Sunday, 23 February 2014

Luscious Citrussy Delights

We have been working on a new recipe for Luscious Lemon Bars which incorporates a delicious lemony-type custard on top of a crispy shortbread base And a generous topping of icing sugar yeah -  sunshine on a cloudy day. – perfect!
Then after a visit to Positano in Southern Italy I returned with a recipe for
Clementine and Limoncello Marmalade – fabulous on granary toast – the anytime treat.
Then I dipped into my passion for Moroccan pastries. So you have a wonderfully luxurious Lemon and Almond Shortbread – just perfect with a glass of mint tea or a good coffee.
We are soo chuffed with these luscious citrussy delights that we couldn’t decide which was the best. But we soo hope you like one of these babies and will keep our fingers crossed that one is the ultimate tempter. They are all fabulous.

Masses of love and hugs, Ruth and Sarah xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

These Luscious Lemon Bars have been crying out to be baked. They seem to be so trendy at the moment so we had to have a go and this our take on a fabulous very modern bake. Divine!!!!
Prep. We now make our own vanilla sugar as we want that extra lovely vanilla boost in our pastries. The achieve the same effect, process 3 vanilla pods with 500g castor sugar and place in sealed pot.     
Preheat the oven on 180 C, gas mark 4
Line a 9x 13 deep dish or baking tin with thick baking parchment
Makes 30-36 bars depending on your generosity    

For the dough
80g icing sugar + 2 tablespoons fine vanilla sugar
220g butter or margarine
350g plain flour
Grated zest 1 lemon

4 medium free range organic eggs
350 castor sugar + 50g vanilla sugar
zest of 3 un-waxed lemons
juice of 2 un-waxed lemons
70g flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
Icing sugar to dust
Wiz the softened butter or margarine with the icing sugar, lemon zest and flour until a soft dough. Press into the lined tin. Bake in a medium oven for approximately 15-20 minutes or until slightly golden.
Remove and cool slightly and make up the filling

Please note we always use soft brown sugar but you will have a brownish filling so for the beauty of the filling use castor sugar as we did the second time – perfect.

Combine all the filling ingredients and either use a hand whisk or whisk until smooth and no lumps are showing. Pour into the lined tin and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the filling is set. When cool – if you can wait that long – remove the whole pastry by lifting the paper and sift with icing sugar. Cut into bars. OOOOOOOOOOH and enjoy.

                                  Limoncello and Clementine Marmalade

We are still so delighted with the glorious colour of this marmalade and the fabulous citrussy tang. The secret of the luscious flavour is to boil the chopped skins twice in cold water. It doesn’t take very long but the reward is a perfect colour and a tart but not bitter sweetness.  Can’t wait to make toast. Ohh Sunshine on a cloudy day.
Made 5 approximately 350g jars
Sterilise jars by washing well and placing on a tray in a hot oven and cook for 10 minutes.   
1 kilo clementines
750g jamming sugar
250ml water
½ glass limoncello optional

Wash and peel the clementines saving the peels except for the tiny hard top piece. Finely chop the peels as fine as possible and put onto simmer n a saucepan of cold water. After boiling for a few minutes strain with a colander and place back in the pan adding more cold water. Bring to the boil again and simmer for approximately 10 minutes. In the meantime remove the centre white pithy bits from the clementines and chop into approximately 2 cm chunks. Place the sugar and the flesh of the clementines plus the semi-cooked peels in a large heavy based pot and simmer for approximately 45 minutes or if you have a sugar thermometer just on jam stage – however I would test a little before rather than over-cook. Test by pouring a little onto a jam lid and place in the freezer. You should get a firm set shown by a wrinkle pushed with a finger. Now pot into sterilised jars.  Place waxed discs on top and then cellophane on top and be soo pleased. Fabulous on granary toast or toasted crumpets.

  Lemon and Almond Shortbreads

These luxurious little Moroccan shortbreads sing out sunshine in every bite and sum up all that is wonderful about citrus. Just a fabulous little biscuit. The quantities are large but makes 60, but they’ll soon fly. Oh yes Sunshine on a cloudy day. Xxxx
Line three baking sheets with baking parchment
Set oven at 180C, gas mark 4
345g butter
180g icing sugar
450g ground almonds
2 free range organic eggs
Coarsely grated zest of two lemons +2 tablespoons lemon juice
440g flour

Wiz all the ingredients together in the processor or work by hand until you have a smooth dough. Leave to chill for 1 hour. Roll out on a slightly floured top to approximately 2- 2½cm thick and cut with a fluted pastry wheel into rectangles or squares. Remove carefully with a palate knife or fish slice – they are quite soft.  Bake for 20 minutes. Dust with castor sugar when warm. Enjoy xxxx  

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