‘Suprise’ Lemon and Orange Pudding

I think this is the perfect Sunday dinner pudding. It’s light, airy, tangy and delicious. And it’s also a doddle to make, using ingredients from the cupboard. As it cooks, a sponge lighter than a cloud develops on the top, with a tangy, creamy almost lemon curd like sauce forming underneath. A friend (hello Kim!) has suggested adding fresh blackberries to it just before baking which I think is a genius idea and will be trying that next time I make it.

For 3-4 portions you need
25g soft butter/vitalite
100g caster sugar
150ml milk
zest of one orange
juice and zest of one lemon
25g plain flour
2 eggs, separated

Begin by whisking the egg whites to stiff peaks in one bowl using a handheld mixer. Then cream the butter and 25g of sugar in another bowl using the same mixer (doing it this way saves washing up 😉

Add everything else to the creamed butter and sugar mix and mix thoroughly. Finally fold in the egg whites and gently turn into a souffle or similar oven proof dish.

Place in a bain marie and bake in a moderate (180 degree) oven for about 30 mins until the sponge is risen and lightly golden and there is a delicious layer of sauce underneath. To bake this in individual ramekins, reduce the cooking time to about 15-20 mins.

Pasta with Courgette, Tomato and Lemon Garlic Sauce (v)

This was a spur of the moment, what on earth do I cook for dinner, how can I use up some languishing ingredients dinner and very tasty it was too.

For 2 portions you need
1 courgette, cut into slices then quarters as in pic
6-8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 clove garlic, crushed
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
pasta of your choice

Begin by cooking the pasta as per the instructions on the packet.

For the sauce, heat the olive oil gently and sautee off the courgette until softened and lightly browned (keep the heat quite high to ensure it browns before going mushy). Add the tomatoes, zest and garlic and cook for another 1-2 mins to warm everything through. Season with salt and pepper. Drain the pasta and then place in the sauce pan and coat everything with the sauce. Scoff. Nom.

Moist and Tangy Lemon Drizzle Cake

Apparently I make the bestest lemon drizzle cake in the world, according to my office colleagues anyway. And it’s always a good seller on the stalls that I do. I put it down to the light and fluffy texture from using non dairy margarine instead of butter in the batter, the heady hit of lemon in the batter and syrup and the right combination of sweet and tangy. A number of people have asked for the recipe, so here it is 🙂

For 2 2lb loaf cakes you need
4 eggs
8oz self raising flour
8oz vitalite marge
8oz caster sugar
zest and juice of two lemons
about 4 heaped tbsp of icing sugar
a few drops of lemon essence if you wish

Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees (fan). Begin by making the cake batter. Place the marge and sugar into a free standing mixer and beat on fast for 10 mins to incorporate loads of air. Break the eggs into a jug and lightly mix. Pour in alternating spoonfuls of egg and flour with the motor running on slow to ensure no curdling. Add the lemon essence if using. Stop and scrape down the sides towards the end to ensure even mixing.

Grate the lemon zest into the batter and mix thoroughly, remembering to add oddles of love 🙂 Scrape the mixture into prepared loaf tins and bake for 20-30 mins till risen, lightly browned and springy to touch.

Whilst the cakes are baking, make the syrup by melting together the juice of the lemons with the icing sugar. I have to say I never weigh out the sugar so the 4 tbsp is a guesstimate. I aim for a mix of half and half juice and sugar. Melt slowly in a pan to dissolve the sugar. When the cakes are done, remove from the oven and pour over the syrup. Leave to cool completely. Eat and be the envy of your friends.

Lemon Bars

I’ve neglected my blog recently (sorry) and was horrified to see I’d only done one post in June and that wasn’t really me as that was a guest blogger (I’m sure you lot were all very pleased with the break from constant food related tweets…). Anyway. It spurred me on to find new recipes to try and this one from the Hummingbird Bakery cook book (p112) seemed perfect for a hot summer’s day and lemons in the fruit bowl to use up…

The recipe is a lovely, zingy one with a lemon shortbread base and lemon curd-y topping. When you make the base, dollop bits of the dough all over the tin to make it easier to spread out evenly. And make a slight lip all round the edge to contain the topping and stop it from spilling over the sides and making the whole thing a bit too sticky to eat with your fingers. This is delicious served with lemon curd ice cream or thick, Cornish, clotted cream. Yuuuuuuuuuuum!

For the base you need:
290g plain flour
70g icing sugar
230g butter, cut into cubes
2 tsp grated lemon zest

For the topping you need:
3 eggs
210g caster sugar
juice 3 lemons
zest 1 lemon

Blitz the ingredients for the base in a food processor and then turn out and press into a lined baking tin (33x23x5cms; the lakeland lidded traybake tin is the perfect size). Bake in a moderate (170 degrees) oven for about 20 mins till lightly browned. Leave to cool slightly.

Mix together everything for the topping and pour over the cooked base (see, that’s why you needed the lip…). Bake for 10-20 mins till the topping is set. Leave to cool and then scoff. They say leave it overnight in the fridge but I say it’s nice at room temperature 😛

Greek Salad with Potatoes

Boychild loved this. OMG. He’s never eaten Greek Salad before and professed to not like feta but he ate this. And had the leftovers in his lunch the next day. Wonders wil never cease it appears…

For 3-4 portions you need:
1/2 pack new potatoes, jersey royals if you can stretch to them 😉
1 pack chilli olives
1 pack feta. crumbled into 1cm cubes
2 peppers, cut into chunks
2 red onions, cut into 8ths
2 tomatoes, cut into 8ths and then in half again (so roughly chopped…)
2 tbsp olive oil plus more for roasting
salt and pepper
large handful of fresh oregano, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon

Cook the potatoes. Toss the peppers and onions in a little olive oil and season. Roast in a hot oven for about 10 mins till tender. Place the tomatoes, olives, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano and feta in a bowl. Add the peppers and onions once cooked. Drain the potatoes and cut in half if large. Add to the bowl. Mix and serve.

Nigella’s Lemon Drizzle Cake

I apologise unreservedly for not having blogged this before now. It was an oversight that is now rectified…. This is everything lemon drizzle cake should be: tangy, sweet, damp and sticky. Yum. Yum indeed.

For 8-10 slices you need:
125g soft butter
175g caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs
175g self raising flour
4 tbsp soya milk

For the syrup you need:
100g icing sugar, sifted
juice of 2 lemons

Begin by pre-heating the oven to 170 degrees then cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well. Sift in the flour and add the milk. Mix again and scrape into a lined loaf tin. Bake for 30-45 mins till well risen, golden brown and fully cooked.

Meanwhile melt together the icing sugar and lemon juice over a gentle heat. Once the cake is out of the oven, prick it all over with a cocktail stick and then pour over the syrup. Leave to settle and then scoff.

Raymond Blanc’s Lemon Cake

I finally got round to watching the Kitchen Secrets episode last night everyone had been raving about, and with good reason. OMG. Those cakes!!! To be able to have the skill and time to make them… Anyway, I digress. One of the recipes which looked do-able was the lemon tea loaf. So here it is. Yum!

For two loaf cakes you need:
5 eggs
300g caster sugar
140ml double cream
finely grated zest of 3 lemons
25ml dark rum
80g butter, melted
240g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder

For the icing glaze you need the juice of one lemon and 150g icing sugar.

Mix the wet with the dry and then pour into lined loaf tins. Bake at 170 degrees for about an hour, taking care that the cakes don’t catch on the top/sides.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly. Make up the glaze by melting the icing sugar with the lemon juice. Allow to cool till thickened (don’t skip this step like I did or you’ll end up with a mess :/) then brush on to the top and sides of the cakes. Serve in slices and try to limit yourself to only about 3 or 4… Fail.

Crustless Lime and Lemon Meringue Pie

Crustless cos I couldn’t be arsed to make pastry. I mean, it’s not the pastry you eat this for is it? And Lemon and Lime cos I only had two lemons and needed three…

For one pie you need:

Juice and zest of 2 lemons and 2 limes
3 egg yolks
450ml water
6 tbsp cornflour
45g butter
90g caster sugar

For the meringue:
3 egg whites
180g caster sugar

For the base, mix the cornflour with a bit of the water to slacken it and then place the remaining water in a pan with the sugar and bring to the boil. Once the sugar has dissolved add the lemon juice, zest and cornflour to the sugar syrup. Return to the heat and stir till thickened. Remove from the heat and add the butter and egg yolks. Leave to cool in the pie dish.

For the meringue whip the whites till really stiff then add the sugar. Mix till glossy.

Once the base is cold, and more solid, cover with the meringue taking care to spread right to the sides. Bake in a moderate (160 degrees) oven for about 45 mins. Leave to cool before eating, however hard that might appear cos it will smell gorgeous. Try not to eat it all on one day.

Child’s Hot Toddy

Lex moaned at me for not making him a hot toddy earlier in the week, so this is for him.

For one person you need:
1/2 lemon cut into thick slices
2 tsp honey
boiling water
a little love

Place everything in a mug and add the boiling water about 2/3 up the side of the mug. Mix well and then top up with cold water and love. Serve with a hug.

Butternut Squash with Herb Crust (v)

This is utter simplicity but also utterly delicious 🙂 It’s based on Ottolenghi’s crusted pumpkin wedges with soured cream recipe in Plenty.

For 2-3 people you need:
1 butternut squash, cut into 0.5cm thick slices (peeled or unpeeled, your choice)
75g breadcrumbs
4 tbsp finely chopped parsley
2 tbsp finely chopped oregano and thyme
1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
grated zest of 2 large lemons
2 cloves garlic, crushed
5-6 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Place the squash in a roasting tin. Mix together everything else and scatter over. Bake in a hot oven for 3- mins or so till the squash is tender and the crumbs are crunchy. Yum.