These protests came as part of climate strikes all across the UK, and the rest of the world. Thousands descended on central London to hear activists speak, as well as Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn who described himself as ‘absolutely delighted’ by the protests. This morning school students across Oxford and the surround area left class to march at another climate change strike held in the city centre. “It is a wonderful tie-in to all the other things which are happening around the planet at the same time”. In what was the city’s seventh Youth Strike 4 Climate event, hundreds gathered to make known their opposition to global pollution and widespread damage to the environment. Oxford MP Anneliese Dodds, MP for Oxford East, said: “I think it is really humbling to see a huge number of young people here today and they are very clear that we need to act now. We cannot keep putting action off”. Chris Church of Oxford Friends of the Earth said: “This is the largest environmental demonstration Oxford has ever seen. However, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said “every child” should be in school. He added that “they should be learning, they shouldn’t be bunking off and it’s very irresponsible for people to encourage children to do so”. Demonstrations have been held in every continent, and millions are thought to have attended climate strike events across the world.
On a recent family trip to Milan, I was presented with a freshly baked Pastiera Napoletana from my wife’s cousin. Wow! I couldn’t wait to get back to Cinnamon Square and try making this one. So I nipped to the local Ipercoop supermarket and purchased some grano cotto (cooked wheat) and brought this back in my suitcase to save time when I got home naturally the kids think I’m bonkers!This delicious ricotta cheese and grain pie is a very old Neapolitan speciality for the Easter season. Pastiera is best enjoyed one to three days after it is baked, so the different flavours can blend together. It produces a fantastic citrus-fresh flavour and aroma with a mixture of textures coming from the crisp pastry, ricotta cheesecake and soft wheatgrains.Pastiera is traditionally made on Good Friday, to be eaten as a dessert on Easter Sunday, and each family hands down a ’secret’ recipe from one generation to the next. Today, as for hot cross buns in the UK, it is available all year round in Italy.They keep for about three days in the refrigerator before the filling starts to show signs of contracting and/or cracking. I think they actually taste great warmed up but you decide.In our recipe we use prepared grano cotto or you can cook pre-soaked whole grain in water or milk, but this is a long process. The preparation comprises two steps:l Part-baking the sweet pastry shellsl Filling, topping and baking the tarts.Pastiera NapoletanaMakes 15x45g tartlets plus decoration (110mm cases)Tart casesIngredient%gBread flour50150Plain flour 50150Butter75225Caster sugar38114Ground almonds38114Egg22661. Mix the flour, ground almonds, butter and sugar together until a crumble.2. Mix in the eggs until a smooth paste avoid over-mixing.3. Line foil tart cases, but save some pastry for decorating the tops, and bake at 180ºC until just showing signs of taking colour approximately 10 minutes.4. Remove from oven and allow to cool.5. While cooling, prepare the filling.FillingIngredientgRicotta cheese500Grano cotto (Wheat, water, salt), drained500Whole egg100Caster sugar100Mixed peel100Lemon rind and juice1 lemonOrange rind and juice1 orangeGround cinnamon51. Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl (A) with a beater until homogeneous do not overmix (B).2. Scoop into part-baked tart case until level with rim (C).3. Roll out some pastry and cut strips with pastry wheels (D). Place these strips of pastry on top of the filling for decoration (E).4. Bake at 170ºC for 15-20 minutes.5. Lightly dust top with icing sugar (F).