Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

This lemon meringue pie is a true family favourite and was one of the first pies I ever baked. The filling is very easy to make from scratch. It gives a mixture that is both creamy and full of zingy lemon flavour to complement the sweetness of the meringue on top.

Lemon Meringue Pie

4 –6 servings
  • Preparation time: About 45 minutes
  • Standing time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: About 55 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the shortcrust pastry
  • 170 g (6 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour (1⅓ cups)
  • pinch of salt
  • 40 g (1½ oz) butter, cut into cubes (3 tbsp, or ⅜ stick)
  • 40 g (1½ oz) lard, cut into cubes (3 tbsp)
  • about 2 tbsp cold water

  • For the filling
  • 3 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) water (⅔ cup)
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice
  • 115 g (4 oz) granulated sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 2 egg yolks, reserve the whites for the meringue
  • For the meringue
  • 2 egg whites
  • 115 g (4 oz) caster sugar/superfine sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)

Equipment

  • You will also need an 18 cm (7 inch) round deep pie plate with rim and a baking tray/sheet.


  • Method
  • For the pastry
  • Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.

  • Rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles fresh breadcrumbs. This can be done by hand or in a food processor.

  • Sprinkle the water evenly over the surface (if it is not sprinkled evenly it can cause blistering when the pastry is cooked). Start bringing the dough together using a pallet knife until it starts clumping. Then knead the dough until it is smooth. Pop in a plastic food bag and refrigerate to rest for 30 minutes.

  • Meanwhile preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5).

  • Roll out the pastry onto a floured surface to a thickness of 6mm (¼ inch) and 5cm (2 inches) larger than the pie plate.

  • Now cut a 1.25 cm (½ inch) strip from around the edge of the pastry. Dampen the rim of the pie plate with water and then use the strip to cover the rim, pressing it down.
  • Next dampen the strip of pastry. Then line the pie plate with the remaining pastry, gently pressing it down into the pie plate and around the rim to make sure no air is trapped but being careful not to stretch the pastry.

  • Remove any excess pastry from around the edge of the rim and prick the base of the pastry with a fork.

  • Bake blind for 15 minutes.

  • Carefully remove the paper and baking beans, and return the pastry to the oven for a further 5–10 minutes until it is cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside.

  • Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C (300°F) (gas 2) and place a baking tray/sheet in the oven.

  • For the filling
  • While the pastry is cooking, the filling can be prepared. Mix the cornflour with the water in a saucepan. Then stir in the zest and juice of the lemons. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring, until the mixture thickens.

  • Now reduce the temperature to medium and add the sugar, stirring until it has dissolved. Remove from the heat, cool the mixture for a couple of minutes.

  • Beat in the egg yolks. Set aside.

  • For the meringue
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff.

  • Then gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, whisking well between each addition, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.

  • To finish
  • The pastry case can either be left in the pie plate or carefully removed. Place the pie plate or the pastry case only on the warmed baking tray/sheet.

  • Now pour the lemon filling into the pastry case and level the surface.

  • Pile the meringue on top, making sure it completely covers the filling. Finally pull the meringue up into peaks using the tip of a knife.

  • Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. The meringue will be crisp and lightly browned on the outside but still soft on the inside.

  • It can be served warm or cold. If it is to be served warm, let it rest for 20 minutes after taking it out of the oven before slicing into portions.
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Updated: February 20, 2020

Traditional English Pancakes

Traditional English Pancakes

These traditional English pancakes are served with lemon and sugar – easy to prepare and easy to eat!

Traditional English Pancakes

6 –8 large pancakes
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Standing time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: About 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 115 g (4 oz) plain flour/all-purpose flour (1 cup less 1½ tbsp)
  • pinch salt
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) semi-skimmed/partly skimmed milk (1¼ cups)
  • 28 g (1 oz) butter, melted (2 tbsp)
  • 28 g (1 oz) butter for greasing (2 tbsp)
  • To serve
  • granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon, halved

Equipment

  • You will also need a 25.5 cm (10 inch) heavy gauge aluminium frying pan/skillet.


  • Method
  • First, melt 28 g (1 oz) (2 tbsp) of butter and set aside to cool.
  • Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre.

  • Beat the eggs in a bowl, then add the milk and cooled, melted butter. Gradually pour the mixture into the well of the flour while whisking with an electric whisk or a balloon whisk, incorporating the flour from around the edge of the bowl. Scrape any remaining flour down from around the sides of the bowl using a silicon spatula and whisk again until all the mixture is smooth. Let stand for 20 minutes.

  • Meanwhile preheat oven to 110°C/225°F/gas ¼, and place five plates in the oven to warm.

  • Melt the remaining butter and pour into a small bowl.
  • Get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to a medium setting.

  • Smear the pan, using kitchen paper, with a little melted butter to keep it lightly greased. (The pan should be lightly coated, not running with butter.) Repeat before cooking each pancake.
  • Use about 3 tablespoons of batter for each pancake. (It is easier to measure this into a ladle or cup first to give a guide for the amount for each pancake.) Quickly tip the batter from the ladle or cup into the centre of the pan and, at the same time, tip the pan from side to side to get the base evenly coated. Cook the pancake for about 1 minute until the surface dries and the underside is golden.
  • Flip the pancake over with a palette knife. Again, cook until the underside is golden which will need less time. Then slide out of the pan onto a warmed plate.

  • Continue until the batter is finished. Overlap the pancakes on the warmed plate as you go. Keep them warm in the oven, covered loosely with foil.

  • To serve, squeeze lemon juice over each pancake and generously sprinkle with sugar. It can then can be rolled up.
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Updated: February 18, 2020

Sweet Mustard Pork

Sweet Mustard Pork

Succulent pork tenderloin marinaded in a sweet mustard sauce and then roasted.

Sweet Mustard Pork

4 servings
  • Preparation time: about 30 minutes
  • Marinading time: at least 30 minutes, overnight if possible
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes hob; 35 minutes oven
  • Ingredients
  • 450 g (1 lb) pork fillet/tenderloin
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • Vegetables to serve
  • roasted diced potatoes and carrots
  • peas

Equipment

  • You will also need 2 small roasting pans.


  • Method
  • For the marinaded pork
  • Mix together the maple syrup, mustard, garlic, oil, and seasoning. Then pour into a shallow dish.

  • Now add the pork and turn to coat in the marinade.

  • Cover the dish and refrigerate for at at least 30 minutes; overnight if possible.

  • For the mustard pork
  • Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5).

  • Remove the pork from the fridge and leave to come up to room temperature.

  • Meanwhile prepare the vegetables. Parboil a few potatoes and carrots for 7 minutes. Drain and leave for a few minutes until cool enough to handle. Then chop into small chunks and put in a bowl. Toss with a glug of olive oil.

  • The vegetables and pork are roasted at the same time. So tip the vegetables into a small roasting pan along with the olive oil and roast for about 35 minutes until they start to brown and crisp.

  • Transfer the pork to the second pan and pour over the marinade. Cover with foil and roast in the oven for 25 minutes. Then remove the foil and continue roasting for a further 10 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through and the juices run clear when tested with a skewer.

  • Slice the pork and pour over the sticky pan juices. Serve with the roasted vegetables and accompany with peas.
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Updated: February 17, 2020

Oranges in Cointreau

Oranges in Cointreau

I always think oranges are at their best during the winter months and this simple recipe of sliced oranges laced with Cointreau and topped with a dollop of cream makes it just that little bit special.

Oranges in Cointreau

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: At least 6 hours or overnight

  • Ingredients
  • 4 juicy oranges
  • 3 tbsp Cointreau
  • 170 ml (6 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (¾ cup)
  • 1 tsp icing/powdered sugar, sifted


  • Method
  • Grate zest from 1 orange and set aside.

  • Cut off the top and bottom from the oranges. Remove all the peel and white pith.

  • Now cut the flesh into thin rounds, reserving any juice.

  • Either put the oranges in one large glass serving bowl or divide amongst four individual ones and then pour over the reserved juice.

  • Add 2 tbsp of the Cointreau evenly over the oranges.

  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

  • Whip the cream until it is just thick. Then whip in the remaining Cointreau, three-quarters of the orange zest and the icing/powdered sugar.

  • For those oranges in individual bowls, swirl a dollop of cream on the top. For the oranges in the larger bowl serve the cream as an aside.

  • Scatter the remaining orange zest over the cream.
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Updated: February 11, 2020

Simply Apple Pie

Simply Apple Pie

An apple pie that is delicious, especially when the apples just come into season. The pie filling literally just contains apples and a little sugar so the full flavour of the apples come through. It has a sweet pastry lid that when cooked is buttery and crumbly. For a mouthwatering finish serve with cream or ice cream.

Simply Apple Pie

6 –8 servings
  • Preparation time: 45 minutes
  • Standing time: 50 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40–45 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the pastry
  • 225 g (8 oz) self raising/self-rising flour (1¾ cups)
  • 1 tbsp icing/powdered sugar
  • 140 g (5 oz) cold butter, cut into cubes (⅔ cup, or 1 stick plus 2 tbsp)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • pinch of salt

  • For the filling
  • 1.35 kg (3 lb) Bramley apples/apples suitable for cooking
  • 115 g (4 oz) caster/superfine sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp) plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 egg white, lightly whisked

Equipment

  • You will also need a 28 x 20 cm (11 x 8 inch) deep pie dish, sides and rim buttered. Also a pie raiser, buttered.


  • Method
  • For the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and add the sugar.

  • Then rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

  • Whisk the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of cold water together in a small jug. Gradually pour onto the flour mixture while mixing in with a palette knife until it starts to form small clumps. You may need extra water.

  • Quickly knead by hand to bring the mixture together. Wrap in cling film/plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes. Roll it out fairly thinly. Upturn the dish onto the centre of the pastry and use it as a template to cut out the lid, adding an extra 2.5 cm (1 inch) all the way round.
  • Then reroll the excess pastry and cut out a 5 cm (2 inch) wide strip, enough to go round the rim of the dish. Apply this to the flat rim taking it down inside the dish. Press into place and make joins where necessary. Put the pie raiser in the middle of the dish.
  • For the filling, prepare the apples one at a time. Peel, cut into quarters and core. Cut each quarter into four and pile into the dish as you go, sprinkling some sugar between each layer. They should pile up high in the dish which will help to support the pastry lid.

  • Brush the pastry covered rim with cold water and then put on the lid. Crimp the lid and rim pressing together as you work your way round the rim.

  • Cut 4 slashes in the lid and return the pie to the fridge for another 30 minutes (can be left for up to 2 hours).

  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190°C (375F) (gas 5).

  • Remove the pie from the fridge and brush the surface with the egg white, then sprinkle with sugar.

  • Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 40–45 minutes until a pale golden colour.
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Updated: February 8, 2020

Raisin Bran Muffins

Raisin Bran Muffins

A classic raisin bran muffin that just crumbles with goodness. Delicious served warm with a knob of butter.

Raisin Bran Muffins

12 muffins
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 18 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 85 g (3 oz) bran (2 cups)
  • 85 g (3 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour (⅓ cup)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 115 g (4 oz) soft brown sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 55 ml (2 fl oz) flavourless oil (e.g. groundnut, peanut, not olive oil) (¼ cup)
  • 225 ml (8 fl oz) buttermilk* (1 cup)
  • 2 tbsp treacle/unsulphured molasses
  • 85 g (3 oz) raisins (⅔ cup)

Note

  • *If you haven’t any buttermilk, stir 2 tablespoons of lemon juice into 225 ml (8 fl oz) (1 cup) full fat/whole milk and leave for 15 minutes to thicken up.

Equipment

  • You will also need a 12-hole muffin tray lined with paper baking cups.


  • Method
  • Preheat the oven to 190° (375°F) (gas 5)

  • Mix together the bran, flour, soda, and baking powder in a large bowl.

  • In a separate bowl, using a ballon whisk, mix the egg and sugar together.

  • Then stir in the oil, buttermilk, and treacle one at a time. The mixture needs to be thoroughly combined and stirring the ingredients in separately makes this quick. You do not want to over mix.

  • Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

  • Finally stir through the raisins until evenly distributed.

  • Now fill the paper baking cups using an ice cream scoop. Bake for 18 minutes until the tops feel firm to the touch. Transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool.

  • Delicious served warm, cut in half, with a knob of butter.
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Updated: February 8, 2020

Pork and Cheese Crumble

Pork and Cheese Crumble

Tasty pork, baked on a bed of tomatoes and onions, and topped with a crispy, cheesy crumble. This is a quick dish to prepare. Just serve with seasonal vegetables.

Pork and Cheese Crumble

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour

  • Ingredients
  • 4 pork chops OR
  • 450 g (1 lb) pork fillet/tenderloin
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 small onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 x 400 g tins or 1 x 28 fl oz can whole tomatoes
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 55 g (2 oz) cheese, grated (½ cup)
  • 4 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs

Equipment

  • You will also need an ovenproof dish with lid.


  • Method
  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4)

  • First, prepare the pork. Remove any bone and excess fat from chops. If using fillet/tenderloin, cut into four equal pieces and then flatten each piece a little by covering the pork with cling film (plastic wrap) and bashing it with a rolling pin.

  • Now melt the butter in a frying pan/skillet over a medium heat. Then add the pork, and sauté for 2 minutes on each side until golden brown.

  • Meanwhile, spread the onions over the bottom of the ovenproof dish. Cover with the tomatoes, season, and sprinkle over the sugar.

  • Place the pork on top of the tomatoes.

  • Toss the breadcrumbs and cheese together, then sprinkle over the meat.

  • Cover and bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes.

  • Remove the lid and continue to bake for a further 15 minutes to brown the top.

  • Serve with seasonal vegetables.
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Updated: February 8, 2020