The 86-year-old’s new TV series and accompanying cookbook, Love To Cook, sees her get to grips with preserved lemons and white miso, and she’s intent on bringing home cooks along with her. “I enjoy so much the teaching side,” says the Bath-born food writer and presenter, adding that, “Every recipe is achievable. It’s not too many ingredients, and they’re the sort of recipes that your family will go through.”
Why not try some of Mary’s latest recipes?
Nordic seed and nut loaf
(Makes 1 × 900g (2lb) loaf)
Butter or oil, for greasing
4 large eggs
3tbsp olive oil
50g (2oz) soft dried dates, finely chopped
5g (1/8oz) sea salt
75g (3oz) pumpkin seeds
75g (3oz) sunflower seeds
150g (5oz) pecan nuts, finely chopped
50g (2oz) sesame seeds
3tbsp chia seeds
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/Gas 4. Grease the base and sides of a 900g (2lb) loaf tin and line with non-stick baking paper.
2. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat with a fork until combined. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well using a wooden spoon.
3. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 45–50 minutes, until golden brown and firm in the centre.
4. Leave to cool in the tin for five minutes, then loosen the edges with a palette knife, remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Slice into thin slices to serve.
* Can be made up to a day before.
* Freezes well.
Sticky soy and ginger pork fillet
1 large pork fillet (600g/1lb 6oz)
4 spring onions, finely shredded into long, thin strips
1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
2tbsp chopped coriander
For the marinade:
4cm (1½in) fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4tbsp soy sauce
2tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1. To make the marinade, measure all the ingredients into a dish and mix well.
2. Trim any sinew from the fillet and discard. Sit the fillet in the marinade, season with salt and black pepper and turn to coat until all the fillet is covered. Leave to marinate for a few hours in the fridge.
3. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/Gas 7 and line a small roasting tin with non-stick baking paper.
4. Removed the fillet from the marinade (reserving the marinade to use later) and sit it in the roasting tin. Roast in the oven for 25–30 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.
5. Remove the fillet from the roasting tin and set aside on a board to rest. Cover with foil and leave for five minutes before carving.
6. Place the reserved marinade in a small saucepan and place over a medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
7. Carve the pork into slices and arrange on a platter. Pour the hot marinade over the top and scatter with the spring onions, red chilli and coriander. Serve with rice or noodles.
* Can be marinated up to eight hours ahead. If serving cold can be roasted up to four hours ahead.
* Freezes well raw in the marinade.
Lemon and lime meringue tranche pie
For the sweet shortcrust pastry:
150g (5oz) plain flour
90g (3oz) butter, cubed
2tbsp icing sugar
For the filling:
30g (1oz) cornflour
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lime
50g (2oz) caster sugar
3 egg yolks
For the meringue topping:
3 egg whites
175g (6oz) caster sugar
You will need a 12 × 36 × 2.5cm (4. × 14. × 1in) rectangular loose-bottomed fluted tin, or tranche tin.
1. To make the pastry, measure the flour, butter and sugar into a food processor. Whiz until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and whiz again until the dough comes together to form a ball. Turn out on to a lightly floured work surface and roll thinly. Carefully line the tin and press the pastry into the sides. Prick the base with a fork and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6 and place a baking tray in the oven to get very hot.
3. Line the pastry case with non-stick baking paper, add baking beans, place on the hot baking tray and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and bake for another five minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and lightly golden. Leave to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C/130°C fan/Gas 2.
4. To make the filling, measure the cornflour and 200ml (⅓ pint) water into a pan and whisk to combine. Add the zest and juice of the lemon and lime and place over a medium heat. Continue to whisk until the mixture has boiled and thickened. Remove from the heat, add the sugar and egg yolks and whisk again. Pour into the pastry case and place in the fridge to chill.
5. Meanwhile, make the meringue topping. Place the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk using an electric whisk, until stiff. Add the sugar a little at a time, whisking on full speed, until you have a shiny, glossy meringue. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a plain one and a half centimetre (⅝in) nozzle and pipe even blobs over the surface of the chilled custard in a neat pattern. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can use two dessertspoons.
6. Bake in the oven for 35–40 minutes, until pale golden on top and firm to touch. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before removing from the tin. Serve warm with pouring cream.
* Can be made up to eight hours ahead and reheated gently to serve.
* Not for freezing.
* Do not serve the pie hot, as the filling may be a bit soft and will spill out of the pastry case.
Love To Cook by Mary Berry is published by BBC Books. Photography by Laura Edwards. Available now.
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