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.
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 would be my choice for Christmas Eve supper – done and dusted in the morning, or even the day before, then just whisked out of the fridge and into the oven.
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. Serve them as a special first cours
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.
Cheese scones can be a bit bland, but here Delia has used tangy Cheshire cheese and peppery chives to add bite and colour. Give them a try - they're perfect for tea!
Never has a quiche Lorraine – essentially an egg, bacon and cream tart – been so easy to make, without losing any of its classic flavour and texture.
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