Among some of the most valued virtues in life I see adaptability and versatility almost as most important. No matter where you are or what you do in life, you will inevitably be called to be different things to different people – a father, a brother, a son, a friend (ok, this is starting to sound like a eulogy). In my opinion, if ramekins were a person, then it would be the one to do it all!! (that or I just bought a few ramekins and went a little over board with them.)
It was a Saturday lunch and it was a three course meal – in ramekins! The below recipes are for 6 servings each, so unless you have 18 ramekins… as much fun as they are to make. Also, they are incredibly easy as well. Soup, pie and crumble: a wholesome three-hit combo (it even rhymes).
French onion soup with pastry top, served with cheese bread
- 60g butter
- 6 brown unions (approx. 1 kg), sliced into thin rings
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 cup plain flour
- 9 cups beef stock (I used store bought stock, so I substituted some portions with water to taste)
Heat butter in a large pot, add onion and cook slowly over low heat for about 30 minutes or until very tender and a deep golden brown, stirring often. Don’t rush this stage. Add the sugar and flour and cook and stirr for about 1 – 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the stock gradually until the soup boils and simmer, partially covered for 1 hour. Ladle into ramekins.
- rolled / puff pastry, thawed
- Yolk of 1 egg
Cut the pasty into squares or circles that covers the ramikins with a 2 cm overhang and put over ramikins. Prick a few holes in it with a fork, and brush with yolk. Place into the oven on 200C for approx 10 minutes or whenever pastry turns a golden brown.
Slice up a stick of French bread, toast the bread then top with grated Gruyere cheese (or whatever you have in your fridge that would toast well) and grill to melt. Serve immediately.
- 850g lean lamb mince (if it were minced beef, it would make it a “Cottage Pie”)
- 25g butter
- 2 onions, chopped
- 3 tbp plain flour
- 3 tsp whole grain mustard (or better still, 1/2 tsp mustard powder)
- 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
Brown the onions in butter, then cook lamb. Add mustard and Worcestershire sauce and mix through. Add flour. Spoon into ramekins.
- 4-5 large potatoes, cooked (boiled) and mashed
- 1/2 cup hot milk
- 30g butter
Mix all ingredient and season with salt and pepper to taste. spread evenly over the meat and rough up the surface with a fork. bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until the topping is golden on 200C.
Rhubarb & ginger crumble
- 1kg (or approx 10 rhubarb stalks, it might seem a lot but it does boil down)
- 1 cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1/2 cup soft brown / demerara sugar
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1tsp ground ginger
- 100g softened unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 200C (which would already be at 200C, since you’ve been making the soup and pie). Cut rhubarb into short lengths (3-5 cm) and into pan with sugar, fresh and ground ginger. Stir over low heat until sugar has dissolved, the simmer for 10minutes or until rhubarb is soft but still chunky. Don’t walk away as it will burn easily. Spoon into ramekins. Put the flour and brown sugar in a bowl, add butter and rub in with just your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the crumble over the stewed rhubarb and bake for 15-20 minutes or until topping is golden brown.
(if you’re tempted to make the all time fav. apple crumble then you can’t just substitute rhubarb with apple. Use 8 green cooking apples, peeled and cored, and cut into large pieces / wedges. Boil with 3 tbs water then reduce to low heat for 15 minutes. Stir in 2 tbs caster sugar. Crumble topping as above.)