Earl Grey & orange shortcake, custard cream & plum gin roasted plums, honeycomb wafers

Earl Grey and orange shortcake

  • 225g butter, diced
  • 250g plain flour
  • 85g cornflour
  • 115g castor sugar
  • zest of 1 orange ( keep the rest for the plums)
  • 2 earl grey teabags opened and tea ground ( use a coffee grinder or mortal and pestle)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Set oven to 180oc and line a rectangular baking tray with parchment paper.

Melt the butter in a saucepan then remove from heat and beat in the flour, cornflour, sugar, orange zest and tea.

Press into the baking tray and smooth down with a fork.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden.

Remove from oven, leave for 5 minutes then slice into rectangular pieces.

Custard Cream

  • 100g soft butter
  • 140g sifted icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons custard powder

Mix together.

Plum Gin Roasted Plums

Plum Gin

  • 1 bottle Vodka ( you don’t need to go premium here!)
  • 4 plums, halved, stoned and sliced
  • pared zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 4 juniper berries
  • 1 slice root ginger
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 coriander seeds
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 2 sprigs fresh lavender
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Gently toast the cardamom, star anise, coriander seeds, and peppercorns in a dry pan for about a minute – be careful not to burn you just want to release the oils.

Place the plums in the bottom of a kilner jar and add the toasted spices and remaining ingredients.

Give it a stir and place lid on.

Give it a shake 2 times a day.

Will be ready in 5 days. Strain and use as you wish.

  • 6 plums, cut in half and stoned
  • juice from orange left from shortcake
  • 100g castor sugar
  • 6 tablespoons plum gin

Place the plums flesh side up in a baking dish. Set oven to 180oc

Boil the sugar and orange juice together until the sugar has dissolved.

Add the gin and cook for a minute.

Pour over the plums and cover with parchment.

Cook for about 30 minutes,depending on plums ripeness may take longer, until just soft.

Cool.

Honeycomb Wafers

  • 100g castor sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 dessertspoon liquid glucose
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

Place the sugar, water, glucose and honey in a heavy based pan and cook until the mixture is amber in colour. Stir in the baking soda carefully as it’ll bubble up and then pour onto parchment paper.

Spread out with a palette knife and allow to cool.

Pipe some of the custard cream onto each biscuit, top with chopped plum and a shard or two of the honeycomb. Garnish with crystallized mint and bee pollen and borage flowers.

Down To Earth Cookbook

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