Tag Archives: cheese

Strawberry & Thyme Galette with Honey Ricotta (with bonus competition!)

Strawberry Galette

When I was a kid, I managed to convince myself that I was allergic to strawberries. I’m not entirely why I came to this conclusion – I think it was probably due to me becoming violently ill after greedily eating two punnets of the things at once. Either way, I spent a large portion of my teenage years refusing to touch the things for fear of a repeat performance, adding it to the litany of  food items (including bananas and grated cheese) that I developed bizarre phobias of.

Then I entered adulthood and decided to pull myself together. I’m not entirely sure when I decided I liked strawberries again. I just know that I decided to live dangerously and put a dollop of strawberry jam on my toast one morning and became hooked all over again. I love them in jams, I love them in cakes, and I simply adore them smothered in thick clouds of clotted cream. I love how the sweetness of strawberries plays off against so many other different flavours – the tang of vinegar, the sizzle and pop of pepper, and – as I’ve recently discovered – the punchiness of thyme.

This Strawberry & Thyme Galette is the perfect thing to bake if (like me) you still have a minor phobia of making pies containing soft fruits for fear that they will explode all over your oven, leaving you scrubbing bits of burnt on goo off it for the next six months. The dough comes together in minutes, it’s an absolute cinch to roll out and – joy of joys! – there’s no fiddling about with pie tins. Instead, you merely fold a deliciously scented crust over strawberries which have been macerated in lemon juice and a whole lot of zest. I think that the thyme adds a divine slightly savoury note, but if it’s not your bag, just leave it out. It’s the kind of bake which can stand up to a whole lot of fiddling (I’m already contemplating making a version where the strawberries are macerated in ginger cordial.)

The thing which brings it all together though is the honey ricotta. I’ve become slightly addicted to making my own ricotta at the moment (it’s all part of my five year plan to become the kind of woman who can bench press her own body weight and make her own cheese) and making it will make you feel like a super cool urban milkmaid. Something which I personally feel we need more of.

To celebrate the fact that I managed to make a pie and homemade cheese with no major incident, the nice folks at OXO kitchenwear have provided me with a free strawberry kit to give away to one lucky winner. It contains a strawberry huller, a set of berry bowls for all your Summer baking needs, and two punnets of strawberries from Berry World. They’ll also stick you in a prize draw to win a year’s supply of strawberries. Pretty sweet, huh? To enter, just leave a comment below saying what you’d bake with a punnet of strawberries. You’ve got until 15th July to enter, so good luck!

Strawberry Galette with Thyme Crust (Slice and jar)



Inspired by Food 52

You will need:

For the thyme pastry

  • 300g plain flour (plus extra for rolling)
  • 150g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme (add 1/2 tsp more if you are using fresh)
  • 2 tbsps demerara sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 50ml ice-cold water
  • 1 egg, beaten, for glazing the crust

For the strawberry filling

  • 1 punnet of strawberries
  • 35g demerara sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp cornflour

For the honey ricotta

  • 2 pints full fat milk
  • 2 tbsps lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp good quality honey
  • You will also need a jam thermometer and some cheesecloth for straining (although you could probably use a clean tea towel for this at a pinch)

Make It!

  1. Preheat oven to 200° C/Gas Mark 6
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients. Rub the cubed butter in with your fingers until fully combined, and the butter has broken down into pea-sized pieces. (alternatively, if you have a food processor, just blitz the ingredients in this.) SLOWLY add the ice water until the dough JUST begins to come together. Turn the crust mixture out onto some clingfilm, wrap it up and flatten it into a disk. Refrigerate for 10 minutes while you prepare the strawberries.
  3. Hull and slice the strawberries, before combining them with the sugar, flour and cornflour. Add the juice and zest of the lemon and mix well (you’ll see the strawberries beginning to break down slightly, but they will be OK so long as you use them right away.)
  4. Lay a piece of baking paper which is just large enough to cover a baking sheet onto a flat surface. Remove the chilled dough from your fridge and unwrap it on this. Dust with flour, and roll it out until it is the thickness of your index finger. Spoon the strawberry filling into the centre of the crust, and spread it out, taking care to leave a 2-inch border.
  5. Carefully fold the crust border over the filling (don’t worry about making it look pretty, you want this to look a bit haphazard!) Brush the crust with beaten egg, and sprinkle well with the leftover demerara sugar.
  6. CAREFULLY slide the galette, still on the baking paper, onto your baking sheet. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and leave to cool for ten minutes.
  7. While the galette is baking, make your ricotta following this method from The Kitchn. You only need to drain the ricotta for ten minutes, as you want it to be quite soft and fluffy. Once drained, add the honey and leave to one side until the galette is baked.
  8. Once the galette is cool, serve immediately with a large blob of the honey ricotta. Both the ricotta and the galette should keep for around five days.





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Cheddar & Herb Breakfast Muffins

I’m not really a breakfast person. The thought of scarfing down a bowl of cold soggy Cornflakes with my morning coffee fills me with dread, our Toaster has a horrible habit of trapping my homemade bread inside it and setting it on fire (leaving my house smelling of cinders and death), and whilst porridge is tasty, whenever I eat it, I’m always hungry by mid morning. Usually, I’m forced to grab an Apple and a Muller Lite from the canteen at my workplace or scoff the previous night’s leftovers. Have you ever tried eating Hot and Sour Aubergines at 7.30am? I really don’t recommend it.

However, I have a Mother who used to impress the importance of a good breakfast upon me each and every day before I left for school. In her eyes, a cup of tea and a pack of Spearmint TicTacs didn’t provide a growing teenage girl with all the nourishment she needed to go forth and prosper in the big bad world. And whilst I (foolishly) have gone against most of her advice in my 28 years on this earth (Mum, if you’re reading this, sorry about the whole ‘smoking’ thing), her wise words about breakfast still rattle around my brain each and every time I contemplate leaving for work with only a cup of tea in my stomach.

These Cheddar and Herb Breakfast Muffins are my attempt to solve that whole ‘what shall I have for breakfast this morning?’ conundrum. Filled with cubes of deliciously melty, oozing cheddar and most of the dried herbs I had stored away in my cupboard, they’re filling without being too stodgy. All you need to do is break them in half, add a smear of butter to their innards and you’re away. Best of all, being portable, they’re the perfect handheld snack to stuff into your gob whilst you’re skidding around in the snow.  I imagine they’d work equally well when paired with a bowl of soup, but to tell you the truth, these smelled so delicious when they came out of the oven that I ate two of them in one gulp and had to hide the others so I have them for breakfast tomorrow. After all, I believe in delayed gratification…and these are definitely muffins worth waiting until morning for.

You can use both dried and fresh herbs for this recipe. If you use fresh then use maybe 1/2 teaspoon more of the herbs.

You will need:

  • 240g plain flour
  • 240g cubed cheddar (I used a relatively strong cheddar in my muffins, but like many things in life, your mileage may vary)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon oregano, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium egg
  • 80ml buttermilk (Not sure how to make Buttermilk? Follow this handy guide!)
  • 60ml olive oil

Make It!

  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5/200 degrees C. Line a muffin tray with paper cups, or alternatively, spray the innards with some spray oil.
  2. Whisk together the flour, Cheddar, sugar, thyme, rosemary, basil, salt and baking powder. In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk, oil, and egg. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture. Mix together until gloppy and all ingredients have just come together.
  3. Spoon into baking cups and bake for 20-22 minutes. (Be careful when you’re putting these into the oven, and don’t burn your hand on the grill filament like I did. OUCH OUCH OUCH). Cool in pan on a wire rack for a minute or two. Serve immediately.
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