Caramelised Blood Oranges with Orange Shortbreads

I could cheerfully eat my own not inconsiderable body weight in blood oranges, they’re such a seasonal treat. Straight out of the fruit basket, sliced up with other citrus for breakfast, baked into cakes. This, though, makes a refreshing dessert, particularly good if you want something light at the end of a hefty meal.  Continue reading

Basics: Pavlova

Image of pavlova

I once tried to make a strawberry pavlova and it was such a disaster that I broke up the meringue and turned it all into an Eton Mess. Pavlovas … those big meringue nests you fill with cream and fruit to spectacular effect … can be a bit tricksy. They conspire with your oven to make you look like a bad cook. Then all your friends tell you how easy they are and how theirs work perfectly every time. Pah. Time for a fight-back. Continue reading

Basics: How To Lattice Pastry

Image of latticed pie

Great British Bake Off fans may recall an episode when Mary Berry ticked off a competitor for failing to interweave the lattices on his or her pastry properly, just laying the strips over each other instead.

On a scale of one to 10, whether or not one can lattice a pie is hardly up there with masterminding world peace and ending global hunger and more competent pastry cooks will probably be rolling their eyes, but I confess it’s an art that had largely eluded me, too. Continue reading

Pear Galettes

Image of pear treeIt’s Murphy’s Law but the gnarled old pear tree on the corner of the house, with its scabby leaves, generally produces better fruit than the ones we planted in the orchard.

We were told it was a hard cooking variety but picked and left in a basket, the pears ripen into honeyed perfection, ideal for this recipe.

These individual tarts are a nifty make-ahead dessert. Continue reading

Honey and Hazelnut Cake

Image of gifts from JoeRecipes, ‘Pam The Jam’ Corbyn once said to me on Twitter, are for sharing. So are ingredients. I recently sent a pot of Norfolk saffron to an American Facebook friend (yes, I fritter away far too much time on social media) and he responded with typical generosity.

Joe Pettit and his husband Andrew Fink run Clean Bite Catering in Washington state, producing local and seasonal food for clients around Seattle and South Sound, so they know their onions. And hazelnuts and honey.

Joe sent me a bag of raw Oregon hazelnuts, Continue reading

Mini Victoria Sandwiches

Image of passionfruit and lemon curdI treated myself to a new cake tin the other day. I don’t actually make cakes all that often (which is usually obvious from their clunky look) but I can’t resist shiny bits of kitchen kit.

Equally, I rarely buy jams and preserves because I make my own, but I have fallen in love with Scarlett and Mustard‘s tangy and more-ish Passionfruit and Lemon Curd.

The two came together in this recipe, Continue reading

Autumn Fruit Compote

I shall probably be drummed out of the food bloggers’ club for saying this, but I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. I mostly make cakes and desserts as presents and when we have guests. Unless it’s tarte au citron, I could eat my own body weight in that.

But I do enjoy fresh fruit and compotes like this: Continue reading