Category: puddings

The fastest Peach pie in the world (by cheating of course!)

Quick and easy Apricot pieIt’s been a crazy couple of weeks here at MT towers. I seem to have switched off the power to say no and have been in a mist of Christmas launches, photo shoots and celebration cakes. Six cakes in 5 weeks whilst working full time to be completely honest and I’m not exactly sure how I managed that? So it should come as no surprise (especially to anyone who knows me!) that I completely forgot that I had offered to host our family Friday night dinner last weekend! Not a problem I thought – as I got off the phone from Tim – who I also hadn’t told we had the family coming round and who had to remind me.  I’ll bung a tuna pasta bake in the oven and get some ready made puff pastry and some apples and whack a pie in the oven. No problemo!

So, after whizzing into London for a planning meeting I got off the train, sprinted around Sainsburys and got everything I needed – except the apples. apricots instead! Got to school by the skin of my teeth, collected daughters and nephew then let them play in the garden at home.  I thought as it was such a hot and sunny evening we would eat alfresco and have a tuna pasta salad and an Peach pie instead. The pie took literally 5 minutes to prepare and 30 to bake. So quick. So easy. And so tasty! I even had dinner made by the time it had finished baking.

Fast Apricot pie recipe

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Ingredients

  • 1 pack of ready rolled puff pasty ( I did say I cheated)
  • 2 tins of peaches in natural juice
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon – or more if you like it lots
  • 20g demerara sugar (any sugar will work but demerara looks fab)
  • 1 egg – whisked

How to make the pie

  1. Pre-heat your oven to the temperature on your puff pastry packaging. Mine said 180ºC (160ºC Fan oven). Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper
  2. Unwrap your puff pastry. I wanted to have two squares so I rolled it out a little longer. This stopped it from puffing up as much as it could have but that wasn’t a problem. I cut it in half with a pizza wheel.
  3. Drain the peaches so you don’t get a soggy bottom. Place them in a bowl and add the cinnamon and sugar (keeping a little sugar back to sprinkle on the top) mix with your hands. Cinnamon and apricot pie recipe
  4. Place the peaches on the centre of the sheet of pastry. Lay the second piece of pastry over the top and press down along the edges to seal it closed. Place your hands gently on the top and press the peaches into place so they aren’t all bunched up in the middle but are evenly spaced inside the puff pastry casing. Use a sharp knife to make slits to allow steam to escape.Apricot pie recipe
  5. Brush the whole pie with the egg wash then sprinkle the sugar over the top.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the pie is golden brown.
  7. Serve warm with ice cream while your sister photo bombs your shot and your family wait for you to take photos of your pie for your blog at the end of their family meal! Thanks family for being so patient… and testing my recipes!

    Little sis.x
    How long before my little sister asks me to take this pic down?

 EmmaMT

x

Marzipan Apple Pie recipe

Marzipan apple pieLast week the tennis mums came over for a Friday night take away. I think it’s the first time we’ve ever done that and it was really lovely. We got to have a proper catch up and I got to try out a different local Indian restaurant that every one has been raving about (It was the Raj Moni in Bromley in case you were interested and I can see why they were raving. It was deelish!)

I decided to whip up an apple pie for desert in my brand new Pyrex dish. I have a thing for Pyrex. I’m addicted to their glass jugs – even if they do seem to have this habit of slipping out of my fingers and onto my very hard, tiled kitchen floor and smashing into a million pieces! I really am super clumsy! I’ve broken at least three jugs this year alone! Maybe I should put it down to statistics. I do a lot of baking therefore I am going to break a lot of things!

The new Pyrex range

Do you know that more than 75% of British kitchens own at least one piece of Pyrex? I’m not all that surprised really.  Do you also know that they have this huge range that goes way beyond just the regular glass jugs? They do these fantastic  glass dishes  (oven to tableware) with plastic air tight lids for storage, baking tins, silicon moulds, slow cook wear, saucepans and my latest favorite – The Impressions ceramic range. I couldn’t resist getting the Pie Dish and Ramekins sent in to ‘test out!”- Thanks Pyrex! 

Pyrex dishes

The main reason I wanted to get my hands on the Pyrex pie dish so badly is because I didn’t have a plain white all purpose pie dish after my slip up before Christmas with my Jamie Oliver Big Dog Bowl. Another casualty of my slippery fingers! This new Pyrex design is perfect as it is big enough, deep enough and has handy handles on each side. Not too big and not too small. Prefect for just about any pie or crumble! You could easily make a lasagna in it too, but why would you when it’s so perfect for pie?

 

Marzipan Apple Pie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 225g Butter at room temperature
  • 460g Self Raising flour
  • 225g  caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water
  • ½ table spoon vanilla or almond extract
  • 100g marzipan
  • 1kg apples (I used eating apples but you can use cooking apples and just add a little more sugar)
  • 100g sultanas
  • 2tbsp Kirsh (optional)

 

  1. Place the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, water and extract into a mixing bowl and combine until just mixed and it forms a ball of dough. Place the dough in some cling film and pop it in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. 
  2. I always place the sultanas in a jug, add the kirsh then cover with boiling water and leave for 30 minutes. I really like  the way soaked raisins and sultanas taste. They’re also fatter and squishier. You can always add them as is.  The kirsh just adds to the yumminess.
  3. Peel, core and chop up the apples into small cubes then par boil them till they are just starting to soften. Drain and set aside.
  4. Heat your oven to 180ºC (160ºC Fan) 
  5. Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 5mm and fill your pie dish. Scrumple up a piece of baking paper and place it in over the dough gently. Add baking beans and bake the case blind for 10 minutes.  Then remove the beans and paper and bake for a further 5 minutes. The case will rise up slightly so don’t leave it in any longer than this. 
  6. While baking the case, roll out the marzipan till it’s a circle that will fill the bottom of your pie case.
  7. When your pie case is part baked place the marzipan circle in the bottom then add the apples and sultanas. You can add a little cinnamon and sugar to the apples if you like it.
  8. Cut strips of dough and weave them over the filling till it’s nearly all covered up. Press the edges lightly at the ends to hold the dough in place.
  9. Sprinkle the top with a little sugar (and cinnamon if you’re using it.)
  10. Bake the pie in the oven for 30 minutes or until the dough has turned a golden brown.
  11. I usually part bake this pie for 20 minutes so it is practically done then remove it and let it sit until just before I want to serve it. I then pop it back into the oven for another 20 minutes. Apple pie should always be served warm or hot in my opinion and finished off with a big dollop or cream or ice cream.

Marzipan apple pie recipe

enjoy! 

Oaty Apple crumble with chocolate chips recipe


Oaty Apple crumble recipe

Hands up who still has some Easter Eggs left?

No? Well we do. In fact we have tons. (Thanks M&S!)

I hate to waste chocolate I mean who doesn’t right? So when it comes to those little flaky crumbs at the bottom of the box I like to find a recipe to use them up with. This year it was this Oaty Apple crumble.

I decided that I would make mini crumbles for the kids and a small adult sized one for me and Tim and anyone else who happened to pop round, but the ingredients would have made one nice big crumble. It’s also worth knowing that I like there to be a lot of topping and a good amount of fruit – but not too much, so if you love lots of filling you should add a few extra apples. The choice is yours!

Oaty apple crumble with chocolate chips

 Ingredients

  • 100g plain flour
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • 50g Demerara sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter – cold and cubed
  • 100g porridge oats
  • 500g apples – I used up gala apples but you can always use any variety.
  • 50g chocolate – chips or broken up pieces of Easter Egg- anything goes!

 

How to make an Oaty Apple Crumble 

  1. Heat your oven to 180ºC (160 fan). 
  2. Peel and core your apples then chop them into nice small cubes.
  3. Place 10g of butter in a frying pan and add the apple. Stir every now and then to make sure the apple is cooking evenly for 5 minutes. You don’t want the apple to get too squishy, just cooked on the outside edge.
  4. After 5 minutes place the cooked apple in your baking dish and set aside to cool.
  5. To make the topping: In a bowl mix the flour and sugars together then add the butter.
  6. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients using your fingers until it looks like bread crumbs.
  7. Add the porridge oats and mix well. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes (optional)
  8. Sprinkle the chocolate onto the apple then cover with the crumble topping.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes until the topping is a delicious golden colour.
  10. Serve straight away with custard or ice cream.

Top tips for making this crumble.

The topping for this crumble is incredible moreish and really easy to make but I did learn a few lessons in my trial runs.

  • The first time I baked this desert the chocolate chips were on the crumble and it got a bit burnt. The second time I made it I added the choc chips to the cooled apple before I added the crumble topping. This vastly improved the taste and texture. It also gives a nice surprise to guests as you can’t see the chocolateyness lurking inside!
  • I added milk chocolate pieces to this crumble but you can use white or dark too. One time (unfortunately when I was going to my in -laws for dinner!Sorry!!!)  I used pieces from an orange infused dark chocolate egg which really  didn’t work. The orange flavour just took over the whole dish.  So the key is to keep it simple. Plain old chocolate is best.
  • Don’t add more than 50g of chocolate as it becomes too sweet and spoils the crumble if you add more. 
  • If you like your crumble to have lots of nice big lumps make the topping ahead and place it in the fridge for 20 minutes. The clusters will then stay together, unless you crumble them with your fingers. 

Oaty apple crumble recipeenjoy! 

Chocolate Madeira Cake Recipe

Chocolate Madeira cake

 

I love Madeira cake. I mean REALLY love it. It’s part of my past. So when I was asked recently “How do you convert your Madeira cake recipe into a chocolate cake?” I thought it would be a great recipe to share with you all. I also still had the Morello Cherry and William Pear compote and Belgium chocolate ganache from Tesco’s to try out so they were a perfect fit!

Chocolate Madeira cake

This cake is really easy to make and is slightly firmer than my previous chocolate recipes, yet it’s still moist – making it a perfect foundation cake (as my mum would say). In other words it’s perfect for covering in sugarpaste for a celebration cake and the best thing is the fact that it doesn’t crumble like other chocolate cakes do. I do hate a crumbly cake, especially when you’re trying to get a crumb coating of buttercream on it!

Madeira cake recipe 

(Makes an 8″ cake – 1 ½” deep) 

75g butter at room temperature
75g margarine (Flora is best) at room temperature
 200g caster sugar
1 tea spoon vanilla essence
3 eggs (large) 
175 g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
 1 ½ teasp of baking powder
3 tbsp milk
 
  1. Line an 8″ cake tin with silicon paper and pre-heat your oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan).
  2. Blend the butter, margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add the eggs slowly until they’re really well mixed in.
  3. In a separate bowl weigh out the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Mix them so that you have a light brown dry mixture. This will prevent you having any cocoa lumps in the mix. Sieve into the butter and sugar mix and blend.
  4. Add the vanilla essence and milk and mix well.
  5. Pour the cake mix into the tin and smooth with the back of a metal spoon.  Bake for 45 minutes in the centre of the oven. The cake is ready when you can smell that delicious chocolate cake aroma filling your kitchen. The cake will come away from the sides of the tin and a skewer will come out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake.
  6. Leave to cool on a wire rack Chocolate Madeira cake
  7. When completely cool cut into two halves and fill with compote/ buttercream /jam. I loved the Tesco’s compote. It would be great for making a black forest gateau.

    Chocolate Madeira Cake
    This compote is delish!
  8. Cover the top of the cake with a dusting of icing sugar or a really decadent chocolate ganache (if you want a ganache recipe you can find mine on this post)

Chocolate Madeira cake

 

I re-heated the Tesco ganache in a saucepan and poured it all over the cake till it just dribbled down. There was a little left over which Tim said could not be wasted! He scooped it up with a spoon.   I then placed the finished cake on the kitchen table to cool. Actually, it was to bribe the girls to do their homework before the Sunday evening witching hour! No homework. No cake!

It worked!

 Chocolate Madeira cake

Enjoy!

Christmas bread and butter pudding.

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Hands up who still has some Christmas cake leftover?

Hands up who’s had enough of it now? Well I’ve got a neat little way to use it up and make it even more delicious second time round!

This bread and butter pudding is really custardy and I have been eating it for my second breakfast everyday since Christmas day!  It’s really comforting and moist. I can’t get enough of it which is a good thing as Tim and the girls aren’t keen which means I’ve nearly eaten the whole thing!! I think there will need to be some serious running going on in January.

Christmas bread and butter pudding

Ingredients

Christmas bread and butter pudding

  • Some Christmas cake (even if it’s a bit stale) sliced up
  • 10-12 pieces of buttered bread (any bread will do. I even used pittas in this one)
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 175g caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 300ml milk
  • 300ml double cream

How to make Christmas bread and butter pudding

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Start by buttering each slice of bread and cutting it into triangles. It’s okay if the Christmas cake crumbles a bit. You can still use every bit.

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Layer the bread in your dish so the points stick upwards then place the thin slices of christmas cake in between. The depth of your pudding will depend on the size of your dish. Mine is pretty big (22x30cm) but a smaller dish will work just as well.

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Always end with a layer of just bread. By keeping the christmas pudding buried you avoid burnt bits and it gets really moist. The flavours of the cake also seep into the rest of the pudding when it is completely covered.  Set the dish aside.

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Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a deep bowl.

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Place the milk, cream and vanilla essence in a pan and heat until it is simmering – not boiling.  Add this to the egg and sugar mix and stir well. Now you have your custard.

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Pour the custard over the bread and cake till it’s completely soaked.

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I like to squash it down with my hands to make sure it’s all saturated. The pudding will taste best if you leave it to soak for 20 minutes but you can pop it into a heated oven straight away.IMG_7271

The oven should be heated to 170ºC and it should take around 40-50 minutes to bake.  Oil a sheet of silver foil and place it over the dish to prevent the top layer burning before it’s baked. Then place the dish in a roasting tin filled  ¾ with water. Pop it in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the silver foil and bake for a further 10 minutes. It’s done when the custard is set.

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Heat your grill so it’s very hot and give the pudding a liberal sprinkle of caster sugar and grill till the sugar melts. Watch this like a hawk. It will burn very quickly.

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It tastes best warm from the oven with cream, ice cream or custard on the side. I would have liked to show you what this looks like when it was cut into but I managed to throw my camera across the room on Christmas day and now have no working lenses!  But it looks and tastes great. The Christmas cake takes on a whole different texture. It’s soft and raisiny without being too fruitcakey and the best bit is when you come across a hint of nut or alcohol.

enjoy!

Apple Tarte Tatin and my epic disasters!

Sometimes you have days when things go wrong. Sometimes those days turn into weeks! I have just had one of those weeks. Nothing I have baked this week seems to have worked!

On Saturday night we had friends round for dinner. In my head I had everything perfectly planned. As always I was on dessert alert and Tim was doing the main meal cooking. My timings were all set (in my head at least) and I already had all the ingredients I needed as I had dashed into Waitrose on Friday to get Tomar (a non dairy butter that tastes great in pastry and is Parve so can be used in kosher desserts for after a meat dinner). My trip for a “few essential ingredients” turned into a £75 shop and we hadn’t even decided what were making for the main meal yet! Damn those great offers/magazines/early Channuka pressents!

Epic Fail No.1- The Banoffee pie

When it came to choosing deserts Beau really wanted Banofffee pie, which she helped me make.  Once it came out of the fridge and was cut into slices it was more goo than anything else and the base was as good as welded onto the pie dish. I won’t mention that I hadn’t whipped up enough cream to pipe over the bananas and it looked really, really sad. I had to serve it anyway. Banoffee goo!

Epic Fail No.2- The Tarte Tatin and Honeycomb ice cream

Tim suggested that I make this Tarte Tartin which I had made last month to take to my Mum’s for our family Rosh Hashanah meal. It went down really well then and he loves it. This time I managed to over bake the pastry but that didn’t seem to stop anyone enjoying it on the night. I also made Honeycomb ice cream to go with the tarte. I didn’t read my friends recipe instructions properly and started making it at 1pm. It was supposed to go in the freezer for at least 8 hours- preferably over night! There were kids coming for dinner and we weren’t expecting to eat that late! Oh well. I decided to go for it. In the end it came out after just 6 hours and was rock solid. Everyone had finished their desserts before it was soft enough to scoop and serve. I still managed to add a dollop to my guests now nearly empty plates. (It did taste good though).

Epic Fail No.3- Chocolate pudding

I really wanted to make Chocolate pots. You know those little individual chocolate puddings you get that when you cut into them they have delicious melted chocolate ooozing from inside? Well, I tried out the recipe from The first Great British Bake off book with my girls and my 4 year old nephew last Friday for the first time. Even with lots of little hands helping me and spilling most of the ingredients, I still had more success then, than I did this time.

Saturday nights chocolate pots were a complete last minute thing. I had to make sure that I was showered, the house clean and tidy, girls dressed and table laid before I even started to make them. Figuring that my guests would be a little late (because I always am) I started pulling ingredients out 10 minutes before they were due to arrive. That’s when I discovered that I only had self raising flour not plain flour as I needed! Oh well, what could go wrong? LOTS it would seem!

My guests arrived just as I was putting the cake mix into each of the holes of the muffin tin. I put the whole thing into the fridge ready for later. Time to pour the wine.

After our meal I put the muffin tin into the oven for 12 minutes. Once ready, I took them out and left them for a minute or two to set. I then got a chopping board and inverted the tin onto it, ready to see if they would release easily. They did. A bit too easily! Eight of the 12 cakes came splurging out all over the worktop. Hot molten chocolate everywhere! I then managed to drop the hot muffin tin into all the spilt cake goo! It was a mess. But a mess that smelt gorgeous. (Have I mentioned that we have a kitchen diner and everyone was watching me make a mess of it?) Serious EPIC FAIL! I just had to laugh. It was all going horribly wrong. I write a cake blog showing people how to make cakes! This is not supposed to happen to me!!!! Luckily I have great friends who know me well enough to know that this is just what happens with me when I do an “add on”. I could’t just leave it at two desserts and an ice cream. I had to ‘add on’ just one more!  Lesson well and truly learnt….. well for now anyway.

Needless to say that the Banoffee Goo, chocolate splats , over baked Tarte Tatin and rock solid ice cream were all tasted and good sounds of “Mmmmm” were to be heard over the dinner table. Even if it was from the nine year olds!

So onto the Tarte Tatin.

This tarte recipe is for a 20cm (8″) pie dish and will serve 8 people

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 200g butter / Tomar / Cookeen- at room temperature
  • 320g plain flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 tbsp cold water
  • 3tbsp caster sugar

For the filling

  • 450g cooking apples
  • 400g eating apples ( I used 4 small Gala)
  • 50g butter / Tomar
  • 4tbsp apricot jam
  • 25g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

How to make Tarte Tatin

To make the pastry add the butter to the flour and use your hands to mix them together until they resemble breadcrumbs. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix until you have a dough. Avoid over kneading as this will create a tough textured pastry.  Once all the ingredients are bound together wrap it in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

When the pasty is chilled heat your oven to 180ºC/ Gas 5.  Knead  and roll it out so that you have enough to fill your pie dish. It should be nice and thin.  When I made this one I pinched the top edge of the dish and then cut off the excess straight away, but it’s actually a better idea to leave the excess on until you have done the blind bake. That way the pastry is a little baked and won’t have shrunk down into the dish. It will sit flush with the top if you cut off the excess after the first bake with the ceramic beans.

To bake blind: Use a fork to make holes in the pastry case. Scrunch up a piece of baking paper (silicon paper is best and less prone to sticking) and place it over the pastry. Fill the dish with ceramic beans and then bake for 15 minutes.

Remove the pie dish from the oven. Carefully take out the ceramic beans and silicon paper and bake for another 5 minutes until it turns golden but not brown. Place the pie dish on a cooling rack till the apple filling is ready.

To make the filling: Peel, core and cube the cooking apples and place them in a lidded frying pan with a knob of butter. Cover and cook them over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until they become soft. Then add the golden caster sugar and 2 tbsp of apricot jam and stir in well. Use a fork to mush the apples to a puree consistency. I like to leave a few bigger pieces in there.  Set aside to cool down.

Prepare the eating apples by coring them. You can peel them but I think the tarte looks so pretty with the skin showing. Also it cooks down so much that it will be nice and soft to eat.  Cut each apple into quarters then each quarter into three or four very thin slices.

Add the puree apple to the pastry case, covering the bottom, then arrange your apple slices on top. Finally brush the decorative apple slices with the lemon juice and pop it in the oven (again at 180ºC gas 6) for 20 minutes or until the apple slices start to brown up nicely.

To glaze the tarte tatin: Heat up the remaining 2 tbsp of apricot jam in the microwave (or in a saucepan) till it’s runny and brush over the top and serve. 

Et Voila! One epic non-disaster Tarte Tatin. Let’s hope this week brings me a lot more success!!!

enjoy!

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