Daily Archives: 28 May 2012

Afresco dining in the peak district

Having just enjoying a bite to eat in the sunshine, I am getting all fired-up about alfresco dining.

To be honest, if you are sat in dappled sunshine, overlooking a beautiful view, with the birds twittering (in the old fashioned sense of the word!) above, you can eat almost anything and it tastes delicious.

Enid Blyton was right – food
really does taste better outdoors!

We have lots of opportunities to eat outdoors during the next fortnight. Let’s just hope the infamous British weather is kind to us.

I don’t think anyone can possibly have failed to notice the impending diamond jubilee.
In fact, you would need to have lived in a rabbit warren with your ears full of cheese for the last six months to have missed it! Though much hyped, whether you are royalist or not, I think it is a great opportunity to get together with friends and acquaintances and – for once – just relax and enjoy a good chat, whilst dining alfresco.

We are lucky enough to have been invited to our friends’ jubilee party (so we don’t have to do the clearing up afterwards!) and I am already picturing what I am going to cook.

I will definitely be making white chocolate cake pops dipped in blue and red sprinkles for the children. I can’t go wrong with a sponge cake (I might do coffee) topped with buttercream, strawberries and blueberries to reflect the Union Flag.

I’m also thinking about some potato skins with a trio of dips – a soured cream (white) and a salsa (red). I am just stuck for inspirations for the blue. I might have to cheat and opt for blue cheese, even if it wouldn’t look very blue!

Win Baked & Delicious baking books with silicone bakeware.
PLEASE do let me know what you are planning for your jubilee celebrations. Post your pictures on our Facebook page. We have a set of our new baking books (with silicone bakeware) for those who post the best pics.

It’s also National Barbeque Week this week
This gives us another excuse to get out in the garden. Or you can do what we did last weekend and escape out to the beach or countryside with a portable barbie.

We sat supping a glass of red, roasting sausages overlooking the stunning Peak District, it was idyllic. Just make sure you find a big stone on which to balance your barbeque so that you don’t scorch the grass!

Have a wonderful extended weekend, whatever you may do!

Here are some gorgeous jubilee recipes for you to try. For the traditional red, white AND blue, add a few blueberries too.

Summer desserts recipes

Strawberry Pavlova

Honey Blancmange

Summer Pudding

Berry Tart

All these – plus many more – traditional British recipes can be found in the new edition Dairy Book of Home Cookery available NOW!

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Berry Tart

A mouth-watering combination of crisp pastry, summer fruits and cream

Berry Tart recipeServes 6
Preparation 40 mins plus chilling
Cooking 35 mins
Per portion 472 kcals,
32g fat (17.6g saturated)
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

For the sweet flan pastry

1 egg yolk
2 tsp icing sugar, sifted
175g (6oz) plain flour
Pinch of salt
65g (2½oz) butter

1 egg yolk 
25g (1oz) caster sugar 
15g (½oz) flour 
½ tsp vanilla extract 
150ml (¼ pint) milk 
150ml (¼ pint) double cream, lightly whipped
2 tsp orange juice or sherry
450g (1lb) raspberries, strawberries or loganberries 
2 tbsp redcurrant jelly, melted


To make the sweet flan pastry

1 Mix egg yolk and sugar well together.

2 Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Add butter, cut into flour with a knife, then rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

3 Mix to a stiff paste with yolk, sugar and 1–2 tsp cold water.

4 Turn out on to a lightly floured work surface. Knead quickly until smooth.

5 Wrap in a polythene bag or foil. Chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling out and using.


6 Roll out sweet pastry on a floured work surface.

7 Use it to line an 18cm (7in) deep fluted flan ring resting on a lightly greased baking sheet. Prick well all over. Line with foil (to prevent pastry rising as it cooks).

8 Bake at 200°C (400°F) Mark 6 for 15 minutes. Remove foil. Return flan to oven. Bake for a further 15 minutes until crisp and golden. Remove and cool.

9 Beat egg yolk and sugar together until thick and light. Stir in flour and vanilla and gradually blend in milk. Pour into a small saucepan and cook, stirring, until mixture comes to the boil and thickens. Simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

10 When completely cold, fold cream and orange juice or sherry into custard. Spread custard mixture over base of flan case. 11 Arrange raspberries, strawberries or loganberries over custard. Brush berries with melted redcurrant jelly.

Recipe taken from The Dairy Book of Home Cookery.

Summer Pudding

Quintessentially British, this pudding is crammed with succulent summer berries

Summer Pudding recipeServes 4–6
Preparation 25 mins plus chilling
Cooking 10 mins
Per portion 306 kcals,
1g fat (0.2g saturated)
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

9 large slices of bread, crusts removed
110g (4oz) sugar
680g (1½lb) soft summer fruits (rhubarb, raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries, stoned cherries, black or redcurrants, or a mixture of fruits)
Fruit and a sprig of mint to decorate

1 Cut bread into neat fingers.

2 Put sugar and 5 tbsp water into a saucepan and heat slowly until sugar melts, stirring.

3 Add fruit and simmer gently for about 7–10 minutes (gooseberries and blackcurrants may take a few minutes longer). Reserve a few spoonfuls of the juice.

4 Line base and sides of a 1.25 litre (2 pint) pudding basin with bread fingers.

5 Add half the hot fruit mixture. Cover with more bread fingers.

6 Pour in remaining fruit mixture and top with remaining bread fingers. Trim any excess. Cover with a saucer or plate. Place a heavy weight on top. Chill overnight.

7 Turn out on to a plate. If there are any white patches, spoon reserved juice over them. Decorate with fruit and mint.

Recipe taken from The Dairy Book of Home Cookery.

Strawberry Pavlova

An irresistible summer dessert.

Strawberry Pavlova recipeServes 6
Preparation 20 mins
Cooking 1 hr
Per meringue 382 kcals,
27g fat (15.1g saturated)
Suitable for vegetarians

3 egg whites
175g (6oz) caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour
1 tsp white wine vinegar
300ml (½ pint) double cream
225g (8oz) strawberries, halved

1 Whisk egg whites until stiff. Whisk in caster sugar 1 tsp at a time.

2 Mix cornflour and vinegar together and very gently fold into egg whites.

3 Spoon mixture into a round on to a baking sheet covered with non-stick baking paper.

4 Bake at 140°C (275°F) Mark 1 for 1 hour or until crisp and dry.

5 Whip cream until softly stiff. Pile cream into centre of Pavlova and decorate with strawberries.

Recipe taken from The Dairy Book of Home Cookery.

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