These creamy, earthy pies are delicious served from the oven, with melting centres. Or carefully wrapped to retain their warmth and brought out at an indulgent summer picnic. If made with ready-rolled pastry, this is a quick and extremely simple recipe.
Makes 4 pies
For the pies
4 wheels Cornish Brie, approximately 200g each
450g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp salt
120g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
150g vegetable shortening, cold
80ml boiling water
1 egg, beaten
For the pickles
250ml distilled vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp coriander seeds
6 shallots, halved
165g gherkins in vinegar, drained
To make the pickle: Combine the vinegar, sugar, salt and coriander seeds in a heatproof bowl. Microwave on high for 40 secs, then stir well to dissolve the sugar and salt. Add the shallots and gherkins to the pickling solution. Cover the bowl, and chill until needed.
To make the pies: Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl, making a well in the centre. Place the butter and shortening in the well, then pour over the boiling water.
Stir well until the fats melt, then start to incorporate the flour into them with a fork. Once a rough dough forms, turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into four pieces. Knead briefly before wrapping in cling film. Chill for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Turn out the pastry onto a floured surface. Roll each piece out into a 30cm wide round. Place the brie wheels on their centres, and bring the pastry up and around the cheese to envelop. Seal the pastry on top, and arrange on a large baking tray, spaced apart. Brush with the beaten egg, then bake for 30-40 mins until golden brown all over. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Serve with the pickles.
2 tbsp dried lavender, plus 2 lavender sprigs
6 apricots (300g)
280g caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g self-raising flour
175ml double cream
Halve the apricots and remove the stones. Place in a saucepan and sprinkle with 1 tbsp of sugar. Cover with cold water and add the lavender sprigs. Poach, covered, on a medium heat for 10 mins, then allow to cool with the lid on.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Grease and line
2 x 20cm sandwich tins. In a bowl, combine the remaining sugar with the dried lavender. Place in the microwave for 45 sec. This will help infuse the sugar with the lavender flavour. Stir, then set aside around a tablespoon’s-worth to decorate the cake with later. Add the butter to the remaining lavender sugar and cream into each other with the back of a wooden spoon. Beat in the eggs, one at
a time, then stir in the vanilla. Sift in the flour gradually, folding
it into the mixture. Stir in 25ml of the cream.
Divide the batter between the two tins and bake for 20 mins until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in their tins then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
In a large bowl, whip the cream until thick. Whip in three tablespoons of the liquid from the apricots. Place one of the cakes on a serving plate and top with the cream, then layer on the poached apricot. Top with the other cake and sprinkle with the reserved lavender sugar. Serve.
9 large eggs
600g finely minced pork or sausagemeat
225g golden breadcrumbs
large bowl ice-cold water
1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
2 tbsp chives, snipped, plus extra to garnish
1.5 litres vegetable oil, for deep-frying
salt and pepper
Cook six of the eggs in boiling water for 7 mins. Drain, then refresh in the iced water. Once cool enough to handle, peel, and pat dry with kitchen paper.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the meat with 1 egg, 2 tbsp of the breadcrumbs, the herbs and plenty of seasoning until thoroughly combined.
Divide the mixture into six, and wrap around the boiled eggs, forming them into balls. Beat the remaining eggs in a shallow dish with some seasoning, and dip the sausage balls in the egg mix to coat. In another shallow bowl, coat the balls in the remaining breadcrumbs. Chill until needed.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan to 180°C, using a thermometer to accurately gauge the temperature.
Deep-fry the Scotch eggs, three at a time, for 4-5 mins until golden brown and crisp. Remove to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain. Cut in half, and serve with a garnish of snipped chives.
Other picnic recipes in the Jul/Aug issue of LandScape include:
- Stuffed picnic bread wreath
- Salad served in preserving jars
- Fig tarts
- Cornish Brie and pickles
- Berry lattice tart
- Peaches baked in dough
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Makes approximately 4 x 250ml desserts
1kg strawberries, hulled, plus 4, including stalks, for decoration
350ml whipping cream
9 sheets of gelatine
4 tbsp caster sugar
Blend the strawberries together in a food processor until a smooth puree. Drain the juice into a small saucepan through a sieve, stirring the pulp to extract the liquid. Transfer the strawberry pulp into a separate saucepan and set aside.
Add enough cold water to the strawberry juice to make the liquid up to 480ml in total. Warm 240ml of this juice mixture with half of the sugar for 3 mins, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture thickens slightly. Allow to cool a little.
Place seven of the gelatine sheets in a small bowl of cold water and leave to stand for 5 mins. Drain and squeeze excess water from the sheets, then add two to the thickened mixture. Divide this between four serving glasses and freeze for 30 mins.
Bring the pan of strawberry pulp to a simmer on the hob, stirring. Simmer for
1 min, then allow to cool slightly. Add the remaining soaked gelatine sheets to the pulp and stir.
In a large bowl, whisk 250ml of the cream for 4 mins, until soft peaks form. Mix a third of the pulp into the cream and stir thoroughly. Add a layer of the pulp to the glasses, using half of the mixture. Follow with a layer of strawberry cream, using half of the cream mixture. Freeze until needed.
Heat the remaining strawberry juice mixture and remaining sugar for 3 mins, until warm. Place the remaining two sheets of gelatine in cold water to soak for 5 mins. Allow the strawberry juice mixture to cool slightly, then add the softened gelatine, after draining and squeezing out the excess water. Stir, then divide between the glasses. Return them to the freezer for 30 mins.
Add a layer of the remaining strawberry pulp on top of the jelly layers and smooth over with the back of a metal spoon which has been dipped in boiling water. Do the same with a layer of the cream mixture. Whisk the remaining 100ml of cream into soft peaks and layer on top of each jar. Allow to chill for 2 hrs. Add a single strawberry to the top of each before serving.
Other jelly recipes in the July/August issues of LandScape
- Raspberry jelly
- Fruity yogurt jelly
- Elderflower jellies
- Dandelion and burdock and ice cream jelly
- Strawberry and mint fizz jellies