Pancetta and pea bruschetta
— 120g pancetta slices — 600g fresh or frozen
and thawed peas — small bunch of mint leaves, finely chopped
— pinch of cayenne
— 250g ricotta
— finely grated zest of 1
lemon and juice of ½ — 8 chunky slices of spelt sourdough bread
— 1 packet peashoots
(optional) Remove and discard the skin from the pancetta and cut into 1cm pieces. Fry until crisp then set on kitchen paper to drain and cool. Chop half of them and leave the rest as shards.
If you are using fresh peas, blanch them in boiling salted water for one minute then drain and cool. Set aside a quarter of them and crush the rest, keeping a chunky texture.
Mix the crushed peas with the chopped mint and season with salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Stir in the reserved whole peas and the chopped pancetta and season to taste.
Mix the ricotta with the lemon zest and juice and season this lightly with salt and black pepper.
Lightly toast or chargrill the bread slices. Spread with ricotta then top with the pea mixture, the remaining pancetta shards and a few pea shoots, if using.
Ice cream cookie cake
For the base
— 250g spelt cookies — 75g butter, melted
For the ice cream
— 8 egg yolks
— 100ml whole milk — 125g caster sugar — 1 tsp vanilla extract — 500ml double cream
For the chocolate sauce
— 100ml double cream — 20g butter
— 1 tbsp golden syrup — 50g dark chocolate,
broken into pieces
For the topping
— 200ml whipping
— 100g spelt cookies — 1 punnet strawberries, washed and halved Line the base of a 25cm springform cake tin with parchment paper.
Crush the 250g of cookies to a fine rubble and stir in the butter, mixing well. Push the mixture into the bottom of the tin, making sure it is level. Set aside.
To make the ice cream, place the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl with the milk, sugar and vanilla and place over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Whisk until the mixture is light and fluffy and leaves a trail when you lift out the whisk, then remove from the heat and whisk until it has cooled.
Whisk the cream until it starts to thicken but remains slightly fluid, before soft peaks form.
Gently fold the cream into the yolk mixture, then pour this over the biscuit base and level it out. Place in the freezer to set completely.
(If you like you can make domes of ice cream in separate small moulds, to top the finished cake).
To make the chocolate sauce, gently heat the cream with the butter and syrup until melted then pour this over the chocolate in a bowl. Allow it to stand for a minute then beat together.
To decorate, whip the cream and break up the cookies into small pieces. Remove the cake from the freezer and release it from its tin. Top with quenelles of whipped cream, cookies, drizzles of chocolate sauce and the strawberries.
‘As we did at Mulberry’, the aim is to make ‘a vertical product where we both design and produce the end goods’, says Saul. Sharpham’s products are various – flour, branflakes, pearled spelt (the bran having been grated off to leave grains that absorb flavour brilliantly), bread, cookies – and are now sold at Marks & Spencer. ‘When we first started to speak to Roger three years ago, the British consumer wasn’t there yet with ancient grains,’ says Sadia Usman, the company’s product developer. Now, its British provenance, artisanal heritage and nutritional qualities ‘tick a lot of boxes’, she says, and the M&S bread, made with a rye sourdough starter, was rolled out last autumn, followed this summer by Sharpham’s pearled spelt, cookies and muffins.
‘When people ask me about the difference between wheat and spelt,’ says Monty, who is now retail director at Kilver Court, the designer outlet Saul launched in 2011, ‘I often say, you’ll go for longer on spelt.’ Much like the Roman army, Saul adds, whose leaven loaves – ‘their marching bread’ – contained spelt. A source of slow-release energy, high in fibre, and more easily digested than modern wheats, spelt is popular with many who are wheat intolerant. ‘It does everything that wheat does but has this amazing nutty taste,’ says Saul, adding, ‘It’s unusual to find something that’s worthy but actually tastes great.’
Spelt sourdough, pearled spelt, cookies and muffins made with Sharpham Park spelt are available at Marks & Spencer