Leek & Caerphilly Crumble Tart

Leek crumble tart

I first made this tart when we were visiting my parents in France. We were renting an apartment and I decided to cook. Unfortunately, I managed to break the oven, (I was mortified and not even my dad could fix it), but luckily for us the tart was just about cooked and was delicious. It’s perfect for this time of year when we still have sunny days and the light is that beautiful autumnal gold.  

Leek Crumble tart (2)

Ingredients

400g all-butter shortcrust pastry. (I used Eric Lanlard’s recipe)

250g plain flour

1 tsp fine salt

150g unsalted butter

1 egg beaten

1 tbsp milk

For the filling

50g butter

500g leeks (about 2), trimmed and sliced

3 eggs

75ml single cream

75ml milk

1 tsp Dijon mustard

50g Caerphilly cheese, crumbled

For the topping

50g Caerphilly cheese, crumbled

85g fresh white breadcrumbs

50g hazelnuts, roughly chopped

2 tbsp chopped parsley

Mini Leek Crumble Tart

Directions

To make the pastry

* Sift flour and salt into a large bowl

* Rub in the butter with your finger tips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs

* Make a well in the centre and add the egg and milk

* Use fingertips to mix and ingredients to make a dough

* Turn pastry out onto a floured surface and knead two to three times

* Cover with cling film and chill for 30 minutes.

Blind Baking

* Preheat oven to 180°c (fan 160°c)/ gas 4

* Roll pastry out and transfer onto a buttered 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin.

* Prick the pastry and chill for a further 15 minutes

* Place a large piece of grease proof paper over the case and fill it with baking beads (or in my case dried split peas).

* Cook for 10-15 minutes.

* Remove the paper and beans and cook for a further 10 minutes until the pastry is dry and crisp and the top edges of the tart are golden.

To make the filling

* Meanwhile, make the filling. Melt the butter in a large pan and, when foaming, add the leeks, cover and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes until soft. Leave to cool.

* Beat together the eggs, cream, milk, mustard, Caerphilly and some seasoning.

* Evenly cover the base of the pastry case with the leeks, then pour in the egg mixture. Bake for 25 minutes.

To make the topping

Combine all the ingredients. Remove the tart from the oven and sprinkle the topping evenly over. Return to the oven and bake for a further 15 minutes until golden brown.

Blueberry, Lemon and Mint Drizzle Cake

Lemon, Blueberry, Mint Drizzle cake with edible flowers.JPG

 

I made this cake for the birthday of a very dear colleague at work. I wanted to make something traditional, but not boring and in my opinion, you can never go wrong with lemon drizzle, but I wanted to do a twist on it, so this recipe was perfect. The mint drizzle was totally delicious. It was originally made in a loaf tin, but to jazz it up for a birthday, I used my heritage bundt tin. The edible flowers were from my garden, but I made the mistake of decorating the cake the night before and in the morning all the flowers had shrivelled so I had to pick some more and do it again.   The original recipe is from Delicious Magazine.

http://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/recipes/blueberry-lemon-and-mint-drizzle-cake/

 

Ingredients

115g very soft butter, plus extra for greasing

25g fresh mint, leaves picked

250g fresh blueberries

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon

250g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

225g caster sugar

2 large free-range eggs

120ml whole milk

25g desiccated coconut

100g granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

White icing sugar and lemon juice

Edible flowers and the tips of mint sprigs

lemon-blueberry-and-mint-drizzle-with-flowers

Directions

  • Position a shelf in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Grease the heritage bundt baking tin.
  • Finely chop about a quarter of the mint leaves (to yield 1 tablespoon). Put the blueberries into a bowl and stir in 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice and the chopped mint, then set aside. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  • Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and caster sugar together in a large mixing bowl for 5 minutes until pale and slightly fluffy. This will be a little harder than usual because of the high proportion of sugar, but it will eventually come together and become much paler in colour. Beat in the lemon zest. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding 1 tablespoon of the sifted flour with the second egg. Add the milk gradually, folding in large spoonfuls of the remaining flour until the mixture is smooth, then fold in the desiccated coconut.
  • Spoon one-third of the cake mixture into the bottom of the prepared tin and scatter over one-third of the blueberries. Repeat twice more, ending with a layer of blueberries. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes away clean.
  • While the cake is cooking, make the topping. Put the rest of the mint leaves and 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar into a mortar or small bowl and pound with the pestle or the end of a rolling pin until it forms a bright green paste. Stir in the remaining lemon juice (about 3-4 tablespoons) and leave to infuse. When the cake comes out of the oven, leave it to cool for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, strain the minty lemon juice through a clean tea strainer into a bowl, pressing out as much of the juice as you can. Stir in the remaining granulated sugar.
  • Spoon the minty lemon and sugar mixture over the cake and leave it to cool. Remove the cake from the tin, then sprinkle the top lightly with a little more sugar.
  • Mix the icing sugar and the lemon juice together, until you get a consistency that can be piped. You can always add more icing sugar or lemon to get the right balance.
  • Decorate by using a piping bag to pipe the icing sugar and lemon juice mixture down the ridges of the cake. Finish off by place the edible flowers and the tips of the mint springs in the ridges.

 

Lemon, Blueberry and Mint Drizzle.JPG

Banana and Oat Muffins

banana-and-oat-muffins

There was a time in my life when the sight of bananas with black speckled skins would have meant they were headed straight for the bin. Not anymore! Now that I know that the ugly black spots are a sign of the natural sweetness of the banana, they are headed straight into banana bread or in this case, healthy banana and oat muffins. I’ve had this recipe in my folder for a really long time and decided that this was the time to try it out. It comes from Kate Harrison’s book, The Ultimate 5:2 Diet Recipe Book (that’s why all the calories are there).  I also recently went to a food styling workshop and so my pictures are a little bit different from my usual style. I wanted to try and capture the changing of the seasons, hence the conkers! (I won’t be eating the conkers but I might challenge C to a game!)

Ingredients

100g rolled oats, 355 cals

50g wholewheat flour, 155 cals

150g plain white flour, 503 cals

2 tsp baking powder, 10 cals

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 5 cals

¼ tsp salt

75g muscovado sugar, 300 cals

4 large, very ripe bananas, mashed 480 cals

1 large egg, beaten, 100 cals

4 tbsp light olive oil, 540 cals

2 tbsp pumpkin or sunflower seeds or a mix, 175–184 cals

img_0768

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚F/Gas mark 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
  2. Mix together the oats (keeping a tablespoon aside for the topping), flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and sugar.
  3. Mix together the mashed bananas, egg and oil and then pour into the dry oat and flour mix and fold together.
  4. Spoon into the prepared muffin cases and scatter the top of each muffin with the reserved oats and the seeds. Bake for 20–25 minutes, until brown and slightly springy to touch.

 

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