Banana and Toffee Pie

A ginger and pecan pie shell is filled with a deliciously smooth toffee custard and topped with sliced bananas. Whipped cream is then dolloped on top and garnished with chopped pecans.


Banana and Toffee Pie

  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Chilling time: 50 minutes
  • Cooling time: 5 minutes
  • Ingredients
  • For the crust
  • 255 g (9 oz) ginger snap biscuits/cookies
  • 55 g (2 oz) pecans, toasted (½ cup)
  • 115 g (4 oz) butter (½ cup, or 1 stick), melted
  • For the filling
  • 70 g (2½ oz) butter (⅓ cup)
  • 225 g (8 oz) dark muscovado/soft dark brown sugar, lightly packed (1 cup)
  • 3 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 240 ml (8 fl oz) milk (1 cup)
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the topping
  • 180 ml (6 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (¾ cup)
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 14 g (½ oz) pecans, roughly chopped (2 tbsp)

Equipment

  • You will also need a 23 cm (9 inch) loose bottomed tin or springform pan.
  • Method
  • For the crust
  • Break the biscuit/cookies into a food processor and add the pecans.
  • Pulse until the crumbs are really small (the texture of coarse sand).
  • Add the melted butter until the crumbs are nicely coated.
  • Tip into the tin or pan. Using the base of a glass, pack them down to evenly coat the base and also create a rim, 2.5 cm (1 inch), up the sides to form a pie shell.
  • Chill for 30 minutes.
  • For the filling
  • Meanwhile melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat.
  • Add the sugar and dissolve over a low heat, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
  • Put the cornflour/cornstarch into a small bowl and mix with ¼ of the milk, until the cornflour/cornstarch has dissolved.
  • Gradually stir the milk and cornstarch mixture into the butter and sugar until smooth.
  • Return to a medium–high heat and bring to the boil, stirring continuously. The mixture should now have thickened.
  • Cook for a further minute, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from the heat and immediately beat in the eggs and vanilla.
  • Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Give it a quick stir and then spoon into the pie shell and level the surface.
  • Chill for 20 minutes.
  • For the topping
  • Slice the bananas and decoratively cover the toffee custard.
  • Whip the cream until soft peaks form and cover the bananas, leaving the outer ring of bananas exposed.
  • Decorate the cream with the chopped nuts.
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Orange and Raisin Loaf

A very light cake where the orange flavour really comes through.

Orange and Raisin Loaf

  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 55 minutes
  • Ingredients
  • For the loaf
  • 170 g (6 oz) self-raising/self-rising flour, sifted (1⅓ cups)
  • 170 g (6 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¾ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • pinch of salt
  • 115 g (4 oz) butter, softened (½ cup, or 1 stick)
  • 2 eggs, medium (U.K.)/large (N.A.)
  • 1 orange
  • 115 g (4 oz) raisins (¾ cup)
  • For the icing
  • 170 g (6 oz) icing sugar/powdered sugar (1½ cups)
  • 3 tbsp hot water

Equipment

  • You will also need a 23 x 13 cm (9 x 5 inch) loaf tin/pan, greased and lined.
  • Method
  • For the loaf
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4).
  • Beat together the butter, sugar, and the zest of the orange until soft and creamy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of the sifted flour and the juice of the orange. Beat well.
  • Now fold in the remaining flour and salt.
  • Carefully stir through the raisins until evenly distributed.
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin/pan and level the surface.
  • Bake above the centre of the oven for 50–55 minutes until the surface springs back when lightly touched with the forefinger.
  • Leave to cool in the tin/pan for 10 minutes.
  • Then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • For the icing
  • Sift the icing/powdered sugar into a large bowl and then gradually add enough water until a coating consistency is reached.
  • Spread over the top of the loaf using a palette knife.
  • Leave to set.
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Classic Cauliflower Cheese

A heartwarming British dish that is quick and easy to prepare.

Classic Cauliflower Cheese

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Cooking time: about 15 minutes
  • Ingredients
  • 1 cauliflower
  • 55 g (2 oz) butter (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 55 g (2 oz) flour (½ cup less 1 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 240 ml (8 fl oz) milk (1 cup)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • freshly milled black pepper
  • 28 g (1 oz) Parmesan, finely grated/shredded (⅓ cup)
  • 140 g (5 oz) Cheddar cheese, finely grated/shredded (1¼ cups)
  • 3 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp snipped fresh chives
  • Method
  • First break the cauliflower into large florets.
  • Then cook in boiling salted water for 6 minutes. Drain well, reserving the liquid, and transfer to an ovenproof dish.
  • Preheat the grill/broiler.
  • Next melt the butter in a small pan.
  • Stir in the flour and mustard and cook for 1 minute.
  • Remove from the heat and gradually blend in the milk with 90 ml (3 fl oz) (⅓ cup) of the reserved cooking liquid.
  • Return to the heat and stir until the sauce has thickened.
  • Now add the bay leaves and gently cook for a further 4–5 minutes.
  • Take off the heat and remove the bay leaves.
  • Then beat in the Parmesan and 115 g (4 oz) (1 cup) of the Cheddar.
  • Add the pepper.
  • Now pour over the cauliflower florets.
  • Mix together the remaining Cheddar, breadcrumbs, and chives. Sprinkle over the top.
  • Place under the grill for about 5 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and beginning to turn brown.
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Individual Maple Cheesecakes

These mini cheesecakes are definitely for those who love maple syrup. A creamy maple flavoured cheese filling is topped with crunchy maple glazed pecans and then drizzled with maple syrup.

Individual Maple Cheesecakes

4 cheesecakes
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 18 minutes
  • Chilling time: 2 hours
  • Ingredients
  • For the base
  • 6 gingersnap biscuits/cookies OR
  • cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 14 g (½ oz) butter, melted (1 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • For the filling
  • 200 g Philadelphia cream cheese, in block form
  • 21 g (¾ oz) granulated sugar (1½ tbsp)
  • tbsp maple syrup
  • tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1 egg, small (U.K.)/medium (N.A.)
  • For the topping
  • 28 g (1 oz) chopped pecans (¼ cup)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

To serve

  • Extra maple syrup for pouring.

Equipment

  • You will also need a 6-hole bun tin/muffin pan lined with 4 large paper baking cases.
  • Method
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4).
  • For the base
  • If you are using the gingersnap biscuits/cookies, place them in a plastic food bag and crush using a rolling pin.
  • Now mix together the crumbs, melted butter, and sugar in a small bowl.
  • Divide equally amongst the four paper baking cases and press down to form a firm base.
  • For the filling
  • In a medium sized bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the cheese until soft and smooth.
  • Beat in the sugar, maple syrup, and yogurt.
  • Now add the egg and beat again until the mixture is smooth.
  • Spoon the mixture into the paper cases.
  • Bake for 18 minutes, or until the filling is set and slightly puffed.
  • Cool the cheesecakes in the tin/pan on a wire rack. Then refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • For the topping
  • Meanwhile the topping can be prepared. First have a sheet of baking parchment ready on a chopping board.
  • In a small frying pan/skillet, over a medium heat, toast the pecans, tossing them frequently. This will take 2–3 minutes. You will begin to smell the nuts when they are ready. Immediately remove from the heat as they can burn very quickly.
  • Now stir in the maple syrup to coat the nuts.
  • Over a medium-high heat cook for about 1 minute until the nuts are glazed and most of the syrup has been absorbed.
  • Then spread out on the baking parchment.
  • Leave to cool completely.
  • Break up any pecans that have stuck together.
  • To serve
  • Remove the paper cases from the cheesecakes and put them on serving plates.
  • Garnish each one with the glazed pecans.
  • Drizzle over maple syrup.
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Chunky Home Fries

Chunky Home Fries

These home fries are the best! They are easy to make and almost as quick as opening a bag of frozen supermarket ones! Plain or spicy.

Chunky Home Fries

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes for 4 servings
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 900 g (2 lb) potatoes*
  • 3 tbsp oil, flavourless (not olive oil)
  • salt and freshly milled pepper

Note

  • * The varieties I would suggest: Maris Piper in the U.K. and Yukon Gold in Canada.


  • Method
  • Adjust oven rack to lowest level. Preheat to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6

  • Line a large roasting tin/pan with baking parchment (which prevents the chips from sticking) and add the oil.
  • Heat in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile wash and peel potatoes. Slice into 1.25 cm (½ inch) thick rounds and then into 1.25 cm (½ inch) thick strips.
  • Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and then add the chips and parboil for 5 minutes.
  • Drain well and pat dry with kitchen paper.
  • Carefully add the chips to the hot oil, turning to coat.
  • Season.
  • Cook in the oven for 40 minutes, turning halfway through, until they are golden and crisp.
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Spicy Chunky Home Fries

4 servings
  • Ingredients
  • 900 g (2 lb) floury potatoes (about 6 medium)
  • 3 tbsp flavourless oil
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • Method
  • Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6).
  • Line a large roasting tin/pan with baking parchment (which prevents the chips from sticking) and add the oil.
  • Heat in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile wash and peel potatoes. Slice into 1.25 cm (½ inch) thick rounds and then into 1.25 cm (½ inch) thick strips.
  • Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and then add the chips and parboil for 5 minutes.
  • Drain well and pat dry with kitchen paper.
  • Tip into a bowl and add the flour, paprika salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
  • Then carefully add the chips to the hot oil, turning to coat.
  • Cook in the oven for 40 minutes, turning halfway through, until they are golden and crisp.
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Updated: April 16, 2020

Fish and Chips with Homemade Tartare Sauce

Fish and Chips with Homemade Tartare Sauce

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 45 minutes
  • Cooking time: 45 minutes
  • Ingredients
  • For the chips
  • 900 g (2 lb) potatoes (about 6 medium)
  • 3 tbsp flavourless oil
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • For the fish
  • 4 x 140 g (5 oz) boneless haddock fillets, skinned
  • 2 lemons
  • 170 g (6 oz) fresh breadcrumbs (3 cups)
  • 28 g (1 oz) fresh parsley, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • 2 tbsp flavourless oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 2 eggs
  • For the tartare sauce
  • 90 ml (3 fl oz) plain yogurt (⅓ cup)
  • 2 cornichons, drained and chopped
  • 2 tsp capers, drained

To serve

  • Peas
  • Method
  • For the chips
  • Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6).
  • Line a large roasting tin/pan with baking parchment (which prevents the chips from sticking) and add the oil.
  • Heat in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile wash and peel potatoes. Slice into 1.25 cm (½ inch) thick rounds and then into 1.25 cm (½ inch) thick strips.
  • Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and then add the chips and parboil for 5 minutes.
  • Drain well and pat dry with kitchen paper.
  • Carefully add the chips to the hot oil, turning to coat.
  • Season.
  • Cook in the oven for 40 minutes, turning halfway through, until they are golden and crisp.
  • For the fish
  • Meanwhile, put the breadcrumbs in a large bowl.
  • Zest the lemons and add to the breadcrumbs. Cut one of the lemons into wedges and put to one side. You won’t need the other lemon.
  • Now add half the parsley, seasoning and oil to the bowl and toss everything together. Spread out on a chopping board.
  • Lightly beat the eggs in a shallow bowl.
  • Then grease a baking sheet large enough to take the fish in a single layer.
  • Now dip each fish fillet first in the egg and then coat with the breadcrumbs, pressing the crumbs down onto the fish so there is a thick layer. Lay them on the baking sheet.
  • When the chips have been cooking for 30 minutes put the fish in the oven. The fish will need just 10 minutes to bake.
  • For the tartare sauce
  • While the fish is baking, the tartare sauce can be prepared. Just mix together the yogurt, the remaining parsley, cornichons and capers and spoon into a small bowl to be served separately.
  • Serve the fish with the lemon wedges.
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Dutch Apple Tart

Dutch Apple Tart

  • Preparation time: about 50 minutes
  • Chilling time: 1 hour
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Cooling time: 45 minutes
  • Ingredients
  • For the pastry
  • 85 g (3 oz) granulated sugar (⅓ cup)
  • 250 g (9 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour (2 cups)
  • pinch of salt
  • 150 g (5 oz) chilled butter, cubed (⅔ cup)
  • 1 egg, medium (U.K.)/large (N.A.), beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the filling
  • 900 g (2 lb) Braeburn apples, or similar variety of eating apple (about 6 medium)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ lemon, zest only
  • 55 g (2 oz) sultanas (½ cup)
  • 55 g (2 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¼ cup)
  • 4 tbsp fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten (to glaze)

To serve

  • Double/whipping or heavy cream, softly whipped

Equipment

  • You will also need a 20.5 cm (8 inch) springform tin/pan, greased.
  • Method
  • For the pastry
  • In a large mixing bowl mix together the sugar, flour and salt, or briefly pulse in a food processor.
  • Rub in the butter using your fingertips, or pulse, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Now add the egg, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of cold water and mix, or pulse, until the pastry begins to clump together.
  • Tip out onto the work surface and bring the mixture together, shaping it into a disc.
  • Wrap in cling film/plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • For the filling
  • 10 minutes before the pastry is fully chilled, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4).
  • Meanwhile, peel and core the apples. Cut thinly into 3 mm (⅛ inch) slices and place in a bowl.
  • Add the cinnamon, lemon zest, and sultanas. Add the sugar, reserving ¾ tablespoon.
  • Now mix everything together and set aside.
  • To make the tart
  • Cut off ⅓ of the pastry and rewrap it.
  • On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the remaining pastry allowing it to be large enough to bring it 6 cm (2¼ inches) up the sides of the tin/pan. Now line the tin/pan.
  • Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the base of the pastry.
  • Now tip in the apple filling and make the surface as level as possible.
  • Roll out the reserved pastry. Slice into 1.5 cm (⅔ inch) wide strips and arrange in a lattice pattern on top of the filling. Reroll any trimmings as necessary.
  • Pinch the edges to join the pastry and trim to neaten.
  • Brush the lattice with the beaten egg and then sprinkle over the reserved sugar.
  • Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes until the top is deep golden in colour.
  • Leave to cool in the tin/pan on a wire rack for 45 minutes.
  • Remove from the tin/pan and serve.
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Jam Sponge Pudding with Jam Sauce

Jam Sponge Pudding with a Raspberry Sauce

Jam Sponge Pudding with Jam Sauce

6 servngs
  • Preparation time: 50 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes for the large pudding or 55 minutes for the individual puddings
  • Ingredients
  • For the pudding
  • 2 tbsp raspberry jam
  • 140 g (5 oz) self-raising/self-rising flour (1 cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 115 g (4 oz) butter (½ cup, or 1 stick), at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  • 115 g (4 oz) caster/superfine sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), beaten
  • 1 lemon
  • For the jam sauce
  • 1 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 225 g (8 oz) raspberry jam (½ cup)
  • ½ lemon, juice only

Equipment

  • You will also need a 1.2 litre (2 pint) (5 cup) pudding basin or 6 x 200 ml (7 fl oz) (1 cup) aluminium pudding moulds.
  • Method
  • For the pudding
  • Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5).
  • First grease the inside of the pudding basin or moulds with a little melted butter.
  • Spread the jam over the base of the pudding basin or use 1 teaspoon of jam for each individual mould.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl.
  • Zest the lemon and then squeeze out the juice.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and lemon zest until the mixture is creamy and light in colour.
  • Gradually add the eggs, beating well between each addition, and adding a little flour if the mixture begins to curdle.
  • Fold in the remaining flour and lemon juice.
  • Spoon into the basin or divide amongst the moulds. The mixture should fill the basin or moulds two-thirds full. Level the surface(s).
  • Cover the basin or moulds with foil greased with a little melted butter. The foil should be large enough to come halfway down the sides of the basin or moulds.
  • Stand the pudding(s) in a roasting tin/pan.
  • Then pour boiling water to come about 2.5 cm (1 inch) up their sides.
  • Now cover the tin/pan and pudding(s) with a ‘tent’ of foil, turning it under the rim of the tin/pan.
  • Carefully place in the oven and allow 1 hour 30 minutes for the large pudding and 55 minutes for the individual puddings.
  • For the jam sauce
  • Prepare the sauce 15 minutes before the puddings will be ready.
  • Measure 90 ml (3 fl oz) (⅓ cup) water into a small pan.
  • Stir in the cornflour/cornstarch until blended.
  • Now add the jam and lemon juice.
  • Stir over a medium heat until the jam has melted and the sauce has blended.
  • Bring the sauce up to the boil and then reduce the heat and stir until the sauce begins to thicken.
  • The sauce can be strained at this point if you want the sauce to be smooth without any raspberry seeds.
  • Keep warm.
  • To serve
  • Remove all the foil and invert the pudding(s) onto a warm plate(s).
  • Then drizzle a little sauce over the top(s).
  • Any remaining sauce can be poured into a jug and served separately.
  • Note
  • The jam sauce can be made earlier and then reheated just before serving.
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Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 25 minutes
  • Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 chicken breasts, skinned
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 rashers smoked back bacon/side bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 225 g (8 oz) closed-cup chestnut mushrooms (about 2 cups)
  • 450 g (1 lb) Chantenay carrots/baby carrots*
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) good chicken stock (1¼ cups)
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) red wine (⅔ cup)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme

To serve

  • Purple sprouting broccoli/broccolini

Equipment

  • You will also need a large wide-based pan with lid.

Note

  • *Chantenay carrots are very sweet, small carrots which I can’t get in Canada and so I substitute them with baby carrots, about 16.
  • Method
  • In a large bowl, toss the chicken in the flour with a little salt and pepper.
  • Heat the oil in the pan and add the chicken in a single layer with the bacon. Brown over a medium heat for 5 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through. Remove the chicken and bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and put to one side.
  • Reduce the heat and add the onions, mushrooms, and carrots to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, tossing frequently. Then add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
  • Return the chicken and bacon to the pan. Add the stock, wine, bay leaves, and thyme. Season. Now bring the sauce to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes, partially covered with the lid.
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