Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake
Date Posted: 12/08/2019
300g digestive biscuit
140g butter, melted
275g golden caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour
3 x 300g packs full-fat cream cheese
4 tbsp plain flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
200ml pot soured cream
1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and line tin with baking parchment. Put the biscuits in a food processor and blitz to a fine crumb. Add the butter and blitz again to combine. Tip into the tin, press down firmly with the back of a spoon to cover the base, then bake for 10 mins. Leave to cool.
2. Tip 25g of the sugar and the blueberries into a small pan. Mix the cornflour with 1 tbsp cold water and add this to the pan. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bubble for 1-2 mins until saucy. Set aside to cool.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the cream cheese with an electric hand-held whisk until smooth. Add the remaining sugar and whisk again. Add the flour, vanilla, eggs and soured cream, and whisk until smooth and well combined.
4. Pour half the cheesecake mixture over the biscuit base, then spoon half the blueberry sauce on top in small blobs. Cover with the remaining cheesecake mix and smooth the surface with a spatula. Drizzle the remaining blueberry sauce over the top, then use the end of the spoon to ripple it into the cheesecake. Bake for 10 mins, then lower the heat to 110C/90C fan/ gas ¼ and bake for a further 30 mins. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside for 1 hr, then leave for 1 hr more with the door ajar. Finally, leave at room temperature until completely cool, then chill for at least 3 hrs or, even better, overnight. Slice into 14 bars. Will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Date Posted: 12/08/2019
100g unsalted butter softened, plus 1 tbsp, melted, for greasing
140g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
140g natural yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
125g pack blueberries (or use frozen)
1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases. Beat the butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat in for 1 min, then mix in the yogurt, vanilla extract and milk. Combine the flour, baking powder and bicarb in a bowl with 1/4 tsp fine salt, then tip this into the wet ingredients and stir in. Finally, fold in the blueberries and divide the mixture between the muffin cases.
2. Bake for 5 mins, then reduce oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and bake for 15-18 mins more until risen and golden, and a cocktail stick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
3. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then carefully lift out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container – after a day or two, pop them in the microwave for 10-15 secs on high to freshen up.
Blueberry Slump and Grunt
Date Posted: 25/07/2019
275 ml water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
110gm SR flour
Half teaspoon salt
1. Heat the oven to 190c or gas mark 5.
2. Grease a deep baking dish and put in the water, the 225g sugar, lemon juice and berries and put into the oven. Meanwhile, rub the butter into the flour and add the rest of the ingredients to make a batter. When the berries are hot, spoon the batter mix over the top and bake for 20 minutes.
3. It is best served hot with cream or ice cream
Rhubarb Meringue Pie
Date Posted: 22/07/2019
For the curd:
400g rhubarb, cut into short lengths
175g caster sugar
Juice of ½ orange
2 ½ tbsp cornflour
3 medium egg yolks
25g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
A little pink gel food colouring (optional)
For the pastry:
4 gingernut biscuits
225g plain flour, plus extra to dust
125g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1 medium egg yolk
For the meringue:
4 medium egg whites
225g caster sugar
1. Preheat oven to 190C mark 5. For the curd, mix the rhubarb, 50g of the sugar and 3tbsp orange juice in a small roasting tin. Cover with foil and roast for 25min or until very tender. Whizz with a stick blender or mini food processor until smooth.
2. Meanwhile, make the pastry. Whizz biscuits in a food processor to crumbs (or bash in a food bag with a rolling pin, then empty into a bowl). Add flour and pulse/mix to combine. Add butter and pulse/rub in with fingers until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add yolk and 2 ½ - 3 ½ tbsp cold water and pulse/mix until dough comes together. Empty on to a work surface, shape into a disc and wrap in cling film. Chill for 10 min.
3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough and use to line a 23cm fluted loose-bottomed tart tin. Trim overhang with a sharp knife, prick base all over with a fork and chill again for 1hr until firm.
4. Place tin on a baking tray. Line pastry case with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Blind bake for 20 min, then remove parchment and beans. Return to oven for 5-7min until pastry is pale golden and feels sandy to the touch. Set aside.
5. Meanwhile, finish the curd. In a medium pan, mix the rhubarb puree, cornflour, egg yolks and remaining 125g sugar. Add butter. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened (the mixture will need to boil). Remove from heat and whisk in a little pink food colouring, if using. Scrape into baked pastry case, level and chill for 30min.
6. In a clean bowl, whisk egg whites to stiff peaks with a handheld electric whisk. Combine sugar and cornflour in a bowl, then add gradually to the whites, whisk well after each addition – the meringues should be stiff and glossy. Spoon on top the rhubarb layer. Bake for 20min until lightly golden. Allow to cool for 20 mins before serving in slices with cold cream if you like.
Date Posted: 22/07/2019
1.4kg Rhubarb stalks (i.e. no leaves)
160g Light Brown Sugar
600ml Double or whipping cream
60g Icing Sugar
2 tspns vanilla essence
1. Squeeze the juice from the oranges. Trim the end off the rhubarb, slice it into half finger lengths and place in the saucepan with the sugar and orange juice. Put the pan over a low to medium heat and slowly bring the fruit to a gentle simmer.
2. Cook, stirring carefully and only occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the rhubarb pieces are completely tender but some of them still have their shape.
3. Leave the stewed rhubarb to cool, then transfer to a bowl and place in fridge to cool completely.
4. Whip the cream and icing sugar until it forms soft peaks.
5. Fold the whipped cream into the chilled rhubarb and chill it before serving.
Rhubarb and Ginger Jam
Date Posted: 17/07/2019
1kg pink rhubarb, trimmed weight
1kg jam sugar (which has added pectin)
zest and juice 1 lemon
50g stem or crystallised ginger, finely chopped
4cm piece ginger, peeled
A decent pan to hold the ingredients comfortably with plenty of space to spare.
1. Wash the rhubarb under cold running water and slice into 2cm pieces. Tip into a large ceramic or plastic bowl and add the jam sugar, lemon zest and juice, and chopped stem ginger. Finely grate the peeled ginger directly over the rhubarb.
2. Stir the mixture thoroughly, cover loosely with cling film and leave to one side for about 2 hrs to allow the sugar to dissolve into the rhubarb juices. You may need to stir the mixture occasionally to encourage this process along.
3. Pop a few saucers in the freezer. Scoop the fruit and all the sugary juices into a preserving pan and set over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved, and bring to the boil. Continue to cook at a fairly swift pace until the rhubarb is really tender and the conserve has reached setting point – this should take about 10-15 mins.
4. To test for a set, drop ½ tsp of the jam onto a cold saucer, leave it for 30 secs, then gently push it with the tip of your finger. If the jam wrinkles the setting point has been reached. If not, continue to cook for a further couple of minutes and test again.
5. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to one side for 2-3 mins before pouring into sterilised jars. Seal immediately and label with the date once completely cold.
Date Posted: 18/07/2018
1 lb courgettes
1 small onion
½ pint of vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
1. Slice the courgettes and peel and slice the onion.
2. Heat a little margarine in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion until soft.
3. Add the sliced courgettes and cook for a further 10 minutes
4. Stir in the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Simmer until the courgettes are cooked. Add the rosemary and the seasoning.
5. Allow to cool and then liquidise the soup or push through a fine strainer.
6. Re-heat and serve.
(wheat, milk and soya from bread roll and butter)
Raspberry and Chocolate Tart
Date Posted: 18/07/2018
175g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
50g golden icing sugar
150g unsalted butter, cubed
3 egg yolks
1tsp vanilla extract
For the ganache
200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
200ml single cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
75g unsalted butter
1. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and icing sugar into a bowl. Add butter and rub in using your finger tips until you get a breadcrumb like texture. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, combine until a smooth dough. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 190°. Grease a 24cm tart tin. Roll out pastry on a floured surface and use it to line the tin. Cover with ovenproof cling film and prick a few holes. Fill pastry with baking beans, cook for 15 minutes. Remove cling film and beans and return to the oven for 5 minutes.
3. For the ganache, melt the chocolate gently. Heat the cream in a separate pan. Remove the melted chocolate and pour in the cream, gently stirring the mixture. Mix in the vanilla and the butter.
4. Pack the cooled pastry with raspberries, cover with ganache. Set in the fridge for 30 minutes. Decorate with raspberries.
Date Posted: 18/07/2018
1kg/2lb 4oz fresh strawberries,
washed hulled and dried
1 lemon, juice only
1kg/2lb 4oz jam sugar
1, If the strawberries are large, Cut them in half, put the strawberries and Lemon juice in a large pan, heat for a few Minutes to soften, add the sugar and stir Over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
2, Once the sugar has dissolved and the liquid Is clear, boil steadily for about six minutes, or until At a setting point. To test if the jam is at setting point, spoon a little onto a cold plate, leave for A minute and then push the jam with your finger. If the jam crinkles and separates without flooding back, setting point has been reached.
3, Set aside to cool for ten minutes. Spoon into sterilised jars, label and seal with wax paper and a lid.
Date Posted: 07/08/2017
1kg plums, halved stoned and chopped
2 onions peeled and finely chopped
1tbsp grated fresh root ginger
1tsp ground cinnamon
½tsp grated nutmeg
600ml white wine vinegar
400g granulated sugar
1. Place the plums, onions and sultanas in a large pan. Stir in the ginger, spices, salt and vinegar and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 mins until the plums are tender, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Boil the chutney for 20-30 mins, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick and pulpy and most of the liquid has evaporated.
3. Spoon the hot chutney into clean, warm and dry jars and seal with airtight vinegar-proof covers. Label and store in a cool dry dark place for at least 2 weeks before eating to allow the flavour to develop and mellow.
Date Posted: 20/04/2017
1 tbsp Vegetable oil
1. Cut or break off the woody ends of the asparagus. Boil the spears in a large pan of salted water for 3 mins. Drain then plunge the spears into ice cold water to stop the cooking and set the colour. Pat the asparagus dry.
2. Oil the spears lightly. Leave a large cast-iron griddle over a high heat until it’s very hot, then arrange the spears on it in a single layer. (You may have to griddle the asparagus in two batches.) Reduce the heat to medium and cook the spears for 3-4 minutes. Turn them with tongs and cook for a few more minutes, or until the spears are tender to the point of a knife and lightly gilded.
3. Transfer the asparagus to a serving platter and sprinkle on a few drops of balsamic vinegar. Serve while still hot, although the spears will also taste very good at room temperature.
4. To get ahead, you can prepare the asparagus to the end of step 1 and keep refrigerated for up to 24 hours.
Rhubarb and Vanilla Jam
Date Posted: 23/03/2017
1kg rhubarb, weighed after trimming, cut into 3cm chunks
1kg jam sugar, (or 1kg caster sugar plus 1 x 8g sachet pectin)
2 vanilla pods, halved lengthways
Juice 1 lemon
1. Put a small plate in the freezer. Put the rhubarb into a preserving pan or your largest saucepan with the sugar and halved vanilla pods. Heat gently, stirring, until all the sugar has dissolved, then squeeze in the lemon juice and increase the heat.
2. Boil for about 10 mins, skimming off the scum as you go (the fruit should be soft). Test for setting point by spooning a little onto your chilled plate. After 1-2 mins, push your finger through the jam – if the surface wrinkles it is ready, if not, keep cooking for 2-min intervals, testing in between. (Or if you have a sugar thermometer it should reach 105C)
3. Once the jam is ready, let it cool for about 15 mins before ladling into warm sterilised jars and sealing. Will keep for 6 months in a cool, dark place.
Date Posted: 15/08/2016
450g (1lb) cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped coarsely
75g (3oz) soft light brown sugar
100g (3 ½oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
100g (3 ½oz) caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
100g (3 ½oz) self-raising flour, sifted
Grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
¼ tsp vanilla essence
Cream or custard, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4 and grease a 1.5-litre (2 ½ pint) ovenproof baking dish. Put the apples into the baking dish and sprinkle with the brown sugar; mix together lightly.
2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy, then work in the eggs, sifted flour, lemon zest and vanilla essence and mix to a soft batter. Spread over the apples in the dish and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the surface with caster sugar. Serve immediately with cream or custard.
Date Posted: 15/08/2016
450(1lb) peeled, cored and chopped apples (Bramley or Cox are ideal)
1 tbsp caster sugar
110g (4oz) unsalted butter
6 medium-thickness slices bread, crusts removed
1 egg yolk
Cream or custard to serve
1. Place the chopped apples in a saucepan with the sugar and 25g (1oz) of the butter. Cook over a low heat until soft and broken down. Remove from the heat and puree the apple in the pan with a hand blender. Leave to cool.
2. Melt the remaining 85g (3oz) of butter in a saucepan or the microwave and brush it over one side of each bread slice, making sure the bread is well covered. Cut into rectangles and use most of them to line a 20-25cm (8-10in) pudding basin or round cake tin, 12cm (4 ½ in) in depth, placing the pieces buttered-side down and slightly overlapping (reserve a little bread for the top). Press down firmly.
3. Preheat the oven to 180ₒ C (350ₒ F), Gas Mark 4. When the apple puree is cool, whisk the egg yolk and pour the mixture into the bread-lined basin or tin. Cover with the remaining sliced bread, butter-side up, and press down firmly. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Carefully turn out onto a warmed plate and serve with cream or custard.
Date Posted: 08/06/2016
450g defrosted blackcurrants
110g caster sugar
1 level tablespoon gelatine powder
3 tablespoons water
3 egg whites
150ml double cream
1. Cook the fruit and sugar together until soft (easy in the microwave)
2. Push through sieve to remove pips and skins
3. Dissolve the gelatine in the hot water, and mix into the fruit purée
(If you want to give it a bit of a kick, add 2 tablespoons brandy or kirsch at this stage)
4. Put aside to cool until it begins to set a little
5. Meanwhile first whisk the egg whites in one bowl, and then the cream in another (the egg whites will not whisk properly if there is a little bit of cream in the bowl)
6. When the purée is beginning to set, fold in first the cream and then the egg whites.
7. Pour into a serving bowl and leave to set properly before decorating and serving.