Autumn is now in full swing, cosy jumpers, great food, changing colours (and Pumpkin Spice Latte of course) are just some of the reasons why this time of year has become a firm favourite with so many. To help you make the most of this time of year, we’ve collected in some of the best recipe’s, craft ideas and competitions to get you in the swing of things.

The smell of freshly baked apple pie is (probably) the best Autumn smell, so why not have a go at making your own? This easy to follow recipe creates the perfect apple pie, great for sharing with your fellow Guardians!



For the filling

1kg Bramley apples
140g golden caster sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp flour

For the pastry

225g butter, room temperature
50g golden caster sugar, plus extra
2 eggs
350g plain flour, preferably organic
Softly whipped cream, to serve


  1. Put a layer of paper towels on a large baking sheet. Quarter, core, peel and slice the apples about 5mm thick and lay evenly on the baking sheet. Put paper towels on top and set aside while you make and chill the pastry.
  2. For the pastry, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until just mixed. Break in a whole egg and a yolk (keep the white for glazing later). Beat together for just under 1 min – it will look a bit like scrambled egg. Now work in the flour with a wooden spoon, a third at a time, until it’s beginning to clump up, then finish gathering it together with your hands. Gently work the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film, and chill for 45 mins. Now mix the 140g/5oz sugar, the cinnamon and flour for the filling in a bowl that is large enough to take the apples later.
  3. After the pastry has chilled, heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Lightly beat the egg white with a fork. Cut off a third of the pastry and keep it wrapped while you roll out the rest, and use this to line a pie tin – 20-22cm round and 4cm deep – leaving a slight overhang. Roll the remaining third to a circle about 28cm in diameter. Pat the apples dry with kitchen paper, and tip them into the bowl with the cinnamon-sugar mix. Give a quick mix with your hands and immediately pile high into the pastry-lined tin.
  4. Brush a little water around the pastry rim and lay the pastry lid over the apples, pressing the edges together to seal. Trim the edge with a sharp knife and make 5 little slashes on top of the lid for the steam to escape. (Can be frozen at this stage.) Brush it all with the egg white and sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake for 40-45 mins, until golden, then remove and let it sit for 5-10 mins. Sprinkle with more sugar and serve while still warm from the oven with softly whipped cream.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, October 2004


Upcycle a chest of draws

screen-shot-2016-09-08-at-11-47-21We love breathing new life into old treasures, and as such we’ve been following Gok’s Fill Your House for Free on Channel 4 (you can watch it on catch up here) to the extent we’ve become inspired! We’ve searched high and low for a great, easy, stylish upcycling project to share with you and we think we’ve found the perfect one! Take a look at this step-by-step guide from Laura Ashley to find out how you can turn a dated and drab chest of draws into a stylish and unique piece of furniture.


Pumpkin stencil

As Halloween is almost upon us we thought we would share with you a free to download, Ad Hoc Original Pumpkin carving stencil! As you’ll see we’ve gone with the spooky house theme, so why not download and get carving! We would love to see your designs so share them with us at @AdHocGuardians!


Autumn leaves competition

We’ve got an exciting competition coming your way! From October 10th to 24th we’ll be asking you to share your Autumn Landscape pictures with us! This can be from the garden of your property or your route to work. Urban or rural we want to see the changing colours of your landscape!

Follow and share your pictures with us at @AdHocGuardians using #AdHocAutumn to be in with a chance of winning £30 of high street vouchers. Terms and conditions apply, please click here for details.