Recipes

BAKING:

Shortbread

150g plain flour
100g salted butter
50g icing sugar

Set the oven to 170 degrees

  • In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar, until pale. Give it a good going.
  • Add the sieved flour and combine until it forms a dough. Do not over do this part as the finished biscuits will be leathery. Chill dough for an hour.
  • To make life a little easier cut two sheets of grease proof paper about 40x40cm. Place one on the work top and place the dough in the middle. Sandwich the dough between the next sheet and then start with the rolling pin and roll out until roughly 4-5 mm thick.
  • Using the cutter of choice, even kids character cutters, cut as many as you can onto baking parchment, re roll the dough gently and repeat until all the dough is used up.
  • Bake on the middle shelf for 10-12 mins or until very lightly golden around the edges.
  • When the tray comes from the oven, sprinkle a little caster sugar over them, leave to cool slightly and then cool completely on a cooling wire.
  • The biscuits will keep for 2-3 days in an air tight box and also freeze well.

Fruit Tea Loaf

With the Autumn almost upon us and the nights creeping in, I thought I’d put up an old favourite of mine that used to regularly appear on my afternoon tea menu. This is a timeless classic with a take on the traditional tea loaf.With the addition of the exotic fruits taking it to the modern day with the added twist from the fruity tea bags. A moist loaf but with a slavering of butter making it more of a scrumptious treat.

If you can’t find pre-mixed bags of exotic fruit just mix and match what you find on the shelves like Dried Papaya, Mango, Cranberries or what ever takes your fancy.

Line a 900g loaf tin and pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius

Ingredients
225g exotic dried fruits
2 fruit tea bags
75g butter
110g caster sugar
175g self raising flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs (beaten)
230g pineapple (chopped)
50g glacé cherries

  • In a bowl add the dried fruit with the tea bags and cover with just enough, almost boiling water. Leave to infuse and let it completely cool.
  • Melt the butter and add the sugar. Drain the fruit and discard the tea. Over a low heat add the fruit and let the mix cool.
  • Sieve the flour and salt and stir into the fruity mix, followed by the beaten eggs, pineapple and cherries.
  • Add the mix to the loaf tin and bake on the middle shelf for 1 hour.
  • Leave to stand for 10 mins and then turn it out onto a cooling wrack.

Pumpkin Pie

It’s getting to that time of year when we begin seeing the pumpkins in the supermarkets so I thought why not share this recipe? I make it every year, in fact I usually make a couple of them and bring slices to friends and family and is very welcoming with its smooth velvety custard with warming spices. The pumpkin has been cut into even chunks, brushed with a little melted butter, covered and baked until tender, mashed and passed through a sieve using the back of a ladle to make it nice and smooth. This process can be done in advance and the purée can be frozen before the season comes to an end and even used at Christmas. If you can source tinned pumpkin purée this would be fine but where’s the fun in that?

Ingredients

Pastry:
200g Plain flour
125g Salted Butter (chilled)
50g Icing sugar
1 Medium Egg (beaten)
Zest of 1/2 lemon (finely grated)

  • Mix the flour and icing sugar together followed by the lemon zest. Cut the butter up into little pieces and rub into the flour and sugar mix until it resembles fine crumbs. Add the beaten egg and mix until smooth and no more. The pastry might seem sticky at this stage which is fine. Form the pastry into a ball, wrap and chill for a couple of hours.
  • On a lightly floured surface roll out the pastry to fit the ring and prick the bottom with a fork and chill for a further hour. Bake the pastry blind for about 20-25 mins or until the edges are lightly golden. Carefully remove the baking beans and cook the bottom for roughly the last 10 mins.

Filling:
700g Pumpkin Purée
120g Light Brown Sugar
2 Large Eggs (beaten)
80ml Full Fat Milk
80ml Double Cream
30g Butter
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Oven: 200 Degrees Celsius
22 cm Loose bottom Flan Ring

  • Melt the 30g of butter until lightly browned and sieve.
  • Sieve all the dry ingredients. Mix in the eggs, milk, cream, pumpkin purée and browned butter. Pour the custard mix into the pastry shell and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 160 degrees for the last 25/30 mins or until the custard has just set. During cooking if you think the edges of the pie are becoming to brown just cover them with a little tin foil.
  • Rest the tart for ten minutes before carefully removing from the flan ring and onto a cooling wrack. Serve cold with a good dusting of icing sugar and pouring cream.
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