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Baking – Traditional

Fruit Scones ( makes 4 large ones)

Strong flour450g / 1lb 
Caster sugar80g / 3oz
Butter at room temp80g / 3 oz
Mixed dried fruit50g / 2 oz
Milk250ml / 8.5fl oz
Extra flour dustingLittle
Dried fruit50g / 2oz
Baking powder5 teaspoons

Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and add the butter. Rub lightly until the mixture looks crumbly. Add the sugar, 2 eggs and baking powder and turn gently with a wooden spoon. Add half the milk, turning gently. Add the remaining milk a  little at a time to form a dough. Turn it out on to a lightly floured working surface. Now roll it out very lightly to a round at least 2.5cm/1in thick, then cut the scones out by placing the cutter on the dough and giving it a sharp tap. Don’t twist the cutter, just push the dough out, then carry on until you are left only with trimmings – roll these and cut an extra scone.  Place the scones on the lightly greased baking sheet and leave to rest for a few minutes. Beat the remaining egg to make a glaze and brush the scones. Bake them in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes or until they are well risen and golden brown.

French Apple Tart

Golden Delicious Apples 1
Caster sugar75g
Puff pastry100g
Double cream1 tablespoon
Vanilla podsHalf

Peel, core and slice the apple.  Roll out the pastry to 5mm thick and with a saucer cut out a circle, place on a baking tray.  In a saucepan heat the juice of half a lemon, the vanilla, the sugar and the butter until dissolved.  Add the sliced apples and simmer for 1 minute.  Cool. Arrange the apples on the pastry and bake in a very hot oven until apples are caramelised.

Bakewell Tart

Plain flour150g / 6oz
butter230g/ 9oz
water3 tablespoons
Raspberry jam2 tablespoons
Caster sugar150g / 6oz
Almonds ground150g / 6oz
Almonds flaked2 tablespoons

Zest the lemon. Cube 3oz of butter. For the filling – separate one of the eggs. Add that yolk to the 3 other eggs and beat. Lightly beat the remaining egg white.

Place the flour and 3oz butter and salt in a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips. Add the water and stir. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for 15-30 minutes. Roll out pastry to 1/4in/5mm thick. Grease a 8in/20cm deep tin and line with the pastry. Prick the base with a fork. Chill for 15 minutes. Bake blind for 15 minutes at 325 C/ Gas Mark 3. Remove the beans, brush inside the pastry with egg white and bake for a further 5 minutes. Spread the jam on the base and leave to cool. Cream together the remaining butter and sugar. Add the egg mix a little at a time. Fold in the ground almonds and lemon zest. Pour into case and level out. Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the flaked almonds on top and bake for a further 20 minutes.  

Victoria Sandwich

Butter or Margarine110g / 4 oz
Caster sugar110g / 4 oz
Eggs2 medium
Self raising flour110g / 4 oz

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line 2x18cm/7in cake tins with baking parchment. Use a hand mixer to cream the butter and the sugar together until pale. Beat in the eggs. Sift over the flour and fold in using a large metal spoon. The mixture should be of a dropping consistency – if it isn’t, add a little milk. Divide the mixture between the cake tins and gently spread out with a spatula. Bake for 20-25 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before turning on to a wire rack to cool.

Sandwich the cakes together with jam, whipped cream and berries.


Author: Brian Hannan

I am a published author of books about film - over a dozen to my name, the latest being "When Women Ruled Hollywood." As the title of the blog suggests, this is a site devoted to movies of the 1960s but since I go to the movies twice a week - an old-fashioned double-bill of my own choosing - I might occasionally slip in a review of a contemporary picture.

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