Recipes, food and family views from Beverley

  • Easter biscuits

    A little like a Fruit Shortcake biscuit but made with orange zest to add more flavour.  Always use currants as raisins are too big.  Any shape cookie cutter will do but try not to make it too fancy as it will be difficult to cut out the dough with the currants in.  Lovely served with a cup of tea during Easter weekend.

    Ingredients: for 12 Biscuits
    90g soft butter or margarine
    100g caster sugar plus extra for sprinkling
    230g plain ‘00’ flour
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp ground ginger
    1 egg
    Grated zest of one orange (preferably a waxed orange)
    50g currants
    ½ tsp baking powder

    How to make Easter Biscuits ... WASH YOUR HANDS

    1. Line 2 baking trays with sheets of baking parchment.
    2. Cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is pale, white and fluffy. It should drop off the end of a spoon easily.  Add the flour, cinnamon, ginger, egg, zest, currants and baking powder and beat again until well mixed. You may find it easier to do this using your hands
    3. Split the dough into two, wrap in cling film and put into the fridge for 1 hour at least, this makes it easier to roll out.
    4. Preheat the oven onto 170°c/Gas 4 and put a shelf onto the bottom runner.
    5. Place the dough between two sheets of lightly floured baking parchment on a clean, flat surface, gently flatten the dough - do not press too hard.   Place the rolling pin on top of the baking parchment and roll the dough out until it is around 1 cm thick.   This prevents any mess as the dough will not stick and you can re-roll as many times as you like without the dough getting tough from using extra flour, if the mixture is very sticky then sprinkle with a little extra flour.
    6. Cut out the biscuits with cookie cutters, round or egg shaped ones work well.  Place these onto the lined baking trays.  Gather up the remaining dough, press it together and roll out again to make the remaining biscuits.
    7. Use the fork to gently stab each biscuit, this will stop them puffing up in the oven.
    8. Bake for 10-12 minutes (AGA: Roasting Oven, shelf on oven floor for about 6-8 minutes).  When the biscuits turn golden brown they are ready.
    9. Leave them to cool for 10-15 minutes before you transfer them to a wire rack.  DO NOT attempt to remove them sooner or they will break.
    10.  Dust with a sprinkling of caster sugar.
  • Upside down rhubarb crumbles

    These make delicious canapés and are quick to prepare.  The ‘crumble’ is a biscuit base, just a like the ones you make for a cheesecake and the rhubarb requires around 10 minutes cooking.  They can be made the day before and assembled just before serving.

    Ingredients: for 16-20 mini upside down rhubarb crumbles
    150g digestive biscuits
    75g melted butter
    00g rhubarb, chopped
    2.5cm grated fresh ginger
    zest and juice of an orange
    20 edible tulip petals

    How to make upside down rhubarb crumbles… WASH YOUR HANDS

    1. Put the biscuits into a freezer bag, loosely tie the top and bash up with a wooden rolling pin until they biscuits are fine crumbs.
    2. Transfer to a mixing bowl, add the melted butter and mix to combine.  Place a teaspoonful of biscuit mixture into a mini muffin case and press down to flatten.  Put into the fridge to set.
    3. Place the rhubarb, ginger and zest and juice of an orange in a saucepan, set over a low heat and cook gently until the rhubarb has softened, around 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat, allow to cool, cover and chill until you’re ready to use it.
    4. To assemble, carefully remove the muffin wrappers from the bases and transfer to an edible tulip petal, top with two pieces of rhubarb and serve.
  • Ricotta Cream

    I love this and can eat it out of the bowl, but if I restrain myself it is fantastic served with stone fruit and ideal to take on a picnic or to serve as a canape, especially when Green's of Devon have their edible tulip petals in season.

    1 tub ricotta cheese
    2 tbsp icing sugar
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    4 pieces of stem ginger, finely diced
    stone fruit, cut into wedges
    Edible tulip petals

    1. Beat the ricotta, icing sugar and cinnamon together until smooth, place in a piece of muslin or a clean tea towel and put into a sieve, wrap the top of the muslin over, place a saucer on top and a weight or tin of tomatoes onto top.  Set this over a bowl, pop into the fridge and leave overnight.  The weight will squeeze out a lot of the liquid and you'll be left with a lovely crumbly mixture.
    2. Stir in the stem ginger and serve a teaspoonful on an edible tulip petal topped with a wedge of peach, plum, apricot, nectarine, whatever is ripe and in season.

    This mixture is also great to eat piled onto slices of stone fruit if you don't have any edible tulip petals.

  • Plum and Almond Bites

    This is an adaptation of my Pesche alla Piemontese recipe, these little canapes are delightful served on an edible tulip petal from Green's of Devon

    Ingredients: for 20 canapes

    4-6 amaretti biscuits
    2 tablespoons ground almonds
    40g light brown muscovado sugar
    2 teaspoons good quality cocoa powder
    25g unsalted butter
    4 ripe plums
    1 tub ricotta cheese
    2 tbsp icing sugar
    20 edible tulip petals

    1. Preheat the oven to 200oc/gas 6.
    2. Crumble up the biscuits and add to the bowl of the food processor along with the ground almonds, sugar, cocoa powder, the wine or liqueur if using and the butter, whizz it to a paste.  Roll into small balls, the size of a marble, then flatten slightly (if you leave them completely round they will roll everywhere).  Transfer to a greased and lined baking tray. Bake for 5-6 minutes.
    3. Slice the plums in half, remove the stone and slice each half into 6-7 wedges.
    4. Mix the ricotta cheese with the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
    5. Allow the almond biscuits to cool and serve on an edible tulip petal with a spoonful of sweetened ricotta, slice of plum topped with a mini biscuit
  • Pesche alla Piemontese

    Deliciously ripe peaches stuffed with amaretti biscuits and almonds and baked until juicy.  This works with ripe peaches or unripe ones, just cook the unripe peaches for a little longer until softened.  Works well with plums and nectarines too.

    Ingredients: for 4 people
    4 peaches or nectarines, or 12 plums, halved and pitted, skins left on
    4-6 amaretti biscuits
    2 tablespoons ground almonds
    40g light brown muscovado sugar
    2 teaspoons good quality cocoa powder
    25g unsalted butter

    How to make Pesche alla Piemontese…….WASH YOUR HANDS

    1. Preheat the oven to 200oc/gas 6.
    2. Use a teaspoon to scoop out some of the flesh around where the pit or stone sat to give you more room to stuff the peach.  Place the extra flesh into a mixing bowl
    3. Grease a deep sided baking dish and place the peaches, cut side up, in a single layer in the dish.
    4. Crumble up the biscuits and add to the bowl of the food processor along with the ground almonds, sugar, cocoa powder and the butter, whizz it to a paste.
    5. Stuff the hollow in the peaches, nectarines or plums with the almond mixture.
    6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the fruit has softened.  Serve at room temperature with mascarpone cheese or ice cream.

    If you have any of the almond mixture left over, roll it into balls and bake for 5-6 minutes, they're lovely as little biscuits.

  • No-cook Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake

    This is soo good it's untrue and the addition of the raspberries helps you kid yourself that it's slightly healthy, it isn't really.  For a low fat version use low fat cream cheese or quark and omit the cream, it's just as nice.

    You can produce this various different ways

    • as a whole cheesecake
    • made in muffin cases for individual cheesecakes, peel off the muffin wrapper before serving and you have lovely crinkly edges
    • canape versions, make in mini muffin cases and serve on Green's of Devon's edible tulip petals
    • deconstructed canapes - serve the biscuit base crumbled in a pile, pipe the chocolate cheesecake mixture next to it and serve with whole raspberries, I've served these on an edible tulip petal and they look exquisite
    Deconstructed chocolate and raspberry cheesecakes served on an edible tulip petal Deconstructed chocolate and raspberry cheesecakes served on an edible tulip petal

    Ingredients: for 12 individual cheesecakes or 24 minis
    150g digestive biscuits or gingernuts
    75g melted butter
    300g white, milk or plain chocolate chips
    50g butter
    ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
    400g cream cheese (full fat or low fat)
    120ml whipping cream
    50g sugar
    1 punnet raspberries

    How to make chocolate raspberry cheesecake… WASH YOUR HANDS

    1. Put the biscuits into a freezer bag, loosely tie the top and bash up with a wooden rolling pin until they biscuits are fine crumbs.
    2. Transfer to a mixing bowl, add the melted butter and mix to combine.  Place a tablespoon of biscuit mixture into each of the muffin cases and press down to flatten.
    3. Melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave for 1-2 minutes on medium heat, or in a bowl over a pan of hot water.
    4. Whisk the cream cheese, whipping cream and sugar until light and fluffy.  Stir in the chocolate mixture (NB if you are using milk or plain chocolate and want to create a swirl effect then carefully stir in the chocolate mixture but don’t combine it totally so you still see the white and brown marbling.)  Very carefully stir in the raspberries – reserving 12 for the tops of the cheesecakes – for mini and deconstructed versions just keep them for the top, do not add to the chocolate mixture.
    5. Split the cheese mixture equally between the muffin cases making sure you flatten the tops.  Top with a raspberry.
    6. Transfer to the fridge and chill for 8-24 hours.  Remove from the cake cases and serve.

    For a deconstructed version, make up point 1 then sprinkle the biscuit mix onto an edible tulip petal, make up the chocolate and cream cheese mix (point 3 and 4), omitting the raspberries, pipe the chocolate mix next to the pile of biscuit crumbs and serve with fresh raspberries next to them.



  • Guacamole

    Super easy to make and much nicer than the shop bought stuff, mash it well to make it smoother or leave it chunky, add a little chopped red chilli for a bit more heat and serve as a dip or with chilli con carne or nachos.

    For an extra special treat serve on one of Greens of Devon's edible tulip petals, just place a teaspoonful of guacamole on one of the petals, top with a small piece of lime and serve.

    Ingredients: for 4 people or 12-16 tulip canapes
    1 x avocados
    Juice of half a lime
    a little paprika to sprinkle

    How to make guacamole ... WASH YOUR HANDS

    Halve the avocado and de-stone.  Scoop out the avocado flesh, mash it with a fork, add the lime juice, sprinkle with a little paprika and serve.


    Guacamole served on an edible tulip petal Guacamole served on an edible tulip petal
  • Flower Pot Bread

    These are great as a cooking project to do with children and equally impressive to serve for friends as a dinner party.  You could alter the filling according to your menu, try pesto, goats cheese, gorgonzola or just leave the bread plain and use different grains.

    Ingredients: for 4-6 flowerpot breads
    1 batch of Beverley's Bread dough,

    1 small jar pizza topping or tomato passata
    Mozzarella cheese
    ­1 egg beaten with a little water
    4-6 small terracotta plant pots - seasoned

    To season your terracotta plant pots, wash them thoroughly with hot water and detergent and leave them to dry.  Once dry, grease the inside with plenty of butter and bake them in the oven on 200c/gas 6 for an hour, remove from the oven and leave to cool.  Your pots are now seasoned and should be non stick.

    Make us Beverley's Bread Dough to the end of point number 5.

    1. Split the dough into 4 or 6 pieces, depending on how big your pots are, flatten each into a long sausage shape, spread the pizza topping or tomato passata on the dough, sprinkle the  cheese equally between them.  Roll them back into a ball incorporating the cheese.
    2. Grease the pots, stick a ball of tinfoil in the bottom of the pot if there is a hole and line the pot with baking parchment. Place each rolled ball of dough into a pot and transfer the pot to a baking tray. Make sure the pot is only half full, the terracotta will help the dough rise even more, if you have extra dough then turn it into bread rolls and put these straight onto the baking tray to cook. Brush with a little egg and water to glaze. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove for 30-40 minutes
    3. Preheat the oven on to 220c/gas 7, bake the bread in the pots for 10-15 minutes.  Be careful as the pots will be very hot when they come out of the oven and will take 1-2 hours to cool down.
  • Tomato, Feta and Spinach Filo Tartlets

    These are slightly lower fat than standard tartlets as they use filo pastry instead of shortcrust pastry but you make up for that by brushing the filo with melted butter.  Super easy to make and they taste delicious

    You could vary the filling by using sundried tomatoes, baby mozzarella balls, goat's cheese, pesto, salami or parma ham, raid your fridge and create your own filling.

    Ingredients: for 12 tartlets

    400g fresh spinach
    Pack of filo pastry
    75g melted butter
    200g feta cheese
    12 cherry tomatoes
    2 tablespoons pine nuts
    Juice of 1-2 lemons
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    How to make tomato, feta and spinach tartlets….. WASH YOUR HANDS

    1. Preheat the oven on 180oc/gas 4.
    2. Cook the spinach for 3 minutes until wilted, drain, refresh in cold water and set to one side.
    3. Lay out the filo pastry flat and brush each sheet with melted butter, use scissors to cut each sheet into 8 or 10 squares and layer 3 squares on top of each other.  Grease the muffin tray. Gently press into the holes of a muffin tray.
    4. Squeeze the excess water from the spinach, place into a bowl, crumble the feta cheese in with the spinach and mix.  Place spoonfuls of the spinach mixture into the filo pastry cup in the muffin trays, sharing the mixture equally between all 12 cases, finally add one cherry tomato to each one, sprinkle with pine nuts, squeeze over a little lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
    5. Curl over the edges of the filo pastry to scrunch around the top of the tartlet to give it a lovely crusty edge.
    6. Bake for around 15-20 minutes until golden brown.  (AGA roasting oven muffin tin on oven floor.  Serve hot.
  • Bunny Buns or Carrot Cakes

    These Cakes are really yummy and ever so slightly healthy, thanks to the addition of the carrot, the cream cheese icing is delicious too, They are really easy and quick to make too.

    Ingredients for 12 Cakes

    225g self raising flour
    100g soft brown sugar
    Half a teaspoon baking powder<
    Pinch of salt
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    150ml sunflower oil
    2 eggs
    120g grated carrots

    How to make carrot cakes... WASH YOUR HANDS

    1. Preheat the oven to 200c/Gas 6 and put a shelf onto the centre runner.  (AGA Roasting oven - shelf on oven floor)
    2. Mix together the flour, sugar and baking powder
    3. Measure the oil into a measuring jug.  Break the eggs into a small bowl (to make sure that you can scoop out any eggshell if you need to) and then pour the eggs into the measuring jug, mix well.
    4. Peel and grate the carrots.
    5. Add the carrots to the mixing bowl then tip in the oil and eggs.  Mix everything together well with a wooden spoon.
    6. Divide the mixture evenly between 12 cake cases.
    7. Bake for 15-20 minutes until they are pale golden brown.
    8. Remove the buns and lift them onto the wire rack to cool.  Top with the Cream Cheese Icing below, they will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container.

    Cream Cheese Icing
    This works really well with the carrot cakes, just make sure they are cold before you ice them

    Ingredients: for 12 Cakes
    50g soft butter
    75g low fat cream cheese
    350g icing sugar
    Grated zest of an orange

    How to make cream cheese icing... WASH YOUR HANDS

    1. Mix the butter and cream cheese together.
    2. Sift the icing sugar into the bowl with the butter/cream cheese mixture.  Mix everything together with the wooden spoon. Be careful as the icing sugar will try and fly out of the bowl so do the mixing gently.
    3. Add the grated zest of the orange and around a teaspoon of the juice and mix, if the icing is stiff then add a little more juice until the icing is smooth and easy to mix, but not too runny.
    4. Place a dollop of icing on the top of each carrot cake. 

    To make these even more yummy; squeeze the rest of the orange juice into a pan with a tablespoon of caster sugar,  heat it gently, and then stab the tops of the cakes with a fork and spoon the juice over the tops of the cakes, leave to cool and then top with the cream cheese icing.

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