The filling in this homemade pie is amazing. We are using chicken and gammon to make it. What is gammon, you might be wondering if you are not from the UK. Well, it is the hind leg of pork after curing. Sometimes it is smoked, and other times not. It needs to be cooked before eating it. If you are served a roasted ham in the UK, it is usually known as gammon steak, or just gammon. If you cannot get gammon steak, buy some cured ham instead. We are also using leeks, mushrooms and chicken in the filling, along with garlic, white wine, cheddar cheese, cream and chicken stock for the perfect taste.
First we are cooking the vegetables and then adding the garlic, wine, some flour, milk, the stock and cheese, followed by the cooked meats. Once everything is cooked through and well combined, you can transfer it into a baking dish and then top with your choice of puff pastry or shortcrust pastry. Puff pastry is more flaky, while shortcrust is more solid. You can use whichever you prefer or whichever you can find readymade.
The baking time will be between 30 and 40 minutes, depending which type of pastry you use. Because the filling is already cooked, as soon as you see the pastry turning golden brown, the pie is ready to serve. This is great served with mashed potatoes and perhaps carrots, broccoli or another fresh vegetable on the side. The filling is rich and creamy, so you do not need to make additional gravy or sauce to go with it.
Toffee is made by caramelising sugar with butter, and sometimes flour is added too. Toffee can be plain, or feature nuts or raisins. You need to boil the ingredients until the mixture is stiff, then you can pull the sheet of toffee into shape and let it cool. Toffee can range from sticky and soft to hard and brittle, depending what kind of result you want. English toffee is buttery and often contains almonds. You can get it hard or chewy. Honeycomb toffee is made by adding vinegar and baking soda while mixing. When these react with the carbon dioxide in the mixture, you get lots of tiny holes in the toffee.
The type of toffee made in this video is the kind used for making toffee apples in the UK. Making your own toffee is very easy and you only need sugar and water. If you like, you can add a few drops of red food colouring for a rich red colour, but that is optional. The toffees are made in individual paper liners and decorated with Hundreds and Thousands (known in some places as sprinkles) for a cute look.
Serve them in the cupcake papers and perhaps coordinate those with your tablecloth and serviettes for a colour coordinated teatime treat. These are very, very sweet so make sure you serve a selection of contrasting savoury foods too, such as sandwiches and savoury tarts or pastries, for a nice, balanced teatime spread. Continue reading
Afternoon tea, or teatime, is about serving tea with savoury pastries and sweet snacks. Although not everybody in England sits down to afternoon tea, or even drinks tea, teatime is still a popular concept. Tina Jesson shows you how to prepare the tea, and also explains a little more about what tea time is all about. The teapot is covered in a tea cosy while Tina prepares an English cream tea, which is scones with conserves (like jam but runnier) and clotted cream.
Popular in Devon and Cornwall, England’s Southwest, the traditional English cream tea is close to the locals’ hearts and tourists also like it. In Devon, it is usual to put the cream on first and then the jam, while in Cornwall they do it the other way round. The scones are not usually buttered before the jam and cream are added, although you can have some butter on the tea table in case anybody does want some.
This is not the healthiest snack ever, but it is certainly one of the best! Sometimes it is nice to allow yourself the occasional indulgence and treat yourself to something yummy. A traditional English cream tea can work out expensive if you can only buy imported clotted cream, so if you like you can use double cream or whipped heavy cream instead. Scones can be made plain or with raisins. There is also a cheese and mustard variety but those are usually served with butter since they are savoury not sweet. Continue reading
Jam tarts are very popular at teatime and making your own ensures you will be a very popular hostess. Store-bought tarts are never as nice as the homemade kind. Watch Catherine Leydon making these tasty little pastries. She has plenty of tips and good advice in this cooking video. The pastry is simple to prepare and then you bake the pastry cases empty.
Next add some jam. Just use your favourite flavour. You might like to use strawberry or raspberry jam. Some can have apricot jam for a different colour, or even lemon curd if you want to make some yellow ones. Bake them for another 10 minutes and they are all done. Make the pastry in advance if you like, or the individual cases, and fill them when you like. You can keep the baked empty pastry cases in an airtight container for up to a week.
Jam tarts seem to have been around forever but the first historical reference to them appeared around the same time sugar became available for making jam. Sugar was very expensive in those days so jam tarts were a status symbol and only affordable to the wealthy. Today they are ideal for everyone. These little treats are simple and affordable to prepare, and you can use any kind of jam as your filling. Serve these with a cup of Earl Grey or your favourite tea for a late afternoon treat. Continue reading
Earl Grey tea contains bergamot orange oil as a flavouring which gives it the distinctive flavour tea connoisseurs love. This type of tea has been known since the early 1800s, or maybe even before, in England. This tea is believed to be named after the second Earl Grey who was the Prime Minister of Great Britain in the 1830s. He received a gift of bergamot oil flavoured tea.
The bergamot orange is a citrus tree which blossoms during the winter. One legend states that a Chinaman’s son was saved from drowning by one of Lord Grey’s men in China, so he gave the tea as a token of gratitude. Another tale says an envoy from China brought the tea into England. The Grey family today say the tea was blended by a Chinese Mandarin for Lord Grey, and he added bergamot because the local water had a lot of lime scale in it and the bergamot offset the harsh mineral flavour.
Have you heard of London Fog? That is a special tea made with Earl Grey, vanilla syrup and steamed milk. There are lots of other variations to Earl Grey, some of which feature rose petals, Seville oranges, lavender, jasmine and other fragrant ingredients. In this video you can see a professional tea sommelier making Earl Grey. She offers plenty of tips. The tea should brew for about 5 minutes before you serve it, in order for the flavour to fully develop. Add sugar and/or milk if you wish. A slice of lemon instead of the milk also suits the flavour of this type of tea. Continue reading
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