Thursday, September 27, 2012

Scottish recipes - Apple & Pear Crumble

Crumble is something that I have grown up with

My mum would make us all Rhubarb Crumble, and I loved it, it was my favorite

Apple & Pear Crumble

For this recipe, I used apples and pears but you can use any great fruits such as rhubarb, peaches, strawberries, blackberries, plums or gooseberries or a combination of them. Make sure that you only stew the firmer fruits like apple and rhubarb, everything else can just go straight in the oven as is

So, crumble is a popular British dish that uses very simple ingredients, it gives a nice change from pie and pie crusts


Makes one dish of crumble

You will need

For the filling
1lb/500g apples (peeled, cored and chopped)
1lb/500g firm pears (peeled, cored and chopped)
3 tbsp Sugar

For the topping
6oz/175g Plain Flour
3oz/75g Butter 
1.5oz/40g Sugar

  • Preheat oven to 200C/400F

  • In a heavy large saucepan, add the chopped apples and 125ml/4floz water, bring to boil, cover and simmer gently for 5 minutes
Apples and water

  • Drain the water from the apples and add the chopped pears and the sugar. Mix well
Fruit and sugar

  • Spoon fruit into a flan dish or other ceramic or glass baking dish
Pour into dish
fruit in dish

  • For the crumble topping, sift the flour into a large bowl
Sift the flour

  • Break and add the butter, rub together to form small breadcrumbs
add butter
Flour and butter

  • Add in the sugar and mix well
added sugar

  • Spoon the crumble over the apples and pears evenly
Crumble topping

  • Bake in oven for 35 minutes until the fruit bubbles and the topping is slightly golden
Golden crumble
Apple and Pear Crumble

  • Serve hot with warm custard or pouring cream, or equally, enjoy cold
Scottish Crumble

You can also add some cinnamon and/or brown sugar to the topping to add that extra Autumn/Fall taste

Hope you enjoy some crumble this Autumn


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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Scottish Recipes - Tablet in the Microwave?

Scottish tablet

One of the first recipes I posted on my Scottish Blog was for authentic Scottish Tablet see here

Tablet is that super sweet sugary delight that I have grown up with and still love, maybe a bit too much

It is kinda tricky to get right and many a 'tablet making' pot has been thrown at a kitchen wall around homes in Scotland I'm sure

It really is that frustrating sometimes

So this recipe is an easy way to get it prefect, no pot throwing involved

It uses slightly different ingredients than the traditional Tablet and it also uses a microwave, I know, I will say it again, a microwave

Now this recipe had to be adjusted slightly as microwaves in USA are way more powerful than microwaves in Scotland, its the same total cooking time but done in shorter cooking bursts, if you are in the UK you can do 3 sets of 4 minutes to help get the temperature of the mixture higher otherwise if in the USA use the directions below

You will need

A microwave *grinning from ear to ear
a hand mixer (or wooden spoon is fine)

1lb Fine Sugar
4oz/100g Butter
5floz/150ml Evaporated Milk

  • Grease a small baking tray or baking dish

  • Break up the butter and place all ingredients in a large microwaveable bowl and stir together 
Butter, sugar, milk
Mixed well

  • Microwave on high for 2 minutes, take out and stir well
Microwave tablet mixture

  • Repeat this step another 5 times, until 12 minutes of cooking has occurred

  • After the 12 minutes, use an electric hand mixer and beat the mixture for 2-3 minutes until it starts to stiffen slightly

  • Pour into the prepared tray

  • Lightly cut into squares whilst not completely set and put in refrigerator until cooled and hardened

  • Enjoy
Scottish tablet

You can store this for a while wrapped individually in parchment paper

This is one of my favorite treats and this recipe is a faster and easier way to make it, so it doesnt get any better than this

My mum used to make it this way in a place that she worked and she gave me this recipe, Thanks Mum

I love how well it turns out

Go on try some, your Dentist will love you 


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Scottish Recipes - Fruit Loaf

Fruit Loaf

Hi Tartan Tasters

It's September which means it's soon to be Autumn, or Fall as they say here in USA, which draws me towards all kinds of comfort foods. Good old rustic, back to basic, heartwarming foods

This recipe is an old favorite, comfort food of mine and is one that I have been making for a really long time

It's great to cuddle up on the sofa with a hot cup of Scottish tea and a delicious slice of Fruit Loaf

It is easy to make with only raisins as the "fruit" but you can also use other dried fruit mix and glazed cherries as a substitute

Makes 1 Loaf 

You will need

100g/4oz Butter/Margarine
100g/4oz Fine Sugar
2 Eggs
225g/8oz Self Raising Flour
150g/6oz Dried Fruit (I used Raisins)

  • Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F

  • Line a Loaf Tin with parchment paper and grease 
Lined Tin

  • In a large bowl, cream the Butter and Sugar together until light and fluffy
Sugar and Butter
creamed sugar and butter

  • In a separate small bowl, lightly beat the eggs

  • Gradually mix in the beaten eggs using a little flour to prevent curdling, mix together until smooth
adding eggs

  • In a separate bowl, mix the dried fruit with a spoonful of flour and set aside
fruit and flour

  • Sift and Fold in the remaining flour into the creamed mixture
Flour added

  • Now fold in the floured fruit
Add the fruit
Fruit mixture

  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared Loaf Tin

  • Level off the top using a metal spoon damped with hot water
level the mixture

  • Bake in oven for 1 hour until golden and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean
Baked and ready

  • Turn out onto a wire rack to cool

  • Enjoy
Scottish Fruit Loaf

This Fruit Loaf is so easy to make, and just the right piece of Scottish comfort food I have been craving

Hope you curl up on your sofa with some comfort food soon

Fruit Loaf


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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Scottish Recipes - Fish Pie

Fish Pie

Today we are having Fish Pie

Hello there? You still with me? I am back !


Its been a while

I never thought I would leave my Blog for a month like I just have but, well, life kinda takes over sometimes, doesn't it ?

What have I been up to ? You ask

Well for starters, I had my great friend and her family come and stay with us here in Texas all the way from New Zealand. I literally haven't seen her for 7 whole years

We keep in touch through all the usual resources like Facebook, Skype (new to me), emails and text message, but I haven't hugged my pal for 7 years. So reason enough to abandon my Blog for a bit and spend an amazing 2 weeks getting to know her sweet little 2 year old and reconnect again with her

Here are a few pics of our fun together...

Us Downtown Houston

Us with my Scottish and USA flags

Bubbles time

Dinner out in Houston

Bubbles and Pool time

Next, my son Sir Scoffs-A-Lot started Kindergarten last week and it has been an emotional roller coaster of pride and upset (for me not for him, he loves it), and as he flies off in the big yellow bus to school each morning I am so proud of how well he is handling such a scary situation, he is my little soldier
First day at Kindergarten

So back to the Fish Pie

I never actually made this delicious dish

My New Zealand chum did, by the way she is Scottish like me but just happens to live in New Zealand

The recipe we used is a Jamie Oliver recipe, see here

It is unlike any Fish Pie I have ever made, there is no white sauce, and no poaching the fish and it tastes so fresh and light

We have a joke in our house...  Mr Tartan Tastes doesn't like Fish Pie.  So if I want to mess with him when he calls and asks whats for dinner, I say "Fish Pie", its like an in-joke between us...

But well, that joke is no longer funny as the Fish Pie hating hubby that he is, is no more, as even he loved this version

My friend change the recipe up very slightly but for the most part it is almost the same

You will need

For the topping
Sea salt and Ground pepper
1kg/ 2.2lbs Potatoes

For Pie
1 Medium Carrot
2 Celery Sticks
150g/5oz Cheddar cheese
1 lemon
half a fresh red chili ( we used half a jalapeno)
4 springs of fresh parsley
300g/10oz Salmon Fillets, Skin removed
300g/10oz White Fish preferably haddock (we used Cod)
125g/4oz Prawns/Shrimp
Olive Oil
Optional extras
Handful of Spinach
2 ripe tomatoes, quartered
Salmon and Cod

  • Preheat oven to 200C/400F

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, peel and cut the potatoes into small chunks. Add to boiling water and cook for around 12 minutes until soft

  • In a large baking dish, grate carrot, celery, and cheddar on a coarse grater setting into the dish
Grated veggies

  • Using the fine side of the grater or a zester, zest the lemon peel and add to dish, keep lemon to the side

  • Finely chop the jalapeno or chili and the parsley leaves and stalks and add to the dish
Grated veggies

  • Cut the salmon, and white fish into bite size chunks and add to tray, next add the prawns/shrimp
Seafood going in

  • Squeeze the juice from the lemon making sure no pips fall in, then drizzle the Olive oil over, and add a pinch of salt and pepper

  • If you want to add tomatoes or spinach do it here ( we didn't this time)

  • Mix all ingredients together well

  • Drain the potatoes. Then keeping them in the pot, add a good amount of olive oil (about 3 hearty tablespoons) and a pinch of salt and pepper

  • Mash well until nice and smooth, then spoon and spread evenly over fish and vegetable mixture, fluff with a fork
Mashed Potatoes
Fish pie

  • Bake in oven for around 40 minutes or until cooked through and crispy and golden on top
Fish pie

  • Serve with a nice green salad and some crusty bread

  • Enjoy
Fish pie

I hope you give this fresh new take on fish pie a try

I am so glad my friend made this for dinner one night, it will become one of those 'go to' meals for us now

Here she is in action in my kitchen

Alison cooking

No more Fish pie jokes in our house....

Thanks Alison and Thanks Jamie Oliver

This Fish Pie is awesome


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