News and Advice from the NGS team

Seasonal Recipes

Saturday, August 10, 2013

..wOOooOOOoo.. It's Halloween! 
Organic Toffee Apples 

Organic Toffee Apples will give both small and 'big' kids an old fashioned treat made in an old fashioned way...

For 8 Toffee Apples you will need:

• 8 English Eating Apples
• 400g Un-refined Caster Sugar
• 1 tsp Vinegar
• 4 tbsp Golden Syrup

• Place the apples in a large bowl, then cover with boiling water (you may have to do this in 2 batches). This will remove the waxy coating (if not using organic apples) and help the caramel to stick. Dry thoroughly and twist off any stalks. Push a wooden twig or lolly stick into the stalk end of each apple.
• Lay out a sheet of lightly oiled baking parchment and place the apples on this, close to your stovetop. Tip the sugar into a pan along with 100ml water and set over a medium heat. Cook for 5 mins until the sugar dissolves, then stir in the vinegar and syrup. Set a sugar thermometer in the pan and boil to 140C or 'hard crack' stage which will take several minutes. If you don't have a thermometer you can test the toffee by pouring a little into a bowl of cold water. It should harden instantly and, when removed, be brittle and easy to break. If you can still squish the toffee, continue to boil it.
• Working quickly and carefully, dip and twist each apple in the hot toffee until covered, let any excess drip away, then place on the baking parchment to harden (you can always add a second coating if you have lots of spare sauce). You may have to heat the toffee a little if the temperature drops and it starts to feel thick and viscous. Leave the toffee to cool before eating. Can be made up to 2 days in advance, stored in a dry place.

Some more ideas to help your Halloween party go with a swing are:                                                                                         'Apple Bobbing' using great British Apples in a bucket of water or 'Apple Swinging' which is where you dangle the apples from a string. 'Find the Wiggly Worms' ~ Our Biona Sour Snakes are the perfect size for standing up in a bowl of flour for little ones to find with their mouths whilst blindfolded and hands held behind the back.

If you are having a meal as part of your party or gathering, don't forget to serve your soup, chilli or main dish in a scooped out pumpkin with lid for a a real wow factor! 

An easy Cranberry Sauce recipe:

80g light muscovado sugar
80ml orange juice, fresh or from a carton
200g pack fresh or frozen cranberries

Tip the sugar and orange juice into a pan, then bring to the boil. Stir in the cranberries, then simmer until tender but still holding their shape – this will take about 5 mins if using frozen cranberries or 8-10 mins if using fresh. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Will keep in the fridge for 1 week. 

On the day, bring to room temperature before serving.


Marrow Recipes for Summer

With Blackberries ripening in the garden and surrounding hedgerows and fresh organic Marrows having arrived into stock this week,  I flicked through my little recipe book of ‘Uncommon Preserves’ by Aileen King and Chapter 2 starts with the following:  

Blackberry & Marrow Jam


2lbs (900g) Firm ripe blackberries

2lbs (900g) Marrow, weight after peeling & seeding

3lbs (1360g) Sugar

1½ Lemons, juice & rinds

½ pint (300ml) Water


Peel the marrow, remove the seeds, cut into pieces about an inch square and put into a preserving pan with the blackberries and the water. Place over a gently heat. Peel the lemons and put the thin rinds into a piece of muslin; drop into the preserving pan. Strain the juice from the lemons and add. Simmer all until the blackberries and the marrow are thoroughly pulped. Remove the rinds and stir in the sugar; let it dissolve, stir while coming to the boil, then boil fast for 10 minutes. Test for setting. Put into hot jars & cover at once.

I’ll report back as soon as I have made mine but just the fact that this lovely book was published in 1960 by Mills & Boon fills me with confidence that it will be made with love!

Rustic Ratatouille

Serves: 8 / Prep time: 10 mins / Cooking time: 40 mins

Calories 120 (Kcal) / Fat 6.0g / Saturates 1.0g


Below is a list of suggested vegetables but he joy of this recipe is that you can just add whichever leftover vegetables you may have.






  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onions, garlic, aubergines and peppers, and fry for 10 mins until soft.
  2. Add the marrow & cherry tomatoes and fry for a further 5 mins. Add rest of ingredients, season, bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 mins, until tender.
  3. It is now ready to serve but a favourite step in our house is pour your ratatouille into a ceramic ovenproof dish, tear a ball of mozzerella over the top and place under a hot grill for a few minutes to melt the cheese. Don’t forget to garnish with basil as you serve.
  4. Enjoy!



Bolognese Stuffed Marrow Rings

Serves: 4 / Prep time: 20 mins / Cooking time: 1hr / Total Time 1hr 20mins







Preheat the oven to 190 C / Gas 5.



Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add mince, red onion, chilli (optional), carrot and garlic until the beef is browned. Add the red wine, stock granules, chopped tomatoes and tomato puree. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.



Cut the marrow into eight rings, each about 4cm thick (you can peel the marrow if the skin is thick & tough). Scoop out the seeds. Place the rings in a single layer in a large, lightly oiled baking dish.



Lightly season the marrow rings with salt and pepper before spooning the meat sauce mixture into the hollowed-out centres. Spread any leftover sauce between the marrow rings. Tightly cover the dish with foil so that the marrow will cook in the steam, then bake for 30 minutes.



Meanwhile, mix the breadcrumbs and cheese together. Remove the foil and sprinkle the crumb mixture over the tops of the marrow rings. Return to the oven and bake for a further 15 minutes or until the topping is golden and crisp and the marrow is tender and juicy. Serve hot, scattered with fresh basil, if desired.