Strawberry Tartlets

Strawberry Tartlets

 

Strawberry tartlets always say summer to me. These are very light and have a sweet, crisp pastry base which is filled with a creamy custard filling and topped with glazed strawberries. Mmm…just perfect!

 

Strawberry Tartlets
Prepares: 4 tartlets
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Chilling time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the pastry
  • 145g/5 oz plain flour/cake and pastry flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 85g/3 oz cold butter, diced
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar, extra fine sugar
  • 1 egg, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolk only

  • For the filling
  • 100ml/3½ fl oz whipping cream
  • custard powder
  • 110ml/4 fl oz full fat milk/whole milk
  • 350g/12 oz small strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly

  • Equipment
  • 4 × 10cm/4 inch tartlet tins


  1. Method
  2. For the pastry
  3. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then stir in the sugar. Add the egg yolk, sprinkle over 1 tablespoon cold water and mix to a firm dough. Add a little more water if necessary. Wrap in cling film/wrap and chill for 20 minutes.

  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

  5. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface then use to line the tartlet tins. Prick the bases with a fork, line with parchment paper and baking beans, then cook for 10 minutes.

  6. Remove the beans and paper and return to the oven for about 5 minutes until light golden and crisp. Leave to cool, then remove from the tins.

  7. For the filling
  8. Make up the custard according to the packet using 110ml/4 fl oz of milk. You want a thick custard. Cover the surface of the custard with cling film/wrap to prevent it forming a skin and leave it to become cold.

  9. Whip the cream until stiff and then fold into the cold custard. Spoon into the tart cases.

  10. Decorate the top with the strawberries, cutting them into halves or quarters, depending on their size.

  11. Add a little boiling water to melt the jelly (about 1 teaspoon) and then brush over the strawberries to glaze.

 

Fruity Delight

Fruity Delight

 

A really scrumptious dessert. A shortbread base is topped with a light, creamy cheese mixture, topped with glazed raspberries and strawberries and then dusted with icing sugar.

 

Fruity Delight
Prepares: 8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Standing time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the base
  • 120g/4 oz plain flour/cake and pastry flour
  • 30g/1 oz icing sugar
  • 60g/2 oz butter, softened
  • 1 egg yolk

  • For the topping
  • 200g/7 oz full-fat soft cheese
  • 200ml crème fraîche
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • a few drops of vanilla essence
  • 200g/7 oz strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 200g/7 oz raspberries, washed
  • 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • icing sugar to dust


  1. Method
  2. For the base
  3. Sift the flour and icing sugar into a bowl. Mix in the butter using your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Gradually add enough egg yolk a little at a time until the mixture starts to bind together. I find starting off using a small palette knife to bring the mixture together is helpful as it keeps the dough light. Once it is binding together, knead lightly to form a ball.

  4. Roll out the dough to a 20cm/8 inch round, then place on a baking sheet. Prick well with a fork, decorate the edges using the tines of the fork, then, using a knife, mark the pastry lightly into 8 equal sections.

  5. Chill, while preheating the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

  6. Bake the base for 15 minutes until just starting to brown. Re-mark the sections while it is still hot to make it easier for serving. Cool on a wire rack.

  7. For the topping
  8. Beat the soft cheese until it is creamy, then add the crème fraîche, icing sugar and vanilla essence. Beat until light and fluffy.

  9. Spread on the shortbread base, leaving a narrow border so that the decorative edge shows and the marked sections are still visible.

  10. If the strawberries are large, halve or quarter them. You want the raspberries and strawberries to be of a similar size. Cover the topping with the fruit.

  11. Put the redcurrant jelly in a small container and stir in 2 tablespoons of water. Microwave on medium for 30–60 seconds when the jelly should have dissolved and the mixture is bubbling. Leave to cool. Alternatively, heat in a small pan.

  12. Carefully brush the fruit with the jelly and then, just before serving, dust with icing sugar.

 

One-Dish Lamb Pasta

One-Dish Lamb Pasta

 

Simple to prepare, this tasty pasta dish gets cooked in one pan in just under 30 minutes. Lamb is cooked in a red wine, tomato and thyme sauce with farfalle (bow-tie pasta). Great served with a leafy salad, and crusty bread to soak up the sauce.

 

One-Dish Lamb Pasta
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 27 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 450g/1 lb lamb mince/ground lamb
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes OR
  • ½ x 28 fl oz can diced tomatoes
  • 150ml/5 fl oz/¼ pint red wine
  • 1 heaped tbsp fresh thyme leaves OR
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 600ml/20 fl oz/1 pint vegetable or chicken stock
  • 170g/6 oz farfalle
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • fresh Parmesan to garnish

  • To serve
  • a leafy salad and crusty bread

  • Equipment
  • large sauté pan
  • 4 × pasta dishes


  1. Method
  2. Hear the oil in the pan and add the onion and lamb. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to separate the lamb.

  3. Stir in the tomatoes, red wine, thyme, tomato purée, seasoning and stock. Bring to the boil, then cover and reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

  4. Stir in the pasta and simmer, uncovered, for 12 minutes, until just tender. Stir occasionally.

  5. Stir in a dash of Worcestershire sauce.

  6. Divide between the four dishes and top with a little grated Parmesan cheese.

  7. Serve with the salad and crusty bread to soak up the tasty sauce.

 

Hot Orange Chicken

Hot Orange Chicken

 

Chicken breasts are marinaded in a garlic, orange and wine sauce with wholegrain mustard and Tabasco to give it a kick. The marinading is well worthwhile as is produces succulent chicken breasts with lots of flavour.

 

Hot Orange Chicken
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Marinading time: 24 hours and overnight
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the marinade
  • 2 oranges, zest and juice
  • 60ml/2 fl oz dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, skin removed

  • 4 boned chicken breasts, skinned


  1. Method
  2. Put all the ingredients for the marinade into a jug or small bowl and stir well to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

  3. Prick the chicken with a fork and place in a single layer in a shallow dish so they fit snugly. Pour over the marinade, cover and refrigerate overnight.

  4. These can then be either grilled/broiled or barbecued.

  5. If using a grill/broiler, turn to a low heat then cook the chicken for 10 minutes on each side, basting each side well with the marinade.

  6. Serve with vegetables of your choice.

 

Salmon Fillets in a Tangy Sauce

My favourite fish was there at the fish counter – Wild Pacific Salmon. The best salmon there is.

We only have a chance to buy it fresh for such a short time, so I make the most of it while I can. This recipe is very quick and adding orange gives it a lovely tangy flavour.

 

Salmon Fillets in a Tangy Sauce

 

A delicious salmon dish that is just right for summer.

Salmon fillets are briefly marinated in an orange sauce and then grilled/broiled. They are served with buttery baby potatoes and a vinaigrette dressed salad.

 

Salmon Fillets in a Tangy Sauce
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Marinading time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 12–15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 6 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1 large orange)
  • 3 tbsp vinaigrette salad dressing
  • 1 tbsp runny honey/clear honey
  • 680g/1 lb 8 oz salmon fillet, skinned and sliced into four pieces
  • 1 orange
  • 680g/1 lb 8 oz baby potatoes, scrubbed
  • knob of butter
  • a green salad of your choice

  • Equipment
  • a shallow, heatproof dish that will take the salmon in a single layer.


  1. Method
  2. Spoon the orange juice into a small bowl. Add the salad dressing and honey and whisk well to combine. Pour into the dish.

  3. Add the salmon to the dish and coat well with the marinade. Leave for 10 minutes.

  4. Preheat the grill/broiler to low.

  5. Bring a little water to the boil in the base of a steamer and then steam the potatoes for 15 minutes or until tender.

  6. Meanwhile, cut the second orange into 8 thin slices and lay 1 slice on each piece of salmon. Make a single cut from the edge to the centre in the remaining 4 slices and set to one side.

  7. Place the salmon under the grill for 15 minutes until it is cooked through. (Don’t have the dish too close to the heat.) The juice from the orange slices will seep into the salmon.

  8. Prepare the salad, drizzle with more of the vinaigrette dressing and toss.

  9. Drain the potatoes, add a good knob of butter to the pan and stir to coat.

  10. Transfer the salmon pieces to 4 plates, discarding the orange pieces, and spooning over any juices remaining in the pan. Top each piece with the reserved orange slices twisting them at the cut edge.

  11. Serve with the buttered baby potatoes and salad.

 

Steak Marinated in a Tomato and Herb Sauce

Steak Marinated in a Tomato and Herb Sauce

 

This was the first recipe I ever cooked where I made a marinade for steaks. I have updated the ingredients for the marinade and this really does make a delicious sauce to go with the steak.

 

Steak Marinated in a Tomato and Herb Sauce
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Marinading time: overnight
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 x 170g (6 oz) steaks
  • 225ml (8 fl oz) passata (1 cup)
  • 60ml (2 fl oz) cider vinegar (¼ cup)
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1½ tsp fresh, oregano leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Method
  2. Trim any excess fat from the steaks and put in a single layer in a baking dish.

  3. Stir the rest of the ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Pour over the steaks. Turn the steaks over so they are covered with the marinade. Cover the dish and refrigerate overnight.

  4. Drain the steaks and reserve the marinade. They can be BBQ’d or cooked in a little oil and butter in a frying pan/skillet.

  5. Once they are cooked, transfer to a plate, cover and keep warm. Rest for 5 minutes for the juices to be absorbed back into the steak.

  6. Meanwhile, pour the reserved marinade in a small pan, stir and bring to the boil. (If the steaks were cooked in a frying pan/skillet, use this.) Reduce the heat to low and cook for a further minute. A little water can be added if the sauce reduces too much.

  7. To serve, pour the sauce over the steaks and accompany with baked potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

Updated: October 24, 2017

Pork Escalopes in a Herb and Mustard Sauce

I have had this recipe for quite a while and have used Greek yogurt to make the sauce. However, cooking with Greek yogurt can be tricky because it will curdle if it gets too hot, so you do have to be careful. 
 

Pork Escalopes in a Herb and Mustard Sauce

 

Pork escalopes are sautéed for just 6 minutes and then covered with a creamy oregano and whole grain mustard sauce. Another dish that is super quick and delicious for summer.

 

Pork Escalopes in a Herb and Mustard Sauce
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 675g/1 lb 8 oz baby potatoes, scrubbed
  • 340g/12 oz fresh runner beans, sliced or whole french beans/fine green beans
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 450g/1 lb pork tenderloin
  • 150ml/5 fl oz each chicken stock and cider, OR
  • 300ml/10 fl oz chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 150g/5 oz Greek yogurt
  • 4 fresh oregano stems, leaves only
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • Equipment
  • large sauté pan


  1. Method
  2. Divide the pork into four pieces. One at a time, place a piece between cling film and flatten it by carefully bashing with a rolling pin.

  3. Put the potatoes in a pan of boiling, salted water and simmer for 15 minutes until tender. Drain.

  4. Put the beans in another pan of boiling, salted water, or use a steamer, and cook until tender.

  5. Meanwhile, heat the oil in the pan and add the pork pieces. Over a medium heat cook, for 3 minutes until brown, then turn and repeat on the other side. Remove from the pan, cover, and keep warm.

  6. Add the stock to the pan along with the cider, if using, and the mustard. Stir to combine and simmer for a couple of minutes.

  7. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the yogurt, oregano leaves and lemon juice. Return the pork to the pan, turn to coat with the sauce. Put the pan over a very low heat for 1–2 minutes to warm everything through. It really does need to be on the lowest setting of your hob.

  8. Serve with the vegetables.

 

Coffee Meringues

Coffee Meringues

 

Very simple coffee flavoured meringues that just melt in the mouth. Sandwiched with whipped cream and dusted with cocoa powder. They are very light.

 

Coffee Meringues
Prepares: 10 meringues
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the meringues
  • 3 egg whites, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 170g/6 oz caster sugar/fine white sugar
  • 2 tsp coffee essence

  • For the filling
  • 300ml/10 fl oz double cream/whipping cream
  • 1 level tsp cocoa powder

  • Equipment
  • A piping bag fitted with a medium sized nozzle


  1. Method
  2. For the meringues
  3. Preheat oven to cool, 140°C/275°F/gas mark 1.

  4. Whisk the egg whites until they are just stiff. Gradually whisk in the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition. Add the coffee essence until well incorporated. The meringue should now be stiff and glossy.

  5. Line two baking sheets with baking paper. Dabbing a little meringue on each corner of the baking sheets first will keep the linings in place.

  6. Spoon the meringue into the piping bag and pipe 20 swirls of meringue on the paper. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes until the meringues are dry. Allow to cool, then remove from the paper.

  7. For the filling
  8. Whip the cream until it forms a soft peak and use it to sandwich the meringues together in pairs.

  9. To serve
  10. Sift lightly with cocoa powder using a small sieve.

 

Quick Raspberry Fool

Quick Raspberry Fool

 

All this recipe needs is fresh raspberries, honey and natural yogurt to make a refreshing summer fool.

 

Quick Raspberry Fool
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: less than 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 2 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 280–340g/10–12 oz fresh raspberries (2 punnets)
  • 1 tsp runny honey/clear honey
  • 1 x 500g carton natural yogurt


  1. Method
  2. Reserve four raspberries and then cook the rest gently in a small pan with the honey until the fruit juices just start to run. This will only take a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

  3. Pour the yogurt into a bowl and very carefully fold in the raspberries. The juice will be absorbed into the yogurt to turn it a pale raspberry colour. Chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.

  4. Divide between four fancy glass dishes and top with the reserved raspberries.

 

Fillets of Sole in Parmesan Breadcrumbs

Fillets of Sole in Parmesan Breadcrumbs

 

Fillets of sole are covered in a breadcrumb mix with Parmesan cheese, cayenne pepper and parsley and then gently fried for just a few minutes. They are served with a herb mayonnaise.

 

Fillets of Sole in Parmesan Breadcrumbs
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 8 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the sole
  • 85g/3 oz fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 25g/1 oz Parmesan, finely grated
  • 4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 50g/2 oz flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 675g/1 lb 4 oz sole fillets (8 small fillets 85g/3 oz each, or 4 large 170g/6 oz each)
  • 2 tbsp oil (not olive oil)
  • lemon wedges to garnish

  • For the herb mayonnaise
  • 6 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh chervil or basil, chopped
  • salt and pepper

  • To serve
  • a soft green salad

  • Equipment
  • large sauté pan


  1. Method
  2. For the herb mayonnaise
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, lemon juice and herbs. Season. Cover and chill.

  4. For the sole
  5. Put a plate in the oven to warm.

  6. Mix the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Then spread out on a plate.

  7. Season the flour lightly and spread out on a second plate.

  8. Pour the beaten egg into a shallow dish.

  9. Taking one sole fillet at a time, coat in the flour, then dip in the egg and finally coat in the breadcrumbs. Put them on a clean plate as you go.

  10. You will probably need to fry the fillets in two batches. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan then add half the fillets and lay in a single layer. Fry gently for 2–4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. When golden and crisp on the underside, turn and cook for a further 2–4 minutes. Remove from the pan and lay on a piece of kitchen paper to absorb any oil. Transfer the fillets to the warmed plate and return it to the oven.

  11. Heat the remaining oil in the pan, then fry the second batch of fillets.

  12. Serve garnished with lemon wedges and the herb mayonnaise.

 

Classic Blackberry and Apple Crumble

Classic Blackberry and Apple Crumble

 

The best time to think of cooking blackberry and apple crumble is in late summer when wild blackberries are ripe and free for the picking. They have a much fuller flavour than cultivated ones and the best cooking apples are also just coming into season.

However, rather than not enjoying this true classic dish if you can’t gather wild blackberries, it is still delicious made with cultivated ones which are in season now.

The classic crumble topping is made mixing flour, sugar and butter together and then spooning over the blackberries and apples. Just pop in the oven to bake. Oh so good.

 

Classic Blackberry and Apple Crumble
Prepares: 4 good portions
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 45 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 170g/6 oz flour
  • 170g/6 oz caster sugar/fine white sugar
  • 110g/4 oz chilled butter, diced
  • 450g/1 lb cooking apples
  • 350g/12 oz blackberries

  • To serve
  • serve with custard, cream, vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt

  • Equipment
  • a deep ovenproof dish


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

  3. Stir together the flour and half the sugar. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Put to one side.

  4. Peel, core and slice the apples and put into a large bowl. Add the remaining sugar and stir together. Gently mix in the blackberries. Tip into the ovenproof dish and lightly smooth down.

  5. Spoon the crumble mixture evenly over the top but do not press down.

  6. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until the top is beginning to brown and the juices are bubbling up around the edges.

 

Lemon Angel Pie with Strawberries

Lemon Angel Pie with Strawberries

 

This is a lovely light dessert and another way to enjoy strawberries now they are at the height of their season.

The base is a soft meringue nest which is filled with a lemon cream custard, topped with whipped cream and decorated with delicious strawberries.

 

Lemon Angel Pie with Strawberries
Prepares: 6–8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Chilling time: 2 hours
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 25 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the meringue
  • 4 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only (reserve the yolks for the filling)
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 170g/6 oz caster sugar/fine white sugar

  • For the filling
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100g/3½ oz granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • 225ml/8 fl oz whipping cream/double cream

  • For the topping
  • 120ml/4 fl oz whipping cream/double cream
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 280g/10 oz strawberries, washed and hulled

  • Equipment
  • 23cm/9 inch glass dish


  1. Method
  2. For the meringue
  3. Preheat the oven to 110°C/225°F/gas mark ¼.

  4. Whip the egg whites until stiff. Sprinkle over the cream of tartar then gradually add the sugar a spoonful at a time, beating well between each addition until the meringue is smooth and glossy.

  5. Very lightly grease the glass dish then spoon in the meringue, making a nest about 2.5cm/1 inch deep with a rim about 5cm/2 inches deep.

  6. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes and then leave to cool.

  7. For the filling
  8. Zest half the lemon and squeeze the juice from the whole lemon and set to one side.

  9. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together in a glass bowl sitting over a pan of just simmering water. Stir in the lemon juice and zest. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened, stirring frequently. Remove the bowl from the pan and leave to cool.

  10. Whip the cream until soft peaks just start to form (you don’t want it to become stiff). Fold into the lemon sauce until incorporated. Pour into the meringue nest and chill for 2 hours.

  11. For the topping
  12. Whip the cream and sugar together until stiff and spread over the lemon filling.

  13. Decorate with the strawberries. If they are small, leave whole but if they are large, slice.