Bacon and mushroom quiche (with the tastiest quiche crust ever!)

Bacon and mushroom quiche with cheese crust.
What’s for dinner tonight foodies? Today I am sharing one of my favourite week night supper recipes. It is a delicious and easy quiche recipe that can be adapted to include any of your favourite fillings. If I have a few spare minutes during the day I sometimes prepare the crust or filling in advance and simply add the egg and milk mixture just before baking, but it is quick enough to put together in the evening making it a brilliant weekday option. 

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No-bake chocolate mousse tart (gluten free)

No bake chocolate mousse tart.
Credit for this heavenly recipe goes to my lovely mum. A light and creamy no-bake chocolate tart – it is one of our favourites and always a hit at family shindigs. If I had to imagine biting into a chocolate cloud I think it would be like eating a slice of this! 

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Mince Pie Tart with Christmas Custard

Mince pie with puff pastry and topped with stars.

Just a few days to go until Christmas (four sleeps to be precise), are you ready? We are looking forward to a family Christmas at home this year and will be celebrating with a relaxed festive lunch next to the pool – cannot wait!

Fruit mince tart with puff pastry and Christmas custard.

One of the nicest things about this time of the year is that we get to eat mince pies! In fact, just this morning my daughter and I baked up a batch of star topped mince pies to enjoy over the Christmas week, and we will no doubt also be leaving a few next to the tree on Saturday evening. 

Mince pie tart slice with stars and custard.
Green Christmas leaves dusted with icing sugar.

This mince pie tart is the larger version of our favourite mini mince pies and is ideal for any Christmas get together – as a dessert at lunch or dinner or even with afternoon tea. Take it to the next level with this lavish Christmas custard which is delicately flavoured with spices and orange zest.

This is my last post for the year, thank you so much for reading and following my kitchen tales in 2016! There is lots more to come next year, but in the meantime here’s wishing you a glittery and treat filled Christmas. x 



Makes a 20cm tart

Mince pie tart slices for Christmas.

2 small apples (about 200g) 
1 x 454g jar fruit mincemeat
2 tbsp mixed citrus peel
1 tbsp brandy
flour for dusting
400g ready made puff pastry
star shaped cookie cutters
milk for brushing
icing sugar for dusting (optional)

For the custard:

2 egg yolks

2 tbsp castor sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
350ml milk
4 whole cloves
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
1 1/2 tsp finely grated orange rind

Step 1.) Preheat the oven to 200°C and grease a 20cm tart tin. 

Step 2.) Peel and grate the apples. Squeeze out any excess liquid and place in a mixing bowl. Add the fruit mincemeat, citrus peel and brandy. Mix well. 

Step 3.) Dust your work surface lightly with flour. Line the tart tin with puff pastry. Cut the excess pastry away from the rim. Press the scraps into a ball and roll out again. Cut out star shapes of various sizes.

Step 4.) Tip the fruit mince mixture into the tart tin. Arrange the stars on top of the tart and brush lightly with some milk

Step 5.) Bake the tart for 35 minutes, or until the pastry has risen and is golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Dust with icing sugar and serve. 

Step 6.) To make the custard: Whisk the egg yolks and castor sugar together until pale and creamy. Whisk in the flour and cinnamon. Place the milk and cloves in a saucepan over a medium heat and heat just until boiling point. Remove from the heat and carefully add half of the milk to the egg mixture while whisking continuously. Then add the egg-milk mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk and heat slowly while whisking. Add the vanilla paste. Continue to stir for a few minutes until the custard is quite thick. Remove the cloves and stir in the orange rind. Transfer to a warm jug. 


Lemon tart

Classic tarte au citron
This is a classic dessert and comes from one of my favourite cookbooks, “The Food of France”. I have made this lemon tart many times and it always goes down well with a crowd! I love citrus puddings and bakes, and tarte au citron is one of my absolute favourites. The sweet pastry used in this recipe is also lovely to work with and can be used in all sorts of sweet tarts.

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Chocolate meringue pie

Chocolate meringue pie.

A month or two ago I was given a large bag of home grown lemons. My husband immediately requested a home made lemon meringue tart, and as it is also one of my favourites I happily obliged. While I was whisking up the meringue and lost in my own thoughts a wave of inspiration hit me – if I could make a lemon meringue pie, why not make a chocolate meringue pie? (I often have chocolate on the brain, so this sudden idea should not be too surprising.)

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Spring vegetable and red pesto tart

A slice of vegetable and tomato pesto tart.

I do enjoy a cooking challenge, and when I was contacted by the team at Faithful to Nature and invited to participate in their recent blogger competition I was immediately interested. The challenge was this – to create one seasonal, organic, vegetarian family meal using pantry products from Faithful to Nature as well as fresh organic produce. Each blogger received a voucher to purchase their choice of products from the thousands and thousands of products on the Faithful to Nature website, ordered their goodies online and then used them to create a delicious dish.

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Spiced apple pie with creamy caramel custard

 Apple pie with lattice crust
Spring has sprung, and in typical Cape Town fashion the weather has gotten itself all confused. It is getting lighter in the mornings (always a good sign), but you usually still need a jacket for the early mornings, short sleeves for when the sun is blazing at midday, and an umbrella on stand-by for any afternoon downpours. Basically you need to make like a scout and be prepared – for anything!

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Sweet Potato, Butternut and Chevin Tarts

Sweet potato puff pastry tarts.

“Paddington thought for a moment. ‘I think I’ll start in the kitchen,’ he said. ‘I may make some pastry. Bears like pastry.’ “

Excerpt from Paddington and the Busy Day – Michael Bond

I cannot make anything pastry related without thinking of good old Paddington Bear. At the age of one my daughter decided he was the best thing ever – so much so that he was the theme for her second birthday party. (You may remember these marmalade sandwich cookies from a while back.) Her younger brother, now almost two, has followed suit, and we would not dream of tucking him in at night without at least one Paddington adventure to send him off to sleep.

Since I do not have any pastry loving Peruvian bears at home to make it for me, I tend to keep a pack of puff pastry in the freezer. Open tarts make an easy and delicious supper option for week days. I usually make something along the lines of a pesto, chicken and mushroom type of combo but also like to try new flavours every now and then. This veggie version is adapted from an Ottolenghi recipe for sweet potato galettes. I added some butternut cubes and a delicious thyme oil for extra flavour.

If you wanted to make this ahead of time you could prepare the thyme oil and roast the veggies, but be sure to assemble and bake the tarts just before serving. Serve as a starter or alongside a crunchy salad for lunch. To be honest, they also make a great supper!



Makes 4 tarts

400g puff pastry
4 very small sweet potatoes, scrubbed with skins on (about 400g) 
300g butternut chunks
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
salt and pepper
1 egg
1/2 cup sour cream
100g soft chevin

Step 1.) Preheat your oven to 200°C. Roll out your  puff pastry and cut out four 14cm circles. Place the pastry rounds on a greased tray and pop in the fridge.

Step 2.) Arrange the whole sweet potatoes and butternut chunks (in a single layer) on a greased baking tray. Roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. Peel the potatoes and cut into 5mm slices. Cut the butternut chunks into smaller cubes. 

Step 3.) Combine the olive oilgarlicthyme and some salt and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.

Step 4.) Arrange the pastry circles on a greased tray, allowing some room for spreading. Beat the egg and brush lightly over the pastry. Spoon a layer of sour cream onto each round, leaving a 1/2 cm border. Don’t worry if its not perfectly even.

Step 5.) Arrange a layer of sweet potato slices over the sour cream. Scatter the butternut cubes over the top.

Step 6.) Use your hands to break the chevin up into small chunks and dot them over the tarts. Lastly, gently brush the tarts with some of the thyme oil. Reserve a little of the oil for when they come out of the oven.

Step 7.) Bake the tarts for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden and has risen. Brush them with the remaining thyme oil and serve immediately.