The Muswell Hill and District Horticultural Society Summer Show was loads of fun.  It’s not as mad as the Spring show, as there are less cooking categories, nevertheless there was some bonkers last minute rushing around yesterday morning to get everything ready.

I got two firsts, one for my greengage jam (recipe from The Cottage Smallholder)

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and one for my Pistachio and Rosewater Cake (recipe from The Cheerful Chilli)


Three thirds, one for my gooseberry jam:


one for my chilli pepper jelly:


and one for my blackberry and apple jelly:


A second for my apple and tarragon jelly (also from the River Cottage Handbook):


and a second for my Mary and Vincent Price Crostata Di Mele:


I thought I’d ruined it by over cooking it, so was very pleased to get a second prize.  The recipe follows should you wish to give it a go.

There’s been some shenanigans worthy of  Miss Marple over the scoring process at the show.  You may remember that I was awarded the cookery cup for the second year running last year and both Battenburg Belle and I were puzzled over the points system as she’d got lots more firsts than me.  It seems as though the SYSTEM decided that although we had both got the same amount of points in total, I had entered more classes so the cup was awarded to me.  We all thought this was a bit unfair and so yesterday I handed back the cup and it was presented to BB.  We await to hear the committee’s decision – in future if the same amount of points result in a tie, will the cup go to the person with the most first prizes, or will the two winners share it?

Of course, in a Miss Marple, being effectively stripped of my title would definitely result in BB getting bumped off by me at some point, but we are best friends so that’s not going to happen.  Or is it…

Mary and Vincent Price’s Crostata Di Mele – recipe from The Treasury of Great Recipes (1965)

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Preheat oven to hot (425 degrees F, 220 degrees C, gas mark 7).

Sift onto pastry board: 1 and 1/4 cups flour.  Make a well in centre and in the well put: 4 tablespoons sugar, 1 stick butter, sliced (official conversion is 113g but I go for 110g), 2 egg yolks, a pinch of salt and the grated rind of one lemon.

Work centre ingredients to a paste, then knead in flour.  Form dough into a ball, wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured board roll out 2/3 of pastry and transfer to an 8 inch pie plate.  Trim overhanging edges.  Fill about 2/3 full with: 3 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced, spiralling the slices from centre to outer edge.  Spread with 12 ounces (34og)  apricot preserve.

Roll out remaining pastry thinly and cut into strips 1/2 inch wide.  Arrange 10 strips lattice-fashion over filling and trim overhanging edges.  Place a strip all around edge of filling and flute this with the bottom layer of pastry.

Bake in the hot oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (180 C, gas mark 4) and bake for 30 minutes longer.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with confectioners (icing) sugar.  Serve warm.

Note: I could only fit 2 apples into my tart, and used more like 8 ounces (225g) of jam…

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