A perfect recipe for the summer, whether the sun decides it wants to make an appearance or not. Coconut, rum, pineapple, lime – I’m getting hungry again just thinking about it! And apparently next Sunday is Piña Colada Day, so great timing.
There was no blog from me last week as we’ve finally got stuck into some spring cleaning at home. It’s been on hold pretty much since I started filming the Great British Bake Off two years ago so long overdue. Whilst cleaning out my overflowing baking cupboards, I found the original sketches for some of my Bake Off showstoppers (pictured above). It’s a real reminder of how much work went into each episode. The technical challenges were always a complete mystery, but for the signature and showstopper bakes, you had to let them know well in advance what you’d be making: the full recipe, every piece of equipment you’d require and how you planned to display your bakes. It was a huge task but a lot of fun. I would get in a bit of trouble for leaving things to the last minute or changing what I was going to bake at short notice, which drove the home economists up the wall. The week I made the ‘eclair stair‘, I’d had such a bad week previously, nearly getting sent home for my rubbish dobos torte. It was great to escape from the kitchen and do a bit of simple woodwork to cheer myself up. It’s safely in its new home now with my Dad’s chickens. The next series of Bake Off has probably finished filming now so somewhere, the new winner is sitting waiting for what’s coming next. If you’re reading this – good luck this year and enjoy every minute!
I’ve said many times before that the best thing about the Bake Off is the friends I made through it. Today, Martha and her boyfriend Michael came over for Sunday lunch and a catch-up. Martha was also on the cover of the Mail on Sunday’s supplement today in a fantastic article all about her. In a couple of weeks her first cookbook Twist is published. I can’t wait to get my copy and you can also pre-order it here. While Martha was over, our Bakers’ WhatsApp group was busy planning our next get together at Diana’s next month. They really are a very special bunch of people who I’m lucky to know and I’m so pleased for Chetna and Martha publishing their books this year.
One of the perks of the past few years is getting sent stuff to bake with. The folks at Homepride sent me a load of boxes of flour (above) so I’m sorted for the next few weeks at least! I usually have messy bags of flour and sugar all over my kitchen at any one time so these boxes are much more useful as they’re resealable and the flour comes pre-sieved too. I think they’re going to be releasing a bread flour soon. I get asked quite often whether I have any gluten free recipes. I’m sorry to say, I don’t really have many. If you’re not gluten intolerant (and I’m not) I just can’t think why you’d bother trying to avoid the stuff – it’s integral to nearly all of my baking!
It’s been a while since I posted a recipe so here’s one I made this week. I bought some coconut flour at my trip to Wing Yip a few weeks ago so wanted to add it to a recipe. So I came up with this (it was also a good excuse to buy a drop of Malibu!) The taste of summer. I can’t help thinking about this clip when I eat it too:
Anyway, give it a go, you won’t regret it! See you next week, Happy Baking!
Piña Colada Meringue Pie
For the pastry
- 115g plain flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- 45g ground coconut (or almond)
- 45g caster sugar
- 85g unsalted butter (soft)
- 1 large egg yolk (save the white)
For the filling
- 3 large egg yolks (save the whites)
- 400g condensed milk
- ½ tsp cream of tartar (or 1tsp lemon juice)
- Approx 140g drained weight pineapple slices (a small tin’s worth – save the juice)
- zest of 1 lime
- 2tbsp Malibu
- 4tbsp pineapple juice from the tin
For the topping
- 4 egg whites
- 100g caster sugar
- Make the pastry by mixing the dry ingredients together in a bowl, then adding the butter and egg yolk.
- Combine the pastry by chopping the mixture together in a scissoring motion with 2 knives (this should stop the gluten developing and making the pastry tough).
- Once the mixture starts to resemble lumpy breadcrumbs, bring together by hand and flatten into a disc about 1cm deep, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 45 minutes.
- Take the chilled pastry out of the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 27cm diameter.
- Gently roll the pastry onto a rolling pin and transfer to a 23cm loose bottomed tart tin.
- Press the pastry into the tin, using off-cuts to plug any cracks. Cut the excess off with a knife and prick the base thoroughly with a fork. Return to the fridge for 30 minutes and preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6.
- Make the filling by beating the condensed milk, egg yolk and cream of tartar in a bowl using an electric hand whisk until fully combined and creamy.
- Beat in the pineapple juice, lime zest and the Malibu. Chop the pineapple chunks into 1cm wedges and leave to one side
- Take the pastry out of the fridge and bake for 10-12 minutes until the pastry turns a light golden colour. Take out and allow to cool. Set the oven to 170°C/fan 150°C/gas 3.5.
- While the pastry is cooling, make the meringue by whisking the egg whites. If you’re using the same whisk as you used for the filling wash it! The oil from the egg yolk will stop the egg white from thickening. Once the egg white begins to form soft peaks, sprinkle the sugar in and continue whisking until stiff peaks form. Whisk thoroughly, being careful not to leave a big lump of wet sugar in the bottom of your bowl.
- Carefully pour the filling into the cooled pastry base, add the pineapple chunks, and spoon the meringue on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the meringue begins to take colour.
- Take out of the oven and allow to cool. Put in the fridge for at least 4 hours to chill and firm up, then gently release from the tin.
- Try to share.
- Fail to share.
- Make another one.