The Comfort (supper)Club

After many plans to eventually run my own supper club, I've finally got my act together and am putting one together for my last weekend in London. As a complete comfort food fan, I thought this was the perfect night to celebrate that true cozy cooking that warms you inside out. Naturally, it will be a pasta and slow cooked meat afar! Also a welcome cocktail will be included and of course, candles. 

MENU

BLUEBERRY & THYME WELCOME COCKTAIL

STARTER
 HOMEMADE CIABATTA WITH CARAMALISED PUMPKIN, SPINACH DIP & BASIL OIL

ENTREE
ROCKET & RICOTTA RAVILOI WITH ROSEMARY BROWNED BUTTER & HAZELNUTS

MAIN:
 6 HOUR SLOW ROASTED LAMB SHOULDER WITH CRISPY POTATO & HERB WATERCRESS SALAD

DESSERT:
CINNAMON & ORANGE ALMOND DRIZZLE CAKES 

The supper club is on the 26th of August will take place in Uyen Luu's food studio in East London, next to Broadway Market. The event is B.Y.O.

Book tickets here!

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/comfort-supperclub-tickets-36783532536

handmade-1.jpg

Anzac & Spiced Apple Deep Dish Pie

Biscuit baking has that wonderful ‘kid-in-a-pile-of-play-dough’ kind of joy about it, but this time, you can actually enjoy what you’re licking off your fingers. It’s that hands-first-into-the-mud-pie- sort of effect, where instead of muddy dirt, you’re getting chocolate chips. A slightly better experience I’ll say. 

In the name of the humble adult version of play dough, enter the Anzac Biscuit.
In the world biscuits & cookies, Anzac Biscuits definitely fall into the ‘low maintenance’ (but equally lick your fingers good) category. A ‘wet and dry, then combine’ sort of method. Where although yes, effortless on the surface, the story behind the Anzac Biscuit is extra special.

The biscuit was originally made by the family members of Australian and New Zealander soldiers fighting in World War I. They were sent over to loved ones fighting on further shores and also sold during the war to raise money for war efforts. A perfect care package to receive as the biscuits didn't contain ingredients that would spoil easily. Since then, the biscuits, previously known as ‘rolled oats biscuits’ became the ‘Anzac Biscuit’ (standing for ‘Australia and New Zealand Army Corps), and have proudly become a treasured part of our baking repertoire.

Whilst yes, eaten almost all year round, there is one particular day that the biscuit stands as a strong token, Anzac Day. A day to honour the Anzac landing at Gallipoli, and the soldiers, past and present, for their courage, bravery and comradery.

Just like every year, some form of the Anzac biscuit makes a special show in the kitchen. Where as soon as the butter and golden syrup are melting away in the pan, the distinguishable aroma and buttery dough make it hard to resist eating it straight out of the bowl. Spoiler alert  - I did.   

This year the edges of a deep cake tin were lined with the biscuit dough and later filled with spiced stewed apples and topped with a crumble of Anzac biscuits, just for good measure.

Just to note, this isn’t your classic pie with a ‘no-soggy bottom rule’ (just as hilarious to say now as it was the first time I heard it). The base of the pie is cooked, yet it soaks up some of the sauce from the stewed apples. What you’re left with is this soft chewy spiced base covered in the sauce, and not to forget those classic crispy Anzac edges which you'll find up the side of the pie. A little variation that begs to be served warm with a generous scoop of ice-cream.

 

ANZAC & SPICED APPLE DEEP DISH PIE

Ingredients

200g whole oats
300g plain flour
400g caster sugar
120g desiccated coconut
250g butter
160g/4tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp bi-carb soda
2 tbsp boiling water

Stewed Apples:
6 apples, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
70g brown sugar
25g currents
3 tbsp water

Method

Grease and line a deep 8 inch cake tin.

In a large bowl mix together the oats, flour, sugar and coconut. Then in a small saucepan melt together the butter and golden syrup, stirring to combine. In a small bowl stir together the bi-carb and boiling water and add this to the golden syrup and butter pan, quickly mixing as it froths up, then pour all the liquid into the dry mix. Stir it all together until its well combined and there are no dry floury spots. 

Press the biscuit dough into the base of the pan and up the sides of the tin to form a nice even layer, and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. There will be a small amount of dough left to sprinkle over the top of the pie and also enough to hopefully make around 6 cookies to save for a rainy day.

Preheat the oven to 180C. Make the stewed apples by combining the apple chunks, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, brown sugar, currents and water in a medium saucepan over low heat for around 15 minutes or until the apples are just soft. Return every couple of minutes to the pan to stir the apples to make sure they're being coated in the sugar sauce. 

After the dough has been chilled, blind bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove the baking weights, and if the edges appear to be sinking down or rising too much, the dough is still malleable enough to repress back into the sides of the tin with the back of a wooden spoon. Fill with the stewed apples, trying not to transfer the stewing liquid into the pie. Sprinkle over the remaining Anzac dough and bake in the oven for a further 10-12 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Once the pie is cooked, leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, or until the Anzac shell has hardened and can be removed from the tin. Serve warm with a generous scoop of ice-cream.


 

 

New start. From scratch.

For me when I'm cooking, I feel most achieved only once I've delved my hands into a big bowl of dough, or spent the decent hours of the afternoon in the kitchen nursing the evenings meal to life. I feel so connected and invested in what's to come.

You say: 'woah, what's in it?!' I say 'mostly made love my friend'. I hate to sound a little cheesy (but if I were to be cheesy, I'd like to be 'parmesan cheesy', please and thank-you), but that's the way I believe we should cook every time we open the pantry door, and tumble the carrots onto the roasting tray.

This way of cooking I strive for has spurred into a fondness for 'from scratch' cooking. It all means so much more when your 2 hands have nurtured a meal to life. You've poured time and affection into this priceless tactile experience of cooking. It is grounding and places you in the present (apart from those times stirring sends you into glorious far off places in your mind). 

So, in saying all that, this cozy little nook of the internet is about celebrating this food ethos. From the humble ingredients to sharing the meal with your nearest and dearest, I want to share a slice of cake that is both unapologetic and filled with butter, sugar, eggs and love.

This new food sharing space is here to be a friend, welcoming you with a fresh mug of tea and a plate of cookies. A place to celebrate food in all the authentic ways it can be made. You can expect plenty of 'from scratch' recipes, comfort food, musings and anything that will make you feel warm from the inside out. The way a good bowl of soup on a rainy days does.

It's a very sad farewell to Daisy and the Fox, which has been a little home of my non-stop babble and recipes for a couple of years. But this shift is to move onto a more authentic place and hone in on the therapy, slower and more more comforting things in food in the form of a journal. It's all about simple pleasures with an extra big dash of love. My food ethos. 

So to kick off the first journal post I thought I'd share a recipe that I feel sums up the rustic baker in all of us. A personal favourite: the galette. 

With the end of the warm weather upon us (autumn leaves are beginning to speckle themselves through the grass, and the excitement here is off the charts), the stone fruit is waving its final farewell. How can we best farewell them? Ah of course, fill a galette with them.

The beauty is in the rough folds of pastry, which makes this free form pie look all the more 'lovingly-homemade'. The dough comes together much like a hand-made scone, by rubbing the butter into the dry ingredients, then kneaded to a smooth dough. It is later spread with a pistachio frangipane and then stone fruit is fanned over the top. 

Once baked, let your knife find that resistance that a golden crust brings, before crunching into a warm slice. Munch alongside; tea, coffee, cream, or ice-cream, and enjoy for a couple of days to come (if it lasts).

PISTACHIO STONE FRUIT GALETTE

Ingredients

Dough:
200g flour
150g butter, cold, cubed
25g caster sugar
1 egg yolk

Stone Fruit Topping:
2 large/3 small stone fruit
1 1/2 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
40g raw caster sugar

Frangipane:
75g butter, softened
75g caster sugar
1 egg
10g pistachio paste
65g ground almonds
30g flour
pinch of salt

1 egg
raw sugar
extra pistachios for a final sprinkle
 

Method

1. In a bowl, add in the flour, butter and sugar. Using your fingertips, gently rub the butter into the flour and sugar until it looks like breadcrumbs. 
2. Add the egg yolk, mix it to adhere to the mixture, then tip onto a lightly floured work space and knead until the dough is smooth. Cover, and leave to have a rest in the fridge for 30mins  - 1 hour. 
3. When the dough is close being done, start your stone fruit topping. Begin by removing the stone, and slicing the fruit into slices. Then in a bowl, toss the fruit together with the cornflour, lemon juice, vanilla bean paste and sugar. Set aside (in the fridge if it is a warm day).
3. Once the dough is rested, take out of the fridge, and leave to come to room temperature so it will be easier to roll. In the meantime, make the frangipane. (As it is a small quantity, this may be done more easily with a hand held electric beater, otherwise use a stand mixer and double the ingredients then freeze/refrigerate the remaining for future baking).
4. Preheat the oven to 180C. Beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one after the other, beating well between additions, then beat in the pistachio paste until combined. Fold in the ground almonds, flour and salt. Set aside briefly.
5. Now it is time to roll out the dough. Lightly flour a work bench or large wooden board. Beat the dough a couple of times with the side of the rolling pin which helps achieve a good shape to roll out with. Roll evenly and in long strokes to get a rough circle, rotating the dough every couple of rolls. 
6. Once at a thickness to your liking, shuffle the dough onto a piece of baking paper. Spoon the frangipane into the centre of the dough, then spread, leaving a couple of centimetres on the border. Discard the liquid in the fruit bowl and arrange the fruit slices over the frangipane. Gently fold the edges over to create that classic galette look. Gently lift the galette onto a baking tray.
7. Whisk the remaining egg in a bowl, then brush over the edges of the dough. Sprinkle over the raw sugar and bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Top with chopped pistachios and enjoy!