hot-water crust pastry

In challenge on February 27, 2015 at 2:15 am

my favorite two hours of television this winter start at 8 pm on sunday nights. downton, of course, and preceding it, the great british bake off. british cooking shows are miles better than american ones. they are quite serious about their products, but don’t take themselves seriously at all. also, i learn a lot.

several weeks ago in the pie episode, they made hot-water crust pastry. as we’ve discussed here before, regular pie crust is quite finicky and delicate. but hot-water crust pastry, they informed me, is tough and resilient and hard to screw up. it’s also perfect for classic british meat pies like we saw all over london.

of course i had to try this right away.

helpfully, the bbc provides recipes from the show. i used chetna’s indian-inspired (and vegetarian!) version.

first you make the filling with potatoes and lentils and lots of spices


and then you make the crust. it really was easy – rub butter into flour and then add boiling water with salt and crisco melted into it.

it comes together as a dough that you roll out and use to line a spring-form pan (what americans most commonly think of as a cheesecake pan).


pack your filling in, add a top, brush with egg wash


and bake for an hour.

it will get golden brown and smell delicious!


once you un-tin it, you realize how impressive it looks.


just like harrods!! and very tasty, too.


i served it with a dollop cilantro-herb yogurt.

even the meat-eater liked it, but wondered if one could make a pie that was half-meat (on one side) and half veg (on the other)? my next challenge!




In breakfast on February 21, 2015 at 2:38 pm

while a steaming bowl of oatmeal with raisins, cinnamon and milk will probably always be my favorite weekday breakfast, this muesli is another great option (especially if you’re looking for something cooler in the summer) that is so filling it keeps me satisfied until lunch.

of course, the ingredients themselves are variable – don’t like raisins? use dried cranberries or dried cherries. don’t like apple? use pear, etc etc.

i make several servings at once, which also means it’s great for breakfast if you’re running short on time.

start with a few handfuls of uncooked old fashioned oats. add an apple or crisp pear cut into small cubes, some raisins and walnuts, a sprinkling of cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup.


(this made enough for three large breakfasts)

then you want to add enough milk to soften the oats and enough greek yogurt to hold everything together. for this amount, it was about 1/3 cup of milk and about 15 ounces of yogurt (almost an entire large fage carton).

the final texture you’re going for is oatmeal-raisin cookie batter, but keep in mind, the longer you keep it in the fridge, the more the oats will soak up liquid. so add a little more milk than you think you need at the beginning.


i love this!

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In link on February 12, 2015 at 11:34 pm

ready to get your sugar on?

here’s a cute article about valentine’s day candy from the times.


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