Tasty October Treats with The Simple Things

With darker evenings and colder days creeping in, sometimes you just need a good ol’ tasty recipe to treat yourself to. With so many wonderful things in season, we asked our friends over at The Simple Things for their most delicious October recipes with the help of writer and forager, Lia Leendertz.

Words & Recipes: Lia Leendertz

Photography: Kirstie Young

Soul Cakes

Soul cakes are an old English traditional cake, sometimes known simply as ‘souls’. On All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, children went ‘souling’, asking for soul cakes from house to house: quite possibly a precursor to trick or treating.

Makes 12-15 


175g butter

175g caster sugar

3 egg yolks

450g plain flour

2 tsp mixed spice

100g currants

A little milk to mix

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 190C/Fan 170/ Gas 5. Cream the butter with the sugar until it’s light and fluffy, then beat in the egg yolks one at a time.

Step 2. In a separate bowl, sieve the flour and the spices together and add to the wet mixture along with the currants (reserving a small handful to decorate the tops later).

Step 3. Mix with a wooden spoon, then add some milk to pull everything together into a dough.

Step 4. Roll out to a thickness of around 1cm and stamp out discs with a biscuit cutter. Use a straight-bladed knife to make a slight cross in the top of each cake, then push in raisins at the centre and the ends of the points.

Step 5. Place on a piece of baking parchment on a baking tray and bake for 10-15 mins on the fire or in the oven until golden. Allow to cool before eating.

Note: This recipe was adapted, with permission, by The Simple Things from one on lavenderandlovage.com.

Hot quince, apple and cider punch

Quince is one of the loveliest of autumn fruits and, when it’s gently stewed for a long time, it turns aromatic and a glorious pink. Its syrup makes a fine base for a warming autumnal cider punch.

Serves 6


250ml apple juice

225g soft brown sugar

1 quince, peeled, quartered
and cored

1 vanilla pod, halved (this is a good use for a spent pod whose seeds have already been used) 1 apple, cored and sliced

500ml cider

Step 1. Put the apple juice and sugar in a pan with 250ml of water, and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Add the quince and the halved vanilla pod.

Step 2. Simmer for at least 30 minutes, more like 1 hour if you want a good colour. Drop in the apple slices and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the cider and remove from the heat. Serve immediately, making sure there are a couple of slices of apple or quince in each glass.

This article was brought to you by
The Simple Things
a monthly invitation to slow down,
enjoy what you have and make the most of where you live.

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