When it comes to Marmite, I am a certified ‘lover’! I’m pretty sure I’ve loved it from birth as I can’t remember a time when I didn’t enjoy this salty spread. I once even took a jar on holiday with me as I was worried it wouldn’t be available abroad! With the nights drawing in and the air getting distinctly colder I’m craving hot, carb heavy food this month. These cheese, marmite & potato pasties certainly fit the bill. They are packed with comforting potato, sweet onion, tasty cheese and of course salty Marmite. All wrapped together in a crispy pastry shell! I’ve used homemade pastry, which is easy and quick to make, but of course you can use shop bought to save time. (And if you happen to be a ‘hater’ then you can leave out the Marmite too…!)
To make the pastry I rubbed the butter into the flour, then added the eggs and mixed it together until a dough formed. I wrapped it in cling film and chilled it for 30 minutes.
To make the filling I chopped up the onion and fried it for 5 minutes in a pan with some oil until it was soft. I diced up the potato into cubes no bigger than 1cm, then added them to the onion.
I poured in the grated cheese and the Marmite, and mixed everything together until the cheese and Marmite coated the vegetables. Then I took the mixture off the heat and left it to cool.
Using a rolling pin, I rolled out the pastry onto a mat dusted with flour, and I used an 8″ side plate to cut out rounds.
I spooned a generous amount of filling onto half of the circle, brushed the edge with beaten egg, then folded it over and crimped the edges with a fork. Using a silicone pastry brush, I brushed beaten egg all over the whole pasty, and cut two slits in the middle with a sharp knife.
I baked them on 180C Fan/200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 25 minutes until the pastry was golden all over.
Wow, I absolutely loved these cheese, marmite & potato pasties, I have to admit, I ate more than my fair share! I just can’t resist cracking through the crispy golden pastry to get to that savoury filling. Personally, I would add more Marmite, so if you like it strong like I do, whack a bit more in there!
If you liked these cheese, marmite & potato pasties, try some of my other yummy Marmite recipes!
I’m a huge fan of an easy and tasty meal that can be rustled up quickly after a long day at work. This butternut squash, leek and stilton tart is a healthy and delicious option for a weeknight meal. I’ve used ready made pastry and frozen pre-prepared butternut squash to make this tart even more simple to put together. You can also be safe in the knowledge that you’re feeding your family a nutritious meal. Both leeks and butternut squash are great sources of vitamins and minerals. I like to serve this savoury tart with salad and potato wedges, but there are lots of other options too such as extra veggies or sweet potato fries. It’s a great way to use up leftover stilton! If you’re not a stilton fan you can use regular mature cheddar, or any cheese that melts well.
I started by chopping the onion, garlic and leeks, I added them into a pan with the warmed oil and butter inside. I cooked them on a low heat until they were soft, then set them aside.
I used pre-chopped frozen butternut squash, but you can also use fresh. I mixed the cubes of squash with a drizzle of vegetable oil and 1 tsp sage in a bowl.
I’d left the pastry at room temperature so I rolled it out onto a baking tray. I covered it with the leek mixture, leaving a 1-2cm border all around the edges.
Then I added the butternut squash, and crumbled the stilton all over. I brushed the milk around the edges.
I baked the tart for 25 minutes until it was golden and bubbling.
It looked so attractive with the orange hue of the squash scattered all over the tart, and the cheese lusciously melted into the leeks. I do love a good bit of crispy pastry too, the golden edges on the tart are calling my name! It’s positively packed with flavour, from the strong cheese and the earthy sage, to the delicate leeks and sweet squash.
You can store the butternut squash, leek and stilton tart in the fridge and re-heat it the next day so it can cover multiple meals. That is, as long as your family aren’t demanding seconds like mine were!
Since I stopped eating meat I’ve become a huge fan of Quorn, it’s so versatile and really delicious. I’ve made these vegetarian friendly pies three times now, and I can’t get enough! The pastry is so simple to make, with no blind baking needed, and bakes to a gorgeously golden and crispy finish. The filling is creamy and indulgent, and full of flavour from the herbs. They can be served hot or cold, I’ve enjoyed them hot with mash and gravy and I’ve also served them cold at parties where they haven’t lasted long!
To make the pastry I rubbed together the plain flour and butter with my fingers until it looked like breadcrumbs.
I added the eggs and formed it into a dough and wrapped it in cling film, I put it in the fridge to chill for 1 hour
To make the filling I heated up 1 tsp vegetable oil in a pan and fried the leek until it had softened. I added the Quorn chicken pieces, and let them cook for a 2-3 minutes. Then I poured in the double cream, dried thyme, dried rosemary and salt. I mixed it together and let it cook for 5 minutes. Then I took it off the heat, transferred it to a bowl and let it cool down fully.
I rolled the pastry out onto a floured surface and cut out the pie bases using a 10cm round cutter.
Then I re-rolled the dough out and cut out the pid lids using a 7.5cm round cutter. I also used a round fondant plunger to cut out little circles in the middle.
To make sure the pies didn’t stick, I greased a muffin tin and lined each hole with strips of baking paper, and I filled it with the pastry bases.
Then I filled each base with the filling, then brushed some beaten egg around the edge and stuck the lids on. I brushed more beaten egg over the tops.
I baked them for 25 minutes until they were golden and bubbling. I removed them from the tray and let them cool as I served them cold.
I got 14 pies out of this batch, although there was some filling leftover. It’s always a bit hit and miss with pastry as it depends how thin you roll it, but you’ll get at least 12 mini pies out of this recipe. You could push it to 16 if you roll the pastry out thin enough every time and use every last bit. If you have any leftover filling, it will keep in the fridge for a couple of days and it’s yummy with rice and green veg!
They have quite a rustic appearance but I think pies like this should! Their golden colour and tempting filling oozing out of the centre make me want to eat them all up! The Quorn chicken pieces make these pies really hearty and filling, I honestly don’t think you could tell the difference between them and real chicken! I’ve served these to many meat eaters and had fantastic feedback!
Pre-heat your oven to 220C/200C Fan/425F/Gas Mark 7, grease a muffin tin with butter and strips of baking paper
To make the pastry, in a large bowl rub together the plain flour and butter with your fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs
Add the eggs and form it into a dough, be careful not to knead it or over work it, then wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge to chill for 1 hour
To make the filling heated up the vegetable oil in a pan on a low-medium heat, fry the leeks until soft
Add the Quorn chicken pieces, and let them cook for a 2-3 minutes
Pour in the double cream, dried thyme, dried rosemary and salt, mix it together and let it cook for 5 minutes
Take the mixture off the heat, transfer it to a bowl and let it cool down fully
Roll the pastry out onto a floured surface to a thickness of around 3mm, and cut out the pie bases using a 10cm round cutter. Cut out 12 to start with, then more if you have any remaining pastry after cutting out the lids
Re-rolled the dough out and cut out the pid lids using a 7.5cm round cutter. Use a round fondant plunger, or a round piping nozzle, or a knife to cut out little circles in the middle
Place the pastry bases into the muffin tray, use your fingers to press them against the bottom and sides
Fill one with the filling, then brush the beaten egg around the edge and stick the lids on, pressing them around the sides to seal the edges. Brush more beaten egg over the tops
Bake them for 20-25 minutes until they are golden and bubbling. Remove them from the tray and either serve immediately or let them cool and serve them cold (refridgerate once cool)
This yummy tart pairs together fresh mint with creamy cheesecake and sweet juicy peaches. It is the perfect summer dessert and it would be a fabulous make ahead option for a dinner party or BBQ. It’s so easy to make as well with ready made pastry and pre-prepared peaches, there’s hardly any work required! And all the better so you can get to the best bit – eating it!
I used a sheet of ready made puff pastry for the base, I went for Jus Roll Light as I’ve used it many times before. Once it had come to room temperature I rolled it out onto a baking tray.
I drained the sliced peaches and put them on some kitchen towel. I also put more kitchen towel over the top and pressed out any excess moisture.
For the cheesecake topping I whisked together 150g full fat cream cheese and 50g caster sugar until smooth. Then I added 1 egg and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and whisked again until smooth.
I spread the cheesecake mixture out onto the pastry using a palette knife.
Then I added the peach slices in a neat design, and I glazed the edges of the pastry with some beaten egg.
I baked it on 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 25 minutes, then left it to cool completely before sprinkling 6 chopped up mint leaves all over.
I could’ve eaten this whole thing myself it was so delicious… And I nearly did!
The only struggle you might face with making this tart is sharing it!
After all of the shock news last week, we’ve had a further blow this week in the news that Mary Berry will not be following the show when it moves to Channel 4. Paul Hollywood confirmed that he would be staying with the show, making him the only one to remain. There was a foreshadowing of the future moment this week when Sue made a joke at Tom’s bench and then walked off saying “I’m leaving the tent”… oh Sue, if only you’d known!
The signature challenge this week was to make two different types of Danish breakfast pastries. Mary wanted the bakers to produce a crisp buttery pastry and Paul said this challenge was all about time management. They all used enriched doughs and all of the bakers except Jane made one dough that they split in two. Jane made Pain Au Raisin with a orange and cardamom dough and Raspberry, Chocolate & Almond Danish with a cinnamon dough. Candice was the only baker to brave a savoury pastry with her Croque Monsieur Kites featuring mushrooms, gruyere and pancetta.
Selasi’s pastries were very tropical themed and featured pineapple, orange and mango. Val was being her usual unqiue self and had brought dental floss with her to cut her pastry with. I hope it wasn’t mint flavoured! Benjamina went all American with her flavours and made peanut butter and banana pinwheels, and pecan swirl with maple syrup and candied bacon. Everyone struggled towards the end with timing, and Rav even forgot to bake one of his pastries.
Tom didn’t fare so well during judging as one of his pastries was dry and the other was so raw the judges wouldn’t even taste it. Val, Selasi and Benjamina all had problems with their pastry being undercooked too. The judges like the flavour of both Rav and Andrew’s fillings. Jane got a great result with her pain au raisins, and Candice’s savoury pastries went down very well.
This week’s technical was to make a Bakewell Tart, I love how they are bringing all the technical’s back to basics this year. There was a bit of internet uproar over the tart in question due to the icing covering the top, however this was Mary’s version of a Bakewell Tart. The judges expected all of the bakers to know what a Bakewell Tart looked like and to know all of the techniques involved in making one.
The recipe instructions were very minimal, and Selasi suggested that the more ‘aged’ bakers would know what they were doing. Val got stuck in straight away, as did Jane. However, Val was only using the second sheet of the instructions and she only saw the first sheet after 20 minutes of time had gone by. She’d guessed all of the recipe quantities. To be honest I’m not sure how she did this as the instructions started from number 5 on the second sheet which would surely have been the biggest clue. Even when she did find out, she still continued to ignore the instructions and made a series of bad decisions, despite the fact she makes a Bakewell Tart every week at home. Rav came last as his pastry collapsed, Val came 7th, Andrew was 6th as his oven wasn’t turned on for the first 15 minutes, Benjamina 5th, Tom 4th, Selasi 3rd, Candice 2nd and Jane was 1st.
The showstopper this week was to make 48 filo pastry amuse bouches (aka canapes), one savoury and one sweet. Filo pastry is quite a nightmare to make from scratch, I’ve done it myself once before when I made a Fruit Strudel. Mary advised that the pastry should be wafer thin and Paul wanted the canapes to be bite size.
Val went with a Christmas theme and used mincemeat in her filo parcels. Jane was quite brave I thought by using cone shaped moulds to wrap her filo around, they looked like such a faff and kept falling over. Tom was very ambitious by mixing chocolate with chilli and steak – yes you read that right! He is taking things too far in my opinion, there’s experimental and then there’s just plain risky. Selasi was using coffee to flavour his sweet filo, and he said that simplicity was a good thing. Benjamina was influced by her Nigerian roots to add plantain to her showstopper.
Then the stretching began! The bakers used broom handles, rolling pins and even pasta makers to roll out their filo until it was as thin as possible. Rav and Selasi both finished before the time was up, whereas Jane and Val were rushing to complete the challenge. Benjamin, Andrew, Selasi all did well. Paul didn’t like the flavour of Tom’s filo fillings and said he was ‘disappointed’. Even though the judges thought Jane’s amuse bouches were too big, they loved her flavours. Val was only able to present 12 of her savoury filos, and the 12 were underdone. The pastry for her sweet filo was far too thick. Candice and Rav both also got great results.
Val left this week, and although I’d found her quite irritating (I think she has a bit of a Marmite personality where you either love or hate her), I did feel sorry for her as she seemed very upset. The winner of star baker was Candice, however Jane came very close. Next week is a new theme – Botanicals week!
I decided to make a Bakewell Tart this week as I’ve never actually made one. I wanted to make the more traditional looking tart with flaked almonds on top and a drizzle of icing. As pretty as Mary’s version looked, it’s a bit too much icing than I prefer on my Bakewell.
I started by making the pastry. I rubbed 100g butter into 230g plain flour until it resembled breadcrumbs.
I added 3 tbsp cold water and formed a dough.
I rolled out my pastry on my Joseph Joseph Roll Up Non-Slip Silicone Pastry Mat which I am loving using, it’s definitely my favourite product from their new baking range which they kindly sent me a few weeks ago. I’ve already used it three times!
I lined a 9 inch tart tin with the pastry, leaving an overhang. I used a fork to prick the bottom of the pastry. Then I chilled it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
I scrunched up some baking paper and lined the pastry, then added baking beans. I baked it on 200C/180C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes.
To make the frangipane I creamed together 160g butter and 160g caster sugar. Then I added 1 large free range egg, 1 tsp almond extract and 160g ground almonds.
I took the pastry out of the oven and removed the baking beans and paper. I trimmed the edges for a neater finish.
I baked the pastry again for 10 minutes on the same temperature.
I spread a layer of seedless rapsberry jam on the bottom of the pastry case. I used approximately a third of a jar.
I piped the frangipane over the top to avoid it mixing with the jam, then I smoothed it out on top. I sprinkled over some flaked almonds.
I baked the tart on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 45 minutes
I can understand why Mary and Paul chose this as a technical challenge as it really fits with their theme of going back to basics. Any baker who bakes regularly will be able to knock one of these together easily and without too much fuss. It really is all about basic skills. When it was fully cool, I finished the tart with a drizzle of 60g icing sugar mixed with enough water to get a thick, but pipable paste.
You really can’t beat a Bakewell Tart and this was devoured within an hour by my colleagues! It was full of almond and jammy goodness, and the pastry was lovely and crisp.
I think of myself as quite knowledgeable when it comes to food so when I haven’t heard of something it really intrigues me. I’d never heard of bilberries before, so I really wanted to try them. The bilberries were kindly given to me by Angela from Only Crumbs Remain. She picked them herself and if you are a bilberry fan or are interested in baking with them you will find lots of bilberry recipes on her blog! They are a foraged berry and come from the same family as blueberries and blackberries. I’ve never seen them in the shops before, so do let me know if you’ve ever seen them sold anywhere. Otherwise look out for them on your next country walk! I decided to pair them with nectarines in this tart as the bright orange colour is a great match to the dark blue bilberries, and they also taste delicious!
I started by making the creme patisserie custard filling as it takes several hours to cool. I started by heating 500ml whole milk with the seeds from a vanilla pod until it reached boiling point. I then took it off the heat and poured it into a jug.
In my food mixer I whisked up 6 egg yolks with 140g caster sugar until pale and thick. I added 45g cornflour and mixed it in, then I poured the warm milk in with the mixer still going.
I poured the mixture back into the pan and heated it up whilst continously stirring. When it started to thicken, I started whisking it to keep it smooth and stop any lumps.
I put it in a bowl, and covered it with cling film. I made sure the cling film was touching the
creme patisserie so that a skin doesn’t form on it. I left it in the fridge overnight to cool.
To make the pastry I rubbed 170g butter into 350g plain flour until it resembled breadcrumbs.
I added 2 eggs and mixed to form a dough. I wrapped it in cling film and chilled it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
To roll out the pastry I decided to try out an item from the new Joseph Joseph baking range, which were kindly sent to me recently. If you haven’t heard of Joseph Joseph before, they are a family business
ran by twin brothers. Their focus is on the whole user experience of their products, they combine design, function and quality materials to make their range.
I tried out their Roll Up Non-Slip Silicone Pastry Mat. The mat features a handy rolling size guide printed in circular shapes, as well as sizes along the sides. It also has an integrated strap so you can roll it up, fasten it and store it easily.
I rolled out the pastry and the size guides on the mat were really helpful – I don’t know why I haven’t bought one of these already as I do make pastry quite often!
I lined my 23cm tart tin with the pastry and pricked it all over with a fork.
I lined the pastry with baking paper then poured in baking beans, I blind baked it on 180C/106C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes.
I then removed the baking beans and baked it again for 10-15 minutes until the bottom was fully cooked and it was golden brown all over.
When the tart case was fully cool I filled it with the creme patisserie and smoothed it out.
I sliced up 5 nectarines and arranged them in circles on top, and I placed the billberries in the gaps. The bilberries freeze really well and I still have more to use.
To glaze the tart and keep the fruit fresh whilst also creating a lovely shiny appearance, I warmed up 5 tbsp apricot jam in a pan. I then sieved it to remove any lumps, and used a pastry brush to generously brush it all over the tart.
And the tart was ready! It’s best to eat this straight away, although it will last a few days if kept in the fridge.
It was a bit messy when cut but the sweet creamy custard and delicious fresh fruit soon distract you from the appearance. It was my first taste of bilberries and I have to say they go very well with custard. The pastry was also perfectly crisp which is just what you need for a tart like this as it holds the wet filling in place without any leaks, not a soggy bottom in sight!
Start by making the creme patisserie custard filling. Heat the whole milk with the seeds from a vanilla pod in a pan until it reaches boiling point. Then take it off the heat and pour it into a jug
Using an electric mixer whisk up the egg yolks with the caster sugar until pale and thick. Add the cornflour and mix it in, then pour the warm milk in with the mixer still going
Pour the mixture back into the pan and heat it at a medium-high heat whilst continously stirring. When it starts to thicken, whisk it to keep it smooth and stop any lumps
Sieve it required to remove any lumps, then put it in a bowl and covered it with cling film. Make sure the cling film is touching the creme patisserie so that a skin doesn't form on it. Leave it in the fridge overnight to cool
To make the pastry rub the butter into the plain flour until it resembles breadcrumbs
Add the eggs and mix to form a dough. Wrap it in cling film and chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes
Roll out the pastry and line a 23cm tart tin. Prick it all over with a fork
Line the pastry with baking paper then pour in baking beans (or dry rice if you don't have them) bake it on 180C/106C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes
Remove the baking beans and baked it again for 10-15 minutes until the bottom is fully cooked and it is golden brown all over
When the tart case is fully cool fill it with the creme patisserie and smooth it out
Slice up the nectarines and arranged them in circles on top, then place the billberries in the gaps
To glaze the tart, warm up the apricot jam in a pan. Sieve it to remove any lumps, and use a pastry brush to generously brush it all over the tart
I mentioned in my last post, where I made a Chocolate Fudge Cake, that there are a lot of ‘classic’ bakes that somehow I have managed not to make over the years. I’m not sure how I have avoided such tasty treats, but I’ve decided that needs to change! Next on my list was this gorgeous lemon meringue pie. I also got a chance to make italian style meringue, which was another first for me. I turned once again to What to Bake & How to Bake It by Jane Hornby – which really is a superb baking book – for the lemon filling. The pastry is a recipe I have used for years and I’m not sure where it originated from. The meringue recipe was an internet find, but is a fairly standard recipe that seems to be repeated in quite a few places so again I’m not sure who deserves the credit!
I started with the pastry and rubbed 170g butter into 350g plain flour.
I added 2 eggs and brought the mixture together into a dough. I wrapped it in cling film and chilled it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
I took it out of the fridge and rolled it out onto some cling film. This stops it from sticking to the work surface and makes it easy to pick up.
I lined my tin, trimmed the edges and pricked the bottom all over with a fork.
I covered the pastry with foil, you can also use baking paper, and filled it with baking beans.
I baked the pastry on 200C (180C Fan)/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 20 minutes.
I removed the baking beans and foil, turned the oven down to 180C (160C Fan)/350F/Gas Mark 4 and baked the pastry again for another 15 minutes.
To make the lemon filling I started by whisking up 4 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks (reserving the whites for the meringue).
In a pan I melted 175g butter, 200g caster sugar and 250ml lemon juice.
Once the butter and sugar were melted I poured the mixture slowly into the eggs, whisking as I poured.
I poured the mixture back into the pan and heated it on a medium heat for 5 minutes until it thickened up.
I poured the lemon mixture into the pastry case.
I baked it again on 180C (160C Fan)/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 5 minutes. I left it to cool completely.
To make the italian meringue topping I started with the sugar syrup. I put 225g caster sugar and 125ml water in a pan and let it come to the boil with the lid on. If I noticed any sugar around the edges of the pan I brushed them away with a wet pastry brush.
In a stand mixer I whisked up the 4 egg whites reserved earlier with 1/2 tsp cream of tartar until they reached soft peak stage. Then I poured the sugar syrup into a jug, and keeping the mixer on, I poured the sugar syrup into the meringue. I was careful not to let the sugar syrup hit the side of the bowl.
I kept the food mixer running until the bowl felt cool, it had a wonderful fluffy texture and was white and shiny.
I dolloped the meringue on top of the pie using a spoon and flicked it around to give it texture.
I then got out my kitchen blowtorch and browned the meringue all over.
The lemon filling and the meringue were both melt in the mouth delicious, they perfectly matched each other with the meringue’s sweetness and the zingy tartness of the lemon. The pastry was crisp and buttery, the ideal vehicle for transporting that delicious filling into your mouth.
I had some great comments about the pie from my colleagues, including ‘amazing’ and ‘awesome’. I was very pleased it went down so well, this is a classic bake for a reason!
And into the No Waste Food Challenge hosted by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary, as this is a great recipe that uses up all of the egg whites and yolks, leaving nothing to waste. I also used some lemon juice I had frozen in the freezer for the filling.
To make the pastry rub the butter into the plain flour
Add the eggs and bring the mixture together into a dough. Wrap it in cling film and chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes
Roll the pastry out and line the tin with it, trim the edges and prick the bottom all over with a fork
Cover the pastry with foil and fill it with baking beans. Bake the pastry on 200C (180C Fan)/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 20 minutes
Remove the baking beans and foil, turn the oven down to 180C (160C Fan)/350F/Gas Mark 4 and bake the pastry again for another 15 minutes
To make the lemon filling whisk up the whole eggs and egg yolks
In a pan melt the butter, caster sugar and the lemon juice together
Once the butter and sugar are melted, pour the mixture slowly into the eggs, whisking as you pour
Pour the mixture back into the pan and heat it on a medium heat for 5 minutes until it thickens up, keep stirring it during this time
Pour the lemon mixture into the pastry case. Bake it again on 180C (160C Fan)/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 5 minutes. Leave it to cool completely
To make the Italian meringue put the caster sugar and the water in a pan and let it come to the boil with the lid on. If you notice any sugar around the edges of the pan, brush them away with a wet pastry brush. Use a candy thermometer to check the temperature and when it reaches 115C/240°F it's ready
In a stand mixer whisked up the egg whites with the cream of tartar until they reach soft peak stage. Pour the sugar syrup into a jug, and keeping the mixer on, pour the sugar syrup into the meringue. Be careful not to let the sugar syrup hit the side of the bowl
Keep the food mixer running until the bowl feels cool, then dollop the meringue on top of the pie using a spoon and flick it around to give it texture. Finally use a kitchen blowtorch to brown the meringue all over
Did you know that 75% of people eat pie once a month? You can’t beat a good pie, and I’m certainly a fan. Pastry is made with such basic ingredients, but when cooked it becomes so crispy and delicious. This week is British Pie Week and the only way to celebrate is to make yourself some pie! I chose this vegetarian Butternut Squash, Leek & Ricotta Lattice Pie option from the Jus Rol website, and they kindly supplied me with the pastry. It was a tough decision as their website is filled some seriously drool worthy pies, tarts, and other pastry goodness! There is a lot of debate over what makes a pie – is a pastry lid acceptable, or does it have to have a bottom and sides too? I personally think it needs to be encased in pastry! Let me know your thoughts!
I started by chopping up 2 small butternut squash into chunks and putting in a roasting tray with a good drizzle of oil. I cooked them on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes.
I then added 3 chopped leeks, a little more oil, and cooked for 20 minutes. Once done, I put them in a bowl and left them to cool down completely.
I used a 500g block of Jus Rol shortcrust pastry for this pie. I also picked up a couple of the ready rolled puff pastry sheets as I like to make quick and simple tarts with them – they make a very tasty weeknight dinner.
I rolled out 350g of the pastry on some cling film.
I placed the pastry in a pie tin, and trimmed the edges, leaving a little overhang. The recipe did not say to blind bake the pastry, so I didn’t, but I would personally recommend blinding baking it as I did have trouble with the dreaded ‘soggy bottom’! Blind bake it for 15 minutes with baking beans, then a further 10 minutes without at 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
To the cooled squash and leek I added 500g ricotta, 100g parmesan, 3 tsp dried sage and a pinch of nutmeg.
I filled the pastry base with the filling – I did have some leftover filling.
I rolled out the rest of the pastry and cut out strips. I made a lattice top by weaving them together.
I brushed all around the edge of the pastry with beaten egg, then put the lattice on top and trimmed the edges. I pressed the lattice down to the edge of the pie, then brushed more beaten egg all over the pastry top.
I baked it on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for about 35 minutes until it was golden brown. The pie was the perfect beginning to British Pie Week. Myself and my boyfriend really enjoyed the crisp buttery pastry, and the hearty filling. I’ll definitely make this pie again!
I’m linking this up to Food Year Link Up hosted by Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen, for British Pie Week.
And to Tea Time Treats hosted by Hedgecombers, as this pie would be a great picnic treat!
Chop up the butternut squash into chunks and put in a roasting tray, toss them in 1 tbsp of the oil. Cook them on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes
Then add the chopped leeks, and the rest of the oil to the tray, and cook for 20 minutes. Once done, put them in a bowl and leave them to cool down completely
Roll out 350g of the pastry on some cling film
Line the tin with the pastry and trim the edges, leaving a little overhang. Line with baking paper and add baking beans, bake for 15 minutes on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, then remove the paper and baking beans, and bake for a further 10 minutes
To the cooled squash and leek add the ricotta, parmesan, dried sage and nutmeg. Fill the pastry base with the filling
Roll out the rest of the pastry and cut out strips. Make a lattice top by weaving them together. Brush all around the edge of the pie with beaten egg, then put the lattice on top and trimm the edges. Press the lattice down to the edge of the pie, then brush more beaten egg all over the pastry
Bake the pie on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for about 35 minutes until it is golden brown
Ever since I saw Nancy Birtwhistle at the BBC Good Food Show I’ve wanted to try out her recipe for a Sage & Onion Tart. As luck would have it, Christmas left me with some onions that needed using up. It also left me with leeks and brie, so I decided to add those in too because yum! This is a great recipe because it’s easy to make, it’s low cost, a vegetarian friendly dish, and it makes a delicious lunch or dinner. I ate it cold with salad and sweet potato fries, but you could also serve it hot, either way you’re going to enjoy a tasty meal!
I recently got sent this quiche tin from Boswells & Co, who are a large department store in Oxford. The tin is the 20cm Masterclass Crusty Bake Quiche Tin, which has holes all over it to allow moisture to escape and ultimately aid you in avoiding the dreaded soggy bottom! It’s also non stick and comes with a 20 year guarantee, so they must be pretty confident about it’s long lasting ability.
I started by making the pastry. I didn’t follow Nancy’s recipe as I have my own pastry recipe that always works for me. I rubbed 85g butter into 175g plain flour, then added 1 egg.
I combined the mixture until it came together into a dough. I wrapped it in cling film and chilled it in the fridge while I got on with preparing the filling.
I made less filling than Nancy too as the Masterclass tin is 20cm and Nancy’s recipe was for a 22cm tin. I cooked a 525g mixture of leek and onion (use whatever you have, I had 2 onions and 1 leek) in a pan on a medium heat along with 2 tbsp of butter, 1/4 tsp allspice and a pinch of salt. Once the onions and leeks were soft I took them off the heat to cool slightly.
In a bowl I whisked up 3 eggs, 1 tbsp parmesan and 95ml single cream.
In a food processor I whizzed up the cooked onions and leeks along with 100ml single cream.
I added the onion mixture to the egg mixture, and then added 1 tbsp freshly chopped sage leaves.
I set the filling aside while I rolled out the pastry between two sheets of cling film. This stops your pastry from drying out, and saves on cleaning up all that flour from the work surface!
I lined the tin and trimmed the edges.
I baked the pastry case for 10 minutes on 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 with baking beans. Nancy had a great tip about screwing the baking paper into a ball then flattening it out first, as it’s easier to line the tin with it once it’s been wrinkled.
I removed the baking paper and beans and baked the pastry case again for 7 minutes at the same temperature.
I filled the pastry case with the filling, then arranged slices of brie on top and sprinkled with some more fresh sage. I baked this on 180C350F/Gas Mark 4 for 35 minutes until golden brown.
The quiche came out of the tin extremely easily, and the pastry had a lovely golden colour.
The quiche was very tasty, with a milder onion flavour than I expected, but I was pleasantly surprised. The melted brie on top was my favourite bit, and the crisp pastry came a close second! This is a very economical recipe due to the cheap ingredients used, and this quiche would feed 4 people. If you’re not a brie fan you could top it with cheddar, or some parmesan.
The final is finally here! And what a tense one it was… We started by looking back over the past 10 weeks – which have gone so fast!! – and all the amazing bakes the three finalists have produced as well as their various ups and downs along the way. In total they have completed 27 baking challenges! The bakers started with a signature challenge of iced buns. Mary and Paul requested 16 iced and filled buns, and they wanted two different flavours. Paul was looking for everything to be the best the bakers could make. Mary had no idea who was going to win, but she knew she wanted to see perfect iced buns that tasted delicious!
Tamal made citrus marmalade & caramel creme pat and apple & whipped cream buns. He did royal icing for the tops and didn’t flavour his icing or his dough, which raised eyebrows from the judges. His caramel creme pat did not set, so it didn’t make it into his buns. Paul brought up Tamal’s issues with timing and Mary pointed out that his icing wasn’t great. They enjoyed the texture of his buns and absolutely loved his citrus marmalade. A real friendship has blossomed between Tamal and Nadiya which was nice to see as I’ve not noticed as many close bonds from the bakers this series.
Ian made two different doughs for two different flavoured buns, the first was elderflower & lemon, and the second were spiced buns with an apple and cranberry jam. He knew he’d done something wrong to his spiced buns, and Paul Hollywood confirmed that Ian had left sugar out of the dough. His icing was also quite messy. Luckily the judges both loved his elderflower and lemon buns
Nadiya made cardamom buns with almond creme pat and nutmeg buns with a sour cherry filling. There was some contention over whether the buns should touch or not and
be a ‘batch bake’. Tamal and Ian’s touched, but Nadiya’s didn’t. Nadiya also made round buns. Although she strayed from tradition, Mary loved her neat icing and original approach. Paul also ended up being a huge fan after tasting them!
The final technical challenge was to make Raspberry Mille Feuille. This is three layers of crispy ruff puff pastry filled with raspberries, jam and chantilly cream, and topped with fondant icing. Paul and Mary chose this challenge to test the bakers as they have all had issues with pastry challenges in the past – and Nadiya figured out that it was personally designed for them!
Of course a lot of instructions were left out of the recipe. The bakers had to make a sugar syrup, but had no idea what part of the recipe it was for. Tamal had problems with his pastry, and Nadiya couldn’t figure out how to arrange the mille feuille. Tamal came last as his pastry wasn’t quite right, Ian was second as his pastry wasn’t quite cooked. And Nadiya won! Her pastry was excellent and her presentation was very neat.
For the final showstopper the bakerswere asked to make a single flavoured, but multi tiered, classic British cake. The judges wanted perfect flavours, consistency throughout the tiers and a stunning appearance to make them say ‘wow!’ Tamal made a sticky toffe pudding fruit cake, which was topped with a date and toffee sauce and he decorated it beautifully with spun sugar. He was concerned about the humidty affecting his caramel as it was raining at the start of the challenge, thankfully the rain stopped. Mary thought it looked spectacular and breathtaking. They were impressed with his spun sugar technique, thought his cake was totally different and very delicious.
Nadiya chose to make a lemon drizzle cake. She explained that she did not have a cake at her wedding, so this was going to be her wedding cake. She filled them with lemon curd and lemon buttercream, and she made her own fondant out of marshmallow. The judges thought it looked elegant and beautiful, that it was evenly baked and had a consistent texture throughout. Overall they called it ‘stunning’.
Ian decided to make five tiers of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. He also made his own stand to display his cakes on. The judges thought it had a very contemporary apperance, and the texture of all five cakes was very consistent. Paul called it one of the best carrot cakes he’d ever had! What a close showstopper this was, every baker got excellent feedback from the judges. I don’t think this has ever happened before!
And the winner is… Nadiya! She certainly deserved it as she did the best in the first two challenges, and the showstopper was such a close one. Suffice to say, she was in complete shock! Paul talked about her passion for baking and her flair for flavours. Mary was so proud of Nadiya and her journey, and even got a bit emotional in front of camera – I don’t think that has ever happened before either! I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to see what Nadiya, Tamal, Ian and all the other bakers this year do next.
So The Great British Bake Off is over for another year, it always flies by so fast. I did decided to make the technical challenge from the final episode for a couple of reasons. One of them being my boyfriend requested it, and the second being that I thought it looked really delicious and pretty. I followed the same Paul Hollywood recipe that the bakers used.
I started by kneading 500g white fondant until it was soft and pliable. I used icing sugar to dust the work surface.
I rolled out the fondant using icing sugar to make sure it didn’t stick to the surface or the rolling pin. I needed to cut out a square measuring 12″ x 9″ so I made sure it was bigger than that.
I decided to use Renshaw Decor-pan, which is coloured marzipan, as it was the perfect pink shade for the recipe.
I rolled out the marzipan, again using icing sugar to stop it from sticking to the surface and rolling pin, I used a knife to cut 1cm wide stripes.
I laid the stripes of marzipan out onto the white fondant. The recipe photo had the stripes straight, but I liked Ian’s diagonal ones on the show so I did the same.
I then rolled over the stripes to infuse them with the fondant.
I cut out 6 squares, measuring 6″ x 3″. It doesn’t matter if they are a little larger as you can trim them.
For the pastry I used 3 sheets of Jus Roll Puff Pastry. I rolled it out onto a baking tray.
I covered the pastry with another piece of baking paper, then a cooling rack over the top. This keeps the pastry from rising too much and keeps it even.
I baked the pastry on 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 15 minutes. I flipped it upside down and baked it again, this time without the cooling rack on top, for 10 minutes.
I let the pastry cool enough to handle, then cut it into 6 pieces measuring 6″ x 3″. I did this again twice more with the other two sheets of pastry until I had 18 pieces of pastry in total.
I coated 12 pieces of the pastry with lemon curd. The recipe said to use raspberry jam, but I didn’t have any and I preferred using lemon curd instead.
I made a sugar syrup using 25g caster sugar and 50ml water. I brought it to the boil in a pan and let it bubble for 1 minute. I then took it off the heat and let it cool down.
I brushed the syrup onto the other six pieces of pastry and stuck the squares of stripy icing over them.
I then made the chantilly cream by whipping up 600ml double cream, 50g icing sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract.
I piped the cream onto the lemon curd covered pastry and alternated it with fresh raspberries. These things used so many more raspberries than the recipe stated – I used 5 punnets!
I put the next layer on, did the same again with the cream and raspberries, and finally topped them with the stripy pastry.
The mille feuille looked so pretty! I absolutely loved the appearance of them with the stripy icing on top. They were absolutely massive though, one can easily be shared between two. Or they could also be made half the size. They were fairly tricky to eat too, but so delicious and worth all the pastry on your jumper and cream on your face!
I am entering the mille feuille into Baking Queen’s challenge Perfecting Patisserie, there is no specific theme this month.
Knead the white fondant until it is soft and pliable. Use icing sugar to dust the work surface
Roll out the fondant to a 12" x 9" rectangle
Roll out the pink fondant or marzipan to the same size and use a knife to cut 1cm wide strips
Lay the strips of pink fondant or marzipan over the white fondant. Then roll over the strips to infuse them with the white fondant
Cut out 6 squares of the stripy fondant, measuring 6" x 3". It doesn't matter if they are a little larger as you can trim them
Roll the puff pastry out onto baking trays. Cover the pastry with another piece of baking paper, then a cooling rack over the top. This keeps the pastry from rising too much and keeps it even
Bake the pastry on 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 15 minutes. Then flip it upside down and bake it again, this time without the cooling rack on top, for 10 minutes
Let the pastry cool enough to handle, then cut it into 6 pieces measuring 6" x 3". You will end up with 18 pieces of pastry in total
Coat 12 pieces of the pastry with the lemon curd
Make a sugar syrup by boiling the caster sugar and water in a pan for 1 minute. Then take it off the heat and let it cool down Brush the syrup onto the other 6 pieces of pastry and stick the squares of stripy icing over them. Trim them if needed
Make the Chantilly cream by whipping up the double cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract
Pipe the cream onto the lemon curd covered pastry and alternate blobs of cream with fresh raspberries
Put the next layer of pastry on, do the same again with the cream and raspberries, and finally topped them with the stripy pastry