How to Create Perfectly Picturesque Picnic Food
Posted 17/08/2015 by BrightHouse Team
There may only be a week of summer holidays left, but there are still plenty of warm summer days to enjoy outdoors. A picnic is a fantastic way to have some fun with the family whether you’re out for a day of walking or just spending some time in a local park.
We’ve collected some easy and delicious picnic food recipes for you to try:
Mini Pork Pies
No picnic would be complete without some sort of pie, and these mini pork versions are easy to make and taste amazing.
600g readymade shortcrust pastry
A few dabs of butter
Flour for dusting
85g dried white breadcrumbs
400g Cumberland sausages (about 6)
200g smoked bacon lardons or cooked bacon
¼ tsp each of ground mace, ground pepper, and dried sage
1 egg, beaten
A few pinches of sesame seeds
Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Taking a 12-hole muffin tin, lay a thin strip of baking parchment across each hole so the ends stick out, and secure in place with a dab of butter. This will allow you lift the pies out after they’re cooked. Roll out two-thirds of the pasty on a floured surface and cut out 12 10cm circles. You might need to re-roll the trimmings to do all of them. Press each circle into the tin.
Sprinkle a tsp of breadcrumbs into the base of each pie, and put the rest in a mixing bowl. Add the bacon, spices and seasoning, and squeeze in the sausage meat, throwing away the skins. Mix and squish everything together until the breadcrumbs have just about disappeared into the mixture. It’s easiest to do this with your (clean) hands. Divide the mixture between the pies, packing them firmly.
Roll out the rest of the pastry and stamp out 12 7cm circles. Brush them with a little beaten egg and stick to the top of each pie, pressing the pastry edges together to seal. Brush the tops with more egg, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 30 minutes until golden, then carefully remove the pies from the tin and transfer to a parchment-lined baking tray. Brush the sides with more egg, and bake in the oven for another 8 minutes. Cool completely before eating, and enjoy.
Quiche is a classic, and great for sharing at a picnic. You’ll never want to buy a supermarket quiche again once you’ve made this one!
24cm pastry case, or pack of pre-rolled shortcrust pastry
1 tbsp olive oil
6 lean rashers of smoked dry cure bacon, chopped
284ml single cream
140g cheddar cheese, finely grated
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the bacon for just a minute or two until lightly cooked. Beat the eggs, cream, and milk together with a fork, then add the cheese and plenty of seasoning, and stir in half the bacon.
If using a pre-rolled pastry sheet, simply lay it on top of a quiche or flan dish and press into place, trimming any excess. Pour the mixture into the pastry case, and scatter over the remaining bacon. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the filling is set, and has slightly puffed up and turned golden. Serve warm or allow it to cool to room temperature.
Double Chocolate Shortbread
The perfect thing to snack on after the sandwiches and other savouries. These biscuits are really easy to make, and you can make the dough in advance if you need.
175g butter, softened
85g golden caster sugar
200g plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
100g chocolate chips (milk or dark)
Mix the butter and sugar together with wooden spoon. Stir in the flour and cocoa, followed by the chocolate chips. It’s best to mix it with your hands at this stage, so you can feel the mixture coming together until it forms a dough. Halve the dough and roll each piece into a log about 5cm thick. Wrap them in cling film and chill for at least an hour, or even a couple of days if you’re making them ahead.
When ready to cook, heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Slice the dough logs into rounds about 1cm thick, and transfer to a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Bake for a 10-12 minutes, and then allow to cool on the tray.
Homemade Pink Lemonade
A homemade summer drink that’s zingy and sweet.
200g caster sugar
Scrape the zest of the lemons with a peeler, but avoid getting any of the white pith as this will spoil the flavour. Juice the lemons and mix the juice with the zest, sugar, and raspberries, and 1.2 litres of boiling water. Allow the mix to cool, then sieve, pressing all the juice through with the back of a spoon. Serve chilled with a slice of lemon, or maybe a few raspberries.