Mr Mcgregor’s summer garden tart with roasted tomato salad.
250g Doves Farm plain flour
6-7 tbsp cold water
10 tomatoes, halved
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
300g peas, fresh or frozen
1 little gem lettuce, shredded
200g Ceri’s Brinkworth blue cheese, crumbled
175ml single cream
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
sea salt and black pepper
seasonal salad leaves
Preheat the oven to 180˚C/gas mark 4
Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in enough of the water to form a dough. Knead for a moment to smooth ball and chill for 30 minutes.
Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet, top each half with a little garlic, drizzle with the oil and season well. Place in the oven and roast for about 45 minutes.
Line a 23cm spring form cake tin with the pastry, prick the base, line with baking parchment, fill with ceramic baking beans - or a raw pulse works well – and bake blind for 20 minutes until the pastry is crisp. Fill with the peas, lettuce and crumbled cheese.
Whisk together the eggs, milk and cream and fill the pastry case. Bake for about 30 minutes until the filling is set. Cool for 10 minutes before cutting.
Transfer the roasted tomatoes onto a bed of salad leaves and dress with the vinegar. Slice the tart into 8 and serve with the tomatoes.
Cut tomatoes in half and lay on a baking tray. Season each tomato with sea salt, pepper and crushed garlic. Drizzle with a little olive oil then scatter with some herbs like basil, oregano or thyme. Bake at 180°C for 40 minutes or so until the tomatoes are shrunken somewhat but still juicy. Some balsamic vinegar will finish them off nicely then devour with a green salad. And lastly, make sure you have some crusty bread to mop up the tomatoey juices.
1 large chicken – about 2kg
1 large onion
2 leeks cut into 4
3 large carrots cut into 1/4s
6-8 sticks of celery cut into 4
2 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
1 turnip – about 300g cut into large cubes
3 bay leaves
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
200g long grain rice
50g plain flour
2 egg yolks
Place the chicken into a large saucepan with enough room for the vegetables. Chop the onion into a quarters. Stick with the cloves and add to the pan along with the leek, carrot, celery, garlic and turnip. Cut one of the lemons in half and place in amongst the vegetables with the bay. Season well and cover with cold water. Cover, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 11/2 hours.
Ten minutes before the end of the chickens cooking time gently soften the onion in a little goose fat or olive oil. Add the rice and coat in the fat in the pan. Ladle on enough stock from the chicken pan to cover the rice and simmer until the rice is tender.
Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour to make a roux. Cook for a minute or so until bubbling and then add 600ml of the hot chicken stock. Bring back to the boil – whisking all the time – and cook for 5 minutes. Season really well. Remove from the heat and add the juice of the remaining lemon and the 2 yolks.
Joint the chicken and place it on a large charger with the vegetables. Serve with the rice and lemon sauce and a glass of fruity cider.
When I think of Easter, a Sinmel cake comes to mind but never into reality! Marzipan, fruits and the very traditions of it are what give me the desire to bake it, then many factors contribute to me never making it at all. As Easter is early next month, I thought I would get you ready in advance!
This delicious cake is thought to have originated in the medieval times and has also had ties with Mothering Sunday. Young girls in service took the cake home for their mothers on their day off. You can’t imagine this now can you? There are no girls in service and there are not many who can cook either. But these days a Simnel cake has all the symbolism of Easter. Laden with marzipan and fruits - like a Christmas cake - it then has 11 balls of marzipan on the top representing the 11 true disciples. Sometimes a ball in the middle will be representative of Christ.
Last year, in desperation, I decided to devise a recipe with all of the elements of the original, but a little less time consuming. I am not a lover of a twist on a classic so we perhaps can dub this a Highworth Easter Cake?
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Beat together 150g soft butter and 175g grated marzipan. then add 2 large eggs, beat well then stir through 150g self raising flour, a teaspoon of mixed spice and a teaspoon of baking powder. Next mix in 100g dried berries like cranberries and cherries. Pour the batter into a 2lb loaf tin and scatter over the surface another 175g marzipan, but cubed this time. Bake for just over an hour until the cake is springy to the touch and coming away a little from the sides of the tin. Remember to infuse a touch of Easter spirit whilst mixing or double up on the mix and give some of your spirit away to your friends.