16/09/15Our stories

Candlelighters is thrilled to be the beneficiary charity of the Pig & Pastry Cook Book, due to be launched on September 27th at a special charity Brunch at the iconic York eatery.

Our friends at York Press covered the story:

MAXINE GORDON invites you to pig out on some tempting recipes from one of York’s favourite cafes – all in a good cause


STEVE HOLDING is a legend in his own lunchtime. When he’s not cooking up tasty treats in the tiny kitchen of his popular Pig and Pastry cafe, he’s running and cycling for good causes.

In recent years, he and his wife Julia have raised thousands of pounds for charity, spurred on after their youngest child, Ruby, lost her sight from a brain tumour.

Ruby is making remarkable progress, mastering braille and adapting to the challenges facing her. Steve and Julia have never forgotten the support from Yorkshire charity Candlelighters during those dark days during Ruby’s treatment.

The latest charity venture – The Pig and Pastry Cookbook – aims to raise even more money for Candlelighters, which supports families with their fight against children’s cancer.

Hearteningly, all parties concerned – from photographer Karen Turner, to designer Alexandra Vintila and editor Justine Brooks – have worked on the project for free. The book, packed with at least 70 favourite recipes from the cosy eaterie on Bishopthorpe Road, will go on sale at a charity brunch at the Pig and Pastry on Sunday, September 27. The book costs £20 with all profits going to Candlelighters.

Fans of the cafe will be pleased to see many menu favourites in the book, including the legendary herby mushrooms. “I’ve only ever taken them off the menu a couple of times and people always moan,” says Steve.

Other P&P hits include S’mores, a thin, cinnamon biscuit sandwich of homemade marshmallow and chocolate ganache, and the best-selling eggs Benedict.

Steve admits to having a sweet tooth and shares a recipe for one of his favourites treats: a pecan blondie.

Recipes are split into three categories: breakfast, lunch and tea, and are easy for people to replicate at home.

Steve says: “We made everything for the book here in our tiny kitchen so there is no reason why people can’t make them at home. It’s all very accessible.”

Recipes from The Pig and Pastry Cookbook by Steve Holding, Pictures by Karen Turner

Avocado Toast


Do we really need a recipe for this? Every hipster café in London has its version of Avocado Toast. What’s all the fuss about I thought? Well, get it right and it’s damn delicious. The key is really good bread and really good avocados. The good bread may be easier to find than the good avocados, now that we are lucky enough to have so many good bakeries in recent years. Avocados, more troublesome than getting a ripe banana when you want one. I’ve heard top tips of leaving avo’s under tea towels on a shelf or placing them in your airing cupboard, but who wants to be messing and waiting around for an avocado to make its mind up? Buy the avocados when they are ready to eat (they should ‘give a little’ when you give them a gentle squeeze) and then just eat them the same day.

Serves one hungry hipster …

2 fairly thick slices of sourdough

1 ripe avocado

1 lemon

chilli oil

fresh coriander

sea salt

cracked black pepper


Prepare the avocado by cutting into quarters, remove the stone and carefully peel back the skin.

Toast the sourdough slices – do not butter!

Place the avocados on the toast and lightly smash in with a fork.

Season the avocados with salt and pepper, drizzle lightly with a squeeze of lemon juice, drizzle with a little chilli oil and sprinkle with picked coriander leaves.

Serve immediately (and be careful not to get crumbs in your freshly waxed moustache).

There, I was right. You don’t really need a recipe for avocado toast …

Pulled Pork


This is a big recipe: ideal for a big bbq or a party. You’re going to need a big pan and a big tray and lots of room in the fridge for the overnight rub. Alternatively, get a small joint in, make the same amount of ‘rub’ and just save the remainder in an airtight container for the next time …

The Rub

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tsp white pepper

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp cayenne

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cumin

The Roast

1 pork shoulder – bone in, (5-6kg approx, ask your butcher to score the skin)

3 onions

8 carrots

1 head of celery


The Sauce

1 1/2 cups cider vinegar

1/2 cup Colmans mustard

1 cup ketchup

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 garlic cloves

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp ground black pepper


Make the rub by mixing all ingredients together.

Rub all over the pork joint, cover and chill overnight (sit it on a tray to catch any liquid that comes out overnight). Line the base of a roasting tray with thickly sliced onion, carrot & celery. Sit the pork on top, pour about half an inch of water in the base of the tray and cover with foil.

Roast for nine hours approx. at 160 C. When ready, the bone should be easy to move within the meat. The meat should also be tender and easy to pull apart. Leave to cool and rest for an hour.

Get yourself two bowls, one for the meat that you’re going to keep and one for the bones and gristle.

Pour all the juices in to a pot and cool. Allow to go completely cold and pick off the fat. You should be left with a tasty pork jelly.

Make ‘the sauce’ by simmering all the ingredients together. Add the pork jelly to the sauce, then stir in the picked meat. Ready! At this stage I like to add hot sauce such as Franks or Tabasco.


Pecan Blondies

My Sunday treat, if I’m passing by, is a coffee from Bison and a peanut blondie. If I didn’t know that they were so calorific, I’d probably get two peanut blondies, but they are and I’m doing my best not to end up like Elvis. I’ve had a go at numerous recipes to try and recreate these. This recipe is as close as I’ve got, although I’ve added pecans to the recipe, partly because I love pecans almost as much as I do peanut butter (I’ve put some of that in too!) and partly to give it some crunch.

Makes 12

345g plain flour

1/1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 tblsp Horlicks

200g soft butter

360g soft brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

150g chopped pecans

75g golden syrup

75g maple syrup

170g peanut butter


Measure out the top four ingredients and run a whisk through them to mix together and to lightly aerate. Set aside. Cream the butter and sugar together.

Add the eggs, vanilla, the syrups and the peanut butter.

Gradually add the top four ingredients and fold in 75g of the pecans.

Spread out into a lined 33 cm x 23 cm tray and sprinkle with the remaining chopped pecans. Bake at 170 C for 25 minutes.

Like brownies, you’re looking for a crust on top, whilst still fudgey in the centre.

Leave to cool for a couple of hours (ideally, chill before portioning).

These are rich! Small portions will do, served at room temperature with a coffee.


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