Treacle apple tart

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It has been a rather crazy week of work: reports, data, lesson observations and meetings have meant my evenings have been taken up with work so I’m only just getting round to writing this up. I made this last weekend as we had friends round for Sunday lunch. Mr Birdie had some apples he’d bought and then forgotten about that needed using up and after a little research I found this BBC Good Food recipe for treacle apple tart.
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Lemon meringue pie

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My Dad has been staying with us over the last few days to help me with something at school (thank goodness he has technological know-how as I have absolutely none!) I wanted to make something for dessert on Sunday and as Aldi had lemons for 59p it had to be something lemon based. Mr Birdie is partial to lemon meringue pie so I decided to give it a go. I was informed by Mr Birdie that it would not be as good as his Mum’s (I have a lot to live up to!) and indeed he did declare that this was the case (he has however polished off three slices so I don’t think it can be that bad). I’m not overly experienced in making pastry so it was a good opportunity to give it another go.
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Raspberry millefeuilles

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I am a HUGE fan of The Great British Bake Off. Back in the summer I saw on Twitter that the production company behind the spin off, An Extra Slice, were looking for keen bakers to be members of the audience. I quickly sent off an email, not expecting to hear anything back, but soon received a reply asking me to come and watch the show. After eventually finding a date a could do, I didn’t think much more about it until I had an email last week telling me it was patisserie week. My first thought was ‘Aaaaaahhh I know nothing about patisserie!’ After having a look through some recipe books and trawling the Internet I decided upon millefeuilles.
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Smoked bacon, leek and roast garlic quiche

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My Dad came to visit this week and was due to arrive around lunchtime so I decided quiche might be a good lunch option. I’d never made one before and I am also a little nervous when it comes to making pastry so it was a new adventure in baking for me! I had a look at quite a few different recipes but spotted this recipe on the BBC website. As I had some leeks that needed using up, I decided this was the recipe to try. Handily, there is a video that accompanies the recipe showing you step-by-step what you need to do.
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Croissants

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I was going to make these a few weeks ago after seeing the recipe in June’s Good Food magazine and never got round it. Mr Birdie and I celebrate our 11 year anniversary this weekend (not sure where that time has gone – I’m sure it’s only yesterday I was at university) and as I’ve been on half term this week (meaning I had the time to make the dough) I decided it was a good opportunity to make something special for our breakfast. These croissants are a labour of love! You need to allow plenty of time – don’t think you can whip these up in a couple of hours. You will need to chill the dough overnight and then they need 2 hours resting time after they’re made and shaped. Although I’ve made rough puff pastry before this was the first time I’d attempted anything like this.
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Pork en Croute with Spicy Cabbage Stuffing

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When out doing a spot of last minute Christmas shopping with Mr Birdie we found Rachel Allen’s ‘Bake’ for a bargainous £3! I spent a lot of the Christmas holidays perusing the recipes. One of the recipes I spotted was this pork en croute recipe which I thought sounded interesting. When food shopping just before the New Year I spotted some pork fillet which was reasonably priced so snapped it up. This weekend I decided to try it out.

It is the first time I have tried anything savoury pastry based and this ambitious! I have to say I thought there was a point during the making of it that I thought it would all end up going horribly wrong but I was pleasantly surprised. As you can see from the photo above I did have a few cracks and sadly a ‘soggy bottom’ but for a first attempt I was pretty pleased. I used the flaky pastry recipe from Ruth Clemens ‘The Pink Whisk’ blog which you can find here. I found it was just the right amount of pastry with enough left over to decorate it. I served it as a Sunday roast accompanied by roast potatoes, roast carrots and parsnips and Brussels sprouts. The bonus of this recipe is that it can be prepared beforehand and can stay in the fridge for up to 24 hours or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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Toffee Apple Pie

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Apologies that it has been quiet on the blog front. Mr Birdie and I jetted of to the west coast of America during half term and then we have been busy catching up with friends and meeting our gorgeous new nephew Elliot (congratulations Ian and Steph!) I plan to do a blog post on our foodie adventures in America and have a couple of recipes to catch up on but for now here is my most recent adventure in baking.

Autumn is in full swing and comforting, warming baking is the order of the day. This recipe for toffee apple pie is from Ruth Clemens of ‘The Pink Whisk’ which you can find on her blog here. I’d never made an apple pie before and as I think I’ve mentioned before pastry scares me. This recipe uses flaky pastry which I was surprised to find was actually quite easy (for someone who has a pastry phobia!) I am quite tempted to try it again for some mince pies this Christmas. I was pleased with my first attempt at this recipe however I did find that the toffee sauce separated and a lot of butter was at the bottom of the dish (having read comments on The Pink Whisk website other people have had this problem too). It did meet my husbands approval despite this!

You will need an 8 inch pie dish which was something I didn’t possess so this was an excellent opportunity to go shopping. I purchased this lovely teal number in TK Maxx.

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Mixed Berry Plaited Pie

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I will start today’s post with a confession. I am a hoarder. I find it difficult to throw things away. In the process of moving I have had to address this (well I like to think I have addressed it!) Whilst packing I have had to sort through many food magazines. At various points over the last few years I have had subscriptions to Delicious, Good Food and Olive and had kept them all. My husband was not going to let me pack up and move boxes of magazines but I didn’t want to throw them away. The solution to my reluctance to throw these away – to rip out all the recipes I liked the look of or thought I might like to make one day in the future. I now have a lever arch folder fit to burst with recipes. It was when I was ripping and filing that I spotted this recipe. I am a bit obsessed with blackberry recipes at the moment and this not only contained blackberries but also looked pretty impressive.

This is an Olive recipe that you can find on the BBC Good Food website here. It is a cross between a pie (it has a pastry base and pastry twists on top) and a cake. It is very easy to prepare as you make both the base and filling in a food processor (I didn’t even bother washing it out!)
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