Monday, 17 March 2014

Lemon and Raspberry Tart...and the time I got over myself and used a store-bought pastry case.

SPRING BREAK IS HERE LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. I’m heading down south (I think?) to stay with mum’s penpal. It’s a little sad outside…very grey and gloomy. But BBC weather says that it’s going to be nice and warm in Croughton so I’m not complaining. J It’s not quite going to be a wild spring break in Cabo (Although seeing the chickens wandering around in bikinis is a pleasant thought) but I’m really excited. The last time I saw Lesley was when I first arrived in the UK, and I’ve been dying to go back to her beautiful house ever since.

Despite their protests, I’ve promised to cook for my keep which I’m really looking forward to. To be completely honest I’ve kinda lost a bit of my cooking kick this semester. Too much going on, too many deadlines… a change of scenery is just what I need to get back into gear. The train ride has given me a chance to start planning menus in my head. I know I want to do spatchcock chicken at some point and I’ve brought curry powder for an Indian night, but the rest is pretty much up in the air. Shall I do the roast pork belly again you think? Or maybe dumplings? And what about something new? Puddings? The brain in pulsing with new recipe possibilities and I’m glad. It hasn’t had a chance to do that in a while.

Speaking of cooking (not that I ever talk about anything else), Fiona decided on Saturday night to show Eli and I what a proper British roast dinner was like. On a crazy whim we got into her car for an adventure!
 (When I say ‘adventure’, I mean a chicken run to Morrisons, with a stop at Sally’s quad to steal some rosemary)

Anyways I volunteered to make a lemon raspberry tart for pudding. And this is a recipe I really wanna share because it’s so simple to throw together. It’s the sort of thing that looks very glamorous but literally takes minutes to put together on your part. And it all boils down to a little bit of cheating (i.e-using a pre-made shortcrust tart shell).

Now don’t get huffy. When your counter is covered in potato peelings, oil spills and raw chicken sometimes a pre-made crust is what pulls you back from the brink of dinner party insanity. And no one will honestly be able to tell the difference. Once you pop the shell on a baking tray, all that’s left for you to do is whisk up the fabulously lemony filling, pour it in and bake.

Lemon Rasberry Tart
-         -  One 20cm premade shortcrust pastry shell. (be careful to choose one that isn’t cracked or broken)
-          - 2 whole eggs
-          - 2 egg yolks
-          - ½ cup castor sugar
-          - ¼ cup flour
-          - The juice of 2 ½ lemons (Quick tip: rolling the uncut lemon on the counter before squeezing will give you the most juice with minimal effort)
-          - 1 small punnet of raspberries.
-          - Icing sugar and double cream to serve.

+ Preheat your oven to 180’C
+ Put the tart shell on a baking sheet with some parchment paper underneath.
+Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, castor sugar and flour. Then add the lemon juice and mix well.
+ OK, so you’re going to want to put your pastry case in the oven and then carefully pour in the lemon filling. I poured it in first and carried the lot over, but that resulted in a good lot of the filling sloshing out of the pastry case before the tart even made it to the oven!
+ Bake for 20 minutes. There won’t be any jiggle to the filling when you take it out. Don’t worry; this is more like a lemon bar topping rather than the usual lemon curd. It will still be smooth and creamy when you cut into it.
+Let the tart cool down and transfer to a plate. Bejewel the top with raspberries and chill for atleast 2 hours.
+ Just before serving, dust with icing sugar and serve with some double cream on the side.

:3 I’ll leave you to humbly accept the fountain of compliments you receive for all the ‘hard work’ you put into dessert. Enjoy!

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