Spelt Pissaladière with Puff Pastry

Gavin WrenBaking, Recipes, Side dishes, Spelt & ancient grains

A beautiful French tart made with rich, sweet caramelised onions and topped with anchovies and kalamata olives, it's a welcome addition to any meal, picnic or sharing platter. The powerful flavours combine to make a taste sensation like only the French know how, so it's time for you to make room in your oven to bake a spelt Pissaladière!
Twitter brought this blog post to me. Rachel Cousineau at @lovelearncook recently tweeted that she’d just made a Pissaladière and it smelled good. Immediately, my heart was full of love and passion for this beautiful, traditional French tart (the Pissaladière, not Rachel). I needed some. Now. Before I had time to question my motives on that Tuesday afternoon, I was rifling through the cupboard, discovering all the ingredients were present for me to make a beautiful spelt Pissaladière with puff pastry, to consume that day. Sharing it with you, my reader, would be the only right-thinking course of action, so here it is, my beautiful Pissaladière. Caramelised onions. Those words are enough to send my taste buds into a dizzying spiral of salivary excitement. For many years, my go-to Pizza Express choice was a Romana Padana, a delightfully thin pizza topped with goat’s cheese, caramelised onions and mozzarella. It’s just…

Spelt Tarte Tatin with Caramelised Pears and Cinnamon Labneh

Gavin WrenBaking, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains

Crispy, rich, sweet spelt tarte tatin with caramelised pears, vanilla and a sweet cinnamon labneh to top it off. This is a simple dessert which is utterly beautiful and will have your guests in awe at your baking skills. It makes the perfect dessert, afternoon tea or just an indulgent treat to add some sweetness to your life.
This spelt tarte tatin with caramelised pears, vanilla and cinnamon labneh is a pure taste of crispy, layered, puff pastry indulgence. Full of buttery richness and finished with a sweet cinnamon labneh, this is a dessert which I simply can’t get enough of. It’s also simple to make, there’s a tarte tatin in everybody that the Tatin sisters would be proud of, if only you’ll let it out! Lactose Schmactose. I fucked off my lactose intolerance last week with a massive dose of butter, entwined with sugar, flour and the heat of the oven to create this beautiful dessert. Occasionally I can’t handle the burden of my virtuous lifestyle (hah!) and have to stab myself in the foot, or perhaps stomach, and cause some pain with something that will give my digestive system a kicking. Harming myself, regardless of how small the act, is one of the things in life…

Palmiers – The Easiest Baking Recipe in the World

Gavin WrenBaking, Recipes

Home cooked palmiers take a few minutes to prepare, are quick to cook and can be flavoured however you want, be it sweet or savoury, meat or meatfree, cheese or chocolate. Great for kids to play around with and awesome to impress your guests when you whip your home made pastries out of the oven!
Today I’m writing about palmiers, one of the easiest baking recipes in the world and also one of the most versatile, allowing you to play around with sweet and savoury, adding your own flavours and additions as you desire. Great fun for kids to make or impress your guests with home baked pastries that take a few minutes to prepare and will re-assure your position as a domestic god/goddess. Clickbait Woes. I received an e-mail this morning from a well known food website whose headline was ‘Ham & cheese toasties will make your Pinterest dreams come true’. It’s a top-hole clickbait title, delving into the murky depths of deceptive titles, really scraping the barrel. These stupendously elaborate and over-promising titles often lead to articles which manage to massively under-deliver their earlier promises. It’s not uncommon to see titles like ‘This recipe will change your life’, ‘You’ll be the most popular…

Pesto aubergine tart

Gavin WrenBaking, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, Vegetarian

Aubergine pesto tart
By now you’re probably thinking “errr… what’s the deal with this guy and aubergines?”. I’ll admit it, I’m sponsored by aubergines. They called me up from their field based HQ and asked if I could write about them endlessly. In return I get sod all, because they’re a bunch of plants, have no currency nor do they possess suitable ID to open a bank account to store or transfer money. They even asked me for exclusivity rights to break up my talks with the poddington peas about a mutual tie-in. Ok, maybe that’s all fantasy. Maybe. In reality, I just like aubergines, they represent something very summery to me. So on those rare occasions that the weather turns the temperature up slightly, casting sunlight towards us and beaming a gentle, welcoming smile upon our faces, I cook aubergines. I’ve extolled their virtues for quite some time in dishes such as…

Goat’s cheese and raspberry tarts

Gavin WrenBaking, Main Dishes, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, Vegetarian

Goat's cheese and raspberry tart cooked
Just a few days ago I was telling you how great making a simple rough puff pastry is, using spelt flour, and how it’s one of the most simple and rewarding things you can do. And the real treat comes when you cook it, as you can watch the pastry puff it’s cheeks and take on the rich, warm, golden tones that pastry develops in the oven. And it’s extremely versatile. Once you have the base pastry mixed, you can do all sorts of things with it, sweet or savoury, individual tarts or large sharing ones. Also, don’t miss out on the opportunity to get creative and try something of your own with the spare pieces (see the box at the bottom of the page). This tart makes a beautiful summer or autumn recipe, something that’s simple to make yet both visually stunning and amazingly tasty. It’s also a great…

Spelt rough puff pastry

Gavin WrenBaking, Basic Ingredients, Food Techniques, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, Vegetarian

Spelt rough puff pastry ready for oven
Can I tell you a bit of a secret? This recipe got me really excited. Yep, a recipe for plain spelt rough puff pastry and I was over-the-moon excited. It’s not even a recipe that you’d eat on it’s own, it’s just a gateway to other kitchen delights, but for some reason, basic ingredients and techniques get me really excited. A bit like the oven dried tomatoes that were the subject of my first published recipe on this site. In that instance I turned a load of regular tomatoes into rich, sweet, nuggets of concentrated flavour by doing something pretty damn simple. And here’s that excitement again, but with baking there is something slightly magical about the metamorphosis that occurs. It seems so transformational, to take a few simple, pale ingredients like flour, water and butter, combine them, add heat, and the end result is a rich, flaky, crispy morsel…