Mary Berry’s Simple Comforts episode 1 – Paris: Mary returns to the city where she learned to cook – Paris! It is a place that lives and breathes food, and Mary wants to sample the very best of it. Where better to start than a fromagerie to buy cheese for her own version of a melting, crunchy croque monsieur.
Next, under the spire of the Eiffel Tower, Mary enjoys the perfect bistro lunch, all washed down with a drop of fine wine, before she heads to one of the city’s favourite creperies to finesse her technique – whipping up the classic lemon and sugar crepe.
Heading to one of Paris’s bakeries, Mary is shown the underground secrets of perfecting croissants and producing the masses of baguettes that are baked fresh every day. Inspired by the sweet pastries she spots in Parisian patisserie windows, Mary makes her own brioche and apple frangipane tart. This is served up alongside a succulent slow roast leg of lamb with ratatouille and an elegant starter of a crab and herb blinis.
Mary Berry’s Simple Comforts episode 1 – Paris recipes:
Recipe – Mary Berry’s slow roast leg of lamb with ratatouille
All-in-one pan roast lamb with an aromatic coating and ratatouille-style vegetables. Once it’s in the oven you can forget about it for 4 hours. Great for feeding a crowd because you can make it in advance and forget about it.
Method: Slow roast leg of lamb with ratatouille recipe
- Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7.
- Using a small sharp knife, make a series of small slits over the leg of lamb. Put 2 tablespoons of the thyme in a bowl with the paprika and oil, season and mix together. Spread the mixture over the lamb, insert the garlic slivers into the slits and season the lamb with salt and pepper. Put the onions into a large, deep roasting tin, sit the lamb on top and roast for about 40 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3.
- Scatter the peppers and aubergine around the lamb. Pour the tomatoes into a bowl, add the stock, tomato paste, the remaining thyme, bay leaves and honey, and stir to combine. Pour into the tin over the peppers and stir. Cover the whole tin with foil and return to the oven for about 4 hours, until the lamb is tender and falling off the bone.
- Lift the lamb out of the tin and place on a large board. Spoon off any fat from the top of the sauce. Carve the meat into slices and serve with the vegetables.
Mary’s croque monsieur
Wonderfully naughty snack, brunch or lunch – great for hungry teenagers. Sit a fried egg on top of the sandwich and it becomes a croque madame. Choose a good quality ham, ideally hand carved from a freshly cooked joint.
Method for croque monsieur:
- Preheat the grill to medium. Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Melt half of the butter in a small saucepan. Brush the butter over one side of each slice of bread and place the bread on the baking sheet, buttered side up. Grill for 1–2 minutes, until lightly golden.
- Turn the bread over and spread the unbuttered side with mustard. Put two slices of ham on two slices of the mustard-spread bread. Scatter half of the cheese over the ham and cover with the remaining bread, toasted side up, to make two sandwiches.
- Melt the remaining butter in the saucepan, whisk in the flour and heat for a few seconds. Whisk in the hot milk until thickened. Remove from the heat and add the nutmeg and 25g/1oz of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spread the white sauce over the top of both sandwiches and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Put back under the grill for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the top is golden brown and bubbling.
- Leave for a few seconds before slicing in half, then serve hot.
Brioche frangipane apple pudding – Mary Berry’s Simple Comforts episode 1 recipe
Comfort puddings don’t get better than this; it’s perfect served warm with ice cream, custard, cream or crème fraîche, and great for Sunday lunch. You will need a large shallow ovenproof dish, about 28cm/11in in diameter.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Generously grease a shallow ovenproof dish, about 28cm/11in in diameter.
- Arrange the brioche in the dish to cover the base, filling in all the gaps, but do not overlap the slices.
- Put the butter and caster sugar into a food processor and whizz until light and creamy. Add the ground almonds, almond extract, eggs and flour and whizz again until soft and smooth, but do not over-mix.
- Spoon the mixture over the brioche base and spread to the sides of the dish. Arrange the sliced apples on top in overlapping circles. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until lightly golden all over; it should feel firm in the centre when lightly pressed.
- Melt the jam with 2 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan. Brush the jam over the pudding and sprinkle with the flaked almonds. Dust with icing sugar and serve warm.