Monday, 9 June 2008

Lemon Lime Tart

Adapted from a Stephanie Alexander recipe

180g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and left at room temperature for 20 minutes
240g plain flour
pinch salt
60mL water

2 limes
2 lemons
6-7 eggs (6 large or 7 medium)
250g castor sugar
200mL cream (half and half is fine – just 10% fat)
a little orange juice (~50mL)

24cm loose-bottomed deep flan tin, or pie dish

Add flour and salt to a large bowl, then mix in the butter with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the water, then use a spatula to stir it through. The dough should come together easily into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 20-30 minutes.

Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out into a circle about 5cm wider than the flan tin or pie dish. Carefully lay the pastry over the dish, pushing it gently into the corners. Trim excess pastry leaving about 1cm extra. Roll the pastry edge over so that it doesn’t overlap the edge of the dish. Refrigerate 30 minutes, and preheat the oven to 200C/400F.

Meanwhile, zest and juice the lemons and limes. Measure the juice and add a little orange juice if required to give about 180mL. Add the zest to the juice and set aside.

Gently prick the surface of the chilled pastry shell with a fork, cover with aluminium foil, then place pastry weights, dried beans, or rice on top. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and foil, then return to oven for a further 5 minutes.

During the final 5 minutes, beat together eggs and sugar with a spoon until well mixed. Add the juice and zest, mix, then stir in the cream.

Remove the pastry shell from the oven, and press the surface down if it has risen a little. Turn the oven down to 160C/320F. Pour the filling into the shell. Be careful not to over-fill, any excess filling can be poured into ramekins and baked separately. Bake 35-45 minutes until the filling is set (ramekins will be ready in 25-35 minutes). Allow to cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

Serves 8-12

Monday, 7 April 2008

Zucchini Cranberry Muffins

Adapted from a recipe by Hamilton's Barley
Makes 12

I have recently become rather addicted to the Zucchini Cranberry Barley muffins served by Good Earth cafes. My wallet is not so addicted, so I thought I'd search online for a recipe I could adapt. I was excited to find this one, especially when I realised that the barley flour is a local Alberta product.

This recipe would probably work with wheat flour, but I would recommend using wholewheat to get a richer flavour. The fresh cranberries are quite tart, use dried ones for a sweeter taste.

2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup finely grated zucchini (1 medium)
1 3/4 cups barley flour
3/4 tspn baking soda
1/2 tspn cinnamon
3/8 tspn baking powder (I use a heaped 1/4 tspn)
pinch salt
1 cup chopped fresh cranberries (or 1/2 cup dried cranberries)
1/2 cup chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 375F/180C. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan.

Beat eggs in a large bowl, then stir in oil until combined. Stir in sugar and then zucchini.

Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and mix well. Stir in cranberries and almonds.

Divide mixture evenly between the muffin pans. Bake 18-22 minutes until lightly browned and centre spring back when poked.

Stand 10 minutes before turning onto wire racks to cool.

Eat immediately, or freeze for later.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Cranberry and Orange Friands

Adapted from the Women's Weekly "Cafe Cakes" book

185g butter, melted
125g (1 cup) ground almonds
6 egg whites, beaten lightly with a whisk
240g (1 ½ cups) icing mixture
75g (1/2 cup) all purpose flour
rind of 1 orange, finely grated
100g cranberries, frozen or fresh

Preheat oven to moderately hot (400-425F). Grease 12-16 1/3 cup friand pans (or use small muffin pans instead), and arrange on a baking tray.

Set aside 2 whole cranberries for each friend pan. Chop remaining cranberries in quarters.

Combine butter, almond, egg whites, sugar, flour, orange rind, and chopped cranberries in a medium bowl and stir until just combined. Divide among prepared pans. Cut remaining cranberries in halves, and place 4 halves, cut side down, on top of each friand.

Bake about 25 minutes, then allow to cool in pans for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Chai Spice Mix

I really like Chai tea, but I'm not a fan of the concentrated variety. An easy option is to make your own spice mix. At home I mix the spices and tea just before adding the hot water, but for work I just add tea leaves to the spice mix and it's ready to use.

Chai Spice Mix

2 tsp ground cardamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Mix ingredients and store in an airtight container.

To make tea, add 1 tsp loose leaf black tea and ¼ tsp spice mix to a tea infuser. Steep about 5 minutes. Add milk and sugar to taste.