5-a-day Sausage Tray(bake)


This is a nice, easy, comforting dish. One of those things which takes almost no effort to make apart from shoving things in the oven and a bit of frying. It can be made a couple of days ahead and kept in the fridge until needed. 

I *may* have mentioned my slattern ways and inherent laziness a couple of times so I feel comfortable sharing my way of making butternut squash mash without worrying that you might judge me. Clearly if you dislike BNS you can substitute whichever vegetable mash you prefer.  Actually, I’ve just realised Champ would be brilliant on the top of this [thousand yard stare] I must try that next time. 

5-a-day Sausage Tray

Serves 2-3

8 good quality sausages

1 large butternut squash

1 small onion or two shallots, sliced 

2 sticks of celery, strings removed, diced

1 medium courgette, diced

I bag of baby spinach

250g mascarpone

1tbs grainy mustard or creamed horseradish

Squeeze of lemon juice

Freshly grated nutmeg

Seasoning 

Oil for frying

Preheated oven 180c

Start by splitting the butternut squash in half and put both halves in a baking dish – skin, seeds and all. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to the tray, cover with foil or a lid and put in the bottom of the oven. 

Next put the sausages on a baking tray, roll in a little bit of oil to prevent them sticking, and bake until a deep golden brown. 

While the sausages are baking start the onion frying gently in a little oil. Once it has softened add the celery and courgette, turn the heat up a bit and continue frying until everything is soft and golden. Tip in the spinach and let it wilt into the pan, stirring occasionally. 

Now add enough mascarpone to make the mixture nice and creamy. You may not need the whole tub – I used about 3/4 in the picture above. Add the mustard or horseradish and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and taste. If the sauce is a bit thick stir in a tbs of water to slacken.  Remove from the heat and set aside. 

Once the sausages are cooked remove from the oven, cut into chunky pieces and stir into the vegetables. Then spoon this mix into a shallow casserole dish and level the top. 

The butternut squash is cooked when you can easily insert a knife into the flesh. Remove from the oven, take off the foil and allow to cool for 10 minutes or so. 

Holding half of the squash in a teatowel, scoop out the seeds and fibres with a dessert spoon and discard. It will all come out really easily. Then scrape the soft flesh into a roomy bowl. Repeat with the other half. 

Mash thoroughly with a little butter, grated nutmeg and some seasoning to taste then spoon evenly over the sausage mixture. Brush the top with a little oil or melted butter. 

Bake for approximately 30 minutes until the top is golden brown. 

Nice with some tenderstem broccoli. Oh give over, there’s no such thing as too many vegetables. 

Cornish Cream Tea Pudding


This came about because I did an afternoon tea at the weekend and there were some scones* left over. I know. Uneaten scones. I don’t understand that phrase either. Anyway. Scones really should be eaten the day they are baked and preferably within an hour of coming out of the oven so two-day-old ones aren’t fit for much. Until now…

This is highly unlikely to be an original idea  but it might be a new idea to you so it’s worth writing it down for that very reason. This falls somewhere between a bread and butter pudding and the base in a Queen of Puddings and is really just a simple assembly job which you whack in the oven.   I have used plain scones because that’s the scone of choice in this Cornish household but feel free to use whatever you prefer. Although I’m not sure that fruit scones would work with raspberry jam. Apricot instead maybe?

It occurs to me that if you find making scones a bit daunting this is the perfect thing for those scones you buy in the supermarket, that slightly odd claggy texture would work fine here.

Apologies for the bullet points, am using my phone and can’t get it to do a single space return.

*my scone recipe at the bottom

Cornish Cream Tea Pudding

  • 6 or 7 plain scones
  • Raspberry jam
  • Butter
  • 300ml milk
  • 200ml double cream
  • 4 beaten eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • Caster sugar (optional)
  • A few fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 160c

Start by slicing the scones into four or five pieces, I cut them from the top down rather than through the middle, then sandwich together with alternating layers of butter and jam.

Place the reassembled scones in a shallow baking dish squashing down to fit the space available. The one I used was roughly 30cm x 20cm.

Whisk together the eggs, milk and cream with the teaspoon of vanilla. Add a little sugar if you like (I didn’t think it needed it), then pour the custard mixture over the squashed scones and scatter over the raspberries.

Allow the dish to stand for 10-15 minutes to allow the custard to be absorbed a little. Then bake for 25-30 minutes or until the custard has set around the edges but is still very slightly wobbly in the centre.

For the full-on experience serve with a dollop of Cornish clotted cream.

Scones

Ok so this is how I make scones. At the risk of sounding like James Martin this is almost exactly how my Nana made them other than I use buttermilk instead of ordinary milk. If you haven’t got buttermilk you can use plain milk or add some lemon juice to make it similar in acidity and texture to buttermilk. She would scatter in 2 handfuls of sugar which is roughly 50g or two big old fashioned tablespoons.

Preheat oven to 200c

225g self raising flour

1sp baking powder

50g soft butter

50g caster sugar

Pinch of salt

Buttermilk or milk or milk with a squeeze of lemon – enough to bind.  

Rub the butter into the flour until you have fine crumbs. Stir in the sugar and salt.

Using a blunt kitchen knife, stir in enough liquid to bring the mix together as a clumpy dough.

Tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead really gently until the dough comes together. The less you knead the better but it needs to be more or less holding together.

Pat the mixture until flat and no thinner than 4 cm deep. Use a 5cm metal cutter dipped in flour to cut out the scones. Push the cutter straight down and do not twist (this can make your scones rise unevenly). Re-roll remaining bits and repeat.

I never brush with egg or milk because Nana didn’t, but obviously you can if you wish.

Put scones on a baking sheet and bake in the top half of the oven for 15-18 mins.

I regularly double or treble this quantity without any problems. This amount should make 8.