One of the excellently interesting things about cooking day in, day out, is how recipes start to become familiar, the patterns of food and the way ingredients go together start to emerge from a seemingly random universe of recipes.
One of these 'ah' moments came when I realised that the process of making pastry is the same as whipping up a crumble, or making a number of biscuit recipes. And any recipe that involves rubbing butter into flour can be whizzed up in a minute in the food processor. When you make these connections, you have routines, and when you have routines, producing food day in, day out becomes a much simpler process.
A routine that I follow about once a fortnight is this: make two quiches, one to freeze, then make two batches of ginger biscuits, also one to freeze, and do this all using the food processor. The recipe for shortcrust pastry is so simple - a 2:1 ratio of flour to butter. I use 260 grams flour to 130 grams butter for two quiches, which I make in 20cm cake tins. Tip flour, butter, and a pinch of salt into the food processor, whiz it up. With the motor running, add 1/3 cup cold water until the mixture forms a big, clumpy ball. Shape pastry into a ball, refrigerate it for 15mins or so. Roll it out - I just do this straight on the bench, and line the tins.
My quiche filling recipe comes from Stephanie Alexander's Cook's Companion. Best recipe book ever. Two quiches require four egg yolks, and four whole eggs, whisked up with two cups of cream, a pinch of nutmeg, salt, pepper. Grate a bunch of cheddar cheese and put in the bottom of the pastry case, along with whatever other fillings you can find. I am currently using lots of greens from the garden. Tip in the egg mixture. Pop in the oven at 200C for fifteen minutes, then 180C for half an hour. Num, num. Even better next day for lunch.
Now don't wash up the food processor just yet, as we are about to make ginger biscuits. This recipe was from a library book on traditional English dishes, these are from Cornwall, traditional except for the method, which probably didn't originally include the use of a food processor.
(I use metric and imperial measures when cooking, as my scales show both, and I am lazy)
I double this recipe, because what is the point of making one tray of biscuits?
Throw all of this in the food processor, whiz it up.
Add 3 tablespoons of warmed golden syrup while the motor is running until the mixture firms up to a consistency that you could make balls out of it. I sometimes need to add a little water.
Shape into small balls, flatten with fork, bake at 190C for 10 mins after the quiches come out. Cool on racks.
Try to save some for the next day...
Now, if you are feeling enthusiastic, you can whip up some macaroons from the four left over egg whites. Or persuade someone else to..
Tired, but determinedly cheerful mother of four. One grown up son (The Boy), one grown up daughter (The Girl), two girls at home, Rosy (16) and Posy (11). Trying to buy a little less, make a little more, live a little lighter, not mess up the children too much..