Happy Halloween!


What are you doing tonight?  More importantly, what are you eating?  Here’s what’s on the menu chez nous.

Slow cooked pork that I rubbed with Thomasina Miers chipotles en adobo.  The recipe is available in her book Mexican Food Made Simple.  After searing the pork, I put it in the slow cooker and kept it on low for 10 hours.  Here is what I added to the pot: lime zest, orange zest, lime juice, orange juice, 1 onion quartered, 4 large cloves of garlic grated, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 cinnamon stick broken in half, 1 tsp allspice berries, 4 cloves, 1/4 cup fresh oregano, 2 tbsp fresh thyme, 1/2 cup chicken stock, 1 cup brown beer.  The plan is to drain the pork, crisp it under the grill, and reduce the stock to a gravy to serve with homemade tortillas, salsa, and guacamole.  The recipe for tortillas is also in Thomasina’s book.

chilies processor processed chipotle chilies en adobo marinade pork spices after-meat

Ratatouille for the vegetarians

Mr. Scott Peacock’s coconut cake.  I love this cake.  It never fails me and the marshmallowy frosting seemed so perfectly fluffy for Halloween.  Like an edible ghost.  The only changes I make to his recipe are that I use coconut milk in place of the whole milk for the cake recipe, coconut water instead of plain water for the syrup, 2 tbsp dark rum and no vanilla, and both toasted and freshly grated coconut.

fresh coconut toasted coconut coconut rum marshmallow cream cake


Soft chewy salted caramels using a recipe from The Kitchn.

1st boil 2nd boil basket of caramels in a jar

Pepitas. Just rinse your pumpkin seeds and bake them with some salt at 350ºF/Gas 4 for 10 minutes.

pumpkin seeds pepitas


Rum from St. Lucia thanks to the kind folks at Admiral Rodney who sent these bottles to my husband, Henry.

Admiral Rodney rum

And plenty of sweets!

chocolate eyeballs lindtt ghosties jackolantern candy display

Whatever you have planned, I hope it’s fun and delicious!  Now here’s some Vincent Price to get you in a spooky mood.

Apple Custard Pie

My darling husband, Henry, eats like a Dickensian fat man.  Don’t get me wrong.  He likes and eats plenty of fruit and vegetables, but what he really loves is meat, game, offal, wine, port, sherry, and cheese.  My point is he’s just not that into sweets.  He eats them to indulge me, but for the most part, my baking endeavors are lost on him.  He’d rather have another helping of roast beast.  That said, there is one thing he never shies from–apple pie.  Below is my recipe for apple custard pie.  Is it good?  Well Henry asked for seconds so yeah.  It’s really good.


1/2 the dough from Only the Best Brisée Ever

1/4 cup apricot jam

1 tablespoon dark rum

1/4 cup flour

1/3 cup sugar

the zest of 1 lemon and a wedge for squeezing some juice

4 large eggs (1 for brushing the edges of your pie crust and 3 for the custard)

3/4 cup heavy cream

4 large tart apples

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons demerara sugar



a tablespoon of cinnamon sugar (1 tbsp sugar + 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon)

powdered sugar



First, preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C/Gas 6.  Now we’re going to prepare the pie shell.  Roll the cold brisée dough as thin as you can.  I roll mine on baking paper so I can easily flip it over into my tin.  It’s a really easy way of doing things.  Cut the edges and roll or crimp them however you like.  Prick the bottom of the pastry shell with a fork and brush the edges with egg.  Line the shell with foil or baking paper then pour in some pie weights.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Remove the weights and cool completely.

pie shell

While waiting for the pie shell to dry, heat the 1/4 cup of apricot jam and the tablespoon of dark rum in a saucepan over low heat.  Stir often and when it starts to look like a glaze, remove it from the heat.  Strain the mixture into a little bowl.  When the pie shell has cooled completely, brush this glaze along the bottom and sides of your shell.  Allow it to dry. Now onto the custard.

In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar, and the zest of a lemon.  Using a wooden spoon, stir in three large eggs.  Set this aside.

Heat the 3/4 cup heavy cream in a saucepan on medium heat.  Just as it begins to boil, turn it off, and allow it to cool for a minute.  Then quickly whisk it into the egg mixture.  Add 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste.


Peel and slice the apples.  Sauté them in butter with a teaspoon or so of cinnamon and some freshly grated nutmeg.  Allow the apples to soften but do not let them get mushy.  Squeeze them with lemon juice and stir just before removing them from the heat.

spiced apples

Arrange the apple slices in concentric circles in the pie shell.  I use two forks to do this.


Now pour the custard over the apples and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

shell with applesBake at 350°F/180°C/Gas 4 for 25-30 minutes or until the custard has set.  Once it has, allow the pie to cool then dust with powdered sugar.  Put the pie under the broiler for a few minutes to let the sugar caramelize.  Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.


Cut into slices and serve.