I wrote earlier about inspiration and how it comes in various ways. So when I was leafing through an old folder and notebook, I came across several years worth of old recipes and ideas. Ones that needed updating and ‘glutenfree-ing’.
These recipes and ideas have various origins and stretch almost to the beginning of my career. At a time when allergies and intolerances were certainly unheard of to me. And bless you, should you be a vegetarian!
These recipes are both sweet and savoury and many are from the menus I cooked from. Recipes and ideas passed down from chef to chef to ensure some form of standardised dish presentation. All this, way before establishments started to formalise their own actual recipes and produce physical trade cook books.
There are many tales to tell and as I went through the random pages of my ‘Little Blue Book’, and sheets of recipes and menus, many fond memories came flooding back. But those I shall save for another day. Perhaps…..
But there was one set of recipes that bears some relevance to ‘today’.
I’m not entirely sure how the recipes were acquired or even how I managed to charm them out of such closely guarded secrecy, from the hands of 2 fellow students. But of the 2 sheets of paper I had, only one remains. Of the ‘lost’ recipes, I only remembered 2 of them, and I have managed to track down one of them. The other will remain undetected. The recipes were for school dinner puds. Good old-fashioned comfort food. Of days gone by; of walking to school 3 miles away (it felt more), of long summers and white Christmases. The two students (as was I) were dinner ladies, gaining valuable knowledge and qualifications at a College in Suffolk.
Now, I must have enjoyed school and its dinners, because I can’t ever remember complaining and the memories I do have are fond and warm. And I most certainly remember the puddings!
And now I have the (some at least) recipes! 😀
Sadly I can’t locate ‘Chocolate Crunch’, but ‘Toffee Cream Tart’ and ‘Lemon Love Cake’ are mine! As well as ‘Macaroon Tart’ and this I share with you now. Originally baked as a whooping traybake (served with warm custard) I have adapted this to gluten free of course and amended further to make it mine. But the origins remain.
And as Noah starts school this year, my hope for him, will that he too can enjoy his school dinners (especially as they are free!!). That he too can have fond memories in the years to come. That having Coeliac Disease does not mean he misses out.
The recipe requires a 7cm pastry cutter and makes approx 24 tartlets.
Preheat the oven to Gas 4, 180c
The Pastry – Rub 200g Dove Farm Gluten Free Plain Flour with 100g butter to form fine breadcrumbs, then mix in 1 egg yolk, 1/2 teaspoon of Xanthum Gum and bring to form a dough with a few drops of cold water. Mould into a dough, roll into a ball, wrap and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
The Topping – Beat 120g soft butter with 100g soft brown sugar until light and fluffy. Then mix in 150g Gluten Free Rolled Oats (I used Nairns) 60g of Ground Almonds, 2 teaspoons of Almond Essence, and 2 tablespoons of Jam (I used a new jam from ‘Mrs Darlington’s’ – Peach Melba). I guess this now resembles something akin to flapjacks.
Remove the pastry from the fridge. You will need to give this a little knead to make the pastry more pliable and then roll out to the desired thickness. Using your pastry cutter, cut out the pastry discs and place into the pastry baking tray. Place 1/2 a teaspoon more of jam, into the bottom of each pastry round. Roll the ‘macaroon’ mix into balls, no bigger than a walnut, flatten a little and then place on top of the jam, and into the pastry shape. No need to press down as the cooking will do this for you.
Bake then on the middle shelf, for approx 18 – 20 minutes until cooked and the tart has a golden look. You’ll probably have to bake one tray at a time. Once cooked, leave to cool completely before removing from the tray, as the gluten free pastry is a little fragile at this stage.
These can be enjoyed cold, or if you are making one large tart, serve warm with custard…..enjoy 😀
I am also sharing this post with others for ‘Credit Crunch Munch’ May 2015. As I was able to use up some ingredients I had left in the cupboard, namely the rolled oats. Always a tricky one!
You can find all manner of other dishes on a budget from