Almond and Lavender Biscuits
I make these each year as soon as the lavender is ready and serve with ice cream, particularly home made Amaretto, and seasonal fruit.
Makes about 20 biscuits.
50g golden caster sugar
100g plain flour
100g ground almonds
2 level tsps lavender buds ( I use tablespoons)
Whiz all the ingredients in a food processor until they resemble fine breadcrumbs. Tip the mix and the buds into a bowl (reserving some for topping the biscuits) and gently squash together to form a dough. (If you are very careful, you can do this in the machine, but take care not to overmix.) Cover and leave the dough in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
Break off pieces of dough about the size of a walnut shell, then press out each one with your hand into thin rounds - you will need a little flour to stop it sticking as the paste is very fragile. The size is up to you: the smaller they are, the more elegant. Transfer to buttered or parchment-lined baking sheets and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2. Bake for between 25 and 30 minutes until the biscuits are pate gold in colour. Remove from their baking sheet with a palette knife - they will be very short and crumbly, so handle with care. Leave them to cool on a wire rack.
The biscuits will keep in sealed container for a few days.
Almond and Lemon Curd Buttons
Makes about 20.
250g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of 2 lemons
300g plain flour
100g ground almonds
A little milk to seal
About 3 tbsp lemon curd
A pinch of salt
Flaked almonds for the top
1 Heat the oven to 190/fan 170/gas 5. Beat the butter, sugar, egg, vanilla,
zest and a pinch of salt in a large bowl until smooth, then fold in the
flour and ground almonds. Shape into two rounds, flatten them, then wrap in
cling film and chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
2 Roll out 1 piece of dough on a floured surface to about the thickness of a
£1 coin, then stamp out rounds with a 7cm cutter. Brush all over with milk,
then spoon 20p size blobs of lemon curd into the middle of half of the
3 Carefully lay the remaining rounds on top of the lemon curd, then gently
press around the edges with your fingers to seal. Scatter with a little
caster sugar and the flaked almonds. Bake for 15 minutes until light golden.
Repeat with the remaining pastry.
as a Word file.
Blueberry Muscovado Shortcakes
Makes 8 tarts
For the shortcake:
75g golden caster sugar
75g light muscovado sugar
250g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
For the blueberries:
8 tbsp sugar
You will need 8 individual baking dishes approximately 9cm x 4cm, or one
To make the shortcake, cream the butter and sugars in a food mixer until
light and creamy. Gently mix in the flour and baking powder. Bring together
to form a soft dough. Roll into a large sausage shape the same diameter as
the baking tins and place in the fridge to rest for 20 minutes or so. Set
the oven at 180C/gas mark 4.
Butter the baking tins, add a tablespoon of sugar to each, then pack in the
berries. Remove the shortcake from the fridge and cut off eight thick
slices. Lay a slice of shortcake on top of each dish of berries.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes until the pastry is golden
and the fruit is bubbling up around the edges of the baking tins. Serve
warm, straight from the dishes, or allow to cool and carefully turn out with
the help of a palette knife.
Buttermilk Cheese Scones
85g/3oz cold butter, cut into pieces, plus extra for greasing
350g/12oz self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
175ml/6fl oz buttermilk
1 Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6/ fan oven 180C. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Tip the flour into a bowl, add the butter and rub in with your fingertips to form fine crumbs. Stir in the cheese.
2 Add the buttermilk to the bowl and stir in quickly using a round-bladed knife. When the liquid is mixed in the dough may seem dry at the edges, but don't add any more liquid or it will be too sticky. Using your hands, lightly work the mixture into a ball.
3 Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface or board and roll or pat out to 2cm/3/4inch thick. Dip a 6cm/2 1/2inch fluted or plain cutter into a little flour and use to cut out the scones. Lightly gather the trimmings and re-roll.
4 Put the scones on the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with milk. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Eat the same day.
FREEZE AHEAD Allow the scones to cool, then pack into freezer bags. Freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw at room temperature for 1 hour, then warm through.
Courgette, Lemon and Rosemary Bread
Serve with cream cheese and herbs or smoked salmon.
600g strong white bread flour
1 sachet of easy blend yeast
1 teaspoon salt
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary
1-2 courgettes, grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
Approx. 250ml hand hot water
Mix all the ingredients together kneading well until the dough has a silky consistency. You may need to add more water, depending on the flour. Shape the dough into a round, and allow it to prove in a warm place for about an hour. Bake at 200° C, 400° F, Gas Mark 6 for 35-40 minutes, until it's brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
100g (4oz) light brown sugar
75g (3oz) clear honey
250g (9oz) sugar-free muesli
2.5ml (½ tsp) vanilla extract
Preheat oven to
180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a 18cm (7 inch) cake tin.
butter and golden syrup in a saucepan and heat until gently melted.
Remove from heat
and mix in muesli and vanilla extract. Press into prepared tin and bake for
20 – 25 minutes until golden and bubbling. Leave to cool completely.
140g Light Muscovado Sugar
3 tbs Golden Syrup
250g Organic rolled oats
85g pistachio nuts
50g sesame seeds
25g dried sour cherries (substitute cranberries)
50g ready to eat apricots, finely chopped.
1 Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Gently heat the sugar, golden syrup
and butter in a pan until the sugar and the butter have both melted. Stir
the oats, sultanas, pistachios, sesame seeds and sour cherries into the pan
until coated with butter.
2 Spoon half the oaty mix into a traybake tin (23cm x 23cm approximately).
Scatter the chopped apricots on the top and then cover with the rest of the
oaty mix. Firm it down well with the back of a spoon. Bake for 35 minutes or
until dark golden. Leave to cool completely before dividing into 16 biscuits
with a sharp knife. Wrap each biscuit in greaseproof paper and store until
you next go for a walk.
as a Word file.