Savoury Pies and Pastries

Artichoke Pithivier

Artichoke, olive and preserved lemon ragout

Artichoke halves cooked gently in a tasty wine and cream reduction with olives and preserved lemons.

Traditionally a Pithivier is a French celebration cake for Twelfth Night.  An elaborately decorated  buttery  puff pastry encases a rich almond frangipani. Served warm with glacé fruits and sweet wine it is my idea of heaven. I have a number of recipes including one for a chocolate almond crème filling which I will share  with you in time for Christmas.

More recently the idea of encasing savoury and vegetable fillings has been  adopted  by restaurant chefs and it is quite commonplace to find such dishes as oxtail or game Pithivier on a menu. Some chefs add delicious insult to injury by encasing creamy gratin dauphinoise in rich butter puff paste!   Continue reading


Pissaladiere and Thyme

Oven Ready Pissaladière


Pissaladière is a ‘pizza’ originating in Niece. The base is traditionally made with a bread dough however for ease and time it can also be made with a good quality all butter puff pastry.

A delicious combination of sweet caramelised onions and salted  fish on top of a crisp base of buttery pastry. This dish can be served piping hot directly from the oven, warm or cold.  The combination of salt and the lightness of the dish makes it perfect for summer dining – serve with a simple salad and a glass of cool larger or wine. Beetroot and sun-blush tomato salad

Continue reading

Tomato and Prosciutto Tart


Tomato and prosciutto tart with scattered basil and olives

Tomato and prosciutto tart with scattered basil and olives – ready for the oven.

 This is a simply beautiful tart and what’s more its extremely simple to make.  Buy the best tomatoes that you can, supermarkets and greengrocers carry a fabulous range of tomatoes in all shapes and sizes. I like to use a base layer of large vine tomatoes and then a scattering of pretty and flavoursome small yellow, orange and green vine tomatoes. The tart can be prepared to the cooking stage well in advance.
Continue reading