she doesn’t always have the appetite or energy to prepare a full meal, so a slice or two of a nourishing fruit and nut cake with a cup of tea is just right. She just rang me to say how much she is enjoying this teacake. And that makes me very happy.