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Friday 19 April 2013

Food, Men and the Weekend


It’s been suggested that the “men” part of this blog might be nothing but an excuse for readers to slaver over pictures of handsome men in various stages of undress. Not a bit of it. Our picture shows (as the seminars say) Mr Rich Froning, who among other things takes his religion seriously and shares his talents, whose work ethic make him summa cum laude, and a man I would still admire if he had a bag over his head. 

This week's recipe is a delicious favourite that's really easy to do, but does take time and organisation. I usually make the pastry case the day before we want to eat it, then do the filling, topping and cooking all in one go. Read through the recipe first, and it'll all become clear.

By Jules
To serve 6, you’ll need-

6oz (175g) flour
3oz (75g) butter
Half an ounce icing (powdered) sugar
1 egg yolk
Approx. 1 tablespoon cold water
2 large lemons
1.5 oz (40g) cornflour
10fl oz (300ml) water
2 egg yolks
3oz (75g) caster sugar
3 egg whites
4.5oz (120g) caster sugar

First make the pastry. Sift the flour into a bowl, add the sugar & rub in butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk, and enough water to make a firm dough. Seal in a plastic bag and leave to rest in the fridge for about half an hour.
Heat oven to 200 degrees C (400 F/180 fan).
Roll out the dough on a floured surface and use it to line a 9” (23cm) loose bottomed flan tin. Prick the surface lightly, line with greaseproof paper, add baking beans and bake blind for about fifteen minutes. Remove the paper and beans, and return pastry case for around another five minutes - until it’s crisped up, & turned a lovely pale gold.

Next, make the filling. Finely grate the rind from the lemons and squeeze out their juice (you can extract more if you warm the lemons in a microwave for 30 seconds beforehand). Put the rind, juice & cornflour in a small bowl & mix well together. Meanwhile bring the water to the boil, then stir it into the lemon & cornflour. Simmer this mixture gently until it thickens into a custard. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg yolks & sugar. Stir this into the lemony custard, and bring it back to the boil, beating until it begins to bubble. Remove the pan from the heat, allow it to cool slightly, then pour it into the pastry case and spread it out evenly.

Finally, the meringue. Lower the oven heat to 150 deg.C (300 degF/140 Fan). Whisk the egg whites in a large, clean bowl until they form stiff peaks when you lift the beaters. Add the caster sugar a teaspoon full at a time, while whisking at high speed. When all the sugar is incorporated, spoon the meringue evenly over the lemon filling. Make sure there are no gaps. As a final flourish, twitch at the surface with the prongs of a fork to create artistic peaks. Bake at 150 deg.C (300 deg.F/140 deg.Fan, for around 45 minutes, when the surface of the meringue will be crisp and slightly tinted, and the inside like white marshmallow.

This is delicious whether you serve it warm or cold, and custard is the perfect accompaniment.

I'm blogging over at authorsoundrelations this weekend - I'd love you to drop by and comment!

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