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By Well Seasoned, Dec 16 2017 10:00AM

Well, hopefully you’ve seen that the book is now available to pre-order (if you haven't we've failed!)


Having put so much hard work into writing and photographing over the last couple of years it’s a really exciting time for us now as we can start to reveal some of the recipes and content.


Since we’re in the festive season, how about this as a little present? It's from the Decemeber chapter.


Clementine and sultana frangipane tarts


They are as enchanting as any bauble on a Christmas tree: the shine, the vibrant orange colour and, occasionally, the contrast of green leaves. The clementine is, to my mind, inextricably linked with the festive season, and so one thought led to another and an alternative to a mince pie came to the fore. Baked as small tarts or as one large tart to slice, this brings together so many of my seasonal favourites. Add some clotted cream or spiced brandy butter, a little of the fresh fruit and just a touch of the clementine confit and dessert is sorted. Or, of course, as the cook, you can indulge in some quality control straight from the cooling rack…


I make no apologies for this being a complex recipe and, in mitigation, all the elements could be made separately over a number of days and then assembled before baking. The confit will keep for several weeks, the frangipane and pastry freeze well and you could even blind bake the pastry cases the day before you cook the tarts.


(If you need a bit more guidance, you can also find this recipe with step-by-step photos on Russell’s website HERE.)


Makes 12 small tarts using a deep muffin tin


For the sweet pastry


115g unsalted butter

85g caster sugar

2 Blackacre Farm free range egg yolks

2tbs cold water

55g corn flour

180g soft plain flour

2g Maldon salt, fine ground


For the clementine confit

(makes much more than required but has many other uses)


8 clementines

500g granulated sugar

500ml water

2 cinnamon sticks

10 black peppercorns

For the frangipane

100g unsalted butter

100g dark muscovado sugar

1½ large, free-range eggs (100g)

1 tbs self-raising flour

100g roasted almonds, blitzed to a powder

1 tsp mixed spice

pinch of finely ground Maldon salt


For the sultanas


100g sultanas

100ml cider


First make the pastry. Cream the butter and caster sugar together. Beat until the mixture starts to go pale. Combine the egg yolks and the water and beat gradually into the butter mix. Mix the flours and the salt and sift onto the butter mix. Use a rubber spatula to fold the flour in – you are aiming for dough that is homogenous but has been worked as little as possible. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and bring together into a cylinder. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 mins.


Then, when you're ready to cook.


1. Preheat oven to 170C.


2. To make the clementine confit, start by blanching the clementines. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil then simmer gently for 10 minutes, then drain and refresh in cold water. Repeat three more times.


3. In a clean saucepan, combine the sugar, water and spices and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Prick the blanched clementines several times with a cocktail stick, add to the syrup and cover with baking parchment. Use a saucer or small plate to keep the clementines submerged and simmer very gently for around 1½ hours. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a blender and purée until completely smooth. Use a little of the cooking syrup if necessary. You are looking for a consistency similar to lemon curd.


4. For the frangipane, cream together the butter and sugar. Gradually beat in the egg, adding the flour in stages along with it. Fold in the almonds, mixed spice and salt and combine thoroughly. Transfer to a piping bag.


5. Simmer the sultanas in the cider until all the liquid is reduced/has been absorbed. Allow to cool.


6. Roll out the sweet pastry to approximately 4mm thick and use to line your chosen tart tin. Chill and then blind bake at 170C until just set and a light golden colour.


7. Add enough clementine confit to the sultanas to create something akin to mincemeat. Place a generous teaspoonful in the tart shells if individual, or spread across the base of the tart if making a large one. Pipe on the frangipane and bake at 170C for around 20 minutes until the frangipane is risen and firm when pressed lightly.


8. Allow to cool slightly in the tin and then remove to a cooling rack. Store in a sealed container at room temperature.


By Well Seasoned, Dec 12 2017 12:38PM

We're delighted finally to be able to reveal the cover for Well Seasoned! After many months of hard work and debate, here it is.


We wanted something that captured the essence of the book, that would jump out at shoppers from the shelf and which is appropriate for our Spring launch date. We hope we've managed all of that.


Big thanks go to our designer Matt Inwood and the team at Anima, Head of Zeus who have been so willing to take our comments on board. Russell and I really love it but, of course, it's you the reader who really matters. What do you think??


Obviously its a big milestone as far as any book is concerned but finalising the cover also means we can now open the new website and launch pre-sales for the book. Hopefully you'll like the new fresh-look website, centred around the book. The blog will, of course, continue here with plenty of new recipes and sample content from the book.


We're really excited to be able to share some of that as we begin the countdown to the launch in March.


Welcome to an exciting new season!



PS when you click through to Amazon to pre-order you'll see a very different cover. Don't panic! That was a holding image we gave them while we were having the Big Cover Debate. We've now sent the new one and it should be updated in the next couple of days.



By Well Seasoned, Jul 18 2017 09:19AM

With a mixture of excitement and nervousness, we submitted the first half of the book to the publishers last week. Eek! If you've ever handed in a thesis or large piece of coursework you'll know the feeling. Pen down, job done. Oh wait, let me just check that sentence... etc. But definitely a really exciting time for us and it's made the book feel very "real".


In related news, we're really pleased that the publishers have confirmed Matt Inwood as the designer of Well Seasoned. In fact, coincidentally, Russ has known Matt for a number of years and had already shared his vision for the book so we're really confident that Matt is going to do a fantastic job. With books for Tom Kerridge, Jason Atherton and Atul Kochhar already in his portfolio we couldn't be in better company.


Finally, HERE's a link to the first of our teaser videos for the book. We're hoping to do a few of these as we reach various milestones in the publication timeline...and as our presentation skills improve!


More anon...


By guest, Jul 8 2017 07:58PM

Welcome to the new Well Seasoned website. We've updated everything, including the blog, to focus on the book. We're right in the middle of submitting our text and photos while the publishers are getting started on things like cover design and layout. Check back regularly to hear more and, of course, to order your copy of Well Seasoned!

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