Category Archives: Mains

Lemon Meringue Pie for a family BBQ

For the family BBQ this weekend I made lemon meringue pie (with raspberries). The recipe came from BBCGoodFood again. I really must expand my recipe research horizons!

I was quite pleased with the pastry as it was just on the right side of biscuity. I had misread the oven temperature though so cooked it on a bit too high a heat so it was a little singed looking. For a first stab at lemon meringue I thought it was ok. I didn’t make the lemon bit from scratch owing to time pressures and frankly, that’s just too much to do on a Sunday morning. Perhaps it would have been a bit more solid if I’d made it myself but the Tiptree Lemon Curd was good enough.

I had some left over pastry (as always) and made those lovely little jam tarts with sponge hats on which I remember mum doing when we were kids with the left over pastry. Millie and Hettie enjoyed messing about with the spare pastry (and eating it of course).

I’ve also been asked to make some cakes for a friends engagement party so I’ll be stocking up on fondant flowers and hoping my ebay delivery of petal cutouts arrives before Saturday! I’m also going back to my own recipe for cupcakes – the tried and tested 8 8 8 and 4 rather than Fair Cake’s recipe. I’ll add the tablespoon of cornflour as I like the texture that gives but I’m going to leave the baking powder out as I don’t think it’s necessary. I tried my old batter mix without the creaming of butter/adding flour and eggs alternatively and just putting it all in the mixer together and it seems to work fine.

Here’s another photo of a savory dish I made recently too – a chicken, mustard, leek and creme fraiche plait.

Phil made me very happy this weekend putting in cupboards in our kitchen which now house all neatly and orderly my baking tins and cake making equipment. A tidy cupboard makes for a happy home.

Chocolate Beetroot cake

On Friday I made the recipe from BBC Good Food for blitz and bake chocolate and beetroot cake was really interesting in the way the ingredients were put together and resulted in a lovely purple tinged chocolate cake. Perhaps my oven is hotter as I think the 1 hour cooking time was too long.

Still it was a good cake, sticky and moist with a slight earthy flavour mingled in with the cocoa and chocolate nibs. The following day it was even more moist and Phil and the kids had some on Sunday warmed up slightly with ice cream. It became more of a chocolate brownie cake by the end of the weekend.
Thank you to friends and family for sending other beetroot recipes. The Channel Four eat yourself thin recipe was popular and I might try it next time.
Also this weekend I had a lovely time buying some goodies for my cup cake course in two weeks. I found a non stick rolling pin, bigger icing nozzles, icing smoother and side scraper and gel icing colours from Lakeland. I’m going to have to practise this weekend with piping again and coloured icing.
On a different cooking note, I’ve got into chinese/thai style soups recently and have making this incredibly simple, fresh tasting yummy soups for mid week meals. The naughty bit is the won ton or dim sum dumplings which I can’t resist but with a basis of miso soup they’re really healthy. For once, when Hannah came over to stay on Friday, we ditched the usual take away and had the home made soup. Delicious.
And on a non-food note, I made this card for Phil’s neice inspired by photomontage/collage work of artists as varied as Richard Hamilton, Claudine Hellmuth and of course the children’s favourite, Lauren Child. I also think there’s a bit of Henri Rousseau in there too.