Most things are improved by being clothed in pastry, and this Clementine shortcrust pastry adds an extra layer of flavour. This recipe can be varied by using other citrus fruits such as lime or lemon, but Clementine is a lovely festive twist. I use it to make my mincemeat crumble pies.

Citrus fruit works really well because the acid in the juice makes the pastry even crumblier while the zest is loaded with natural oils which flavours the pastry without upsetting any of the proper ratios of the recipe. Continue reading

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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