I might have mentioned this before but my family doesn’t eat Christmas dinner (we have it on Christmas Eve instead) but we do enjoy a Christmas day brunch before the present opening begins. And this is the perfect recipe to kick off the big day. […]
Something about the onset of the cold grey weather makes me want to eat cheese. ALL THE TIME! Toasty, golden, melted cheese is my favourite and these scones, warm from the oven, fit the bill perfectly. They have a lovely combination of flavours. The rich […]
Quick, delicious and impressive. Are there three better words to describe a dessert recipe? I don’t think there are. This recipe is so easy, you don’t even really have to weigh anything (doesn’t that sound good?).
Buttery, crispy, flaky pastry wrapped around a filling of sweet pear, rich chocolate and warming ginger – this is just delicious at this time of year. And it really is so quick to make, it’s a perfect last-minute pudding but it look fancy enough to show off to your dinner guests. I really can’t recommend this recipe enough!
You can use dark or milk chocolate for this – I prefer dark though.
375g ready-made, ready rolled puff pastry
500g pears (about 5-6)
75g chocolate, roughly chopped
2 tbsp crystallised ginger, finely chopped
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
Pre-heat your oven to 220°c and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
Peel, core and chop the pears into bitesize chunks. Combine this with the roughly chopped chocolate, ginger, 2 tablespoons of sugar and the cornflour in a mixing bowl.
Un-roll the pastry and pile the filling mixture along the centre of it. With the short edge of the pastry facing you, make cuts along each of the long edges, about a third of the way in, at approximately a 45° angle upwards. Cut out and discard the corner sections.
Fold the top and bottom ends over the filling and brush them with the egg wash. Wrap the edge pieces over the filling, alternating them and bushing with egg wash as you go to ensure that they stick, creating a plaited effect.
Give the whole thing a final glaze with the egg wash and sprinkle it with a little Demerara sugar to give a crunchy finish. Bake the plait for 30-35 minutes, until the pastry has puffed up, covering with a piece of foil if it starts to get a little too brown on the edges. Serve warm with a dollop of clotted cream.
What better Autumn teatime treat could there be than a slice of sweetly spiced loaf cake baked with butternut squash and sweet dried apricots? This cake is deliciously moist (sorry, I don’t have another word for it!) and a little like a fruitier carrot cake. […]
Last weeks high winds seem to have brought down most of the remaining apples from the tree in my garden, at least the ones that our resident squirrel hasn’t already nibbled. He’s very picky and won’t touch them once they’ve hit the ground!
This is a great way of making sure that those windfalls don’t go to waste as you can simply cut away any bruised parts of the fruit. It’s also a great way of using a few of my home-grown chilis. I’m not sure what variety they are but they’re mighty fierce! This calms them down a lot and it’s a great condiment to serve with fish, seafood and cheese – I especially like it with Galician tetilla cheese and fresh bread.
This recipe is more about ratios than weights but I’ve included them as a guide anyway.
makes 2 jars
1.5 pints of water
500g of sugar for every 500ml of liquid
100ml cider vinegar
2-3 red and green chilis (deseeded if you don’t want it too hot!)
Wash the apples and roughly chop them, peel, cores and all. Place them in a large pan with the water, bring to the boil and then cook until the fruit becomes pulpy.
Strain the fruit through a jelly bag into a large clean bowl. Don’t squeeze the bag (as tempting as it might be) or you will make the jelly cloudy. I like to leave my fruit to strain overnight so that I can be sure I’ve got every last drop of liquid out of it. You can discard the remaining pulp.
Place a saucer in your freezer to chill so that you can test for setting point later. Add the vinegar to the juice and use 500g of sugar for every 500ml of liquid that you have. Combine them in a pan and let them bubble away for 20 minutes. Drop a teaspoon of the jam onto the chilled plate, leave it for a minute and then push your finger through it, if it wrinkles then you’ve reached setting point. If not then continue to cook the jam for a few minutes more and re-test it.
Once setting point has been reached remove the pan from the heat. Finely chop the chilis and divide them evenly between sterilised jars. Carefully pour the jam into the jars and leave to cool. You’ll need to stir the jam every now and then as it cools and sets in order to make sure that the chili is evenly distributed. Seal and label the jars and store in a dark place.
This is such a great accompaniment to grilled or pan-fried fish, crispy tofu, in tacos or even as a tangy alternative to guacamole with some crunchy tortilla chips.
My home-grown chilis are pretty fierce this year so I actually only use half but if you use something like a jalapeno then one should be about right. It’s entirely up to you if you want to use a red or green chili, both are nice.
1 golden kiwi
1 large ripe avocado
1 chili (or to taste)
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp chopped coriander
1 tbsp chopped chives
1 tbsp chopped mint
seasalt & black pepper to taste
Deseed the chili and finely chop it. Peel the kiwi and the avocado and dice them into fairly small pieces. Gently toss everything together with the lime juice and season to taste with a little seasalt and black pepper. That’s it! It’s ready serve with grilled or pan-fried fish or tofu, or anything else that takes your fancy.