Friday morning

Flan case ready for the oven with its very expensive baking beans

The finished article which I must tell you, if you like crab, then you must make this tart, it is truly delicious and served with a green salad would grace the tables of the finest restaurant. recipe at the end of this blog

Using money as baking beans is an inspired idea and really helps to cook the base and keep it crisp. I now have a jar in the middle of the table and every one is asked to donate any 1p coins to the baking bean jar. I also used a thermometer to judge when the custard was ready and as soon as it reached 70C it was out of the oven and left to set at room temperature.  As it turned out I had crab meat left over so I also have a pot of Cornish cream of crab soup as well.  For dinner I made some prawn cocktails which is a real blast from the past and as I didn't have any mayonnaise I had to start from scratch with the Marie rose sauce.  We followed this with a cube of belly pork that had been cooked in the sous vide and was then blasted in the halogen oven until the crackling was really crisp.  This was served with some buttered spring greens, what a feast!!!!

You will be delighted to know that I also got on and did a cupboard so the score is now 15/26 and I also did the ironing.  I am sorry that my advertisement for a slave fell on deaf ears I felt sure I would be inundated with applicants.  I guess I will have to muddle along alone as usual!!!!

Today, we are having an outing as far as the gun smith as I need to buy some more cartridges and this time I must remember to take my shot gun licence with me or they will not sell me any.  Twice I have made the 20 mile trip and forgotten my licence and had to come home empty handed so I will not make it a third time.  We are picking up Len and Margaret en route and then stopping off at our favourite pub for lunch on the way home.  Supper will be the crab soup and bread and butter.

Mike took half my knives to the butcher for sharpening and of course came home with some meat in the form of ox cheeks.  These have been put in the slow cooker along with a can of Mackeson stout and an onion, once cooked and de greased it will be either a stew with dumplings or a pie of some sort.

Now keep this under your hat.  I have booked the three dogs in to have their day of torture at the dog grooming school late in February but I don't want them to know or I feel sure they will leave home!!!!  By then the hunting season is over so Basso can look nice again and his heavy working coat can be jettisoned.  Sadly for him clippers are not allowed as they make his coat woolly so it just has to be pulled out by hand.  He hates being groomed at the best of times so this is a real trauma for him.  You are safe to comment as his reading and computer skills are limited.

OK onward and upward more cleaning and with any luck I will have the kitchen done by February and then I can start on the rest of the house and in the spring I can do the sheds.  Are you sure you don't want to come and help!!!!

Recipe for crab and leek tart [Hairy Bikers]

Crab and leek tart

Crab is the quintessential taste of the British shoreline and partners perfectly with leek in this tempting tart recipe.


For the pastry
For the filling

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  2. For the pastry, pulse the flours and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. With the motor running, add the egg in a thin stream and blend until the mixture begins to form a ball.
  3. Roll the pastry into a circle on a floured work surface and use it to line a 23cm/9in loose-based fluted tart tin. Press the pastry with your fingertips firmly into the base and sides. Trim any excess pastry and lightly prick the base of the tart using a fork. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

  4. Line the pastry with a large sheet of crumpled baking parchment and half fill with baking beans. Bake the tart case for 25 minutes. Remove the beans and return the tart to the oven for a further 5-10 minutes or until the surface is dry and beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven to 160C/300F/Gas 4.
  5. For the filling, melt the butter in a large heavy-based frying pan over a low heat. Add the leeks and fry gently for 2-3 minutes, stirring until just softened. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  6. Put the eggs in a large jug and beat lightly with a whisk. Stir in the crème fraîche, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Beat together with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined. Stir in the brown crab meat.
  7. Scatter the leeks over the pastry case and dot the white crab meat around them. Pour over the crème friache mixture and sprinkle with the cheese. Cook on the baking tray for 25 minutes, or until the filling is golden-brown and just set. (It should still wobble a tiny bit in the centre as it will continue to set as it cools.)
  8. Remove the quiche from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before removing.
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