Despite this, every year I wonder whether we will get a few days of uninterrupted sunshine and high temperatures during the summer months to allow for a few picnics and barbecues and a little bit of eating al fresco.
I have definitely developed rather romanticised ideas regarding eating outdoors and to me, along with the enjoying of favourable weather conditions, it represents freedom and having fun with people you like spending time with.
I live in hope that this year, I will have the opportunity to plan a few picnics or barbecues and eat some delicious food. My children love sausages and sausage rolls and for me they are a must at any picnic as they are so easy to transport and require no cutlery to consume them. Sausage rolls can be made with shortcrust or flaky pastry, but I favour the use of puff pastry.
The addition of some Dijon mustard elevates these sausage rolls to something a little out-of-the-ordinary. Feel free to leave it out or use whole-grain mustard instead.
Ingredients:450g good quality sausage meat
1 apple grated
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
2tblsp Dijon mustard (or wholegrain mustard, if preferred)
350g ready-rolled puff pastry
1 egg lightly beaten
Method:1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Fan Oven 180C/Gas Mark 7. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking parchment.
2. Put the sausage meat in a mixing bowl and add the grated apple. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix together so that everything is fully incorporated.
3. Place the sheet of ready-rolled puff-pastry on a flat surface and divide it across the middle so that you are left with two long rectangles. Spread a tablespoon of mustard on top of each rectangle leaving a free edge along the long sides. Place a layer of sausage meat down the centre of each of the puff pastry rectangles and brush a little of the lightly beaten egg on one of the free edges on each of the rectangles.
4. Fold the other edge of the pastry over to meet the egg-washed edge and press down to seal the edges together, encasing the sausage meat inside. Cut each pastry roll into 5-6 individual, eve-sized sausage rolls and place on the prepared baking tray leaving space between each.
5. Brush with a little more of the beaten egg and bake in the preheated oven for 17-20 minutes until well risen and a deep golden brown colour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.