Recipes with Delicious Durban

Just about everything Jackie Cameron touches turns to gold. From the legacy she left behind in the Hartford House kitchen to the professionalism of her Hilton School of Food and Wine and the pastry on her puff tarts, Jackie is one of KZN’s culinary shining lights.
— Delicious Durban

Following the success of her first book, Jackie Cameron Cooks at Home, published in 2013, she’s come out firing with her second winner, Baking with Jackie Cameron.

The book features over 80 recipes and 50 “beautifully styled photographs” and, according to the publicist, offers challenges for experienced bakers, as well as straightforward dishes that are perfect for every day.

Recipes include everything from breads and biscuits to sweet and savoury pies, desserts and large and small cakes. Jackie kindly shared two of her favourite recipes from her book with Delicious Durban readers, so enjoy!

* Recipes extracted from Baking with Jackie Cameron by Jackie Cameron (Struik Lifestyle).
* Photographs:© Penguin Random House / Myburgh du Plessis


Named for the proportions of the ingredients, these are really easy to make, so there is no excuse to ever have a cup of tea without a biscuit.

Makes about 20 biscuits, depending on size

  • 30g castor sugar
  • 60g salted butter
  • 5ml finely chopped fresh lavender (flowers and leaves)
  • 90g cake flour
  1. Cream the sugar and butter together. Add the chopped lavender and combine well.
  2. Add the flour and knead until the dough comes together. Place the dough on a piece of greaseproof paper. Top with another piece of paper and roll out the dough very thinly with a rolling pin. Remove the top piece of paper.
  3. Using your choice of cutter, cut out the biscuits and place them on a greased baking tray.
  4. Place the tray in the fridge for a few minutes so the dough can firm up. Bake in a preheated oven at 140°C for about 10 minutes, or until cooked.

Note: Remember to thoroughly wash all homegrown garden plants and check for insects or pests before cooking.


At one of the first meals I had with Richard Poynton, of Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse in the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg, he cooked a similar classical dish. I had to make my own interpretation – it was that good!

Makes 8 tarts

Pears Poached in Red Wine

  • 500ml red wine
  • 250ml freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 120g white sugar
  • 1 lemon, cut into quarters
  • 1 orange, cut into quarters
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 firm ripe, peeled pears, cored and cut in half

Caramel Sauce

  • 140g brown sugar
  • 10g salted butter
  • 320ml cream

Assembling the tarts

  • 8 puff pastry rounds (see note)
  • 1 whole egg, lightly beaten
  • 10ml treacle sugar
  • 10ml honey

Pears Poached in Red Wine

  1. Place the wine, orange juice and sugar into a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Turn down the heat, add the rest of the ingredients and simmer gently for 15–20 minutes, until the pears are cooked but still firm. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool in the syrup.
  2. Place the pears and syrup in a sealed container in the fridge for a few days, to enable the colour and flavour to develop. When ready to assemble the dish, remove the pears from the syrup and drain on paper towel. They need to be as dry as possible, so you’ll need to change the paper towels a few times.

Caramel Sauce

  1. Place the sugar in a medium saucepan over a moderate heat and allow it to melt slowly. Don't stir, just shake the pan now and then to ensure even caramelising,
  2. When the sugar has melted, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the butter. Add the cream, stirring continuously until you have a smooth sauce. (You may need to put the saucepan on the heat again.) Strain the sauce into a bowl or jug and place in the fridge to cool down and firm up.

Assembling the tarts

  1. Grease one large or two medium baking trays. Place the puff pastry rounds on the baking trays. Lightly brush them with the beaten egg. Place one poached pear half on each pastry round (you can leave the halves in one piece or cut them into slices).
  2. Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for 20 minutes. Remove the tarts, sprinkle with treacle sugar and drizzle over some honey, then return them to the oven for a further 10 minutes, or until cooked.
  3. Drizzle with warm caramel sauce before serving. (If the sauce is very firm, use a spoon to scoop dollops and place them on the warm tarts.)
  4. Roll out the prepared puff pastry to about 5 mm thick and cut eight rounds, using a metal pastry cutter or small plate.

Note: See page 104 for my perfect puff pastry recipe.

Debbie’s note: So, that’s a good incentive to get the book. Otherwise, you can cheat with shop-bought puff pastry.