Simon cooked up cosy, hearty dishes to see you through a chilly Bonfire Night. Grab your snuggliest scarf and tuck in.
Toffee Apple Charlotte
This Toffee Apple Charlotte is a rich and autumnal dessert, making the most of seasonal apples. Simon is using both cooking and eating apples to create the ideal flavour/texture combination. He was inspired by toffee apples to adapt this dish for Bonfire Night, so he’s serving the pudding with a rich toffee sauce.
- Serves 4-6
- Preparation Time: 40 mins (inc. 30 mins rest time)
- Cooking Time: 5 mins
- 30g/1oz butter
- 225g/8oz Bramley apples (or similar cooking apples), peeled, sliced
- 225g/8oz Cox, Pippins or any other English eating apple, peeled, sliced
- 30g/1oz caster sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped out
- 1 free-range egg yolk
- 75g/2¾ oz melted butter for the bread
- 8 slices white bread, crusts removed
For the sauce
- 100g/3½oz butter
- 100g/3½oz soft dark brown sugar
- 100ml/3½fl oz double cream
- Clotted cream
- Preheat the oven to 200˚C/400˚F/Gas 6.
- Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat. Add all of the apples, the sugar and vanilla seeds. Cook until the apples become soft enough to break down into a purée. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Once the apple mixture is cool, add the egg yolk and mix well to combine.
- Butter the bread slices and line a 600ml/1 pint pudding basin with some of the bread slices, overlapping the slices to ensure there are no gaps.
- Spoon in the apple mixture and cover the top with the remaining bread.
- Place a plate on top of the pudding and weigh it down with a can of beans (or similar weight) for one hour.
- Remove the plate and cover the pudding with kitchen foil. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake for ten more minutes, or until the top is light golden-brown.
- For the sauce, place the butter, sugar and cream into a separate pan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil and cook for 5-6 minutes, until combined as a smooth sauce.
- To serve, cut out a wedge of Toffee Apple Charlotte and place onto each plate. Add a generous spoonful of the sauce and a spoonful of clotted cream alongside.
This was served on a Gordon Ramsay Maze plate, by the way.
Cheshire Cheese Puffs
Simon’s Cheshire Cheese Puffs make a delicious light lunch, starter, or party dish. They are ideal for Bonfire Night because they are a portable, handheld snack. The puffs can be prepared ahead of time and then baked when ready to serve. If you prefer, you could make these with another crumbly cheese, such as Caerphilly or Lancashire.
- Serves 6
- Preparation Time: 15 mins
- Cooking Time: 30 mins
For the filling
- 4 leeks, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, peeled, chopped
- 100g/3½oz butter
- 200g/7oz Cheshire cheese, crumbled
- 200g/7oz mashed potato
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 12 x 15cm/6in square pieces puff pastry rolled out to 2-3mm/½in thick
- 1 free-range egg, beaten
For the dressing
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 175ml/6fl oz extra-virgin olive oil
- 50ml/1¾fl oz white wine vinegar
- Salad leaves, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 200˚C/390˚F/Gas 6.
- Heat the butter in a frying pan and fry the leeks and garlic for 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the Cheshire cheese, mashed potatoes and thyme.
- Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Divide the mixture between 6 of the pastry squares and shape into a circle, leaving a 2cm/1in border.
- Place the remaining puff pastry circles on top and crimp the edges with a fork.
- Brush each parcel with beaten egg.
- Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp.
- Meanwhile, to make the dressing, whisk together the dressing ingredients in a bowl until well combined.
- Mix the salad leaves and dressing together in a bowl until the leaves are coated in the dressing.
- To serve, place a puff pastry parcel onto each of 6 serving plates and spoon some salad leaves alongside.
Find all the recipes so far in our Recipes section.
Naomi, PR and Social Media Executive