The air is crisp, the leaves coat the ground in tones of gold and like many winters before, we reach into our wardrobes for our wooly jumpers; autumn is upon us. As we retreat inside, log fires are lit to keep cosy and hearty dishes from autumn’s harvest are embraced to warm us through the colder months. Read on to discover four of our favourite autumnal recipes that make staying in and hibernating from wintery weather a real joy…
The first is Dianne Bibby’s Barbecue Meatballs with Bacon Gravy. This dish sums up winter in one mouthful. With ingredients such as bacon, red wine, mushrooms and a generous helping of mozzarella, this is the ultimate comfort dish. Discover the full recipe on Dianne’s blog ‘Bibby’s Kitchen at 36’ here.
Another of our favourite winter warmer dishes has to be risotto. With its velvety texture and super soft grains of rice wrapped up in a rich, creamy sauce, risotto is our go to dinner to warm up when the rain outside won’t stop pouring. We love this recipe from Lindsay’s Feast for Gorgonzola and Red Pesto Risotto.
Gorgonzola and Red Pesto Risotto
50g salted butter
50ml olive oil
150g leeks, finely chopped
A few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed and stalks discarded
200g Carnaroli rice
100ml dry white wine
500ml hot chicken stock
100g good quality fresh red pesto
Start by heating the butter and oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and thyme and fry for a few minutes, stirring often.
Add the rice and stir constantly for a couple of minutes, making sure the grains are fully coated and looking glossy. Pour in the wine and simmer for a minute or so, allowing the wine to evaporate.
Add a ladle full of stock and bring to a simmer, stirring until the stock has been absorbed. Continue adding the stock one ladle at a time, allowing it to be absorbed by the rice before adding another. Keep doing this until the rice is cooked but still has a slight bite to it. This should take roughly 20 minutes and you may not require all the stock.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the Gorgonzola and red pesto, stirring until the cheese has melted.
Serve straight away with some fresh thyme leaves scattered over the top.
Crumble cake is even better than crumble in our minds. We’re pretty confident that once you try this Blueberry Crumble Cake from Lindsay’s Feast you won’t want to go back. With the chewy texture of crumble and a soft buttery sponge, this cake really is a match-made in heaven. Enjoy on a Sunday afternoon in front of your favourite film for the perfect end to the weekend. Discover Lindsay’s recipe here.
Last, but by no means least is this delicious recipe for pumpkin madeleines with caramel drizzle. Forget the token pumpkin spice latte, this recipe truly makes the most of the seasonal pumpkins that arrive in autumn and will definitely have you coming back for more. The comforting flavours of cinnamon are combined with hot caramel and warm buttery cake for warmth and indulgence. Discover Bibby’s Kitchen at 36’s recipe for yourself below.
Pumpkin madeleines with caramel drizzle
½ cup (90g) butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
⅓ cup (70g) golden castor sugar
¾ cup (110g) all-purpose cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon mixed spice (all spice)
pinch of salt
⅓ cup pumpkin puree
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Grease a madeleine tin or a 12-hole shallow muffin tin with butter and dust with flour. Tap out the excess flour.
Combine the butter and maple syrup. Add the eggs and vanilla extract to the butter and whisk together.
Sift the flour, baking powder, spices and salt into a mixing bowl.
Add the wet ingredients into the flour and whisk until the flour is incorporated. Don’t over work the batter.
Lastly, add the pumpkin puree and stir thoroughly to combine. Set the batter aside to rest for 5 minutes.
Spoon into the prepared moulds, tap to remove air bubbles and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden and puffy.
Cool on a wire rack before dusting with powdered sugar. Serve as is or with a pot of warm caramel for dipping or drizzling.