Maggie Beer

Tips and techniques

Fresh Fennel

May 25 2016

If choosing fennel bulbs from your green grocer or farmer’s market look for a shiny, white bulb with tightly bound internal layers. Fennel that is subject to transit is more likely to be marked on its outer layer so remove any damaged parts before you begin cooking (no need to worry about this with home-grown produce though). It is always worth checking the firmness of the uppermost fronds on the fennel as a good indication of the bulb's freshness too- MB. Read the rest...

The Trick to Walnuts

May 23 2016

As the walnut is full of oil, its potential for rancidity is high. It is really only on tasting that you will know whether a nut is fresh or rancid. There should be some natural bitterness from the tannin that protects the nut but it should be in balance with the ‘meat’ of the walnut and a rich nutty flavour should be left in your mouth. There is a trick to resurrect rancid walnuts though, and that is simply to dry roast them for 6 – 8 minutes in a hot oven- MB. Read the rest...

When are apples ready to pick?

April 24 2016

Knowing when to pick apples will vary slightly according to the variety you have chosen but a general indication is a blush of colour and that unmistakable fragrance of ripeness. If you would like a further indicator, you can cut a sample apple and check that the seeds inside are a lovely dark brown-black. This will tell you the apples are ready to come off the tree. If the seeds are still pale in colour then leave the apples for a few more weeks before checking again- MB. Read the rest...

Maggie’s Tips for Easter Entertaining

March 23 2016

Easter is all about the chance to share the table with family and friends at the same time that the season has some of my favourite produce on offer. Pomegranates, figs, eggplant, fennel, pumpkin, quince and new season’s olive oil make for some inspired cooking with the chance to let the produce shine rather than rely on any fancy techniques - that’s my style of cooking! Read the rest...

Making Bakers

March 06 2016

So many factors can determine the set on a lemon tart, but it deserves a little practice to get the texture of the filling just right to indulge in that wonderful freshness that only ‘Tart Au Citron’ can offer at the end of a meal. Of all the influencing factors, I suggest the most important is to give yourself plenty of time, so that way if the filling doesn’t set you can refrigerate the tart for at least an hour or so before serving. This is one of the best fall back plans I can share! Read the rest...


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