As I type it’s now a very wet and rainy September morning. Most of the country’s children have gone back to school. I’m a supply teacher in my day job, which I love but as there’s no work around at the beginning of term I’m finally managing to catch up on my very neglected blog.
It seems ages ago now we’re back into school mode. Well in our house I have my older one back off to uni today. She’s driving down in her car for the first time and my younger one doesn’t start back at college until next week. Time flies and before we know it we’ll be mentioning the dreaded “C” word!! But for now I’ll still think about summer and our holiday.
When we were on holiday in the south of France a couple of weeks back we did a lot of our food shopping in the local Carrefour. I always feel stressed and wound up in supermarkets at home. I reckon it’s because I’m always in a hurry, they move things around and you end up forgetting half the things you came in for in the first place. But in this Carrefour, even though it was a massive “grandes surfaces” it felt like a pleasure to shop there.
Of course wherever I go on holiday I have to search out their baking aisle. I don’t always buy things from the baking aisle but I couldn’t help myself here. The selection of nuts, dried fruits, flavoured baking powders, extracts and the usual cake decorations were amazing. Seeing different flavoured baking powders was a new one on me. I love pistachios so I bought a packet of ground pistachio nuts hoping to use them in a recipe somewhere. Of course when I buy goodies to take home, my family make snide comments about how I’m going to make us go over the baggage allowance. I think we had about 500g spare this time, thank God!
Two days after we got back from France I had invited my lovely Clandestine Cake Club friends over to my house for afternoon tea. It was a great excuse to bake for them so I thought about how I could use my pistachio nuts in a recipe. In the end I plumped for a biscuit recipe which I adapted from a recipe in The Great British Bake Off Everyday” The original recipe was for Coconut Sables.
Makes 20-24 biscuits
160g plain flour
a pinch of salt
75g icing sugar
160g unsalted, cold and diced butter
2 medium free range egg yolks
100g ground or crushed Pistachio nuts (I used Vahine Eclats de Pistaches Torrifiees)
First, put the pistachios, flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl and combine them evenly.
Then add in the cubes of butter, rubbing them in until you get fine bread crumbs.
Next you add the egg yolks to the bowl until the mixture becomes like a ball of dough. I then take the ball of dough out of the bowl and roll it into a disc that’s about 2.5cm thick.
Wrap your dough in some cling film and leave it to chill in the fridge for about half an hour until you are ready to use it. Or if you are like me, you run out of time, leave it longer and then you find it is too hard to manipulate!
When you have the dough out of the fridge, sprinkle a little flour onto your work top and then roll out your dough to the thickness of a pound coin. Cut out circles with a cutter (either plain or fluted) which is 7.5cm in diameter.
Put the biscuits onto greased baking trays and pop in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. Oven temperature: 180oC/ 350oF/ Gas Mark 4. In the original recipe the biscuits should have been pricked with a fork before being baked but I forgot!
I found that once you ate one of these cookies, you didn’t want to stop. So I had to hide them away until my friends came over. I could just imagine eating a massive bowl of pistachio ice cream with one of these little treats.
Afternoon tea at SmartCookieSam’s. It’s also the perfect excuse to use my late mother in law’s china.
Afternoon Tea at SmartCookieSam’s. Don’t look at the creased tablecloth!!
Love Sam xx