Greengage Tart

For those of you who aren’t sure, greengages are a variety of dessert plum with a taste somewhere between bitter and sweet. Green in colour and small in size, greengages are the quintessential cooking plum – though they are also enjoyable in their unadulterated form. Simply roast or reduce them with a sprinkling of sugar and they’ll work equally well in chutney, cake, puddings or a greengage tart.

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Mince Pie Recipe

Sorry chaps, just a short, sharp to-the-point mince pie recipe – ‘tis the day for merriment and all that! I’ve given you a recipe for shortcrust pastry and a recipe for mincemeat too, but I’ve yet to bring them together under one all-embracing banner until this moment! Once you’ve made mince pies yourself, especially if you’ve done it the frugal way, you’ll never go back – homemade mincemeat is just too good and handmade pastry is simply a delight. The kick of the brandy, which is present in prodigious quantity, combined with the flavour of the fruit is very tricky to rival. Remember to never underestimate the power of a well-made mince pie!

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Quiche, which is essentially a savoury tart, has been a staple in my diet for the majority of the past two decades. Almost all of these tarts have included onion, cheese, bacon and mushroom and have been made by my mother. Whilst this variety of quiche is by no means a disappointment, the time has come for a change. So, this week when it was announced that the much cooked quiche would once again feature on the weekly menu, I made the dramatic move of insisting on the injection of a little variety. It was a massive success, though if you prefer an entirely healthy lifestyle it may not be one for you. You may blame BBC GoodFood for this, since that’s where the recipe was discovered.

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Following on from yesterdays “lesson” on how to create the perfect pastry, I shall show you how to make a delicious, yet relatively healthy, lemon tart. The Great British Bake Off, a televised British baking competition, first prompted to me to attempt such a dessert. One week the contestants were charged with following a recipe, devised by the goliath of British baking Mary Berry, for lemon tart. The standard set by Mary looked so incredibly delicious I had to go away and create this fantastic, decadent tart for mere pittance.

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Although I have the utmost respect for my fellow food bloggers, I’ve found that an awful lot of people shirk their pastry making duties. The excuse is invariable – making shortcrust pastry is difficult. Well, quite frankly, it isn’t – there are lots of rules, but if they are followed one’s pastry should be perfect every time. The other thing which makes my mind boggle is the inclusion of eggs or sugar in shortcrust pastry. A good shortcrust should contain nothing but plain flour, butter, water and a pinch of salt, whether intended for a savoury or sweet filling. Happily, such a recipe is also exceedingly frugal, as you shall soon see!

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