Tag Archives: british

Warm crumble of apples and pears

A beautiful still life!

A beautiful still life!

A new Wild Food Market has blossomed in our neighbourhood and I got these apples and pears from one of the producers’ stalls. It was such a beautiful feature on my dining table I could hardly decide what to do with it!

Knowing that the beautiful Bramley apples turn into a light, soft snow once cooked, I decided to turn my display into a crumble once again…

Ingredients list:

  • 3 Bramley apples
  • 3 or four pears
  • Same amount of Flour, brown sugar and butter (150g)
  • Oatmeal or plain oats, 100g
  • Cinnamon, 1 Tbsp
  • ginger, 1 Tbsp
  • One capful of Orange blossom water
  • Cornflour, 1 tsp
  • A few blackberries (optional)

Butter up a deep dish  – terracotta or oven proof glass is best.

Peel and chop the fruit and squeeze some lemon juice over so as not to oxidise too rapidly.

With your fingers tips, rub the butter into the flour and sugar until it has the consistency of sifted sand. Leaving some bits and lumps is fine too. Mix the oatmeal in.

Add the cinnamon and ginger.

Spread the fruit into the dish.

Drip the capful of orange blossom water. Sprinkle with the cornflour and toss it all together.

Now sprinkle the flour mix over all of the surface, trying to cover it completely.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes at 180 degrees.

Serve warm with cream or ice-cream.

For a slightly different but equally delicious version, check out here my Blackberry and Apple Crumble or a GF version here.

An apple crumble is the very best of classical English baking! Never tire of it.

Have a beautiful week-end everyone.

Fresh strawberry scones for summer

A pretty cardboard stand (try Asda or Paperchase) inspired my latest twist on the ubiquitous scone. I served a fresh batch with lightly whipped cream and freshly cut strawberries. No clotted cream, no jam. A very enjoyable summer version of a British classic. Version in French here!

Use whipping cream and whip it into peaks with a dash of vanilla extract and a spoonful of caster sugar.

This month’s idea – while waiting for summer to start…

Best of British- mes recettes favorites en VF

Pour mes visiteurs de France et de Navarre et tous ceux qui votent en ce moment pour moi -, voici un “Best of” de mes recettes British:

La recette anglaise préférée des Français: LE SCONE!

Ma recette “Pub” la plus réussie: LE PIE

Ma recette “feignasse du dimanche soir” : CHEESE ON TOAST


Et une recette en VF qui plaira tout particulièrement à vos petits:

LES YORSHIRE PUDDINGS, qui sont – comme leur nom ne l’indique pas- de petits soufflés salés que l’on sert avec une viande rotie et son jus. Ils sont inratables et délicieux et font leur petit effet en sortant tout gonflés du four!

Yorkshire puddings


Il vous faut des moules individuels en métal peu profond ou une plaque à muffins en métal:

  • 100gr de farine type 00
  • sel
  • 2 œufs
  • 225 ml de lait plus un petit verre de bière si possible
  • Beurre pour les moules
  • 1 c d huile d’olive
  • Cheddar rapé et origan

Bien beurrer les moules ou la plaque à muffins et la mettre à four chaud (250°C)

Faire un puits dans la farine et rajoutez les ingrédients en fouettant vivement.

Faire une pâte style crêpe assez coulante.

Sortir la plaque chaude et versez la pâte à la louche. Cette étape est très importante pour que les soufflés montent bien!

Cuire 15 à 20 min et servez dés qu’ils ont monté et sont légèrement dorés.

 Idée :Rajouter du cheddar ou parmesan rapé et une pincée de thym pour une saveur « à l’ancienne » un peu plus soutenue.

En Angleterre, ces petits soufflés accompagnent le traditionnel « Sunday roast » avec une sauce épaisse au jus de viande et au moins deux légumes vapeur.

Le reste de mon “Best Of” en photos:

Une pensée en gelée

Le cake aux fruits

Les Scotch eggs

Cheese on toast à la Harold Pinter!

Matador steak and kidney pie with chorizo

The perfect winter warmer

The New Year finds me as usual in a flurry of new resolutions, new projects, new hobbies! It is a challenging but exciting time of the year and I always try to get everybody involved in resolution making and list writing: The family devised a new challenge for the first week after Christmas- to give me a rest from cooking, said my youngest!

They each chose a day, devised their menu, sourced the right recipes with my help and shopped and cooked a full meal from scratch. The rule was not to buy anything pre-made but to make it all from fresh, seasonal ingredients. Normally, A. does not partake in our cooking challenges but this year he did, to my utter surprise – my husband is only interested in the “tasting” aspect of food- and produced the most magnificent savoury pie ! It had to be a British classic, of course. But I had suggested a Spanish twist on the Steak and kidney filling and it worked well with the extra chorizo.

I absolutely adored the flavours and really thick, meaty sauce of this recipe ! And the fact I did not have to cook. I really could get used to that sort of treatment… Being a man, he misjudged the quantities big time and made two large pies for the 6 of us- not that we complained!

 Dad’s pie:

Ingredients list: You will need a pie dish and a pot that goes in the oven and stands the hob.

For the pastry:

  • Plain flour 250g
  • Goose fat 80g ( replaces suet, with health benefits!)
  • Rapeseed oil 50g
  • Cold water 80ml
  • pinch of ground pepper and salt
  • Beaten egg to glaze

For the filling:

  • Good marbled steak 500g (diced)
  • Lamb kidney 100g, cut in twos
  • Corn or potato flour 2 Tbsp
  • Onion, 1 large one
  • Water 500ml
  • Knorr or Maggi 1 cube
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Mild chorizo 100g
  • Sliced brown mushrooms 100g
  • Sprig of Thyme
  • Fresh or dry oregano 1 Tbsp
  • Ground cloves 1 tsp
  • All spice 1 Tbsp
  • Dry shiitake and porcini mix 10g (pre-soaked)

Choose a nice streaky piece of beef, with flavour – so sirloin better than fillet or a cheaper cut and with enough fat to sustain the cooking without going as hard as a boot.

Pat the meat dry with a kitchen towel and shake it into a bowl with a dusting of corn or potato flour. Each chunk must be nicely coated.

Heat some oil into a deep oven friendly ceramic pot and fry the sliced onion until soft, then add the meat and brown all sides.

Pour in the stock and seasoning and bring to a slow boil. Throw in the pre-soaked mushrooms and chorizo.

Leave to simmer for 10/15 min. then put the dish into the oven (160) for two hours.

Don’t forget to add the sliced mushrooms half hour before the end.

Make the pastry by mixing all the dry ingredients into a bowl, then adding the cold water slowly. Stop adding when it starts making a ball, as you mix.

Pat it to gather all the crumbs and drop it into a plastic bag.

This will now rest in the fridge until you are ready to assemble the pie.

Check the meat is falling apart and the juices have reduced. Put on the stove on high heat for a few minutes if not.

Adjust the seasoning at this point because this dish needs to be full-flavoured…

Brush the pie dish with a beaten egg, all around the rim.

Pour the filling inside the pie dish.

Make a long coil with a chunk of pastry and stick it to the top of the rim.

Then roll out a cercle of pastry and position it on top of the pie. Prick it all around with the flat end of a fork so the top will be properly sealed and make a small hole in the middle for the vapour to come out.

Brush with the rest of the egg.

Put in the oven (220) for 15 min. then turn down to 160 for a further 20.

The pies arrived piping hot on the table, with a golden and moist crust like a nice tight tummy and a perfect belly button in the middle, oozing with sauce! The pastry was crusty and flaky, with just enough bite and melting on the tongue. The inside was dark and fragrant … and here I get lyrical again! Truly the food of love…  And so we drank a Burgundy St Amour (Domaine des Pins).

PS:Don’t get turn off by the long ingredients list, it is worth it.

As for the rest of the contenders for this challenge:

C. produced homemade spaghetti with Carbonara sauce then a Far Breton with prunes

S. made burgers with home made tomato and parmesan buns and a fruit salad

Lovely with the St Amour!

E. baked Toads in a hole and an apple and quince crumble with coconut  and oats topping

>Make a wish with your first strawberry of the year!


I love the British spirit! Today we had our first picnic in the rain… Admittedly, it was spitting rather than bucketing but England is the only country in the world where the elements never deter anybody from laying out the perfect picnic. We French do food better than most but the one food related event where the English not only excel but surpass us, is the picnic. Never mind that they are using a French word in the first place, they still have taken this word to the level of an art form! Nobody does picnicking like the Brits – rain or no rain. I still remember with a shiver a picnic in Sandhurst with my in-laws and a carriage-full of children that took place under pouring rain; and another one on a Jersey beach where the sausages got soaked on the barbecue. 
Indeed, the British excel in the Art of the picnic and will never let the elements spoil the fun…
In fact, they almost relish the hardship and I suspect rather enjoy their strawberries and cream better if they have to shelter them from a swift shower.
So here is a strawberry recipe than would warm any sinking heart:
Chocolate strawberries
500g of strawberries
Dark chocolate 180g
1 big spoonful of rapeseed oil
Melt the chocolate on low heat until it coats the wooden spoon. Then mix in the oil and let it cool slightly. One by one, dip the strawberries into the mix and let them dry onto a sheet of baking paper.
Eat outdoors with a chilled bottle of rosé such as Chateau de la Tuilerie, rosé de Syrah, under a warm spring sun! Please order all of the above for next week-end and in the meantime I wish a very happy birthday to Maman who is travelling to Paris today with a crowd of very merry friends, having just toured Champagne and Alsace in search of fine wine and good food – of the non-picnic variety.