Some of my favourite flavours, and such is the stuff of the perfect Valentine’s feast.
I call it a feast, but actually it’s a series of feasts really.
Yesterday (Saturday) we indulged in some exquisite stilton from Mellis the cheesemonger (a special trip into the west end of Glasgow specifically to buy Valentines cheese!). We had it with freshly baked rolls, sliced relatively thinly like a wee loaf.
For lunch today I made a warm beetroot and goats cheese tart. And later we’ll be having more beetroot, lightly pickled in a sweet vinegar, with salmon and fresh linguine.
Afterwards we’ll have vanilla panna cotta, which looks delicious, but the coffee gelee on top seems to be liquid coffee, and not a gelee at all. And for real afters there’ll be a cheeseboard. Yum.
Lemons. Where do the lemons come into all of this?
I made a batch of Lemon Kisses – in an assortment of heart, flower and helicopter shapes. The helicopters will of course be the most popular. And, I prefer biscuits on their own, not squidged together with cream or icing, or whatever. But the recipe calls for squidging them together with Lemon Curd, so I’ve just made a batch of Lemon Curd, one of my favourtie things to make, and absolute favourite flavours. I love that sharp lemoniness. I must experiment with lime and orange curds in the coming months. Blood oranges are in season right now (and I have three in the fruit bowl ) – I suspect they would make a pretty spectacular curd.
Makes one relatively small jar
60g unsalted butter
130g caster sugar
Zest and juice of 1½ large unwaxed lemons
2 large eggs, beaten
- Chop the butter into a heavy-based saucepan.
- Add the sugar, lemon juice and zest
- Warm over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves
- Pour the beaten eggs into the pan, stirring rapidly as you pour
- Keep stirring over a low heat until the mixture thickens. This will take 5-10 minutes.
- Once it is thickened, pour into a sterilised jar. DO NOT allow it to boil as it will curdle.
- Once cool, seal the jar and keep in the fridge.
- Use within 4 weeks.
Delicious on hot buttered toast, stirred into yoghurt, sandwiching biscuits or sponge cakes.
Beetroot and goats cheese jalousie
- 1 1/2 medium beetroot, cooked
- a few slices of goats cheese
- 2 Tbs yoghurt / creme fraiche
- 3 tsp grated horseradish
- 1pkt all butter puff pastry
Grease a baking tray.
- Cut a third of the pastry and roll out into an oblong. Cook in a GM 7 oven for 10 minutes.
- Grate the beetroot and mix with the yoghurt or creme fraiche and horseradish. Season
- Cut into the pastry base, squishing down the pastry in the middle, creating a ‘wall’ round the edge and an oblong hole in the middle.
- Place the beetroot mixture into the hole in the pastry
- Put slices of goats cheese on top
- Roll the remainder of the pastry into a larger oblong. Cut slashes into this pastry, to create diagonals on the pastry lid
- Brush the edges of the pastry base with beaten egg
- Carefully place the pastry lid over the top of the tart (do this by carefully rolling the whole lid round the rolling pin and then unrolling it back on top of the tart base)
- Brush the pastry lid with egg wash
- Bake in the hot oven for about 20 minutes, or until the pastry is risen and cooked
- Eat while warm, served with a watercress salad
The lemon kisses recipe will follow. Eventually