Treacle Tart (v)

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I posted a pic of this on instagram (as usual…) and said it needed just four ingredients. According to my brother those are sugar, sugar, flour and nommmy nom. The actual four ingredients are listed below, but suffice to say there’s a lot of sugar and the resulting combination does indeed lead to nommy nom. Make it!

For 8-10 portions you need

  • 1 pack pre-made ready rolled sweet pastry (checking it’s SFV natch)
  • 100g fresh soft breadcrumbs
  • 350g golden syrup
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (juice of half a lemon)
  1. Allow the pastry to come up to room temperature before unrolling or it will crack. Remove from the backing paper and place in a loose bottomed flan tin.
  2. Sprinkle over the breadcrumbs. Drip over the lemon juice. Pour the golden syrup on top of everything – I put the tin on the scales and weigh from the jar of syrup to make this stage as mess free as possible! DO NOT MIX!!! You do not need to mix, just leave everything as is and it will sort itself out in the oven when baking.
  3. Place in a pre-heated oven at 170 degree and bake for 25-30 mins until the pastry is light golden brown and you have no soggy bottoms.
  4. Serve with vegan ice cream/creme fraiche or whatever you fancy. It’s also nice with some tart fresh raspberries or blueberries to offset the teeth melting sweetness. Enjoy 😀
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Fruit Flan

I have always scorned those ready made sponge flan bases in the supermarket but for some reason I brought one last week along with a carton of creme patisserie. Lex was delighted. Apparently this is one of his favourite puddings (who knew…). For mummy and daddy I raided M&S for the last of the British berries.

For 6-8 slices you need:
1 ready made sponge flan base
1 carton proper posh creme patisserie
Assorted seasonal berries (we had strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries)

Place the custard on the base and then decorate with the berries to make a pleasing pattern. Leave some flan and custard bare for Mr Fussy Pants.

Plum, Nectarine and Almond Tart

This was in the September edition of @bbcgoodfood magazine, but with peaches. I don’t like peaches. They’re all furry and horrid. So I used nectarines and plums instead. It was utterly delicious. Admittedly a bit of a faff to make but so so worth it.

For about 8 portions you need:
1 pack puff pastry, rolled out (or cheat ;-))
250g mascapone
About 4 nectarines and 2 plums, cut into 6ths
175g ground almonds
50g toasted almond flakes, plus extra for the topping
25g soft butter
200g vanilla sugar, plus a little extra for the topping
2 eggs
1/2 tsp almond extract.

Begin by lining a flan tin with the pastry and prick all over. Weight down with baking paper and baking beans and bake for 20 mins in a hot oven. Remove the paper and beans and allow the bottom to crisp up. Remove and leave to cool slightly.

Meanwhile prepare the filling by whisking the mascapone, sugar, butter and eggs together. Stir in the almonds and extact.

Pour into the prepared tin and lay the fruit on top. Sprinkle with the extra sugar and almonds and bake at 180 degrees for about 40 mins till cooked (keep an eye on it as it’s very sloppy in the middle and might need up to an additional 30 mins at 140-160 to make sure it’s all cooked.

Leek and Blue Cheese Tartlets

A Denis Cotter recipe this one (from the Autumn and Winter Paradiso Year book). And OMG it’s lovely. I really should make pastry more often as it always seems to work well. Then again it’s not really the best thing in the world to eat is it?! If you don’t like blue cheese, don’t be put off making these as they have a lovely salty savoury flavour rather than a “THIS CONTAINS BLUE CHEESE” flavour!

For about six tartlets (or one big one) you need:
300g plain flour
150g cold salted butter
enough water to mix to a dough
400g finely shredded leeks
100g blue cheese (I used Blackstick White, yum yum yum)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp french mustard
large knob butter.

Begin by sweating the leeks and garlic in the butter over a gentle gentle heat for about 30 mins till they are meltingly tender and moist.

Meanwhile make the pastry. Blitz the butter and flour in a food processor then add the water to make the dough. Roll out and line the tins. Prick and bake blind for 15 mins or so. Fill with the leeks and then top with the crumbled cheese. Bake for about 30 mins till the cheese had melted into the leeks. Serve hot, warm or cold. They’re delicious with a glass of cold dry sherry and some semi dried tomatoes.