Fruit & Ginger Biscuits

A wonderful spicy biscuit just right for the festive season.  Full of festive fruit – I’ve chosen sour cherries and apricots as well as the stem ginger, but you can adjust to taste.  The chocolate is a nice touch, balancing off the treacle, and the sugar roll gives a great crunch.  Adding the oatmeal provides…

Meringue Kisses #WasteNot

If you’ve been following @HughsWarOnWaste you’re probably as angry and annoyed as I am at the unnecessary amount of food that is just being discarded for no good reason. Clearly there are some serious problems with our retailers and suppliers which need to be be addressed, but there’s plenty we can do ourselves to make better use…

Leek, Mushroom & Pancetta Roly Poly

Not just for jam, suet pastry makes a great savoury roly poly too, and this recipe has a very comforting seasonal filling Pre-cooking the leek, mushroom and pancetta means the filling won’t be too wet and the pastry will stay in one piece once baked.  As the filling is quite dry and the dough quite stretchy,…

Suet Pastry

Suet pastry brings back memories of school dinners and is a classic pastry for traditional British pies and puddings, both sweet and savoury.  I just love Jam Roly Poly with fresh custard… Using similar proportions to shortcrust, suet pastry is softer and more absorbent, with a tendency to rise in a pseudo-sponge type fashion.  This…

Rosemary & Lemon Biscuits

A wonderful buttery shortbread biscuit with delicate herbal and citrus flavours.  The dough can be made quite quickly and kept in the fridge or even frozen until required.  By rolling the dough into a log it’s simple to cut off slices and bake fresh biscuits ‘on demand’! Makes 50-60 biscuits Ingredients 360g Butter, softened 130g…

Pumpkin & Pancetta Risotto

Risotto di Zucca, Pumpkin Risotto is an Italian classic using the colours and flavours of autumn to make what is possibly my favourite risotto of the year.  The addition of pancetta  brings an extra dimension and makes this dish really special You need to use a pumpkin which will start to break down into a…

Pumpkin, Pecan & Wensleydale Tarte Tatin

The last of my 3 recipes tarte tatin recipes is much drier than the previous two, with no caramel or sauce.  This recipe relies on the sweetness of the pumpkins, offset by fresh Wensleydale cheese and a punch of mild, fruity chilli.  Throw in a handful of pecans for some crunch and you’re good to…

Apple Tarte Tatin

The one and only Tarte Tatin.  In this recipe I’ve used a full puff pastry, but rough puff should be perfectly fine.  This classic is all about showing off the fruit.  It doesn’t need anything else – just apple and caramel.  The choice of apple is critical here – you need something with a good…

Red Onion Tarte Tatin

A great savoury version of the french classic – the onions should caramelise to give a sticky topping to the final tarte, the sweetness is offset by the balsamic vinegar.  Unlike the apple version there isn’t too much liquid so inverting should’t be too much of a hazard.  Serve with a fresh side salad Makes…

Cheese, Leek & Bacon Flan

I’m not a fan of quiches as I really don’t like eggs.  But as a child Mum used to make a great cheese and onion flan which was quite dry without the eggy texture and  I really loved it.  This is something between the two.  Trust me – you don’t need the egg, the filling…

BONUS!!! Vertically Challenged Pastry

So this is a recipe that I did’t expect to post – it came about quite by accident as I was experimenting with my various laminated pasty doughs.  I was part way though about recipe 3 – Flaky Pastry, rubbing in the fat and adding in the water when I appreciated that the dough was coming…

Puff Pastry, Flaky Pastry & Rough Puff Pastry

So you want a light crispy pastry with flaky lamination? You have a choice. 3 recipes with broadly identical ingredients – so what’s the difference and how do you choose? I’ve captured all 3 recipes here but quite often you’ll only see reference to 2. ‘Flaky Pastry’ and ‘Puff Pastry’ are used interchangeable, and given…

Redcurrant Meringue Pie

So we know how to make our sweet shortcrust pastry and our French meringue, and I’ve got a freezer full of redcurrants.  Sounds like Redcurrant Meringue Pie… OK, I know lemon is more traditional, but see this as a contemporary spin or if you like, I just wanted to cook something pink. Ingredients 1 batch…

French Meringue

The first of my 3 meringue recipes is the easiest to make.  It’s also very versatile and can be used for ‘hard’ meringues such as meringue nests or Eton Mess, ‘chewy’ meringue dishes such as pavlova or as a soft pie topping for the likes of a lemon meringue pie – there are some tweaks…

Pate Sucree

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry or Pate Sucree is an enriched dough and the pasty of choice for sweet flans and tarts. How enriched, how sweet and how short all seem to be a matter for debate.  At the end of the day, much of this is down to personal choice. I’ve stuck to some basic principles…

Blind Baking

Blind Baking is a technique commonly used with both ‘normal’ and sweet shortcrust pastry.  It ensures a perfectly cooked pastry every time without the infamous ‘soggy bottom’ There are 2 circumstances when you’ll need to ‘blind bake’ your tart of flan case – either when your filling needs much less cooking time than the pastry (or no…

Glace Icing

The ubiquitous ‘fairy cake’ icing is the simplest of icings to make, perfect of a quick basic biscuit or cake topping but with a bit of effort can be made equally elegant or dramatic to pour over and run down show cakes. Easy to flavour and colour as required, this can be made in minutes….

Lemon Curd Eclairs

So I find myself with some double cream and a batch of lemon curd to use up – what better way than to make up a batch of decadent eclairs? Mixing the lemon curd into the cream filling cuts through the richness, making these seem light and refreshing by comparison to some chocolate equivalents.  The…

Choux Pastry

One of the easiest to make, Choux, or Pâte à Choux, provides a light, crisp, fluffy pastry for both sweet and savoury indulgent bakes.  Use for eclairs, profiteroles, choux buns, savoury gougeres and controversially, alternative non-yeasted beignets The wonderful rise you expect in choux comes from the steam as the leavening agent, consequently you need…

Covering the basics

I realised a few months ago that I’ve not really captured any of my basic ‘building block’ recipes here, so over the next few weeks I need to rectify this.  If you trawl through the backlog of posts you’ll find most of the elements covered, but hopefully this will provide an easy reference.  I plan…