September New Year

I have felt over the last few years that September is my new year start. January feels too in the middle of Winter and especially at the start of 2022, the hibernation kicked in for me and I started my year slow whereas September offers new energy and hope. Summer has been fab with great sunny days {may be too hot in July} but now September has arrived I feel a new fresh hope of goals and things I want to achieve! Do you feel the same?

This time of year, we are blessed with extra sunshine and warm days. We hang on to Summer with a feeling of not quite ready to pull our warmer clothes out of the closet or pull boots out to wear. In the world of Interiors, lots of people talk about September as being a chance to start new projects and declutter, start fresh and plan all your goals before Christmas arrives. Yes, I said that word that shouldn’t be said for at least another 6 weeks!

During this time though, I love to start thinking about Autumn food. Blackberries and apples are my favourites this time of year but I don’t necessarily want something heavy! Check out below some delightful recipes that cover the feeling of Autumn without the need for stews and warming food.

Being someone who loves to bake I am delighted that British Bake Off is back although some of the tasks feel too outrageous to me. I can’t see myself making a house like in episode 1 but I do love to make a good cake that’s not fussy and if you feel the same you could look back at my previous Autumn recipes and make the ‘Apple Bread’ that I think really brings something to the table, whether that be a slice while working from home or packing in lunch boxes! Have a read here.

As I am classing this month as a NEW YEAR, I am working on projects in my home that I just haven’t had time to do but also looking at new recipes to try. The one thing I have always felt nervous about is pastry so I am going to push myself with this over the Autumn and see what I produce.

Here are recipes to make your heart sing but also feel cosy without heaviness.


Best eaten the day it is made on account of the fruit.

Tip: For a gluten-free version of the cake, leave out the flour and increase the number of ground pistachios by 20g/0.7oz, to 170g/6oz in total. Make sure your baking powder is gluten-free.


150 g unsalted, shelled pistachios

170 g softened, unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the tin

170 g golden caster sugar

3 free-range eggs

30 g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

200 g blackberries, halved if very large

2 tbsp icing sugar, to dust

Cuisine: British

Difficulty: Easy
10 mins

  • Cooking Time: 25 mins
  • Serves: 8


Preheat the oven to 180°C/365°F/gas mark 4. Line and butter a 28 x 22cm (11 x 8.5in) roasting or baking tin with non-stick baking or greaseproof paper.

blitz the pistachios in a food processor or spice grinder until very finely ground (but don’t over-blitz or they’ll get oily).

Beat the butter and sugar together until smooth, then whisk in the eggs.

Stir in the ground pistachios, flour and baking powder, and mix briefly until combined.

Tip the cake batter into the prepared tin and dot with the blackberries.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 25 minutes, until the cake has risen, is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into a non-blackberry bit comes out clean. Do not panic if the cake has risen
like a glossy quilted blanket to hide all your blackberries – this will particularly happen with small berries. They’re still there and the cake will taste delicious.

Let the cake cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring it, with its paper, to a wire rack to cool down.

Dust with icing sugar before serving.

The Quick Roasting Tin by Rukmini Iyer is available from Pigeon Books! 




225g self-raising flour , plus extra for dusting50g butter4 tbsp golden caster sugar¼ tsp cinnamon1 apple, peeled, cored and diced125ml milk, plus extra for brushing clotted cream and fresh or defrosted blackberry compote (see goes well with), to serve


Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Tip flour into a large bowl with butter then rub in using fingers until the mix looks like fine crumbs. Stir in sugar and cinnamon, add apple and give everything a mix.

  • STEP 2

    Pour in milk and stir it in quickly, then fold dough over 2-3 times until it’s a little smoother. Tip onto a lightly floured surface; pat into a round about 3cm deep.

  • STEP 3

    Dip a 6cm cutter into some flour then cut out scones, flouring the cutter each time. Squash offcuts lightly back into a round and repeat until all dough is used up. Brush tops with a little milk then place on to a lightly floured baking sheet and bake for 18-20 mins until risen and golden. Allow to cool on the tray.

  • STEP 4

    To serve, split scones then spread with a dollop of clotted cream and a spoonful of blackberry compote.