Saturday, 6 September 2014

Liebster Award

So last week, whilst at work feeling miserable because I'd spent the last half hour with my arms elbow deep in dirty, greasy water washing up, I popped out for a cheeky cigarette and what did I see? Only a lovely little comment from the wonderful Sian from The Cheeky Vegan !

The Cheeky Vegan is a great blog, always so many recipes to drool over. I'm a fan of all of Sians recipes, but I love her slightly more simple recipes the most. Her Bread and Garlic is a beautifully quiet dish, a recipe made for Sundays, when you've been for a long walk through the fields. I also share her views on onions! "Onions are the centre of the culinary universe" 
These delights are made to be gobbled and to not care that the oil and garlic are dripping down your chin and getting under your fingernails.

I think The Liebster Award is a lovely way of getting to know other bloggers and also helping to spread the word of a good blog to read. 
Here is a list of things the award needs me to do...
1) Thank the wonderful person who nominated little old me-click on the link to check out her blog!
2)Answer 11 questions asked by the person who nominated me
3)List 11 random facts about myself
3)Nominate other bloggers whose blogs I love to read
4)Write 11 questions for the other bloggers to answer
5) Let each of the nominated bloggers know they have been nominated

Now for the questions!

What made you decide to start a blog?

I have a habit of talking to myself, something that I have inherited from my wonderful, if slightly mad mother. A blog seemed a good way to get all of the stuff that rattles round my head out into the world, without resulting to talking to the stray cat. Who knew that baking would start to consume my world and therefore my blog? :)

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Well, as a child I think I would have been perfectly happy spending my days wherever the wild things were. I wanted adventure and talking animals...so naturally I wanted to be a pirate.

What is your earliest memory?

It's very foggy, but I can remember being in the bungalow my parents and I used to live in before we moved. My dad was telling an animated story, waving his arms around and laughing. My mum was sat on the sofa laughing really really loudly, the kind of laughing where you hold your stomach and tears fall down your cheeks. It's a happy memory and I'm glad I remember it.

If you could jump on a plane and fly anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?

Buenos Aires in Argentina, because my boyfriend T went there once and loved it so much he said it was his favourite city in the world, and the way he describes it, it sounds magical, so I would love to see it someday.

Which three foods/ingredients could you never live without?

Chickpeas. They amaze me because there is no end of things you can do with them. Chickpea flour omelette, falafel, hummus...eat them straight from the can with a sprinkle of salt...need I go on?
Chocolate. A bit predictable? Maybe...but then I don't really care as long as I've got my box of vegan dark chocolate truffles to scoff. Dark chocolate is my favourite, that bitter sweet glorious food of the gods. I love eating it for breakfast on Christmas morning, I love baking with it, watching it melt into cakes, making them glossy, I love having it in my pocket to munch on when I'm walking with mum and the doggies, on cold Autumn afternoons when you can see your breath hang in the air as you breath. 
Coconut milk. I use it in pretty much everything; soups, cakes, breads and smoothies. It makes recipes richer, more indulgent and above all it's the base to my Rum Coconut Caramel which is damn well tasty! 

Have you had any big kitchen disasters that you can share?

I once tried to make chocolate croissants...'Once' being the appropriate word. I was very young and foolish and thought I could just whip up a batch without even so what as glancing at a recipe book...yeahhhh. Lets just say it involved shortcrust pastry, a moment when I forgot to add any sugar and my dad saying 'it's a bit like eating a savoury pasty but with chocolate inside'...lets leave it there shall we?

If you had one opportunity to time travel, which time period would you go to?

Maybe the 1920's, I'd dance in fantastic dresses and drink too much alcohol, I'd have a short pixie haircut and be best friends with Gatsby and life would be totally fabulous dahling.
Or possibly the 1940's, just for the night, so I could paint a stocking line down the back on my legs, curl my hair and go dancing with an American soldier. 

If you could be a member of a TV sitcom family, which one would you pick?

I'm not sure if it's technically a sitcom, but I loved the TV show Spaced, I know they're not all related, but they're all friends that live in the same block of flats, so kind of like a family and they're all pretty crazy and amazing.

Who would play you in the movie of your life?

I want to say Zooey Deschanel. Not because I look anything like her (well, we have a similar fringe!) but because she's god damn amazing. And the whole quirky thing, people tell me I'm a bit strange.
Or maybe Zoe Kazan, because she was wonderful in the film Ruby Sparks, again, quite quirky and a bit of an oddball.

If you could un-invent one thing, what would it be?

Guns, weapons, anything designed to hurt people. That might sound naive or child like, but If I could I'd love to believe that people are all born with a good soul, and that maybe if there was nothing to fight with, then maybe they wouldn't fight.

What is one thing you always wanted as a child but never got?

Every time I came across a wishing well or had a birthday cake or lost an eyelash, I always made the same wish; to be able to fly like a bird. I remember telling my mum that my wishes never came true and after asking me what they were I told her. She gave me a hug and ruffled my hair, 'my silly girl' she laughed. Years later when we went to Greece I remember her nudging me as we were sat on the plane and saying 'look millie, we're flying!"


Ok, so here are 11 completely random and bizarre facts about moi

  • I have the words 'Blue Skies' tattooed along the inside of my middle finger on my left hand.
  • I can't whistle.
  • I eat spinach with pretty much every meal.
  • When I'm all growed up me and T want a dog, cat and rabbit called Claude, Jam and Gatsby.
  • Candyfloss is one of my all time favourite things to eat, but I only eat it when I'm at the seaside or fair, because it tastes better with salty air and carousels.
  • The carousel is my favourite ride.
  • I love Autumn the most, when the air has a bite to it, the leaves spiral around my feet and the promise of Christmas is all around.
  • I cry a lot, I cry when I'm happy, sad, excited, nervous, angry. And when I cry I am not one of those girls that looks pretty or delicate, I cry big loud sobs with lots of tears, snot and hiccups.
  • When I eat broad beans I only eat the middle part and leave the skins.
  • I grew up in the country, with roaming fields, streams deep enough to swim in and and secret woods. I now live in Bristol and although I love it, I do miss the countryside everyday.
  • I am very much like my mother, and I am very happy about that.


I nominate these wonderful people...

Clem from The Vegan Cookie Fairy is a beautiful lady with a beautiful blog, lots of sugar to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Taylor from Gluten Away isn't a strictly vegan blog, but he has some great vegan recipes and all of them are also gluten free, so great for those with sensitive tummies! Plus, there's lots of information on gluten and how to eat gluten free, and he's such a little cutie!

Jenni from Raw Shakti is one of the most amazing people I have ever met and I am lucky and blessed to call her a friend. Her blog is fairly new but contains amazing, simple recipes for raw food everyone can enjoy. Every time I read one of her posts I feel like going and sitting in a field of wild flowers, soaking up the sunshine whilst eating raw vegan cheesecake.

Jade from Jade Green Vegan is lovely, an animal lover and great blogger. Her lifestyle blog is great for finding random vegan dishes is big non-vegan places. Thanks to her I know I can even eat at Nandos if I want to!

Lisa from We Don't Eat Anything With A Face is a vegetarian mum with some great recipes. Although she's not vegan lots of her recipes come with vegan alterations. I love her warm, chatty and friendly posts!

So here's my 11 questions to my nominees:

  • When did food start becoming more than just food, and start becoming something you were excited about so much you wanted to rant and rave about it? 
  • If in an alternative universe you were a child raised by animals, which type of animal would you want to grow up with and learn from?
  • What is your favourite quote?
  • Have you ever gone out to a restaurant and only eaten dessert?! 
  • Favoutite kind of potato...sweet or white? Baked, mashed, fried, boiled, roasted, chips, fries, curly, crinkled, waffles, hash browns...?
  • Did you have any pets when you were growing up? If so then what were their names?
  • Do you have any food or meals/snacks that you personally associate with certain occasions? (Simple example - mince pies at Christmas).
  • What is your favourite time of day? Are you an early birdie or a late night owl?
  • If you could go back in time and re-live one moment, but only to re-live it, not change it, what moment would that be?
  • What snack food or meal do you wish grew on trees?
  • What's your favourite song to dance to?
Thanks for reading, hope you've enjoyed finding out a little bit more about me!
Mucho love! x

Thursday, 17 July 2014

You Got A Heart Of Stone, My Little Cherry Pie

APOLOGIES APOLOGIES APOLOGIES FOR THE QUALITY OF THESE PHOTOS! - my camera decided to stop working THE MOMENT I began baking...what is a girl to do?! I thought about keeping this recipe from you until I got a chance to bake it again and take some good photos but then...well, you see this glorious little cherry pie is not made for waiting, after T and I gobbled the entire thing last night (not our fault - the pie combined with the fact that we were watching a program about chocolate making meant we were powerless to stop the inevitable) I realised that to withhold this recipe from you would be beyond cruel. *


So be a sweetheart and pop the kettle on, whilst I give a little moan about why you haven't seen my face around these parts for a while...
You see, I have a part time job now, and it's not all that great because it's a sandwich shop and they sell cold meats. Yeah, not very much fun for a vegan girl to be handling cut up pieces of flesh....
When I took the job I thought it would be OK, told myself I'd just have to grit my teeth and get on with it. But it's hard, especially when I have to serve the customers with a great big fake smile plastered across my face as they ask me what type of chicken I would recommend. 
Before working there I'd never been around meat, never eaten it, never bought it, never even looked at it up close. Why would I? I grew up in a vegetarian house and I was vegan before I moved out. I think I can count the number of times I've walked down the meat isle in the supermarket on one hand. And even those accidental times I kept my head down, not wanting to see the plastic packets containing squished, pink and brown flesh that once belonged to something that had a beating heart. 
On my first day at this job I had to keep asking my work colleague to point to what the customer wanted, since I didn't know what any of the meats looked like. After the day was over I felt like I could smell the grease and blood on my skin and when I got home I showered twice.
 I've been there a month now, and it hasn't got easier. They sell some kind of beef and I gag every time I have to pick a slice up. When I had to bring the box of chicken pieces down to the counter I fought back tears as thoughts of my mums chickens that roam free around the garden flooded my mind.
I hated myself. I felt like such a hypocrite, standing there serving 4 different types of chicken when just the other day I was cuddling mums chickens at home. If anyone tried to hurt them I'd protect them like the family that they are, yet here I am, working in a job where I put animals into sandwiches. 

 Now I'm not an idiot, I know that by simply working there I am not contributing to animal suffering, if I wasn't serving meat sandwiches then somebody else would be. But I am not at peace with myself. I do not want to be a part of this, and I hate the fact that I have allowed myself to take a job I not only hate but that brings me self loathing, all because 'I needed a job'.
I feel like I owe an apology, although I don't know who to. Maybe to myself for not standing tall enough and becoming a bit lost.

So that's why I made this cherry pie, to comfort and remind myself that there is still so much good in this world, so much to be thankful and grateful for and so much to create without any need for anything to suffer.

I am currently looking and applying for new jobs, so wish me luck!


It makes me happy to share this little recipe with you, it's  very simple, warm and cosy and you can play around with the ingredients and really make it your own.

My Little Cherry Pie

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

For the pastry crust-

3 oz Vegan butter
6 oz Plain flour
2-3 tbsp Brown sugar
1 oz Ground almonds
A little splash of soya/almond/coconut milk for glazing

For the filling-

11 oz/300g (approx) Ripe, juicy cherries
Shot of dark rum
1-2 tbsp Brown sugar - 1 tsp extra for sprinkling
1 oz Ground almonds
2 oz Dark chocolate
1 oz Flaked almonds - plus extra for sprinkling


Firstly, make the pastry.
This is a shortcrust pastry, so pop the butter and flour into your favourite mixing bowl and with cold hands, rub the butter into the flour until it looks like bread crumbs.

Now, add in the sugar and ground almonds - you can taste a tiny bit to make sure it's sweet enough for you!

Now add cold water, a tbsp at a time. You should only need a very small amount of water, remember you want the pastry to hold together in a ball, but for it still to be quite dry and a little bit crumbly. It is a little bit harder to work with, but the dryer the pastry the more flaky and crumbly sweet it will be once baked.
Now wrap the dough in clingfilm and let it chill out in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Now you can prepare the filling!
Cut the stones out of the cherries, or if you've got a fancy olive pitter you can use that.

Cut the cherries in half and pop them into a small bowl.
Add the sugar, ground almonds, flaked almonds and rum to the bowl and stir to make sure the cherries are all coated in the sugary mixture.

Now break up your chocolate into small chunks and stir them into the cherries. (If you LOVE cherry bakewells and you have any almond extract you can add a few drops now to make the almond flavour more intense.)

Once your pastry is chilled...
Roll it out onto a floured surface and then transfer it onto a baking tray.

Spoon the cherry mixture into the centre on the pastry circle, leaving a ring of uncovered pastry around the edge. 
Now grab the sides of the pastry and fold it into the centre, as if you were trying to wrap the cherries up in a parcel - but leave the middle uncovered.

It depends on how thickly you rolled your pastry, as to how much of the cherry filling will be on show, but that's the great thing about Galettes, they're meant to be rustic and wonky!

Now brush the pastry lightly with your milk of choice and sprinkle on a few extra flaked almonds and a tiny bit of sugar.

Bake at 200 c until the pastry looks golden brown and the cherries have started to bubble and go juicy and the chocolate is gooey and melting everywhere....mmmmmm.




Happy baking! x

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Mmmm...Mocha Porridge Oats





A simple little breakfast for when you're craving something naughty and sweet, for those mornings when you really want to grab a slice of cake to eat en route with your coffee...

Or maybe it's 11am and you've just got back from a work out and you sugar levels are low and you're HUNGRY...

Or perhaps it's a Sunday morning and the chocolate bar hidden away in the back of the cupboard ready to bake brownies later is already calling to you...


Porridge will always have a special place in my heart, its warming, comforting taste transports me back to when I was little. In the winter mum would cook it for breakfast every morning and me and my younger brother would sit at the big wooden table and eat it whilst it was still too hot.
I still think my mum can make the best porridge, I think her secret is that she has magic powers. That, and the fact that she keeps the recipe simple, just oats, water, coconut milk and salt. And she leaves it to bubble away in the pan for ages so that it becomes so thick and gooey she can hardly ladle it into the bowls. 

This recipe is still oh so simple, but with a caffeine and cocoa twist. The coffee adds the punch to wake you up whilst the cocoa makes you feel all warm and cosy. The dates create a syrupy sweetness that makes this bowl of porridge remind me of a Hot Caramel Mocha from Starbucks.


Ingredients

Serves 2

2 oz Oats - use gluten free if you wish!
1 oz Dates - chopped
Good pinch of salt
1 tsp Espresso powder
1-2 tsp Cocoa powder

3 fl oz Coconut milk - halved
4 fl oz Water
2 fl oz Freshly brewed coffee

Optional extras -
Flaked almonds
Dried coconut
Raisins
Chocolate chips
Chopped toasted walnuts
Maple syrup
Chopped banana

All you need to do is...

Pop the oats, dates, salt, espresso powder and cocoa into a saucepan and add the water, coffee and half of the coconut milk.
Simmer on a low heat until the oats become thick and creamy and the dates have 'melted' into the porridge.
Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining coconut milk - if you like your porridge really thick then you might not want to add the remaining coconut milk.

Eat and enjoy!




Happy Eating! x









Friday, 6 June 2014

A Simple Little Big Lunch...


Grab a fork and spoon and
Get stuck in!


So it got to lunchtime and I was hungry...quite hungry.
Since I'd missed breakfast I wanted something kind of breakfast-y but also mean enough to be called lunch.
I had left over spicy carrot soup with would have been fabulous on it's lonesome usually, (yes, I like to eat soup for breakfast) however in my rushed cooking of it last night I added waaaay to much chili.
Like, a lot. As in it burnt my mouth but I wanted to keep eating it because it did taste good. In a hurty type of way.
So I needed something to put with the soup, something to chew on when I wanted to cry from chili overload.
But bread would make the meal too much like dinner, or a starter at a fancy restaurant....
So out came the chickpea flour, some olives, good handful of spinach, salt and a shed load of pepper and thyme. 
Savoury pancakes are the best thing ever...well, apart from sweet pancakes that is.




If you guys want the recipe for this Spicy Carrot&Coriander Soup with Olive&Spinach Savoury Pancakes then leave a comment below!

Happy Friday Eating! x





Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Cauliflower & Broccoli, Be My Tart The Vegan Way


This recipe came to me the other day when I was making some vegetable pancake-y, flat bread type of things. They were delightful on all levels apart from I wanted them thicker. So I made thicker batter but then they looked messy in the frying pan and took longer to cook in the middle so the edges got too brown and hard.
"Hmmm." I said. 
(Am I the only one who talks to myself when I'm cooking and baking? I hope not, I'd rather we were all mad than just me.)

So anyway, I suddenly realised that the batter I was using for my pancakes, would create a similar texture to quiche. Not that I wanted to create a 'vegan quiche', but once made it did look a bit like a quiche...and I couldn't really call it a pie...so I thought I'd go with tart, and a crust-less little tart at that.


This savoury tart is high in protein due to the use of chickpea flour and has a ton of veggies crammed into it. There's hardly any fat and the way the spices tingle and mingle over your tongue makes this one little healthy slice of yumminess.




I used onion but leeks would also work wonders, in fact, I'm already thinking up a garlic-y leek and mushroom tart....mmmm with the garlic blended right into the batter with chili...
But since I had some tomatoes that needed using, I thought onion would be the better shout for this recipe.
I love how the chickpea flour batter means the tart holds its shape really well, no falling apart and no crumbling. This batter is perfect if you want to make larger tarts because it slices so well. Although little mini curried tarts would look damn cute.



A slice (or two) of this is perfect with a salad or sweet potato wedgies, great to take with you to a BBQ or picnic.
Be My Tart Cauliflower & Broccoli Tart

Ingredients
Serves 4-6

3 oz Chickpea flour
Large handful of spinach
Small handful of cauliflower
Small handful of broccoli
2 Cloves of garlic
1 Small onion
1 Tomato
2-3 Mushrooms
Coconut oil
Salt
Pepper
1 tsp Coriander
1 tsp Cumin
1-2 tsp Basil
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Chopped chili

If you're not afraid of a bit of heat then by all means add as much chili as you like, even add a pinch of cayenne pepper to give it a real kick!

Lets get roasting, whisking and eating!

Grease a 6" lose bottomed cake pan with coconut oil

Firstly, slice the cauliflower and broccoli in thin slices, so they kind of look like little flat trees.
Pop them into a little baking dish along with the garlic, whole and still in skin, with a tbsp of coconut oil and some salt. Roast them until they're starting to brown but are still slightly crunchy.

Meanwhile....

Finely chop the onion, set aside.
Slice the mushrooms and tomato into thin slices. Set aside.
Roughly chop the spinach, set aside.

Now, when the cauliflower/broccoli is done, remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
Squeeze the garlic from the skin and chop up.

Now, to make the batter, simply add enough water to the chickpea flour so that it has the same consistency as double cream.
Now stir the chopped onion, garlic and spinach into the batter, along with the chili, coriander, turmeric, basil and cumin.
Season the batter well with salt and pepper.

Now pour a thin layer of batter into the cake pan, make sure it reaches all the edges.
Now add a layer of mushrooms, cauliflower and broccoli.
Pour another layer of batter over the top.
Add some more mushrooms, cauliflower and broccoli.
Pour the remaining batter into the pan and then poke any remaining pieces of veg into the batter.
Lay the tomato slices over the top and sprinkle with rock salt.

Bake at 200 c for about 15-20 minutes, until the top looks browned and a cake tester comes out clean.

This tart is great eaten hot from the over or cold the next day. When it's cold it can be sliced very thinly and used as a sandwich filling!




Happy baking! x


















Tuesday, 3 June 2014

A Day at Bristol Vegfest


A few weekends a go, I went along with my mothership, father, brother and T, to Vegfest. In Bristol it's situated near the harbour side so only a tiny little walk from our flat. Not that the distance really matters, I would have walked a thousand miles if at the end I could gorge on the very best vegan food I'll probably eat all year.
I mean just look at those cakes!!! All vegan and so damn tasty. When we came across this stall the mothership said she'd buy one each for T and I. Well, you can imagine the scene; me, drooling for about 10 minutes before I could make up my mind which one I wanted, even now I still don't know if I made the right choice. They were all TOO GOOD. 


That's the thing about being vegan, I've found that it's been so long now (8years) since I've had the choice of a full menu, that when I DO get the chance to choose anything that takes my fancy I find I simply can't. There's too much choice, too much pressure to make the right decision. I ended up asking T to choose for me! (He didn't, instead he told me about all the times I moan because there isn't enough choice for vegans...he did have a point.)
Living in England can sometimes be hard to find good vegan food. That's probably why I love cooking and baking so much, I figure why go out and have to eat that same god damn baked potato that I have to eat in every cafe because it's the only thing that doesn't come with animal products smeared all over it, when I get get my apron on and whip up a feast at home?
But I do love finding new little cafes that serve vegan food, like I said, a huge menu isn't necessarily a good thing for me, so I am more than happy with just a few vegan options. A crunchy mango and bean salad here, a vegan burger with sweet potato fries there. As long as they have good coffee and possibly a vegan brownie I'm a very happy bunny. 

So you can image how excited I get when Vegfest comes to town. 



So many beautiful stalls selling fancy chocolates and amazing sweets. I gorged on so much sugar I was running around like a mad woman all day.
My family and T loved the wide selection of food, my brother in particular can eat a whole load of food but he took it to a whole new level that day...
That's us in the pub after, nothing like a good dose of alcohol to balance out the food!


Unfortunately we didn't stay as long as we wanted, the rain was getting heavier by the second, so with full bellies we wandered into town, pub bound.



I was sooo tempted by these vegan marshmallows. I never usually eat what I call 'processed vegan food'. I tend to cook my food from scratch, just because vegan substitutes are expensive and lets be honest, if I had vegan marshmallows in the cupboard on a regular basis I would eat them on a regular basis...and even me, queen of sugar, knows that ain't guna do me no good.

So I left the pretty little things on the shelf and T and I settled on these cakes...


Yep, that is indeed me attempting to eat the largest vegan cake I have ever seen...


I somehow also managed to resist these delightful cookies, well, I know damn well how I managed to resist them...t'was because I had just eaten a bowl of vegan paella...and it was amazing.
This was Mrs Cupcake stall, they're cakes and cookies are out of this world.


The mothership treated herself to a bottle of lemon wine. We had a taster...or a few....and although the wine was a little dry for my liking the elder flower champagne was right up my street.


I'm already looking forward to Vegfest next year! If you've never been I highly recommend going, it's never expensive and the food is always to die for, vegan or not you'll love it!

I thought I'd put a little list of places that cater for vegans in Bristol, UK. In case any of you find yourselves here and hungry. These are the places that I like to grab lunch, they're cute, affordable and friendly.

Cafe Kino is completely vegan!

St.Nicks is great for food, have a wander around and chose from falafels and hummus, olives, cakes, Indian food and so much more!

Boston Tea Party have some great vegan options, including salads, burgers and cake!

Birdcage is fantastic, cafe by day, bar by night and also a clothes shop! It's tiny and cute with a huge selection of teas, there's always a vegan cake option and vegan breakfast.

Hope you're all having a lovely week! X

  









Friday, 30 May 2014

I'll Share My Heart With You Apple Pies


I was rummaging around in the freezer the other day, (because I had a craving for frozen peas) when I spotted the container I thought I'd lost buried beneath T's bread and ice cube trays. I was curious, what had I put in there? I don't freeze a lot of things, food gets eaten up too quickly in our little nest, despite there only being the two of us.
After bashing it on the table a few times I managed to get the lid off and there, despite being a little bit frosty, was the wonderful stewed apple mum and I had made when I was last at my parents house.


My mouth started watering as I remembered the tangy apples simmering on the Aga, the smell of cinnamon and cardamon drifting all about the house and the sweetly sharp taste nibbling on my tongue every time I sneaked another mouthful.

I knew I had to whip up a batch of apple pies immediately.


As I pulled flour and sugar from my cupboards I thought about T, he loves apples and tells me I don't bake with them often enough. I suddenly had the urge to bake him a HUGE apple pie, the kind that my mum bakes for Sunday tea in winter, only I'd add toffee and pecans and little paper flags.
It was a great plan, until I realised I didn't have long before he came home from work and that I also didn't have any pecans. I stood for a few minutes staring at the thawing stewed apple. OK, so maybe a HUGE pie wasn't such a great idea, with only us two it would sit for days on the side by the cooker, slowly being nibbled at until the last slice was left unwanted because the pastry would be soft.


I wanted this apple pie to say things, not big things, big things need words, but sometimes you can say the little things without words. Sometimes you can say them with pie.
When I shaped these little pies, baked them and then gave half of my apple pie heart to T, what I was really saying was you're damn amazing and I'll always think you're amazing and I bloody well love you.

So if you've got somebody who you think is the best thing since rock and roll, somebody so amazing you'd share your last apple pie with...then bake them these little lovelies, perfect for sharing.


Little Heart Shaped Spiced Apple Pies, for the ones who want to share the love.

Ingredients

Makes 4 whole hearts 

For the pastry -

1 1/2 oz Vegan butter - I use a sunflower spread because I think it gives a better flavour than a soya based spread
1 1/2 oz Vegetable shortening - this gives the pastry a crumbly, flaky texture
6 oz Plain flour
1 oz Brown sugar
Half of a nutmeg - grated
Pinch of salt
4 tbsp Water

Coconut milk to glaze 
Brown sugar to sprinkle on before baking

Use your favourite stewed apple recipe for the filling.
My go to recipe is very simple, just a couple of apples, peeled, cored and chopped, pop them into a pan with a tiny splash of water, cinnamon and a sprinkle of brown sugar to taste. Simmer on a low heat until soft and mushy, then add a few drops of vanilla extract.


To make these beauties...

Rub the vegan butter and vegetable shortening into the flour with your fingertips. Keep your hands cool and try not to get the mixture onto the palms of your hands as this will warm the fat and we don't want that!
Add the sugar, salt and nutmeg and give it a stir with a knife.
Now mix in the water until it starts to cling together. 
Bring the dough into a ball with your hands, it will be quite crumbly but try not to over work it.
Wrap it in clingfilm and let it rest in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
Roll out the dough and use a heart shaped cutter to cut out 8 hearts. I used a 4" cutter.
Now place a couple of spoonfuls of the stewed apple onto the left hand side of 4 of the hearts, and then onto the right hand side of the remaining 4 hearts.
Brush coconut milk around the edges and fold the pastry over, using a fork to crimp the sides down.


Use the fork to poke holes into the pastry, I marked mine with a heart pattern but just a simple stab with the fork will do!

Brush them with coconut milk and sprinkle with brown sugar.

Bake at 200 c for about 10-15 minutes, until they're golden all over and browned at the edges.



I drizzled mine with this Coconut&Rum Caramel Sauce 

Eat them with your lover or your friend or even the person you sit next to on the bus. Go on, wear your heart in your cake tin and give half away!

Happy baking! x