Okay, Okay – so it is not exactly summer outside, but let’s not lose faith that we may get a mini Indian Summer of sorts. Things looked up a little at the weekend, and if we do get an injection of more sunshine, these recipes are perfect for some last minute sunshine entertaining, with a comforting pudding thrown into the mix – just in case.
This blog overviews a chef who has been very popular this summer, Rosie Birkett, or more affectionately known as Rosie Foodie with here debut cookbook A Lot on her Plate – a delightful library of tasty, wholesome and beautiful recipes that will make the transition from summer to autumn cooking an extremely smooth one for your taste buds.
The first dish on the menu are Rosie’s Chilli Crab Cocktail Tartlets. Cooked and eaten when fresh, these are so delicious served with a crisp green salad or seasonal green vegetables.
Ingredients. (Makes six tartlets)
For the Shortcrust pastry
225 g (8 oz/1 ¾ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
pinch of salt
100 g (3 ½ oz) chilled unsalted butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
20 g ( ¾ oz) chilled lard, cubed
3–4 tablespoons cold water
For the Filling
1 whole dressed crab, white and brown meat (180–200 g/6–7 oz
pinch of sea salt and white pepper
50 g (2 oz) creme fraiche
50 ml (2 fl oz) double (heavy) cream
grated zest and juice of 1 lime
2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
1 egg, beaten
2 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
2 red bird’s-eye chillies, finely sliced
½ baby gem lettuce, very finely sliced
1 tablespoon sweetcorn kernels (tinned is fine, fresh is better)
1 tablespoon very finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
6 x 10 cm (4 in) loose-bottomed metal tart tins
•• To make the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a bowl, add the butter and lard and lightly rub them into the flour until you have a breadcrumb consistency, or whizz the flour and salt briefly with the butter and lard in a food processor then transfer to a bowl. Make a well in the middle and add 3 tablespoons of the water. Mix it in and gather the dough together with one hand to form a ball. If it’s too dry, add the remaining water a drop at a time until the dough comes together. Wrap the dough in cling film (plastic
wrap) and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
•• Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) and lightly grease the tart tins. Remove the pastry from the fridge, roll it out on a lightly floured surface to 3 mm (¼ in) and line each tin with the pastry. Prick the pastry with a fork, cover the pastry shells with pieces of baking parchment and fill with baking beans. (Scrunch up the baking parchment before you line each case and it will be more pliable and fit more snugly into the holes.) Chill for 15 minutes, then bake blind for 10–12 minutes, until the pastry is turning golden and feels dry. Remove the beans and parchment, and bake for a further 3 minutes. Remove from the oven (keep the oven on) and leave to cool while you make the crab filling.
•• Spoon the crab meat into a mixing bowl and carefully check there aren’t any pieces of shell. Season with salt and white pepper. Add the crème fraîche, cream, lime juice and zest, Sriracha and egg, and mix vigorously until well combined. Stir through the spring onion, two thirds of the chilli, the lettuce, sweetcorn and parsley. Spoon the filling mix into the cooled tart shells, top with the remaining chilli, and bake for 20–25 minutes, until the crab custard is set. Use a skewer to test this, by inserting it into the
filling of one tart. If it comes out clean, they’re done.
These stunning tartlets are made all the better with a fresh and thirst-quenching cocktail to wash them down. So we have chosen Rosie’s simple yet gorgeous Elderflower Spritz.
25 ml (1 fl oz) gin
25 ml (1 fl oz) elderflower champagne or cordial
75 ml (2 ½ fl oz) prosecco
soda water, to top up
•• Pour the gin into the glass over ice with the elderflower
champagne or cordial and add the prosecco. Top up
with soda water and garnish with gooseberries and
Such a light meal will definitely leave room for an indulgent pudding and I just love Rosie’s scrumptious Cherry Pie. A recipe that takes its influence from the pies Rosie ate in America, this is both delicious to eat and delightful to look at when served. I serve with a Madagascan vanilla ice cream on the side. Yum!
S E R V E S 8
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
260 g (9 oz/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour, extra for dusting
40 g (1 ½ oz/generous ⅓ cup) ground almonds
pinch of salt
180 g (6 oz) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon demerara (raw) sugar, for sprinkling
100 g (3 ½ oz) good-quality black cherry jam
1 tablespoon cherry brandy, kirsch or amaretto (optional)
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch), mixed to a paste with 2 teaspoons cold water
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) fresh black or red cherries, pitted and halved
24 cm (10 in) pie dish
•• For the pastry, put the sugar, flour, ground almonds, salt and butter in a food processor, and
blitz until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. With the motor still running, add about
3 tablespoons of the beaten egg and 2 tablespoons of ice-cold water, and pulse until the
mixture starts to clump together into a dough. You need to be cautious at this stage as you
don’t want sticky pastry. Add a little more water if necessary.
••Remove the dough from the food processor, divide into two, flatten each portion into
discs, wrap each disc in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
•• Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6) and grease the pie dish. Remove a disc of pastry
from the fridge, unwrap it and roll it out on a generously floured work surface to 3 mm (⅛ in)
thick and about 2. cm (1 in) wider than the pie dish. Transfer to a floured baking sheet and
chill for about 10 minutes. Repeat this process with the remaining disc of pastry.
••Heat the jam for the filling in a saucepan with 100 ml (3. fl oz) water, the alcohol (if
using), nutmeg and the vanilla extract. When it’s all melted together, add the diluted
cornflour, and stir together until smooth and thickened. Add the cherries and gently
coat them in the mixture, being careful not to mush them up, so you preserve their
shape. Remove from the heat and set aside.
••Using a floured rolling pin, carefully transfer one of the chilled pastry sheets to the
greased pie dish and drape it across the dish. Let it sink into the dish, and, holding on to
the edges, lift and tuck the pastry into the edges of the dish, all the way round, to line it.
Trim off any excess pastry, and lightly prick the base with a fork. Fill the dish with the
cherry filling. Use a pastry cutter to cut holes in the remaining pastry sheet, covering an
area just smaller than the diameter of the pie dish, leaving a large border intact. Place it
over the pie filling, and fold the edge of the top crust over the edge of the bottom crust,
crimping it together with your fingers to seal.
•• Brush the pastry with the remains of the beaten egg and sprinkle over the demerara sugar.
Bake for 20 minutes, until the crust is golden, and then reduce the oven temperature to 180°C
(350°F/Gas 4), covering the top of the pastry with foil if you need to, to avoid it burning,
and bake for a further 35–40 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the pastry is golden,
firm and lightly puffed. Allow the pie to cool for about 1 hour before serving with cream.
Thanks to Rosie Foodie for these really delicious recipes. Check out her book A lot on her Plate
enjoy TBG x