Caramel Apple Tartlets

A very simple tartlet that is easy to prepare. Delicious caramel is spread over a pastry base and covered with thinly sliced sweet apples. Sugar is then sprinkled over the top just before serving.

Caramel Apple Tartlets

6 tartlets
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Resting time: 35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 25 minutes
  • Ingredients
  • For the pastry
  • 225 g (8 oz) plain/cake and pastry flour (1¾ cups)
  • pinch of salt
  • 55 g (2 oz) butter (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 55 g (2 oz) shortening (¼ cup)
  • 3–4 tbsp very cold water
  • For the filling
  • 6 tbsp rounded, Dulche de la Leche (a caramel spread)
  • 3 small eating apples
  • icing/powdered sugar to dust

To serve

  • Vanilla ice cream or pouring cream

Equipment

  • You will also need 6 x 20 cm (4 inch) individual tartlet tins.
  • Method
  • For the pastry
  • Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  • Now add the butter and shortening, cutting them into small pieces using two knives.
  • Pick up the mixture in small handfuls and gently rub the fat through the flour with the tips of the fingers. Continue until the fat is evenly blended throughout the flour and the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. (This can also be achieved in a food processor.)
  • Then sprinkle 3 tablespoons water over the mixture and, using a fork or round-ended table knife, draw the mixture together until it leaves the sides of the bowl clean and forms a rough ball, adding extra water if the mixture seems dry.
  • Turn out on to a lightly floured surface and knead once or twice to form a smooth ball.
  • Wrap in a plastic food bag and rest it in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  • Now roll out the pastry quite thinly.
  • Using a tartlet tin as a guide, cut out six circles slightly larger than the tin and use to line the six tartlet tins.
  • Prick the base of the pastry with a fork and return to the fridge for a further 15 minutes for the pastry to firm up.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6) and place a baking sheet in the oven while it is warming up.
  • For the filling
  • Spread 1 tablespoon of the Dulche de la Leche over the base of the pastry and up the sides.
  • Quarter, core and thinly slice the apples (do not peel).
  • Neatly pile the apple slices upright over the caramel.
  • Then carefully place the tins on the hot baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.
  • Lightly dust with icing/powdered sugar just before serving.
Print Recipe

Lemon Meringue Ice Gateau

Lemon Meringue Ice Gateau

8 servings
  • Preparation time: 45 minutes
  • Freezing time: overnight
  • Standing time: 10 minutes
  • Ingredients
  • For the lemon curd
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 2 lemons
  • 115 g (4 oz) granulated sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 40 g (1½ oz) butter, cubed (3 tbsp)
  • For the gateau
  • 450 ml (15 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¾ cups)
  • 400 g Greek yogurt
  • 170 g (6 oz) icing/powdered sugar (1½ cups)
  • 2 lemons, zest only (reserved from making the lemon curd)
  • 4 meringue nests, crushed**
  • 6 tbsp lemon curd

Note

  • **This is a great way to use up left over meringue nests but they can be made especially for the recipe. See recipe below.
  • For decoration
  • 240 ml (8 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1 cup)
  • 3 tbsp lemon curd
  • ½ lemon and lime, optional
  • You will also need an 18 cm (7 inch) spring-clip cake tin/spring-form pan lined with baking parchment.
  • Method
  • If making the meringues, prepare these ahead of time (see below).
  • Next make the lemon curd before assembling the gateau.
  • For the lemon curd
  • Zest the lemons and reserve for making the gateau.
  • Then juice them and put in a bowl with the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk together.
  • Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
  • Add the cubes of butter, stirring continuously until the butter has melted.
  • Now continue stirring until the curd thickens enough to hold a trail.
  • Remove from the heat and leave to become cold while making the gateau. The curd will thicken and set as it becomes cold.
  • For the gateau
  • Pour the cream into a large bowl.
  • Add the yogurt, sugar and reserved lemon zest.
  • Whisk together until the mixture forms soft peaks.
  • Now roughly crush the meringues and gently fold in.
  • Spoon 6 tablespoons of the lemon curd over the top and, using a round-ended knife, cut in to form swirls throughout the mixture.
  • Carefully spoon into the prepared tin/pan and level the surface.
  • Cover and freeze overnight.
  • To serve
  • Remove the gateau from the freezer and allow it to stand for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile whip the cream until just stiff.
  • Now release the gateau from the tin/pan and transfer to a serving plate.
  • Decorate the top with the whipped cream and 3 tablespoons of lemon curd.
  • If using the half lemon and lime, cut each into half and slice. They can be added, shaped into a fan, for extra decoration.
  • Serve immediately.
  • Any unused portion can be returned to the freezer in a covered, rigid container.
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Meringue Shells

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour, plus cooling in the oven
  • Ingredients
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 115 g (4 oz) caster/granulated sugar (1 cup + 1 tbsp)
  • Method
  • Preheat oven to cool, 140°C (275°F) (gas 1).
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff.
  • Gradually whisk in the sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition, until stiff and glossy.
  • Now line a baking tray/sheet with baking parchment. Dabbing a little meringue on each corner of the baking tray/sheet first will keep the lining in place.
  • Spoon 6 mounds of meringue onto the baking paper.
  • Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour, until the meringues shells lift easily from the paper.
  • Turn off the oven but leave the meringue shells inside to completely dry out while the oven is cooling down.
  • Note that you will only need four of the shells for the above recipe.
Print Recipe

Classic Crème Brûlée

Classic Crème Brûlée

These crème brûlées are so creamy they make just the perfect dessert. Egg yolks, sugar and cream flavoured with vanilla make the creamy custard, and it’s topped with brittle caramel.

I have shared two methods for creating the caramelized topping, one using a chef’s blowtorch and the other using the grill/broiler.

Classic Crème Brûlée

6 servings
  • Preparation time: 25–40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 25 minutes
  • Cooling time: 2 hours
  • Refrigeration time: 6 hours or overnight, plus 2 hours on day of serving
  • Ingredients
  • For the custard
  • butter, for greasing
  • 4 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 40 g (1½ oz) caster/superfine sugar (3 tbsp)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) single/table cream (1¼ cups)
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)
  • For the topping

  • 6 tbsp golden caster/granulated sugar, if using a chef’s blowtorch
  • 115 g (4 oz) caster sugar/granulated sugar (½ cup), if not using a chef’s blowtorch
  • You will also need 6 x 150 ml, 5 fl oz (⅔ cup)heatproof ramekins


  • Method
  • For the custard
  • Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) gas 3.

  • Lightly grease ramekins with butter and put to one side.

  • Have some boiling water ready.
  • Meanwhile, line a deep-sided ovenproof dish or small roasting pan with a layer of kitchen paper and sit the six ramekins on the paper (the paper prevents the ramekins from slipping).
  • Next pour both creams into a pan and heat until scalding. Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little.

  • While the cream is cooling, put the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract into a large bowl and whisk to combine.

  • Then gradually pour in the cream, while whisking at the same time, until the cream and egg mixture is blended together.
  • Strain the custard into a jug and then divide amongst the six ramekins.
  • Carefully pour enough of the boiling water into the ovenproof dish or roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  • Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. Check after 20 minutes as the custard still needs to have a slight wobble to it.
  • Remove the dish from the oven and leave the ramekins in the water until the water has cooled.
  • Now take the ramekin dishes out of the water, cover them and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

  • For the topping, using a chef’s blowtorch
  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly over the custard in each ramekin. The sugar needs to cover the custard completely.
  • Now caramelize the sugar under a direct flame.

  • Leave to cool and then refrigerate for two hours before serving.

  • For the topping, without using a chef’s blowtorch
  • First, have a piece of parchment paper ready on a chopping board.
  • Next, put the sugar in a stainless steel pan and add just enough water to dampen the sugar.
  • Place over a low heat and stir the sugar until completely dissolved. Then increase the heat to medium–high. Without stirring, leave the sugar to bubble fiercely. When the bubbling lessens and the sugar has turned a pale straw colour it will be ready.
  • Carefully, pour the caramel onto the paper (it will be extremely hot) and leave it to become cold.
  • Now turn on the grill/broiler to high and leave for 5 minutes to become really hot.

  • The caramel will have hardened on cooling. Break it into small pieces and blitz in a food processor or blender until there are really fine granules (finer than caster/superfine sugar).
  • Sprinkle evenly over the custard in each ramekin, right to the edge, so that the custard is completely covered.
  • Put the ramekins on a baking tray/sheet and place under the heat source, as close as possible. Cook for less than a minute, not letting the sugar burn. The heat just needs to melt the sugar.
  • Leave to cool and then refrigerate for two hours before serving.
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Updated: May 17, 2020

Baked Alaska

Baked Alaska

Individual servings of the Baked Alaska. Mini sponge flans are topped with raspberry jam and creamy ice cream, covered in a soft meringue, then quickly baked to set the meringue but leaving the ice cream frozen inside.

Baked Alaska

4 individual servings
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Freezing time: overnight
  • Cooking time: 3–5 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 mini sponge flans
  • 4 tbsp raspberry conserve
  • 250 ml good quality ice-cream, raspberry, or strawberry (4 large scoops)
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • pinch of cream of tartar
  • 115 g (4 oz) caster/granulated sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 7 g (¼ oz) flaked almonds (1½ tbsp)


  • Method
  • Remove the ice cream from the fridge to soften a little, about 10 minutes.

  • Fill each sponge flan with 1 tablespoon of conserve and level the top.
  • Then, using an ice cream scoop, top with one large scoop of ice cream.
  • Return to the freezer for at least one hour.
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Sprinkle over the cream of tartar and whisk in the sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition, until the mixture is stiff and shiny.
  • Now, using a palette knife to spread the meringue, completely cover the sponges and ice cream. Then drawing upwards with the tip of a knife, make little swirls with the meringue. Freeze overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 230°C (450°F) (gas 8)

  • Scatter the almonds over the meringue, then bake for 3–5 minutes until the meringue is just starting to brown.
  • Serve immediately.
  • Tip
  • The prepared Alaskas can be left frozen for up to one month. Bake in the oven as directed above but leave for 15 minutes before serving.
Print Recipe

Updated: May 9, 2020

Eton Mess

Eton Mess

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • If also making the meringue shells:
  • Extra time needed for preparation: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: for the meringue shells: 1 hour, plus cooling in the oven
  • Ingredients
  • 450 g (1 lb) strawberries (about 3 cups)
  • 284 ml (9 fl oz) carton double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1⅛ cups)
  • 1 tbsp caster/superfine sugar
  • 4 small meringues shells*
  • a few mint leaves, finely shredded for decoration

Note

  • *This dish is a great way to use up any left over meringue shells. However, if making them especially for this dish, follow the recipe below and prepare them first.
  • For the meringues
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 115 g (4 oz) caster/granulated sugar (1 cup + 1 tbsp)

To serve

  • You will also need 4 sundae glasses.

For a Tipsy Eton Mess

  • as above, plus:
  • 1 tbsp Grand Marnier
  • Method
  • For the meringues
  • Preheat oven to cool, 140°C (275°F) (gas 1)
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff.
  • Gradually whisk in the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition, until stiff and glossy.
  • Now line a baking tray/sheet with baking parchment. Dabbing a little meringue on each corner of the baking tray/sheet first will keep the lining in place.
  • Spoon 6 mounds of meringue onto the baking paper.
  • Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, until the meringues shells lift easily from the paper.
  • Turn off the oven but leave the meringue shells inside to completely dry out while the oven is cooling down.
  • Now while you are waiting for the meringues to cool in the oven, the strawberries can be prepared.
  • Note that you will only need four of the shells for this recipe.
  • For the Eton Mess
  • Wash, pat dry and hull the strawberries.
  • Halve or quarter them so they are all of a similar size.
  • Place them in a large bowl and sprinkle over the sugar. 
  • If making a Tipsy Eton Mess, add the Grand Marnier now.
  • Then mix gently and leave for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • Break the meringue shells into bite-sized pieces.
  • Next whip the cream in a large bowl until it forms soft peaks. It should still fall from a spoon.
  • Put 20 strawberry halves and about a quarter of the broken meringue pieces to one side for decoration.
  • Then gently fold the rest of the meringue into the cream and, just using a few strokes, fold in the strawberries and their juice.
  • Divide between the glass dishes and top each dish with an equal quantity of the reserved strawberry halves and meringue.
  • Finally sprinkle over the shredded mint leaves, if using.
  • Serve immediately.
Print Recipe

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.
Print Recipe

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.
Print Recipe

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.
Print Recipe

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.
Print Recipe

Cheat’s Crêpes Suzette

Cheat's Crêpes Suzette

I call these Cheat’s Crêpes Suzette because they aren’t flambéed just before serving. The crêpes with orange segments in orange sauce flavoured with Cointreau still make them sublime. (To flambé them, just follow the last steps of the method.)

Cheat's Crêpes Suzette

4 –6 servings
  • Preparation time: About 30 minutes
  • Standing time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: About 25 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the crêpes
  • 115 g (4 oz) plain/all-purpose flour (1 cup less 1½ tbsp)
  • pinch salt
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 240 ml (8 fl oz) semi-skimmed/partly skimmed milk (1 cup) mixed with:
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz) water (¼ cup)
  • 55 g (2 oz) butter (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • For the orange sauce
  • 55 g (2 oz) icing/powdered sugar (½ cup)
  • 3 small oranges
  • 85 g (3 oz) butter (3 tbsp, or ³⁄₈ stick)
  • 1 tbsp Grand Marnier or Cointreau

Equipment

  • You will also need a 25cm (10 inch) heavy gauge aluminium frying pan/skillet.


  • Method
  • Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.

  • Make a well in the centre of the flour and break in the eggs. Using an electric whisk or a balloon whisk, whisk the eggs into the flour, gradually adding the milk and incorporating the flour from around the edge of the bowl. Scrape any remaining flour down from the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and whisk again until all the mixture is smooth. It should be the consistency of thin cream. Set aside for 20 minutes.

  • Meanwhile prepare the sauce. Squeeze the juice from one orange into a small pan and add the icing/powdered sugar. Stir to dissolve and then add the butter. Gently heat to melt the butter and then simmer for 2 minutes. The mixture will thicken slightly. Set the pan to one side.

  • Zest the two remaining oranges and put the zest to one side.

  • Now remove all the pith from the 2 oranges, separate into their segments and remove any pips. Cut each segment into three.

  • Preheat oven to 130°C (250°F) (gas ½) and place five plates in the oven to warm.

  • Meanwhile melt the butter. Spoon 2 tablespoons into the batter and whisk it in. The remainder will be used to smear the pan/skillet between cooking each pancake using a wodge of kitchen paper.
  • To prepare for cooking the crêpes:

  • Get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to a medium setting.

  • Use about 2 tablespoons of batter for each crêpe. It is easier to measure this into a ladle or measuring cup first and use this to tip the batter into the pan/skillet in one go. Using the ladle or cup, hold it so that the base is very close to the bottom of the pan/skillet in the centre and then pour it in. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan/skillet, lift the pan/skillet and tip it round from side to side to get the base evenly coated with the batter. If there are any holes, just fill them in with extra batter using a teaspoon. It will take less than a minute to cook. Lift the edge with a palette knife to check the underside is golden.

  • Now flip the crêpe over. The other side will need less time to cook. Then slide it out of the pan onto a warmed plate.

  • Continue until there are 12 crêpes. Overlap them on the warmed plate as you go, keeping them warm in the oven, covered loosely with foil.

  • Pour the sauce into the pan/skillet and warm through. Add the zest and 1 tablespoon of the liqueur.

  • Then fold the crêpes into quarters, placing a few orange segments in each one. Add the crêpes to the pan along with any remaining orange segments.

  • Cook for 2 minutes to heat the crêpes through.

Note

  • If you want to flambé the crêpes just follow the steps below.

To flambé the crêpes

  • This is done just before serving the crêpes. First mix together 3 tablespoons of Grand Marnier and 3 tablespoons of brandy. Then pour them into the pan and set the sauce alight. This has to be done very quickly or the alcohol will evaporate and won’t light. Carefully swirl the pan around so that the sauce flames evenly. Serve when the flames have extinguished. Be very careful when doing this.
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Updated: March 9, 2020

Swiss Trifle

Swiss Trifle

This Swiss Trifle is a lovely light dessert for winter using frozen raspberries. Slices of jam-filled Swiss roll, laced with sherry and covered with raspberries, are topped with a creamy custard and whipped cream, then sprinkled with roasted almonds.

Swiss Trifle

8 servings
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Standing time: 10 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: at least 2 hours 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 200 g (7 oz) jam-filled Swiss roll/jelly roll
  • 3 tbsp sherry
  • 340 g (12 oz) frozen raspberries (1½ cups)
  • 2 tbsp raspberry jam
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 240 ml (8 fl oz) whole milk (1 cup)
  • 600 ml (20 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (2½ cups)
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 85 g (3 oz) caster sugar/superfine sugar (⅓ cup plus 1 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar/powdered sugar, sifted
  • 15 g (½ oz) flaked/sliced almonds (1½ tbsp)

Equipment

  • You will also need a 2 litre (3½ pint) flat-bottomed glass serving dish (8 cup capacity)


  • Method
  • Cut the Swiss roll into 2 cm (¾ inch) slices and arrange in the base and slightly up the sides of the glass dish. Drizzle over the sherry.
  • Put the raspberries and jam in a small pan over a moderate-low heat for 2–3 minutes until the fruit is beginning to soften and the mixture is saucy. Leave for about 5 minutes to cool a little. Then pour the raspberry mixture in an even layer over the sponge.

  • To make the custard. Pour the milk and 240 ml (8 fl oz) (1 cup) of the cream into a small pan. Stir in the vanilla extract and heat until bubbling round the edges. Then remove from the heat and leave for 2 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, caster/superfine sugar and cornflour/cornstarch until smooth. Then gradually whisk in the hot milk and cream.

  • Return the custard to the pan, bring to the boil, and then simmer for 2–3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the custard has thickened. Leave to cool for about 10 minutes.

  • Pour the custard in an even layer over the raspberries, then chill for 20 minutes, until the custard is just beginning to set.

  • Pour the remaining cream and sifted icing/confectioners’ sugar into a large bowl and lightly whip until it holds soft peaks. Spoon the cream over the custard. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

  • To toast the almonds. Heat a wide bottomed pan. When it is hot, turn the heat down to low and toss in the almonds. Keep moving them around until they just start to turn golden and begin to smell. Watch them all the time as they can burn very quickly. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

  • Just before serving the trifle sprinkle the flaked/sliced almonds over the top.

Note

  • If you want to make less than 8 servings just use individual glass dishes. Alter the quantity of the ingredients accordingly but follow the same method. When cutting the Swiss roll make the slices as thin as possible. You may not need all the Swiss roll to line the individual glass dishes.
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Updated March 9, 2020

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