Cakes & Bakes: Plum pie

Slice of home-made plum pie | H is for Home

British Pie Week has rolled around once again – an annual event in which we enjoy getting involved in wholeheartedly!

Cubed butter, and flour in a food processor next to a bowl of plums | H is for Home

I use the week as an opportunity to make a kind of pie that I’ve never made before. This year it’s a home-made plum pie.

Making a sweet crust pie base | H is for Home

I used one of my favourite sweet pastry recipes that I borrow from Dorie Greenspan, pairing it with a James Martin spiced plum filling recipe from in a 2008 copy of BBC Good Food Magazine.

Cooking plums | H is for Home

I’m not the world’s biggest fan of cloves, but it works amazingly well with the plums.

Uncooked plum pie | H is for Home Cooked plum pie | H is for Home

A drizzle of pouring cream or ladle-ful of custard over the top or on the side… a perfect cold weather pudding!

Home-made plum pie with serving spoon | H is for Home

Click here or on the image below to pin the recipe for later!

Home-made plum pie recipe | H is for Home #BritishPieWeek #pie #recipe #plums

Plum pie
For the pastry
  1. 400g/14oz plain flour
  2. 120g/4oz icing sugar
  3. pinch of salt
  4. 250g/9oz very cold butter
  5. 2 egg yolks
For the filling
  1. 750g/oz ripe plums stoned & thickly sliced
  2. 140g/oz golden caster sugar, plus extra
  3. ½tsp ground cloves
  4. 1 heaped tbsp cornflourHome-made plum pie ingredients
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
For the pastry
  1. Put the flour, icing sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine
  2. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is cut in coarsely - you'll have pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pea-size pieces and that's just fine
  3. Stir the eggs, just to break them up, and add it them little at a time, pulsing after each addition
  4. When the eggs are in, process in long pulses - about 10 seconds each - until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds
  5. Just before your pastry reaches this clumpy stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change, so listen out
  6. Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Very lightly and sparingly - make that very, very lightly and sparingly - knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing
  7. Butter the pie dish and press the dough evenly along the bottom and up the sides of the dish and over the rim. Don't be stingy - you want a crust with a little heft because you want to be able to both taste and feel it. Also, don't be too heavy-handed - you want to press the crust in so that the pieces cling to one another and knit together when baked, but you don't want to press so hard that the crust loses its crumbly shortbread-ish texture
  8. Freeze the pastry for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking
  9. Preheat the oven to 175ºC/375ºF/Gas mark 4
  10. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminium foil and fit the foil tightly against the pastry
  11. Bake the pastry for 25 minutes, then carefully remove the foil. If the pastry has puffed up, press it down gently with the back of a spoon
  12. Bake for another 3 to 5 minutes. Allow to cool before adding the pie filling
For the filling
  1. Put the plums, sugar and ground cloves in a pan
  2. Simmer until the sugar dissolves and the plums are juicy (8-10 minutes)
  3. Combine the cornflour with a little of the syrup, then mix well into the fruit
  4. Boil for another few minutes, stirring until thickened
  5. Allow to cool completely
  6. Roll out the remaining piece of pastry into a round and, using the rolling pin, carefully lower the pastry over the filling
  7. Press the pastry lid into the pastry bottom either with your thumbs or a fork. Trim the excess and brush the top with a little beaten egg
  8. Make a slit in the pastry lid to allow steam to escape
  9. Bake at 175ºC/375ºF/Gas mark 4 for 20-25 minutes or until crust is brown and juice just begins to bubble through the slit in the crust
  10. Allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing & serving
Notes
  1. Serve with pouring cream or hot custard
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H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Blueberry pie

Slice of home-made blueberry pie | H is for Home

It’s been almost six months since I last posted a pie recipe on Cakes & Bakes. I’ve righted that wrong this week with a blueberry pie.

Blueberry pie pastry dough | H is for Home Uncooked blueberry pie pastry case | H is for Home

Blueberries, sugar & spice | H is for Home

My recipe is a hodgepodge of three others. The blueberry pie filling is from my vintage 1950s Betty Crocker cookbook, Dinner for Two; the sweet pastry is from Dorie Granspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours and the crème anglaise is from that catering college staple, Ceserani & Kinton’s Practical Cookery.

Blueberry pie pastry case and sugared blueberries | H is for Home

Much as I enjoyed this bake, if I were to make another blueberry pie, I’d do it a little differently.

Home-made blueberry pie and lid | H is for Home

Firstly, the blueberry pie filling was WAY too sweet for my taste. Perhaps it wouldn’t have tasted so sweet if the pastry I’d used had been just a plain shortcrust.

Uncooked home-made blueberry pie | H is for Home

Secondly, the filling recipe calls for ½ teaspoon of cinnamon; Justin liked it, but it just didn’t work for me.

Crème Anglaise ingredients | H is for Home

Thirdly (and lastly), I had my first slice with crème anglaise and my second (not straight after, obviously 🙂 ) with double cream. I much preferred the latter version.

Home-made blueberry pie | H is for Home

Perhaps I’ll test my 3rd portion with vanilla ice cream – all in the name of research on behalf of our readers, of course!

Blueberry pie
For the pastry
  1. 400g/14oz plain flour
  2. 120g/4oz icing sugar
  3. pinch of salt
  4. 250g/9oz very cold butter
  5. 2 egg yolks
For the filling
  1. 125g/4½oz caster sugar
  2. 30g/1oz plain flour
  3. ½tsp teaspoon ground cinnamon
  4. 375g/13oz blueberries
  5. 2 tbs butter
For the crème anglaise
  1. 300ml/½pt milk
  2. 25g/1oz caster sugar
  3. 2 egg yolks
  4. 2-3 drops vanilla extract (I used ¼tsp vanilla bean paste)Home-made blueberry pie ingredients
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
For the pastry
  1. Put the flour, icing sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine
  2. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is cut in coarsely - you'll have pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pea-size pieces and that's just fine
  3. Stir the eggs, just to break them up, and add it them little at a time, pulsing after each addition
  4. When the eggs are in, process in long pulses - about 10 seconds each - until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds
  5. Just before your pastry reaches this clumpy stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change, so listen out
  6. Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Very lightly and sparingly - make that very, very lightly and sparingly - knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing
  7. Butter the pie dish and press the dough evenly along the bottom and up the sides of the dish and over the rim. Don't be stingy - you want a crust with a little heft because you want to be able to both taste and feel it. Also, don't be too heavy-handed - you want to press the crust in so that the pieces cling to one another and knit together when baked, but you don't want to press so hard that the crust loses its crumbly shortbread-ish texture
  8. Freeze the pastry for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking
  9. Preheat the oven to 175ºC/375ºF/Gas mark 4
  10. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminium foil and fit the foil tightly against the pastry
  11. Bake the pastry for 25 minutes, then carefully remove the foil. If the pastry has puffed up, press it down gently with the back of a spoon
  12. Bake for another 3 to 5 minutes. Allow to cool before adding the pie filling
For the filling
  1. Combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon
  2. Stir in the blueberries
  3. Turn into pastry-lined pie dish and dot with butter
  4. Roll out the remaining piece of pastry into a round and, using the rolling pin, carefully lower the pastry over the filling
  5. Press the pastry lid into the pastry bottom either with your thumbs or a fork. Trim the excess and brush the top with a little milk
  6. Bake at 175ºC/375ºF/Gas mark 4 for 25-30 minutes or until crust is brown and juice just begins to bubble through slits in the crust
For the crème anglaise
  1. Boil the milk in a medium-sized saucepan. Allow to cool a little
  2. Mix yolks, sugar and vanilla in a basin before adding to the milk
  3. Put the saucepan back on a low heat and stir with a whisk or wooden spoon until the desired thickness. Do NOT boil
  4. Pass through a fine sieve into a serving jug
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H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes : Bakes: Crème caramel

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Home-made heart shaped crème caramel | H is for Home

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.

Small Le Creuset heart-shaped ramekins in the pressure cooker

I haven’t used one in decades. They’re superb for cooking bean, pulse and rice dishes in particular…

Caramel poured into moulds

…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.

Making custard for 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.

tin foil covered heart-shaped ramekins in a pressure cooker

The results were actually delicious!

Cakes & Bakes: Boozy bread and butter pudding

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Home made boozy bread and butter pudding | H is for Home

The secret to this boozy bread and butter pudding is all about getting soaked. No, not in the getting drunk sort of way!

Buttering slices of bread

Slicing buttered slices of bread into triangles

You need to soak the currants for a few hours or even overnight in the alcohol. Melt the butter in the microwave for a few seconds before spreading it on the bread with a pastry brush so that it soaks in. Allow the bread to soak up the custard liquid for half an hour before putting the dish in the oven – ‘soaked’ in a bain-marie.

soaked currants sprinkled on to bread slices

glass measuring jugs of beaten eggs and milk, sugar and lemon zest

I like using slices from a stale Warbies Toastie loaf. If you want to be fancy you can substitute the bread for panettone, brioche, challah, hot cross buns if it’s Easter time or stollen if it’s Christmas.

bread sprinkled with custard mix, currants and lemon zest

bowl of boozy bread and butter pudding with cream

The results were a delicious, warming, comforting pudding – perfect for the chilly autumn and winter months.

Cakes & Bakes: Plum flaugnarde

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Home-made plum flaugnarde via @hisforhome

We were given half a dozen sweet, ripe plums last week. We ate a couple and used the others in a plum flaugnarde.

Plum flaugnarde via @hisforhome

A flaugnarde is similar to clafoutis in that they’re both baked French egg custard fruit puddings. However, if you’re a purist, the latter can only ever be made using cherries.

Halved plums

A flaugnarde on the other hand may contain all manner of fruit including pears, apples, figs, dried fruit, nuts…

Eggs, sugar and vanilla essence in a large measuring jug

The addition of a tittle buerre noisette gives the custard a lovely, nutty flavour. Make sure you only cook it until it goes a nice, golden brown. If the butter’s even just a little bit burnt it will ruin the dish.

Plum flaugnarde batter via @hisforhome

A tablespoonful of almonds isn’t essential, but it adds texture, bite more nuttiness… and looks beautiful too!

Uncooked plum flaugnarde via @hisforhome

It puffs up beautifully while it’s cooking, but don’t worry when it deflates as it cools once out of the oven – it will do this. Serve it straight away with a little double cream or clotted cream.

Home-made plum flaugnarde with small bottle of double cream via @hisforhome

Cakes & Bakes: Jam Roly Poly

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Home-made jam roly poly & custard | H is for Home

We do love a hearty pudding on a cold winter’s day – and what could be better than jam roly poly?

Jam roly poly ingredients

I have to confess that I needed two attempts to perfect this week’s bake.

Jam roly poly pastry mixture in food processor

Roly Poly ‘Mark I’ was a disaster. There wasn’t enough jam to start with. Also I rolled up the pastry way too tightly. Last and certainly least, I boiled it. A method I’d read in a few recipes. It was so bad that Justin spat it out declaring it was the worst thing I’d ever made! Ever!!

Rolling out jam roly poly pastry mixture

I’m pleased to report that Roly Poly ‘Mark II’ was a triumph!

Adding jam to the rolled out roly poly pastry

 The ingredients were blended gently, then rolled not too tight… with plenty of filling.

Rolling up jam roly poly

Sugar was sprinkled over the surface (another omission in the earlier version).

Rolled up jam roly poly with top brushed with milk and sprinkled with granulated sugar

And finally it was baked to a wonderful golden brown, the hot jam oozing through cracks.

Freshly baked jam roly poly

After allowing to cool slightly, it was devoured – with lashings of custard of course!

Bowl of jam roly poly and custard | @hisforhome

And the official verdict from the chief taster? “Superb – I could eat that all over again!”

Beetroot and goats cheese pizza
Yields 2
Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
For the pizza bases (makes 2)
  1. 450g/16oz Italian Tipo 00 flour
  2. 300ml/10½fl oz warm water
  3. 10g/⅓oz fresh or dried yeast
  4. 25ml/1fl oz olive oil
  5. 10g/⅓oz salt
For the topping
  1. 200ml/7fl oz tomato sauce
  2. 125g/4½oz goats cheese log, sliced
  3. 1 raw beetroot, peeled and sliced thinly
  4. 6tsp pesto (or my nettle pesto)Home-made beetroot and goats cheese pizza ingredients
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If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
Instructions
  1. Place the flour in a mixing bowl fitted with the dough hook attachment
  2. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and add to the bowl
  3. Mix at slow speed until you achieve a dough texture
  4. Cover with cling film or a large clear plastic bag and rest for an hour
  5. Add the olive oil and salt to the dough and mix slowly for a further 4 minutes
  6. Rest for ½ hour
  7. Shape the pizza and leave to prove for 12 minutes
  8. Add the tomato sauce, and other toppings and bake at 230ºC/ 450ºF/Gas mark 8 on a pizza steel for 25 minutes
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H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/