• Filo Apple Dumplings Read more
    Serves 6

    Courtesy of Nick Nairn

    Preheat the oven to 200°C.

    Juice of 1/4 lemon

    6 whole eating apples, peeled and cored (use an apple corer)

    melted clarified butter

    9 large sheets of filo pastry

    caster sugar, for sprinkling

    For the filling: 3 Amaretti biscuits

    1 tablespoon raisins

    1 tablespoon Grand Marnier, or Cointreau

    2 tablespoons soft brown sugar

    1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

    30g unsalted butter, softened

    Put the biscuits in a food processor and blitz to fine crumbs. Add the raisins, Grand Marnier, brown sugar, cinnamon and 30g of butter, and blitz again until the mix forms a very rough paste. Scrape into a bowl and set aside.

    Half-fill a large bowl with water and add the lemon juice. Place the prepared apples in the water, making sure that they're completely covered. The acid in the lemon juice will prevent them from browning while you prepare the filo pastry.

    Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil or baking parchment and brush with melted butter. Cut the filo sheets into 18 large squares - they need to be big enough to comfortably wrap around each apple. Keep the squares under the cling film to prevent them from drying out.

    Take the apples out of the water and pat dry. Take 1 teaspoon of filling and drop it into the cavity of each apple. Place one sheet of filo on a clean surface and brush with the clarified butter. Turn another square through 30° and place on top of the first sheet. Brush with butter. Repeat this once more and brush the top sheet with butter. You should have formed a 12-pointed star with your sheets.

    Carefully set an apple into the centre of the star (making sure the filling doesn't fall out!) and draw the pastry up around it, squeezing it together at the top to form a sort of bag around the apple. Straighten out the pastry point and set the apple on the baking sheet. Repeat this process with the remaining apples. Brush all 6 apple parcels with butter and sprinkle them with a little caster sugar. Place in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Lower the heat to 180°C and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.

    Remove from the oven and leave the apples to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Then lift the dumplings onto warm serving plates and serve with cream or home made custard.

  • Raspberry Souffle Read more
    Serves 4

    Cooking a perfect soufflé is a great deal easier with a fab Falcon cooker. Falcon ovens offer a totally stable temperature, so you can be sure you're soufflé is cooking at exactly the right temperature. This is a great recipe that I've used countless times, and it always impresses.

    400g raspberries

    1 tbsp lemon juice

    100g caster sugar

    2 tsp crème de framboise

    1 tsp cornflour

    180g egg whites (about 6)

    pinch of cream of tartar or a squeeze of lemon juice

    Press the raspberries through a fine sieve to produce 180g of purée. Put this into a thick-bottomed pan, add the lemon juice and reduce down to a thick jam, stirring from time to time and being careful not let it catch and burn - the quick response of a Falcon hob is brilliant here, as the heat goes as soon as you turn it down. To check if you have the right consistency, scrape a heatproof spoon across the bottom of the pan and the pan surface should stay exposed. If it quickly fills, keep cooking.

    As soon as your jam is ready, put 70g of the sugar in a separate pan and add 3 teaspoons of water and mix. Put the pan on a medium heat and let the sugar dissolve. Bring it to the boil and boil the mix until it becomes a thick syrup. It should be 121°C on a digital or sugar thermometer. Alternatively, dip a teaspoon into the syrup and then quickly into cold water. You should be able to roll the cooling syrup into a ball between your fingers. Be careful as the syrup is exceedingly hot! When it's ready, quickly stir the hot syrup into the raspberry jam.

    Mix the framboise and cornflour together and stir into the jam over the heat. This will help the jam to thicken. Turn the jam into a small bowl, sprinkle the surface with icing sugar and cover closely with cling film. This can all be done the day before and kept in the fridge. It will also keep in the freezer, without setting, meaning you can easily take the amount you need out as and when you need it. Either way, return the jam to room temperature before using in the next stage.

    When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Add a little lemon juice to the egg whites. Slowly whisk the egg whites until you form soft peaks, then fold in the remaining caster sugar, taking care not to overwhisk. Add a large spoonful of the egg whites into the jam and gently mix through, which will loosen the mix. Lightly fold the remaining whites into the jam, leaving thin traces of white visible in the mixture. Spoon into four buttered and sugared large ramekins. To prepare these, run soft butter all over the inside, paying attention to the rim and dust with sugar, pouring out any excess. The sugar acts like mini rollers that help reduce the friction of the rising soufflé against the ramekin.

    Finally, place the ramekins on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. Transfer the ramekins to plates and dust the hot soufflés lightly with icing sugar. Serve immediately.