Tarte au Citron

Tarte au Citron

 

A light pastry base is filled with a creamy, citrus filling that makes this tart very refreshing.

 

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Tarte au Citron
Prepares: 8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Standing time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the pastry
  • 225g (8 oz) plain/all purpose flour (1¾ cups)
  • 2 tsp caster/superfine sugar
  • 115g (4 oz) cold butter (½ cup, or 1 stick)
  • a pinch of salt

  • For the filling
  • 3 lemons, juice only (9 tbsp)
  • ½ orange, juice only
  • 225g (8 oz) caster/superfine sugar (1 cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 140ml (5 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (⅔ cup)

  • To serve
  • icing/powdered sugar

  • You will also need a 27cm (10½ inch) loose-based tart tin, greased and floured.


  1. Method
  2. For the pastry
  3. Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl.

  4. Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour. Rub in the butter, at the same time lifting the flour well out of the bowl to incorporate as much air as possible.

  5. When the mixture resembles dry breadcrumbs, add the sugar.

  6. Then sprinkle over 3 tablespoons of cold water and, using a palette knife, bring the mixture together until it begins to form clumps. Add a little more water (no more than 1 tablespoon) if the mixture seems dry. Using your hands, bring together into a ball by kneading lightly. Cover in cling film/plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes to relax the pastry.

  7. (Alternatively, use a food processor.)

  8. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is 5cm (2 inches) larger than the size of the tart tin. Carefully transfer to the tin without stretching the pastry. Gently press down into the sides of the tin, then trim by running the rolling-pin over the top to cut the pastry level with the rim. Return to the fridge for a further 20 minutes to firm up.

  9. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas mark 6).

  10. Prick the pastry base all over, line with baking paper and add baking beans, making sure they spread to the edge. Bake for 15 minutes.

  11. Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 10–15 minutes until golden. Put to one side to cool a little before filling.


  12. For the filling
  13. Meanwhile, make the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C (300°F) (gas mark 2).

  14. Strain the juice of the lemons and orange into a bowl.

  15. Add the sugar, eggs, and egg yolks and whisk just enough to blend in the eggs. Whisk gently to avoid the mixture becoming too frothy.

  16. Stir in the cream.

  17. Then strain the mixture into a jug.

  18. Carefully remove the tart shell from the tin and place on baking sheet. Pour the strained mixture into the tart shell. Very carefully slide onto the oven rack and bake for 20–25 minutes until just set. Then leave to cool.

  19. Just before serving dust icing/powered sugar over the lemon tart using a small sieve. Serve at room temperature.

Updated: November 19, 2019

Coffee Meringues Drizzled with Chocolate

Coffee Meringues Drizzled with Chocolate

 

These meringues are flavoured with coffee and, when cooked, a little melted chocolate is drizzled over. Serve on their own or with whipped cream or ice cream. Whatever you choose, they just melt in your mouth.

 

Coffee Meringues Drizzled with Chocolate
Prepares: 8 meringues
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Chilling time: about 15 minutes


  • Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules or coffee extract
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 170g (6 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¾ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 85g (3 oz) dark chocolate

  • You will also need 2 medium baking sheets/trays lined with baking parchment


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 140°C (275°F) (gas 1).

  3. If using coffee granules, dissolve in 1 teaspoon of hot water and leave to cool.

  4. Put the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until just stiff. Now gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly until the mixture becomes very thick and glossy. Then sprinkle over the coffee and whisk until it has thoroughly mixed in.

  5. Dab a little meringue on the corners of the baking sheets/trays which will prevent the parchment paper from slipping. Then line each sheet/tray, pressing the baking parchment down at the corners. Spoon 4 mounds of meringue onto each baking sheet/tray, spacing them well apart. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. The meringues should feel hard to the touch and lift off the parchment paper easily.

  6. If you like your meringues crisp on the outside but chewy in the centre, then remove from the oven and leave to cool completely on a cooling rack. If you prefer them crisp all the way through, then leave in the oven until it has become cold.

  7. Meanwhile break the chocolate into small pieces, put in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of just simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Stir the chocolate until melted and smooth, then remove from the heat and leave until it has become cold.

  8. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the meringues. Leave in a cool place for the chocolate to set.

Updated: November 16, 2019

Mediterranean Lamb Cutlets with Potatoes Dauphinoise

Mediterranean Lamb Cutlets with Potatoes Dauphinoise

 

A dish that is full of flavour and very scrumptious. Lamb cutlets sit on a base of garlic roasted vegetables with a hint of basil and rosemary and served with thinly sliced potatoes cooked in a garlic cream sauce.

 

Mediterranean Lamb Cutlets with Potatoes Dauphinoise
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 55 minutes
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the ratatouille and lamb cutlets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ medium aubergine/eggplant
  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded
  • 2 courgettes/zucchini
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 8 lamb cutlets
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 400g tin cherry tomatoes (small can)
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil leaves, torn
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper

  • For the potatoes dauphinoise
  • 800g (1 lb 12 oz) potatoes (5 medium)
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) whole milk (1 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1 cup)
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • whole nutmeg


  1. Method
  2. For the potatoes dauphinoise
  3. Peel, wash and cut the potatoes into 5mm (¼ inch) thick slices.

  4. Slowly bring the milk to the boil in a sauté pan with the garlic.

  5. Reduce the heat and stir in the cream, seasoning, and a little grated nutmeg.

  6. Now add the potato slices and turn to coat. Simmer very gently for 20–25 minutes until they are just tender. Turn every 5 minutes so all the slices cook evenly and they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

  7. Tip into an ovenproof dish 28 x 20cm (11 x 8 inches).

  8. They will need to cook in the oven for a further 20–25 minutes until bubbling and the top is starting to brown. Before putting in the oven, though, prepare the vegetables for the ratatouille. The ratatouille will need to cook for the same length of time as the potatoes and so they both go into the oven together.

  9. For the ratatouille and lamb cutlets
  10. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) gas 5.

  11. Pour the oil into a roasting tin/pan and put in the oven while it is heating up.

  12. Cut the aubergine/eggplant, pepper and courgettes/zucchini into 2.5cm (1 inch) cubes.

  13. Tip into the roasting tin/pan and sprinkle over the rosemary and seasoning. Turn in the oil to coat, then return to the oven and roast for 20–25 minutes until tender. (At this point, also put the potatoes in the oven.) Turn the ratatouille halfway through cooking.

  14. Meanwhile preheat a griddle pan or heavy based frying pan/skillet.

  15. Season the cutlets and then spread over the garlic. Over a moderate heat, cook for 5–10 minutes on each side, depending on how thick your cutlets are.

  16. While the cutlets are cooking, empty the tomatoes into a medium sized pan and place over a gentle heat.

  17. Once the ratatouille is cooked, add it to the tomatoes and stir through. Now add the torn basil leaves.

  18. To serve
  19. Divide the vegetables amongst four plates and top with two cutlets each. Serve with the potato dauphinoise alongside.

Updated: November 16, 2019

Luxury Fish Pie

Luxury Fish Pie

 

A buttery puff pastry makes this luxury fish pie a delicious alternative to a traditional potato topping. The salmon and prawns/shrimp are in a creamy sauce with sweetcorn and mushrooms.

 

Luxury Fish Pie
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Standing time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 450ml (15 fl oz) milk (2 cups)
  • 450g (1 lb) salmon, skinned
  • 170g (6 oz) tiger prawns/shrimp
  • 170g (6 oz) frozen sweetcorn (or canned) (1 cup)
  • 55g (2 oz) butter (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 55g (2 oz) flour (⅓ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) white wine (⅔ cup)
  • 115g (4 oz) button mushrooms, halved (about 6)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 225g (8 oz) packet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten (for glaze)


  • You will also need a pie dish.


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6)

  3. Pour the milk into a large pan. Cut the salmon into cubes and add with the prawns/shrimp to the pan. Bring the milk to the boil and then remove from the heat. Cover the pan and leave for 5 minutes to cook the fish.

  4. Now drain the fish, reserving the liquor, and place in the base of the pie dish with the sweetcorn.

  5. Next, melt the butter in a clean pan. Add the flour and mix to form a paste. Cook over a low heat for 1 minute.

  6. Then gradually stir in the reserved liquor and keep stirring until the sauce is smooth. Increase the heat and stir the sauce until it is really thick, about 2 minutes.

  7. Now stir in the wine and add the mushrooms. Simmer for 3 minutes.

  8. Season to taste and add the dill.

  9. Pour the sauce over the fish and give everything a good stir so the sauce coats the fish and vegetables. Leave to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

  10. Trim the pastry to fit the top of the pie dish.

  11. Dampen the rim of the dish with water and use the trimmings to cover the rim of the dish.

  12. Now dampen the rim of pastry with water. Cover the pie dish with the large piece of pastry pressing down around the rim of the dish to seal the pastry. Knock back the edges.

  13. Make 2 holes in the top to allow steam to escape during cooking.

  14. Brush the top of the pastry with egg glaze.

  15. Place on a baking tray and bake in the centre of the oven for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden.

  16. Serve with green beans or carrots.

Updated: November 10, 2019

Coffee Crème Brûlée

Coffee Crème Brûlée

 

Coffee crème brûlée – a lovely creamy coffee custard topped with caramelized sugar. This recipe gives two methods of creating the caramelized topping, with or without using a chef’s blowtorch.

 

Coffee Crème Brûlée
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30–45 minutes
  • Cooking time: 25 minutes
  • Cooling time: 2 hours
  • Refrigeration time: 6 hours or overnight, plus 2 hours on the day of serving


  • Ingredients
  • For the custard
  • butter, for greasing
  • 4 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 
40g (1½ oz) caster/superfine sugar (3 tbsp)
  • 
½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) single cream/table cream (1¼ cups)

  • 300ml (10 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)
  • 
3 tsp instant coffee granules or coffee essence

  • For the topping
  • 4 tbsp golden caster, granulated sugar, if using a chef’s blowtorch
  • 100g (3½ oz) caster/superfine sugar (½ cup), if not using a chef’s blowtorch

  • Note: If using a blowtorch, superfine sugar is finer than caster sugar and begins to melt too quickly once it is spooned onto the custard. Granulated sugar works better.

  • You will also need 6 × 150ml (5 fl oz) heatproof ramekins


  1. Method
  2. For the custard
  3. Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) (gas 3).

  4. Lightly grease the ramekins with butter and set to one side.

  5. Line a deep-sided ovenproof dish or roasting tin/pan with a layer of kitchen paper and sit the six ramekins on the paper (this prevents them from slipping).

  6. Then have a kettle of boiling water ready.

  7. Next pour both creams into a pan and heat until scalding.

  8. Remove from the heat and add the coffee granules stirring until dissolved, or just stir in the coffee essence.

  9. Leave to cool a little.

  10. Meanwhile put the egg yolks and sugar into a large bowl and whisk together.

  11. Gradually pour the cream into the bowl, while whisking at the same time, until the cream is blended into the egg mixture.

  12. Strain the custard into a jug and then divide amongst the six ramekins.

  13. Now carefully pour enough of the boiling water into the dish to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

  14. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. Check after 20 minutes as the custard still needs to have a slight wobble to it.

  15. Remove the dish from the oven and leave the ramekins in the water until the water has cooled.

  16. Then take the ramekins out of the water, cover them and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

  17. For the topping, using a chef’s blowtorch
  18. Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of sugar evenly over the custard in each ramekin, right to the edge, so that the custard is completely covered.

  19. Caramelize the sugar under a direct flame.

  20. Leave to cool and then refrigerate for two hours before serving.

  21. For the topping, without using a chef’s blowtorch
  22. First, have a piece of parchment paper ready on the counter top.

  23. Next, put the sugar in a stainless steel pan and add just enough water to dampen the sugar.

  24. Place over a low heat and stir the sugar until completely dissolved.

  25. Then increase the heat to medium–high and, without stirring, leave the sugar to bubble fiercely. When the bubbling lessens and the sugar has turned a pale straw colour it will be ready.

  26. Carefully, pour the caramel onto the paper (it will be extremely hot) and leave it to become cold.

  27. Now turn the grill/broiler to high and leave for 5 minutes to get really hot.

  28. The caramel will have hardened on cooling. Break it into small pieces and blitz in a food processor or blender until there are really fine granules, finer than caster sugar (just like superfine sugar).

  29. Sprinkle evenly over the custard in each ramekin, right to the edge, so that the custard is completely covered.

  30. Put the ramekins on a baking tray as close to the heat as possible. Cook for less than a minute, not letting the sugar burn. The heat just needs to melt the sugar.

  31. Leave to cool and then refrigerate for two hours before serving.

Updated: November 4, 2019