Tis the season for telling baby birthing stories…
Sit yourself down, grab a mince pie…actually lets start again… Get your ass to the kitchen, make some mince pies, now sit down with a pie and glass o’ port as we begin…
It was a cold, dark night when the virgin (ha!) Linda pissed on a stick.
The plastic, urine soaked rod glowed a heavenly blue as it told her “you’re going to have a baby”.
“Dave! Dave! I have been told that in 9 months we are to have a baby!”
“So November? I knew I gave you a proper good one on Valentines” proclaimed an ecstatic David.
So, later that year, Dave and Linda made the 10 minute journey across Widnes, riding on a Ford Capri.
They arrived at Highfield Hospice where the midwife told Linda she would soon be with child.
“He will be called the Baby Michael!” Announced Linda. “Michael, after some hot guy from a TV show as I’ve realised naming him Marc after Marc Bowlan may not auger well.”
But, the joyous night did not last long…
After many uncomfortable hours a midwife approached Linda to tell her “There is no room in the vagina!”.
A new light appeared in the night sky. It was the flashing of an ambulance which had come to carry Linda and the partially crowned Baby Mykie to a manager in Whiston Hospital.
Doctors bearing gifts of gas, forceps and air paid their respects to the half-born Baby and delivered him into his mothers arms via C-section.
“All hail the new Baby Michael!”
“I know he is a special baby” said Linda. “He has a pointy head and is a bit yellow!”
“That’s because he got stuck in your lady tunnel and is half Chinese” barked the slightly racist nurse.
After treatment for jaundice, Linda and David took their cone-headed prince home to Widnes.
After that delightful tale you may have gone off your pies…but if you still want a gobble, here’s our recipe for sweet short crust pastry as a variation on our previous pies.
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
- 225g plain flour
- 60g butter, softened
- 40g vegetable fat (trex)
- 25g caster sugar
- pinch o’ salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- tsp vanilla extract
- splash of milk if needed
- Rub fats into flour
- Stir through salt and sugar
- Cut through egg, ancillary and milk (if needed) with a butter knife until mixture comes together
- Press into a smooth ball, flatten and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes
This pastry is so easy to work with and rolls nice and thinly. It has a beautiful crunch yet melts in the mouth…perfection!
Have a very merry Christmas!!! Love Wondercat!
Ok, here was the situation…
We had a vegetarian coming to stay
We were going out dancing so needed a light dinner
Here are the problems…
- We don’t have a smallish fluted tart tin (I know, right? What kind of bakers are we?)
- We had been drinking all the live long day
Plan of action…
- Invent a tasty, vegetarian quiche that won’t give that “would be better with meat” thinking
- Bake said quiche in a state of low to moderate inebriation
Oh Torontes, you Argentinian fiend! Curse your zippy grape goodness! So, yes, wine was the major obstacle of the day, but we had dinner to make! Glass down boy, (and up, and down, and up and refill) time to bake!
Goats cheese, red onion and fig quiche
- 250g 00 flour
- 125g good butter (chilled and cubed)
- tsp dried oregano
- pinch o’ salt
- few tbsp iced water
- egg yolk
- Rub butter into flour salt and oregano until sandy
- Add water little at a time cutting through with a bread knife until dough starts to come together
- Push dough together and kneed for 30 seconds maximum
- Shape into ball, flatten, wrap in cling and whack in the fridge for at least 30 minutes
- Pre-heat oven to 200C
- Roll pastry in-between sheets of cling (you’ll thank me for this) until about £1 coin thickness
- Pop into a greased 8″ flan tin (or cake tin…the shame!), leave the top layer of cling to support the pastry when lining the tin and make sure you push right to the edges
- Remove cling, prick with fork
- Line with foil and weigh down with baking beans
- Pop in oven for about 5 mins until the base under the beans is dryish
- Remove beans and foil, brush all over with egg yolk
- Return to oven at 180C for about 15-20 mins until a nice golden brown
- 250g full fat cream cheese (I said full fat, drop that Philly extra light)
- 100g rindless goats cheese
- 4 large eggs
- 3 red onions
- fig relish
- fresh thyme
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- Cut onions into thin slices and fry off gently in a bit of olive oil until soft and starting to caramelise then set aside to cool off
- Pre-heat oven 170C
- Mix cheeses and eggs together with a tsp of chopped thyme until smooth and season to your liking (I’m totally not advocating eating raw eggs btw)
- Smooth a layer of fig relish onto base of pastry case
- Spread over caramelised onions
- Pour in filling to top of the pastry but don’t let it spill over (spillage=burnt bits)
- Cook for 30-40 minutes until the middle has a slight wobble
- Sprinkle with some thyme sprigs oh, and maybe a little Maldon salt and cracked pepper…go crazy.
So how did ours go?
Firstly we made the pastry THREE TIMES! The first we used wholemeal flour which lacks gluten so cracked; the second was made with ingredients we had lying around which were SR flour and spreadable butter (no real surprise this one went breasts skywards); off to Waitrose, bought ingredients for third (actually, we sent Si as we were druuuuuuunk!).
The stupid lack of flan tin lead to having to level the crust so cutting off the golden goodness and making the pastry look as thick as Tara Reid (we are NOT watching Big Brother). The pastry was anaemic looking either way as we didn’t brown it long enough. The filling we managed to just about over cook so we got a small crack, we also didn’t turn the thing so we got one Snooki side and one Edward Cullen side (for this we blame the Torontes and Lady Gaga…kitchens make EXCELLENT dance floors and singing “edge of glory” real loud will make you miss a pathetically wimpy oven timer beep…and ps we have watched neither Jersey Shore or Twilight, it’s these internets, they get everywhere!).
I will say, despite the “rustic” appearance and the slap-dash cookery skills it tasted AWESOME! Meat? Who needs meat? Bring me some more pastry, goaty, figgy greatness if you please!!!
There would have/should have (I mean, come on Wondercat you’re running a baking blog here) been internal cut quiche pictures. I’m afraid hunger totally struck and we’d polished off a bottle of champers so thoughts of photography were none existent (we were aaaaaaaaall about if we had time for a face mask and if eyebrows needed a tidy up).