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Jam tarts seem to have been around forever but the first historical reference to them appeared around the same time sugar became available for making jam.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
New potatoes can be stuffed to make a delicious appetiser or afternoon tea component. This type of potato has a crisp, waxy texture and a thin skin which is eaten along with the rest of the potato. A new potato is a young potato. They can hold their shape once cooked and cut open. A new potato is sweeter than a regular one because the sugar has not yet converted into starch. This makes them ideal for salads.
The best-known type of new potato is the Jersey Royal and when they appear near the end of April in the UK, this often indicates the beginning of summer. They are usually sold until July. Pentland Javelin is another kind of new potato, as are ones labelled ‘salad potatoes’ and those are best eaten cold. When buying new potatoes, get ones which are dry, firm and unblemished. Do not rinse them until you are using them because the dirt protects them from bruising or deteriorating. Just rinse them before using – you do not need to wash them.
Usually new potatoes are simmered for 10 minutes and served with salt and butter, but in this recipe they are par-boiled and then deep-fried, before being filled. Some of these are filled with a garlic tomato mixture, some have a sour cream and bacon filling, and the rest have a crème fraîche and caviar filling. Serve these chilled at teatime for a delicious, healthy snack at tea time. Continue reading
What is a Scotch egg exactly? This recipe consists of a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat and then coated in breadcrumbs. They are prepared and then deep-fried. Serve them chilled or at room temperature. Scotch eggs are often featured at teatime and they are also enjoyed at picnics in the UK. Although you can get pre-packed, ready-made ones from supermarkets and petrol stations in the UK, it is best to make your own, for a better, fresher flavour. Scotch eggs are usually made with chicken eggs but you can also get quail egg ones which are smaller. These might also contain bacon and/or mayonnaise.
Fortnum & Mason, the London department store, claims they invented Scotch eggs in 1738, but another theory is they were inspired by ‘Narcissus meatballs’ which is a Moghul dish. The first time the recipe was printed was in 1809, and this was in Mrs Rundell’s ‘A New System of Domestic Cookery’ book where she recommended serving them hot with gravy.
In this video, Heston Blumenthal shows you how to make scotch eggs. Half-boil the eggs so the yolk is still runny, plunging them into ice water to stop the cooking process. Peel them, coat them in the prepared sausage meat mixture, some beaten egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Fry them in very hot oil to crisp up the coating quickly, then finish them in the oven. The heat does not have long enough to reach the egg yolk so the outside will be cooked and crispy and the yolk will be oozy and delicious. Continue reading
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