Sausage Plait

There are certain processes in the kitchen I find to be inherently therapeutic. Usually these are repetitive, methodical simple steps of a recipe that allow you to zone out Stirring a risotto is the most well-known – letting your mind wander as you add stock, stir and repeat for twenty minutes. Rolling meatballs, stamping out shortbread and dicing cucumber are more of my favourites. But the one I probably do the most would have to be plaiting pastry for this, one of my favourite go-to dinners.

Sausage Plait

Admittedly, plaiting the pastry here doesn’t take as long as stirring a whole risotto, but it is just as satisfying to do. So satisfying and simple in fact, that it became a very frequent staple of my family’s dinner rotation. Every time we make it, we end up making several more to last us the next few days. Eventually we have to go on a temporary Sausage Plait Ban to ensure we don’t have it for the sixth day in a row. This always lasts for a while, until there is some puff pastry and leftover sausages that need using up in the fridge…and then it is back to square one.

Sausage Plait

Serves 4

  • 450g sausage meat (or six sausages, removed from their skins
  • 1 apple, cored and diced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 375g ready rolled puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 220’C.

Mix together the apple, onion and sausage meat. Unroll the pastry and lay on a baking tray. Shape the sausage meat into a long rectangle down the centre third. Use a sharp knife to cut the pastry on either side of the sausage meat into horizontal strips 1cm wide. Lay these over the sausage meat, one from each side at a time to form a plait style. Tuck the pastry at each end up over the sausage meat.

Brush the beaten egg all over the pastry. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden and crisp.

Apple crumble

Apple crumble is pure nostalgia. The world could do with a little comfort food right now, and crumble is the dish to do this. For my family, crumble is what we miss whenever any of us go away. Whether it is me at university, my Dad for work, my sister since she’s moved out or my Mum going travelling – I think crumble symbolises home for all of us.

Apple crumble

Whether we’re going fancy with an amaretti laced plum version, or simple like this, you just can’t really go wrong with crumble. Tinned fruit work equally well if you’re in a pinch, but for my version I went as classic as you can get because I had some apples languishing in my cupboard that were beginning to get a bit tired and in desperate need of a covering of sugar and cream. I had such good intentions to share this, but somehow it was all gone within 24 hours…

Apple crumble

  • 75g plain flour
  • 20g brown sugar
  • 20g caster sugar, plus 1tbsp
  • 50g butter
  • 3 small apples

Preheat the oven to 180’C. Mix the flour and sugars (saving the extra 1tbsp of caster sugar) together. Cut the butter into small cubes, and rub it into the flour and sugar mixture until fully incorporated and sandy textured. I like to go a tiny bit further to get some larger chunks as well.

Peel, core and chop the apples into 2cm dice. Tip into the crumble dish and scatter with the reserved tbsp. of caster sugar. Scatter the crumble mixture evenly over the top.

Bake for 20-25mins until the crumble is golden and crisp. Serve with custard or extra thick double cream.