Cooking and Baking Together

Nigel Slater’s recipes for roast summer season greens, and apricot crumble slice

There’s a summer season cake cooling on the facet, its crumb nonetheless heat, plump apricots peeping by means of its oat and almond crust. I shall carry it to the desk within the backyard in slices, with a bath of crème fraîche. Earlier than that, there will probably be a hugger-mugger assortment of salads – tomato and anchovy, couscous with broad beans and orange, and smoked mackerel with horseradish sauce. From the oven will come a battered tin of roast summer season greens, slender carrots and child beetroots plump as golf balls, with new potatoes of their skins, all toasted and golden, and a dressing of coriander seeds, black pepper and inexperienced olives.

Lunch will probably be on the desk for everybody to tuck in as they need – a single salad at a time, or a beneficiant jumble so the dressings merge on the plate, to eat nonetheless one feels snug. Anybody who calls for even a modicum of ritual on a summer season weekend lunch is on a hiding to nothing, however the cooking should nonetheless watch out and considerate. The smallest and freshest greens, salads put along with any eye to steadiness – only a few bitter rocket or watercress leaves amongst largely candy, mushy, buttery lettuce; crisp cucumber with an old school salad cream and dishes of completely scrubbed radishes.

That is the way in which I need to eat in the summertime. Lunches and dinners that seem easy but nonetheless permit me to have an excellent time on the range: a cake made with love; a berry-freckled tart to share with buddies; a exactly made dessert of seasonal fruits and hand-stirred custard. Cooking that’s carried out for the enjoyment of it and eaten at leisure.

Roast summer season greens with coriander and lemon

It doesn’t matter what else is on the desk on a summer season’s day, I’ll usually carry out a dish of roast greens. The younger beetroots and spring carrots roast effectively, however you’re going to get a extra tender consequence if you happen to boil or steam them first. Serves 4 as a facet dish

new potatoes 650g

beetroot 4, younger

spring carrots 8

olive oil

black peppercorns ½ tsp

coriander seeds 2 tsp

sea salt flakes ½ tsp

lemon ½

inexperienced olives 10, stoned

Wash the potatoes, then carry them to the boil in deep, calmly salted water. In the meantime, scrub the carrots and the beetroot, however don’t peel them.

When the potatoes have been cooking for about 10 minutes, add the carrots and beetroots complete, and proceed cooking for an additional 5 minutes till the carrots are exhibiting the primary indicators of tenderness.

Preheat the oven to 200C/gasoline mark 6. Coarsely grind collectively the black peppercorns and coriander seeds. Add ½ tsp of sea salt flakes.

Pour 3 tbsp of olive oil right into a roasting tin and heat within the oven for five minutes. Drain the greens, minimize the spring carrots and potatoes in half lengthways, and minimize the beetroot into thick wedges. Add them to the new oil within the roasting tin, add the coriander-seed seasoning and place within the oven. Squeeze over a bit lemon juice.

Roast the greens for about half-hour till golden and tender. Slice in half 10 stoned, inexperienced olives and add them to the roasting tin, toss gently with the greens and produce to the desk.

Apricot crumble slice

Comfortable and tender: apricot slice, good served with cream. {Photograph}: Jonathan Lovekin/The Observer

A slicing cake for a summer season dessert or teatime. The cake is mushy and tender – you will see it best to switch from tin to plate with a palette knife. I like cream with this, both calmly whipped double cream, or the extra piquant crème fraîche – each will flatter the apricots. Makes 12

For the crumble:

butter 65g

flour 85g

demerara sugar 50g

rolled oats 40g

almonds 30g, floor

pistachios 50g, chopped (optionally available)

water 2 tbsp

For the cake combination:

butter 100g

caster sugar 100g

eggs 2

plain flour 50g

baking powder 1 stage tsp

floor almonds 50g

apricots ripe 650g, halved and stoned.

Additionally, you will want a deep-sided baking tin, 20cm x 20cm, lined with baking parchment. Make the crumble layer. Minimize the butter into small items, rub it into the flour along with your fingers and thumb till it resembles coarse recent breadcrumbs, then stir within the demerara sugar, oats, floor almonds and pistachios (if utilizing) and put aside.

Put the butter and caster sugar in a meals mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and cream till gentle and fluffy. You are able to do it by hand too, however be sure the butter isn’t straight from the fridge.

Stir collectively the flour, baking powder and floor almonds. Set the oven at 180C/gasoline mark 4.

Break the eggs right into a bowl and beat with a fork or small whisk, then add the combination, a bit at a time, to the sugar and butter, beating repeatedly. Now gently combine within the flour combination, taking care to not combine totally with none lumps of flour, however not overmixing. Switch the cake combine to the lined baking tin and easy the floor gently to the perimeters.

Place the apricot halves on the cake combination in a single layer. Add the water to the crumble combine and shake the bowl back and forth to type crumbs. Scatter the crumble over the apricots and bake for 45-50 minutes until the cake is cooked and the apricots tender.

Take away from the oven and put aside to relaxation till nearly cool. Run a palette knife spherical the sting to loosen it, then minimize into 12 small bars. Depart to chill fully. Serve with cream if you want.

Observe Nigel on Instagram @NigelSlater