Chefs' specials - The last of the Phoenicians

Related tags Cream Custard Butter

This recipe is from chef Phillip Burgess at the Dartmoor Inn in Lydford, Devon. For the custard filling he adds West Country saffron - its early...

This recipe is from chef Phillip Burgess at the Dartmoor Inn in Lydford, Devon. For the custard filling he adds West Country saffron - its early origins have been linked to the 13th-century Phoenician tin trade.

Bramley apple custard and honey tart​ Serves 4-6


For the pastry​ 225g/8oz plain flour 50g/13/4oz caster sugar 125g/41/4oz unsalted butter -slightly softened 1 medium whole egg 1 medium egg yolk

For the filling​ 2 large Bramley apples Caster sugar - to taste 1 large Cox's apple 20g/3/4oz unsalted butter 4 medium egg yolks 1 medium whole egg 1 tbsp clear honey 600ml/22fl oz double cream Pinch of saffron threads (optional)

To serve​ 1 large Cox's apple Icing sugarA little whipped cream

Method:​ Rub the flour, sugar and butter together gently with your finger tips until it resembles breadcrumbs (or whiz in a food processor). Lightly beat the whole egg and pour it onto the flour mix. Stir in with a spoon, then bring everything together with your hands to form a dough. Rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F /gas mark 4. Lightly grease a 20cm (8inch) loose-bottomed tart tin. Roll out the pastry into a circle 3mm (1/8 inch) thick and 5 to 7.5cm (2 to 3 inches) wider than the tin. Line the tin, gently easing the pastry down into the corners. Leave 2.5cm (1 inch) pastry overhanging the edge.

Chill for 10 minutes. Place a baking sheet in the oven, on the middle shelf. Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill with dried beans or rice. Put the tin onto the preheated baking sheet and bake for eight minutes. Remove the paper with the beans and bake the pastry case for a further five minutes, so the pastry no longer looks glassy. Carefully trim off the overhanging pastry edge level with the top of the tin, then brush the inside of the case with the egg yolk to seal the pastry. Put the pastry case back into the oven for a further three minutes to cook the yolk, then remove from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3. Peel, core and roughly slice the Bramleys. Place in a pan with 1 tbsp water. Cook over a medium heat for five to 10 minutes, until soft. Sweeten with sugar to taste and beat to a purée. Peel and core the Cox's apple, and cut it into neat 6mm (1/4 inch) slices.

Fry gently in the unsalted butter until softened and lightly coloured. Place the apple purée in the bottom of the pastry case and overlap the apple slices on top. In a bowl, beat together the four egg yolks, one whole egg and honey. Place the cream and saffron (if using) in a small pan and bring to the boil. When boiling, whisk the cream into the egg mix, beating all the time. Pour into the pastry case, over the apple, and bake for 20 minutes, until the mixture has set and is golden brown. If you want to garnish with caramelised apple, peel and core the Cox's apple and cut it into half-moon shaped slices, 3cm (11/4 inch) thick. Sprinkle with icing sugar and toast under a hot grill until caramelised. Serve the tart warm with a few pieces of caramelised apple and a dollop of cream on each slice.

Get more than a hint of mint

This recipe is the work of Steve Reynolds, chef-owner at the Stagg, near Titley, Herefordshire - the first pub in Britain to get a Michelin star.

Seared Scallops with Pea Purée, Crispy Bacon and Mint Oil​Serves 6

Steve has put his signature on this dish with the mint oil. You must use the oil on the same day it's made or the mint will discolour.


For the pea purée​ 225g/8oz English garden peas, shelled weight 4 leaves of mint Salt and pepper 55g/2oz unsalted butter For the scallops 6 slices good quality streaky bacon - rind removed and cut into thirds 18 large king scallops (preferably Cornish) - with muscle and roe removed Maldon sea salt Mild olive oil, for frying For the mint oil​ 100ml/31/2fl oz mild olive oil 3 large sprigs mint, stems removed 1/4 tsp caster sugar For the honey vinaigrette​ 100ml/31/2fl oz light olive oil 1 tbsp white wine vinegar 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp runny honey To serve​ Salad leaves such as frisée or lamb's lettuce

Method:​ To make the mint oil, put all ingredients in a blender and whiz. Chill for two hours to develop flavour, then strain. Cook the peas with the mint in salted, boiling water until just tender but not soft. Drain and refresh in very cold water. Purée the peas in a blender until very smooth, or push through a sieve. Grill the bacon, put it on kitchen paper and keep warm. Heat two large frying pans until very hot but not smoking. Season the scallops on both sides with sea salt. Add 15ml (1tbsp) mild olive oil to each pan and then put in the scallops. They should sizzle.

Cook each scallop for 45 seconds on each side, then remove from the pan and keep somewhere warm. Whisk all the honey vinaigrette ingredients together. Divide the pea purée between six warmed plates and place three pieces of bacon across each portion. Arrange three scallops around the purée and drizzle with the mint oil. Put some salad leaves dressed with honey vinaigrette on top.

The English pud that's as easy as pie

This English pudding is on offer at the Drewe Arms in Broadhembury, Devon, and is made by owner Kerstein Burge's husband Nigel.

Lemon Posset​ Serves 6

Ingredients:​ 500ml/18fl oz double cream 140g/5oz caster sugar Juice of 2 large lemons To serve​ Grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

Method:​ Put the double cream in a large pan and stir in the sugar. Bring slowly to the boil. Boil for precisely three minutes, then remove from the heat. Add the lemon juice and whisk well. Pour into six tall serving glasses. Refridgerate for three hours, then sprinkle a little lemon zest on each one before serving.

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