Happy Thanksgiving!

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©eleanorwright

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.

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©eleanorwright

This recipe I stole from the hummingbird bakery as I had no clue where to start, I had however brought a pumpkin.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Method:

  1. 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.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170c/gas 3.
  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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).

 

 

It’s Christmas!!!

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©eleanorwright

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!
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©eleanorwright

That’s right. The ingredients make up mince pies, with a surprise ingredient of cranberries (which makes the mincemeat less rich!)

Cranberry Mince Pies

Ingredients:

  • 375g plain flour
  • 260g unsalted butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 jar of mincemeat (600g)
  • 100g of cranberries

Method:

  1. Place the flour and butter in a bowl and rub together to a crumb consistency. Add the sugar and the egg, and mix together.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.
  5. Roll out the pastry to your ideal thickness. Using a round cutter (about 10cm), cut out 16 bases and place them into muffin trays.
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. Glaze with the rest of the egg, then make a small cut/holes in the tops.
  9. 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.

A Bunch of Carrots

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©eleanorwright

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!

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©eleanorwright

My first recipe this week is a delicious veggie burger.

Carrot and Chickpea Burger:

Serves: 8   Prep: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Method:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the cooked carrot to the whizzed paste with 100g breadcrumbs. Add seasoning, then mix together well with your hands.
  4. Divide the mixture into 6, then using floured hands shape into burgers and as an optional extra dip in the remaining breadcrumbs.
  5. Heat a little oil in a frying pan. Cook the burgers for 5 mins on each side, until golden and crisp.
  6. 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!).

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©eleanorwright

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!

Carrot Cake:

Serves: 8-10   Prep: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 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

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C (325F) Gas 3
  2. 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!)
  3. Slowly add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and extract and continue to beat until it’s well mixed together.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. Leave the cakes to fully cool before icing.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!