One of the things that Todmorden is famous for is Incredible Edible, a group of local people who have started something of a revolution, growing food in public places in & around the town centre.
There are vegetables outside the police station and local community college, herbs along the canal tow-path and in the train station and an apothecary garden in the grounds of the health centre.
Everything is free for anyone to come along and help themselves – or even do a little weeding and clearing if the fancy takes them!
The train station is on one of our daily dog-walking routes and it’s been lovely watching the progress of the peas, red onions, chives and the like.
This week, along with the dog, I left the house with a pair of scissors and a carrier bag and cut a few stems of rhubarb – to use in a rhubarb and custard tart.
Rhubarb & custard is a classic British combination as is baked custard tart. I’ve put them together and come up with a delicious dessert.
I used the same pastry recipe as last week’s pear tart and made sure to add a tad more sugar than normal to the custard recipe… and a tablespoonful of Bird’s Custard Powder.
The sweetness of the custard and the tartness of the rhubarb worked incredibly well – I’ll be making this one again before the end of the rhubarb season.
I got, not one but two, pressure cookers in a mixed lot at auction last week. I’d been after one for a while – it’s a piece of kit that was always being used in my parents’ (and my friends’ parents’) kitchen.
I haven’t used one in decades. They’re superb for cooking bean, pulse and rice dishes in particular…
…but this is a ‘Cakes & Bakes‘ post, so a more suitable dish was required. I spent last night looking at all manner of pressure cooker recipes and decided on crème caramel.
Probably not something you’d immediately think of making in a pressure cooker – but it appeared quite straightforward, so ideal for me to reacquaint myself with the hissing and steaming beast.
The results were actually delicious!
- 5g/⅙oz active dried yeast
- 300ml/10.5 fl oz warm water
- 500g/18oz plain flour
- 10g/⅓oz salt
- handful of nettle leaves
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- Add the yeast to the water and stir to remove any lumps. Add a teaspoon of sugar (optional) to help it along if the yeast is a bit old. Set aside for 15 minutes until it forms a foam
- In a colander, rinse & drain the nettle leaves removing any thick stalks. Set aside 4 or 5 of the leaves before roughly ripping the remainder
- Add the flour to a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle
- Pour the yeast liquid into the well in the flour
- Bring the flour into the centre and combine
- Add the salt to the dough and knead to form a ball
- On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough for 10-15 minutes
- Put the dough back into the bowl, cover with clingfilm and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about an hour)
- Lay the reserved nettle leaves, smooth side down, into a well-floured banneton if you have one. If not, lay them into a well-greased loaf tin
- Once proved, empty the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface and knead in the nettles (this is best done wearing a pair of clean rubber gloves)
- Form the dough into a ball and place into the banneton (or oblong if using a loaf tin)
- Put the banneton/loaf tin into the large mixing bowl and cover with clingfilm and leave to prove, again until doubled in size, in a warm place
- Preheat the oven to 240ºC/465ºF/Gas mark 9, put an empty roasting dish on the bottom shelf of the oven and fill a cup with cold water and set aside
- Once the loaf has risen, if using a banneton, grease a baking sheet and gently decant the loaf on to it, trying not to knock any air out of it
- Quickly & carefully pour the cup of water into the roasting dish before putting the loaf into the oven
- After 10 minutes, turn the oven down to 200ºC/ 400ºF/Gas mark 6
- Bake for a further 20-25 minutes before taking it out of the oven
- Leave to cool on a wire rack for at least half an hour before use
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