Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Cottage Cooking Club ~ Baby Beet Tarte Tatin and Pumpkin and Raisin Tea Loaf

Beautiful Baby Beet Tarte Tatin

Awhile back, I decided to join the Cottage Cooking Club, hosted by Andrea @ The Kitchen Lioness. She is one of my French Fridays friends. If you’ve never visited her lovely blog, you are in for a treat.
The goal of this group was to cook through River Cottage Veg, by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. The book is fabulous, and I was really looking forward to participating on a regular basis. However, life just seemed to get in the way!  The past few months have been quite busy for us.  A trip to Italy, a NYC trip with some blogger friends, and my grandkids for a week at Camp Grandma. Not to mention the showers, parties, and weddings that seemed to dominate our comings and goings for the last few months. In the midst of all of that busyness, my hubby and I were still able to take a week in NYC for our anniversary.  Something had to give! 
Well summer is over, and fall is in full swing. My life has started to slow down!  This is the perfect time to get myself involved again!  It was not hard to jump back in, because the choices for October were exceptional!
I chose two recipes for this month. The Baby Beet Tarte Tatin, and Pumpkin-Raisin Tea Loaf.  Both were wonderfully mouthwatering!  

Incredibly delicious!

I made the Baby Beet Tarte Tatin twice! When I tell you it was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten, I am not exaggerating!  I love beets anyway…but this was one heck of a way to serve them.  The first time I made this, I used frozen puff pastry, and pre-cooked beets. I always have them in my fridge for a quick lunch. The first bite was amazing! The beets caramelized while baking and were luscious. One bite had me craving another…and another!
The second time I made this wonderful tarte I used fresh beets! It was still delectable; it just took longer to cook!! This Tarte Tatin is going to be a regular in my kitchen! 

The caramelized beets were mouthwatering

The other recipe I chose to bake was Pumpkin and Raisin Tea Loaf. A wonderfully moist, slightly sweet loaf, packed with grated pumpkin, raisins and delicious flavors. The result of the warm winter spices in the batter. This recipe calls for raw grated pumpkin, my usual pumpkin bread calls for pumpkin puree. I wondered how this would affect the texture of the bread? Wonder no more…it was perfect! The recipe calls for Muscavado sugar. I didn’t have any in my pantry, so I substituted it with Coconut Palm sugar. A wonderful choice! Hugh gives you an option for grated beets instead of pumpkin! I definitely can see that in my future! The tea bread was perfect for a morning tea/coffee break. It also seemed quite healthy, full of pumpkin, and containing no butter or oil. A winner for sure!

Both of these recipes can be found in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s book "River Cottage Veg" or on-line, where they have been previously published!  I have shared them with you here today. Enjoy! 

Pumpkin and Raisin Tea Loaf

Wonderfully moist and perfect with a cup of tea

Baby Beet Tarte Tatin


8 ounces frozen/defrosted homemade or store-bought puff pastry
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
10 to 14 ounces unpeeled baby beets (no larger than golfball size), scrubbed well then cut in half

1 to 2 shallots, finely chopped (may substitute 2 to 3 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped)
1 teaspoon mustard, preferably English such as Colman's
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
Pinch sugar
Handful parsley leaves, finely chopped
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper


For the tart:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Have an 8-inch tart pan or ovenproof skillet at hand.

Lightly flour a work surface. Roll out the pastry to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Invert the tart pan or skillet on the pastry and use a knife to trace/cut around it. Wrap the pastry disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Melt the butter with the oil in the skillet or tarte tatin dish, over medium heat. Add the cider vinegar, sugar and some salt and pepper, stir well, then add the halved beets and toss to coat. You want the beets to fill the pan snugly, so add a few more as needed. Cover tightly with aluminum foil; bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the beets are tender.

Uncover and rearrange the beet halves neatly, cut sides up. Lay the chilled pastry disk over the beets, patting it down and tucking in the edges down the side of the pan. Bake (at 375 degrees) for 20 minutes, until the pastry is fully puffed and golden brown.

Cool in the pan or skillet for about 15 minutes, then put a serving plate over the top and invert to turn out the tart. Pour any pan juices over the beets.

For the vinaigrette:
Combine the shallots, mustard, vinegar, oil, sugar and parsley in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Seal and shake to form an emulsified vinaigrette.

Drizzle over the tart and serve.

Pumpkin and Raisin Tea Loaf

Grated pumpkin or squash works just as well as carrot in a cake, making for a sweet, moist result. This delicious loaf is also made without any oil or butter. Makes 12 generous slices.
200g/1 cup light muscovado sugar…I used coconut palm sugar
4 large eggs, separated
200g/ 7 oz. finely grated raw squash flesh
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
100g/3½oz. raisins
100g/3½ oz. ground almonds
200g/1½ cups self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Generous grating of fresh nutmeg
Heat the oven to 170C/325°

Lightly grease and line a 9x5 loaf pan with parchment. 
In the bowl of your electric mixer beat the sugar and egg yolks for two to three minutes, until pale and creamy. Lightly stir in the pumpkin, lemon zest and juice, raisins and ground almonds. Combine the flour, salt and spices, sift these into the bowl, then fold them in. Beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Beat a heaping tablespoonful of egg white into the batter to loosen it, then fold in the rest as gently as you can.
Turn into the prepared pan and level the top. Bake for about an hour, until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, than transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

You can replace the pumpkin with carrots, zucchini or even raw grated beets.


  1. Between the tarte tatin and the pumpkin loaf, I'm not sure which I love more! It's so fun how the both celebrate fall flavors, but in totally different ways.

  2. Hi Kathy, love the way your beet tarte tatin looks, wish I would have made that one. Also the pumpkin and raisin loaf looks delicious!

  3. I agree with you, both of these recipes were great. The beet tarte tatin is just amazing - can't wait to make it again. And the tea loaf, surprisingly it turns out so moist with no butter or oil. This was definitely a tea time treat - so delicious toasted.

  4. Hmmmmm, what is it they say about great minds. Like you, I seem to be peddling as fast as I can. How did I ever work? I also love cooking from this book but have bookmarked too many items that I wish to make - am I going to live that long????? Like you I made the tarte tatin. My concern is that it must be eaten immediately because the crust gets soggy and won't hold for long. Definitely not a leftover. Did you find that to be true? I love the dish and the idea of it and would like to serve it to company but cannot figure out how to get that done easily. As for the bread, wasn't it absolutely delicious. And, so moist. I kept 1/2 the loaf and shared the rest - wish I hadn't shared. Lovely post, Kathy. I am enjoying CCC and I am glad you're aboard. We do the best we can every month.

  5. I made both of these recipes as well and loved them. Your tarte tatin is stunning....the golden beets I used weren't nearly as pretty.

  6. Your tarte tatin is new to me, and looks lovely :)
    But I think I would rather enjoy the pumpkin and raisin tea loaf, just because I would actually have the ability to whip it up! Your photos look so crumby and tempting!

    Choc Chip Uru

  7. You've sold me on the beet tart! I was skeptical until I read all the raving reviews. I'm glad that you're in the group too. More chances to share notes with one of my favorite cooking friends.

  8. Wow, Kathy, both your Baby Beet Tarte Tatin and Pumpkin-Raisin Tea Loaf are so beautifully made. They are very nutritious and healthy too. Thumbs up to you, Kathy! Thanks for sharing and warmest regards :)

  9. I love them both! Wish I could find some baby beets here..tomorrow is our local market day, must check it out. Thanks for sharing, Kathy.

  10. Hi Kathy, Happy Anniversary, and all of those wonderful life happenings you have been experiencing over the past couple of months- it seems as you were beginning to wind down, we have enjoyed similar hectic but enjoyable life events hence leaving me at the end of this month with a lot of red baby beets and puff pastry. I do believe I am the only group member that has not prepared this dish over the month and am eager to do so! Your Pumpkin and Raisin Tea Loaf also looks quite lovely. Very much appreciated your beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing a great Post!

  11. Hi Kathy!
    Yes, yes, life does seem to get in the midst of things as Summer winds down. We get a bit of a rest, sometimes, and then the holiday season is upon us!

    These two dishes are very exciting a refreshing! I wish I could join these sorts of groups but I would only find myself under more pressure and that wouldn't be fun. Thank goodness you can squeeze these goodies in for us and let us know how you enjoyed them. I would LOVE to try that Beet Tarte Tatin. I'm sure it is out of the world. The Pumplin Loaf is probably yummy too. Isn't it funny how we grate zucchini for zucchini bread but use puree for pumpkin bread?

    Thanks so much for sharing, Kathy...

  12. I'm going to have to find an excuse to make the beet tart. It's so beautiful! And I have some beets in the fridge - I might have to try the tea cake, too, since I promised to bring a snack to a meeting. There's going to be a bit of October in my November CCC post, it seems.

    I'm so glad you have had such a wonderful few months and that you were able to celebrate your anniversary so enjoyably. It was great to hear about your trips and about 'Camp Grandma' too.

  13. I felt in love with this tatin. These caramelized beets look so appetizing!

  14. Kathy, so wonderful of you to join us again - I am very much looking forward to your future posts (if time and life permits, of course) - the two recipes that you chose were absolutely wonderful, I could not agree with you more! Your Beet Taate Tatin is gorgeous and so is your Raisin Tea Loaf - you did an outstanding job on both of them.I like that you compared using raw versus pre-cooked beets in this recipe, always good to get some helpful insights, as I am planning on making that tarte again, this time with regular beets.
    Thank you for participating again this month and for a wonderful post with charming pictures,
    P.S.: One question, do you have a favorite recipe for an old-fashioned Buttermilk Pie, love that pie but I am lost amongst all the recipe options out there - if you have a minute, I would appreciate your advice - thank you

    1. Andrea, Haven’t made one in years, but I will check my recipe files! I thought there was one I made quite often. I will let you know. Thanks for the lovely comment!

  15. Beautiful presentations/photos, Kathy! The beet tatin really turned my head from this month's recipes. (And the leek/been soup and roasted cauliflower.)

  16. The beet tart is lovely but I fear even that would not convince my beet-shy family (though I have puff pasty in the freezer--hmm). The pumpkin loaf is much more likely to go over. Subbing beets for the pumpkin sounds fascinating though--you have to let us know if you try that!

  17. I made both these recipes too and I agree with you, the beet tarte tatin was amazing. So simple, yet such fabulous results. Definitely a keeper.

  18. Dear Kathy, Both of these recipes look wonderful. I would love a nice piece of the loaf with a cup of tea right about now. lol.
    Blessings dear. Catherine

  19. Beet tarte tatin? That just blew my mind. Wow!

  20. I made both of these recipes too. I really want to make the tart again! Maybe as minis. But I thought it was terrific, and I was even happy with it re-heated in the toaster oven (even if a little soggy, but not enough to pass it up!). I didn't have your luck with the pumpkin bread. Mine was pretty marginal. I too was excited to read about the beet version. Not sure now, but good to know that it turned out for you!!! Both of your dishes look just fabulous!!!

  21. Kathy, the Beet Tarte Tatin is amazing, and looks so delicious. The amazing Pumpkin Tea loaf would be so nice to have with a hot cup of tea right now!