Showing posts with label Desserts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Desserts. Show all posts

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Banana Caramel and Chocolate Dessert Pizza

The Italian Restaurant Zizzi recently set me a challenge to create a dessert pizza or any savoury dish that could be turned sweet.  I first came up with a possible of a Cinnamon and Caramelised Apple Lasagne but sadly although it tasted okay it wasn't somehow quite right and certainly didn't work photography wise.
I'm not one to give up easily and although I had to let it go this time, I'll work on it!


 If you'd like have a go at making my easy to make Banana, Caramel and Chocolate Pizza you can find the recipe here.

After an amazing meal at Zizzi and feeling inspired by the new addition to their new dessert menu - 'Strawberry and Chocolate Pizza' I took on Zizzi's challenge and made my own dessert pizza.  Banana and Caramel Drizzled with Dark Chocolate.  I was really pleased with the result especially because I very rarely make dessert and never know where to begin.  I must say that trying their new dessert really did inspire me to get thinking and have a go.  Hopefully after reading this post then you also might want to have a go yourself.

Here are a few snapshots of our visit to a Zizzi restaurant and more about their 
Strawberry and Chocolate Pizza: 
While we were in the restaurant, part of the challenge was to Tweet/ Instagram using #SweetPizza - it was so funny. We'd purposely gone to the restaurant earlier in the evening than we'd usually go since people would be wondering what an earth we were doing!

Please excuse my poor photographs as you will appreciate I couldn't take my proper camera and as you would expect restaurants just aren't set up with the correct lighting for food photography.

Since we were sitting directly in front of the chef I just had to ask if I could take his picture - it's okay he knew it would end up in this blog post and thought it was cool!


Our starter dishes arrived, we ordered different dishes so we could share and we absolutely loved this one - Fonduta Formaggi a pot of melted cheese, gorgonzola, gruyère and pecorino with baked dough sticks and focaccia bread for dipping.

To the side of the picture you can just see part of the other dish we had ordered, Arancini - Risotto balls with mozzarella, peas and a breadcrumb coating. There are three risotto balls and they're served with a chunky tomato peperonata dip. Warning - they are very moreish!
 

Now for the main course - Oh my word just look at the size the pizza Paul chose!
The Rustica Sofia pizza had lots of lovely spicy chicken, pepperoni, spicy sausage and mozzarella along with chilli and rosemary.  Yep he managed to eat the whole thing!  I was allowed a tiny bit to try it and we both really liked it.


 Here I am not quite knowing where to begin as the Spiedini Pollo (Roast chicken breast with red onions, courgettes and peppers) was as you can see, also huge.  It came with a side of Tuscan potatoes with a white wine and lemon sauce.  It was too nice and it had to be eaten!  The chicken was lovely and tender and the potatoes and sauce were a treat to eat.  But I was getting concerned by now, as we'd already eaten loads and still had to try the Strawberry and Chocolate pizza!


Now I must tell you about this dessert Pizza - Melting Marshmallows and Fresh Strawberries drizzled with Warm Chocolate and Hazelnut sauce - what's not to like?


Yes this is something that has to be ordered.  I must admit even though I'm not a fan of sweet things, this pizza wasn't too sweet at all and the base thin, crispy and light.  The strawberries work really well and take away the much of the sweetness so it isn't overly so and we both thought it was just perfect.

My one recommendation is that after eating a huge meal at Zizzi you seriously only need one of these pizzas to share between two people.  But us greedy pair just had to order the Chocolate and Banana Calzone as well as the pizza which you just see in the background of my picture.  Yes that was also seriously good although it was of course a lot sweeter than the Strawberry and Chocolate pizza which I personally preferred.  Paul however, is a huge fan of both desserts!

  Make sure you try out the ultimate sweet treat from Zizzi this summer.  You can find your local restaurant here.  If you're feeling inspired to turn more savoury things sweet, share your creations with #SweetPizza


  If you'd like more information on Zizzi pop over and visit them here.  

Disclaimer:  Many thanks to Zizzi in Shrewsbury and the fantastic meal and service from their staff.  I was set a challenge by Zizzi to create my own sweet pizza.  We were guests at Zizzi restaurant and I have been compensated for my time and the ingredients used.   All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Caramelita Ice Cream Sundae with Caramel and Mascarpone Whipped Cream

Along with a few other food bloggers, Mövenpick recently set me a challenge which was to create an Ice Cream Sundae using Mövenpick ice cream and I could add any additional non-ice cream ingredients I fancied.  But I had another challenge of my own, which was to try to take photographs before it melted!


That said, this Sundae made with Mövenpick Caramelita ice cream makes for perfect eating with the lovely hot weather we're currently enjoying here in the UK.

 Mövenpick Ice Cream is a luxury Swiss ice cream that doesn't contain any artificial additives or colours and tastes truly delicious.  It can be purchased at Ocado and besides Caramelita it is available in many other flavours.



Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Cherry and Chocolate Meringue Dessert

How can anyone resist a bowl of lovely cherries?  This simple dessert can be made in a flash - Meringue nests and whipped cream topped with fresh cherries and drizzled with melted chocolate.  


Did you know that tomorrow July 16th is National Cherry Day?  Cherries are so nice to eat but the pesty stone inside does make them a bit messy.  However, the new Cherry/Olive Pitter from OXO Good-Grips makes it a doddle to remove cherry stones without mess, making them so much nicer to eat and ready form some sort of dessert or make a sauce.

Here are a couple of pictures I've taken showing the Cherry Pitter in action:

Remove the stem from a cherry and pop it into the holder - stem side up.  Press down to remove the stone.  
 

The OXO Good-Grips Cherry Pitter also works on large cherries too.  Once you've finished just remove the splatter shield by twisting to clean.  Dishwasher safe but it really isn't necessary, hot sudsy water will do the trick. 

Why Cherries are Good for You - text from The Guardian Online.
Anthocyanins in cherries appear to have a marked anti-inflammatory action. Specifically, these compounds seem to be highly effective in treating gout, a condition that causes painful swelling in joints. Last year, a Boston Medical Center study reported that eating cherries reduces gout attacks by 35%. Cherries are also one of the few food sources of the hormone melatonin, which regulates sleep patterns. A study published in 2011 in the European Journal of Nutrition, reported that eating tart montmorency (or morello) cherries significantly raised levels of melatonin and improved sleep. Compared to most other fruits, cherries are low in sugar, which makes them an ideal choice for people who want to lose weight.

 To find out more about the Cherry/Olive Pitter and their other great products pop over to the

Celebrate National Cherry day and have a go at this dessert!
 

 Ps:  All the while I was typing this post I kept typing the word 'cheery' instead of cherry - but if they help you get a good nights sleep then that in turn will make you cheery!

 Many thanks to Zara and OXO Good-Grips for sending me this product to review.
Disclaimer: All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Fro-Fru Frozen Fruit Dessert Maker - Review

Frozen Fruit (Fro-Fru)
This refreshing pineapple sorbet was made in less than a minute (after freezing the fruit beforehand) thanks to this great little gadget 'Fro-Fru' from Judge Cookware.  
Of course you can use whatever fruit takes your fancy, bananas, strawberries, blackberries, peaches, raspberries - the list is endless.  Dairy products - milk, cream and yogurt can be used to conjure up a delicious dessert in no time at all.  Kids and adults alike will love this little machine! 


 Here's a few proper pictures of the Fro-Fru from Judge Cookware:




Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Strawberries and Ice Cream Eton Mess Dessert

Now this dessert came about since I couldn't wait to try out the Strawberry Huller - new from OXO Good Grips and of course the Berry Bowl.
Perfect for summer this Eton Mess style dessert takes no time at all to make and makes perfect eating whilst watching Wimbledon! 



First things first - you need good tasty strawberries and it has to be said these strawberries (kindly sent to me from Berry World) were seriously the best we've ever had.
 The 'Sweet Eve' is a truly British born-and-bred strawberry. They were so, so sweet and juicy and really didn't need anything else with them.  But I was asked to make a dessert and so I did!

The new Berry Bowl from OXO Good Grips is really handy and just the right size to hold a full punnet of strawberries.  There's a colander so you can wash and drain your berries before removing the hulls with this neat Strawberry Huller, also from OXO Good Grips - more about that in a bit.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Yogurt Ideas - Strawberry and Marshmallow or Banana and Chocolate Chip

Strawberry and Marshmallow or Banana and Chocolate Chip - which would you choose? 
You may have seen my post 'How to Make Yogurt using the Judge Digital Yogurt Maker' which was my first attempt.  I made Summer Berry and Vanilla yogurt but if you missed it just click the link and have a quick read.  I said I'd come up with a few more ideas and since this yogurt maker is so very easy to use, I've not stopped using it since it arrived!


I made yogurt in the usual fashion following the easy to follow instructions that came with it.  As before, I used Jersey milk and Yeo Valley Natural Live Bio Yogurt as the 'yogurt starter'.  
But time I wondered what would happen if I added banana flavoured Nesquik to the prepared milk (once it had reached the cooled down to 40C stage and after mixing in the yogurt starter (live yogurt).  

Now, if you have no idea what I'm taking about you really need to have a quick read of my post and hopefully it should become clear!

Friday, 30 May 2014

How to Make Yogurt using the Judge Digital Yogurt Maker

I'd wanted to make yogurt for ages but had never got round to it apart from using an EasiYo yogurt maker - more on that later.  Having recently been sent this brilliant electric yogurt maker by Judge Cookware I couldn't wait to give it a go.
If you've ever wondered about buying one then I say if you love yogurt this gadget is the very fellow for the job as it really is so easy to use.  This was my very first attempt and it worked out really well - Summer Berry Yogurt with Vanilla.

    
More about making yogurt with the EasiYo - which has to be said it is a great invention.  I really like mine but I have stopped using it as I found it to be too expensive to keep buying the powered sachets you need.  

Monday, 24 March 2014

Rachel's Organic Greek Style Lemon Yogurt - Review

 If you haven't discovered these already, let me share with you - Rachel’s latest addition to the Greek Style range of Organic Bio-Live Yogurts.  
The new Lemon flavour is in our opinion, totally and utterly delicious.  Having been sent 6 large tubs to try I have to tell you they've gone - yes we seem to have eaten them all. 
Seriously creamy, smooth and very lemony with just the right amount of sweetness.
  

Is it wrong that I ate a whole tub to myself?!
Rachel's organic range contains the yogurt cultures Lactobacillus acidophilus & Bifidobacterium.
They are suitable for vegetarians too.
 
Typical values Per 100g
Energy 582kJ/139kcal
Fat 7.5g
of which saturates 4.7g
Carbohydrate 14.8g
of which sugars 14.3g
Protein 3.1g
Salt 0.1g

  I was pleased to see the whole of the packaging is suitable for recycling which is great stuff.  
Available now from Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Ocado priced at RRP £1.99 for a 450g pot.

Many thanks to Rachel's for sending me some to try.  
Disclaimer:  All thoughts and opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Marsala Honey, Date and Walnut - Pancake Recipe

With Pancake Day coming up this Tuesday, which pancake style and topping will you be making - Do you prefer American style pancakes or the thinner crepe type?
I'd never actually made American pancakes until now and although I think mine are probably a bit on on the thick side, they were still light, fluffy and good to eat. 


These pancakes are for grown ups!  Although you can of course leave out the Marsala for children.  I wondered my mixture of dates along with honey and Marsala would make them too sweet but as it turned out they were fine.  I'm not really a dessert lover but Paul (the husband) loved them. 

 If you're making pancakes this Tuesday, you may be searching through cook books or online for how to make the perfect pancake batter.  If so, Asda have a rather marvelous pancake mix-o-meter which is designed to help you with quantities.  


To make the Marsala, Honey Date and Walnut topping you will need:
15g butter
30g dates - chopped
40g walnut pieces
4 tablespoons runny honey
2 tablespoons Marsala wine
Print Recipe
https://sites.google.com/a/aglugofoil.com/a-glug-of-oil/marsala-honey-date-and-walnut---pancake-recipe

How to do it:
Heat up a medium sized frying pan and add the butter, once it has melted tip in the rest of the ingredients and add the Marsala.  Cook over a medium heat for a minute or two.


To make 4-6 pancakes you will need:
140g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon caster sugar
130ml milk
1 large free range egg
20g melted butter (allow to cool slightly) plus extra for cooking
30g dates - chopped

How to do it:
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl.  In a smaller bowl, lightly whisk together the milk and egg.  Now whisk in the melted butter.
Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and and using a whisk, beat until you have a smooth batter without lumps.  Add the chopped dates and stir.  Let the batter stand for a few minutes before using.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a knob of butter.  When it's melted, add a ladle of batter (or two if your frying pan is big enough to cook two pancakes at the same time).
The batter will look quite thick but that's how it should be.
Cook until the top of the pancake begins to bubble, then turn it over and cook until both sides are golden brown and the pancake has risen to about 1cm thick.
Repeat until all the batter is used up.

To Serve:
Pop the pancakes onto a plate, quickly reheat the date and walnut mixture and pour over.  Serve straight away you can add a dollop of ice cream if you fancy.


For some Pancake Day trivia, Asda have a fun info-graphic which can be found here.  

This is sponsored post commissioned by ASDA.

Friday, 7 February 2014

How To Make An Authentic Italian Coffee Tiramisu

 Most of us regard tiramisu as the quintessential Italian dessert. And yet it only appears in cookbooks as an official recipe from the 1960s onwards, so it seems to be a relatively recent creation. Still, the classic tiramisu, meaning 'pick-me-up' or 'lift-me-up', is something that's rarely messed with apart from a few subtle changes. And with good reason. It's sponge ladyfingers, dipped in coffee and layered with egg yolks, egg whites, cream and mascarpone cheese, is a delicious concoction.


What you'll need
Most of us will probably have sugar, eggs and cocoa hanging around in the cupboard, and if you've got these ingredients handy, you're not far off having everything you need. Get a couple of packets of long, sponge ladyfingers or Pavesini cookies, which make sponge nice and springy when dipped in the right amount of liquid. Make sure you have some mascarpone (you can also use ricotta if you like a slightly lighter tasting cream), and some strong coffee. And then you'll just need a bit of chocolate. Try bitter-sweet cocoa powder or grated chocolate.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Banoffee Pancakes - Easy Dessert Recipe

Light fluffy pancakes filled with caramel sauce, bananas, whipped cream and topped with flaked chocolate can only be a good thing.  Since they can be eaten cold and still look and taste every bit as good later on the same day, why not make them before dinner cover the plate in cling film for a no fuss delicious dessert.


 Having been sent a couple of  OXO Good Grips products and set a challenge of coming up with a pancake recipe here's how it went.  Okay, I'm a bit early as Pancake Day isn't until 4th March but yesterday I was in a pancake making mood.  In any case it doesn't have to officially be Pancake Day to enjoy pancakes!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Baked Apples Stuffed with Dates and Ginger - Flora Pro.activ

With all the fancy rich and sugary foods that most of us eat at this time of year, it's good to know you can still have a delicious dessert without it being bad for you.



Flora pro.activ contains plant sterols.  Plant sterols have been shown to lower blood cholesterol. High cholesterol is a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease.  Consuming 1.5-2.4g of plant sterols per day can lower cholesterol by 7-10% in 2-3 weeks when consumed as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle with sufficient fruit and vegetables.

Having been asked by Flora Pro.activ to make their recipe for Baked Apples with Ginger and Orange, a lovely hamper of goodies arrived!


The hamper contained all the ingredients to make the recipe along with a Jamie Oliver pestle and mortar, lovely a Christmas apron, pomegranate hearts which are jelly like sweets that taste rather nice I must say!
A really nice heart shaped wooden chopping board and a heart shaped Le Creuset stoneware dish.

Now these baked apples are really good, I don't usually like desserts but it has to be said the date and ginger stuffing turns almost toffee like on top of the apples.  The orange and ginger spread is added at the end of cooking and melts over the apples.  In a word, these baked apples are delicious.
Click continue reading for the rest of the post and the recipe.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Sprinkles Book - Colourful Dessert Recipes and Ideas

Whoever would have thought of 'embroidering' sprinkles onto cookies?  This book is a guide to baking and decorating desserts with a colorful twist: Sprinkles!
Scattering them over cakes and pies, but you can also swirl them into waffles and freeze them in lovely popsicles. 

Please note - all pictures are taken from the book purely for the purpose of the review.

A great book by Jackie Alpers with dozens of creative, colorful and fun recipes and quick-and-easy projects (ideal for little kids).
Simple tutorials for tinting sparkling sugars, concocting homemade pop rocks, and even making your own sprinkles at home.

I am fascinated to learn you can actually 'grow' your own rock sugar crystals in a jar on sticks, I just have to do this!  Apparently it takes two weeks and of course it's edible.

The mini candy apples are perfect for Christmas and the holidays.


The recipe for Gingersnap Cookie Butter looks good, and what about these pretty Windowpane Cookies made with translucent candies?  

     Nothing looks too hard to make either which is good and  there's a handy list of online stockists which can be found at the back of the book.  Sprinkles is written by Jackie Alpers and published by Quirk books.

You can follow Jackie's culinary adventures on her blog 'Jackie's Happy Plate'

Many thanks to Mat at PGUK Publishers Group for sending me a copy to review.
All opinions and thoughts are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.  I only ever post reviews on products I like the look of, and therefore would buy myself.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Thermapen Thermometer - Review

Checking the temperature of any kind of poultry is always a good thing to do for health and safety reasons.  But it's also good to know that your Christmas turkey or that beef joint is cooked to perfection and doesn't end up under or overcooked and dried out.   All you need is a good digital thermometer to check everything's properly cooked but without all the prodding and poking every five minutes.  
Of course checking the temperature isn't all about meat and poultry, according to experts, the secret to Plum Pudding perfection on Christmas Day is to reheat it to precisely 71°C.  Any hotter than 89°C and the sugar within the fruits begins to caramelise and no matter how luxurious its ingredients, your pudding will taste bitter.


I'm a big fan of digital thermometers and I always use one to check if meat or poultry is cooked.  Having been sent the Thermapen® I must say I think it's brilliant and extra fast at displaying a precise reading in just three seconds.  


I have a few different digital thermometers and in my opinion this is by far the best.   Okay the price is more expensive than the others I own but I'd say this one in particular is really worth investing in.  It's sturdy and is very well made.  Thermapen is made in Britain and each comes serial number on the back and a Manufacturer's Certificate of Calibration which if filled in by hand.  The Thermapen is guaranteed to be accurate to + or - 0.4c with a range of -49.9 to 299.9c
 The digital display is large and easy to read and the manufactures say the biomaster casing reduces bacterial growth.  The case is splash-proof and it's really easy to use, there are no buttons or switches to press and it's comfortable to hold in your hand.  Just unfold, probe by inserting at least 3mm to get an accurate temperature reading.
Available in a wide range of colours and comes with a two year guarantee.

Great for all meat and poultry dishes, baking and jamming the Thermapen costs £57.60 pop over to www.thermapen.co.uk for more details.
 
Many thanks to Jo and Thermapen for sending me this product to review.
All opinions and thoughts are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.  I only ever post reviews on products I like the look of and therefore would buy myself.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Restaurant Quality Food - Delivered to your Door - Review

 If you hadn't noticed, I absolutely love food and cooking!  But of course, there are many people who either don't have the interest, or are simply too busy and can't spare the time to cook.
So if you are one of those people and would like to hold a dinner party, how about trying my choice (for the main course) Parmesan, Pancetta and Spinach Stuffed Chicken with a side of Dauphinoise Potatoes - without the bother of having to actually make it - sounds good?
Then read on!



Before I go on, I noticed that Free Range Eggs were always used in their food.  If they wasn't, I would have turned down the chance of this review.
 
More More More are an online company based in Newcastle (UK) and they deliver home-cooked food straight to your door.  Either your everyday meals or a fancy dinner party feast can be delivered, leaving you very little to do apart from pop it in the oven and take it to the table when it's done.
So, for my review I could place an order of 'home-cooked quality food' and have it delivered to my door.  Even though I don't have a problem cooking myself (in fact if we hold a dinner party I'm in my element) I even love the stress part but this still sounded good, so how did it go?
 

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

After Eight Chocolate and Mint Desserts

Did you know, 'After Eight' is now available as a dessert, creamy chocolatey minty flavour in a pot?  To celebrate over fifty years of the after dinner chocolate mint thins we all know and love, the new After Eight Chocolate Dessert Pots have now launched in all major supermarkets.

 
Having been sent a good few boxes of them to try, Paul (the husband and chief taster of all things chocolate) was loving it.  Regular readers of this blog will know that personally I don't really like chocolate - but Paul does!
So his luck was in and he tucked in to a pack of two within minutes of their arrival.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Sponge Cake with Summer Berries

Well let me tell you, me and this 'I Heart Cake Mould' are best friends!
A truly marvelous silicone cake mould that enables you to easily create six heart shaped slices of cake.
Now, the mould isn’t actually heart shaped, but instead it's made up of six heart shapes.  Simply bake your favourite cake and all you have to do is divide the cake up equally and you'll have half a dozen cute heart shaped slices!


The silicone I Heart Cake Mould is perfect for baking a cake at anytime but would be fantastic for your loved ones birthday and especially Valentines day.

  You might already know that I'm not really a cake making kind of person, I simply am not very good with baking of any sort and so not too much baking happens in this house.  As you can imagine, Paul (the husband) was really pleased to know I'd been sent this fantastic silicone mould as he knew it meant I would have to make a cake!
 Of course, you don’t have to stick to sponges, how about making some heart shaped jellies?

Sunday, 14 July 2013

No-Bake Strawberry and White Chocolate Cheesecake

My no-bake cheesecake is perfect for an easy and cheap dessert since it serves 12 people and works out to just under £10 to make.  I used Lindt Excellence White Chocolate with Vanilla.
  

 Whatever you do, please don't use cheap chocolate as it just wont be the same.


Sunday, 30 June 2013

Our Wedding Anniversary - Big Night In

Yes indeed, staying in is the new going out!  
These days, everything seems to be getting more and more expensive and whilst it is nice to go out, it can also be just as good to stay in.  With no taxis to pay for, no tips and no need to get all dressed up, you can totally relax and have a great time.
Having been set a challenge by MoneySupermarket to have a Big Night In for £50 since our wedding anniversary is in a few days time, I decided to cook up a right nice semi-posh Dinner Party for Two.


The Starter;
I kept everything simple, Baked Fig and Goat's Cheese with Parma ham, a few leaves and balsamic glaze.

Next up was the Main Course;
Fillet Steak Bois Boudrin with Homemade Thick Cut Potato Wedges.  The bois boudrin is so very easy to make, it literally takes 2 minutes and since it should be made in advance that's all the better for a no-fuss dinner party. 


My Strawberry, White Chocolate and Vanilla (no-bake) Cheesecake is an absolute doddle to make and can even be made the day before. However I wouldn't add the strawberry halves, which also act as portion control, anymore than a few hours before serving - just so they don't leak their lovely juice over your cheesecake.
   

Oh by the way, we didn't eat the whole 12 portion cheesecake last night, but I expect without too much effort, Paul will finish most of that off today!


My Top Tips for a Stress Free Dinner Party;
Prepare everything that can be prepared in advance, and that includes laying the table.


That way you too can join in the fun and enjoy the evening with a glass or two of wine - Cheers everyone!

Bargain BIG Night in for under £50!

Starter
Goat's cheese portions £2.56
Fresh figs £2.00
Few slices of Parma Ham £2.00
Salad leaves £1.00

Main
Two Fillet Steaks £15.58
Bois Boudrin is almost impossible to cost accurately as most ingredients are in such small quantities but the main ingredient is the Piccolini tomatoes cost £1.59 plus a lemon at 39p 
Potatoes for the wedges £1.00

Dessert (which serves 12 people)
300g Hobnob Biscuits for the base £1.39
500g Mascarpone cheese £3.00
200g Lindit White Chocolate with Vanilla £3.00
Strawberries £2.50

Drinks:
3 bottles of wine for £12.00 in Asda and after our dinner party we still have a bottle spare!

Entertainment:
Absolutely Free - we talked......Do you remember this, do you remember that?!
By the way, that all adds up to the bargain price of £48.01
    
 This is a sponsored post for MoneySupermarket who funded our big night in.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Favourite British Pie - Lemon Meringue

These days it's so easy to go out and buy a ready-made dessert from a supermarket or shop but easier still not to bother having one at all.
Even though there's something quite satisfying about making a nice dessert for everyone to ooh and aah over, I wonder why most of us still don't bother.
Is it because most people think like me and that it would be too complicated?  Well it isn't, I'd never made a lemon meringue pie before in my life.  Fear not and trust me, it's a doddle - if I can do it anyone can!
  

 I was set a challenge by Most Wanted, the lifestyle magazine for their 'Making Summer Taste Better' series asking if I could make a dessert that was fairly easy, not over complicated and perfect for alfresco dining but costing no more than £7.00

 So in an attempt to inspire everyone to have a go and make your own desserts instead of buying ready-made, here I go with lemon meringue pie.

By the way this pie serves 8 to 10 people and actually cost less than the challenge set and cost just £5.99 to make which is fantastic.  You can find the ingredient price list at the end of this post. 

  Time for a small confession; I've been writing this blog for over five years and have never made meringue before until now and it has to be said I'm quite proud of my meringue!

My top tip for success when baking or cooking in general:
 Get everything ready before you begin.  Have a quick read of your chosen recipe prepare your ingredients.  For example in this recipe, zest your lemons, separate your egg yolks from the whites, get the pastry out of the fridge.
Yes I know I used ready-made pastry, but one step at a time here please, I've only just got to mastering meringue never mind making pastry.

Also, have you got the right equipment at the ready, saucepans baking tin?  Have a quick check and your good to go!

Print Recipe

 For the filling you will need:
grated zest and juice of 4 large lemons
90g cornflour
600ml cold water
4 large egg yolks
175g caster sugar

For the meringue you will need:

5 large egg whites
250g  caster sugar
 
For the pastry base you will need:
1 x 500g ready-made shortcrust pastry 

How to do it:

While your getting everything ready, remove the pastry from the fridge as it's better if it's at room temperature.
On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough and line your loose-bottomed flan tin (mine was 24cm).  Prick the pastry base all over with a fork and line with a piece of greaseproof paper, allowing it to come above the rim so it can be easily lifted out after baking.  Fill the shell with ceramic baking beans, or uncooked rice, and bake in a preheated oven at 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6 for 10 minutes.

Remove the baking beans and foil and bake the pastry shell for 5 minutes or until the base has dried out, then remove from the oven.
If the pastry has risen during baking, gently press it down with your hand.

Reduce the temperature to 150C/130C Fan/Gas 2 and get on with the filling:

Mix the lemon zest and juice with the cornflour. Bring the water to a boil, then stir into the lemon mixture. Return to the pan and bring back to a boil, stirring, until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat.
Leave to cool slightly, then stir in the egg yolks mixed with the sugar. Return to a low heat and cook, stirring, until just simmering. Leave to cool a bit before pouring into the pastry shell.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff then whisk in the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time on maximum speed.
 

Pile on top of the filling and spread over - don't fuss too much, I didn't and mine turned out okay.



Bake for 45 minutes or until crisp and brown on top.  Leave to cool a bit before attempting to remove from the tin.
Recipe adapted from Mary Berry's Complete Cookbook


Ingredients purchased from a well known top UK supermarket cost:
Pastry £1.25
Kitty Campbell's Free range very large eggs £2.00
Cornflour 75p
4 lemons £1.00 on offer 4 for the price of 3
Caster sugar 99p - and of course you wont need to use the whole box

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