An easy to make and delicious to eat vegan autumn pea stew. It’s made with British carlin peas, sweet red peppers and the last crop of tomatoes. Serve with rice, quinoa, barley, jacket potatoes or crusty bread for a comforting and satisfying meal.
CT recently returned from a trip to York. Whilst there he popped into Bettys Tea Rooms for a cuppa and a curd tart. Fat rascals are a classic Yorkshire bake and one that I very much associate with Bettys. I’ve never actually tried one, so in order not to feel left out, I decided to have a go at making some.
Ever since I first tasted Grasmere gingerbread, I have wanted to try and find the recipe. I find its unique texture and fieriness particularly appealing. As I don’t get up to the Lake District very often, maybe once every decade, I really want to make some myself. Sadly the recipe is a closely kept secret. This version, Grasmere ginger shortbread, is the closest I’ve come to it.
Soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside, these biscuits come cookies taste beautifully zesty. The sweet but sharp white chocolate drizzle makes a lovely contrast to these old-fashioned jumbles.
This vegetarian shepherd’s pie is winter comfort food at its best. It’s my take on my grandmother’s “best shepherd’s pie ever”. Lentils and vegetables form a rich umami base which is topped with cheesy mashed potato.
Best of British comes back to the South West this month from London and has now reached the county of Dorset. The first and if truth be told, only thing that came to mind when thinking about Dorset speciality food was Dorset Apple Cake. Strangely, with all of my cookery books I didn’t have a single recipe for this. So, I resorted to the net and came up with this winner – voted the Dorset National Dish in 2006 by Greg Coomer.
Like many other people this year, I haven’t had nearly as many apples from my mother’s trees as normal, but I still have a few. I’d been mulling over an apple cake for a while and wanted to include a bar of Lindt Luscious Caramel in it. Easy peasy, I would adapt Greg’s cake of course. I made a larger quantity as I don’t have an 8″ cake mould, omitted the lemon peel, substituted chocolate for raisins and used cardamom sugar. I also substituted buckwheat for the specified cornflour and did my usual mix of flours. I also used, err, Cornish apples – shhhhh!
This is how I did it:
- Weighed out 10oz flour (4oz spelt, 4oz plain white, 2oz buckwheat) and sifted into a bowl with 2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp bicarb of soda.
- Added 5oz cardamom (caster) sugar.
- Rubbed in 5oz unsalted butter until the mixture resembled breadcrumbs.
- Peeled, cored and diced 250g of tart apples (Cornish variety – label missing) stirring into the mixture to coat as I went along so the apples didn’t brown.
- Made a well in the centre and added 2 medium eggs and 2 tbsp milk.
- Stirred until all combined.
- Added a chopped 100g bar of Lindt Luscious Caramel and stirred in.
- Spooned into a 21cm cake mould.
- Cored and sliced one tart apple, but left the peel on.
- Drizzled over 1 tbsp lemon juice to stop the slices from browning, then arranged the slices on top of the cake.
- Scattered over 1 tbsp of soft brown sugar.
- Baked in the oven at 180C for 35 minutes.
As some of you might have gathered by now, there is a monthly blog challenge for the Best of British created and supported by The Face of New World Appliances. Each month, a different region or county within the UK is featured and the challenge is to make either a dish from that area or using ingredients that come from it. I’m keen to support this as it is very much about promoting British produce AND I did kick things off with the Best of British Cornwall back in May. There is also an incentive of a possible £50 Amazon voucher for one lucky entrant. Janice of Farmergirl Kitchen hosted a Scottish challenge in June and the current one, for Yorkshire is hosted by the exuberant and energetic Karen from Lavender and Lovage.
Now, since trying my first (and only) Yorkshire curd tart when I was in York last year – from the famous Betty’s Tea Rooms no less – I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making them myself. Needless to say, it took this challenge to get me kick started. A couple of nights ago a group of us went to see No Fit State, an amazing animal free circus that is performing at the Eden Project throughout August. We were all meeting up for a picnic beforehand, which seemed like a perfect opportunity to try out the tarts. Of course, these were my interpretation of this classic recipe – I had to get chocolate in somehow! I based the filling on this Hairy Bikers recipe.
This is what I did:
- The night before, brought 2 pints of milk to a simmer.
- Squeezed in the juice of a lemon and left the milk to cool down, stirring very briefly.
- Poured the mixture into a sieve lined with a cheesecloth and left overnight for the whey to drip out.
- Placed 150g of wholemeal flour in a bowl with 25g cocoa powder and 15g icing sugar.
- Added 100g of cold cubed unsalted butter and rubbed the mixture between my fingers until it resembled breadcrumbs.
- Threw in an egg yolk and a splash of cold water.
- Stirred and brought the mixture together into a ball.
- Placed in a plastic bag and put in the fridge for a couple of hours.
- Creamed 65g of unsalted butter with 65g cardamom (caster) sugar until very light and fluffy.
- Grated in the zest of an organic lemon and creamed some more.
- Beat in an egg until thoroughly combined.
- Stirred in the curd cheese.
- Added 25g of raisins (would have used current, but didn’t have any).
- Rolled out the chilled pastry and cut into rounds to fill four 9cm tart cases and 7 jam tart sized dimensions – I used my muffin moulds.
- Divided the mixture between the tarts and baked at 180C – 20 minutes for the larger tarts and 13 minutes for the smaller ones.
The tarts were delicious, just as good as I remembered the one from Betty’s Tea Rooms. The chocolate pastry offset the sweetness of the filling and the overall effect was very satisfying – certainly everyone seemed to enjoy them. We picnicked in the evening sunshine, a rare event this summer. We then enjoyed a fabulous performance of flying trapezes, rope climbing, hula hoops, trampolining, contortionism and pole dancing like you’ve never seen before. Oh and the music was good too.
As these are tarts and they were baked especially for a picnic – where they were all consumed I might add, they fit very well into this month’s Tea Time Treats. Hosted on alternate months by Kate of What Kate Baked and Karen of Lavender and Lovage, this month’s theme chosen by Kate is picnic pies. I might almost have planned it 😉