Monday, 15 July 2019

Caramelised Orange Tart

This fabulous tart is taken directly from my favourite Good Housekeeping Magazine.    A Stour Festival Pudding, it has an unusual flavour and, with its caramelised top, a real crunch to it.   I had always avoided cooks' blowtorches, thinking that they were a bit "Masterchef" for me, despite not having a grill.    A Christmas present from one of my sons has changed my mind, and I don't think it was a massively expensive present (I'd be horrified if it were!).   You do have to be a bit careful to avoid incineration in some areas and no caramelisation at all in others, but that's just practice. 

Apologies for the terrible photograph, it was, as always, far too late for me to arrange it prettily before someone came along and wanted to eat it...

Caramelised Orange Tart
Caramelised Orange Tart

Enriched Pastry:
4oz/125g butter, diced
8oz/225g plain flour
pinch salt
2 tbsp icing sugar (I don’t normally use this)
1 medium egg, beaten

1 orange zest and juice plus 1 orange zest only
1 lemon, juice only
3oz/75g butter
8oz/225g golden granulated sugar 
3 medium eggs, beaten
3oz/75g ground almonds
2tbsp orange liqueur

3½oz/100g caster sugar
Pared zest of 1 orange, cut into slivers

Make the pastry (in a food processor, add the butter to the flour, (sugar) and salt, process until it looks like crumbs, add the egg and cold water as needed to make a smooth dough).    For best results, knead the pastry lightly before making it into a ball and letting it rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.   While it is resting, put the juices, zest, butter, sugar and eggs into a pan, heating gently and stirring until thickened.  Stir in the ground almonds, orange liqueur.  

Heat the oven to 200deg C.     Roll the pastry out into a 9” loose bottomed flan tin and prick the base lightly.   Refrigerate it again for 10 minutes.    Line the pastry with paper and baking beans/old rice and bake blind for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and return the tart case for 5 minutes.   Reduce the oven temperature to 180 deg C.

Spread the filling in the case, return it to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until it is just firm.  Leave to cool.  

To decorate, dissolve 2oz/50g sugar in a pan with ½ pint/300ml water, then add the orange parings.   Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the liquid has reduced and the peel is tender.  Drain. 

Preheat the grill.  Sprinkle the rest of the sugar over the tart and caramelise under the grill (if you don’t have one, make a small quantity of caramel and pour over the tart, or use a blowtorch!).  Cool the tart and then arrange the peel around the edge. 

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Lemon and Thyme Jelly

Stour Festival's traditional pudding array includes jelly, as singers are supposed not to eat too much cream or chocolate (some of them definitely haven't read this memo!!!), as they are apparently bad for the vocals.  All I can say, having heard some stunning performances, is, rubbish! 

Nonetheless, I do like to include the odd jelly (some very odd) to cater for the dairy free, the picky eater and the jelly fan.     This year's selection included a Lemon and Thyme jelly (always experimenting).     Actually, not just lemon, it also includes orange juice.   I found the recipe on line, on the blog "From the Larder", but have altered it as the original was so sharp you couldn't have blown a kiss afterwards, let alone a Baroque trumpet!

Lemon and Thyme Jelly
Lemon and Thyme Jelly

½ pint/300ml lemon juice (about 6-7 lemons)
1/3 pint/200ml orange juice (2 oranges)
7 oz/200g caster sugar (or to taste)
2 sprigs of thyme plus more to decorate
4 gelatine leaves (enough to lightly set 1 pint/600ml approx)

First (and if you have the time (ha ha)), heat the juice, sugar and thyme together and leave to infuse for an hour.   Strain the juice.    Heat 4fl oz/100ml of the juice. 

Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water until they are flexible, then squeeze off the water before dropping the soggy leaves into the hot juice and stirring to dissolve the leaves entirely.    When you are sure there are no lingering shreds of gelatine, pour this mixture into the rest of the juice and stir thoroughly – you don’t want a layered effect with a thicker jelly at the bottom.   Pour the jelly into a pretty bowl and leave it to set in the fridge for at least four hours.   You could add the decorative thyme sprigs just before it has set, or sprinkle them on afterwards.  Either way, it looks very pretty.