Midweek again and I've been craving fruits and also plenty veggies and .....shockingly enough, chocolate! (I'm naturally more of a savoury person than a sweet so this came as a bit of a surprise crave). I'm also a huge Nigella Lawson fan and due to my cravings and her fantastic recipes that are awesomely simple and delectably delicious; I want to share 3 of my favourite recipes by the stunning and talented Chef Lawson. Take a peek at these tasty jewels:
45 grams light brown muscovado sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
150 grams golden syrup
30 grams butter
125 ml double cream
a splash of vanilla extract
approx. 350 grams cut fruit
Melt the sugars, syrup and butter in a saucepan and boil for 5 minutes.
Add the cream and vanilla extract, stirring together, and then take off the heat.
Divide the sauce between two cups or small bowls, and then arrange the fruit on two saucers or on a plate, as you see fit.
375 grams crumbled digestive biscuits (I use Baker's Tennis Biscuits instead)
75 grams soft unsalted butter
400 grams cream cheese (at room temperature)
240 grams lemon curd (at room temperature)
125 grams blueberries
125 grams blackberries
125 grams raspberries
125 grams redcurrants (or pomegranate seeds)
125 grams small strawberries
Process the biscuits and the butter to a sandy rubble and press into the sides and bottom of a deep-sided fluted tart tin approx. 25cm diameter x 4–5cm deep / 10inch diameter x 2 inches deep with a loose base. Place in the freezer (or fridge if that is not possible) for about 10–15 minutes.
In a clean processor bowl, process the cream cheese and lemon curd (or just mix by hand) and spread into the bottom of the chilled tart tin, covering the base evenly.
Arrange the fruit gently (so it doesn’t sink in too much) on top of the lemony cream cheese in a decorative manner, leaving some of the strawberries unhulled, with their picturesque stalks attached.
Place the tart in the fridge, preferably overnight, though for at least 4 hours. It does need to get properly cold in order to set enough for the tart to be unsprung and sliced easily.
for the filling:
500 grams strawberries (hulled)
50 grams caster sugar
25 grams ground almonds
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
for the topping:
110 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
75 grams cold butter (diced)
100 grams flaked almonds
75 grams demerara sugar (I use dark brown sugar if I can't find demerara)
double cream (to serve)
Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6/400ºF. Put the hulled strawberries into your pie dish, I use a round ovenproof pie dish approx. 21cm diameter x 4cm deep (approx. 1.25 litre capacity) / 8 inches diameter x 2 inches deep (approx. 1¼ quarts capacity), and sprinkle over them the sugar, almonds and vanilla extract. Give the dish a good shake or two to mix the ingredients.
Now for the crumble topping: put the flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl and rub in the cold, diced butter between thumb and fingers (or in a freestanding mixer). When you’ve finished, it should resemble rough, pale oatmeal. Stir in the flaked almonds and sugar with a fork.
Tip this over the strawberry mixture, covering the strawberries in an even layer and giving a bit of a press in at the edges of the dish. Set the dish on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, by which time the crumble topping will have darkened to a pale gold and some pink-red juices will be seeping and bubbling out at the edges.
Leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving, and be sure to put a jug of chilled double cream on the table alongside.
By now I'm sure you can tell that I'm pretty much a massive cherry and strawberry fan of note but whether you're a strawberry fan or not so much; I hope you enjoy these Nigella recipes as much as I do. Join me tomorrow for some cool tips on garnishing and plating meals ;-D
Stay perfectly juicy peeps!
Chef Shants xxxxx