Food is such a key component to our down time and nobody knows this better than Catherine Hill. In her new cookery book The Weekend Cookbook she shows us how to strike that elusive perfect balance between stove and social time with more than a few mouthwatering recipes, all of which can be made in a few small steps. Here’s a little taster of what the book has to offer
Pear and Vanilla Tarte Tatin
A very simple but truly stunning pudding that needs nothing more than a scoop of ice-cream or a spoonful of cool crème fraiche. Serves 6/Ready in 45 minutes.
75g butter, chopped
75g caster sugar
6 Williams pears, peeled and cored
1 vanilla pod, split
350g ready-made, ready-rolled shortcrust pastry
Preheat the oven to gas 6/200 C/180 C fan. Dot the butter over the base 25cm ovenproof frying pan and sprinkle the sugar over the top. Cut the pears into thick wedges and arrange on top of the sugar, nudging the vanilla pod in between.
Gently heat the butter and sugar over a low heat. After about 10 minutes the butter and the sugar should be nicely liquid. Turn up the heat a little and cook for 15 minutes until lovely and caramelized – shake the pan every now and then. Remove from the heat.
Cut a 25 cm circle out of the pastry and carefully place on top of the pears. Tuck the edges down the side of the pears to encase them completely. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden. Very carefully turn out onto a serving plate and serve hot with ice-cream or crème fraiche.
If you fancy a more traditional Tatin, try using crisp eating apples instead of pears. Around 8 peeled and cored Cox’s should do it.
‘If you want to make a truly fabulous Tatin, there’s no getting away from it – you’ve got to be brave and cook the buttery mixture until it is really well caramelized. And don’t take your eyes off it as it can burn in the blink of an eye!’
The Weekend Cookbook is published by Penguin Books