Stephanie Moon


Cheese Fondue

550ml milk
½ onion
4 cloves
1 bay leaf
¼ block real butter
2 tbsp plain flour
400g cheese of your choice (recommend Yorkshire Wensleydale Extra Mature Cheddar or swiss cheese such as gruyere)
1 loaf of crusty bread


Serves 4

Bring the milk to the boil with half an onion studded with 4 cloves and a bay leaf to infuse the flavours into the milk.

In another pan melt the butter until it starts to bubble. Add the flour to the butter and keep stirring on the heat. Cook the mixture until it smells like shortbread.

Sift out the onion and the bay leaf from the milk mixture and discard. Add the hot milk, ladle by ladle, to the butter and flour mixture and stir in well. The sauce will start to thicken, however you can add more milk to the sauce if it starts to get too thick.

Next add any grated cheese you want to get rid of! Now you have the lovely cheesy flavour. Stir well until all the cheese has melted.

To Serve:

Warm through the crusty bread and cut into squares. Using a fork, dip the bread into the cheese fondue, delicious!

Fruit Pie Pastry

480g plain flour
240g unsalted butter, cubed
1-2 eggs
zest of 1 lemon
½ vanilla pod, seeds only
large pinch of sugar


A ‘fail safe’ recipe for a fruit pie pastry that works every time. Combine with the fruit/s of your choice.

Makes 1 large pie to serve 6

Place the flour and butter in a bowl and using your fingers, crumble the butter together with the flour to form a sand-like consistency.

Add the vanilla seeds and lemon zest. Beat the eggs together and add the egg mixture into the pastry base a little at a time.

Bind the mixture together to form a ball before rolling it out for your pie case. If you have time, chill in the fridge for 10 mins, but the pastry can be used immediately as long as you don’t handle it too much.

It’s that simple!

Mackerel with Gooseberry Jelly and Fresh Pea Salad

2 Whitby mackerel fillets, pin boned (bones removed and skin scoured)

Gooseberry jelly

200g gooseberries from Spilman’s Farm, Sessay, York – we are using half red and half green gooseberries to get that lovely pink colour to our jelly

6 gelatine leaves soaked in cold water
30g low sugar

200ml water

Fresh pea salad                    
20 pea pods from Herbs Unlimited and York Farm Shop

6 sprigs of pea shoots
salad leaves – your choice
sprigs from a bronze fennel plant from York Market

Wharfe Valley rapeseed oil

1½ tablespoon of Wharfe Valley rapeseed oil
1 tsp Womersley lemon and basil vinegar

gooseberry juice from cooking
Maldon sea salt


First cook the gooseberries in the water with the low sugar. Soak the gelatine leaves in very cold water until soft and then melt into the gooseberry mix. Sieve into a clingfilmed shallow tray about 1cm deep and place in a fridge to set.

You should start to see the jelly become lightly set within 30 minutes. Leave until fully set then turn out and cut into small dice.

Place the mackerel fillets in a pan with a piece of baking parchment paper underneath and add a drizzle of rapeseed oil. Cook for approximately 5 minutes. Cook the fillet skin side down for ¾ of the process, then flip over the fillets for the last few seconds (the great thing about this is the mackerel does not stick) and remove the fillets from the frying pan.

Make up a vinaigrette mixing together the Womersley lemon and basil vinegar and the Wharfe Valley rapeseed oil and a little of the gooseberry juice from the cooking.

For the fresh pea salad, first peel the peas out of the shells. Set aside 10 peas to garnish, and then blanch the rest of the fresh peas in lightly salted boiling water. Blend the peas in a little boiling water using a stick blender, adding the rapeseed oil until a smooth puree is reached.

To Serve:

With a spoon, swipe some of the pea puree onto the plate and place the mackerel fillet on top. Add a few dressed salad leaves and dices of the gooseberry jelly around the plate. Sprinkle pea shoots and fresh peas around the plate and add a few drops of the Wharfe Valley rapeseed oil and the vinaigrette around the mackerel. Garnish with a few sprigs of bronze fennel.

Vanilla Shortbread

½ tsp vanilla essence
250g plain flour
250g unsalted butter
125g cornflour (secret ingredient!)
125g caster sugar

additional flour for rolling out

additional caster sugar for dusting


Makes 20

Sieve the plain flour into a bowl. Add the sugar, vanilla essence, cornflour and softened butter. Mix together until it forms a paste, but be careful not to overmix.

Chill for about 10 mins before rolling out the mixture onto a floured work surface until it is about 7mm thick. Then cut out into disc shapes.

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and place the discs of shortbread evenly on the tray. Bake at 170°C for approximately 10 minutes until cooked. Dust with a sprinkle of caster sugar while still warm.