Get ready this September with Stovax's Simpler Living. The nights are slowly drawing in, the shadows are growing longer, and the colours on the trees are changing. September marks the start of getting ready for the autumn-winter season ahead.
The Anglo-Saxons called September ‘Harvest month’, because it was their time for harvesting barley to be made into barley brew, and gathering fruit to boil and seal in crock jars. Following Anglo Saxon Britain, harvesting traditionally began on the 24th September in medieval England, seeing farmers gather their crops around this time of year.
This is something that has transcended farm life, as even today we pick wild fruit such as blackberries and apples for making delicious seasonal pies, becoming part of what we love most about September!
It’s the perfect time of year to use wild fruit for home baking. Here is our #SimplerLiving recipe of the month, featuring the new high efficiency Dovre Rock 500 – a wood burning stove that excels in large living spaces, creating an eye-catching focal point.
Dovre is distributed in UK and Ireland by Stovax.
For the pastry
175g plain flour
Pinch of salt
25g caster sugar
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 egg yolk
Milk, to glaze
For the filling
300g cooking apple, peeled, cored and sliced (use Bramley apples if possible)
225g freshly-picked blackberries
Caster sugar, to taste
1. Heat oven to 180C/Fan 160C/Gas 4. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and rub in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
2. Mix in the sugar, lemon zest, egg yolk and a splash of milk to form a dough. Knead the dough lightly.
3. Spoon the apples and blackberries into a shallow 1.2ltr/900ml dish, then sprinkle over sugar to taste.
4. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface, large enough to cover the pie. Place the pastry over the filled pie dish, then seal and flute the edges. Glaze the top of the pie with a little milk, then bake for 40-45 mins until golden.
Now that winter is approaching, you might be thinking of gathering wood for your wood burning stove or fire. It’s important to remember that any wood you chop and gather this year must be left to season and dry out – which means any wood gathered this year is not suitable for burning just yet.
Using green or wet wood results in poor quality combustion, increased smoke and the production of tar and creosote. A large percentage of the heat energy created by the fire will also be used to burn off the excess water within the logs. Firewood should be left to dry for a minimum of 12-18 months before being used, and Stovax recommends a moisture content of 20% or less. Additionally, Ecodesign Ready stoves reach their optimum performance when combined with burning dry, quality firewood. This September, you can prepare your logs for drying instead.
Split logs into smaller pieces and store in a suitable wood store to accelerate the drying process. If you want to buy logs to burn this winter, make sure you look out for the Woodsure Ready to Burn logo which will confirm that the wood is of a good quality and low moisture content. You can read more about identifying good firewood on our blog, or watching this video:
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