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Ponzi Dinner Party Scheme PART 2

Ponzi Dinner Party Scheme PART 2

Understandably I was more than esteemed and honoured when my friend Katy invited me to the initial series of charity Ponzi Scheme Dinner Parties. So with five others I arrived with a sense of intrigue at her flat, armed with a bottle of wine and a well used £5 note. After the usual Hellos and How do you do’s we all sat down at the dinner table and were given a brief discussion explaining the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust and its aims. Once informed we were ready to tuck in…and tuck in we did. 

Our host is one of two girls I know who have a fierce and much deserved reputation for holding a dinner party. I am fortunate to have taken part in many. The feast included an outstanding French onion soup followed by a beautiful beef bourguignon of which I did not have enough. But the real star of the show was Katy’s Lemony Apple Crumble Tart. It was definitely worth forgetting any self-imposed dietary restrictions regarding cream and puddings. It was everything it intended to be. The combination of cream, perfectly baked crumble, not too dry but not too soggy pastry base and the well seasoned and moist apple filling created not just a party, but a full on rave in my mouth. Quite simply I want more and I want it NOW! 

Great food and wine were abundant in equal measure and after some raucous parlour games and clearly hit for six, the night ended up with me and three beautiful friends on the dance floor of a local dancing establishment. Them demonstrating up most charm and grace whilst I attempted the robot looking like an unwanted cousin at a family bbq. 

This initiative is a great way to raise money and I look forward to having my own Ponzi Dinner Party soon. 

Katy’s Lemony Apple Crumble Tart 

More than enough for six 

You will need: 

Tart base: 

Shortcrust pastry (enough to line your tart tin) 


75g plain flour

75g demerara sugar

75g unsalted butter (softened)

zest of 1lemon (finely grated) 

Apple filling: 

6 apples (cored and peeled)

Finely grated zest and juice of one unwaxed lemon

55g brown sugar

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 tbsp all purpose flour

1 tbsp caster sugar 

To serve:

Generous helpings of Crème fraiche

The zest of 1 lemon

The zest of 1 orange 

  1. Bring pastry to room temp and preheat oven to 200 Degrees Celsius
  2. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface, line tart tin, prick base with a fork, freeze for 15 mins and bake blind (bake weighted down for 12 mins then unweighted for a further 5 – 7 mins to dry out)
  3. Place flour, sugar, butter into a bowl and rib lightly between fingers until resembles fine breadcrumbs. Chill till needed
  4. Chop apples into chunks, place in a bowl and add the lemon zest, juice, sugar and spices. Sprinkle the base of the pastry with caster sugar arranging apples on top
  5. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over apples. Bake for 15 mins, reduce to 180 Degrees Celsius and bake for a further 30 mins. Whilst baking, mix the lemon and orange zest with crème fraiche so that it will be ready to serve with the tart once it is cooked.

“Once again my blackberry camera does not indicate to how amazing the tart was”


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Pork Belly stuffed with Apples, Sage and Sausages

If you had to eat only one meat for the rest of your life, what would that be? This question is often put forward to me by housemate, the Brat. Obviously a debate ensues and every week I seem to have changed my mind and argue the case for something else. On the other hand the Brat is staunch in her believe that it would be pork, most notably pork belly.

I also wonder if gelatine, in particular gummy bears, can count as a meat. I doubt it. 

Anyway, listening to the Brat’s gesticulations I decided to cook some pork belly for a dinner party I held for some old school friends last month. 

There a multitude of recipes for pork belly but I find the simplest ones are always the best. I found this one amidst the mountain of newspaper cuttings that adorn my bedroom floor; I believe it was from last October’s Observer Food Monthly

Referring back to the question posed earlier, I like to think the following recipe puts forward the case for pork. You, as the jury, can make up your own minds. 

Pork Belly stuffed with Apples, Sage and Sausages 

Serves 6 

You will need

pork belly (1.5kg)

5 sausages (I procured some epic Lincolnshire bangers from my local Sainsbury’s)

1 large apple

6 small sage leaves

a small bottle of cider

a little bit of oil or if you are super keen, some pork dripping

salt and pepper 

  1. Set the oven to 220 degrees celcius/gas mark 8.
  2. Score the skin of the pork belly then lay it flat on the chopping board.
  3. Remove skin from the sausages and place filling in a mixing bowl.
  4. Add a little salt and pepper.
  5. Peel, core and chop the apple into small chunks.
  6. Mix apple chunks and sage leaves into sausage filling (you can remove the leaves once the belly is cooked and you are carving into it).
  7. Place the sausagemeat down the centre of the pork.
  8. Roll up the pork into a cylinder and tie with kitchen string (I used the string that came with pork). This will ensure the stuffing does not fall out whilst roasting.
  9. Lightly oil the base of a roasting tin and place in the rolled pork.
  10. Season with salt and pepper.
  11. Roast the pork for 20 minutes then for 40-50mins on a lowered heat of 200 degrees celcius/gas mark 6.
  12. Once juices are running clear, remove the pork from the tin and keep warm.
  13. Remove as much of the fat as possible from the remaining juices in the tin.
  14. Place the tin over a moderate heat. Pour in cider. Stir until all pan stickings are dissolved.
  15. Carve meat and pour on the pan juices when plating up.  

I served this with some cabbage fried in butter and milk & mustard mash potatoes.



...and after

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