Pistachio, Orange and Cardamom Tart

Recipe taken from Psychologies Magazine (May 2019) and published in Moorish: Vibrant recipes from the Mediterranean.

Use super green Iranian Pistachios for this, not only for their colour but also for their sweet flavour. The cardamom works beautifully alongside the zesty orange. Gran Torres is a brandy liqueur from Spain, great for giving desserts a kick!

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Serves : 8-10

Ingredients :
220g plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
A pinch of salt
10 cardamom pods, seeds removed and ground in a Pestle and Mortar
140g unsalted butter, diced
1 egg yolk
Goat’s milk yogurt, to serve

For the filling:
280g green pistachios (ideally Iranian)
180g blanched almonds
240g caster sugar
1/4 tsp freshly ground cardamom seeds (from pod)
125ml fresh orange juice
5 egg yolks
Grated zest of 1 orange
20ml Gran Torres orange liqueur or Grand Marnier

Step One : First, make the pastry. Put the flour, salt and ground cardamom seeds in a food processor and blitz. With the machine running, gradually add the butter and pulse for a few minutes more, until reduced to tiny lumps. Mix in the egg yolk. Tip the mixture into a bowl and knead together to make a dough. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for an hour or so.

Step Two : Roll out the dough on a floured surface and use to line a 24cm round, loose-bottomed tart tin. Prick the pastry with a fork before placing it in the freezer to chill for an hour or so.

Step Three : Preheat the oven to 180oC / Gas Mark 4. Line the tart case with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake blind for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is cooked and has turned golden. Remove the paper and beans, then set aside to cool. Leave the oven on.

Step Four : For the filling, blitz the nuts, sugar and cardamom in a food processor until fine and smooth. With the machine running, slowly add the orange juice to form a paste. Add four of the egg yolks and the orange zest, and blitz again, then add the liqueur.

Step Five : Spread the filling in the tart case. Bake for 15 minutes or until the top has just set. Lightly beat the remaining egg yolk and brush over the surface. Bake for 10 minutes more or until glazed. Leave to cool for at least an hour before serving. Top each piece of tart with a dollop of creamy goat’s milk yogurt.

Minced Beef Pasties

Serves : 4 (makes 8 pasties)
Prep time : 12 mins
Cook time : 50 mins

Ingredients Filling:
1 tblsp vegetable oil
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
2 oz (50g) turnip, peeled and diced
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 potato, peeled and finely diced
6oz (175g) lean minced beef
1oz (25g) plain flour
¼ pt (150ml) beef stock
2 oz (50g) frozen peas.

For the pastry:
1 lb (450g) prepared shortcrust pastry
1 small egg, beaten

Step One : To make the filling, heat the oil in a large frying pan and sauté onion, turnip, carrot, potato and minced beef for 7 mins. Add the flour, cook for 1 min, then stir in stock. Season well. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 mins. Leave to cool slightly.

Step Two : On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to form a 16 x 8 in (41 x 20.5 cm) rectangle. Cut equally into eight squares, then place an eighth o the filling in centre of each. Brush edges of pastry with egg, then fold over filling and crimp to seal.

Step Three : Place pasties on a baking sheet and brush with egg. Cook in oven for 20 mins until golden. Serve with salad.

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Pea and Basil Tart with a Buttery Oat Crust

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (July 2017) and taken from Food for a Happy Gut by Naomi Devlin.

Oat flour makes a crisp, rich crust – the perfect foil for a smooth pea filling and some cool probiotic labneh. The tart is easily digestible, but you could increase its probiotic value by adding a garlic clove and using the white of the onions.

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Serves : 4

Ingredients Oat Crust:
70g oat flour (or porridge oats, ground)
70g buckwheat flour
70g ground linseed
2 pinches of sea salt
70g cold salted butter, diced
80-100g live Greek-style yogurt

Pea and basil filling:
225g frozen peas
3 large organic eggs
150ml double cream
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus juice of 1/2 lemon
Large handful of basil, plus extra to dress
3 pinches of sea salt
4 spring onions, green parts only, sliced
120g labneh
Olive oil, for drizzling
Freshly ground black pepper

Step One : For the crust, put both flours, the linseed and salt into a bowl, rub in the butter until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs, and use a knife to stir in half the yogurt. Add the remaining yogurt in teaspoons, until the mixture starts to clump, then gather into a ball and knead till smooth. Form into a disc, then wrap and chill for 20-30 minutes.

Step Two : Preheat the oven to 200oC / 390oF / Gas Mark 6 and line the base of a 23cm loose-based tart tin with baking parchment.

Step Three : Lay a sheet of clingfilm on the worktop, place the pastry on it and cover with clingfilm. Roll into a circle to line the tin, peel off the top layer of clingfilm, and ease the pastry into the corners before removing the clingfilm and trimming the top edge. Chill for at least half an hour.

Step Four : Line the tart case with parchment, fill with baking beans and bake for 15 minutes, then remove the parchment and beans and bake for 5 minutes. Set aside. Turn the oven down to 180oC / 390oF / Gas Mark 4.

Step Five : To make the filling, blanch the peas in boiling water until just cooked. Refresh in cold water, then drain and reserve 25g. Put the remaining peas into a blender with the eggs, cream, lemon zest and juice, basil and salt. Blend and pour into the case, then scatter over the onions and reserved peas.

Step Six : Bake for 30 minutes, until set. Put side till just warm, then scatter with labneh and basil and drizzle over the olive oil. Season with black pepper and serve.

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Za-Atar Flatbread (Mana’eesh)

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (August 2017) and taken from Syria: Recipes from Home by Itab Azzam and Dina Mousawi.

If there’s one thing Syrians can’t live without, it’s mana’eesh.  In the same way that pubs are a huge part of life in Britain, mana’eesh bakeries are integral to Syrian culture.  Being as cheap and readily available as they are, not many people make their own, so this recipe is an homage to the original.

Serves:  6

Ingredients:
3 tblsp Za’atar
5 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1 x 320g pack of puff pastry
Fresh mint leaves, to serve
½ tomato, diced, to serve

Step One : Mix the za’atar with the olive oil. Roll out the pastry and, using a pastry brush, spread the za’atar olive oil all over, leaving a 2.5cm border around the edges.

Step Two : Bake in the oven on 160oC / 320oF / Gas Mark 3 for about 15 minutes, until the pastry puffs up and turns golden brown. Serve with fresh mint and tomatoes on top.

Light Seafood Tartlets

Recipe courtesy of Prima Magazine.

Quick to make and deliciously light to eat, these airy little tartlets are a perfect overture to a rich main course. Crisp layers of filo pastry hold a fluffy prawn and salmon filling, delicately flavoured with dill, chives and lime.

Serves : 8

Prep time : 20 mins    Cook time : 12 mins

seafood tartlets

Ingredients:
8 sheets filo pastry
2oz (50g) butter, melted
9 fl oz (275ml) hollandaise sauce
2 eggs, separated
4oz (125g) cooked peeled prawns
4oz (125g) smoked salmon trimmings, chopped
1 lime
1 tblsp (15ml) chopped fresh dill
1 tblsp (15ml) chopped fresh chives
salt and pepper

Step One : Preheat the oven to Mark 4 (350oF / 180oC) and place a baking sheet in the oven. Cut the pastry into 4in (10cm) squares and use it to line eight 4 in (10cm) flan tins. Overlap the pastry and butter between each layer.

Step Two : Place the hollandaise sauce in a bowl, add the egg yolks, prawns, salmon, grated rind of the lime, herbs and plenty of seasoning. Whisk the egg whites until they just stand in soft peaks and fold into the fish mixture using a large metal spoon. Divide between the tins.

Step Three : Place the tins on the hot baking sheet and cook for 10-12 minutes or until just set and golden brown.

Tip: For a vegetarian alternative, saute 8oz (225g) mushrooms in garlic butter and use them instead of the seafood. When using the mushrooms replace the fresh dill with tarragon.

Other seafood recipes can be found here …

Rhubarb and Raspberry Tart

Serves : 6

Prep : 40 min, plus chilling time;   Cook : 20 min

This simple flan makes a delicious dessert. Semolina sprinkled on the pastry soaks up the fruit juices

Ingredients:
Rich Pastry:
3oz (175g) butter, softened
6oz (175g) plain flour, sieved
2 tblsp (30ml) sugar
1 egg yolk
About 2tbsp/30ml water

Filling:
1 lb (450g) rhubarb, cut into chunks
3oz/75g caster sugar
1 tblsp (15ml) cornflour, blended with water
1 tblsp (15ml) semolina
4oz (125g) raspberries
1oz (25g) flaked almonds, toasted
8in/20cm loose-bottomed flan tin.

Step One : Make the pastry by rubbing the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, add the egg yolk, then start blending the mixture with a round bladed knife. As the mixture combines together add the water gradually to bring the mixture into a firm dough. Wrap in clingfilm and leave in a cool place for 30 minutes.

Step Two : Roll the pastry out on a floured surface and line the flan tin. Prick the base and line with greaseproof paper and baking beans. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Step Three : Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 / 350oF / 180oC. Cook the tart for 15 minutes, until golden, removing the greaseproof paper after 10 minutes.

Step Four : Meanwhile, place the rhubarb in a saucepan with the caster sugar. Add 3 tblsp (45ml) water and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the rhubarb, reserving the juice.

Step Five : To make the glaze, mix 6 fl oz (175ml) of the reserved juice with the blended cornflour. Return to the saucepan and bring to the boil to allow the mixture to thicken.

Step Six : Sprinkle the semolina over the base of the cooked pastry case. Place the drained rhubarb in the tart, add the raspberries and sprinkle over the almonds. Pour over the glaze making sure it covers the fruit in an even layer.

Step Seven : Serve the tart warmed or chilled with crème fraiche.

Other Rhubarb recipes can be found here …

Fig Crostata with Rosemary Custard

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Spring 2018) and taken from a book called Feasting.

Figs are believed to have originated in the Middle East and have a strong presence in the Bible.  Showcase their sweet flavour and luxurious texture in this rustic crostata.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:-

240g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
80g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
120g cold butter, cubed
2 egg yolks
90g semolina
8 fresh figs, sliced in half lengthways
1 egg beaten, for glazing
Icing sugar, for dusting (optional)

Rosemary Custard
750ml milk
2 rosemary sprigs
3 egg yolks
70g caster sugar
2 tbsp cornflour

Step One: Place the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of cold water, and blitz again until the dough comes together.  Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a ball, then flatten slightly.  Wrap in cling-film and rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Step Two: Preheat the oven to 200oC / 400oF / Gas Mark 6. Roll out the dough into a large circle with a 30cm diameter. Line a baking tray with baking paper and sprinkle one third of the semolina on top. Put the dough on top of the semolina and sprinkle the rest of the semolina on top of the dough.

Step Three: Arrange the figs on top of the pastry in an inner circle with a diameter of about 20cm. You should be left with a 10cm ring of pastry around the fruit. Fold up the edges of the pastry over the fruit. Glaze the pastry flap with the beaten egg and place in the oven to bake for 50 minutes.

Step Four: While the crostata is baking, make the rosemary custard. Pour the milk into a large saucepan over a medium-low heat, add the rosemary sprigs and warm through to infuse for 5-10 minutes.

Step Five: In a bowl, vigorously whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and cornflour to form a paste. When the milk is warm, remove the rosemary and pour 250ml of the warm milk into the egg mixture. Gently combine, then pour the mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk. Stir continuously over a low heat until the custard thickens.

Step Six: Remove the crostata from the oven. Dust with icing sugar, if using, and serve with the rosemary custard on the side.

Bacon, Cheese and Onion Slice

Serves: 4

Ingredients: 1 tblsp cooking oil; 2 onions, finely chopped; 8oz (225g) puff pastry; English or Dijon mustard; 4oz (100g) smoked bacon, chopped; 4oz (100g) cheddar cheese, grated; sesame seeds, to garnish

  • This slice makes great canapés, finger snacks or an accompaniment to soup.
  • Most people buy ready-made puff pastry but if you want to make your own, here’s how. Melt 2oz (50g) butter, cool. Leave 5oz (150g) butter to soften. Sift 7oz (200g) plain flour and pinch of salt into a bowl. Make well in centre, pour in about 4 fl oz (120ml) cold water, a few drops lemon juice and the melt butter. Knead lightly, then leave to rest for 20 mins. On a floured board, roll pastry from 4 sides, leaving a lump in centre – dough should look like a crossroads. Sit remaining butter on the centre lump of the dough and fold over each pastry flap. Pat into a rectangle measuring about 6 x 12in (15 x 30cm), refrigerate for 10-15 mins. Roll pastry lengthways until double in length. Fold both ends into centre, then fold once more. This is called a double turn. Complete process a further 3 times. Always roll with folded edge on left and leave to rest for 20-30 mins in fridge before each turn. Leave pastry in fridge for a further 30 mins before using. This makes roughly 1 lb (450g) of pastry but you can freeze the excess.
  • In a large frying pan, heat oil and fry onions for a few minutes until softened. Make sure onions do not brown. Allow to cool.
  • Roll out puff pastry very thinly into a 12in (30cm) square. Cut square in half and on one half only, spread a little mustard, according to your taste. Then spread with the onions, bacon and cheese and cover with the remaining pastry half. Roll up pastry parcel like a Swiss roll, then leave to rest in fridge for 1-2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 220oC/425oF/Gas Mark 7. Remove roll from fridge, cut into ¾ in (18mm) slices, place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for 12-15 mins until golden.

Bacon & Onion Tart

Serves: 6; Prep: 15 minutes; Cook: 40-50 minutes; Cals per portion: 354

A crispy short-crust pastry tart with a creamy onion filling – ideal for a summer picnic.

Ingredients:
Pastry: 6oz/175g plain flour; 1/2 tsp/2.5ml salt; 3oz/75g hard margarine; 2-3 tblsp/30-45ml water
Filling: 2oz/50g butter; 1 lb/450g onions, chopped; 2 rashers bacon, chopped; 1 1/2oz/40g flour; 7 fl oz/200ml milk; 2 eggs; salt and freshly ground black pepper; 8 in / 21cm flan tin, greased

  • Preheat the oven to Mark 5 / 375oF / 190oC. Sieve the flour and salt into a small bowl. Cut margarine into small pieces and rub it into flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add enough cold water to mix to a firm dough. Roll out on floured board and line the tin.
  • Melt butter in pan, add onions and bacon and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, stir in flour and mix well. Beat milk with eggs and pour over onions, mixing well. Season and pour into flan case. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve.

Parma Ham and Tomato Tart

Serves 4; Cals per portion: 545

Ingredients: 225g (8oz) short-crust pastry; 30ml (2 tbsp) finely grated parmesan cheese; 175mg (6oz) Parma ham; 4 large plum tomatoes; 50g (2oz) pine nuts; 45m (3 tblsp) olive oil.

  • On a lightly floured surface roll out the pastry thinly and sprinkle the Parmesan Cheese over the top. Roll over the pastry with a rolling pin to press the cheese into the pastry. Use the pastry to line a 23cm (9in) fluted flan tin then prick all over with a fork.
  • Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans (or dried pulses). Bake blind at 200oC, 400oF, Gas 6 for 20 mins. Remove the lining and the beans and bake for a further 5-10 mins until the pastry case is crisp and golden. Leave to cool.
  • Fill the cooled pastry case with the strips of Parma ham, tomato wedges and pine nuts. Drizzle with 30ml (2tblsp) of the olive oil and place under a pre-heated moderate grill for 5-10 mins until the tomatoes begin to soften slightly.