Good old fashioned comfort food.
When I thought about writing this up I was going to do a little reflection on lock down, but turns out there are no words. No certainties. I can't think of what to write and definitely have on wisdom to impart. We're all just muddling through aren't we?
One thing I am certain of though, as I sit here in my daytime pyjamas (yep, I have separated the collection into two piles), is that I want all the comfort food. ALL of it, and nothing says comfort like school dinner pudding. I had forgotten all about cornflake tart until it was mentioned on my new favourite podcast - 'Hoovering' with Jessica Fostekew and I just couldn't stop thinking about it. When we were making it, just mixing the cornflakes with the melted syrup, butter and sugar was so nostalgic. School was a bumpy experience for me overall, but coming from a household where no home baking happened at all (no sob story here, my mother just isn't a baker) these puddings were like a hug in the tummy and often cheered me up in the middle of a rough day.
You could make this recipe as easy as pie (ha ha) by using shop-bought, ready roll pastry. If you have a little more time, give pastry a go. It gets a bad wrap in the baking world - it's honestly not that tricky as long as you're realistic and not looking for complete perfection you can do it without chilling it and with really tasty results. Serving this with custard is essential.
N.B. The filling for this pud needs to be melted, so it's a good idea to do this in advance of the bake and let it cool slightly before getting your little one involved.
For the pastry
450g plain flour
200g butter - chopped into small lumps (With a little extra for greasing the tin)
3 tbsp water
For the Topping
250g golden syrup
50g soft, brown sugar
1 jar raspberry jam (or berry of your choosing)
Non stick tin.
I made our tart in a Swiss roll tin, but any non stick, shallow tin or pie dish will do. If you end up with too much pastry you can freeze it for later.
Silicone mat if you have one.
Mixing bowl, spoon and rolling pin
1. Grease your tin and pre heat your oven to 180°
2. Make the pastry by adding the butter to the flour and rubbing / squeezing / squashing it all together until you have a crumbly mixture. No precision is required here, so let little ones get stuck in. If you have a nice big mixing bowl you should both be able to get your hands in there too and speed things along a bit.
3. Add the water and squish everything into a nice firm dough. Tip this out onto a floured work surface or silicon mat (definitely worth investing in one of these if you enjoy baking, saves so much mess as you don't need to flour the surface) and roll the dough as thin as you can to a size bigger than your tin.
4. The easiest way to get the pastry into the tin is to turn your tin upside down on top of the rolled out pastry, flip the whole thing over and then press it into the corners or roll it a little more inside the tin if you need it to stretch a little further. In an ideal world your pastry will flop over the edge of your tin, but don't worry too much if this is not the case.
5. Prick the base of the pastry all over with a fork then bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Let the base cool completely before filling.
6. Whilst the case is baking you can make the filling. Melt golden syrup, sugar and butter in a pan until everything has melted / dissolved and you have a lovely caramel coloured liquid. Pour this over the cornflakes and mix until, the cereal is all completely covered.
7. When the pastry case is cool spread a layer of jam cross the bottom. Your little one can do this with the back of a normal spoon. Spoon the cornflake mixture over the top, using the back of your wooden spoon to press it into all four corners. You can now keep the tart ready on the worktop and simply pop it in the oven at 180° for a final five minutes when you're ready to eat it. The jam, of course, gets boiling hot - watch little taste buds.
Watch us make this bake over @bakefulplay on this highlight.