Pastry

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.

 
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Caramelised Toffee Walnut Tarts with Clotted CreamServes 4

Caramelised Toffee Walnut Tarts with Clotted Cream

Buy some good-quality pastry tartlet cases and you can rustle up this gorgeous dessert or teatime treat in minutes!

 
 
Portuguese Custard TartsServes 4

Portuguese Custard Tarts

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.

 
 
Roquefort Cheese and Apple Strudel with Spiced Pickled PearsServes 6

Roquefort Cheese and Apple Strudel with Spiced Pickled Pears

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.

 
 
Turkey FeuilletesServes 4

Turkey Feuilletes

This is good, homely, comfort food but, served in individual portions, it's elegant enough to serve at a supper party.

 
 
Traditional Mince Pies Makes 24 (18 if using 1lb/450g mincemeat)

Traditional Mince Pies

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.

 
 
Alternative mince piesMakes 24

Alternative mince pies

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.

 
 
Christmas Cracker Puddings with Mascarpone Rum CreamServes 6

Christmas Cracker Puddings with Mascarpone Rum Cream

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.

 
 
Cheese and Vegetable Wholewheat FlanServes 4-6

Cheese and Vegetable Wholewheat Flan

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.

 
 
Caramelised Balsamic and Red Onion Tarts with Goats' CheeseMakes 8

Caramelised Balsamic and Red Onion Tarts with Goats' Cheese

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.

 
 
Caramelised Onion Tartlets with Goats' Cheese and ThymeMakes 24

Caramelised Onion Tartlets with Goats' Cheese and Thyme

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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