Happy Thanksgiving! No I’m not American and no I don’t really have any American family, in all honesty I just want to make a pumpkin pie because I have never made one. Actually I have never eaten one either, until now. I must say I enjoyed it and definitely will make one again, they are surprisingly easy.
This recipe I stole from the hummingbird bakery as I had no clue where to start, I had however brought a pumpkin.
- 260g plain flour
- 1/2tsp salt
- 110g butter
For the filling:
- 1 egg
- 425g pumpkin puree
- 235ml evaporated milk
- 220g caster sugar
- 1/4tsp ground cloves
- 1tsp salt
- 3/4tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 ground ginger
- 1tbsp plain flour
- lightly whipped cream to serve
- For the pastry, put the flour, salt and butter in a bowl and rub together until you get a breadcrumb consistency. Add a tablespoon of water one at a time beating well after each addition until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and leave to rest for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 170c/gas 3.
- Lightly dust the work surface with flour and roll out the dough with a rolling pin. Line the prepared pie dish with dough and trim the edges with a sharp knife.
- Lay a sheet of greaseproof paper over the dough and pour in the baking beans and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the greaseproof and the baking beans and bake for a further 10 minutes. The dough should still be pale and slightly raw.
- All the recipes I have found says to used a tin of pumpkin puree, I made mine by simply cutting the pumpkin up and roasting until it soften then blitz it in a food processor.
- Next put the egg, pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, sugar, cloves, salt, cinnamon, ginger and flour in a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until everything is well combine and there are no lumps.
- Pour the mixture into the pie crust and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the filling is set firm and doesn’t wobble when shaken.
- Leave to cool and serve with a dollop of lightly whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon.
So that’s how you make a pumpkin pie. To make the recipe even easier simply buy a ready made pastry or even better a ready made pastry case (it means skipping steps 1-4).
Where has the year gone? Bonfire Night already? I can’t quite believe it! I must say this is my favourite time year, mainly because there are so many celebrations (in which food plays a key part which is always a plus). As you may of guessed this blog post is about Bonfire Night. I have just the one recipe for you but trust me it’s a good one, a real showstopper, and as always I have a cheat to speed up the progress. So let’s get in to it!
This recipe I got from my delicious magazine.
Toffee Apple Sticky Toffee Pudding:
- 100g unsalted butter, plus a extra knob for frying the apples
- 4 eating apples
- 180g dates
- 150g boiling water
- 2tsp vanilla extract
- 150g light muscovado sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp black treacle
- 175g self-raising flour
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 100ml milk
For the toffee sauce:
- 225g light muscovado sugar
- 100g unsalted butter
- 275ml double cream
- 1tbsp black treacle
- 3 toffee apples
- Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan. Core and slice the apples, then fry in the butter for 10-15 minutes until caramelised.
- Meanwhile put the dates in a bowl and soak in the boiling water.
- Heat the oven 170c/150c/gas 3. Beat together 100g butter and 150g of sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition then beat in the treacle and vanilla extract.
- Sift over the flour and bicarbonate of soda, gently fold in along with the milk. Stir in the dates and most of the fried apples (leave some for decoration).
- Pour the mix into a casserole dish, place the remaining apple on the top, then put into the oven and bake for 50 minutes or until the pudding is firm, and a skewer pushed into the middle comes out clean.
- To make the toffee sauce, put the 255g sugar, 100g butter and half of the cream and heat gently. Once the sugar has dissolved turn up the heat and add the treacle. Let it bubble (stirring all the time) for 2-3 minutes until the mixture turns a rich toffee colour. Then take off the heat and stir in the rest of the cream.
- To finish off pierce the pudding all over with a skewer and pour over some of the toffee sauce and then top with the toffee apples.
So you can make your own toffee apples (I will put the recipe below) however personally I brought toffee apples as they are just as good and are of course a lot quicker then making your own.
- 8 apples
- 500g caster sugar
- 2tsp white wine vinegar
- 50g unsalted butter
- 1tbsp golden syrup
- Push skewers or clean twigs into the centre of the apples.
- Put the sugar, vinegar, butter, syrup and 150ml of cold water in to a sauce pan and heat on a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat to medium-high and boil until the mixture turns golden brown in colour. Take the pan off the heat.
- Dip the apples into the toffee apples, turning to fully coat. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.
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.
This year I was in charge of the Wright’s Christmas card! For those who don’t know, we have always made our own card for as long as I can remember. It was a family event each year in which we got together, designed a card and then created them (often a screen print); there has been many creations over the years. Anyway this year one thing led to another and so I was put in charge.
The Christmas tree image is made up of ingredients that make a recipe that is associated with Christmas. So with this in mind I decided to post the recipe on my blog so you all can make them at home!
That’s right. The ingredients make up mince pies, with a surprise ingredient of cranberries (which makes the mincemeat less rich!)
Cranberry Mince Pies
- 375g plain flour
- 260g unsalted butter
- 125g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 jar of mincemeat (600g)
- 100g of cranberries
- Place the flour and butter in a bowl and rub together to a crumb consistency. Add the sugar and the egg, and mix together.
- Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and fold until the pastry comes together. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for 10 mins.
- Tip the cranberries into a pan with a small amount of water (just a tablespoon or two) and a teaspoon of sugar, then cook them until they soften slightly.
- Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.
- Roll out the pastry to your ideal thickness. Using a round cutter (about 10cm), cut out 16 bases and place them into muffin trays.
- Put a small amount of the cranberries at the bottom of each and then spoon the mincemeat on top. Alternatively you can mix the cranberries in with the mincemeat if you would prefer
- Brush the edge of each pie with a little beaten egg. Re-roll out the pastry to cut 7cm lids and press them on top to seal. I also cut out stars for on the top, and alternated lids and stars.
- Glaze with the rest of the egg, then make a small cut/holes in the tops.
- Bake mince pies for 15-20 mins until golden brown. Leave to cool before releasing them from the muffin trays and dusting with icing sugar. Serve.
So there’s my little twist on the mince pie recipe. With not being a huge fan of pastry myself an even healthier option is to use filo pastry instead of the egg pastry, just as tasty but not as heavy.
I would like to wish all my friends and family a very merry christmas and a happy new year! Hope you all enjoy the festivities and eat lots of mince pies.
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!
This weeks post is all about carrots! I’m a big fan of using seasonal food and I’m a huge supporter of knowing the provenance of your food (and without trying to reel off my whole dissertation), I believe in supporting the smaller producers whether locally or globally (got to love the fair-trade bananas!)
My ingredients this week mainly came from my local fruit and veg shop which is supplied by local produces whenever possible. Of course some ingredients have come from supermarkets (because come on who can’t shop there!) It’s all about moderation, I try to know the provenance of my food, preferably the who, the where and the ethics but realistically I find it is impossible to know where everything in my cupboard comes from.
Anyway enough on ethics for one blog post and back to carrots! So once more I have done two recipes this week, one savoury, one sweet. I really enjoyed making and shooting the recipes this week, really missed it, so enjoy!
My first recipe this week is a delicious veggie burger.
Carrot and Chickpea Burger:
Serves: 8 Prep: 20 minutes
- 750g carrots
- 410g can chickpeas
- 1 small onion
- 2 tsp curry paste
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 egg
- 200g breadcrumbs (optional extra for coating the burgers)
- Put a third of the grated carrot in a food processor with the chickpeas, onion (roughly chop), curry paste, 1 tsp cumin and egg. Whizz to a thick paste, then scrape into a large bowl.
- Heat a little oil in your largest frying pan, tip in the remaining carrot with 1tsp of cumin and some salt and pepper and cook for 8-10 mins, until the carrot is softened – it will become more golden.
- Add the cooked carrot to the whizzed paste with 100g breadcrumbs. Add seasoning, then mix together well with your hands.
- Divide the mixture into 6, then using floured hands shape into burgers and as an optional extra dip in the remaining breadcrumbs.
- Heat a little oil in a frying pan. Cook the burgers for 5 mins on each side, until golden and crisp.
- Meanwhile prepare the buns, whether you wanted them toasted or not. When the burgers are ready, top each bun with some rocket, add the burger then add the topping of your choice, I went for raw onion but you may prefer to caramelise the onion instead (just as tasty!).
My next recipe is from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook and is the best carrot cake recipe I have found! My housemates at uni loved it, one in particular couldn’t get enough of it!
Serves: 8-10 Prep: 25 minutes
- 300g soft light brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 300ml sunflower oil
- 300g plain flour
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1tsp baking powder
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 300g carrots
Cream Cheese Icing:
- 500g icing sugar
- 85g butter
- 200g soft cheese
- Preheat the oven to 170C (325F) Gas 3
- Beat together the sugar, eggs and oil until all the ingredients are well incorporated (don’t worry if the mixture looks split, it’s meant to!)
- Slowly add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and extract and continue to beat until it’s well mixed together.
- Grate the carrots and stir in until they are all evenly dispersed (if you wish you can add some chopped up walnuts for an extra crunch).
- Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tins (mine fitted into 3). Bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and spongy.
- Leave the cakes to fully cool before icing.
- For the icing, beat together the icing sugar and butter (I found separating the butter with your fingers first helps). Once it resembles a crumble mix add the cream cheese and beat until it is completely incorporated and is light and fluffy.
- Then ice the cake a layer at a time, then serve.
So that’s carrot week! Do try the carrot cake. It is to die for!