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GBBO week 8 – Tudor inspired food

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Week 7 of The Great British Bake Off The Great British Bake Off has been an educational one for me as I was fascinated by the historical facts about how the Tudors ate and how different foods indicated status. I like marzipan, but I think the way that the Tudor’s made Marchpane was ‘OTT’ and it seemed like they really went all out to show off their wealth in those days.  I wasn’t too inspired by the GBBO contestants bakes either to be honest and apart from Jane’s lovely cake and Candice’s awesome Peacock, the others seem to really struggle.

The savoury pies was the part that really interested me, being more of a savoury person myself. But although I wasn’t too sure about Benjamina’s mexican pie, I was really shocked she had to leave. I honestly thought she would make it to the final and she had lots more to give.  But that’s Bake Off for you, and from previous statistics it looks like Jane has the odds to win at the moment.

So…. I went off to research some flavours I could use for a savoury pie and I thought of using seasonal ingredients and I thought of what would be lovely to eat on a cosy Autumnal evening. Pumpkin of course! Paired with some flavour packed spices without too much heat, pumpkin seemed like the perfect choice for a wholesome pie. I decided to choose Garam Masala to spice up this pie as it offers heaps of flavour without an overpowering heat which would take over the other ingredients.  As some of the contestants in GBBO used a hot crust pastry recipe with animal lard, I have tried a  vegetarian version and it’s way easier than I had imagined it would be!

I know it seems like a lot of steps, but I would not lie and I assure it is simpler than it looks. But as always, I would love any constructive feedback so please do comment below. Thank you!

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Spiced Pumpkin Pie

Makes an 8 inch Pie

What you need

For the hot crust pastry:

  • Plain flour – 225g
  • Strong white bread flour – 50g
  • Butter – cold and chopped into small cubes – 40g
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Hot water – 120ml
  • Vegetarian Lard (I used the Cookeen brand but you can use any others e.g. Trex) – 50g
  • An 8 inch round Springform Baking Tin

For the filling:

  • Pumpkin – approx 200g chopped into cubes
  • Chickpeas – 1 tin (400g)
  • White Onion – x1 large onion, chopped finely
  • Garlic – x1 clove, grated/chopped finely
  • Halloumi (leave out if you want to keep it vegan) – 100g, finely diced
  • Spinach – a handful, chopped roughly
  • Salt, to taste (i put in about 1/2 tsp)
  • Garam Masala – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric, 1/3 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Oil – 2 tablespoons
  • OPTIONAL – if you like things spicier then you can add 1 tsp of red chilli powder with the Garam Masala (Step 1)

How to make it:

1.Heat oven to 200 deg C and lightly grease an 8 inch springform round tin. Heat the oil in a pan and then add the cumin seeds and then the onions. When the onions have softened (don’t wait til the brown), add the garlic, pumpkin, chickpeas, garam masala and salt. Put a lid on the pan and keep on a low flame until the pumpkin is cooked, stirring occasionally. You can add a little water if the pumpkin starts sticking to the bottom of the pan and this did happen to me.

2. Mash the Pumpkin Chickpea mixture a little with the back of a wooden spoon, then add the cubed halloumi,spinach and mix well. The mashing just helps create a nice texture and helps bind things together in the pie. Check for seasoning and then turn off the heat and let the filling mixture cool while you make the pastry.

3.Make the pastry by combining both flours and salt into a large bowl. Then add the cubed butter and use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour so the whole mixture eventually looks like breadcrumbs.

4.In a small saucepan add the water, salt and the lard and gently heat until the lard is dissolved. Then pour all the liquid into the flour&butter mixture and use a wooden spoon to combine the wet and dry ingredients into a dough.

5.Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently using your hands for about 3 minutes. It does not have to be well kneaded like if you were making bread, it’s just so that it’s all well combined.

6. Roll out the dough so it’s about 2cm in depth and then place gently into your greased tin. Trim the edges and then roll the remaining dough into a circle for the pie lid and keep aside.

7. Add the Pumpkin filling to the pastry case, and press the mixture in lightly so you fill the pastry case. Take care not to press down too much otherwise you may split the pastry case.

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8 Place the pastry lid and press the edges of the lid and case together and you can crimp it if you prefer. Use any remaining pastry dough to cut/make a design to decorate the top of the pie and make some slits on the lid to help the steam escape.

9. Brush over some milk on the top of the pie and then place in the oven for 1 hour or until the pastry is a medium brown colour.

10. Leave to cool for about 10 mins before taking it out of the tin and serving. It maybe really hot inside the pie, so I know you will be excited to eat it but take care not to burn your mouth!

This keeps well in the fridge so you can make it in advance and then just re-heat in the Oven when you want to eat the next day 🙂

You can also use firm Paneer or Tofu instead of the Halloumi

 

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Filed under Baking, Desi, Dinner, GBBO, indian, Lunch, mykitchenadventures, pastry, recipe, sujiskitchen, Uncategorized, vegetarian

Pastry & Botanicals! GBBO week 5 & 6

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Ok so I got behind with the GBBO episodes and along with the usual Autumn sniffles, work and the start of our Hindu Festival Navarathri, blogging has had to take a back seat recently. Boooooo!  So to catch up I have a recipe to celebrate the pastry and botanical weeks from The Great British Bake offSquash Tart with Garden Herbs 🙂

I really enjoyed watching the GBBO contestants have fun (and struggle!) with making pastry from scratch and the Botanicals week was a new theme for GBBO this year which I think was a great idea! But I feel that unless you are a GBBO contestant, or have heaps of time on your hands, there’s really no need to make Filo or Puff Pastry from scratch.  So this is a really simple recipe if you are like me and just want to have a yummy lunch or dinner without the drama 🙂

I’m really lucky to have some fresh herbs ready to hand in our garden (they are really easy to maintain even for non-Gardeners like me :-)), but this recipe allows the use of shop bought fresh or dried herbs.  I have tried to embrace the change in season here in the UK by using Butternut Squash and I am looking forward to trying this out with different types of squash as well as pumpkins too!

Squash Tart

Serves 2 – 4

What you need:

  • 1 pack of Puff pastry – I used Jus Roll Puff Pastry (320g sheet)
  • 1 medium sized Butternut Squash – peeled and de-seeded
  • 1 medium red onion – sliced finely into semi circles
  • Sun dried Tomato paste – about 4 heaped tablespoons or enough to cover the pastry base. I used a ready made jar by Sacla.
  • 3 teaspoons of finely chopped herbs of your choice – I used 1 tsp of fresh Rosemary, 1 tsp of fresh Thyme and 1 tsp of fresh Parsley
  • Feta cheese – a handful [You can leave this out if you are Vegan]
  • Olive oil – to drizzle
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Chilli flakes (optional)

How to make it:

1. Set your oven to 200 deg Celcius (395F) and prepare the Squash. I cut mine into rough crescent shaped wedges, about 1/2 inch in depth.

2.  Spread out the squash pieces on a roasting tray and season with salt and pepper and drizzle over olive oil. Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes or until they are half-cooked and softened. You don’t want to over cook them completely as they are going to cook further on top of the pastry.

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3. While the squash is roasting you can roll out the Puff pastry into a rectangle so that it’s about 1/2 inch in depth (about the depth of a £1 coin) and then place onto your baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Use a butter knife (or any knife without a sharp edge) to score a 1 inch border around the pastry.

Not sure how to score a border? Lay out your puff pastry sheet and using a ruler measure out 1 inch border around the edge of the puff pastry. Only cut half way into the puff pastry. Do this while trying not to touch the puff pastry with your hands. Puff pastry needs to stay cold to rise. The warmth from your hands will cause the puff pastry to easily tear. If you think your puff pastry is starting to stretch after making your border, place it back in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes.

4.  Use the back of a spoon to spread out the sundried tomato paste onto the pastry as evenly as you can – but remembering not to spread onto the border.

5. Then place the roasted butternut squash pieces on top, followed by the Rosemary, Thyme and sliced onions (I kept the parsley to garnish before serving).  If you like it a little  spicy then you can also add some chilli flakes at this stage as well.

6. Drizzle again with olive oil and then place in the oven for 20 minutes or until the puff pastry is browned. Then leave to rest for about 5 minutes and add more freshly cracked back pepper if you wish.

7. Garnish with chopped parsley and crumbled feta, cut into your desired slices and serve! I like to have this with a nice refreshing salad or Tabbouleh 🙂

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You can use the Squash peel to make a crisps by putting them in a bowl with some oil, salt (and pepper or red chilli powder) and then baking them at 220 Deg C for about 25 minutes  or until they are nice and crisp.

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Filed under Baking, Dinner, Food, GBBO, Lunch, pastry, recipe, Snack, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetarian