The good cook

There are a plethora of cooking shows these days and there is just as much variety in their quality as there are chefs lining up for their 15 minutes of fame. One chefs on offer late last year was Simon Hopkinson, who while he may not be well known in Australia does have a lifetime of experience in the UK food scene.

I was pleasantly surprised to see his show because I’d picked up a marginally damaged copy of Hopkinson’s Second Helpings of Roast Chicken, an absolute bargain at $5 just the week before the show came aired.

This book focusses on recipes of his favourite ingredients, including rhubarb, which we seem to have a lot of at present. So a quick flick through the book and I was ready to make Suzanne Bourke’s Rhubarb Pie.

This barely qualifies as a recipe. All you need to do is take two sheets of commercial puff pastry  (OK you could make your own) and drape one over your baking tin, save the second for the lid. Hopkinson says to roll the pastry out thinner, but I couldn’t be bothered and it doessn’t seem to make any difference to the outcome that I can see.

Cut up 700gms of rhubarb then mix the rhubarb with 160gms of castor sugar and 1 teaspoon of cornflour together in a large bowl. Then dump the lot into your pastry-lined tin.


Pretty easy so far. Brush around the edges of the pastry with some milk and put you second sheet on top. Press around the edges with the tines of a fork to seal and make a nice pattern – just like I remember my Grandma doing. Trim excess pastry if you are so inclined.


Bake in the oven set at 200º C and cook for 20 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 150º C and cook for another 40 minutes or until golden brown.


I completely agree when Simon says “Eat with the best cream you can find …” (although I think we had this helping with home made icecream instead).

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