The Bakes

Pear Tarte Tatin


It might be going a little far to say that I can make a tarte tatin with my eyes closed, but like so many classics, this is sweet simplicity.


Conference pears in a slightly ginger-enhanced caramelised sugar syrup, cradled in a light puff pastry.

Eye-closingly delicious.


Sultana Scones


The super simple and simply super scone.

My basic rules for this most basic of bakes is to pre-heat the oven (these are prepared in next to no time), not to over-handle the dough (to keep em light and fluffy), and to flour the cutter before each cut (the dough can be a bit wet and sticky).

Now where’s the cream and jam? Or is that jam and cream?


Quick Loaf Quartet


I’ve made these rustic little loaves in a slightly different way than usual. (And for an old-fashioned method, I’ve used old-fashioned weights and measures.)


A pound each of wholemeal and plain flours is mixed with a couple of teaspoons of sugar. Then it’s a bit like making shortcrust pastry, in that an ounce of fresh yeast is then rubbed-in like butter.


A pint of salty lukewarm water is then added, a dough formed, kneaded and placed into four 1lb tins for a single prove. After a little flour dusting, they are scissor-snipped and baked at 200-fan for about half an hour.


Grasmere Gingerbread


This traditional English bake from the Lake District is all about texture and flavour, and the basic recipe will forgive some variation and interpretation.


For the crumbly, sandy biscuit, I have included oatmeal gram for gram with plain flour. Black treacle and ground ginger combine for flavour.

The filling is a simple buttercream, enhanced with finely chopped candied ginger.