Category Archives: Pies and Tarts

mince-pies

Mince Pies

First post of 2012! And it is a Christmas post! Just one last Christmassy post before Christmas really is over until December! Tomorrow will be tree taking down time, a very sad day. I feel sorry for those skeletons of Christmas trees that you see scattered along the street after Christmas. They look so sad and lonely. I don’t want my beautiful tree to be one of those! But it has to happen, Christmas has to end for the year at some point, I figured that after today it might start getting a bit late to post about mince pies, so here they are now!

Without mince pies Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas, they are Santa’s favourite after all. So this year was no exception, out came the mince pies! I used shop bought mincemeat for mine, but added some dried cranberries to jazz it up a little. For the pastry I used Edd Kimber’s recipe from The Boy Who Bakes, but instead of adding vanilla I added the zest of an orange and a tablespoon of orange juice to make an orange and almond pastry. It was delicious and had a lovely colour too. ┬áBeing food processor-less I did it all by hand – hard work! And it made an awful lot of mince pies, I was making them for days from this pastry!

 

Cut out discs

Put into a bun tray

Add the mincemeat

Add the lids

Snowflakes

Mince pies

Dust with icing sugar

 

I hope everyone has a good 2012!

Lottie xx

plums

Plums, plums and more plums!

Every year we get an absolute bounty of plums from the tree in the garden. It’s a game of getting them before they all suddenly drop at once and become unusable. This year was no exception and my Dad presented me bowlfuls of plums to bake with. So we had plum and goats cheese tarts, plum and almond tray bake, plum crumble (of course!), sweet plum tarts and plum compote! All in one day! So here they are……

Plum and Goats Cheese Tarts (it was about time I posted something a little bit more savoury!)

Plum and Goat's Cheese Tarts

These are super easy to make. You just need:
Puff pastry (yes, I cheated and bought it ready made!)
Plums thinly sliced
Goats Cheese
Honey
Thyme
Black Pepper

Roll out the pastry and cut out circles of pastry and put them on a greased baking tray. Crumble the goats cheese and top the pastry circles with the goats cheese. Next add the slices of plums on top of the goats cheese. Drizzle each tart with a little honey, some sprigs of fresh time and a sprinkle of black pepper and pop in the oven! Easy and yummy! And to make the sweet tarts, just do the same but without the cheese, thyme and black pepper.

Plum and Almond Tray Bake

Plum and almond tray bake

6oz self raising flour
6oz light brown sugar
6oz butter or margarine
3 eggs
50g almonds
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
splash of milk
plums halved and stoned
flaked almonds

Mix the flour, sugar, butter, eggs, almonds, vanilla and milk together and pour into a greased and lined tray. Top the cake mix with with the halved plums and sprinkle with ground almonds. Pop in the oven at 180C until done. Voila, another plum recipe done!

Plum Crumble

Plum Crumble

For the plum base:
About 20 plums
150g caster sugar
Juice of half a lemon
Put the plums and lemon juice into a greased oven proof dish and sprinkle with sugar.

For the crumble:
6oz plain flour
2oz caster sugar
2oz light brown sugar
4oz butter
Put it all in a bowl and use your fingers to crumble it all together. The top the plums with the crumble and sprinkle with flaked almonds to make it look nice. Bake at 180C for about 40 minutes.

I think that’s enough plum recipes for now!

Lottie xx

chocolatepeartart150

Delicious chocolate and pear tart

Chocolate and pear tart

I made this for dinner at a friends house recently and it was so yummy that I just had to post the recipe for it. I always seem to get given the task of dessert when its an ‘everyone’ brings a course’ dinner. Not that I mind! Sorry for the lack of photos, this is the only one I took as I was in rather a rush and had to transport it all the way across London to the party before adding the finishing touches. But it is a lovely autumn recipe, and again is best eaten warm.

For the pastry:
2 tbsp cocoa powder
210g plain flour
150g unsalted butter
75g icing sugar
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp cold water

Mix the cocoa, flour and butter until they look like breadcrumbs, then add the icing sugar and salt and mix again. Add the egg and a little water if needed to bind it together. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and put it in the fridge for half an hour. Roll it out on a surface dusted with icing sugar and line a 25cm tart tin with it (here’s where I wish I had one of those loose bottomed tart tins!). Pop it back in the fridge to firm up. Line it with greaseproof paper and add the baking beans and bake for 15 mins at 200C. Remove from the oven and remove the beans and paper.

For the filling:
125g butter, softened
100g soft dark-brown sugar
2 large eggs
125g ground almonds
185g dark chocolate melted
4 pears (these need to be very ripe and soft, if they are hard then poach them to soften them a bit)
3 tsp caster sugar

Beat the butter and brown sugar together, add the eggs one at a time, then add the almonds, and finally the melted chocolate. Pour this into your part cooked pastry case.
Peel and halve the pears (poach if necessary to soften) and arrange them on top of the filling. Sprinkle them with a little caster sugar to give them some colour when they cook.
Pop the whole thing in the oven at 180C for 45 mins.

To finish it I just drizzled it with some more chocolate and sprinkled over some chopped hazelnuts.

Enjoy!

Lottie xx

pumpkinpie150

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

This year was the first year I ventured into the world of pumpkin pie. This year we had an absolute mountain of pumpkin flesh left over from our carved pumpkin that I thought I would give it a go!

So to make this pie:
First you need to make the pastry:
260g plain flour
110g unsalted butter
25g icing sugar
1 egg
2 tbsp water
Mix together the dry ingredients until they are like breadcrumbs and then bind together with the egg and water. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and leave it to rest in the fridge for half an hour.
Lightly dust a surface with flour and roll out the dough. Line a pie dish/tart tin with the pastry and trim the edge. Lay a sheet of greaseproof paper over the dough and fill with baking beans.
Bake the pastry in an oven (170C) for 15 mins, removed the paper and beans and bake for another 15 mins.

For the filling:
The recipe I used for the filling called for a can of pumpkin puree, but I was making my own and so had to guess. I simmered the pumpkin flesh in water with a little brown sugar until it was soft. I then drained it and blended it to a puree. To make sure all the excess water was out I then left the puree in a seive over a bowl for a couple of hours. In the end I had about 400g of pumpkin puree.
You also need:
1 egg
230ml evaporated milk
220g caster sugar
1tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
2 tbsp plain flour

Simply mix everything together in a bowl until it is smooth, pour into the baked pastry crust and bake in the oven at 170C for about an hour. The filling should be firm when it is done.
To finish, dust with icing sugar.

Success! I shall be making it again! It was delicious served warm.
And with the rest of the pumpkin….pumpkin soup of course! mmmmmmm!

Lottie xx