Mary Berry – Cook and Share episode 5

Mary Berry – Cook and Share episode 5

Mary Berry – Cook and Share episode 5: Mary heads to a festival where food takes centre stage. Set in the grounds of Cornbury Park in Oxfordshire, performers from theatre, music and art come together, but the real headliners are the top chefs who host sharing feasts and intimate dinners throughout the four-day event. Mary is meeting up with an old friend, Michelin-starred chef Niklas Ekstedt. He cooks for an intimate crowd of diners who sit around the chef’s table and watch him work his magic. Mary gets a taste of what’s on the menu and meets some of the diners to find out how sharing this culinary experience with both friends and strangers can bring everyone together.




Mary and Niklas also head to one of the long table banquets. With a menu put together by chef Robin Gill, they join hundreds of fellow diners to share the incredible feast and soak up the festival atmosphere. Another friend of Mary’s is also performing. Sophie Ellis-Bextor is opening the main stage, and Mary is keen to meet up and share some of her recipes. They tuck into Mary’s forest bean salad with lemon herb dressing, which is served alongside her celery, blue cheese and sage risotto.

Mary also shares other recipes perfect for bringing the festival feast to one’s own home. Her two roast chickens with scalloped potatoes are fabulous for a smaller-scale banquet at home, and her sticky short beef ribs and lemon coleslaw are tender, slow cooked delights, great for sharing. All followed by a slice of heaven from her glazed French peach tart.


Mary Berry – Cook and Share episode 5


Mary Berry

Dame Mary Rosa Alleyne Hunnings, known professionally as Mary Berry, is an English food writer, chef, baker and television presenter. After being encouraged in domestic science classes at school, she studied catering and shipping management at college. She then moved to France at the age of 22 to study at Le Cordon Bleu culinary school, before working in a number of cooking-related jobs.

Berry’s first job was at the Bath Electricity Board showroom and then conducting home visits to show new customers how to use their electric ovens. She would typically demonstrate the ovens by making a Victoria sponge, a technique she would later repeat when in television studios to test out an oven she had not used before. Her catchment area for demonstrations was limited to the greater Bath area, which she drove around in a Ford Popular supplied as a company car.

Her ambition was to move out of the family home to London, which her parents would not allow until she was 21. At the age of 22, she applied to work at the Dutch Dairy Bureau, while taking City & Guilds courses in the evenings. She then persuaded her manager to pay for her to undertake the professional qualification from the French Le Cordon Bleu school.

She left the Dutch Dairy Bureau to become a recipe tester for PR firm Benson’s, where she began to write her first book. She has since cooked for a range of food-related bodies, including the Egg Council and the Flour Advisory Board. In 1966 she became food editor of Housewife magazine. She was food editor of Ideal Home magazine from 1970 to 1973.

Her first cookbook, The Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook, was published in 1970. She launched her own product range in 1994 with her daughter Annabel. The salad dressings and sauces were originally only sold at Mary’s AGA cooking school, but have since been sold in Britain, Germany and Ireland with retailers such as Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and Tesco. She has also appeared on a BBC Two series called The Great British Food Revival, and her solo show, Mary Berry Cooks, began airing on 3 March 2014.

Glazed French peach tart – Mary Berry – Cook and Share episode 5

Glazed French peach tart
Glazed French peach tart

This peach tart is as impressive as it is delicious! The recipe works just as well with nectarines or apricots. It takes a little time to put together, but it’s a dish to be proud of.


  • First make the pastry. Measure the flour, butter and icing sugar into a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and pulse again until the dough comes together.
  • Dust a worksurface with flour and roll out the pastry as thinly as possible to be a little bigger than the tin. Line the tin with pastry, leaving any excess overhanging. Prink the base with a fork and chill in the fridge or freezer for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
  • Line the pastry case with baking paper and fill with baking beans or uncooked rice. Bake blind for 15 minutes then remove the beans and paper and bake for another 5–10 minutes, until the pastry is pale golden and crisp. Set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, to make the crème patissiere, put the egg yolks, sugar and flour in a large bowl. Using an electric whisk, beat until the mixture is thick and pale.
  • Heat the milk in a saucepan until scalding. Slowly pour the milk into the bowl and continue whisking until smooth. Pour back into the saucepan, add the vanilla and stir constantly over a medium heat until just boiling and the mixture is at a thick ribbon stage (where a trail of mixture sits on the surface like a ribbon when you lift out the beaters).
  • Spoon into a bowl, cover the surface with baking paper to stop a skin forming and leave to cool.
  • When the crème patissiere is cold, fold in the whipped cream. Cover and set aside in the fridge until needed.
  • To poach the peaches, measure 200ml/7fl oz water and the caster sugar into a wide-based saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then bring up to the boil and boil for 2 minutes.
  • Turn down the heat, add the peach slices and simmer gently for a few minutes, until the peaches are just soft, but not falling apart. Strain the peaches from the syrup and leave to cool completely. Discard the syrup.
  • Put the apricot jam in a small saucepan . Place over a low heat and stir until smooth and runny.
  • Fill the pastry case with the cold crème patissiere, spreading to the edges. Arrange the peach slices in a neat spiral on top. Brush the peach slices pastry edges with the apricot jam and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to set before serving. Cut into wedges and serve at room temperature.

Sticky short beef ribs and lemon coleslaw

Sticky short beef ribs and lemon coleslaw
Sticky short beef ribs and lemon coleslaw

Beef short ribs are readily available now and a lovely way to slow cook beef. They do take a long time so plan ahead. Mary uses red cabbage in her coleslaw, but feel free to use shredded white cabbage if you prefer.


  • To make the marinade, measure all the ingredients into a shallow dish and mix well. Add the short ribs and mix well to coat. Leave for 2 hours or overnight in the fridge, if possible, to marinate.
  • Preheat the oven to 150C/130C Fan/Gas 2.
  • Transfer the ribs and the marinade into a deep ovenproof saucepan or flameproof casserole. Add 200ml/7fl oz water so only the bones are sticking above the liquid. Cover with a lid and bring up to the boil.
  • Transfer to the oven for about 3½ hours, or until the ribs are tender. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan for about an hour.
  • Line a small roasting tin with baking paper. Remove the ribs from the marinade, give them a shake and sit them on the paper in the tin.
  • Skim the fat from the marinade in the pan and discard. Heat the marinade over a high heat until the volume of liquid has reduced by half. Pour the reduced marinade over the ribs.
  • Heat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6 and roast the ribs for about 15 minutes until dark brown and sticky.
  • Meanwhile, to make the coleslaw, measure the mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard and garlic into a large bowl. Mix and season well with salt and pepper. Add the cabbage, carrots, celery and spring onions and toss to coat everything well. Spoon into a serving bowl.
  • Serve the sticky ribs alongside the coleslaw with jacket potatoes and corn on the cob.

Celery, blue cheese and sage risotto

Celery, blue cheese and sage risotto
Celery, blue cheese and sage risotto

This risotto is a complete mid-week meal for cheese lovers – choose whatever blue cheese you like best. It’s also great for using up any leftover cheese after Christmas.


  • Heat the oil in a deep frying pan over a high heat. Add the onions and celery and fry for 4–5 minutes, to soften. Add the garlic and mushrooms and fry for a further 2–3 minutes. Add the rice and stir into the vegetables.
  • Pour in the wine and let it bubble for 1–2 minutes until the volume of liquid has reduced. Add a ladleful of the hot stock and continue to add the stock, a little at a time, until it has all been absorbed. This will take about 15–20 minutes.
  • Add the petits pois and cook for a few minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese and sage. Season with a little salt and plenty of black pepper. Leave to stand for 2 minutes until the cheese is melted.
  • Melt the butter in a small pan over a high heat and fry a few sage leaves until crisp.
  • Serve the risotto hot in warmed bowls with the crispy sage leaves to garnish.


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