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We’re probably very lucky not to have been battered too badly by the winds and storms that have been raging around the UK for the last few days, even if the noise of the wind did keep us awake last night!

The bad weather has been coming and going rather than relentless, so we did get out on Monday for a walk on Chobham Common, a rare example of lowland heath in Surrey.

But there has also been a lot of time spent inside, huddling by a log fire and indulging my liking for a good crime novel!  This, of course, is also the perfect time to try out a new recipe, and this recipe from Abel and Cole was ideal, being seasonal and satisfying.  I made the recipe by simply swapping gluten free flour for the white flour, which worked well, and I added a red pepper to the carrots for an extra splash of colour.  The original recipe used dates as part of the topping, but I left these out, just because I didn’t have any in!  The recipe came with a photo of perfectly evenly placed carrots in the original, but hey, I like my rather more haphazard arrangement!

Stunning, Spiced & Simple Carrot Tatin

For the top:

    • 3 large carrots
    • 1 red pepper
    • 3 tbsp water
    • 1 tbsp butter
    • A pinch of sea salt and pepper
    • A pinch of chilli powder
    • A pinch of ground cinnamon
    • A drizzle of honey

For the base:

  • 50g chestnuts or walnuts, plus 3-4 tbsp for the top
  • 250g plain white flour, or gluten-free white flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • 100g butter, diced
  • 100ml milk (approx.)

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.

Peel the carrots and cut them and the pepper into 6cm long batons (about 2cm thick) – so they’ll fit in a frying pan (the size of a dinner plate) in a circular pattern. Trim if needed.

Add water, butter and carrots to the pan. Cover. Let it bubble away till the water has gone and the butter has created a glaze.

Shake the pan from time to time. Blitz the nuts in a food processor until finely ground. Mix the nuts, flour, salt, baking powder and rosemary. Rub the butter into the mix till it’s breadcrumby. Slowly stir in the milk – as much or as little as it needs – to form a dough.

Gently knead into a ball. Flatten into a circle that will cover the carrots. Arrange the carrots and pepper into a circular fanlike shape in the pan. Dust cinnamon and chilli powder evenly over the top. Cover with the pastry. Press it gently into the pan to embed the carrots and pepper. Bake for 15 mins, until the base is just golden.

Carefully flip the tart onto a baking tray (place the tray over the pan, using an oven glove to flip over) so the carrots face up.

Dust with reserved nuts. Drizzle a drop of honey over. Bake for 10-15 mins. Serve with a scattering of herby leaves over the top.

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