You blind-bake a tart or pastry shell first when you are going to fill it so that the pastry shell doesn’t become soggy. The tart shells can be baked in advance and frozen.
Italian flatbread, or La Piadina as it is known in Italy, is a simple plain bread made from flour and lard. We learnt to make them in Tuscany but they make them all over Italy.
A traditional Irish brown wheaten bread is a staple at the Irish table. You can modernise it by adding nuts, wheatgerm and even honey if you wish, but we think it’s just a fabulous bread when eaten warm with a knob of Irish butter and some home-made fruit jam.
An excellent savoury pastry for a pie or a tart, this pastry works out every time for us. The trick is to add the iced water to the yolk, not to overwork the mixture and to keep everything as cold as possible.
Shortbread should be buttery and so ‘short’ that it almost makes your teeth chatter!
These muffins are light and fluffy because the coconut lightens the mixture. You can make them in tiny cups or tins or in larger cases. They take 4 minutes to put together, and between 15-25 minutes to bake depending on the size you make. When we made them in the test kitchen, we ate half of them with spoons straight out of the tins when they were hot (not advised) but they were so delicious, we couldn’t leave them.
We adapted this scone or biscuit from a recipe in the The Zuni Cafe Cookbook: A Compendium of Recipes and Cooking Lessons from San Francisco’s Beloved Restaurant by the late Judy Rogers. Despite having thousands of cookbooks, it remains one of our favourites.