SLICE OF CHERRY PIE by Julia Parsons
order a copy of A Slice of Cherry Pie <click
debut book from one of UK's finest food bloggers. With the
internationally acclaimed successes of blog to book to big
screen of Julie and Julia and, before that, Clotilde
Dusoulier's Chocolate and Zucchini (the original food
blog to be published as an international best seller) comes
A Slice of Cherry Pie.
The first major food blog to book from this side of the
Atlantic. It is a faithful reworking of all the elements of
a blog which have brought Julia a large and loyal following.
Her writing interweaves food with beautifully composed evocations
of the places, people and memories which inform her recipe
creations: a mix of modern rustic dishes inspired and inflected
by a love of eating and sharing.
A stunning backdrop of arresting food photography from Cristian
Barnett and assemblies of text montages, family snapshots
and the author's own photographs provide a perfectly balanced
visual echo to an assured and passionate voice. A book which
promises to be the first of many from a gifted new food writer,
eagerly awaited by thousands of followers all over the world.
Julia Parsons has gone from occasional recipe blogger to
a critically acclaimed food blogger and founder of the UK
Food Blogger's Association, and subsequently the spokesperson
and central figure of the UK food blogging scene. Her recipes
and writing have been published in newspapers and periodicals,
including The Times and The Guardian.
book is split into sections with the eight main ones being:
After the long, cold winter everything comes alive again
in the spring, slowly at first, waking leisurely, and gently
stretching outwards, then bursting into full bloom as the
weeks progress. Those first . . .
When I look back at my childhood many of my happiest
memories are of the summertime: playing outside all afternoon
and into the early evening; blackberry picking with my mum
and my sister; lying on freshly cut grass making daisy chains.
Perhaps that's . . .
I love to eat al fresco, whether lazily snacking at a
picnic, enjoying burgers with friends at a barbecue or simply
eating hot, salty chips straight from the wrapper as I walk
home. The great outdoors seems . . .
and ice cream
I love seafood, and shellfish in particular is on of
my favourite things in the world to eat. It always feels
like such a treat to me, perhaps because . . .
and tea roses
Food is best when shared. Much of the pleasure of cooking
is in making meals for other people, and gathering friends
around the table and enjoying good food and flowing wine
is one of the greatest joys in life. When you invite friends
for lunch or dinner . . .
Autumn is a wonderful time of year, full of visual and
culinary opulence. As much as I love summer, I welcome the
change autumn brings and the fresher air after long, hot,
sultry days. I look forward to . . .
smoke and roasts
Winter weekends are made for roast dinners, hearty dishes
and long slow cooking; the kind of of food that welcomes
you home after a long working week and warms you up from
the inside out. When you don't have to . . .
Toward the end of October the clocks go back, signalling
the transition into winter, and as the weeks move on the
nights get colder and darker. For me, the descent of winter
always seems to . . .
book comes across as being personal to its author rather than
something mass produce for the book market. This comes across
in the imagery - as expected that are mouth watering images
of the different dishes but the book is also illustrated with
photographs from the author's childhood.
As the title, A Slice of Cherry Pie, suggests there
is a recipe for Cherry Pie but for that you will need to buy
"To be perfectly honest I'm not sure that any cherry
pie can live up to the one in my head: the one with crumbly
pastry and glossy, jammy cherries bursting with deep flavour
. . . "
BAKED SEA BASS WITH SPINACH AND SAUTEED POTATOES
bass is my favourite of all fish and I like to cook it very
simply to allow its beautiful flavour to shine through. A
few slices of lemon and a bay leaf is all that it needs. Cooking
bass - any fish, in fact - in a foil parcel, as here, allows
it to steam gently leaving the flesh deliciously succulent.
I like to serve spinach with the bass and perhaps a few
sautéed potatoes or boiled new potatoes..
1 whole sea bass, approximately 1 kg, cleaned, scaled and
1 lemon, thickly sliced
1 bay leaf
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the sauteed potatoes:
2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced approximately 1 cm thick
For the spinach:
a knob of butter
How to make
the oven to 200°C/ fan 180°C/gas mark 6.
the cavity of the bass with lemon slices and a bay leaf
and season it all over. Fold a 100cm long piece of foil
in half widthways. Lay the fish on the double-folded foil
and bring the ends up together to form a loosely wrapped
parcel. Place the foil-wrapped fish onto a baking tray.
Bake the bass for about 30 minutes, or until cooked through.
When the fish is cooked the flesh should be opaque and easily
come away from the bone.
a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the potato
slices. Boil the slices for about 5 minutes, until they're
almost, but not completely, cooked through and then drain
them immediately, so that they don't break up in the water.
some olive oil into a large frying pan and heat it over
a high heat. Season the cooked potato slices then add a
single layer of potatoes to the pan (you will probably need
to do this in two batches). Sauté the potatoes, turning
halfway through, until golden on both sides. If cooking
in batches, keep the first half hot in the oven while you
cook the remaining slices and then pop them in the oven
cook the spinach, melt the butter over a medium heat, in
the same pan the potatoes were cooked in, add the spinach
and sauté it fora few minutes until it wilts. Squeeze
the excess liquid out of the spinach and season it. To serve,
place the fish, spinach and potoes on a plate and serve
SLOW ROASTED BELLY OF PORK
of pork has become quite fashionable in recent years, finding
itself on the menus of London's top restaurants, and yet it's
a homely dish through and through; there's nothing fancy about
it, nothing artful to be done with it, it's just simple, wholesome
food. Like most of the cheaper, fattier cuts of meat, pork
belly is an incredibly flavoursome cut of meat and when cooked
slowly it's meltingly tender. Don't worry too much about the
fat; most of it cooks away and what's left just adds to the
There are two elements to the way I cook this dish: first
the dry skin and high heat for crispy crackling and secondly
stock to create tender meat. Although the stock creates some
steam, as the heat is fairly low and the skin has already
had a chance to crisp up in the hot oven the crackling isn't
too affected. But if you find it isn't as crisp as you'd like
it at the end of the cooking time simply cut it away from
the pork and put it back in the oven at full whack to really
crisp it up.
1 piece of belly pork, approximately 1.5kg
800ml chicken stock
1 large onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
3 or 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
steamed cabbage and mashed potato, to serve
How to make
the oven to 230°C/ fan 210°C/gas mark 8.
the skin of the pork with a sharp knife or, preferably,
get your butcher to do it for you. Pat the skin dry with
kitchen paper then rub it with sea salt. Put the pork into
a roasting tin and into the oven.
30 minutes remove any fat from the roasting tin and pour
the chicken stock around the pork, making sure it doesn't
touch the skin as that needs to stay dry.
the onion, garlic cloves, celery and carrots to the tin
along with the herbs. Make sure the herbs are fully immersed
in the stock otherwise they'll just dry out in the oven.
the oven temperature to 150°C/fan 130°C/gas mark
2 and cook the pork fora further 21/2 hours by which time
it should be very tender. You shouldn't need to top up the
stock during the cooking time but check it once or twice
and if it does run low top it up with a little more stock
the cracking isn't as crispy as you would like at the end
of the cooking time carefully cut it away from the pork,
turn the heat back up to 230°C/fan 210°C/gas mark
8 and put the crackling back into the oven to crisp it up.
any excess fat off the juices and serve them with the pork.
If they're too thin for your liking put the roasting tin
on the hob, bring them up to the boil and simmer them to
reduce them down a little.
pork is great served with simply steamed cabbage and mashed
potato to soak up all the juices.
of pork is, as you would expect, cut from the underside
of the pig and it's the cut used to make streaky bacon and
Italian pancetta. It's also the cut that spare ribs comes
from. It is a fatty cut but when you roast it slowly over
a few hours most of the fat renders away leaving you with
wonderfully succulent and flavoursome meat.
Serves 4 - 6
individual cheesecakes are so easy to make and great for a
dinner party. Make them well in advance to give them time
to chill and firm up in the fridge.
The amount of sugar you'll need in the filling will depend
on the type of cream cheese you use and, of course, your own
preference, so mix in a little, taste it then add more as
For the base:
75g digestive biscuits
For the filling:
300g full fat cream cheese
icing sugar, to taste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a squeeze of lemon juice, to taste (optional)
For the topping:
60g caster sugar
How to make
can make the cheesecakes in 9cm ramekins or using 9cm metal
ring moulds. If you're using ramekins, line them completely
with foil, letting it over extend the top so you can easily
pull the cheesecakes out.
the biscuits in a plastic food bag and crush them with a
rolling pin until they form even-sized crumbs. Place the
butter in a medium pan and heat it gently until melted.
Stir the crumbs into the melted butter. Place the metal
rings or ramekins onto serving plates then press a quarter
of the biscuit mixture into each. Set aside to cool in the
the cream cheese and vanilla extract in a medium bowl and
mix them together until smooth. Add a tablespoon of icing
sugar at a thee, mixing well, until the filling is sweet
enough for your taste. Stir in a squeeze of lemon juice,
if liked. Spoon the mixture over the bases in the rings
or ramekins and smooth over the tops. Chill in the fridge
for at least 4 hours.
the filling is setting, make the topping. Gently heat the
blueberries and sugar together in a small pan, for about
15 minutes, swirling the pan now and again, until the blueberries
start to break down and the sugar completely dissolves.
Allow the mixture to cool and refrigerate it until you're
ready to serve the cheesecakes.
the cheesecakes are set and you are ready to serve them,
if you've used ramekins simply pull the foil away from the
sides of each cheesecake and transfer to a plate using a
metal fish slice. If you've used metal rings use a blowtorch
to heat the moulds a little, to make them easier to slide
off or, if you haven't got a blowtorch, wrap a hot cloth
around them for a minute. Spoon the blueberry topping over
the cheesecakes just before serving.
order a copy of A Slice of Cherry Pie <click
10 December 2010
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