Sweet

Blueberry and Lemon Tart

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When I was in Sweden in 2011 I visited a little place called Gilda’s Café and had what was essentially a bowl of hot chocolate (!) and a slice of the most amazing blueberry pie I’d ever tried, so many blueberries on one slice of pie. Ever since I’ve thought about that pie and how to try to re-create it.

By chance I have been going through the many cook books I have at home lately and stumbled across a blueberry lemon tart recipe in Breakfast Lunch Tea by the Rose Bakery. It looked a little like it might produce something like the one from Gilda’s. So a few Saturday’s ago I brought some local blueberries at Salamanca market and baked this tart. It is very very good.

Recipe (from Breakfast Lunch Tea)

Pastry

(this makes enough for two tarts – the book says to use a 28ch pie dish but I ended up using a 20cm spring form tin – this seemed to work and I have frozen the left over pastry for round two)

500g plain flour
120g caster sugar
320g butter cubed
1 egg
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean paste)

In a bowl add the flour and sugar and rub the butter into the mix until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well and add the eggs, yolk and vanilla, stir with a fork until it forms a dough and then placed on a floured surface and knead until it is smooth.
Roll out the dough and fit into a greased tin. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then place some baking paper or foil over the top and cover with baking beads, or rice or dried beans or whatever you have. Bake in a preheated over at 180 Celsius for 20 minutes. Leave to cool.

Lemon tart filling

(I halved the quantities in the book for the smaller tin and because I didn’t have a lot of eggs – if you use a bigger tin double these quantities).

110ml lemon juice
4 eggs
1 egg yolk
35ml single cream
83g of caster sugar
½ a tablespoon plain flour

Whisk the lemon juice and sugar in a bowl and then beat in the eggs and egg yolks one at a time. Add the cream and whisk it in followed by the flour.
Pour the mixture into the tart pastry and bake at 180 for approximately 30 minutes and allow to cool before adding the blueberry topping.

Blueberry topping

2 punets of blueberries
½ cup of jam (I used strawberry)

Heat the jam in a saucepan until it is simmering and bubbling a little then add the fresh blueberries and stir through. Allow them to cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then take off the heat and pour over your tart. Allow the blueberries to set before eating (takes maybe 20 minutes).

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Strawberry and Vanilla Bean Custard Trifle

It seems we finally have something resembling summer weather here in Tasmania at the moment, and as it is very nearly December my mind naturally thinks about christmas desserts, not so much pudding, but rather pavlova and trifle. We always have trifle at christmas in my family, so I thought I’d share a very simple easy individual version here using some amazing strawberries I picked last weekend.

The Littlewood Strawberry farm is located on the road to Richmond and only just opened a few weeks ago for the first time ever. Not only is the landscape beautiful, the lambs tethered under a big sun umbrella super cute and Sophie the owner passionate about what she’s doing, but the strawberries themselves are also beautiful and tasty and juicy. Sophie did write me a list of the varieties she has but I seem to have lost it…Anyway my mum and I had a lovely time there and the car on the way back smelt amazing! I’d definitely recommend a visit and will be going back.

There are so many different ways of making trifle and so many different possible inclusions, I myself am partial to peaches and jelly. But this particular one I kept simple.

Vanilla bean custard

2 egg yolks
1 vanilla bean
100ml full fat milk, I used the Elgar milk with cream on top
200ml thick cream
1 teaspoon cornflour
50 grams of sugar

Add the milk and cream to a saucepan and add a split vanilla bean with the seeds scraped out and added. Over medium heat let it almost come to the boil.

In another bowl whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornflower, add a little bit of the warm milk/cream and whisk in, then add a little more. Then put the egg mix in with the rest of the milk/cream in the saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the custard coats the back of a spoon and leave a clear space when you run your finger through it. Strain the custard into a bowl/jar for use allowing it to cool a little.

Strawberry compote

Into a saucepan add a cup of so of quartered strawberries and sprinkle with a little caster sugar (as much as you like, the strawberries I had were already sweet enough) and add a splash of orange juice (you could use an orange liqueur here – I would’ve done if I’d had some).

Cook on a medium to low heat until the strawberries are soft and the liquid has thickened a little.

Sponge

I always tend to make use Stephanie Alexander’s recipe, which Maggie Beer shares here when I make sponge cake. But in all honesty, sometimes you can cheat and use a supermarket/bakery sponge.

Either way slice the cake when it’s cool and then cut into small-ish bite size pieces.

Assembly

To make the trifle add alternative layers of sponge, strawberry compote, custard, fresh chopped strawberries and finish with a layer of whipped cream. Allow the trifle to sit in the fridge for half an hour or so before eating so it sets.

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Lemon Curd filled Doughnuts

Fresh lemons are in season right now and that makes me pretty excited, as they are one of my favourite flavours (along with basil, mint, vanilla etc!). We sadly don’t have a fruit producing lemon tree (yet) but luckily one of the ladies at work kindly brought in several bags of them from her tree and I scooped up quite a few for last weekends cooking. I think they are meyer lemons and they are almost orange in colour and so juicy.

So what to do with a load of lemons, besides lemonade (which I made this weekend as well, great with vodka)…….make lemon curd and pipe it into the middle of fluffy soft doughnuts!

The last time I made doughnuts they were yeast free, but I was feeling more confident this time around and wanted them to be lighter and fluffier. It takes a little time and the lemon curd is best made a day in advance, but well worth the time I think and they are perfect for a grey afternoon tea treat.

To make the lemon curd:
2 lemons – zested and juiced
80g sugar
90g butter
4 egg yolks (I used fresh ones from my uncles chickens)

Put the lemon juice, zest, sugar and butter into a saucepan on low heat until the sugar and butter melt. Remove from the stove top.

In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks, then add them to the saucepan and whisk vigorously. Return the pan to the low heat and whisk continuously as the curd starts to thicken. Once the curd thickens, remove from the heat. Pass the curd through a sieve into a bowl then cover the cud directly with glad wrap and put in the fridge overnight.

To make the doughnuts I used Donna Hay’s recipe I made them slightly larger sized so the mixture yielded 12. You will need to have the oil a bit cooler so they cook slower and right through.

Coat the warm doughnuts in sugar then fill a piping bag, with a small round nozzle, with the lemon curd.

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Indulgent Chocolate Cake with Agrarian Kitchen Dulce du Leche

This Easter we celebrated our friend Rose’s 30th birthday at her lodge in the central Tasmanian highlands. It was a very relaxed weekend, a bit of drinking, puzzle-doing, Easter egg eating, and a lot of chats around the fire. Sam caught a 2 pound brown trout and Rose’s husband Bill cooked us a fantastic Hāngi. Oh yeah and we had snow!

To celebrate the birthday I made my standard chocolate cake (see the recipe here), but this time around made it that little bit more indulgent….well it was Easter, by adding in a layer of the Agrarian Kitchen’s dulce du leche purchased from their stall at the Mona Market. This stuff is liquid gold and is made from their own goats milk. It’s beautifully rich. I’m hooked! Unfortunately I don’t think they sell it very often and as their run at the MONA market is done it might be quite a while before I get my hands on more….however I have read instructions for making my own. One day perhaps.

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Guest Posts on Anthology Magazine

Hi all, sorry for the current luck of posts, but we have been busy creating a series of breakfast themed recipes for Anthology Magazine.

The first one was Blueberry Cinnamon Buns with Orange Cream Cheese Glaze.

And week two was a recipe using some of the nectarines from our garden. It can be found here.

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