How to make pancakes more interesting

Pancake day, traditionally a day of feasting before the 40 days of Lent, has now also been adopted as a fun event – everyone can remember the childhood thrill of watching pancakes being tossed.

If you are making pancakes for the first time, there is the basic recipe below along with ten top tips from Proper Pancake’s expert Nicky. She has also created a special topping for us, making the most of Cornish apples from Polpier’s orchard.

Easy Pancake recipe


  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 300ml full fat milk
  • 1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil, plus a little extra for frying
  • lemon wedges, to serve (optional)
  • aster sugar, to serve (optional)


  1. Sift the flour into a large bowl or jug. Break the eggs into a small bowl to guarantee no egg shell pieces get into the mix, then add to the flour. Pour in the milk and add a pinch of salt, then whisk to a smooth batter. The batter can be affected by temperature of your kitchen, so if it seems rather thick add a little extra milk.
  2. Leave the batter on a counter top for 30 mins to rest.
  3. Wipe a medium frying pan or crêpe pan with oiled kitchen paper and place over a medium heat. When hot, cook your pancakes for 1 min on each side until golden – have a go at tossing them with a sharp flick of your wrist. If you don’t fancy pancakes on the ceiling, carefully flip over with a spatula.
  4. Keep the pancakes warm in a low oven until you have made the required number.
  5. Serve with lemon wedges and sugar, or your favourite filling.
  6. Once cold, you can layer the pancakes between baking parchment, then wrap in cling film and freeze for up to 2 months. When defrosted, gently reheat in a warm oven.

Nicky’s Top tips for making pancakes

  1. Always buy the best quality ingredients – Cornish free range eggs, Cornish milk and organic flour are essential to creating my fluffy pancakes.
  2. Never over stir your batter as this will result in chewy pancakes.
  3. Use a good, flat non-stick pan.
  4. Coconut oil is fantastic for cooking pancakes if you need oil, I always use Lucy Bee.
  5. Alternatively, cook your pancakes with butter to add a richness to their flavour.
  6. Cook the pancakes using a medium heat, never go hotter!
  7. Have fun and experiment with flavours.
  8. If you have guests, always make more than you think you will need to ensure you don’t miss out!
  9. Pancakes don’t always have to be sweet, there are some great savoury recipes out there. A favourite of mine is Otto lenghi’s green pancakes with lime butter, it’s delicious!
  10. Remember, pancakes are not just for pancake day – they’re great all year round and at any time of the day!

Caramelised Apples

This recipe has been tried and tested in the Proper Pancakes kitchen using the best apples in season and delicious Cornish butter.


  • 2 apples
  • 35g golden caster sugar
  • 35g soft brown sugar
  • 75g unsalted butter (I use Trewithen Farm)
  • Coconut oil


  1. Heat a little coconut oil in a non-stick pan over a medium heat, then peel, core and chop two apples of your choice. Cut into thin slices, no bigger than half a centimetre thick. Add the apples to the pan and cook for approximately 5-8 minutes until softened and a golden colour has started to develop. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of slices and type of apple you choose.
  2. Add the butter and sugar, reduce the heat to medium/low and simmer gently for a further 3-4 minutes until the sugar and butter have combined, thickened and caramelised a little. Be careful not to overcook as you will end up with a slightly granular, chewy toffee like substance or burnt butter!
  3. Serve with pancakes and top with a good spoonful of Roddas clotted cream – if you’re feeling extra naughty, why not combine a little brandy with the cream?

Remember that you are dealing with a topping that contains hot sugar, so please be very careful when serving and allow to cool a little before eating.

Nicky is happy to bring her Proper Pancakes van to parties and events. Visit for more information.

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Cornish stir fried fusion squid on roasted vegetables

Kerra from Kerra’s Catering is sharing one of her own recipes which makes the most of Cornwall’s wonderful produce. As well as being famous for fish, Cornwall has new potatoes that rival the Jersey for sweetness and being early in the season. Kerra says, ‘Here is a recipe for squid I have been playing with as it is soon to be more common in our local waters. It’s a fusion dish of local potatoes, but with a Thai influenced dressing.  It’s influenced by Mosimann, who was a great inspiration to me when I started as a chef 24 years ago.’


  • 800g -1kg midi set skinned potatoes
  • Good pinch Cornish sea salt
  • 3 de seeded red chilli sliced
  • 1 small courgette – cut into sticks
  • 200g Asparagus
  • 200g Tender Stem Broccoli
  • Half a red pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic – sliced
  • 5 spring onions sliced
  • 20 Raw king prawns
  • 3 Squid tubes -split open, scored and cut into pieces
  • 100ml veg oil
  • 4 Tbs soy sauce
  • 4 dashes of fish sauce
  • 3 Tbs of olive oil
  • Small bunch of coriander chopped
  • 6 Tbs Corn flour – well seasoned with salt and pepper



  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees (fan) adjust accordingly or use the Aga roasting oven.
  2. Thinly slice the potatoes on the diagonal.
  3. Scatter in a dish with 1tbs of olive oil, season.
  4. Place in the oven for 10 mins
  5. Add the garlic (3 cloves) chilli, broccoli, courgette, asparagus and red pepper to the potatoes. Put back in the oven for 12 minutes
  6. In a jug combine 2tbs olive oil, soy sauce and fish sauce.
  7. Warm the veg oil in a heavy duty frying pan.
  8. Dip the prawns and squid in the seasoned cornflour and fry in batches until cooked through and crispy.
  9. Drain any excess oil out of the frying pan, add the remaining sliced garlic and spring onion, fry for a minute. Return all the prawns and squid to the pan and toss in the coriander.
  10. Pour the soy sauce mix over the vegetables, stir thoroughly.
  11. Serve a good spoonful of potato and veg mix onto a plate and top with the squid and prawns.

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Christmas Biscuit Recipe

Homemade treats are particularly lovely at Christmas, either to enjoy with your family and friends or as gifts. Property Manager Amanda Craze has shared her favourite recipe for baking delicious vanilla flavoured biscuits. She uses a Lakeland star biscuit cutter as a festive design and, as an expert icer, they really shine in every way. For novices, Amanda has also shared her tips on icing. Making these biscuits is a great fun activity to do with children on a cold winter’s afternoon and they will love creating their own designs.

This recipe will make 24-32 biscuits
Oven temp 170 c, preheated
Baking trays lined with baking paper
Icing bag or squeeze bottle



  • 1/2 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or
  • 1/2 teaspoon of natural vanilla paste
  • 350g plain flour
  • 100g self raising flour
  • 125g granulated sugar
  • 125g salted butter, diced
  • 125g golden syrup
  • 1 large egg

If you prefer you can use alternative flavourings instead of vanilla.

  • Nutmeg – add 1/2 tablespoon of grated nutmeg
  • Cinnamon and Orange – add the zest of 2 oranges and 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon.
  • Ginger – add 1 tablespoon ground ginger.

For icing:

  • 75ml cold water
  • 450g royal icing mix
  • Any food colourings you want to use
  • Any edible glitters, sparkling sugar and decorations
    you choose to use.


1. Lightly beat the egg and vanilla together (if you are using vanilla.)

2. Sift the flours together into a mixing bowl, add sugar and mix well.

3. Rub in the butter using your finger tips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. If you are using a different flavouring add now.

4. Add the syrup and the egg, mix all ingredients together, kneed lightly to form a dough.

5. Turn out onto a work surface, divide into two and shape into flat discs. (If you are not using dough immediately cover with clingfilm and chill, bring back to room temperature when ready to use.)

6. To roll the dough, place it between two sheets of parchment paper and roll until it is 5mm thick. Transfer the whole sheet of rolled dough still sandwiched between the paper to a baking tray and refrigerate for 20 – 25 minutes before cutting. Repeat for other disc of dough.

7. Cut the dough into required shapes using your chosen cutters. Place evenly on lined baking trays and cook for 14-18 minutes until they turn a golden colour. Remove from oven and carefully lift each biscuit off the tray onto a wire cooling rack and allow to cool totally before icing.


1. Combine icing mix to water, you are looking for a mix that resemble the appearance of toothpaste.

2. Add any colouring to icing you wish to use, or divide icing into bowls and add your chosen colours, mix well.

3. Place icing in an icing bag or squeeze bottle and decorate the biscuits as you wish.

Tips for icing:

When not using your icing cover the surface with clingfilm and refrigerate.

If you are using an icing bag, use one hand to squeeze on the bag and the other to guide the bag.

Practice makes perfect! Practice icing on to a piece of baking paper before you attempt piping on to your biscuits

Place any decorations you are using directly on to wet icing to ensure affix.


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Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas from the Polpier team.


Korean Belly Pork and Peanut Brittle


Peanut brittle is a real childhood favourite and this delicious recipe for Korean pork belly from Buttermilk and chef James Strawbridge is a new twist that everyone will enjoy on cold Autumn evenings. It makes use of one of the tastiest and most economical cuts of pork and we always buy local at Lobbs Farm Shop. Wonderful Cornish cabbage, thinly sliced and tossed in a wok with soy sauce and sesame seeds is also a tasty and healthy side dish.

Peanut brittle is a versatile ingredient to play with in the kitchen. In this dish James used it to add sweetness to a Korean style BBQ sauce and finish the pork belly with some crackling texture. The spring greens and fresh mint work well with a sweet butternut squash mayo and the sticky, spicy and sweet pork. We would also recommend trying this recipe with confit duck or brushed onto chicken wings.


For the Pork:

  • 600g Higher Welfare Pork Belly
  • 2 tbsp Cornish Honey
  • 3 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar or Mirin
  • 1 tbsp sliced Root Ginger
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 50g Peanut Brittle (available from Buttermilk Kitchen)
  • 5 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Gochujang

For the Hot Salad:

  • 75g Sugar Snap Peas
  • 2 Spring Onions
  • 100g Pak Choi or Chinese Cabbage
  • 1 Garlic Clove – nely sliced
  • Juice of 1/2 Lime
  • 25g Peanut Brittle
  • 1 Red Chilli
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh Mint
  • Pinch of smoked Cornish Seasalt


  1. Prepare the pork belly by removing the rind and marinading the meat with soy sauce, gochujang, honey, root ginger, fennel seeds, and rice vinegar. Leave for at least 4 hours or overnight in a sealed container.
  2. Preheat your oven to 170 ̊C and place the pork in a roasting tin covered with foil, adding a cup of water and roast for 2-3 hours or until tender. Remove your pork from the oven and increase to 200 ̊C.
  3. Then blitz your Peanut Brittle and add to the sauce in a small saucepan, reducing until sticky. Brush the Peanut Brittle sauce back over the pork and roast uncovered for another 20 minutes until caramelised. 4. For the hot salad simply toss the ingredients together in a bowl and cook in hot sesame oil using a wok or large frying pan. Serve the sliced pork belly on a butternut puree and garnish with your salad and more Peanut Brittle crumb.



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Beehive Bars Cocktail Recipes

Everyone loves a cocktail and particularly one created by Beehive Bars that makes the most of Cornwall’s great artisan spirit producers.

Beehive Bars was set up in the summer of 2014 by Jessica Rowe, aged 34 and Alex Logan, aged 29 – work colleagues at and great friends. Together Jessy and Alex have more than 20 years of working in events and hospitality, so when they were approached by Frugi, the Cornish children’s clothing company,  to run a bar for an anniversary celebration they jumped at the chance; Beehive Bars was born.

The hot weather over the 2014 summer made for great bar building weather and many a day was spent painting, waxing, sanding and hammering with a lot of help from Andy (Jess’s husband) and Nigel (Alex’s dad). The bar is made out of three old oil drums and scaffolding boards that have been nailed together sanded, burnt, and waxed.

Why is it called Beehive Bars? On top of the bar sits two beautiful glass beehive drinks dispensers that will be filled full of cocktails like Limoncello Gin Fizz, Mojito and their signature drink ‘Storm in a Teacup’ which is a Beehive Bars spin on Rum & Ginger.

When they started building Beehive Bars there were four factors that were very important to them.

1. Using local produce where possible. Alex says “There is such a wide selection of drink producers in Cornwall who are crafting such quality products; their reputation’s go beyond the Cornish borders – Tarquin, Aval d’or, Camel Valley, Curio to name just a few! Plus being a Cornish company we also see the importance of supporting fellow Cornish business’s where possible.”

2. Keeping drinks prices reasonable

3. To be creative (Alex loves to make wonderful syrups for the cocktails and Jessy is always hunting for new treasures to go on the bar)

4. Offer great service

Knowing we grow blackberries, apples and Rosemary, Beehive Bars have created three delicious cocktails for us. Wonderful for guests to try when they are staying or for any cocktail enthusiastic to chill out to at home.

Blackberry Cooler


Homemade Blackberry syrup

If you have a large crop of blackberries from a Autumnal picking session and don’t know what to do with them then perhaps this recipe will help. Syrups are so easy to make and are a fantastic way of making some delicious drinks by jazzing up some dusty bottles of booze that have been in the cupboard for a while. Jessy and I have been picking this weekend and managed to pick enough to whip up a batch of syrup.

  • One mug of caster sugar
  • Two mugs of blackberries
  • One lemon squeezed
  • One mug of water
  1. Add all ingredients to a lovely big pan
  2. Bring to the boil over a medium heat and simmer for a couple of minutes
  3. Allow to cool
  4. Blend with a hand blender
  5. Pass through a sieve
  6. Decant into a Kilner bottle (or something similar)

The next bit…. The Cooler

  1. Fill a glass with ice and a few blackberries and a slice of lemon
  2. Add 35mls (an egg cup full) of Curio Gin
  3. 15mls of Chambord (half an egg cup)
  4. 35mls of Blackberry Syrup
  5. And top up with soda.

(Also works with vodka or you could add your syrup to a glass of bubbles!)

Cornish Apple Martini


  • Aval D’or Vodka
  • Knightor Vermouth
  • Polgoon Apple Juice
  • Lemon

1. Put into a shaker

  • Ice
  • 50mls Vodka
  • 25mls Vermouth
  • 25mls Apple Juice
  • Squeeze of ½ a lemon

2. Shake

3. Pour into a martini glass

4. Garnish with a few slices of apple.
(Also works with Gin!)

Rosemary Gin & Tonic


  • Rosemary
  • Curio Gin
  • Cucumber
  • Franklins Tonic
  1. Infuse your favourite gin with some Rosemary from the Garden
    (Leave 2 or 3 sprigs of rosemary in a bottle of gin for a few days)
  2. Put ice, slices of cucumber and a sprig of rosemary into a tall glass
  3. Add 35mls of Infused Gin
  4. Add 120mls of Franklins Tonic

Now in their second year, Beehive Bars offer a completely bespoke service which include cash bars, event drinks packages, simple bar hire, event staffing, cocktail classes, all tailored to the customer’s specific requirements and budgets.

To Contact Beehive Bars
T:01209 313620
M:07582 630989

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Bacon, Egg and Parsley Pie

Our Property Manager Amanda Craze was given this lovely recipe by her Granny, a Cornish farmer’s wife with 11 children. When young, Amanda lived next door to her Granny and was always popping in for tea and the bacon, egg and parsley pie was a firm favourite. Amanda remembers, ‘Often there would be cousins round too, dozens of us, and Granny would feed us all. She was a great one for using what was to hand and often she’d put grated cauliflower in the pie as a filler. With that many hungry mouths, she needed to be inventive. She also made the most delicious coleslaw with whatever vegetables and herbs there were and a clotted cream and vinegar dressing. Unfortunately she didn’t write down a lot of her recipes, there wasn’t the time with no washing machines or dishwashers to help out. Whenever anyone in the family makes this pie it’s always called ‘Granny’s Pie,’ and certainly keeps alive our memories of her.’


Serves 6

Oven temp. 180 c. pre heated

23cm loose bottom flan tin

280g Plain Flour
70g Lard – chopped into small cubes
70g Butter – chopped into small cubes
Pinch of salt
Cold water to mix
Flour for rolling out
Place all ingredients into a large bowl, except the water. Rub in the fat to flour until it resembles bread crumbs. Add enough water to make a pliable dough, cover with cling film and place in a fridge for 30mins.


8 x Eggs – preferably geese eggs if they are available
450g Lean bacon chopped
1 x Large bunch of parsley
Pinch of salt
Beaten egg to glaze


01 Fry the bacon lightly to draw out any water, drain if necessary then leave to cool.
02 Meanwhile roughly chop the parsley.
03 Lightly whisk two of the eggs together, add a pinch of salt and plenty of pepper.
04 Cut 2/3 of the pastry, roll out on a floured surface and line the flan tin leaving an overhang to allow to seal the lid and the bottom together.
05 Place the cooled bacon in the pastry lined tin followed by the parsley and the two beaten eggs. Make six equally spaced indentations in filling and break a whole egg into each one.
06 Roll out the remaining pastry large enough to cover the top of the filled tin, allow an overhang, brush overhang with beaten egg, pinch both pastry overhangs together to seal, make a small hole in the top of pastry lid to allow steam to escape. I crimp my overhangs to seal, but this is not essential.
07 Brush pie top with beaten egg.
08 Place pie on an oven tray and cook for 35 – 40mins. The pastry should be golden and the pie should feel firm when cooked.
09 Allow to cool before serving.


Those who are busy can always use a good quality ready made short crust pastry, but do take the time to relax and enjoy this for lunch, a picnic, or for a traditional high tea.

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Queen of puddings recipe


This traditional pudding can be traced back as far as the 17th Century, no doubt because it was made from kitchen staples and would have been a frugal use of old bread and bruised fruit. To stand the test of time though, it has to be made with the best quality ingredients to show how easily to hand basics can be turned into a delicious pudding. We use our local Boddington’s raspberry jam, made in Mevagissey and packed with flavor and free range eggs from Lobbs Farm Shop at the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Baker Tom’s organic white loaf is perfect for plump breadcrumbs and, with Rodda’s rich Cornish milk and butter, it means this is a celebration of the best of the county. Normally the pudding is served in one dish, but we tried it in six ramekins, smarter for a lunch or dinner party and easily packed for a picnic at the beach.



For the base
600ml/1 pint full-fat milk
25g/1oz butter, plus extra for greasing the dish
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
50g/2oz caster sugar
3 egg yolks
75g/3oz fresh white breadcrumbs – either made by grating or by whizzing the bread in a blender.
225g Boddington’s raspberry jam

For the meringue
175g/6oz caster sugar
3 egg whites

Serves 6
A 1.4L/21⁄2pt oval ovenproof dish that will fit inside a roasting tin or six ramekin dishes.

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3 and grease a pie dish or six ramekins.

2. For the base, warm the milk in a small saucepan. Add the butter, lemon zest and the 50g/2oz of sugar, stir until dissolved.

3. Lightly whisk the egg yolks in a bowl. Slowly pour the warm milk into the eggs, while whisking.


4. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the base of the buttered dish and pour over the strained custard. Leave to stand for about 20 minutes, so the breadcrumbs absorb the liquid.

5. Carefully transfer the dish to a roasting tin and fill the tin halfway with hot water. Bake the custard in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes until the custard has set. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool a little.

6. Gently heat the jam in a saucepan and spoon over the base.


7. Run half a lemon around a large bowl to make sure it is fat free and whisk the egg whites using an electric hand whisk on full speed until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed. Add the remaining 175g/6oz sugar a teaspoon at a time, still whisking on maximum speed until the mixture is stiff and shiny. Using a metal spoon, cover the base with the meringue.


8. Lower the oven temperature to 150C/300F/Gas 2 and return the pudding to the oven (not in the roasting tin with water) for about 25-30 minutes until the meringue is pale golden all over and crisp.


Queen of Puddings may be served hot or cold and is delicious with Cornish vanilla ice cream or clotted cream.

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Fish Pie Recipe


There can be nowhere better to make fish pie than Cornwall with the miles of coast line and fishing industry.  Rich with Cornish butter, milk and cream, It is also the perfect comfort food for cosy evenings or, if given an elegant piped potato topping, suitable for a dinner party. With no need for last minute attention, it is also great for larger parties, particularly if popped in ramekin dishes for individual servings. Our Property Manager Amanda Craze is sharing her own recipe of how to make this classic dish.

For the mashed potato.
1.5kg King Edward potatoes cut into small chunks
salt and white pepper
Butter to taste
splash of cream

750g white fish of your choice
250g smoked haddock
250g salmon
120g raw prawns

150ml full fat milk
1 x small carrot, cut in half
1x small onion, cut in half
3 x peppercorns
1 x small bayleaf
75g butter
75g plain flour
A large bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 table spoon drained,rinsed and chopped capers
150ml double cream
100g grated strong cheddar cheese

Oven temp 180C – preheated                serves 6

1. Boil potatoes in a large pan of salted water for 15-20 mins until tender. Drain and mash with butter and cream, add salt and pepper to taste. Place to one side.


2. Skin fish, if required , cut into bite size chunks, place in a wide deep sauté pan. Place the milk, carrot, onion, bay leaf and peppercorns into the pan and slowly bring to a simmering heat for about 4 mins until the fish is tender. Remove the fish and remove any bones, place in a shallow casserole dish along with the raw prawns. Leave the vegetables in the milk liquor for another 15mins to infuse. Remove vegetables, peppercorns and bayleaf after this time.

3. For the sauce, melt the butter in a sauce pan on a low heat, add the flour to make a paste, add the infused milk, a ladleful at a time and keep whisking until smooth. Add the parsley and capers, simmer for about 8-10 mins, do not let boil. Add cream and cheddar cheese, mix until you have  a smooth sauce.

4. Pour the sauce over the fish and top with mashed potatoes, either forking over or, for a prettier finish, piping on. For piping the mash needs to be very smooth and add a little more cream if it is looking dry. Leave the potato to cool before piping, using a large disposable piping bag with a large star nozzle. A scattering of parmesan can be added for those who prefer a stronger cheesy flavour.


5. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 25 mins, or until golden brown.

We serve with fresh green vegetables from the garden in summer and in other seasons frozen peas are the perfect accompaniment and very easy if you are catering for a large crowd.

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Melting Moments Biscuit Recipe

melting moments800

We love a home made biscuit, whether with morning coffee or afternoon tea. Made with rich Cornish butter and free range egg, they are definitely worth the extra effort and we like to think the rolled oats in this recipe add a healthy element. These simple but delicious ones are also perfect with an early morning cuppa in bed or late night hot chocolate. Highly recommended to leave in Kilner jars in guests’ bedrooms in case they get the munchies. A bit of old fashioned hospitality which is still appreciated today.

This is also such a flexible biscuit when it comes to decoration. Some ideas for changes are substituting an almond, sugared violet or chocolate button for the cherry, but you can always try your own ideas to go with a themed coffee morning or tea party.

Melting Moments

Oven temp 180 c
Makes 18-20

40g Butter
65g Lard
75g castor sugar
half an egg
half tea spoon vanilla essence
150g S.R flour
rolled oat for coating
5 place cherries, quartered


1. Pre heat oven. Grease 2 baking trays.
2.Cream butter, lard and sugar, slowly beat in egg and vanilla essence.
3. Stir in flour, then roll into 18-20 walnut size balls in your hands.
4. Spread the oats onto greaseproof paper and toss the balls in them until evenly coated.
5. Place the balls, slightly apart, on baking trays, place a piece of cherry on each. Bake for 15-20 mins until lightly browned. When cooked cool on trays for a few minutes then transfer to wire rack.

Be very careful not to leave the kitchen until they are safely stored in an airtight container – otherwise you might find they have mysteriously disappeared.


Asparagus Risotto Recipe

Polpier Asparagus

Polpier’s asparagus bed provides a generous harvest of this luxurious crop from mid April to mid June. Delicious eaten with melted Cornish butter and sea salt, it is also gorgeous in a risotto and our recipe guarantees every bit of the asparagus is used. Perfect as a main course for four people, it is also great to serve as a starter for larger groups, particularly in small bowls, because it can be easily eaten with just a fork even when standing up.

Aspargus risotto

12 asparagus spears
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, finally chopped
400g risotto rice
1000ml vegetable stock
Juice of one lemon
Grated pepper and Cornish sea salt
200g Parmesan grated

1. Prepare the asparagus. Bend each piece so the woody end snaps off and use these with one of the chopped onions to make the vegetable stock. The stem should be cut into bite size lengths to add to the cooking risotto and the heads separately steamed and refreshed in ice cold water so they keep their colour and shape to add as decoration to the finished dish.

2. For the risotto, heat the olive oil in a pan and sweat the onion and asparagus stems, making sure they do not brown. Add the rice and stir frequently to coat with oil for one minute, followed by the hot vegetable stock one ladleful at a time. Keep stirring for approximately 15 minutes at a gentle simmer until the liquid is absorbed, adding extra stock until the rice is tender and creamy.

3. Add the lemon juice, a good grating of pepper and a pinch of salt to taste but bear in mind the Parmesan is salty. Put the risotto into a warmed serving dish and sprinkle with the grated Parmesan. It can be kept warm for up to 15 minutes before serving, but only decorate with the asparagus spears at that point so they are beautifully bright green.

Hope you enjoy this yummy vegetarian dish.