Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Mary Berry Classic: Celeriac & Watercress Soup

Hi everyone :)

I am a soup addict, my lunchtime staple all year round in fact. Avoid keeping the soup hot on the hob as the watercress will lose its vibrant green colour. If a little on the thick side, slacken with stock. Adding the celeriac to the watercress makes this lovely soup a bit more substantial and filling.

2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 large onions, roughly chopped
750g peeled celeriac, diced
1 1/2 litres vegetable or chicken soup
200g watercress, reserve a few sprigs for garnish
About 4 tbsp crème fraîche or double cream
Salt and fresh ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large deep saucepan. Add the onion and fry over a medium heat for 5 minutes until just starting to brown. Add the celeriac and fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until starting to colour. Pour in the stock and season with salt and pepper.

2. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until completely tender.

3. Add the watercress and stir over the heat for 2-3 minutes until wilted. Blend until smooth, either with a hand blender or in a free-standing blender or food processor. Swirl through the crème fraîche or double cream and check the seasoning.

4. Serve piping got with the reserved watercress springs and a fresh muffin.


Sunday, 18 March 2018

Mary Berry Classic: Apple Tart Tatin

Hi everyone :)

The classic 'upside down' French tart, usually served warm as a pudding. Do not butter the tin before pouring in the caramel otherwise the caramel will be cloudy and not clear.

175g granulated sugar
Butter, for greasing
200g peeled and cored Brambley apples
2 tbsp caster sugar
4 large easting apples
Plain flour, for dusting
1 x 375 block of all butter puff pastry

1. You will need a 23cm (9in) fixed-base cake tin with deep sides.

2. First make the caramel. Measure the granulated sugar and 6 tablespoons of water into a stainless-steel saucepan. Stir gently over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved, then remove the spoon and increase the heat. Boil until a golden straw colour and immediately pour into the cake tin, letting it spread evenly over the base, then set aside. Once the caramel has set (after about 30 minutes), butter the tin sides above the caramel line.

3. Meanwhile, place the Bramley apples, caster sugar and 2 tablespoons of water in another saucepan. Stir over a medium heat, then cover with a lid and simmer for about 5-10 minutes until the apples are soft. Remove from the heat, then use a fork to mash the apples to a purèe and leave to cool.

4. Preheat the oven to 220°/200°C fan, Gas 7.

5. Peel and core the eating apples, then thinly slice so they are above 5mm (1/4in) thick. Arrange a layer over the caramel in the tin in a circular pattern. Start from the outside of the tin and work inwards, using larger pieces for the outer edge of the circle, and smaller slices for the inner ring. Scatter the remaining apples on top and press down.

6. Add the cooled apple purèe in spoonfuls over the sliced apples and carefully spread out in an even layer.

7. On a work surface lightly dusted in flour, roll out the pastry into a circle 2-3cm bigger than the tin. Cover the apples with the pastry and tuck in the edges to make a downward lip. Make a small cross in the top of the pastry with a sharp knife, to let the steam out.

8. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, with a baking tray on the shelf underneath to catch any sugary drips, until the pastry is crisp and golden and the apples are soft.

9. Carefully turn the tarte Tatin out on to a plate and spoon the syrup over the apples. Serve with cream or crème fraîche.

Let me know what you think - it was really good!


Thursday, 15 March 2018

Mary Berry Classic: Lemon Syllabub

Hi everyone :)

A forgotten favourite, so easy to do, especially for entertaining - delicate and spoiling.

1 lemon (unwaxed)
100ml sweet white wine
75g caster sugar
300ml double cream

1. You will need six martini glasses or small ceramic pots.

2. Use a vegetable peeler to thinly peel the lemon rind into long, thick strips, taking care not to cut too much of the bitter white pith, and then halve the lemon to squeeze out the juice.

3. Put the wine, lemon rind and juice in a saucepan and add the sugar. Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool for a minimum of 1 hour to allow the flavours to infuse. Alternatively, leave to infuse overnight.

4. Strain the syrup into a bowl. Retain some of the lemon peel (now nicely candied from being infused in the syrup) and cut into fine strips.

5. Pour the cream into the same bowl and whisk until it has thickened and is just holding its shape. Divide among the martini glasses or small pots and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours. Decorate with the strips of candied lemon peel and serve chilled.

This was really easy to make and very extravagant :)


Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Mary Berry Classic: Drop Scones

Hi everyone :)

Also known as Scotch Pancakes, these were classically made on a solid metal griddle on an open fire, back in the day. Now it is more practical to use a large non-stick frying pan or if you have an Aga, the simmering plate. Server as soon as they are made with butter, syrup and jam or fruit and yoghurt.

175g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
40g caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 small orange
1 egg
200ml milk
Sunflower oil, for frying

Serving options:
Maple syrup or honey
Natural Greek yoghurt
Blueberries or Raspberries

1. Measure the floor, baking powder and sugar into a large bowl and add the orange zest. Mix together, then make a well in the centre and add the egg and half the milk. Beat well, with a whisk, until you have a smooth, thick batter, then beat in enough of the remaining milk to make a batter the consistency of thick pouring cream.
2. Heat a little oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Drop the batter in dessertspoonfuls into the hot pan, spacing each dollop of the mixture well apart to allow it to spread. Cook for about 2 minutes or until bubbles start to appear on the surface, then turn over with a non-stick blunt-ended palette knife or spatula, and cook on the other side for a further 30-60 seconds or until lightly golden brown on both sides.
3. Use the palette knife to lift the scones onto a wire rack, then cover them with a clean tea towel to keep them soft and warm. Continue making scones in the same way with the remaining batter, adding a splash more oil if the pan gets too dry.
4. Server at once with butter, syrup or honey, or with Greek yoghurt and blueberries or raspberries or other seasonal fruits.

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