With the Great British Bake Off back on our screens, Prue Leith has brought out a cookery book of her favourite recipes

Almost a Thai fish cake
Little Thai fish cakes – as sold on the streets of Bangkok – are almost always delicious, usually made with no potato and a lot of chilli, but here I have combined the South East Asian flavours of lemongrass, coriander and chilli with English potatoes.

Makes 8
300g floury potatoes, peeled
1 medium egg, beaten
3 tbsp coriander leaves
and stalks, finely chopped
½ green chilli, finely chopped
300g salmon fillet,
skinned and cut into
1–2cm (½ in) cubes
3cm (1in) piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
finely grated zest of 1 lime
1 lemongrass stem
3–4 tbsp dried breadcrumbs
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
salt and pepper to season
For the dipping sauce
4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
(nam pla)
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp honey
½ red chilli, deseeded and very finely chopped

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the potatoes and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well, and while still boiling-hot, crush (rather than mash) the potatoes and allow the steam to escape – the drier the mash, the firmer your fish cakes will be. Leave the mash to cool before stirring in the egg, coriander and green chilli. Generously season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
While the potatoes are cooking, whizz the salmon, ginger and lime zest in a food processor until they form a thick paste.
Peel the outer layer of the lemongrass and discard. Cut the stem in half lengthways and chop as finely as you are able. Add to the salmon paste, then add the salmon mixture to the cooled potato, combining well. Divide the mixture into eight and shape into patties. Dip each one into the breadcrumbs to coat and put onto a large plate or baking tray. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour to firm up the fishcakes.
Place a large, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Heat the sesame oil and butter together in the pan until beginning to foam, then fry the fish cakes in batches, until golden on both sides.
To make the dipping sauce, combine all the ingredients and pour into a small serving dish. Serve the hot fish cakes with the dipping sauce.

You can buy very good lemongrass paste and ginger paste in tubes and keep them in the fridge. These save a lot of bother and are almost (but not quite) as good! Sometimes I use quarters of fresh lime or a not-too-sweet chilli sauce instead of the dipping sauce.

Homity pie with sour-cream pastry and cavolo nero
Basically a potato and cheese pie, this is very rich, but it makes the perfect lunch after a morning hike or doing something really energetic. Or when badly in need of comfort food and you don’t mind the calories.

Serves 6
For the sour-cream pastry
175g plain flour
a tiny pinch of salt
150g butter, diced
90ml soured cream
1 medium egg, beaten
For the filling
350g floury potatoes,
peeled and sliced
150g cavolo nero, roughly chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
400g leeks (roughly 2 large), finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
a pinch of mustard powder
125ml double cream
a small handful of parsley leaves, chopped
100g mature Cheddar cheese, finely grated
salt and pepper to season

For the pastry, put the flour, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse until the butter is fully incorporated through the flour. Alternatively, put in a large bowl and rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips. Then add the soured cream and pulse for two or three seconds, or stir by hand until just mixed. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to form a round big enough to line the base and sides of a 26cm (10in) flan dish or loose-bottomed cake tin. Carefully lower in the pastry to form the pie base. Crimp the edges of the pastry, brush with some of the beaten egg and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4.
Meanwhile, put the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for eight minutes. Add the cavolo nero to the pan and cook for a further five minutes. Drain once both potatoes and cavolo nero are perfectly tender. Allow them to steam dry in the colander.
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat and add the onion and leeks. Sauté until really soft. Add the garlic and mustard powder and continue to cook for a minute or two. Remove from the heat and add the potatoes and cavolo nero to the pan. Stir in the cream, parsley and half of the cheese, then allow the mixture to cool slightly. Season to taste.
Remove the pastry case from the fridge, line loosely with a sheet of baking parchment and fill with baking beans or rice, pushing them to the edges. Bake ‘‘blind’’ (i.e. without the filling) for 20 minutes, until the edges begin to colour. Remove the baking paper and beans then put the pie case back in the oven for 15–20 minutes, until golden and crisp all over. Brush the inside of the pastry case with the remaining beaten egg.
Spoon the potato mix into the pastry case. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake for 25–30 minutes. If using a loose-bottomed tin, cool for 10 minutes then lift out. Serve in slices – hot, warm or completely cold. All are delicious.

Normandy tart
I’ve been demonstrating this dish for years, and it always gets a gratifying round of applause when it comes out of the oven. It’s a piece of cake (or tart) to make if you have a food processor.

Serves 10–12
For the pastry
225g plain flour plus extra for dusting
140g cold butter plus extra for greasing
1 medium egg
a pinch of salt
60g caster sugar
For the almond filling (frangipane)
170g butter
170g caster sugar
170g ground almonds
2 large eggs
1 tbsp Calvados, kirsch, or whatever liqueur you like
a few drops of almond essence
For the glaze
3–4 small red dessert
apples, skin left on, cored and halved
100g smooth apricot jam
juice of ½ lemon

Heat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark 6, and put a baking sheet on the middle shelf to heat. Lightly butter a 26cm (10in) loose-bottomed tart tin and dust with flour, tipping out any excess.
For the pastry, whizz all the ingredients together in a food processor until the dough forms a ball. Roll it out into a thin, even round big enough to line the tin. Lift the pastry by rolling it round the rolling pin and then unrolling it over the tin. Don’t worry if the pastry cracks. It is so rich that you can just use your fingers to patch any gaps. Ease the pastry into the corners, then roll your rolling pin firmly across the top, to trim away any excess pastry. For the almond filling, whizz everything in the processor (no need to wash the bowl after the pastry). Spread it over the pastry case.
Lay an apple half, cut-side down, on a board and slice across finely, keeping the slices in order and in their original half-apple shape. With the heel of your hand, gently push the half-apple so the slices separate a little and lie flat, neatly overlapping each other. Using a palette knife or spatula to help, lift the sliced half-apples and place them on the frangipane in concentric circles, starting at the rim. Gently press them into the frangipane.
Set the tart in the middle of the oven, on the hot baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4 and bake for another 15–20 minutes or until the filling is set and brown. Then remove from the oven.
For the glaze, melt the jam with the lemon juice in a small heavy-based saucepan. Brush or spoon carefully all over the apples and filling.
When the tart is still just warm, check that the edges of the pastry are not stuck anywhere to the metal ring (over-enthusiastic jamming can cause a problem), then ease the tart from the tin. Serve warm with cream or ice cream for a pudding, or cold in a thin slice for tea.

Prue: My All-Time Favourite Recipes by Prue Leith published by Blue Bird Books For Life, £25. Picture David Lotus

About The Author

Catherine Scott is Associate Features Editor for Yorkshire Post Newspapers. A self-confessed foodie, she is also a judge of the Deliciousyorkshire/Yorkshire Post Taste Awards.

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