Get the technique right - see our How to Cook section if you are new to pastry - and you can whiz up any number of pastry confections from pies to tarts, teatime treats and family puddings.
Buy some good-quality pastry tartlet cases and you can rustle up this gorgeous dessert or teatime treat in minutes!
These are perfect to serve warm as a dessert, although I personally prefer them chilled. Either way, they just melt in the mouth, with pastry as light as a whisper and a filling of wobbly custard flavoured with vanilla, caramel and cinnamon.
In this strudel I have used two cheeses: Roquefort, which is a sheep’s cheese, and to go with it is a mild goat’s cheese. The apple inside is not meant to cook through but to remain crunchy.
This is good, homely, comfort food but, served in individual portions, it's elegant enough to serve at a supper party.
For Delia, this family recipe - made by both her grandmother and mother - brings back happy memories of freshly baked trays of mince pies on Christmas Eve.
This is both lighter than the traditional kind and so much faster to make if you’re short of time – but as with traditional mince pies you’ll need to provide small plates and napkins to catch the crumbs.
This recipe is a lighter take on the Christmas pudding theme. You can make them a few hours ahead, and re-heat in a medium oven for about five minutes before serving.
For this recipe – ideal for vegetarians – I use a 7 inch (18 cm) metal pie plate with a rim which is about 1½ inches (4 cm) deep.
The long, slow cooking of red onions and balsamic vinegar gives a lovely sweet, concentrated caramel consistency. These are then spooned into crisp cheese pastry cases and topped with melted goats' cheese and sage.
When we made these tartlets for the photography, we couldn't stop eating them! Crisp, light pastry with such a luscious filling – and also lovely as a first course at a supper party.
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