Cranberry Cream Pie

overhead view of Cranberry Cream Pie

Cranberry Cream Pie is tart and fruity with a buttery gluten-free biscuit crust, topped with whipped cream clouds.

overhead view of Cranberry Cream Pie

I have to be honest that the main reason I made this Cranberry Cream Pie was because I wanted some colour. Our house has a tendency to be a bit brown. There is original stripped wood everywhere; floors, doors, skirting, shutters, my bakers rack and our dining table. And that is just our living area. It definitely has a cosy relaxed feel (and by relaxed I mean messy) but it does crave colour. I love this time of year when the bright red and plush burgundy tones really ramp up the warm snug vibe we’ve got going on. And sometimes I need that colour to not just be present in the cushions, candles or Christmas decorations but in our glorious Christmas feast.

side view of a slice of Cranberry Cream Pie

It helps that Cranberry Cream Pie is not only the most stunning deep magenta but is also utterly delicious. This pie has it all, the looks and the personality. Zingy, creamy and crunchy.

overhead view of Cranberry Cream Pie

Cranberry Cream Pie has a thick biscuit crust, made from my favourite gluten-free oat biscuits and plenty of melted butter. The filling is so easy to pull together. just fruity fresh cranberries pureed and mixed with condensed milk, a spritz of lemon juice and egg yolks. It’s really just a wobbly cranberry custard. I used whipping cream to adorn this lovely pie as it’s a bit lighter than double cream and dissolves beautifully in your mouth. Of course use double cream or heavy cream if that’s all you can find. Whipping cream doesn’t see as prevalent as it once was.

I really like the idea of serving Cranberry Cream Pie on Christmas Eve this year alongside our Christmas Glazed Ham. The beautiful colours of the Christmas table lit by candlelight, with a vibrant taste to match, sounds incredibly appealing.

overhead view of Cranberry Cream Pie with slice taken out

If you make this Cranberry Cream Pie then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own kitchen creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.

side view of a slice of Cranberry Cream Pie

Print Recipe
Cranberry Cream Pie
Cranberry Cream Pie is tart and fruity with a buttery gluten-free biscuit crust, topped with whipped cream clouds.
overhead view of Cranberry Cream Pie
Course christmas, dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cranberries
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
10-12 people
Ingredients
  • 450 g cranberries + 3 tablespoons water
  • 500 g gluten-free oat biscuits*
  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • Juice ½ lemon
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 tin condensed milk 397g
  • 400 ml whipping cream
Course christmas, dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cranberries
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
10-12 people
Ingredients
  • 450 g cranberries + 3 tablespoons water
  • 500 g gluten-free oat biscuits*
  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • Juice ½ lemon
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 tin condensed milk 397g
  • 400 ml whipping cream
overhead view of Cranberry Cream Pie
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/ 150°C fan/gas mark 3.
  2. Place the cranberries in a medium sized saucepan with the water and cook on a low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the cranberries have broken down.
  3. Blend the cranberries until they are smooth then set aside in the fridge to cool completely.
  4. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and leave to cool for a few minutes just so the butter is warm rather than hot which helps your biscuit base from becoming too greasy.
  5. Whizz up the biscuits in a food processor then with the mixer still on pour in the melted butter until it combines with the biscuit to become a thick sandy texture.
  6. Press the biscuit crust into a 23cm pie dish using the back of a spoon and push the base up the sides of the dish.
  7. Bake the crust for 18 minutes then remove from the oven. Gently re-press and shape the biscuit crust which might have puffed up a bit and then leave to cool in the fridge to set whilst you make the filling.
  8. Turn the oven down to 160°C/140°C fan/gas mark 1.
  9. Mix the cranberries, lemon juice, egg yolks and condensed milk in a large mixing bowl.
  10. Pour the cranberry filling into pie shell, smoothing out the top.
  11. Bake the pie for 25 minutes, the cranberry filling should still be a little wobbly.
  12. Leave to cool and set in the fridge overnight.
  13. Whip the cream until thick and it can hold its shape then pipe over the top of the pie.
  14. Serve chilled.
Recipe Notes

*my favourite oat biscuits to use at the moment are Nairn's Oats & Syrup Biscuit Breaks. They are too yummy!

SHOP THE RECIPE

I would be nowhere without my Magimix 4200XL Food Processor – Satin for making the crust for this recipe. I have easily had it over ten years and I use it nearly every day for whipping up dips, pestos, nut butters, nut and oat flour and making my breadcrumbs. The Magixmix is an impressive piece of kit which even survived being dropped when we moved into our house (although it did have to have the motor replaced but that wasn’t too expensive). I put all the attachments in the dishwasher and they come out brilliantly clean but it also gives just great results. I love my Magimix and along with my Kitchenaid is the piece of equipment I use most often in my kitchen.

I bought this immersion blender when I began weaning Beau a few months ago and haven’t looked back. My big blender isn’t always appropriate when blending a small amount of food. Also these cranberries blend to quite a thick paste and I could imagine most of the fruit getting lost beneath the blades. This immersion blender is perfect. You stick it directly in the saucepan and your cranberries are blended in moments. I also liked the fact that there was still a little bit of texture – the blend is not 100% smooth. I like this Russell Hobbs Food Collection Hand Blender 22241, 200 W – White as it’s extremely affordable and straightforward to use.

This post is not sponsored but the images above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these link to make your purchases then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

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Lemon Almond and Raspberry Trifle

This Lemon, Almond and Raspberry Trifle is a perfectly special way to end your winter feast. A gluten-free lemon and almond sponge is drizzled with limoncello, cosseted by a thick blanket of raspberry curd and topped with dreamy lemon custard and clouds of double cream. A crunch of toasted almonds and fresh raspberries are scattered to finish.

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Chicken and Leek Pie

Chicken and Leek Pie

What is November without a good pie? Cold, that’s what. Is there really any better internal heating system that a plate full of hot bubbling creamy chicken and sweet leeks adorned with a crisp and flaky buttered hat? The best part of any pie is of course where the lid meets the sauce, so that the puff pastry becomes chewy and saturated with all the beautiful flavours.

I have been making this pie for years, it’s a complete crowd and family pleaser, equally at home as part of a special mid-week treat or pride of place at a small supper gathering. It is chock full of chicken flavour because you poach a whole chicken with a host of vegetables to cook the chicken off first, then use the deliciousy deep stock as the base of the pie filling, thickened with flour then finished off with a generous amount of crème fraiche. Using crème fraiche instead of cream is second nature to me as I am a complete crème fraiche addict. I love the way it adds richness but is its own tempering agent, adding a tang which is complimented here by the addition of lemon zest and tarragon. You won’t need all the stock produced for the pie filling but that’s all the better so you have it to hand for your next recipe.

Chicken and Leek Pie

There are a few steps involved in this pie which is why I have absolutely no qualms about using shop bought puff pastry. Although it does have to be the all-butter variety which considering is what most recipes will ask you to use is quite hard to get. The supermarkets all sell the just-rol standard puff but that really isn’t good enough as it uses vegetable oil in place of butter and the pastry just doesn’t have the same quality. All the big supermarkets do stock the all-butter variety, it’s just that it sells out very quickly. If you get the ready rolled all-butter puff pastry then you really will be laughing.

Chicken and Leek Pie

Don’t feel that you have to do all the steps of the pie at once either. Poach the chieken the day before, or make the filling the day before. It’s a recipe that can happily be broken down into manageable chunks.

Chicken and Leek Pie

Of course the obligatory accompaniment to pie is quite obviously mashed potato but don’t let that become your go-to every time. I love a bit of white rice with this pie, especially if you serve it with a mound of buttered broccoli. If you are going the mash route then make sure you don’t forget the greenery, shredded savoy cabbage with a glistening diamond of butter on the top. For a lighter meal then forgo the carbs entirely, as long as you have the greens to eat with your pie then you’ll be a happy camper.

Chicken and Leek Pie

Chicken and Leek Pie
Serves 6

Poached Chicken and fresh stock ingredients

1 whole chicken
2 x bay leaves
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
A handful of fresh parsley stalks
2 cloves garlic
1 large onion, cut in half
1 leek, cut in half
2 large carrots, cut in half
2 sticks celery, cut in half
¾ teaspoon salt
6 black peppercorns

Pie ingredients

1 large onion, diced
1 stick celery, diced
2 leeks, halved lengthways then chopped finely into semi circles
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped tarragon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon butter
1teaspoon olive oil
½ teaspoon lemon zest
3 heaped tablespoons sweet rice flour
A good splash of vermouth
400ml stock from the poached chicken
The chicken from the poached chicken
150ml crème fraiche
a pinch of cloves
a pinch of nutmeg
320g ready rolled gluten-free puff pastry
1 egg

Poaching the chicken

  1. Take the whole chicken and remove giblets and string if it has them. Place the chicken in a large stockpot along with the onion, the leek, the carrots and the celery. Also pop in the garlic cloves, bay leaves, thyme and parsley stalks.
  2. Fill the stockpot with cold water so that it covers the chicken, throw in a fair amount of salt and black pepper and bring to the boil. Leave the chicken to simmer for between 50 minutes – 1 hour depending on how large the chicken is.
  3. Remove the chicken from the stock and leave until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile leave the stock simmering for a further 1 hour depending on how much time you have so that the flavours further intensify.
  4. Whilst the stock is continuing to simmer away, shred the chicken away from the bones. Discard the skin and all the bones. Set the meat aside until you need it.
  5. Once the stock is ready, remove from the heat, strain and discard the vegetables. Set the stock aside until you need it.

The Pie

  1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan until the butter has melted. Fry the onion and celery gently for about 15 minutes or when the veggies go translucent. Add the leeks, garlic, lemon zest, the tarragon, some fresh thyme leaves and the bay leaf to the pan. Give everything a good stir then continue to fry gently for 15 minutes or until the leeks are softened.
  2. Add the flour and mix well into the leeks until all the flour has been absorbed by the mixture. Stir continually with a wooden spoon letting the flour cook through for a few minutes. The mixture should be quite sticky with no buttery liquid left in the pan.
  3. Pour in the vermouth and continue stirring for a couple of minutes until the wine has been absorbed.
    If the stock which you made when you poached the chicken has cooled, reheat on the stove. When it’s boiling pour about 400ml of it into the pan. Turn the heat of the pan up high and continually stir quite hard so all the lumps in the flour dissolve into the stock. Once the flour has dissolved, the mixture is thick and bubbling at a nice consistency, turn the heat down to simmer.
  4. Now switch the oven on to 180°C.
  5. Simmer for 5-10 minutes then add the poached chicken and the crème fraiche. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Simmer for about 10 minutes to let the flavours get to know each other then turn off the heat and pour into a 20cm round and deep pie dish
  7. Take the puff pastry and cut a thick strip to place on top of the lip of your pie dish. Then place the rest of the pastry on top, cutting away the excess. Tuck onto the pie filling and pinch to the pastry on the lip of the dish.
  8. Whisk the egg and then brush over the top of the pie.
  9. Place the pie in the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the pastry top is golden brown.

Blackberry, Soplica and Chocolate Pie

Blackberry Soplica and Chocolate Pie

This recipe is not yet gluten-free

This recipe pretty much sums up everything we have been eating this past week, mainly blackberries coupled with ice cold shots of Soplica direct from the freezer. Soplica is a Polish vodka that has been around since 1891, although in our freezer it’s only been around for a week and already we are draining the dregs from it. It was a present from someone who obviously knows us too well. You can get it in a number of different flavours but the one we have is hazelnut. The flavour is so pure, smooth and intense with nuttiness that we swooned at the first sip but it is quite different from Frangelico, the Italian hazelnut liqueur which is heavier. The Soplica just feels a little more summery. Although you could happily substitute Frangelico in this recipe without feeling the loss.

Blackberry Soplica and Chocolate Pie  |  Stroud Green Larder

Every year we are inundated with blackberries, there are bushes and bushes bursting with shiny blackberries all over Parkland Walk and throughout Stroud Green and I can’t walk past a glorious hedgerow plump with fruit without pulling out a bag from my pocket and filling it up there and then. My husband is the same and it seems whenever we take the puppy for a walk, together or individually, then inevitably we will return with a bag overflowing with the precious bramble treat. The past two weeks I have been churning through blackberry recipes like a demon, I have made jams, jellies, chutneys, vodkas, gins and a few favourite ones which I am going to share this week. That’s right, this week is Blackberry Week on From The Larder. Like Shark Week but less toothy and more sugary.

Blackberry Soplica and Chocolate Pie  |  Stroud Green Larder

Blackberry Soplica and Chocolate Pie  |  Stroud Green Larder

I have been craving pie for some weeks and I love to fill a pie with beautiful colours which is why the blackberries jumped right in. Lattice topped pies work well in the summer months as the pastry doesn’t overwhelm plus it’s always tempting to see the glossy filling straining at the seams. Although I have come to realise that I am simply rubbish at lattice tops. It doesn’t matter how many I have done in the past or how often I watch Paul Hollywood for tips on the best way to construct it, I manage to bugger it up every time. I must have spent about half an hour carefully plaiting this little number; over and under, over and under and yes it did look a little skewiff but it was better than usual. Or so I thought until I was cutting myself a nice big slab after the bake and I noticed that I had repeated the pattern right in the middle of the pie. How had I not noticed this? I am resolving to practice my lattice work. The Great British Bake Off is starting this week and I know my plaiting would definitely not make the grade.

Blackberry Soplica and Chocolate Pie  |  Stroud Green Larder

Still, is it really that important when the pie tastes so damn good? Blackberries don’t get nearly as much credit as the other berries on offer in the summer but I think they are much more versatile that the raspberry or the strawberry. The fruit you pick is often a mixture of sweet and tart and that lends such a complex level of flavour in your recipe. I didn’t include a vast amount of sugar here as the cinnamon adds sweetness and the Soplica is also very sweet but it all comes together to allow the blackberries to shine. The chocolate in the recipe comes from the pastry which is flavoured with cocoa. I always follow Richard Bertinet’s methods for pastry but here I felt I needed to add a little more sugar than he suggests to compliment the cocoa. The pie is delicious, hot, warm or cold but I do recommend eating it with a healthy dollop of clotted cream on the side and of course a little more Soplica to aid digestion.

Blackberry Soplica and Chocolate Pie  |  Stroud Green Larder

Blackberry, Soplica and Chocolate Pie

350g plain flour
20g cocoa
Good pinch of salt
125g unsalted butter, cold
135g caster sugar
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
425g blackberries
75g sugar
60ml Soplica
¼ tsp cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg
3 tbsp tapioca pearls
1 tbsp milk + 1 egg yolk for pastry wash

  1. First prepare the pastry by placing the flour, cocoa and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Remove the butter from the fridge and slice thinly. Add to the mixing bowl and rub it into the flour and cocoa with your fingertips until it has formed rough breadcrumbs.
  3. Tip in the caster sugar and mix in, then add the eggs and yolk and bring it all together into a dough, tipping out onto your work surface to finish the job.
  4. Weigh out 2/3 of the dough, pat into a circle then wrap in cling film. Wrap the other 1/3 in separate cling film and place both dough circles into the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
  5. Roll out the larger piece of dough into a large enough round to fit a 24cm round pie plate. Lay the pastry onto the plate and trim the edges. Place back in the fridge. Remove the smaller piece of dough from the fridge and roll out to about the thickness of a pound coin. Slice the dough into even strips, then arrange them in a lattice onto a plate. Place the plate in the fridge to chill.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  7. Now you can make the filling. Place all of the blackberries into a saucepan with a splash of water, the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Heat gently until the blackberries have completely softened and turned into a puree.
  8. Remove from the heat then add the Soplica and tapioca pearls. Stir in until the tapioca pearls have begun to absorb the liquid from the blackberries and the Soplica has mixed in.
  9. Remove the pastry case and the lattice from the fridge. Pour the blackberry filling into the pastry case and then tip the lattice on top of the pie. Press down the edges of the pastry together.
  10. Mix together the milk and egg yolk then brush over the top of the lattice evenly.
  11. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for about 30 minutes when the pastry will be crisp and the blackberries bubbling up from within.
  12. Serve warm with cold clotted cream.

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Salted Caramel and Apple Pie

This recipe is not yet gluten-free

This week my sister and I donned our Pink Lady jackets grabbed us each a T-Bird and headed back to school for a class on reproduction.  It was very informative, we even found out what pistils are.

Salted Caramel and Apple Pie2

For one night only the Lyric theatre was home to Cool Rider, a concert of songs from Grease 2, complete with a full cast, fantastic dancing and a re-telling of the scant plot.  The audience lapped up every dodgy innuendo, sang every lyric with the cast full throttle and cheered when Stephanie Zinone straddled that step ladder, her heart pouring out as she told us what she really wanted in a guy.  A devil in skin tight leather, if you’re interested.

Salted Caramel and Apple Pie3

The concert sold out so quickly that they added another performance squeezed in at 11pm.  I’m not surprised, how often do you get to indulge in a cheese fest of this scale.  It was so successful that they might be putting on more performances.  If that’s the case and you want to do it for your country that I seriously recommend you grab yourself a ticket.  Your mother will definitely approve.

Salted Caramel and Apple Pie4

I heard that Michelle Pfeiffer had disassociated herself with the film but after a brief scour on the internet I only found an interview with Jonathan Ross where she is game enough to talk about it but claims she hasn’t seen it for years so doesn’t know if it’s any good or not. The true professional. I did find an interview with Maxwell Caulfield though who claimed he was about to be the next Richard Gere and then Grease 2 destroyed his career. Poor love. If Grease 2 were released now I believe it would have a completely different reception, it’s unabashedly feminist replete with those fearless song lyrics.  Who these days would have such gumption to rhyme ‘cycle’ with ‘Michael’?  Give that lyricist a belated Oscar, there’s still time.  I for one would be giving it full marks if I was still a film critic.  On reflection maybe it’s this kind of praise for films of this quality which led to me being fired.

Salted Caramel and Apple Pie5

So, did you wanna talk about Grease 2 some more or do you want to have a butchers at this apple pie you’re getting so worked up about.  I nearly made you a cheeseburger with double double ketchup in honour of Grease 2 but honestly I have been wanting to give this apple pie a go for ages.  It’s been sitting in my food folders for years and it’s as American as they come so fits in nicely with today’s theme.

Salted Caramel and Apple Pie6

I adapted this apple pie from a recipe by Four and Twenty Blackbirds, a pie shop in the heart of Brooklyn which is getting a lot of attention at the moment.  I haven’t been, as even for me it’s a bit of a distance just for some pie, but who needs to when you’ve snagged their own recipe.  I have Britished it up though by including Bramleys, my favourite apple.  Using Bramleys helps cut down on the sweetness of the caramel and the salty twang on the tip of your fork is what completes this and I think has made it the best apple pie I have every had.  Sorry Nan.

Salted Caramel and Apple Pie7

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Adapted from a recipe by Four and Twenty Blackbirds

1 quantity of your favourite sweet shortcrust pastry

Salted Caramel:
135g caster white sugar
40ml water
70g unsalted butter
75ml double cream
¾ tsp sea salt flakes

Apple Filling:
2 lemons
2 bramley apples
2 granny smith apples

Apple Filling Seasoning:
45g caster sugar
20g flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground ginger
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
3-4 dashes Angostura bitters
1 tbsp breadcrumbs

Assembly:
1 egg beaten
caster sugar for sprinkling on top

  1. Prepare your sweet shortcrust pastry. Roll the bottom crust to fit 18 x 3.5cm pie tin, and cut the top crust as a lattice. Chill the rolled crust and the lattice top while you prepare the salted caramel and apple filling.
  2. To make the salted caramel cook the sugar and water together over low heat until just dissolved.
  3. Add the butter and bring to a slow boil. Continue cooking at a low boil until the mixture turns a deep, golden brown colour, almost copper. This process can take awhile depending on the heat source. Keep an eye on it, if the caramel begins to smoke, you’ve burned it and you’ll have to start again.
  4. Once the mixture has turned a copper colour, remove it from the heat and immediately add the heavy cream – the mixture will bubble rapidly and steam – be cautious as the sugar will be very hot.
  5. Whisk the final mixture together well and sprinkle in the sea salt. Set the caramel aside while you prepare the apple filling.
  6. To make the apple filling juice the lemons into a large mixing bowl. Core, peel, and thinly slice the whole apples, popping them into the lemon juice as you go to prevent browning. Set aside.
  7. To make the apple filling seasoning combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, and Angostura bitters. Sprinkle this mixture over the apples in the mixing bowl. Use your hands to gently mix and coat the apple slices.
  8. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  9. To assemble the pie begin by sprinkling the breadcrumbs on the pastry base to help absorb some of the juices and avoid a soggy bottom.
  10. Then layer ⅓ of the apples in the bottom of the crust so that there are minimal gaps. Pour ⅓ of the caramel over the apples. Add ⅓ of the apples and caramel for a second layer, and then add a third layer of apples, and then the caramel again. Save a small portion of the caramel to pour on top once the lattice is assembled.
  11. Assemble the lattice crust and flute the edges of the crust. Pour the last bit of caramel on top. Brush the crust with the beaten egg and lightly sprinkle with caster sugar and sea salt.
  12. Place the pie in the oven on the middle shelf with a baking tray positioned on the shelf underneath to catch any caramel spillages. Bake the pie for around 40 mins when the pastry is golden and the caramel is bubbling up. The apples should be just soft.
  13. Let the pie cool before carefully removing from the tin, then serve.

Oxtail and Sweet Potato Pie

Oxtail and Sweet Potato Pie

On a Saturday my husband will kindly offer to go to the butcher to get our meat for the week, usually so he doesn’t have to watch another Vampire Diaries episode. On his return I am treated to the grand presentation whereupon 85% of the items he brings back actually featured on the list he was given. Invariably there is a surprise or two to thoughtfully throw me off course. A more resigned edition of Ready Steady Cook which then usually involves a separate trip to the shops to buy whatever is needed to help prepare it. There are certain things which have been banned from this game, one of which is wild rabbit, which was greeted with stony silence after the third time it was produced out of the butchers hat in a matter of weeks.

The chefs special this week though was oxtail which was an excellent addition to our menu. Oxtail is definitely a weekend cut of meat as it takes a while to get really soft and juicy so benefits from a really slow braise. The results are always worth the wait and a little of it can go a long way due to the richness of the meat. I needed then an accompaniment to cut through the dark intensity and decided to make cottage pie but using sweet potato to make the end result a bit lighter. This was a new recipe which worked better than I had hoped. The melting meat bubbled up underneath, caramelising with the fluffy topping and making the edges all chewy. Adding a lot of dijon mustard at the beginning of the oxtail braise also helps to thicken the gravy without the addition of flour and imparts a creamy depth rather than a strong mustard flavour.

Just as the pie came out of the oven the sky suddenly opened up outside. Now I’m not saying that the rain is an essential element to this supper but it really was rather wonderful forking the piping hot pie into my mouth whilst looking out of a drowning window, the water thundering down onto the pane.

Oxtail and sweet potato pie

1 kilo oxtail
2 tbsp olive oil
2 sticks celery, diced
1 large onion, sliced thinly
2 large carrots, diced
1 litre stock
100ml dijon mustard
2 x bay leaves
2 x sprigs thyme
2 x cloves garlic, crushed
½ tsp white pepper
½ tsp salt
1 kilo sweet potatoes
30g unsalted butter
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper

  1. Rub salt and pepper over the oxtail then in a large casserole pot heat up the olive oil on the hob and add the oxtail.
  2. Braise the oxtail for about 10 mins until browned then remove.
  3. Add the celery, onion and carrots to the casserole pot and heat on a low heat for about 10 mins until softened. Remove from the casserole and set aside.
  4. Add the oxtail back into the pot, then pour in the stock, the Dijon mustard, bay leaves, thyme, garlic and salt and pepper. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 2 hours then add back in the carrots, celery and onion and cook for a further 1½ hours until the oxtail is falling off the bone and the gravy has thickened.
  5. Remove the bay and thyme leaves and the oxtail bones. Make sure you remove the hard caps which may have fallen off the oxtail bones as they can be a surprise when you bite down on them.
  6. Pierce the whole sweet potatoes several times with a sharp knife.
  7. Wrap each one individually in foil then bake at 200°C for about 1¼ hours until the potatoes are softened.
  8. Scrape the each potato from its skin and then mash the bright orange flesh with the butter, nutmeg and salt and pepper.
  9. In an ovenproof dish, layer all the oxtail the add the sweet potato mash on top, dragging a fork over to allow the mash to crisp up in the oven.
  10. Bake in the oven for 30-40 mins at 180°C. Serve piping hot.

Crack Pie

I can’t deny that even before I knew what Crack Pie was, it something that was going to happen in my life.  Who names their recipe Crack Pie if it isn’t going to live up to the potential of a highly addictive substance that starts off as a bit of fun, then develops into a regular habit which you sometimes do during the week not just at the weekend, until it takes such a hold over your life that you can barely function without it.  You lose your money trying to get hold of your next fix, beg borrowing then stealing from any given source, prompting your family to hold an intervention and ship you off to rehab.  I mean, if that wasn’t the natural cause of events after eating Crack Pie then someone misnamed this sucker.   It’s just as well then that I’m happy to report that I’ve reserved my place in rehab and am merrily beginning the slow descent into substance abuse.  The substance being pie, not crack.  Let’s just get that straight.

Crack Pie originated from Momofuku Milk Bar in New York, an amazing bakery that I made a beeline for on my last trip to the Big Apple and it more than lived up to the hype.  Seriously, go there.  We can worship at the caramel alter of chef/co-owner Christina Tosi for dreaming up this intense injection of sugar.  On first glance it isn’t the prettiest member of the girl band, but it is certainly the cheeky naughty one who will break up the band and ride high on the successful solo career.  Diving beneath its unassuming exterior lies a fudgy caramel custard lounging seductively on a chewy oat cookie base.  A small first taste encourages you to sample a second, just to make sure you understood your first eye-popping reaction.  A second taste leads to shoving the whole slice in your mouth and launching full body into the rest of the pie.  If you are one of those people that can seriously handle your sugar then this will be IT for you.  I challenge you to make it and have only one piece, it just simply can’t be done.  Bad luck for you, good luck for rehab.
crack pieCrack Pie
The Momofuku recipe, adapted from Bon Appétit

Oat Cookie Crust
85g unsalted butter, at room temperature
55g soft brown sugar
30g caster sugar
1 egg
100g whole rolled oats
60g plain flour
⅛ tsp baking powder
⅛ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp sea salt
Plus an extra
40g unsalted butter
20g soft brown sugar

Filling
170g caster sugar
100g soft brown sugar
1 tbsp milk powder
¼ tsp salt
115g butter, melted and cooled
100ml double cream
4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
Icing sugar to dust over the finished pie

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12” x 9” baking tin with baking parchment.
  2. Beat the 85g butter with the 55g brown sugar and 30g caster sugar until pale light and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg until combined.
  4. Add the oats, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and beat everything together for one minute.
  5. Pour the cookie dough into the prepared baking tin and spread it out in an even layer, it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t quite reach the sides.
  6. Bake for 10-12 mins until the top has just turned golden.
  7. Remove from the oven, leave to cool for a few mins before turning out onto a cooling rack and leaving to cool completely.
  8. Grease a 9” round cake tin or glass pie dish.
  9. Bash the cooled cookie into crumbs, then rub together with the extra 40g unsalted butter and 20g brown sugar until the mixture can hold together.
  10. Press the crumbled cookie into the cake tin or pie dish and set aside.
  11. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
  12. For the filling, whisk together the sugars, milk powder and salt to blend.
  13. Add the melted butter and whisk until just combined.
  14. Add the cream, egg yolks, vanilla and whisk until just combined.
  15. Pour into the cookie base and bake for 25-30 mins until the filling is brown in spots but the centre still wobbles.
  16. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for a couple of hours. Remove from the tin then store in the fridge overnight to fully set and prepare itself for the human onslaught.