I've had a lazy hazy week or two, lots on, but loads of time for cooking as well. I had a great morning outdoors at the lagoon teaching a group of lovely ladies how to cook some simple tapas - delicious chicken meatballs in sofrito sauce (basically a spanish tomato sauce loaded with smoked paprika) & eggplant, capsicum and sundried tomato rolls served with a rich garlicky coriander salsa.
I turned a glut of courgette into zucchini and tomato chutney which tastes divine (even if I say so myself), and will be fabulous in a few weeks when all the flavours have meshed together and the vegetables smoosh down into a jam-like consistency, and finally I remembered I had some lemon curd and christmas mince in the fridge, so threw together a bit of pastry, and made some bite size xmas mince pies and lemon meringue tarts (recipe below). Please excuse the photo, I only had my iphone, so the quality isn't fantastic, but it shows you how they looked and in case you're wondering - the pies were delish!
Lemon Meringue Tart
makes one medium size tart, or 24 mini tarts.
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup cornflour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- 180 grams cold butter, cut up
- 1/4 cup cold water
Pop the flour, cornflour, salt and caster sugar into a food processor, add cold butter and blitz until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. With the processor running dribble in the cold water until the pastry start to comes together, tip onto the bench and squish together into a ball, cover in plastic wrap and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes
- 1/4 cup cornflour
- 1 cup sugar
- grated rind from 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 3/4 cup water
- 3 eggs, separated (keep the whites for the meringue)
- 1 tablespoon butter
Blend cornflour, sugar, eggs, lemon rind and juice together until smooth, Add water and cook in a bowl over a pot of simmering water, whisking continually until mixture thickens (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and add in butter.
- 3 egg whites from above
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
Beat egg whites until stiff, beat in sugar 1 tablespoon at time, until thick and glossy, stir in vanilla essence.
And now comes the fun part - roll out the pastry to 5mm thick, Line a 20 cm pie plate, trim off excess pastry and bake blind (pop baking parchment on the pastry and fill with rice) at 190 degrees celsius for 20 minutes. Pour lemon filling into the pie base, and spoon meringue filling over the top. Return to oven and bake for 10 minutes until meringue is golden.
(for mini tarts, cut out circles of pastry, pop into mini muffin pans, prick all over with a fork and bake for 5 minutes, before adding filling and meringue)