Tag Archives: pastry

This is a story of beetroot meets caramel

My next holiday cooking project comes from my new absolute favourite cookbook, Treats from Little and Friday. Little and Friday is a legendary bakery set up by Kim Evans. If the recipes in her book are anything to go by, she is a fairy with mystical culinary powers. The recipes are absolutely mouthwatering and have great step by step instructions. The photographs are divine and the book itself is so pretty i’m scared of bringing it into the kitchen! I was lucky enough to be given this book for my birthday and have been obsessed with it ever since.

Seeing as I had a large amount of time on my hands today, I tried making a caramelised beetroot and blue cheese tart from the above cookbook. I made pastry, caramelised beetroot and put it together in a quiche form.

I need to take a second to talk about caramelized beetroot. Let us all pause with solemn faces.

Now, I love beetroot in any way shape or form and thought caramelized beetroot, yeah, cool.


Seriously, seriously!! I did not think beetroot could get any better, oh how I was wrong and foolish to think so.

Plus it’s seriously amazing with some creamy blue cheese. Oh what? Yeah, hi it’s Claire’s palate and I have matured. Yeah who would have though I would delight so much in blue cheese? Not me.

It’s cool, I’ll give you the recipe, ain’t no thang… but I plead with you, make this and prepare to be amazed.


Caramelized Beetroot Recipe from Treats from Little and Friday by Kim Evans

6 big-ish beetroot

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

3 Tbsp brown sugar

Preheat oven to 180°C. Give the beetroot a quick scrub, then chop off the tops and bottoms and chop each into 6-8 wedges. Pop them into a large saucepan and cover with water, adding a good pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and boil for 10 mins.

Drain the beetroot, reserving 2 cups of the cooking water. Place the beetroot in a roasting pan, spread them out and pour the reserved cooking water and balsamic vinegar on top and sprinkle the brown sugar over them.

Pop into the oven and cook for 10 mins. Baste and return to the oven, removing to check and baste every 10 mins (mine took about 40 mins all up). The beetroot are ready when they look gooey and sticky and the liquid is reduced.

I used most of the beetroot in a tart with blue cheese and baby spinach (oh yeah, I made the pastry too, just casually, cos I’m on holiday and I can). What’s more is that I have some leftover which I shall be enjoying with leftover blue cheese mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

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Banana flavoured disaster


This means that I have time to cook and cook and bake. No more assignments (well for this week at least), no more shifts. The most strenuous thing that I will be doing is kneading some pastry and blowing the dust off my sewing machine. Too good, such a shame it will only be this week.

Spring is also showing its head from time to time, so I’m hoping that this week I can skip through some flower filled fields or something similar. Right now, unfortunately, it is pouring down and the wind is shaking my room. I was particularly unimpressed when it started to bucket down when I was going to the supermarket.

So, I will share what I have made in the past couple of days. Including… last night’s puddle pie!

The recipe was actually supposed to be a banana cream pie, from my beloved Milk Bar cookbook. DISASTER!

Sadly, my crust was too thin, the banana cream did not set and so we ate a textural, luminous yellow puddle

Taste-wise? Incredible. Imagine the flavour of your favourite banana bread combined with a luscious custard and intense dark chocolate biscuit.

Here is a lovely picture, taken before we attempted to set the pie and eventually serve it.

I won’t share a picture of it served up. It ain’t pretty. There are no redeeming features. I threw a wee tantrum… it was late… I’d spent hours making this… then I read some Harry Potter and all was ok.

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Gooseberry Tart

Sunday Dinners in our household are also the weekly occasion where we are allowed dessert. One of our favourites is gooseberry tart. Mum has fond memories of Nana making this when she was growing up and she is now passing these memories onto us.

Gooseberries, if you haven’t tried them before, are little green beachballs which pack an incredibly tart punch. The first time we had them, I was keen to try one uncooked and without sugar, it was a sweaty face level of tartness! However, when combined with a silky, eggy custard these green gems really shine and pop with a delicious tang which is a lovely contrast to the sweetness of the rest of the tart.

For this particular tart, Mum tried using frozen gooseberries with great success! Of course, fresh and local berries are wonderful, we are huge fans of SuJon frozen berries. Excellent quality and an NZ company (though berries are sourced from Chile, to meet demand).

The recipe for this tart comes from Jo Seagar’s book The Cook School Recipes:

1 sheet frozen sweet shortcrust pastry, thawed

2 cups fresh (or frozen!) gooseberries

200mL cream

1/2 cup caster sugar

3 eggs

1 tablespoon custard powder

icing sugar to dust

Preheat oven to 180°C. Spray a 12cm x 30cm tart tin with baking spray. Roll the sheet of pastry to fit the tart tin. You may need to cut and join the pastry to fit neatly. Place the pastry-lined tin in the freezer to firm up while you top and tail the gooseberries.

Place gooseberries in chilled pastry shell. Whisk crea, caster sugar, eggs and custard powder together until well combined. Gently pour over the gooseberries and bake for 30-35 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is set. Dust with icing sugar and serve with runny or softly whipped cream, custard or icecream.

This recipe makes a lot of filling so if you have some left over, you could try what Mum did and make some mini fruit tarts with fruit that you have around. She made some mini apricot tarts which were delicious the next day for afternoon tea.

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