I am, unsurprisingly, a fan of the Great British Bake Off. Watching the contestants make custard tarts a few weeks back coupled with a need for redemption for my poor custard quality on the Great Irish Bake Off, made me lust after a nice custard tart. These are lovely tarts with a flaky case and the cinnamony vanilla sweetness of the custard. They probably aren’t true to ‘Pasteis de nata’ but are tasty nonetheless.

Portuguese Custard tarts

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This recipe is taken from The Silver Spoon. This is my go to book for Italian food and I am never disappointed…..except for the lack of pictures! This is an impressive but somewhat intimidating book! Definitely one worth having in your bookcase!

Speedy puff pastry is not to be confused with rough puff pastry. Both give great results, but this method, for me, produces something that bit closer to ‘real’ puff pastry. It takes about an hour and twenty minutes to make.

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Foraging basket filled with crab apples, haws and elderberries.The story of this blog post began quite a while ago with Tom (of The Great Irish Bake Off fame) saying he would like to make some elderberry wine. Him being the city boy that he is, and me being the farm girl that I am, we agreed it would be a great idea if he came down to my family home in Wicklow to pick some berries. Somewhere along the way this happily escalated, and resulted in a foraging trip for the Bake Off contestants that could make it, led by Biddy White Lennon (one of our esteemed judges). We happily trampled our way around the farm, Molly the sheepdog and Harney family in tow, and collected many fruits of the season. It was a really fun day, and naturally we had many delicious baked things after our gathering work. This is a significant advantage of having friends who bake really really well. I wanted to try to make a few different things this year, so embarked on using my haws for brandy and elderberries for balsamic vinegar. The blackberries had a few uses including a lemon and blackberry cordial and a buttermilk, blackberry and coffee pound cake. Here is the first of a few recipes. Continue reading