Take a walk on the wild side this summer and give nature a home with RSPB’s Big Wild Sleepout! From 16th to 22nd of June, thousands of people will be spending a night under the stars in dens, shelters and tents to find out which creatures they share their homes with and raise money to protect them. We love the idea of a sponsored sleepout as not only is it a fab way to create awareness, but also a great opportunity to get back to nature and have some fun with your family and friends!
To find out how to set up an online sponsorship page, receive a free fundraising pack or find out more about the exciting camping activities RSPB are organising across the country, head to rspb.org.uk/sleepout.
As we all know one of the staple ingredients for the perfect campfire is yummy food, here’s just one of the many delish recipes (more on their website) that RSPB have suggested you tuck into on your camping escapade!
225g/8oz shortcrust pastry
- 750g/1lb 10oz blackcurrants
- 170g/6oz caster sugar
- 60g/2¼ oz cornflour or 55g/2oz arrowroot (Traditionally, fruit curd is thickened with cornflour, but for a new twist, try using arrowroot instead for a more jelly-like consistency)
- 55g/2oz butter, diced
- 3 medium egg yolks, strained
- 3 medium egg whites
- 170g/6oz caster sugar
Roll out the pastry and line a 20cm/8in tart tin with a removable base. Prick the pastry with a fork, line with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Chill for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to fan 180°C/gas 5.
Bake the pastry case for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes, or until the pastry has become dry but not coloured. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to fan 140°C/gas 2.
To make the filling, put the blackcurrants in a noncorrosive saucepan with 3 tablespoons water. Cover and set over a medium-low heat. When the currants begin to release some juice, simmer for 20 minutes or until they’re meltingly soft. Push through a sieve and measure out about 450ml/16fl oz blackcurrant purée.
Place the sugar and cornflour (or arrowroot) in a non-corrosive saucepan. Using a wooden spoon, slowly stir in the blackcurrant purée so that it forms a smooth paste. Set over a medium heat and stir continuously for 5 minutes or until the mixture is bubbling, thick and translucent – make sure it no longer tastes of raw cornflour (or arrowroot). Remove from the heat and beat in the butter, followed by the egg yolks. Spoon the mixture into the pastry case.
To make the meringue topping, whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until they form stiff peaks. Add 85g/3oz of the caster sugar and continue to whisk, gradually adding the remaining sugar. Continue to whisk until it forms soft glossy peaks. Gently spread the meringue over the tart so that it touches the pastry rim and seals in the gooey filling. You can make it spiky or smooth.
Return the pie to the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the meringue has set with a crisp, very lightly browned crust. The curd becomes firmer as it cools. If serving the next day, store uncovered on the top shelf of the fridge.
Recipe from Simply Baking by Sybil Kapoor (National Trust Books) Image by Karen Thomas