Key lime pie

For serious Great British Bake Off fans, some of you may remember Paul Hollywood declaring Ryan’s key lime pie as the best pie he’s ever had (GBBO 2012). I followed the recipe from the book ‘The Great British Bake Off – How to turn everyday bakes into SHOWSTOPPERS’ by Linda Collister. There is also a recipe online (see below) on the BBC Food website which is supposedly the same thing but isn’t…. quantities are very different and recommended toppings too.

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This pie was really fun to make, it’s a sweet ginger pastry which is made in the usual method i.e. rubbing the butter into the gingery, sugary flour and mixing with egg yolk and cold water. Voila, biscuit pastry! This pastry was particularly nice after being baked (don’t forget this one needs blind baking for non soggy bottom related dramas) and compliments the lime filling very well. The lime filling is condensed milk, lime juice and zest mixed with whipped double cream. You fill the pie up and pop it in the fridge to set. Then it’s Italian meringue time….. now if I could go back in time I would have bought a sugar thermometer to make this process easier. Italian meringue is made by creating a sugar syrup (sugar + water in a pan and heated to 110 °C) and mixing this into whipped egg whites. Now guessing where 110°C lies is pretty tricky, I did it by testing whether the syrup was at ‘thread’ stage by dropping it into a glass of cold water and seeing how it solidified. It was phaffy and I forgot that sugar is hot and stuck my finger in it. DON’T DO THAT!!!! 😦 I really do recommend a thermometer, but if you are curious I’ve put a link below which tells you all about the stages of sugar during cooking. The recipe also recommended a blow torch to give the meringue that golden hue which is oh so attractive. I do not have blow torch. It’s quite a dangerous recipe really, if it’s not the boiling sugar that gets you, it could be your very hot baking beads OR your blow torch… I opted for the grill for only a few seconds and it worked and I was very relieved.

This pie was worth the crazy methodology. It is the best key lime pie I’ve ever tasted. It’s got lots of stem ginger under the lime filling and the ginger biscuit pastry is just fabulous. Go forth and try it!!!!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Great-British-Bake-Off/dp/1849904634

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/key_lime_pie_53484

http://www.joyofbaking.com/StagesOfCookedSugar.html

 

Chocolate torte

Makes sense to me to bring in the New Year with something very chocolately… I followed Jamie Oliver’s wisdom on this occasion.  
This recipe is dead simple. Roll out your shortcrust pastry and blind bake in the oven until golden.

Pour in the chocolate mixture and allow to set at room temperature for a few hours (so that the chocolate keeps it’s shine).

The finished product is pretty scrummy looking! Finish off with salt flakes or grated white chocolate.

Bring on 2016!

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/chocolate-recipes/rich-chocolate-tart-with-salt-flakes/#Wq0mJpM41R77AJgU.97

Mince pie mayhem

I made a big pot of cranberry mincemeat a few weeks ago and made mince pies on Christmas Eve. I put a few hours into making my large batch of mince pies and made quite a mess. I taste tested the mincemeat (a la Nigella) which  was pleasing and got to work on my sweet shortcrust pastry. I greased my tins rigorously and rolled out my pastry cases. I used a cornflour based recipe which was very short and delicious but very difficult to work with. I popped my mincemeat into the cases and put the tops on and baked them. 

  
As you can see I cut out holly for some and made lattices for others. They turned out pretty good when baked…

  

However, 50% of my batch wouldn’t come out of the tin and looked like I had sat on them.

  
So beware, best to twist them out of the tins and if you think you did a good job greasing .. think again and add more butter! 

Bacon & broccoli quiche

  
For the pastry :

  • 8 0z plain flour
  • 5oz unsalted butter
  • 2-3 tbsp water

For the filling:

  • Handful of chopped up broccoli
  • Packet of bacon chopped up
  • 50ml double cream
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • Splash of milk
  • 1 big chopped onion 
  • Chunk of mature cheddar cheese grated 
  • Salt and pepper

Making quiche is dead easy and much nicer than the soggy supermarket bought ones. They’re a bit like scotch eggs really, better home made!

Rub the butter into the pastry to make breadcrumbs and then mix in the water until it forms a coherent pastry dough. Chill in the fridge.

Sweat off the onion and bacon until caramelised and then add the broccoli. Take off the heat when the broccoli turns bright green.

Roll out the chilled pastry and blind bake on gas mark 4 for 10 minutes. Fill the pastry case with the onions, broccoli and bacon. Sprinkle lots of cheese over the filling. Make the egg mixture by beating the eggs, milk and cream together, season and then pour over the quiche filling. Pop in the oven for half an hour until the filling doesn’t wobble when gently shaken. Best served hot from the oven!