We’ve managed to keep to it, as here is our February Newsletter!

Our Sussex Honey Biscuits

Our Sussex Honey Biscuits are made with only 8 simple ingredients. Meet Daisy Day, Master Beekeeper, who supplies us with the most important one:

“Putting your bare hands into a hive containing up to 40,000 bees isn’t really everyone’s idea of fun, but I found it completely relaxing and instinctive back in 2006 when I began keeping bees. I joined my local Association, Wisborough Green Beekeeping Association, and that was the beginning of this journey I find myself on.

I took my exams and became a Master Beekeeper in 2012, the only one of three in West Sussex at the time.

Since then, my hive numbers have grown and my partner, Martin (who I met through the group) and myself now run around 120 colonies throughout West Sussex. We have bees located in orchards, in woodland, on farms and of course our garden. We also take bees to Kent in the spring to pollinate pear and apple orchards.

I regularly give talks to groups, including beekeeping ones, at a local and national level. One of my hives was kept in a primary school for a couple of years and I very proudly introduced beekeeping to around 60 children during that time.

We extract our honey twice during the season, once in the spring when the Oil Seed Rape has finished and then again at the end of the summer when the blackberries and wildflowers have finished. We do not heat treat our honey at all, simply filter it and put it into jars. This ensures the enzymes contained within it remain alive and the honey is not spoiled.”

– Daisy Day

If you want to read more about Daisy and Martin and their bees, they both have Facebook pages – see below:

Daisy’s Page – Slinfold Honey
Martin’s Page – Dunctonwood Honey

Spotlight On Our Lovely Retailers

Each month we will shine a light on one of our retailers. This month we would like to present:

The Sussex Peasant

The business is run by Ed & Nick, and their mobile shops can be found every week in various locations in and around Brighton, Hove, Ditchling & Hassocks – currently they trade from 10 different locations, which are listed on their website:

www.thesussexpeasant.co.uk

“The Sussex Peasant is passionate about connecting communities to their local farmers and producers whilst reigniting community spaces around fresh and healthy food. We have defined local by producers and farmers that are based here in Sussex, allowing us to keep our carbon footprint as low as possible. Unsold food is also donated to food banks or composted in our efforts to control our food waste too. Our mobile farm shops sell Organic, Free Range and traditional breeds of meats, vegetables, fruits, breads, dairy, cheese, pastries and fish all from here in Sussex. It is also fresh, coming from the farm to you within 48 hours. We are driven to make local seasonal produce both convenient and accessible to local communities again. Our Farming is Sustainable, our food is traceable our approach is socially and environmentally minded.”

– Ed

Recipe Corner

As you can see from the above, we are down to our last few Bramley Apples from the autumn, so we will use them for our favourite apple pudding:

Almond & Orange Apple Pudding

(This is only a rough guide – we change the ingredients every time we make it. Also, it rather depends on who is making it, as some people in our family like lots of fruit with a small amount of topping, while others prefer the reverse of this!)

Recipe notes:

  • This makes a large pudding with 8 very generous servings.
  • It’s just as nice served cold with ice cream on day 2!
  • We tend to use a 9-10 inch square dish for it.
  • Halve ingredients for a smaller pudding and reduce the cooking time a little.
  • Pre-heat oven to 190c/170 fan/Gas 5
  • Cooking time: 45 minutes.

Total Ingredients for shopping:

  • 150g Plain flour / Gluten free flour
  • 150g Ground almonds
  • 100g flaked almonds
  • 150g cold salted butter cut into small pieces/ cubes
  • 200g castor sugar
  • 2 large oranges
  • 1.5kg Bramley Apples – approximate weight (about 1kg apple after peeling & coring)

Breakdown of ingredients for cooking
For the Topping

150g Plain flour / Gluten free flour
150g Ground almonds
100g flaked almonds
150g cold salted butter cut into small pieces/ cubes
100g castor sugar
Zest from 2 large oranges
For the Base
1.5kg Bramley Apples – approximate weight (about 1kg apple after peeling & coring)
Juice from 2 large oranges
100g castor sugar

Method:

1. Zest the oranges, finely chop them, and blend with 100g castor sugar. Put this mixture to one side.

2. Squeeze the juice from the oranges and strain juice through a sieve.

3. Make the topping by rubbing the butter into the flour & ground almonds – it will look rather greasy/buttery due to a high ratio of butter to dry ingredients.

4. Blend in the orangey sugar and flaked almonds with your hands. Put to one side.

5. Peel, core and slice the apples into medium to thick slices (If you slice the apple thinly it will puree when cooking). As you prepare the apple slices, put them in a large bowl with about 2/3rds of the orange juice – keep mixing them to prevent browning. When finished, mix in the 100g of castor sugar and spread this mix in the base of the baking dish.

6. Spread the topping mixture over the apples.

7. Bake in the middle of the pre-heated oven (190c/170 fan/Gas 5) for 15 mins.

8. Reduce the heat to 170c/150 fan/Gas 3 for a further 30 minutes. You may need to turn the dish if cooking is uneven.

9. The pudding will be cooked when it is golden brown in colour and when some of the fruit juices are beginning to bubble up around the edges.

10. Remove from the oven. Sprinkle the top with a little castor sugar if desired.

11. Serve with custard, cream or ice-cream.

Old Recipe Corner

Lesley has collected old cookery books and manuscripts for many years. Each month she would like to share a recipe with you that you will not find in modern cookery books.

This month she thought this one might be of interest to anyone who thinks that making ‘beef tea’ for the invalids in your family sounds like rather a nice idea…

Dr Acland’s Recipe For Beef Tea

Mince a pound of good lean beef quite small. Let it stand in an earthenware vessel with a pint of cold water for 3 hours.

Stir occasionally, then boil up slowly for half an hour. Strain.

(Not so sure I would want a boiled-meat drink if I were ill – it seems like a shocking waste of a pound of lean mince – I would prefer to use it in a cottage pie! – Lesley)