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

 

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Ginger & plum pudding

The weather is so disgusting that I decided a spiced pudding was the way forward tonight. After foraging carefully in Tesco I decided that the most cost effective and delicious dessert would involve plums. I used a recipe from the BBC good food website and added an extra tablespoon of ginger for a bit more of a kick.

  
It’s as simple as greasing a tin and filling it with beautiful plum halves (stones removed) and sprinkling with brown sugar. The ginger batter is quite runny because it contains a lot of milk.

  

It takes about 45 -55 minutes to cook depending on whether you remember to keep your oven ticker on. Whoops. I don’t know how I’m still doing that? 

  
The pudding is pretty scrummy with a glug of double cream. The close texture of the pudding really goes with the sweet gooey plums. I recommend this recipe whole heartedly. 

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/gingery-plum-cake

Chilli & ginger bean burger 

  
Want to give meat a miss for the night? Why not try making delicious bean burgers. They’re cheap to make and great to serve with salad, wedges or whatever really! I’ve chosen to make a warm salad made from Spring greens, beetroot, radishes and figs. I think the best way to make an exciting salad is to ditch the ice berg lettuce and use interesting leaves, lots of seasoning and good olive oil. 

Here’s my bean burger recipe:

  • 1 can butter beans
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • Bunch of chopped parsley and mint 
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 1 puréed red chilli 
  • Stub of ginger puréed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 spring onions chopped
  • 1 egg

Basically you mash all of the above together and then shape them into burgers. Dip them in egg and roll them in bread crumbs. Shallow fry in a pan until golden brown and pop them in a warm oven to stay hot whilst you can prepare the rest of the dinner. 

Interested in making an awesome salad? Here you go…

  • Lots of Spring greens chopped finely
  • 2 figs
  • Handful of mini beetroots
  • Bunch of chopped parsley 
  • Olive oil
  • Seasoning
  • Handful of radishes
  • Handful of Spring onions

Sauté the Spring greens lightly until dark green and then add the other ingredients once taken off the heat. Drizzle with oil and seasoning. 

Pop your burgers on top and enjoy all that fibre. NOM!!! 

Christmas gingerbread

 
Gingerbread is so fun to make and they smell glorious right from the start. I followed a BBC website recipe but upped the spices a bit (an extra tsp of ginger and one tsp ground  nutmeg). Simply mix the spices into the flour, rub in some butter and then add sugar, eggs and golden syrup. It’s cheap to make and is a great idea for a Christmas present. I took mine to my Christmas work fuddle today and they were DEMOLISHED. So I really do recommend this recipe. Also chilling the biscuit dough is really important so that you get the right shapes at the end and it is easy to roll out. Gingerbread dough is generally a dry mixture so never be tempted to add more liquid otherwise you won’t get the right bite to it. 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/gingerbread_men_99096

Apple & Ginger Crumble

My boyfriend’s dad gave me another bucket of apples….. which can only mean one thing. It’s crumble time! I thought a bit of hearty ginger would be a perfect addition.

  • 3 apples
  • 25g brown sugar
  • Sprinkle of ground ginger
  • Chopped up stem ginger

Slice up the apples and put into a suitable crumble dish. Mix the sugar and ginger into the sliced apples. Next, crumble topping!

  • 100g butter
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 25g oats

Rub the cold butter into the flour and cinnamon until they form breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and oats and spread onto the sugary apples. Pop in the oven for half an hour at 180°C.

  
Instead of returning to the natural GBBO baking position (demonstrated above) I decided to make a good old creme patisserie. 

  • 250ml milk (semi-skimmed)
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 10g corn flour
  • 3 egg yolks

Bring the milk and vanilla essence to the boil and remove from the heat. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and corn flour in a separate bowl. Slowly add the milk to the eggs and whisk like mad. Pour back into the pan and bring to the boil constantly stirring. Lovely. 

  
  

Slop the creme pat onto your crumble and hit the sofa. Happy windy November evening indeed.

Parkin

After a 5km jog and the excitement of Bonfire night I got the idea of making parkin into my head. I’ve never made parkin before and I have to say the batter is so delicious I nearly didn’t bother baking it. I followed a recipe I found online and added some stem ginger to it as well.

http://britishfood.about.com/od/recipeindex/r/yorksparkin.htm

Making parkin is very easy, all you need to do is melt some butter (NOM, a whole block – not surprising really), sugar, golden syrup and treacle together in a pan. Stir in the dry ingredients (self-raising flour, baking powder, ginger, mixed spice) and add the eggs and pour into the baking tin and bake for 1 hr 30 minutes on a low temperature (140°C). The idea is to not do what I did and cut it up and eat a substantial amount of it straight away. You’re supposed to pop it into a tin and leave it for a week or so to go all sticky and delicious. That is what I have done with the remaining parkin to see if it does indeed do as it should.

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I thought it would be a good idea to make some vanilla custard from scratch to go with the parkin. I heated up some milk and vanilla essence and then stirred it into some whisked egg yolks and sugar. I put this back on the hob to gradually thicken into custard and then what did I do? I SPLIT THE DAMN CUSTARD AND GOT IN A MOOD. Yes, I need to work on my custard skills, I have decided that I shall buy more eggs on my way home today and try it again. I will not be defeated by custard. Never!