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Why not cook up a storm in a Mulberry Cottage?

Calling all you reluctant chefs, ‘can’t cook’ and ‘won’t cook’ and most importantly ‘too busy to cook’… this year at Mulberry Cottages we’re launching a special scheme just for you! What better time to rediscover your love for cooking (and more importantly on holiday, eating!) than on a break with Mulberry Cottages… We have searched high and low, chatting with award winning restaurateurs (like Toby Leigh from Age and Sons, Ramsgate who was so kind as to supply our first recipe!) to the girls in the office… to bring you some of the best recipes we can find, the emphasis being on recipes that are…

Local, Seasonal & Regional

So, enjoy the recipes, try them out in your Mulberry Cottages kitchen and enjoy sharing a meal together on holiday; after all, that’s what it’s all about.

First up then, we have the amazingly timely and delicious ‘Lent Kent Pie’, as kindly supplied by Toby Leigh, the head chef of the lovely Age and Sons Restaurant, Café and Bar in Ramsgate, Kent (http://ageandsons.co.uk/) which specialises in seasonal cooking. When possible, the kitchen buys its vegetables from the local allotments, its fish from the boats bobbing a minute away in Ramsgate harbour and its meat from local, sustainable suppliers… and it shows. If you’re staying with us in Ramsgate, do try and make a visit to see what all the fuss is about, you will not regret it!

Can you resist a piece of Kent Lent Pudding?!

This traditional Kentish Fare can’t decide whether it wants to be a pudding (because of the rice filling) or a pie (due to the pastry case) and instead decides to take the best of both! A perfect local dish to practise on holiday and impress with at home!

Toby Leigh brings beautifully fine dining to the picturesque seaside town of Ramsgate, Kent

Ingredients: For the filling

  • 1 litre (1¾ pints) whole milk
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 orange
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 300g (10½oz) arborio rice
  • 50g (1¾oz) butter, cut into six pieces
  • 150g (5½oz) caster sugar
  • 200g (7oz) raisins soaked in sweet sherry for as long as possible,      preferably overnight

For the pastry

  • 180g (6oz) flour, plus extra for the tin
  • 50g (1¾oz) caster sugar
  • 120g (4oz) unsalted butter cut into small dice, plus extra for the      tin
  • 2 egg yolks, plus 1 whole egg
  • 1 tbsp milk

Heat the milk in a saucepan and cut the vanilla pod lengthways. Scrape its contents into the milk and add the pod as well. Stir in the lemon and orange zest and a small pinch of nutmeg, then bring to a light simmer, taking care that the contents do not boil over. Stir in the rice and simmer for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the rice from catching on the bottom of the pan. When it is just past the al dente stage, take the pan off the heat and use a wooden spoon to stir in the butter and sugar gently.

To make the pastry, put the flour, sugar, butter and a pinch of salt into a large bowl and rub together using the fingertips to produce a fine texture without lumps. (This can be done in a food processor.) Beat the egg yolks with 2 tbsp. cold water and pour into a well in the middle of the mixture. Gently mix the ingredients together with a wooden spoon to make a dough. Form into a ball, wrap in Clingfilm and place in the fridge for an hour.

Butter and flour the inside of a tart tin that is 22cm (9in) wide and 3cm (1 inch) deep. Roll out the pastry on a floured board until it is 30cm (12in) across. Carefully place the pastry into the tin, making sure that it fits snugly and comes just above the sides of the tin. Check that there are no holes in it. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Line the pastry case with either foil or greaseproof paper, fill with baking beans and bake for 20 minutes in an oven preheated to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Remove the tin from the oven and take out the beans and paper before returning the case to the oven for a further five minutes to finish cooking.

Beat the whole egg and milk together and brush this over the interior of the case as soon as you remove it from the oven. Drain the raisins, put them in the pastry case, then cover with the rice mixture and allow the tart to cool. If you like you can brush the top lightly with warm marmalade when set.

Enjoy a meal and experience how the recipe should have tasted in the light and airy dining room at Age & Sons, Ramsgate

Et Voila! The perfect treat to enjoy in the Kentish countryside or on the coast… and to experience where it all began visit Age & Sons, Charlotte Court, Ramsgate. Tel: 01843 851515


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