Sunday, April 15

Hello, yeah it's been a while....

Not much, how 'bout you?
Cheesy song lyrics aside (England Dan & John Ford Coley if you were wondering) it has been a while. A rainy summer, a couple of Christian festivals & here we are at April already. For me this means year end at work, hopefully something a little more exciting wherever you are....

So in the spirit of trying not to be such a slacker I have not one but two recipes today, both rather old school, and none the worse for it. After a week of each feeling rather poorly, Mr PK particularly needed a gee up. The Blues are "playing like girls" (his words not mine), Chelsea are struggling to make the top four in the Premiership & the Warriors seem to have lost their way, it is a dismal sporting week and don't I get to hear about it, much better to hide in the kitchen and make Bacon & Egg Pie and Lemon Poppy seed cake me thinks........

Everyone has their own version of this, my mother cooks the bacon first, my sister also, and adds onion (as per the Edmond's Cookbook, I feel rather daring ignoring both recipes) I have heard of people adding peas, but I cant quite believe it.......

Bacon & Egg Pie  enough for 6 good portions

Puff Pastry- I used 5 sheets
Handful of grated cheese ( I use good old Tasty for this)
One 250gr packet of shoulder or middle bacon
10 eggs
Salt & pepper

Pre heat your oven to 180C/350F
Use the pastry to line a pie/baking dish. I use a metal brownie pan, I think enamel or metal is best as it conducts heat better & makes for crispier pastry, but its up to you. Mum always uses Pyrex and her pie is pretty good. Depending on the size of the pan you may have to join a couple of pieces of pastry together, I would not worry about it looking a bit rough, this isn't a fancy pie (as you can see from my pastry origami in the pic below!)
Sprinkle the cheese all over the bottom of the pastry, then chop up the bacon and sprinkle half over the cheese. Beat your eggs together and season with salt & pepper, go easy on the salt as bacon & cheese are already highly seasoned
Pour half the egg over the bacon & cheese, sprinkle over the rest of the bacon & pour over the remaining egg keep a tiny bit aside to brush the top of the pastry

Top with another sheet of pastry, and using a fork go around the edges to seal both pieces together. Prick the top a few times with a knife to let steam escape, then brush with your remaining bit of egg, this makes the top look golden & inviting
Bake for 35-40 minutes, then I like to eat while warm (I loath cold pastry) but if you don't mind that it travels well & makes great picnic food. Mum used to make one to take to Dad's cricket games for tea when we were growing up, their had to be some compensations........

To follow a slice of cake perhaps? I had an email the other day from The Hungry Girls reminding me their third cookbook has been released, very exciting news. These books are lovely, and I remembered a recipe for a lemon poppy seed cake in book one which I had been meaning to try for ages. A bag of lemons at the local shop for a couple of dollars sealed the deal.....

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake (from The Hungry Girls Cookbook )

4 largish lemons
250 gr soft unsalted butter
1 cup caster sugar
5 eggs
3 tsp poppy seeds
325 gr self raising flour
1 cup natural yogurt (if it is thick Greek style thin with milk)
2/3 cup sugar extra

Butter a 24cm spring form cake tin & line with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F

Cream the butter & sugar until it is pale & fluffy, I use my Kitchen aid but a handheld beater would be fine. Add the eggs one at a time, beating each one in well

Zest your lemons and add to the butter mix with the poppy seeds, stirring well.  I use my Microplane grater, which makes this an easy job, otherwise use the zester side on a box grater

Sift in the flour, stirring to combine. Lastly add your yogurt & mix again. Pour the batter into your prepared tin (it will be quite thick) and bake for 55-60 mins, until a skewer in the middle comes out clean.
About 10 mins before the cake is done, squeeze the lemons and add water to make the amount of liquid about 1.5 cups. Put into a saucepan with the extra sugar & bring to the boil. Boil for about 5 mins, then when the cake comes out of the oven, prick it a few times with a knife/skewer, and spoon over the hot syrup. The cake will soak up the tangy liquid and become even more moist & yummy. Cool on a wire rack, then serve with a dollop of cream, even someone who has had a rather tough week will feel MUCH better..........

I used a very similar recipe to make these cupcakes over Easter, substituting sour cream for yogurt and limes for lemon, delish!