With spring on the way, I got inspired! With forced rhubarb in season at the moment, I decided it was going to be the theme for this week’s blog post.
I have loved rhubarb since, well I can’t remember, my gran grew it in her garden and would make rhubarb jam and make other delights as well. Forced rhubarb has it’s own tale, sweeter in taste, forced to grow in the dark and picked by candle light.
Normally I blog one sweet and one savoury recipe but this week I have decided to treat you all to two sweet recipes (because this month, I have given up chocolate for lent so I’m craving sweet things). So the first recipe this week is a rhubarb cheesecake, to me this recipe screams spring with it’s refreshing taste.
- 200g digestive biscuits
- 100g unsalted butter
- 400g full-fat soft cheese
- 50g icing sugar
- juice ½ lemon
- 100g Greek yogurt
- roasted rhubarb, for the topping
- Crush the digestive biscuits in a sealed bag until you get fine crumbs.
- Gently melt the butter, then mix into the crumbs.
- Press evenly into a 20cm loosebottomed round cake tin. Chill in the fridge while you make the filling.
- Put the remaining ingredients into a bowl and mix together until smooth. Spread over the base, then smooth the top with a knife.
- Leave in the fridge overnight to set.
- Meanwhile, trim 400g rhubarb into 2.5cm pieces. Place in a roasting dish.
- Sprinkle with zest and juice of 1 orange and 3 tbsp caster sugar.
- Cook for 10-15 mins in a 220C/fan 200C/ gas 7 oven until just soft. Leave to cool.
- Remove the cake from the tin and top with roasted rhubarb.
This is a delicious, light and refreshing recipe, the essence of spring to me!
Now this recipe is a little bit more long winded than the last one, but if you are a fan of rhubarb and custard then this is a recipe for you!
Rhubarb and Custard Tart
- 225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 3 tbsp icing sugar
- 140g unsalted butter
- 1 medium egg yolk, plus 1 medium egg yolk beaten, for glazing
For Vanilla Custard:
- ½ vanilla pod
- 250ml whole milk
- 1 large egg, plus 2 large egg yolks
- 100g golden caster sugar
- 25g cornflour
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
For Roasted Rhubarb:
- 700g thin forced rhubarb (about 5 stalks), trimmed, rinsed and cut into 9cm long pieces
- 175g golden caster sugar
- Put the flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and mix together. Add the butter and rub together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add 1 egg yolk, and 1 tbsp cold water, and mix together until it just starts to come together as a dough.
- Tip the mixture onto a clean work surface, knead together, then wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for at least 1 hr before rolling out.
- Put the vanilla beans scraped from the pod in a pan over a medium heat, add the milk and bring to the boil.
- Meanwhile, tip the egg, yolks, sugar and cornflour into a bowl and whisk together until smooth.
- Pour the milk over the egg mixture, whisking to combine. Pour the custard back into the pan and cook, whisking constantly, for 2-3 mins until thickened.
- Scrape into a bowl and add the butter, mixing until melted and combine, then chill for 3hrs.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into a large rectangle big enough to line a 30 x 20cm rectangular tart tin. Carefully drape the pastry into the tin, pressing into the corners and edges, then cut off the remaining edges. Chill for 30 mins or until the pastry is firm.
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line the tart with a piece of crumpled baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake for about 30 mins, then remove the parchment and the beans, and return to the oven for another 5 mins or until the base is golden brown. Brush the inside of the tart with the remaining beaten egg yolk and return to the oven for 1 min to set (this creates a seal, meaning the pastry won’t become soggy, hopefully). Set aside to cool.
- Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Put the rhubarb in a small roasting tin and sprinkle over the sugar . Roast for 15-20 mins, or until the rhubarb has softened. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool.
- Remove the custard from the fridge, beat to loosen, then pour over the pastry and smooth with a spatula and then top with the roasted rhubarb. Best eaten on the day its made.
In this week’s shoots I have used my new daylight panel; with all my overtime I have managed to buy one. With autumn really settled in up in the north and my apple tree in the garden bulging at the seams, this week’s blog post is all about apples, especially Keswick Codlin (my own apple tree).
As a child I was given an apple tree by my gran for Christmas. This tree has grown over the years and produces so many apples we can’t really keep up with its production of apples; we live off stewed apple and crumble during this time of year. But I have come up with another recipe to use our apple supplies.
My first recipe this week is a savoury option, and highly recommended by my dad; he says the apple adds a contrast to the strong chorizo taste.
Apple and Chorizo Sausage Rolls:
Serves: 12 Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 35 minutes
- small knob of butter
- 2 apples
- 6 chorizo-style cooking sausages
- 375g pack of puff pastry (because who has the time to make their own)
- 3 tbsp stewed apples
- 1 egg beaten
- 3 tbsp onion seeds (or poppy seeds)
- Finely dice the apple. Place a knob of butter in a small pan with the diced apple and cook for 5 minutes until the apple has softened slightly.
- Heat oven to 200c/180c fan/ gas 6
- Roll out the pastry to a rectangle, roughly 32 x 20cm. Cut in half, so that you now have 2 long thin rectangles.
- Spoon the stewed apple down the centre of each piece of pastry. Make sure the stewed apple is not too watery or you will end up with soggy pastry.
- Place the chorizo sausages on top of the stewed apple.
- Then place the diced apple on top of the sausages.
- Brush the edges of the pastry with a little beaten egg, then bring the pastry together on one side to enclose the filling, and seal by pressing the pastry with a fork.
- Cut the sausage rolls into smaller pieces, and arrange on two baking trays.
- Brush with egg, then sprinkle with onion or poppy seeds. Cut small slashes into each roll.
- Bake for 25-30 mins. Delicious served warm, or cold in a picnic.
This week I decided to step back to when I filmed my nan making homemade crumble.
Serves: 4 Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 25 minutes
- 120g plain flour
- 60g caster sugar
- 60g unsalted butter
- 300g apple
- 30g unsalted butter
- 1tsp of honey
- Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Tip the flour and sugar into a large bowl. Add the butter, then rub into the flour using your fingertips to make a light breadcrumb texture. Do not overwork it or the crumble will become heavy.
- Meanwhile, peel, core and cut the apples. Put the butter and honey in a medium saucepan and melt together over a medium heat.
- Cook the apples for 10 mins.
- To serve, spoon the warm fruit into an ovenproof dish, top with the crumble mix, then reheat in the oven for 5-10 mins. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
I hope you enjoy the recipes!
I have had a busy last few weeks. I have been away to Gloucester and then came back to a new job. But anyway this week the feature ingredient is oranges. With autumn beginning to creep in, these recipes are a move away from summer towards the comforts of winter. I love autumn’s warm days and chilly evenings and the beautiful autumn leaves. It is the autumn colours that really inspired me to use orange as my feature ingredient. So anyway let’s get down to the recipes.
This week’s first recipe is a tender roasted chicken with sliced oranges and carrots
Roast Chicken with Citrus and Carrots:
Serves: 2 Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 50 minutes
- 2 Chicken Breasts
- 300g carrots
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 oranges (one half juiced)
- 1tsp vegetable oil
- 1tbsp lemon juice
- 1tbsp cider vinegar
- 4tbsp vegetable stock
- 2tsp of marmalade
- Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan /gas 6.
- Put the carrots, garlic and orange slices into a large roasting tin, then toss with the oil and season well.
- Season the chicken breast, then sit them on top of the veg.
- Roast for 40 mins until the carrots are tender and the chicken is turning golden.
- Brush the chicken breasts with the marmalade.
- Stir the citrus juice, vinegar and sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Pour over the veg, add vegetable stock.
- Roast for another 10 mins until the carrots are surrounded with syrupy sauce and the chicken is golden. Season the sauce to taste, then serve.
The second recipe this week is a favourite of mine and these flapjacks are extra tasty.
Serve: 16 Prep: 15-20 minutes Cook: 30-40 minutes
- 250g unsalted butter
- 250g golden caster sugar
- 175g golden syrup
- 425g porridge oats
- zest of 2 oranges
- 3 tbsp orange marmalade
- Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4/fan 160C
- Generously butter a 28 x 28cm shallow baking tin.
- Melt the butter, sugar and syrup over a medium heat, stirring all the time.
- Take off the heat and stir in the oats, and orange zest. The mixture should be quite soft.
- Tip the mixture into the baking tin and level it off. Bake for around 30-40 minutes or until the edges are golden brown but the centre is still a little soft.
- Remove from the oven and mark into 16 pieces while it is still warm, cutting down halfway through the mixture with a sharp knife. Leave to cool.
- Heat the marmalade with 1 tbsp water until it becomes syrupy. Brush this glaze over the flapjack mixture and leave to cool before cutting into 16 pieces, then serve.
So that’s this week’s recipes, inspired by autumn but with an essence of summer. Enjoy!