Browsing Tag

lemons

strawberry crostata
Baking,

Strawberry Crostata

When I think of a crostata I automatically think of the word “rustic.” Which is a good word as my interpretation is “don’t worry, it absolutely doesn’t have to be perfect, no pressure!” 
I like this, my day becomes so much more manageable without the added pressure of a perfect pie crust. Just roll it out, ladle on the fruit giving no particular thought to its arrangement and fold over the edges in a haphazard fashion. It’s sort of kindergarten pie making. The outcome is almost always a delight, a gorgeous slice of buttery pastry dripping with a sweet fruity filling – happiness.

Strawberry Crostata.


For the filling:

3 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and cut in half
Zest and juice of a lemon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoon all purpose flour

For the pastry:

1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 large egg
1-2 tablespoons ice water
1 stick unsalted  butter (diced and very cold)
1 egg for egg wash

Method:

Heat the oven to 357  F.

First make the pastry. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor with a steel blade. Pulse about 10 times to combine.

Add the cubes of butter a couple at a time and pulse until the mixture looks like large breadcrumbs.

In a measuring jug lightly whisk together the egg and water. With the motor running pour the liquid into the flour and process until the mixture just comes together. If the mixture is too dry add another tablespoon of water.

Turn out onto a floured surface and very lightly and quickly knead for a few seconds. Place onto a sheet of plastic wrap, shape into a disc, wrap it up well and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

While the pastry is resting, hull the strawberries.

Mix them together with the lemon zest, juice, vanilla extract, toss with the flour.

Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to an approximate 10 inch round. Carefully lift the pastry round onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a slipat mat.

Place the strawberries in the middle of the pastry.

Fold the outside edges in all the way around. Chill for 30 minutes. Paint the outside pastry edge with an egg wash and place in the oven for approximately 45-50 minutes or until it’s gloriously golden.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 15-20 minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

pesto
Vegetarian,

Pesto

Every summer we enjoy pesto made with herbs from garden. Today we had a mixture of sorrel, mint and parsley picked two minutes before it was blitzed in the good processor with the other ingredients and it was divine. All produce from the garden tastes so much fresher and more delicious than store bought but there’s something so special when it’s still warm from the sun and radiates its scent. Almost any herbs will do, it’s fun to experiment. I made sage pesto the other day and it was wonderful.

I don’t think I’ll ever buy store bought again! It’s so easy to make and freezes very well, my plan is to make plenty while the sun shines and stash it away in the freezer for the long, cold, dreary winter. This of course can be drizzled on chicken, fish or steak as you desire, although I like a large dollop straight from the jar on some crusty 7 grain bread .

pesto

Ingredients

1/2 cup, packed, fresh sorrel leaves . remove the stems

1/4 cup. packed, fresh mint

1/4 cup, packed fresh parsley

1 garlic clove

1/4 cup walnuts

1/3 cup Parmesan

Zest of lemon

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

1. Place the sorrel, mint, parsley, garlic, Parmesan, walnuts and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor,

2. Blitz thoroughly.

3. With the motor running add the olive oil in a steady stream until fully emulsified.

4. Add the salt and pepper to taste.

5. Pour into a glass jar and fasten the lid tightly.  This will keep in the fridge for 1 week.