Vegetarian guests? This individual puff pastry pie makes the perfect, stress-free offering
- 3 carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthways, or about 10 baby carrots left whole
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 15 x 12cm rectangle of all-butter puff pastry from a 320g roll
- 1 banana shallot or 2 normal shallots, very finely diced
- small knob of butter
- 140g chestnut mushroom, very finely chopped
- 1 tbsp chopped roasted hazelnut, plus a little extra to garnish
- 3 tbsp low-fat cream cheese
- a few tarragon leaves, chopped, plus a few leaves to garnish
MethodPop the carrots in a pan of boiling water and cook for 4-5 mins until tender. Spread the carrots out in one layer on a baking tray. Carefully toss with olive oil, seasoning and half the maple syrup. Bake for 20 mins, turning once.
- 280g bag green bean, stem end trimmed
- 3 large oranges
- 250g pack cooked beetroot (not in vinegar), cut into slim wedges
- 100g toasted hazelnut, roughly chopped
- 150g bag baby spinach leaves
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp clear honey
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Cook the beans in boiling water for 2 mins, drain and run under cool water until cold, then drain well – they should still have a nice crunch. Using a sharp knife, remove the peel, then segment the oranges. Squeeze the juice from the pith into a small jam jar.
- Layer the orange segments, beetroot, beans, hazelnuts and finally the spinach into a large plastic food container ready for the picnic – this way the spinach won’t go soggy.
- Add the remaining ingredients for the dressing to the jam jar with some seasoning, seal and pack into your salad box. When you’re ready to serve, toss the salad and dressing together.
- 500g pack marzipan
- 1 x 23cm round tart case- ready-made or bake your own with bought shortcrust pastry
- 600ml pot double cream
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 2 tsp rose water
- 5 small meringues nests, crushed
- 600g mixed berry (we used raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and cherries)
- 50g toasted flaked almond
- Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Roll out the marzipan to a circle roughly 21cm in diameter – use a plate as a template to cut around. Lay the marzipan circle in the centre of the tart case, then put in the oven and bake for 5 mins. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.
- Tip the double cream, icing sugar and rose water into a bowl. Whisk until the cream just holds its shape, then stir through the crushed meringue. Drop some of the berries into the bottom of the tart case. Pile over the cream mixture, then top with the remaining berries and flaked almonds. Serve straight away.
- 2 x 7g sachets fast-action dried yeast
- 600g '00' flour, sponge flour or plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 50g golden caster sugar
- 400ml warm milk
- 50g melted salted butter, plus extra for greasing and to serve
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 200g jar Nutella, plus extra to serve (optional)
- 200g raspberries
- 1-2 tbsp chopped hazelnut
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- raspberry jam, to serve
- Up to 3 days before you want to bake (and best if at least 1 day), mix the yeast, 400g of the flour, the sugar and 1 tsp salt in a big bowl. Whisk together the milk, melted butter and egg, then tip into the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon. Cover tightly with greased cling film and chill at least overnight or up to 3 days.
- When you’re ready to finish the bread, heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Add the remaining flour to the dough and use your hands to mix in. Tip onto a lightly floured surface and lightly knead to completely bring together. Roll out with a little more flour to a 50 x 30cm rectangle. Spread the Nutella all over the dough. Scatter the raspberries evenly over, then press lightly with your hands so they stick into the dough a bit.
- With a long side facing you, roll up as tightly as you can (like a Swiss roll). Use a sharp knife, dusted with a little flour, to cut the roll in half down the length – but not quite through at one end, so the 2 strips are still joined. Twist the 2 strips together, then bring the ends together to make a wreath, pinching the ends together to stick. Lift onto a baking sheet, scatter with the hazelnuts and granulated sugar, and bake for 30-40 mins until browned and crusty.
- Cool until just warm. Serve with butter, raspberry jam and extra Nutella, if you like.