320g puff pastry sheet
4 tbsp caramelised onion chutney
4 figs, thinly sliced
300g goats cheese log, thinly sliced
3 sprigs thyme leaves picked
Preheat the oven to 200˚C/180˚C fan/ gas 6. Unroll the pastry and cut a 0.5cm border around the
pastry, making sure you don’t cut into the pastry too far. Spread the caramelised onion chutney over
the base of the tart but avoiding the border. Top with slices of goats cheese and fig till the whole tart
is covered but not the border. Sprinkle over the thyme leaves.
Bake for 15- 20 minutes until golden brown, leave to cool and serve warm or cold.
Great served with a rocket salad.
Corn with Maple, lime and chilli butter
Cut your corn into cobettes, depending on the size you require, cut each one into three or four. Steam or boil the cobettes for 5 minutes.
Make the butter by mixing softened butter with maple syrup, lime zest and some chilli flakes. Smear on to the par cooked cobettes and oven at a high temperature for 10 – 15 minutes, basting halfway through. Serve drizzled with the melted butter.
Plum and Cinnamon Tarte Tatin with Cinnamon Mascarpone
Tarte Tatin’s are such easy desserts to make and many fruits can be used. They are best eaten on the day they are made.
100g caster sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla extract
800g plums, can use any plums, halved and stoned
1 x 5oog pack puff pastry
25g icing sugar
½ tsp cinnamon plus extra for dusting
Preheat the oven to 200˚C/180˚C fan/ gas 6. Melt the sugar in a heavy base, oven proof frying pan or tarte tatin tin, over a medium heat. As the sugar starts to melt give it a little shake until it’s all melted. Remove from the heat and add the butter, cinnamon and vanilla and stir, it may look crumbly but it will right itself in the oven. Arrange the plums in the tin.
Roll out the pastry and trim to 3cm larger than the tin, a large plate can be used. Lift the pastry on to the tin and tuck it down between the plums and the inside of the tin. Make a few slits through the pastry with a knife to allow the steam to escape. Chill for 20 minutes.
Bake the tarte tatin for 25- 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden. Cool for 5 minutes before carefully inverting on to a plate. Serve with cinnamon mascarpone.
Mix the mascarpone with the icing sugar and cinnamon and serve.
100g Plain Flour
25g diced cold butter
25g diced cold lard
½ tsp salt
Knob of butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion- sliced
1 medium courgette
3 medium eggs
1 egg yolk
150ml double cream
Salt and white pepper
30g cheddar cheese grated
Mix the flour and salt together. Rub in the butter and lard until it resembles breadcrumbs. Gradually
add just enough cold water (around 2-3 tbsp) to bring the pastry together. Tip the pastry onto a
lightly floured surface and knead briefly until smooth. Wrap and place in the fridge to chill for at
least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile melt the butter and oil in a frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add the sliced onions
and a pinch of salt. Cook slowly for at least 20 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the mixture
is golden brown. Add a splash of water if the onions begin to catch.
Heat your oven to 200c/Gas 6.
Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and line a 20cm deep loose bottom tart tin. Bake blind for
15 minutes then remove the baking beans and parchment and return to the oven for 8-10 minutes
until the pastry is dry and cooked through.
Use a speed peeler and cut the courgette into ribbons.
Whisk the eggs, yolk and cream together. Season with salt and pepper.
Arrange the courgette ribbons in a spiral pattern in the cooked pastry base. Carefully spoon the
onion in between the courgettes. Sprinkle over the grated cheese. Carefully pour the egg mix
between the courgettes ensuring it covers all the tart.
Bake for 25-30minutes or until the filling is just set abs golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin for 5
minutes before removing.
Blueberry and Lemon Cake
This cake makes a delicious dessert cake with its cheese cake style topping or with a cup of tea as a treat.
150g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
190g caster sugar
1 lemon, zest and 2tbsp juice
1tsp vanilla paste or extract
3 large eggs, beaten
100g self-raising flour
100g ground almonds
200g full fat cream cheese
4 tbsp best lemon curd
Preheat the oven to 170C, grease and line a 20cm spring form or loose bottom tin, with baking parchment. Put the butter and caster sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer or wooden spoon until light and fluffy. Beat in the lemon zest, juice and vanilla. Add the beaten eggs in small amounts, scraping down the sides of the bowl. The mix may split a little but it will come back together. Add the flour and stir in using a large metal spoon followed by the ground almonds. Fold in 150g blueberries, keeping the rest for the top. Pour into the prepared tin and cook for 40 to 50 minutes or until risen, firm to touch and springs back when lightly pressed. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then take out of the tin and cool on a wire rack.
Put the cream cheese into a bowl and beat lightly. Add the lemon curd beat until completely mixed together. Chill the cream cheese topping in the fridge until ready to serve the cake. Spread over the cake and top with the blueberries.
Hollandaise can be a tricky but this is an easy version and good if you are in a hurry.
200ml crème fraiche, full fat
1 tsp cornflour
2 large egg yolks
2tsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp lemon juice
30g butter, softened
Prepare the asparagus by snapping off the woody ends. If you want the chef style look, run a speedy peeler over the ends to make them very tender and pretty. Steam the asparagus according to preference.
Meanwhile, spoon the crème fraiche into a small saucepan, then add the rest of the ingredients except the butter. Whisk them all together with a whisk, then over a medium heat, bring the whole lot up to simmering point, whisking continuously, until the sauce has thickened. Now remove it from the heat, taste and add seasoning, more vinegar or lemon juice if needed. Whisk in the butter and serve with the steamed asparagus. The sauce can be reheated, if made in advance.
Summer Berry Shortcakes
These little shortcakes are very like a scone mix but using an American shortcake recipe. They are best eaten on the day but can be gently warmed if you have any left.
325g plain flour
1tbsp baking powder
4tbsp caster sugar
125g unsalted butter chilled
1 large egg
125ml single cream
1 tbsp milk
Berry jam of choice
Whipped cream, clotted cream or mascarpone
Fresh strawberries, raspberries or blueberries
Preheat the oven to 190C and line a flat baking tray with baking parchment. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and 3tbsp of caster sugar in a large mixing bowl. Cut the chilled butter into tiny pieces and add to the dry ingredients. Using your fingertips rub the butter into the flour mix, until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Mix the egg and cream together, using a fork. Pour into the flour mixture, a little at a time, mixing with the fork until you have soft dough. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and roll to a thickness of about 2cm. Using a 2cm cutter, cut out rounds and place on the lined baking tray, re-rolling scraps , you should get about 6. Brush the tops with the milk and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack and when cooled, cut in half, spread with chosen jam, top with your choice of cream and berries. Dust with icing sugar to serve.
200g of extra fine beans
100g of asparagus tips
150g of sugar snap peas
1 tsp grated lemon rind
Preparation and cooking time:
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the beans and cook for 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook for a further 3 minutes. Add the sugar snap peas and continue to cook for 3 minutes. Once cooked, drain the vegetables and place back in the pan. Add the grated lemon rind and the butter, and stir over a low heat until the butter has melted. Ensure the vegetables are evenly coated in the butter sauce, then serve.
This recipe works brilliantly as a starter, or as an addition to spring lamb.
200g of asparagus
100g of cherry tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
Preparation and cooking time:
Place the asparagus on a baking tray and scatter around cherry tomatoes. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over the vegetables and add salt and black pepper as desired. Cook in a preheated oven at 200 degrees / gas mark 7, for 10-12 minutes. Serve straight from the oven, and sparingly drizzle balsamic vinegar to decorate. Finally, top with parmesan shavings.
6 apricots, washed, halved and stoned
3 peaches, washed, halved and stoned
3 nectarines, washed, halved and stoned
3 tbsp soft, light brown sugar
2 tbsp sweet wine, such as Sauternes
50g pistachios, roughly chopped
250g mascarpone cream
2tbsp vanilla sugar
Heat the oven to 180C, 160C fan oven, mark 4. Place the fruits cut side down in a large oven proof dish. Sprinkle over the sugar and wine, dot with the butter and scatter over the pistachios. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, basting the fruit after 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make the mascarpone cream by mixing the mascarpone and sugar together.
Serve the fruit hot with a little of the syrup produced during cooking spooned over the top and a spoonful of the mascarpone cream.