Vanilla pod

Swansea City A.F.C. ~ Jack Tarts

Introduction: There are a number of possible reasons why Swansea are known as the Jacks. First, there was a famous dog, a Labrador retriever or newfoundland, owned by William Thomas. The dog would always respond to cries for help, diving into the water and rescuing whoever was in difficulty. He rescued 27 people from the docks and River Tawe in and around Swansea; his name was Swansea Jack. Second, the derivation may come from the nickname given to Swansea’s skilled and dependable mariners. And third, a theory exists that the coal miners from there abouts were called Swansea “Jacks” because of their lunch-boxes that were uniquely made of Swansea tin and called Jacks. Who knows? I like the shaggy dog story myself.

Here are William Thomas and Swansea Jack.

Preparation time: 10mins

Cooking time: 10 mins

Home kit: 12-hole muffin tray, large mixing bowl, large frying pan

Away kit: 1 serving plate

Serves: might be 12 but it’s unlikely, they are exceedingly good.

Ingredients

  • butter, for greasing
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 125g/4½ oz. caster sugar
  • 30g/1oz cornflour
  • 1 vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped out
  • 175ml/6fl oz. whole milk
  • 225ml/8fl oz. double cream
  • 300g/10½ oz. puff pastry
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • icing sugar, for dusting

Method: Preheat the oven to 180oC

First half

Grease the wells of a 12-hole muffin tray with butter.

Heat the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in the pan over a low heat, whisking continuously until thickened and smooth. Add the vanilla seeds, then add the milk and cream in a thin stream, whisking continuously, until the mixture is thick, smooth and well combined. Turn up the heat a little and continue to stir the custard mixture until it comes to the boil, then remove from the heat and cover the surface with cling film to prevent a skin forming and allow to cool.

Second half

Roll out the puff pastry onto a clean work surface lightly dusted with flour and icing sugar. Cut the pastry in half and place one sheet on top of the other. Roll the pastry sheets up like a Swiss roll and cut the roll into twelve slices. Lay each of the rolled pastry slices flat onto the work surface and roll out into 10cm/4in discs using a rolling pin.

Press a pastry disc into each of the wells of the prepared muffin tray. Divide the cooled custard equally among the pastry cases.

Into the oven to bake the tarts for 18-20 minutes, or until the custard has set and is pale golden-brown and the pastry is crisp and golden-brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin.

Full time results

Serve on the plate with a nice cup of tea at half time in front of the tele.

Advertisements

Southampton F.C. ~ St. Mary’s Jelly

Introduction: St Mary’s Stadium is the home of Southampton F.C. in the lovely city of Southampton. It is a UEFA 4-star rated stadium and with a capacity of 32,689 is the largest football stadium in the south of England, outside London.

image

The Saints have played there since August 2001 when they moved from The Dell, which for held just over 15,000 spectators. The first match was played on 1 August 2001 against RCD Espanyol.

I have been to this stadium when I watched The Millwall from the stands. I was completely dressed in black for style purposes on that eventful day.

Here’s a strawberry and cream recipe for the colours.

Preparation time: 20mins

Cooking time: 5 mins

Home kit: large jug, 2.7 litre (4¾ pint) non-stick kugelhopf mould (ha!) or large bowl (more likely), medium saucepan, another bowl

Away kit: 11 plates and spoons

Serves: a kickball team

Ingredients

  • 2 x 135g packs strawberry jelly, Hartley’s is recommended.
  • ⅛ tsp. edible gold glitter, optional for the next FA Cup Final win.
  • Light oil for greasing, optional
  • 100g (3½oz) caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
  • 300ml (½ pint) double cream
  • 600ml (1 pint) milk
  • 8 gelatine sheets

Method: Preheat the oven to 0oC (It’s a jelly!)

First half

Start by making the jelly. Snip the jelly into cubes and put into the large jug. Pour over 300ml (½ pint) boiling water and leave to dissolve, stirring occasionally. Top up the mixture with cold water until there is 1.2 litre (2⅛ pint). Stir in the glitter, if using.

Pour the strawberry jelly mixture into the kugelhopf mould or large bowl (if non-stick, grease lightly with the mild oil). Chill until completely set, which will take about three hours or one kickball match.

Second half

Meanwhile put the sugar, vanilla, cream and milk into a pan and heat gently, whisking occasionally to help release the vanilla seeds, until mixture just begins to boil. Take off the heat and leave to infuse for 15min.

Put the gelatine sheets into a bowl and cover with cold water. Leave to soak for 5min. Lift the soaked gelatine out of the water (discard water) and add to the cream pan – stir to dissolve (if the cream mixture is not hot enough to dissolve the gelatine, then reheat gently until it dissolves). Lift out the vanilla pod and leave the cream mixture until completely cool –the strawberry jelly needs to be fully set before proceeding.

Gently pour the cream mixture over the set jelly and refrigerate to set completely – about 5hrs. Or two games of kickball.

Full time results

To serve, turn out the jelly on to a serving plate. If it doesn’t come out easily, dip the base of the mould briefly into a bowl of hot water (take care that the water does not touch the jelly). Turn out and serve.