SHE won the nation’s heart on the Great British Bake Off.
And now Christine Wallace is hoping to win over Oxford’s tastebuds with the first Oxford pasty.
A mouth-watering combination of lamb, fresh mint, vegetables and red currant jelly encased in golden crisp puff pastry, it has already won foodie fans.
Mrs Wallace, 68, from Brent Avenue, Didcot, said: “It is a celebration of Oxford.
“When I was on Bake Off and looking up things that were local to Oxford, there is hardly anything, and Cornwall are so fiercely protective of their pasty.”
The Didcot grandmother created the pasty for a cookery show and says people have been drooling over it and asking for the recipe.
Mrs Wallace said she bought lamb for the pasty from The Broadway Butchers in Didcot, who bought it from TW Ludgate of Thame.
She said she will also be using local vegetables when they come into season.
Mrs Wallace made it to the quarter finals of last year’s Bake Off only to be let down by a mediocre meringue.
Since then, however, she says life has been non-stop fun – judging baking competitions, opening shops and even presenting TV shows.
She said: “I love meeting people and going to all these different events, it is huge fun.
“Some people have asked me if I want a career out of it, I just want to have as much fun as I can.”
In her previous life, Mrs Wallace spent a career as a retail area manager for fashion house Windsmoor. Now, she promotes ‘brand Christine’.
She and her husband Rob, 58, moved to Didcot from Poole in 1988.
Oxford sausages – Skinless pork and veal sausages, sometimes lamb, made into C-shapes before frying.
Oxford pudding – Fried dumplings with currants, sugar, grated lemon peel and sometimes chilli peppers.
Frank Cooper’s Oxford Marmalade – A darker-than-most fruit preserve, made in Oxford until 1967, and eaten by James Bond in the Ian Fleming novel From Russia With Love.
Oxford Sauce – Also known as Cumberland sauce, traditionally served with cold venison.
Oxford Blue, – Made since 1994 by Oxford Fine Food, it is matured for eight to 16 weeks.
Banbury Cake – The namesake of our sister newspaper. Made from puff pastry and currants, similar to an Eccles cake, but also uses rosewater.
Rough puff pastry
450g plain flour
380g cold butter
400g lean lamb
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 potato, peeled and chopped
1 large clove of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp fresh mint
3 dashes of Worcester Sauce
1 tbsp ketchup
1tbsp redcurrant jelly
Black pepper and salt to taste
2tbsp oil and egg for glaze
1. Rub the flour and butter together into a ‘breadcrumbs’ then add water and lemon juice until you have a soft dough.
2. Knead lightly before chilling in the fridge.
3. Roll the chilled dough out into an oblong about six inches wide and 18 inches long.
4. Fold the top third down to the middle and fold the remaining third up over the layers.
5. Lightly seal the edges, place in a polythene bag or cover on a plate and chill again for another 20 minutes repeating the process four times.
6. For the filling, place one tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan and fry the meat until lightly browned. Set aside.
7. Using the remaining oil add the potato, carrot and onion to the pan and lightly sauté until soft but not brown.
8. Add to the meat and then stir in all the remaining ingredients before leaving to cool.
9. Roll the pastry out to about the thickness of a pound coin and cut eight inch circles.
10. Place the filling evenly between the circles slightly more to one side.
11. Moisten the rim of the circle then fold over the pastry, pressing together to seal.
12. Flute the edges decoratively and glaze the pasty with egg wash.
13. Bake for approx 40 mins in a preheated oven at 190 C until golden brown and crisp. Serve warm or cold.