In October, our oak tree's leaves are turning brown and beginning to fall. We check in with the bee hive as it prepares for winter, share a recipe for soul cakes, and explore traditions around Samhain. This month's candlelit ritual is for Halloween night - and in the meantime, look out for mushrooms, the season's finest fruit.
'As the Season Turns' is a podcast created by Ffern and presented by the nature writer and author of the Seasonal Almanac Lia Leendertz. Each episode, released on the first of every month, is a guide to what to look out for in the month ahead - from the sky above to the land below. Ffern is an organic fragrance maker based in Somerset. You can learn more about Ffern's seasonal eau de parfum at ffern.co
Recipe for Soul Cakes
For 12-15 cakes, you will need:
175g caster sugar
3 egg yolks
450g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
2 teaspoons mixed spice
A few gratings of nutmeg
About 100ml milk
100g currants, plus a handful more to decorate
Preheat the oven to 190°C, Gas Mark 5. Cream the butter with the sugar until it is light and fluffy and then beat in the egg yolks, one at a time. In a separate bowl sieve the flour and the spices together and add to the butter mixture along with the currants (reserving those for decoration). Mix all together with a wooden spoon and then add the milk and go in with your hands to pull everything together into a dough.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of around 1cm, and cut out rounds with a biscuit cutter. Make a slight cross indent in the top of each with a palette knife, and then push currants along it. Place the rounds on baking parchment on a baking tray, and bake for 10-15 minutes or until goden. Allow to cool on a rack before eating.