Lime Curd Tart

Saturday, March 19, 2016

A refreshing, yet indulgent lime tart! Pre-baking this tart ensures a crisp bottom every time.

Lime Curd Tart adapted from Barefoot Contessa

Tart Shell:
3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 tbsp cold water
pinch of salt

In a bowl, mix together with an electric mixer the butter and sugar until combined. Add in the vanilla. In another bowl, sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Add in the butter and sugar mixture. If the dough doesn't come together, add the cold water. Tip dough on a floured surface and roll out large enough to fit a 9 inch tart pan. Transfer dough to the tart pan and ensure the finished edge is flat. Chill until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter one side of a piece of aluminum foil. Place buttered side down onto the pastry and fill with baking beans or rice. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and prick the pastry with a fork. Bake for another 20 - 25 minutes or until lightly golden brown. 

Lime Curd
4 limes
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 pound butter at room temperature
4 extra- large eggs at room temperature
1/8 tsp salt

While the dough is chilling, zest all 4 limes. Juice the limes to make 1/2 cup of juice and set aside. In a food processor, add in the sugar and zest and blitz until the zest is finely minced. In another bowl, blend together the butter and sugar and zest mixture. One at a time add in the eggs until combined. Blend in the lime juice and salt. Don't worry if the mixture is curdled at this point.

Pour the mixture in a saucepan and cook over low heat. If heat is too high your eggs will scramble. Stir constantly until thickened. This should take about 10 minutes. Once thickened, remove from heat and set aside.

Once the pastry shell is cooled, fill the tart with the warm curd and let set at room temperature for 2-3 hours. Once set, serve immediately or refrigerate.

lime curd tart

Irish Soda Bread

Monday, March 14, 2016

This simple soda bread is a year-round staple at my house, not just at St.Patricks Day.

Be sure to make a cross on your bread to 'let the devil out'!

Irish Soda Bread adapted from Allrecipes

4 cups all purpose flour
4 tbsp white sugar
1 tsp baking soda (I used Bob's Redmill)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 butter, softened
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg
4 tbsp buttermilk
4 tbsp butter

Whisk flour, sugar, soda and salt together in a bowl. Add in butter and using pastry cutter or hands, blend until the size of peas. Make a deep well in the center and add the buttermilk and egg. Stir together with a fork. If you find the dough is not coming together add a touch more buttermilk. Using your hands, bring the dough together in the bowl and tip on a floured surface. Do not knead the dough, but rather fold over twice and then form a large circle. Cut a cross all the way through the bread. This will allow the bread to be fully cooked. Place bread on a baking sheet and brush with buttermilk and melted butter.

Bake at 375 F for 35-45 minutes until it is a rich, golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Best eaten within 2-3 days.

Welsh Cakes

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March 1st marks St. David's Day, a celebratory day honouring the death of the patron saint of Wales. Saint David, a Welsh bishop during the 6th century, was known to perform miracles. The most notable taking place when he was preaching to a crowd in the village in Llanddewi Brefi. As he performed his sermon the ground beneath his feet rose up and formed a small hill. 

Although perhaps many could not relate to a Saint bearing any relevance in today's society, St. David spoke a famous phrase during his final sermon "do ye the little things in life." A phrase I find still pertinent today.

With threads of Welsh heritage dappled through my family tree, I thought I would celebrate St. David's Day by making my Grandma's famous Welsh Cakes. 

welsh cakes

Welsh Cakes
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup currants
 3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 cups shortening
1/4 cup milk
3 eggs

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Add in the shortening and blend until the consistency of bread crumbs. Add the eggs and milk and mix until just combined. Bring dough together with hands and split into 2 balls. Transfer one ball to a floured surface and roll out. Cut  desired shapes and place in oil-free pan or electric griddle. Pan should be on low to medium heat or griddle at 300 degrees F. Cook each side for 2-3 minutes until the middle is flaky.