Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Health and Wealth

The first recipe today is for pastry. In many ways it resembles a scone mix, but when rolled out really thinly and used to line a flan dish etc, it gives a good crispy texture. This pastry could also be used to top a pie or to make a pizza base.
Use as-is for savoury dishes, but add a couple of teaspoons of sugar if wishing to use for sweet dishes. Yogurt Pastry:for a 9!(23cm)flan
6 oz (175g) plain flour
pinch salt
1 oz (25g) butter, chilled and diced
4 oz (100g) natural yogurt
4 tblsp milk
Put the flour, salt and butter into a bowl and rub together with the fingers until like crumbs. Mix the milk and yogurt together, then tip this into the dry mix and stir with a round-ended knife to bring the lot together. Dust hands with flour and gently gather the mixture into a ball and place on a lightly floured surface.
Roll the pastry out thinly, wide enough to line a 9" (23cm)fluted flan tin, and lay the pastry in the tin, pressing the dough into the flutes at the side (if your tin has flutes that is). If the dough is sticky, keep dusting hands with flour. It is important not to overwork the pastry.
Spoon the chosen filling into the flan, then bake at 190C, 375F, gas 5 for 25 - 30 minutes, until the filling is cooked. Best eaten freshly baked.

The next recipe is a 'sweet treat' - basically a sponge cake cut into squares and each then covered in jam, marmalade, or lemon curd before being tossed in desiccated coconut: traditionally called 'Lamingtons'. Lamingtons: makes 15
9 oz (250g) butter, softened
9 oz (250g) self-raising flour
9 oz (250g) caster sugar
quarter tsp baking powder
4 large eggs
5 fl oz (150ml) natural yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 oz (150g) desiccated coconut
jam or lemon curd
Put the butter, flour, baking powder, sugar, eggs, yogurt and vanilla into one large bowl and beat together with an electric whisk until smooth. Spoon the mixture into a greased and lined 20 x 30cm deep baking or roasting tin, and bake for 25 minutes at 180C, 350F, gas 4 or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out dlean. Leave in the tin for five minutes before turning out to cool on a wire rack.
When cooled, trim away any crusty edges, and then cut the slab into 15 x 5cm squares (approx size). If using jam, warm this first, and - if necessary - sieve to remove any pieces of fruit. Tip the coconut onto a tray, and brush top and sides of each square with the jam or lemon curd, and dip into the coconut. You can also coat the base of each cake with coconut as well if you wish in the same way, but you will need to allow more coconut.
After coating, the cakes will store for at least a day in an airtight container, and the sponge cake (without the jam/coconut) can be well wrapped then frozen for up to a month to assemble later.