Category Archives: pastry

Pumpkin Pie

I have a brand new favourite when it comes to autumnal dessert and it’s an American classic, pumpkin pie. You can forget apple pie, pecan pie and even Mississippi mud pie my new love is pumpkin. Actually scratch that I don’t think I could choose a favourite, how about we just say I love pie! Now first off I must say this recipe isn’t groundbreaking, it doesn’t use any weird ingredients. In fact the recipe comes from the back of a can, the Libbys pumpkin purée can to be exact. Yes I really am posting what must be the most commonly used pumpkin pie recipe around, the pastry recipe is one of mine though and hopefully it might encourage other Brits to try this American classic. Continue reading

Passion Fruit Meringue Tarts

Recently I have begun to really enjoy passion fruit, be it the passion fruit/chocolate macaron at Pierre Herme to the passion fruit tart I mentioned in my last post at Ottolenghi. After having the tart I immediately started thinking about trying to recreate it. I hoped the recipe would be in the Ottolenghi cookbook but alas it isn’t. It does includes a very similar lemon meringue recipe so I used that but substituted the lemon with my homemade passion fruit curd. I really enjoyed the result although they were maybe a little too sweet. Im not sure whether to put the blame on the curd or the meringue? When I make these next time I think I might fold the curd into some creme patisserie or whipped cream to lighten and tamper the sweetness a little or maybe even make a custard with the passion fruit. The lemon meringue recipe in the cookbook uses sugar heated in the oven for making the meringue but when I tried this it didn’t work. I like accuracy and this method didn’t give me the control over temperature to guarantee the egg whites being cooked so I prefer to cook the sugar and egg whites over a bain marie until it reaches 170F then whipped in a stand mixer, so thats the method I will provide. Continue reading

Ginger Brulee Tarts

Hi my name is Edd and im an addict. I have very rarely spoken about my problem here but I think its time to share. I have an addiction to…cookbooks. I finally thought i’d managed to kick the habit but along comes another book that peaks my interest and somehow just ends up in my collection. Thankfully the only people my habit hurts are my bank manager and me. I had decided not to buy anymore books for a while, lord knows I have enough recipes keep me going for plenty of time, but when I saw the new book “Bourke Street Bakery” it just jumped out at me. Its a wonderful book two thirds of which is dedicated to breads and pastries and the other third is centered around the sweeter side of things. There is a very generous section on sourdoughs from the basics to delicious sounding anise and fruit sourdough and even an apple and oat sourdough. The other bread sections cover yeasted and olive oil breads. The pastry section runs the gamut from the traditional croissants and danishes through to interesting sausage rolls and pies such as lamb, harissa, and almond sausage rolls, which are definitely being added to my cook list. There is also a great selection of cakes and desserts but for the purposes of todays post I chose something from the tarts section. There are 12 different individual sweet tart recipes but I chose the Ginger Brulee Tarts with cardamom and cinnamon. Continue reading

Pate-a-Choux

In my continuous attempt to become a better baker, so that one day I can do what I love professionally, I thought it would be a good idea to get some sort of reference book that covers all the bases from different doughs and pastries to cakes, muffins, tarts and cookies and so on. I had thought of going with the Bo Friberg book but in the end I settled on the new book from the French Culinary Institute, which I have always dreamed of attending. The book is impressive in its 500+ pages with lots of colour pictures. I’ve only just scratched the surface of the book but I think it will be a good reference to have.  As anyone who has been reading this blog for any length of time will know I like to experiment, in the last year and a half I have cooked over 80 different recipes, and next on my list to tackle was Pate-a-Choux. Continue reading

Martha Stewarts Double Crust Apple Pie

I am now completely sick of this weather. Sure the snow we had at Christmas was wonderfully festive and fun but its got colder and colder and it now takes me 3 times as long to get to work in the morning. Thankfully I have had no slips or trips and it seems to be getting better but as we were supposed to have family in from Canada this past weekend and I was in the mood for a comforting dessert we settled for a perfect, weather appropriate classic Apple Pie. Having actually never made pie before I turned to the queen of classic american baking Martha Stewart. I chose her Double-Crust Apple Pie from “Cooking School” which is a Pâte Brisée crust and almost a tree’s worth of apples baked with cinnamon and ginger. Predictably, due to the weather, my family were delayed and so never got to taste this which is a real shame because it was pretty great, although not without a few problems. My vent holes in the top were too big and looked a little unsightly after baking, my crimped edge didnt stay crimped, I forgot the butter in the apples and the pie was a little singed on the edge. In the end though the pie was actually really tasty and I was especially happy with the pastry and thankfully the mistakes I made are all easily overcome next time. Continue reading

Eccles Cakes

I have said it before but I still find it very interesting how a lot of my memories from childhood, holidays and other important events revolve around food. I can still remember eating nothing but plums for breakfast in Spain on one holiday, or how I was shocked to receive a fish with its head and eyes still intact when I was just 6 in France. Its not just these one off events though. My memories of my older Sister, Nicola, from when I was little have very strong connections to two things, Blackpool and Eccles cakes. When I was still young Nicola took a job in Blackpool and we would regularly go to visit, but on the occasions she came back home she always brought Eccles cakes back with her. It became a bit of a tradition which unfortunately didn’t continue past childhood but has always stuck with me. So when I was feeling a bit nostalgic I decided to make a batch and they brought back quite a lot of memories, so whilst the tradition may not have continued past childhood maybe I cant start my own and take a batch next time I visit my Sister. Continue reading