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Sunshine in a 1 litre tub October 29, 2010

Filed under: Ice creams etc — titchandboofer @ 5:45 am
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The small one has gone right off the idea of day sleeps. Usually I’d be typing this in a heavy-fingered tone of grimness, but not today. Who cares! Who can blame him! The sun is shining mightily down on faux-farmville. Hens are clucking happily and laying up a storm. Plants are growing. The windows are open and a breeze is swirling through the house pleasantly, cooling but not door-slammingly strong. Small and I are smeared with sunscreen and coated in dirt. Our feet are bare, padding over a floor that is a little bit sticky from dropping spoonfuls of this:


Lemon Passion Sorbet

1 cup of sugar

1 1/4 cups of water

4 eureka lemons, well scrubbed

2 egg whites

The pulp of 5-6 passionfruit

Put the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally.

As it starts to boil, peel the lemons thinly over the pan, dropping the rind into the sugar syrup.

Turn the heat down to a simmer while you juice the lemons.

Add the lemon juice to the sugar syrup and leave to simmer for a few more minutes.

Strain into a bowl and allow to cool for at least ten minutes.

In the meantime, whisk the eggwhites until just frothy.

Now, churn the syrup in your ice-cream machine until thick and opaque.

Add the eggwhites and continue to churn for ten to fifteen minutes. The sorbet will magically expand and become white as white can be.

Transfer to a container (at least 1 litre capacity) and swirl the passionfruit pulp through. Freeze.




MDB: Part two, lemony oomph October 14, 2010

Filed under: Beautiful baking,Moreish puddings — titchandboofer @ 10:31 am
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In which yesterday’s imperfect dessert is magically transformed into a many-layered, gooey, tangy delight:

Free-range lemon curd

75 grams of unsalted butter, chopped

3 eggs

50 grams of caster sugar

150 mls of lemon juice (~3 lemons), strained

zest of 3 lemons, very finely chopped/grated

Set up a sieve over a medium bowl, resting in another bowl of iced water.

In a medium saucepan melt the butter over low heat.

Add all the other ingredients and stir over low heat until thickening. Do not boil or you will scramble the eggs.

When the curd coats the back of a wooden spoon thickly, take off the heat immediately and pour through the sieve into the prepared bowl.

Allow to cool and thicken, stirring occasionally.

Bake another of the puddings, turn into a bowl and top with ice-cream and a couple of generous spoonfuls of curd.

Now that is perfect. A great big burst of tangy lemon, silky ice-cream and white chocolate just hovering in the background.


Lemon Chaser August 7, 2010

Filed under: Beautiful baking,Moreish puddings — titchandboofer @ 7:04 am
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About once a fortnight the beloved, the small person and I get together with our lovely-midwife-friends (the LMFs) and their children for lazy Friday. Lazy, because instead of cooking excellent, nourishing food for our families and engaging them in meaningful conversation around the dinner  table, we park all the kids in front of a dvd, order up a large amount of Thai takeaway and curl up on the couch to eat and gossip. This was as good an excuse as any to bargain for a brief reprieve from the baking embargo. And what better way to chase away gingery, peanutty, chilli-laced curries, garlicky roti and sticky steamed rice, than with tangy lemon pudding and silky vanilla ice-cream?

Back Yard Pudding

If you like baking even just a little, there is a good chance that you will always have the ingredients for this pudding on hand. In this house, if you can beg an egg from a hen and find a lemon on a tree in the back yard this pudding can definitely be made – hence its name. We have a handful of citrus trees, but by far the most productive is the Meyer lemon. Old and gnarled, heavy with smooth-skinned, golden and juicy lemons for most of the year, protected from the threat of bugs and disease by the hens, this tree makes it a pretty sure bet that we never have to go without dessert.

65 grams of butter, plus a bit extra to butter up your baking dish

185 grams of caster sugar

the zest and juice of 2 lemons (chop your zest up finely if you don’t have one of the superfine zesters)

3 eggs, separated

30 grams of self-raising flour

160 mls of milk

ice-cream or cream or creme fraiche to serve

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees celsius (our oven is a mini blast furnace and I had to turn it down to 150 for the second half of the cooking time, so just keep your eye on it)

Butter up a baking dish: approximately 1 litre capacity. It can be round, oval, a bit smaller, a bit bigger. If it’s smaller and deeper you may just have to cook it a little longer.

In a medium bowl, beat your butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the zest, then add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add half the sifted flour and half the milk and fold in gently. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk.

Gently stir in the lemon juice. The mixture may look separated/split at this stage – this is normal.

In a clean bowl, whisk your egg whites into firm peaks.

Fold the egg whites into the pudding mixture, one third at a time. Don’t overmix at this point. It’s okay if the mixture looks a little uneven.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Place the baking dish into a roasting pan.

Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water level is 1/3 of the baking dish.

Bake for 30-45 minutes depending on your oven. This may seem like a wide range, but the easiest thing is to check the pudding after 20 minutes and adjust your oven temperature if necessary. When it’s done it will be slightly springy to touch and look golden. As it cools, it will sink a little bit. When you serve it, you will find it is pudding-y on top and gooey underneath.

This is a seriously good pudding. It’s good hot or cold. It’s good at any time of day. It’s good dolloped into a bowl with ice-cream and it’s equally good spooned straight from dish to mouth while you hover in the doorway of the open fridge. On a cold winter’s night, with the LMFs and hot tea and happy children, it’s perfect.