The British Larder Inspiring recipes, food development and chef consultancy, retail products, food safaris and more from The British Larder. Tue, 19 Jan 2016 14:27:28 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Baked Pumpkin Cheesecake Tue, 19 Jan 2016 14:27:28 +0000 I grew up with pumpkins and squashes being a staple in our household during autumn and through into winter. Mum used to store pumpkins, and with some varieties she would prepare and freeze them in their raw state and then make various delights throughout the winter from her pumpkin collection.

For this baked cheesecake you do need a pumpkin variety with a dry flesh – I like to use sugar pie or red kuri, so would recommend one of these. If the pumpkin is nice and small, cut it open, scoop out the seeds, put it back together and then roast it in the oven for about 1½ hours – this will soften the flesh and lock in the delicious pumpkin flavour. The pumpkin could be roasted a day in advance for ease and speed, then cooled and kept in the fridge overnight, if you like.

I have used ginger nut biscuits for the base, but you could use plain digestive biscuits instead, if you prefer.Photo of Baked Pumpkin Cheesecakephoto of Baked Pumpkin Cheesecake

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Baked Smoked Haddock with Charred Leeks and Potato Gnocchi Fri, 15 Jan 2016 13:09:11 +0000 With the shorter days and longer chilly evenings this dish is the perfect hug from the oven. The smell of smoked haddock baking is delicious and always puts a smile on my face. I serve it with steamed broccoli or buttered spinach, crusty fresh bread and a large glass of dry white wine for a lovely heart-warming informal dinner.

I made and served this dish as a main course, but as we were cooking it, Ross mentioned that it would also make a lovely starter (see Cook’s Notes), and I agree. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Photo of Baked Smoked Haddock with Charred Leeks and Potato Gnocchi

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Spiced Apple Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Mon, 07 Dec 2015 14:41:42 +0000 If you like carrot cake then you will love this spiced apple pumpkin cake. The smell of this cake when it is baking is truly wonderful. It reminds me of spending time with friends and family, all sitting around a large table with mugs of coffee and tea, chatting about the good old days.

I have used the Thermomix for this recipe. Janie Turner from UK Thermomix demonstrated the new TM5 model to me. She made a chopped sweet potato salad and I was amazed with the results (potentially, I never need to use my grater again, so no more grated fingernails!).

I have a glut of pumpkins at the moment and I fancied a bit of cake, so the idea for this recipe came to mind. I thought, aha!, it’s a great time to test my new TM5 chopping techniques. I used the Thermomix to chop the pumpkin, apples and ginger, then I added the rest of the ingredients for the cake batter, whizzed it all together and in a jiffy the job was done – it’s pretty fast and impressive.

If you do not have a Thermomix, you can still make the cake, but you’ll need to use a grater instead (or a food processor with a grater attachment), then mix all the ingredients together in a bowl using a wooden spoon or an electric of Spiced Apple Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frostingphoto of Spiced Apple Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Chestnut Mousse with Brown Sugar Meringues and Marsala Honey Jelly Mon, 07 Dec 2015 14:20:08 +0000 Ah, it’s nearly Christmas and I’m sure the thought of cooking and the Christmas day menu has crossed a few people’s minds by now. This recipe is a fantastic little number for those who do not like Christmas pudding or who would like to do a pudding buffet instead. Making and serving them in glasses looks fantastic and the beauty is that you can make them up to 2 days in advance – keep them chilled, then just before serving pop on the meringues and jelly and serve. I think it’s a fab festive alternative and a recipe that takes a tiny bit of stress out of Christmas day. Enjoy!

photo of Chestnut Mousse with Brown Sugar Meringues and Marsala Honey Jellyphoto of Chestnut Mousse with Brown Sugar Meringues and Marsala Honey Jelly

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Braised Shin of Beef with Button Onions and Mushrooms Mon, 30 Nov 2015 09:41:49 +0000 This is one of my all-time favourite ways of cooking shin of beef. The flavour is simply the best – it’s intense and beefy and the natural abundance of gelatine in the shin of beef gives it that lip-smacking deliciousness.

Shin of beef needs to be cooked low and slow for a long period of time to make it tender and tasty. I learned a version of this recipe when I worked at Aubergine nearly 20 years ago (gosh, I feel old!), and I loved it then and I still love it today. It was served in a two Michelin-starred restaurant on the menu du jour. If it was good enough for two stars, it’s certainly good enough for me!

It’s quite a time-consuming recipe and requires a few stages, but in my opinion it’s definitely worth every ounce of effort. I make this a couple of days in advance and then serve it for a dinner party (you’ll need to start this at least one day in advance of serving). Braising the meat is fantastic as you get a ready-made sauce to serve with it, so for me, creamy mash is a must for ultimate enjoyment!

photo of Braised Shin of Beef with Button Onions and Mushrooms

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Milk Shortbread Mon, 30 Nov 2015 09:40:20 +0000 Mr P enjoys a good biscuit and sometimes the baking bug bites him. When he starts to bake, I get a little nervous though as he generates quite a few dirty bowls, cups, spoons and all sorts, and the cleaning up mission usually falls down to me.

He deserves some credit for this recipe, and luckily for me on the washing-up front, he only used one bowl. Saying that, his enthusiasm was short-lived though because once the dough was made, rolled out and chilling in the fridge, I then had to finish off, cutting the dough into shapes and baking them. It was more of a team effort in the end, but he did make me smile and I would not wish for him to be any other way.

These biscuits are pretty good and I particularly like the addition of the powdered milk. I asked Mr P why milk and his reply was that when he first met me I used to make the most amazing milk ice cream and he wanted to recreate a version of that taste memory. Aw, how sweet, there is a romantic hidden in there somewhere after all!

photo of Milk Shortbread

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Hare and Pumpkin Pastries Fri, 13 Nov 2015 12:12:26 +0000 I think autumn leading into winter is a fantastic time of the year and it’s fast becoming my favourite time of year. The game season is in full swing and although I am not usually keen on hare as I find it a bit too strong for my liking, this recipe is delicious and is definitely a wonderful way for me to enjoy hare.

I’m pretty pleased with this recipe. I really like Argentinian empanada pastry and as we are heading towards canapé and finger food season, I thought it’s a great pastry to showcase the game season’s best.

I have used the hare haunches for this recipe, and by cooking them in duck fat this keeps the meat moist and succulent (roasting the meat is too harsh and will dry it out too much). The pumpkin then adds a welcome natural sweetness to the of hare and pumpkin pastries

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Venison Agnolotti with Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce Tue, 03 Nov 2015 11:55:10 +0000 I love making pasta! There is something pretty special, calming and personal about making pasta, and I find myself in my own little world when making, rolling and shaping pasta.

Many moons ago when I was working at a three Michelin-starred restaurant, I was lucky enough to have been ‘good enough’ to make the fresh pasta and raviolis, and I think my personal love for pasta comes from those days. Nowadays, I make it for us at home, especially when we have friends over for dinner, and I still find it amazingly satisfying to make.

We enjoy venison very much and over the years we have used venison shoulder in many recipes. At the pub in Suffolk we used to smoke the shoulder and use the meat for our award-winning Scotch eggs, sausage rolls, pasties and croquettes.

For this recipe, I use a pressure cooker to cook the meat as I find it very effective and much more efficient (but I do also include an oven-braising method in the Cook’s Notes for those who don’t have a pressure cooker).

Serve these tasty little agnolotti as a starter, antipasto or light lunch or simply serve double the amount as a main course. Enjoy!

photo of Venison Agnolotti with Spicy Arrabbiata Saucephoto of Venison Agnolotti with Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce

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Amaretti with Almond Cream Mon, 02 Nov 2015 09:49:07 +0000 Making homemade amaretti biscuits is fun and the smell when they are baking is simply amazing. I piped these using a piping bag fitted with a plain piping nozzle, which gives them little peaked tops, unlike traditional amaretti biscuits that have round tops. I then sandwiched each pair of amaretti biscuits together with a lovely almond mascarpone cream. Delicious!

The amaretti biscuits can be made up to a week in advance and kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry cupboard, then, on the day of serving, simply sandwich them together with the freshly prepared almond cream. The sandwiched biscuits are best served on the day they are assembled.

photo of Amaretti with Almond Creamphoto of Amaretti with Almond Cream

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Air-dried Cured Ham Mon, 26 Oct 2015 15:28:49 +0000 This is something I have always wanted to do, so when a good friend of ours gave us half a pig as a gift I could not resist turning the leg into this stunning air-dried cured ham.

The most important route to success with this recipe is time and patience. You must not ‘force’ or try to hurry the curing process along as this will result in a disaster.

We used a meat curing cabinet for this process, as it’s the safest method (we made our own with a fridge, but a temperature-controlled wine fridge works well with a dehumidifier and humidity meter). Humidity also plays a huge part in the process, so I suggest that you buy an inexpensive humidity meter from a DIY store to help you out.

Once the meat was cured and ready to use we were pleasantly surprised at how many servings we got from it. It kept well for a couple of weeks or so (in the fridge) and was used in many delicious dishes.

I buy the Prague powder (cure) No. 2 from

photo of Air-dried Cured Ham

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