Lemon courgette cake

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Another creative use for the courgette glut! This cake is light and moist with an infusion of citrus and spice. I think I first came across it, years ago, in a National Trust cookbook.

First, I grate 200g of courgettes and add in one egg, 140g of caster sugar, 110ml of vegetable oil and the zest of one lemon. In another bowl, I mix 200g of plain flour, 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda, 2 tsp of baking powder and 1 tsp of ground cinnamon.

Then, I combine it all until the mixture is just blended, …

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Courgette loaf

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This tasty savoury loaf makes an interesting use of the courgette glut and is perfect to take on summer picnics. The mustard and cayenne pepper gives it a real kick.

I usually make it as a loaf but it works well as individual muffins too, especially the bite size ones that look great on grazing platters.

First, I melt 75g of butter and leave that to cool a little whilst I grate 250g of courgettes. Then, I sift 225g of self-raising flour into a bowl with a little less than 1/4 tsp of salt (we are watching our salt intake!), …

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Courgette fritters

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By about now in the summer, we start to get creative with our courgette glut. Here is a recipe for courgette fritters that we like.

Easy to make, with staple ingredients and deliciously crispy, these are filling enough to just be served with a green salad, or a rice salad or with new potatoes. For an extra kick, Peter likes to eat his with a good dollop of our homemade chilli jam.

I grate 2 small or 1 medium courgettes, skin and all. Then I add 2 beaten eggs, 125g of plain flour, 50 ml of milk, 40g of grated …

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Beetroot and chocolate cake

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This cake is a great way to make use of a glut of beetroots. I usually bake it and freeze half of it to keep when a cake is needed at short notice.

The beetroot compliments the rich, dark chocolate very well and makes it moist and sweet. A winner, in our books! It is a Mary Berry's recipe that is more like a traybake than a cake. I cut it and serve in square slices.

I keep the half destined for the freezer as naked and I ice and decorate it as I please when it is defrosted.

I …

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Crème anglaise and coconut macaroons

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I often make this light, thin custard when I have a glut of eggs. It is absolutely delicious on its own or as accompaniment to other desserts like meringues, fruit pies and crumbles or with poached egg whites and caramel for the traditional, iconic French sweet called île flottante.

As it uses egg yolks only, I usually make a batch of coconut macaroons with the whites. They keep well in an airtight container or I share them with a friend who loves coconut!

The recipe is from my ancient, French Tupperware Cuisine cookbook that I packed with me when I …

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Blackcurrant drizzle cake

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Inspired by a recipe found on the BBC GoodFood website, I decided to adapt it to make use of a glut of homegrown blackcurrants. I have a couple more favourite blackcurrant cake recipes but I think this one trumps them all.

I have made lemon drizzle cakes many times but not a blackcurrant one and I was not disappointed! It has the same crunchy sugar coating as a lemon drizzle, with a moist and buttery inside dotted with the deliciously sweet but tart blackcurrants. A layer of blackcurrants on top really makes this easy cake not only delicious but also …

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Elderflower posset

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This light and refreshing dessert has been so popular with us this Summer that it has earned its place in our online cookbook.

I have made it several times, serving it to family and friends who all enjoyed it, quite a few having seconds!

It is delightfully fragrant and I serve it frozen or almost frozen by taking it out of the freezer a little while before serving.

It is a Mary Berry recipe, for 6 people. I serve it in small coffee cups or ramekins, topped with homegrown berries like redcurrants, blackcurrants, strawberries and raspberries, whatever is growing in …

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Elderberry and Rosehip Syrup, with sloes and haws

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At this time of year, early Autumn, the hedgerows along the lanes where we live are abundant with berries. As the blackberries come to an end, the rosehips, haws and sloes are ripening. We also have a few elder trees in the garden so elderberries are plentiful too.

A delicious way to bottle the goodness from all these berries is to make a syrup. Traditionally, it is made with elderberries and rosehips and falls into the medicinal category of syrups to fight Winter colds and viruses as the berries are rich in Vitamin C. I make mine with elderberries and …

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Granola

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You can't beat homemade granola! I make it in batches that fill a large jar and serve it to guests in the shepherd's hut in the breakfast basket I deliver to them. For that purpose, I make a quirky "Granola Pot" by using a kilner jar and filling it with a layer of fresh fruit and a layer of Greek yogurt topped with the delicious granola. Guests love it! So do we!

I mix 2 tbsp of vegetable oil, 125 ml of maple syrup, 2 tbsp of honey and 1 tsp of vanilla extract into a large bowl. Then I …

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Ratatouille

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I sometimes make ratatouille on the hob but this recipe uses the oven. Roasting the vegetables in the oven, I find, makes the most flavoursome dish that I like serving with either plain boiled rice or as a topping for jacket potatoes. It also goes perfectly with fish. When the vegs are in season and abundant in the garden (I don't always use aubergines as I have not yet grown them successfully), I make batches of ratatouille which I bottle and story in the pantry for later.

INGREDIENTS: - 2 medium courgettes, diced with skin on - 1 small aubergine, …

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