Archive for June 2013

Crostata di marmellata: Daring Bakers’ Life of Pie

Posted 27 June 2013 by
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Crostata di marmellata — that’s Italian jam tart to you and me. This was a Daring Bakers challenge, and one of four pie options to choose from. The other pies looked amazing , and I was seriously tempted to bake some of those too, but with only so many people around to help eat them, I stuck to just this one.

Strawberry jam crostata

I haven’t baked with sweet enriched pastry before, and it turned out to be quite a challenge, particularly on a warm day. As a result, I was a little disappointed with the apparance of the finished tart, but it was really tasty, and that’s the main thing.

Crostata di marmellata

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Ground Elder and Goat’s Cheese Tarts

Posted 14 June 2013 by
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Ground elder is a perennial plant that was introduced to this island by the Romans. It’s now considered a weed in the gardening world, but happily it’s edible, so get foraging and kill two birds with one stone.

Ground elder leaves

It has quite a distinctive, earthy flavour that goes well with a salty goat’s cheese and sweet caramelised onions in these individual tarts. I didn’t manage to get a decent photo; I must have been too eager to get this chap into my tummy! I served these with vegetables and mashed potato for dinner, but you could easily have the tarts as a starter for a bigger meal.

Ground elder and goat's cheese tart

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Strawberry Jam

Posted 13 June 2013 by
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Well, it’s mid-June and Summer Solstice is just over a week away, yet it’s grey, damp and miserable outside. Getting in the kitchen for a spot of strawberry jam-making is a good a way as any of banishing the rainy-day blues. I can’t think of a flavour more evocative of British summertime than the humble strawberry.

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Nettle Soup

Posted 12 June 2013 by
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I think it’s always fun to cook with free food taken from the garden, and especially food you have foraged from the hedgerow. Stinging nettles are versatile and can be used where you would use spinach or other greens. They are very nutritious, containing decent amounts of iron, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin K. After the success of my nettle and thyme bread, I decided to try nettle soup. It tasted good — nettle doesn’t have a very strong taste; it’s quite earthy I suppose, and not dissimilar to spinach.

Nettle soup

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Hummingbird Bakery Lemon Loaf

Posted 9 June 2013 by
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The weather has finally improved here and it’s so nice to take advantage of the Amalfi lemons that are in season. Lemon is such a summery flavour. This lemon loaf from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook is the perfect vehicle. It’s a lovely sweet loaf, but what really makes it special is the lemon syrup drizzled on top.

Hummingbird bakery lemon loaf Continue reading “Hummingbird Bakery Lemon Loaf”…