Thursday, 22 September 2016

Eton Mess Ice Cream

While we're enjoying this lovely summer weather, let's make ice cream instead of hay!  This is another one of those fabulous ice creams that is really so easy to make, but leaves you wondering why you didn't try it earlier...  Eton Mess is a classic pudding, but in ice cream form it's even more mouthwateringly delicious.   I made it using my own meringues, but you could use bought ones, especially ones you bought and forgot about and then discover have crumbled beyond redemption.  Blogging the original pudding, I described it as "Summer in a glass".  This one is definitely "Summer in a Scoop".

All these puddings are tested on my family, or my friends.  Sometimes, impatience sets in, and it's not possible to do a beautiful picture of the pudding before it's devoured. This is one of those times...

Eton Mess Ice Cream
Eton Mess Ice Cream  

3 egg yolks
1 pint/600ml double or single cream and milk mixed (more cream = richer ice cream)
4oz/120g caster sugar
6oz/170g strawberries, puréed in a blender
6oz/170g strawberries for decoration (or whatever’s left in the punnet)
Handful of crumbled meringues – approx. 2 home made ones
few springs of mint/basil

Warm the milk/cream in a pan until blood temperature.  Beat the eggs and sugar together in a bowl, add the milk and cream and then pour it all back into the pan.  Stir it gently until it thickens slightly, then allow it to cool.  Pour into an ice cream maker and churn until thick.   Add half of the strawberry purée.

Just before serving, add the rest of the strawberry purée and meringues and mix in roughly, so that you get a lovely swirl of curd and the meringues don’t entirely disappear.    Top with the remaining strawberries, quartered and the mint or basil (it's for decoration only, not meant to be eaten).   Makes approx. 1.5 litres.  

Friday, 16 September 2016

Peach and Pistachio Tart

The Daily Telegraph featured this amazing tart a year or so ago, and I see it has just been re-issued. Well, I beat them to it!  This is one I made earlier... and it features in my book "Kate's Puddings - Second Helpings".   It was a really easy and rewarding tart to make.  I used white flesh nectarines instead of peaches, as I prefer their smooth skin. The nectarines moved during cooking, so the perfect symmetry achieved by the original chef was not copied. The flavour was amazing!   You could use a spread instead of butter to make it dairy free.

One of those tarts you have to keep tidying up when you see it in the fridge… If you Serves 8

Peach and Pistachio Tart 

Peach and Pistachio Tart

7oz/200g plain flour
3 ½ oz/100g butter
1 tbsp caster sugar
4tbsp cold water

4.5oz/125g butter
4.5oz/125g  caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp extra
2oz/50g ground almonds
3.5oz/100g ground pistachios
2oz/50g plain flour
½ tsp salt
3 eggs, beaten
3 ripe peaches/nectarines, quartered
½ vanilla pod, seeds scraped mixed with 1tbsp caster sugar

Make the dough by hand or in a food processor.  Wrap it in cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 180 deg C.  Roll out the pastry into a 9”/23cm loose base tin. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes, then bake for 10-15 minutes until golden (I didn’t do this, I baked it blind instead – see end of book). Leave to cool.

In a food processor, beat the butter and sugar together until light, then stir in the nuts, flour, salt and eggs. Mix well, then spoon over the cooled tart base and spread evenly.   Dip the peach slices in the vanilla seeds and a tbsp of sugar and arrange in concentric circles on top of the pistachio mix. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the peaches are just coloured and the pistachio frangipane is firm.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Pear and Chocolate Tarts

It's the time of year for garden fruit, in quantity, and some of it cannot be stored, like pears.   Pears in general are tricky - they seem to pass from rock to ripe at midnight, so it's good to have a quick and easy pudding up your sleeve that takes advantage of this precious moment!

Some lovely friends of mine were staying, and this was an idea that harnessed the fruit, some puff pastry and a good handful of chocolate pieces.    It also took incredibly little time and the resulting tarts tasted great.  You could do them without chocolate so they would be suitable for diabetics.

Pear and Chocolate Tarts

Pear and Chocolate Tarts

1 pack ready to roll puff pastry
1 egg yolk, beaten
4oz/110g chocolate chunks
2 large pears, each peeled and cut into 12 slices
1 tbsp caster sugar

2tbsp apricot jam, warmed
Handful of toasted flaked almonds
2oz/50g plain chocolate

Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C.     Line a baking tin with non-stick parchment.

Unroll the pastry and cut it into six large oblongs, marking a smaller oblong inside the larger one (about ½”/1.5cm), to make a border.  Brush the border with the beaten egg yolk.

Within the border of the tartlet, divide up the chocolate chunks.   Arrange the pears over the top and dust lightly with caster sugar.  Bake for 10-15 minutes until the border has risen and is golden brown, and the fruit cooked but not browned.    Remove from the oven and brush the pears with the warmed (semi-liquid) apricot jam.   Next, scatter the nuts on top.  Lastly, melt the plain chocolate and drizzle it over each tart. 

Eat hot or cold, with lashings of custard/ice cream or home made chocolate sauce.