Mini ‘Chicken’ & Leek Pies (Vegetarian)

Mini ‘Chicken’ & Leek Pies (Vegetarian)

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!

           

I’m linking this recipe up with Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too, Cook Blog Share hosted by Recipes Made Easy, and Cook Once Eat Twice by Searching For Spice.

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5 from 1 vote
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Mini Chicken & Leek Pies (Vegetarian)

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 2 Eggs
  • 350 g Plain flour
  • 170 g Butter

For the filling

  • 2 Leeks medium sized
  • 350 g Quorn chicken style pieces
  • 250 ml Double cream
  • 1 tsp Vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp Dried thyme
  • 1 tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 1 tsp Salt

Other

  • 1 Egg beaten, for glazing
  • Butter for greasing

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 220C/200C Fan/425F/Gas Mark 7, grease a muffin tin with butter and strips of baking paper

  2. To make the pastry, in a large bowl rub together the plain flour and butter with your fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs

  3. 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

  4. To make the filling heated up the vegetable oil in a pan on a low-medium heat, fry the leeks until soft

  5. Add the Quorn chicken pieces, and let them cook for a 2-3 minutes

  6. Pour in the double cream, dried thyme, dried rosemary and salt, mix it together and let it cook for 5 minutes

  7. Take the mixture off the heat, transfer it to a bowl and let it cool down fully

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Place the pastry bases into the muffin tray, use your fingers to press them against the bottom and sides

  11. 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

  12. 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)

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Vegan Mini Key Lime Pies

Vegan Mini Key Lime Pies

I heard of vegan key lime pies a while ago and I have wanted to try them out for ages. I finally got around to it last week, I made these vegan mini key lime pies and I was so pleased with the results! I used pecans in the base because they make me think of American desserts, which the traditional key lime pie is. I added spinach and avocado to the filling to give it a green hue. And I wanted a creamy topping to compliment the zesty filling, so I used some whipped coconut milk. These mini key lime pies are 100% vegan and therefore dairy free, and they are also refined sugar free and gluten free.

To make the base I used my nutribullet to whizz up 150g almonds, 150g pecans and 160g dates.

I melted 90g coconut oil and mixed it into the nuts, then pressed the mixture into mini tart tins lined with cling film. I then put it in the fridge for 30 minutes to set.

 

To make the filling I again used my nutribullet to whizz up 200g cashews (that had been soaked overnight), 1 avocado, 6 tbsp maple syrup, the juice of 7 limes, 70g melted coconut oil and a handful of spinach. I was perfectly smooth and creamy.

I poured the filling into the tart cases, then put it back in the fridge for 1 hour to set.

vegan mini key lime pies

I again used my nutribullet to whizz up two tins of coconut milk (it had been in the fridge and I only used the solid white milk at the top of the tin) along with 2 tsp vanilla extract and 4 tbsp maple syrup. I piped it onto the vegan mini key lime pies in rosettes and sprinkled some lime zest in the middle.

These vegan mini key lime pies taste so good! The flavour is the perfect balance between zesty lime flavour and creamy sweetness. They would make a great dessert at a dinner party. I love eating vegan desserts as they always taste so sinful, but really they are full of goodness!

      

I’m linking these mini pies up with Treat Petite hosted by myself this month. Also linking up to Cook Blog Share hosted this month by Recipes Made Easy, and Free From Fridays hosted by Free From Farmhouse.

5 from 1 vote
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Vegan Mini Key Lime Pies


Servings 8
Author thebakingexplorer

Ingredients

  • 150 g Almonds
  • 150 g Pecans
  • 160 g Dates
  • 160 g Coconut Oil melted
  • 200 g Cashews soaked in water overnight
  • 1 Avocado
  • 10 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 7 Limes zested and juiced
  • 1 Handful Fresh spinach
  • 2 tins tins of Coconut milk stored in the fridge overnight

Instructions

  1. To make the base use a nutribullet or a food processor to whizz up the almonds, pecans and dates

  2. Mix in 90g of the melted coconut oil, then press the mixture into mini tart tins lined with cling film. Put them in the fridge for 30 minutes to set
  3. To make the filling use a nutribullet or a food processor to whizz up the cashews, avocado, 6 tbsp of the maple syrup, the juice of the limes, 70g of the melted coconut oil and the spinach until it was perfectly smooth and creamy
  4. Pour the filling into the tart cases, then put them back in the fridge for at least 1 hour to set
  5. Use a nutribullet or a food processor to whizz up the solid white coconut milk from the top of the tins along with the vanilla extract and 4 tbsp of the maple syrup. Pipe or spread it onto the mini pies, then sprinkle some lime zest in the middle
  6. Store in the fridge until serving
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Treat Petite May 2016 – Round Up

Treat Petite May 2016 – Round Up
I hope you’ve all been enjoying the weather recently, it certainly has been picnic weather! This
month’s Treat Petite theme was ‘Picnic Treats’ and we’ve had a fabulous selection of sweet and savoury treats that are all bound to make your picnic special. Do check out the blogs below if you like the look of their
recipes! Head on over to Cakeyboi for June’s theme which is now open.

Cinnamon Donuts – Baked Not Fried by Coffee & Vanilla, a healthier version of these tasty treats.

Asparagus Tarts with a Pesto Surprise by Tin & Thyme, they are made with wholemeal pastry and goose eggs.

Nutella Stuffed Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes by Kerry Cooks, a decadent diet-breaking treat!

Chocolate & Vanilla Cupcakes by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary, she made these for her husband after he collected her from a gin tasting session!

Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes by Caroline Makes…, each cupcake has a Ferrero Rocher baked inside it as well as one on top!

Mexican Cheese Twists by Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen, they are made with Old El Paso sauce and look perfect for dipping!

Amazing Jaffa Cake Cupcakes by Caroline Makes…, improving cupcakes once again Caroline adds a jaffa cake both inside and on top of these stunning treats!

Mini Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Pies by From Plate To Pen, Sarah loves picnics and says that these pies are delicious hot or cold.

Crunchie Rocky Road Bars by Maison Cupcake, are an easy bake recipe perfect for baking with kids, although I’m sure adults will equally enjoy them too!

Chocolate Oat & Banana Nut Muffins by Farmersgirl Kitchen, the muffins are packed with healthy ingredients like oats, coconut oil, bananas and nuts.

Cheese, Sundried Tomato & Pesto Scones by The Baking Explorer, aka me! I loved these savoury scones, they were incredibly moreish and full of flavour.

Ava’s Mint Choc-Chip Daisy Cupcakes by Only Crumbs Remain are beautifully decorated to represent pink daisies nestled in green grass.

Croque Madame Muffins with Asparagus by Only Crumbs Remain are great for picnics and packed lunches, I think they sound delicious!

Homity Pies by Green Gourmet Giraffe are a classic vegetarian recipe from the ’70s, and they have definitely stood the test of time.

Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Scones with Nutella Mascarpone Cream and Roasted Caramalised Hazelnut Crumbs (Gluten Free) by The Gluten Free Alchemist, excuse me while I drool for a moment! Kate made these as a comfort bake and I think they would lift anyone’s spirits.

Mini Frittatas by Searching For Spice are a healthy snack filled with mushrooms, asparagus and goats cheese.

Mini Victoria Sandwiches by Cakeyboi my Treat Petite co-host sent over a past bake from his blog that is perfect for picnics, tiny cake sandwiches! I could easily inhale a few of these!

Blackberry Mini Bundts by Baking Queen 74 are made with fresh blackberries picked from a local farm.

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Key Lime Pie with Coconut Oreo Crust

Key Lime Pie with Coconut Oreo Crust
I found some coconut oreos on my trip to Hong Kong (as well as some  strawberry ones that are long gone!) back in September and I just had to grab some to bake with. I’ve had this recipe idea for a Key Lime Pie with Coconut Oreo Crust in my head for ages but somehow haven’t got round to making it until now. Thankfully oreos have a long shelf life! I thought that a zesty lime filling would perfectly balance out the sweet coconut, plus the chocolate of an oreo biscuit.

These are the coconut delight oreos I purchased in Hong Kong. I think you can get these in other parts of Asia and probably the USA too, also check out Amazon as they do groceries.

In a food processor I whizzed up 180g of the coconut oreos with 20g  dessicated coconut. If you can’t get hold of coconut oreos, you can use regular oreos and add some extra dessicated coconut. Or add some coconut flavouring perhaps.

I melted 75g butter and mixed it with the oreo crumbs. I pressed it into a foil lined pie dish, covering the bottom and sides, making sure it is all compact. I put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

To make the lime filling I whisked together 3 egg yolks and the zest of 3 limes until the mixture
thickened.

I then added a 397g can of condensed milk, and
whisked again for 5 minutes.

Finally in went the juice of 5 limes, and I whisked until thoroughly combined and nice and frothy.

I poured the lime filling into the chilled oreo crust.

I baked the pie on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes. I let it cool in the tin, then removed it and placed on a serving tray once fully cool.

For the decoration I whipped up a 250ml pot of double cream.

I piped the cream on the pie, and added some extra lime zest for garnish. I served any leftover cream on the side with slices of the pie, and stored the leftovers in the fridge.

The pie was so tasty! Whipped cream is the ideal accompaniment to the sweet base and zesty filling. I’m so pleased I combined these two delicious things.

    

I’m linking up with the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Ilka’s Blog and Marathons & Motivations and to Cook Blog Share hosted by Hijacked By Twins.

 
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Key Lime Pie with Coconut Oreo Crust

Ingredients

  • 180 g Coconut Oreos
  • 20 g Desiccated coconut
  • 75 g Butter
  • 3 Egg yolks
  • 5 Limes
  • 397 g Condensed milk
  • 250 ml Double cream

Instructions

  1. In a food processor whizz up the coconut oreos with the dessicated coconut
  2. Melt the butter and mix it with the oreo crumbs. Press it into a foil lined pie dish, covering the bottom and sides, making sure it is all compact. Put it in the fridge for 30 minutes
  3. To make the lime filling whisk together the egg yolks and the zest of 3 of the limes until the mixture thickens
  4. Then add the can of condensed milk, and whisk again for 5 minutes
  5. Add the juice of all 5 limes, and whisk until thoroughly combined and nice and frothy
  6. Pour the lime filling into the chilled oreo crust. Bake on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes. Let it cool in the tin, then remove it and place on a serving tray once fully cool
  7. Whip up the double cream. Pipe the cream on the pie, and add some extra lime zest for garnish
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Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie
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!

I’m entering this into Perfecting Patisserie hosted by BakingQueen74.

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.

I’m entering this into the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Ilka’s Blog and Marathons & Motivations.

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Lemon Meringue Pie

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 170 g Butter
  • 350 g Plain flour
  • 2 Eggs

Filling

  • 250 ml Lemon juice
  • 200 g Caster sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 4 Egg yolks
  • 175 g Butter

Meringue

  • 225 g Caster sugar
  • 125 ml Water
  • 1/2 tsp Cream of tartar
  • 4 Egg whites

Instructions

  1. To make the pastry rub the butter into the plain flour
  2. 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
  3. Roll the pastry out and line the tin with it, trim the edges and prick the bottom all over with a fork
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. To make the lemon filling whisk up the whole eggs and egg yolks
  7. In a pan melt the butter, caster sugar and the lemon juice together
  8. Once the butter and sugar are melted, pour the mixture slowly into the eggs, whisking as you pour
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
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Butternut Squash, Leek & Ricotta Lattice Pie

Butternut Squash, Leek & Ricotta Lattice Pie
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!

Jump straight to the recipe!

I started by chopping up butternut squash into chunks and putting in a roasting tray with a good drizzle of oil. I roasted them for 15 minutes.

I then added chopped leeks, a little more oil, and cooked for 20 more 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. I blind baked it for 15 minutes with baking beans, then a further 10 minutes without.

To the cooled squash and leek I added ricotta, parmesan, dried sage and nutmeg.

I filled the pastry base with the 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. This Butternut Squash, Leek & Ricotta Lattice 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 Butternut Squash, Leek & Ricotta Lattice Pie again!

       

I’m linking this up to Food Year Link Up hosted by Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen, Tea Time Treats hosted by Hedgecombers, Meat Free Mondays hosted by Tinned Tomatoes, Cooking With Herbs, hosted by Lavendar & Lovage, and Cook Once Eat Twice hosted by Searching For Spice.

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Butternut Squash, Leek & Ricotta Lattice Pie

Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 2 Butternut squash small-medium sized
  • 3 Leeks
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 500 g Ricotta
  • 100 g Parmesan
  • 500 g Jus Rol shortcrust pastry
  • 3 tsp Dried sage
  • A pinch of Nutmeg
  • 1 Egg beaten

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C Fan/200C/375F/Gas Mark 5

  2. Peel the butternut squash and chop into chunks, toss them in 1 tbsp of the oil and place into a roasting tray or onto a baking tray. Roast them for 15 minutes

  3. Meanwhile, chop up the leeks and toss them in 1 tbsp oil. Remove the tray with the butternut squash from the oven and add the leeks to the tray. Roast for 20 more minutes

  4. Once done, put the roasted leek and squash in a bowl and leave them to cool down completely

  5. Pre-heat the oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4

  6. Roll out 350g of the pastry on some cling film or a floured surface
  7. Line the tin with the pastry and trim the edges, leaving a little overhang. Prick with a fork all over

  8. Line the pastry with baking paper and add baking beans or dried rice, bake for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and baking beans/rice, and bake for a further 10 minutes

  9. To the cooled squash and leek add the ricotta, parmesan, dried sage and nutmeg. Fill the pastry base with the filling
  10. 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 trim the edges. Press the lattice down to the edge of the pie, then brush more beaten egg all over the pastry

  11. Bake the pie for 35 minutes until it is golden brown all over and bubbling

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Raspberry & Limoncello Tart

Raspberry & Limoncello Tart
I am getting a lot of use of my new Tarte Maison tin! I decided to use it again after it’s first Spinach & Feta Tart outing to make this Valentine’s themed dessert. Valentine’s Day can be quite cheesey I admit, but I personally love it! Celebrating love and being romantic is lovely and I think ‘why not?!’ You can enjoy the day whether single or loved up in my opinion, we all have loved ones we can shower with affection. Over the years my friends have been kind enough to send me cards, flowers and baked goods. And I’ve done the same back. Now I have a wonderful boyfriend to focus my affection on, but I still like to surprise my friends with a fun card or Valentine’s treat. This tart would be great to share between friends or enjoy as dessert with a romantic meal.

I started by making the filling. In a bowl I mixed together 450g fresh raspberries, 200g sugar, 60g cornflour, 60ml limoncello and the zest of one lemon. I let it sit to infuse together while I made the pastry.

To make the pastry I used the same method and amounts from my Pumpkin Pie recipe. This is my favourite shortcrust pastry recipe, it does make a little too much but don’t worry I have a great idea for the leftovers later on.

I greased my tin and lined it with the pastry, cutting off any excess
and pricking the bottom with a fork. I then put baking paper in the
pastry and poured in some baking beans. I baked it on 180C/350F/Gas Mark
4 for 10-15 minutes until the pastry started to brown around the edges.

I took the paper and baking beans out and baked it again for 5-10 minutes until the bottom looked fully cooked.

I measured out the lid and cut heart shapes in it. Of course you can do the lid any way you like, lattice works well too.

I filled the pastry base with filling. Then put the pastry lid on top, which was a bit fiddly as the filling is very wet, but I got it on and sealed the edges with beaten egg, then brushed beaten egg all over the pastry lid.

I baked the tart on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20-25 minutes until it was golden brown. The lid did split from the sides at either end, which was partly my fault as I think I could’ve sealed it better, but I was still really pleased with the heart effect!

When cut, the filling was much more solid, almost like a jelly or jam. The filling was fruity, sweet and delicious. It’s great with custard and I think would also work well with ice cream! You could do mini versions too if you didn’t want to make a large tart.

I did have a little leftover pastry and filling, so I made these cute Heart Shaped Hand Pies. All you need to do is roll the pastry out and cut out heart shapes. Lay them on a lined baking tray, put a spoonful of filling in the middle and cover with another piece of pastry. Seal the edges with a fork and cut a slit or cross in the middle. Bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for about 20 minutes.

I am entering this recipe into this month’s Alphabakes hosted by Caroline Makes… and The More Than Occassional Baker, where the letter is ‘V’, and I made this tart for Valentine’s Day so I think it’s fitting!

I’m also entering into Cake Of The Week’s challenge Baking With Spirit as this recipe contains Limoncello, an Italian liquor. The theme this month is ‘Fun’ which I think this tart is!

 
 
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Raspberry & Limoncello Tart

Ingredients

  • 450 g Fresh raspberries
  • 200 g Caster sugar
  • 60 g Cornflour
  • 60 ml Limoncello
  • 1 Lemon
  • 170 g Butter
  • 350 g Plain flour
  • 2 Egg
  • 1 Beaten egg

Instructions

  1. Start by making the filling. In a bowl mix together the fresh raspberries, caster sugar, cornflour, limoncello and the zest of the lemon. Let it sit to infuse together while you make the pastry
  2. To make the pastry rub together the plain flour and butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the eggs until a dough forms. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes
  3. Grease the tin and line it with the pastry, cutting off any excess and pricking the bottom with a fork. Put baking paper in the pastry and pour in some baking beans. Bake it on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 10-15 minutes
  4. Take the paper and baking beans out and bake it again for 5-10 minutes
  5. Measure out the lid and cut heart shapes in it
  6. Fill the pastry base with filling. Then put the pastry lid on top, and seal the edges with the beaten egg, then brush the beaten egg all over the pastry lid
  7. Bake the tart on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown
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Chocolate Orange Custard Tart

Chocolate Orange Custard Tart

After last week’s Great British Bake Off episode I found it hard to choose just one thing to make as pies and tarts are so damn delicious. So as well as the savoury Leek, Cheese & Potato Pie I made at the weekend, I also decided to make a sweet custard tart. Orange is my partner’s favourite citrus fruit, and I’ve not made a chocolate shortcrust pastry before, so I thought they would go together perfectly. Apologies for the bad photography, it had gone dark by the time the tart was ready and there was no way I could protect it from consumption before I got some natural light!

To make the pastry I rubbed 125g butter into a mixture of 225g plain flour, 25g cocoa powder and 80g golden caster sugar.

I added one egg and formed it into a dough. I wrapped it in cling film and chilled it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

 
When the hour was up I rolled out the pastry onto some cling film. This makes it really easy to lift the pastry into the tin.

 

I used a 25cm tin, lined it with the pastry, smoothing it out around the bottom and side. I gently pricked the bottom with a fork.

I lined the pastry with foil and poured in some baking beans. I baked it on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 12 minutes.

I took it out of the oven, removed the beans and foil, and used a knife to trim the edges. Some of the pastry did break a little more than I would have liked. I returned it to the oven for 10 minutes.

To make the custard filling I started by whisking up 6 eggs. I added in 150g caster sugar, the juice of 3 large oranges and 50ml orange liquor.

Finally I whisked in 200ml double cream and the zest of the 3 oranges.

I put the pastry case in the oven and poured the custard into it. This ensures it doesn’t spill!

I baked it on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes. the custard puffs up a lot, but sinks back down as it cools.

I dusted with a little icing sugar before serving. The pastry baked really well, I may use this recipe again without the cocoa powder for regular shortcrust pastry. The custard tart had a great chocolate flavour which matched really well with the fruity custard filling. You can really taste the orange liquor and it is rather moreish! I was quite happy to have a couple of slices of this, as was everyone else!

Pastry recipe from Sweet Cook. Filling recipe adapted from Drink Society.

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Chocolate Orange Custard Tart

Ingredients

  • 125 g Butter
  • 225 g Plain flour
  • 25 g Cocoa powder
  • 80 g Golden caster sugar
  • 7 Eggs
  • 150 g Caster sugar
  • 3 Large oranges
  • 50 ml Orange liquor
  • 200 ml Double Cream

Instructions

  1. To make the pastry rub the butter into the plain flour, cocoa powder and golden caster sugar until it resembles bread crumbs.
  2. Add the egg and form into a dough.
  3. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Roll the pastry out to bigger than a 25cm tin onto some cling film.
  5. Use the cling film to lift the pastry into the tin.
  6. Smooth the pastry out in the tin and gently prick the bottom with a fork.
  7. Line the pastry with foil and pour in some baking beans.
  8. Bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 12 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and remove the foil and baking beans.
  10. Use a knife to trim the edges of the pastry and neaten it up.
  11. Return to the oven for 10 minutes.
  12. To make the custard filling whisk up the remaining 6 eggs, add the caster sugar, the juice of the oranges and the orange liquor. Mix well.
  13. Then whisk in the double cream and the orange zest.
  14. Put the pastry case on the oven shelf first, then pour the filling in using a jug.
  15. Bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes
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Leek, Cheese & Potato Pie: GBBO Week #5

Leek, Cheese & Potato Pie: GBBO Week #5

After last week’s drama, Pie Week on The Great British Bake Off started with an announcement that Diana has left the series due to illness. I’m not sure how far in advance the series is filmed, but it’s certainly suspicious timing! Pastry and bread really do sort the casual cake bakers from the rest. Richard was star baker last week, his second time acheiving the title, but this week he easily could have gone as pastry clearly is not his forte!

Family sized custard tarts were the signature challenge this week, with a request not to throw them in the bin! Paul and Mary were after a crispy base, silky custard and no leaks. All of the bakers used fruit to flavour their tarts, either adding fruit puree to their custard, or using whole pieces of fruit in the tart.. And some flavoured their pastry too, like Nancy’s chocolate pastry and Martha’s pistachio pastry. Martha made a comment about how the older bakers have probably made more pastry and are more experienced using it. I agree with this as before ready made pastry came out, students were taught how to make it in school. Whereas nowadays, the younger generation can just go and buy it ready made, so it’s no longer a necessary skill.

Kate’s Rhubarb & Custard tart looked awesome, I loved that swirl on top. Luis’ Tropical Manchester tart was, as usual, perfection. Can the guy do anything wrong?! Norman’s ‘light’ dusting of icing sugar on his Tarte Au Citron was beyond hilarious, but I did feel bad for him after Paul’s comments. You could tell he was really proud of himself,

Mini pear pies were the technical challenge this week. Pears wrapped in pastry… does this count as a pie? It all looked a bit complicated as you have to poach the pears first, let them cool, then put the pastry on them when they are cool enough so that the pastry doesn’t melt and slip off, then bake them. The bakers started by making a ruff puff pastry.

 

Everyone struggled with getting the pear pies ready within the time limit. The pastry completely slipped off Richard’s pears, but bless him he had a good sense of humour about it! He came last, with Luis and Norman in sixth and fifth. Martha came first, with Chetna in second and Kate in third.

The showstopper request was a pretty epic one. A three (or more) tiered pie was requested. Basically like a pie wedding cake! They could do sweet or savoury pies and use any pastry they wanted. A good strong pastry to support all the tiers was recommend by Mary. Paul wanted the pie to be themed, for the flavours and fillings to have a reason to be paired together.

Hot water crust was a popular choice because it is so strong and sturdy. Meat, in particular pork, was also a common filling. Nancy was the only one who hand raised her pies without using a tin. Impressive stuff! Savoury flavours were definitely more popular with only a few sweet pies from Norman, Richard and Nancy.

Some of the bakers piled the pies on top of another, whereas others used pillars to separate the pies. Luis pie tower collapsed but managed to survive, showing just how sturdy hot water crust is! He did well in the judging as did Kate. Richard’s pies were a little burnt and the judges were not a fan of Norman’s lavender flavoured meringue. Norman called his pie tower the Pieful Tower – who doesn’t love a good pun!

Norman left us this week. I absolutely love him and will miss him in the tent each week. He came out withe the most hilarious one liners and his confidence was so charming. He is a very simple and traditional baker, and although fantastic at what he does, he wasn’t able to keep up with the more modern flavours and methods. Kate won the star baker title which I think was well deserved! Next week – European desserts.

Pies are just brilliant aren’t they? I love pastry and I’ve been trying over the last couple of years to have a go at making all the different kinds. I haven’t done hot water crust yet so I decided to try it for this week’s GBBO challenge. I made a vegetarian pie as my boyfriend is vegetarian and there was no way he didn’t want to be involved in enjoying the results of my baking! Leek, cheese and potato is a great pie filling as it’s delicious, hearty and easy to flavour to your own taste.

I started by weighing out 500g plain flour in a bowl.

Over a medium heat I melted together 90g butter, 100g Crisp n Dry, 200ml water and 1 tsp salt. I used Crisp n Dry because my boyfriend is a vegetarian and this is a vegetarian friendly recipe. You can of course replace this with lard.

As soon as the fat mixture came to a boil, I took it off the heat and poured it into the flour. I used a wooden spoon to combine the mixture until a dough formed. I’ve seen people use their hands to mix the dough, but frankly I find this a bit dangerous! I am pretty sensitive to heat, and a wooden spoon worked great, so there was no need to put my hands in. I covered the bowl with a clean tea towel and left it to cool down for an hour.

Once it was cool I lightly floured my work top and rolled it out into a rectangle. I then folded the dough into thirds, as above.

I rolled it out again and folded it again. Then put it in a dish, covered it with cling film and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

After the time was up I took it out and used two thirds of the dough to line the pin tin. I used a loose bottomed cake tin that was 21cm wide and 7.5cm deep, I brushed it with oil. I rolled the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, placed it in the tin and trimmed the edges. I covered it with cling film and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

While this was in the fridge I prepared the filling. I sliced 3 large potatoes thinly, and boiled them for about 5 minutes. I drained the potatoes and put them aside.

I sliced up 4 leeks and cooked them along with 4 cloves garlic, 1 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp oil for about 5 minutes. Then set them aside to cool for 15 minutes.

For the sauce I mixed up 300ml double cream, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 180g grated extra mature cheddar, 2 eggs and herbs and salt to taste. I used rosemary and parsley. You could add chives or pepper too.

I mixed the cooled leeks into the sauce.

I took the pie case out of the fridge and layered up the fillings, potato slices, then leek, potato, then leek, until it was full.

I rolled out the rest of the pastry to make the lid. I used a beaten egg to stick the lid around the edge to the base. I used my fingers to make a crimp pattern and cut two slits with a knife in the middle. I brushed beaten egg all over the top.

I had too much filling to fill the pie so I made this extra pie with a lid made from the leftover pastry. I’ve reduced the amount of filling in the recipe card below to make just the one large pie.

The bigger pie was an absolute beast and took an hour and a half on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 to bake. The smaller pie took around 45 minutes. if the pastry on top starts to catch, cover it with foil.

Now this pie was massive! I think it could serve 8 people easily. We ate the smaller pie for dinner one night with some vegetables and gravy. Then started on the bigger one the next day… for both lunch and dinner! It was very delicious and it got the thumbs up from my boyfriend. He said it was one of his favourite things I had made him recently. I was pleased with how the pastry turned out too and hot water crust was much easier than I thought.

I am linking up again to Supergolden Bakes GBBO Bake Along.

Pastry recipe slightly adapted from Gourmet Dough. Filling recipe slightly adapted from Pie by Dean Brettschneider.
 
 
 
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Leek, Cheese & Potato Pie

Ingredients

  • 500 g Plain flour
  • 90 g Butter
  • 100 g Crisp n Dry or Lard
  • 200 ml Water
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 Large Potatoes
  • 3 Leeks
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 3 Garlic cloves
  • 3 Eggs
  • 300 ml Double Cream
  • 150 g Grated Mature Cheddar
  • 1 tbsp Rosemary
  • 1 tbsp Parsley
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Weigh out the plain flour in a bowl.
  2. Over a medium heat, heat the butter, Crisp n Dry, water and salt. When it comes to a boil, take off the heat and pour into the flour.
  3. Use a wooden spoon to combine the mixture until a dough forms.
  4. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to cool for an hour.
  5. Lightly flour the work surface and roll out the dough into a rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds.
  6. Roll it out again and fold into thirds again.
  7. Put it in a dish, cover with cling film and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  8. Roll out two thirds of the dough to line a 21cm wide and 7.5cm deep pin tin. Brush the tin with oil. Place in the tin and trim the edges. Cover with cling film and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  9. Now prepare the filling.
  10. Slice the potatoes thinly, and boil them for about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  11. Slice the leeks and cook for 5 mins with the oil, garlic, butter and a sprinkle of salt. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  12. In a bowl mix the double cream, lemon juice, cheddar, 2 of the eggs and herbs.
  13. Mix the cooled leeks into the sauce.
  14. Take the pie case out of the fridge and layer up the fillings, potato slices, then leek, potato, then leek, until it's full.
  15. Roll out the rest of the pastry to make the lid. Beat the remaining egg and brush it around the edge to stick the lid to the base. Make a crimp pattern with your fingers and cut two slits with a knife in the middle. Brush beaten egg all over the top.
  16. Bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for an hour and a half. If the pastry on top starts to catch, cover it with foil.
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Mississippi Mud Pie

Mississippi Mud Pie

A Cream Charger, also known as a Cream Whipper or Cream Siphon, is a metal canister that you put liquid in, and pressurise it with gas (Nitrous Oxide) to create a foam. To put it more simply, it’s a create your own squirty cream can! Of course you can make a lot more than just whipped cream with the charger. You can use it to make a variety of things such as batters, fruit foams, mousses, espumas and sauces.

The pack I got from Cheeky Monkey Cream Chargers came with a 500ml capacity Cream Charger, 3 nozzles, several gas cartridges, natural food additive sachets – Agar Agar, Gelatin and Xanthan Gum. Most people know what gelatin is, and agar agar is a natural gelling agent which maintains the structure of warm mousses and espumas, and xanthan gum is a natural thickening agent that makes low fat mousses smoother.

One of the great things about Cream Chargers is that you can make low fat mousses and creams. When you whip cream normally, it is the fat in it that binds it together and makes it thick. If you add xanthan gum to a mixture of single cream and skimmed milk you can make a low fat whipped cream (recipe here). You can also make chocolate mousses with no cream or milk at all (recipe here). This allows for more intense flavours. You can also store the charger whipped mixtures inside the charger for longer without the structure of the mixture changing. A mousse or espuma may lose some of it’s airation if left in a covered bowl for example, but left in the charger it stays foamy and light. Plus it extends the shelf life, whipped cream will last for 10 days inside the charger if kept in the fridge.

Despite the ability of the charger to make delicious low fat concoctions, as it was my first go with it, I used it to top a very rich decadant desert in the form of Mississippi Mud Pie with charger whipped cream!

First off I lined a 23cm wide by 4cm deep pie tin with foil. This makes it super easy to remove the pie after cooking.

I started by making the biscuit base. I melted 75g butter in a pan and whizzed up 150g Chocolate filled Oreos and 150g Chocolate covered Oatie biscuits in a food processor until fine crumbs formed.

I added the melted butter into the biscuit crumbs and stirred well. Then I poured them into my lined tin and used the back of a spoon to smooth them around the base and sides to create my pie crust. I chilled the crust for 30 minutes in the fridge.

To make the filling I melted 135g dark chocolate and 135g butter in a glass bowl over boiling water. I let it cool for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile I whisked 3 eggs with 150g light brown sugar until frothy.

I added the chocolate mixture slowly, whisking as I went. I then added 25g cocoa powder and 150ml double cream and mixed in.

I slowly poured the filling into the chilled pie crust. I baked the pie on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 35 minutes.

My topping did crack and puff up quite a lot, but it does sink back down as the pie cool, and you are covering it with cream anyway so the cracks don’t matter! I left the pie to cool completely.

I poured 300ml cream into the Cream Charger. You can only fill the charger 3/4 full, so a maximum of 375ml liquid. This is because you need to leave room for the gas. I screwed on my chosen nozzle and screwed in a gas canister, you will hear a hissing noise when the gas canister gets pierced as you screw it on. I then shook the charger vigerously a few times and placed it in the fridge. I was still waiting for the pie to cool at this point so keeping it in the fridge kept the cream cold.

Before dispensing the cream I shook the charger again, then held it upside down to dispense the cream. I covered the pie with cream easily by squeezing the handle. My finesse definitely needs work! I then sprinkled on some grated dark chocolate. The pie was ready!

Wow this pie is yummy! The filling in the middle is melt in the mouth and lighter than you expect what with all the chocolatey goodness it’s made with. The cream on top is the perfect touch and making it with the Cream Charger was super easy and quick. It’s definitely a minimum effort tool. I was a little intimidated by it at first, but once I wrapped my head round how it worked and what it actually did, and of course tried it out, I felt completely at ease. I think this will add a really exciting element to my future bakes and I am looking forward to more daring experiements with it! Watch this space.

If you would like to find out more about Cream Chargers, or to purchase one, click here.

I am also linking this up to the new Cook, Blog, Share link party over at Supergolden Bakes!

NB. I was sent the Cream Charger free to review but was not required to write a positive review.

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Mississippi Mud Pie

Ingredients

  • 210 g Butter
  • 150 g Chocolate filled Oreos
  • 150 g Chocolate covered oat biscuits
  • 135 g Dark chocolate
  • 3 Eggs
  • 150 g Light brown sugar
  • 25 g Cocoa powder
  • 450 ml Double cream

Instructions

  1. Line a 23cm wide by 4cm deep pie tin with foil
  2. To make the biscuit base melt 75g of the butter in a pan and whizz up the Chocolate filled Oreos and Chocolate covered oat biscuits in a food processor until fine crumbs form
  3. Add the melted butter into the biscuit crumbs and stir well. Then pour it into the lined tin and use the back of a spoon to smooth around the base and sides to create the pie crust. Chill the crust for 30 minutes in the fridge
  4. To make the filling I melt the dark chocolate and 135g of the butter in a glass bowl over boiling water. Let it cool for 10 minutes
  5. Whisk the eggs with the light brown sugar until frothy
  6. Add the chocolate mixture slowly to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Then add the cocoa powder and 150ml of the double cream and mix in
  7. Slowly pour the filling into the chilled pie crust. Bake the pie on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 35 minutes
  8. Once completely cool, whip up 300ml of the double cream and pipe or spread on top. Finish with grated chocolate or sprinkles of your choice
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