burnt toast

Category: Sweet

Quince Jelly, Queen of Jellies

IMG_7943.jpg

Quince jelly is the epitome of sophistication in the jam world. No jam will ever be as fancy or as florally seductive as this one. Not even that lemon grass and lavender jelly your aunt Ruth gave you last Christmas. It is also dead simple to make, despite you may think scrolling through my instructions. I like to know what I’m doing when I’m making jelly, with all those boiling points and whatnot. So this is my simplified, non-candy thermometered version for you (but really for next year me). No other jelly will make you feel as emancipated as this one. You cook it for an hour and then pouf! It’s jelly. I know, magic.

This will take a bit of time, so it will require a bit of planning and / or a rainy day or two.  I like to boil and drip the quince on an evening, so that I can turn the liquid into jelly the following day.

Quince Jelly

Enough quinces to fill a big pot, about 6, depending on size

Water

A medium-meshed sieve

Large bowl

Measuring cup

 

500g sugar per 600ml quince liquid

½ large lemon per 600ml quince liquid

a saucer

small sieve

(another) big pot of boiling water (for sterilizing the jars)

Jam jars (with well-fitting lids)

Tongs (to remove the hot jars from the boiling water)

Soup ladle

 

You can tell that this is a bit of a “wing it” job by reading through the ingredients list, so if you’re feeling panicky already, I suggest you have plenty of sugar and lemons on hand, just in case you end up with way more than planned. On that note, the quince water will happily wait for you for a few days in the fridge. I get just over 1200ml of quince water per batch if that’s any help.

The leftover quince can be kept in the fridge for a few days. There are a bunch of things you can do with it, quince paste being one of them. But I’ll get to that recipe in a bit.

Chop the quince into chunks. To start off, I usually cut through the top where the stem is, as I find it can be pretty hard to slice from the side. Don’t worry about size or shape here. The smaller the pieces, the faster it’ll cook, but you’ll also be chopping longer. If you come across any worms or weird growth, just cut it away.

Fill your pot with the quince chunks and fill up with water, 2-3 cm shy of the edge. Top with a lid and bring to the boil. Move the lid slightly so some of the steam can come out, and reduce the heat a little. Let it cook until done – this will vary, depending on how enthusiastically you cut the fruit. I’d say between ½ to 1 hour. The quince is done once it’s very soft when pierced with a knife.

Let everything cool to room temperature. I wouldn’t suggest you rush this part, as I feel the liquid really benefits from hanging with the fruit for a few hours. Once cool, grab your sieve and prop it over the large bowl and gently pour the water and quinces into it. This helps get rid of any grit or seeds that may have got loose during the cooking process. Press down slightly on the fruit in the sieve and place something slightly heavy on top to help coax out the rest of the juices (I usually stick it in the fridge overnight).

Measure the liquid: Per 600ml quince liquid, you’ll need 500g of white sugar and the juice of half a lemon. Transfer all of this back into the pot you used at the beginning. Bring to a soft boil. Now the watching, waiting and skimming part begins! Once the mixture starts boiling, reduce the heat. Use the small sieve to scoop away any white froth that forms. All up, I’d say this part takes about one hour. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t boil over, but also so it doesn’t stop boiling.

While waiting for the liquid to thicken, put your saucer in the freezer. You’ll use this for testing the doneness of the jelly later. Once the jelly starts to turn a beautiful reddish colour (at about 40 min), take your plate out and drop some hot jelly on it with a teaspoon. Wait a few seconds, then drag your finger through it. If it starts to form wrinkles, it’s nearly ready.

At this point, get your Big pot with boiling water ready. Fill the glass jars about halfway up with hot water and fit them snugly in the pot. Slip the lids in too. Let them boil away for at least 10 minutes.

Once you feel the jelly is ready (don’t be afraid of letting it boil a little longer – it takes a while for it to get super stodgy), take the tongs and pick out one of the glass jars, emptying any of the water inside it back into the pot. Place it down in front of you, making sure all the water has evaporated, then take the ladle and scoop some of the hot jelly slowly into the jar. Pick out the right lid from the water bath and screw it on. Repeat with the rest.

Once all your jars are filled and screwed tightly shut, turn them around and pop them on their head for about half an hour, then turn them back over again (this is the moment of truth – if some of the jelly starts seeping out from the sides, you know the lid is crap. Open and pour back into the pot while you go off looking for a new jar) The jelly will thicken as it cools. You’ve made quince jelly!

Besides bread and butter, it’s especially great with cheese on toast, or even stirred into a fruity herbal infusion, or for glancing at admiringly from time to time.

Berry Bircher Muesli with Toasted Walnuts

img_7926Oh hey kids. Ready for some super delicious, comforting breakfast fare? Then read right on. A well-known Swiss staple, folks eat it in all kinds of combinations at all times of day, knowing that besides Rösti and Fondue, this too will give them enough stamina to wrestle a herd of cows any day. The exciting lives we lead, people.

In all honesty, and I do say this a lot, this might be my favourite version ever. I’ve had my fair share over the years and can give you a few pointers of what I think should be included (or excluded):

  •  Always add a grated apple. And try to let it sit overnight. It sort of melts into the mixture by the following day, and forms a lovely flavour base together with the dates.
  • Only add fresh fruit when ready to serve, or else make a compote or jam. I hate fresh fruit going mushy, but I do like the flavour they add. To intensify this flavour, compote is the way to go.
  •  If adding nuts, roast them and do so at the end as well. Soggy blandness is never the answer.
  •  Don’t go crazy on the sweetener at the beginning. The rest of the ingredients will omit their own share of sweetness during the resting period, so let them do that first. You can always add more later.
  • Stick to only a small number of different fruit, about 2-4, but don’t add anything ridiculous like kiwi fruit or pineapple. This isn’t a fruit party.
  • And last but not least, add that pinch of salt, to everything, always. It makes it taste so much better.

 

Berry Bircher Muesli with toasted Walnuts

Serves 4 – This’ll keep nicely in the fridge for a few days. Just give it a good stir when you get it out.

150g instant oats

350 ml full fat milk

350g plain yoghurt

2 Tbsp cream or sour cream (optional)

1 Tbsp maple syrup or honey

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 pinch of salt

1 large apple, grated (with skin on)

6 dates, quartered and chopped into small pieces

20g (small handful) of cranberries, roughly chopped

 

200g berries, I used blueberries and strawberries, chopped if needed

2Tbsp raw sugar

¼ tsp vanilla essence

 

100g walnuts

1-2 Tbsp maple syrup or honey

sprinkling of salt

 

more berries, to serve

 

This is best made the day before, or at least two hours in advance, so plan accordingly.

Get a big container that comes with a lid and combine the oats, milk, yoghurt and cream in it. Give it a good stir, then add the maple syrup, cinnamon and salt, as well as the apple, dates and cranberries. One last stir, then pop the lid on and transfer to the fridge.

In the meantime, combine the berries with the sugar and the vanilla in a small pan. Cook over low heat until it starts to thicken into a delicious smelling, syrupy fruit jam. Remove from the heat and pour into a little jar. Let it cool at room temperature before screwing on a lid and packing it into the fridge to join his oat friend.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper, and add the whole walnuts, spacing them out. Bake for about 5 minutes, then drizzle over the maple syrup and sprinkle over the salt. Give it all a good stir, then return to the oven for about 10 more minutes – you might need less, so keep your eyes peeled. The nuts are good when they have taken on a slightly darker colour, and the maple syrup has more or less “evaporated”. Remove from the oven and cool. Chop into small pieces and transfer to another jar.

A couple of hours or even a day later, Take out your oats. Give them another stir before adding the berry jam and about half of the nuts and most of the fresh berries. Gently combine them so that you can still see a few streaks of purple from the berry jam. Top with the remaining nuts and whatever berries remain. Eat.

img_7935

Yes, I really love using this bowl. And no, unless you gift me with a better option, I won’t stop using it in my shoots.

Coconut Macaroons

coconut macaroons

…And merry December to you too.

My expectations of a cold winter have been fulfilled (woo!), it has snowed once and rained a few more other times. Switzerland, it’s good to be back.

 

It’s biscuit season over here, and enthusiastic about European tradition as I am, I’m surprised it’s taken me this long to tell you guys about my first batch of goodies. They’re quite wonderful, if I say so myself. They’re nothing typically traditional, but still familiar enough and a bunch of fun to shape. The trick to getting moist, sticky-centred, yet toasty crunchy crusted macaroons is to give them a pre-treatment in a large frypan, giving them plenty of rest time before finishing them off in the oven.

coconut macaroon 2

Coconut Macaroon Pyramids

from the wonderful David Leibovitz

Makes 30-35

 

4 large egg whites

1¼ cups / 275g sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon honey

2½ cups / 230g desiccated coconut

¼ cup / 40g flour

½ teaspoon vanilla essence

 

In a large frypan, mix together the egg whites, sugar, salt, honey, coconut and flour.

Over low heat, stir the mixture constantly, making sure you scrape the bottom to prevent it from scorching.

When the mixture becomes hot, stir it for 2-3 more minutes, then remove it from the heat and add the vanilla essence. Transfer it to a bowl and cool it to room temperature – it will be a lot easier to handle then.

If you’re not in a hurry, or completely forgot you had something important on, you can cover the macaroon dough and keep it in the fridge for up to a week.

However, if you are ready, preheat your oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Form 1 Tbsp mounds of the mixture into triangular pyramids. To help get each side nice and flat, flatten it gently on an even surface. If your hands get to sticky, give them a rinse under some cold water Space them evenly on the baking sheet. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until deep golden brown. Cool completely.

Caramel and Walnut Cookies

caramel and walnut cookie

If I were to ask you what your favourite type of cookie was, would you belong in group a.) Nothing too soft, no oats or other wannabe health food ingredients, no currants, and preferably with Lindt chocolate chunks or toasted walnuts. b.) Aaaaaaaaah anything? or c.) I don’t eat cookies unless they’re made from organic triple-distilled unicorn butter. I’d say I (obviously) belong to the a-team, although I’d admittedly really appreciate you as a human if you were from group c, because you’re funny and probably will never know.

This cookie is the leader of the a-team. The one with the I’m-so-cool-I’m-not-even-trying attitude, which they can totally pull off because they’re friggin awesome to hang out with. Everyone can do with one of those on their team. They’re good value. And might I also say delicious. The brown sugar does a wonderful job at providing a depthy caramel flavour, while the walnuts add a further dynamic with their toasty vibes. These cookies are even better and crunchier the next day, so keep a few to the side.

 

Caramel and Walnut Cookies

Adapted from orangette

Makes around 30

 

200g unsalted butter, at room temperature

250g / 1 ¼ cups brown sugar

1 large egg

2 tsp vanilla essence

250g / 1 ¾ cups plain flour

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

100g / 1 cup finely chopped walnuts

 

Preheat the oven to 190°C and line two baking trays with baking paper. In a medium bowl, whisk the butter and sugar with a hand-held mixer until well combined. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to incorporate. Throw in the flour, baking soda and salt, and mix until it all comes together. Finally, add the walnuts. Once they’re more or less evenly distributed, roll heaped tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and flatten them with your fingers to about 1 cm thickness on the baking sheet, making sure they have a 5cm gap between each other. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned. Carefully transfer them to a wire rack or plate to cool while repeating the same process with the rest of the dough.

Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.

Rosewater Almond Cake

rosewater almond cakeLook, it’s been a while, but I baked you a cake. And seeing as bribing you with food always seems to work, I’ll just stick with what I know best.

What have I been up to all this time you may ask? Well let me tell you. Stuff and a bit of more stuff. Most of it trivial and probably not interesting enough for you, except for maybe last weekend. Yes I’ll tell you about that. I’m incredibly blessed in that I have had a number of my beautiful Swiss friends find an excuse big enough (me obviously) to come and visit the vast and sunny planes of Australia. It’s such a long trip guys. And without one of those blow-up neck pillows and a good variety of films you actually haven’t seen yet, that flight is going to be a hell of a lot longer. So… thank you for making the effort! So me being the lucky person that I am, got to cook for and hang with these beautiful individuals until I could feel my throat hurting from using “ch” too much, while a halo of happiness appeared and decided to permanently cement itself around my head.

So in honour of that I’d like you to have this cake. It is a deliciously moist little thing, gluten-free even, I’ll have you know, with a hint of rosewater and deliciously caramelised outer edges.

Do it.

 

Rosewater Almond Cake

adapted from my name is yeh

 

1 1/4 cup/275g sugar

200g butter, softened

½ tsp salt

4 eggs

1 Tbsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp rosewater

2 tsp vanilla essence

1 tsp almond essence

2 cups/200g ground almonds

a small handful flaked almonds or chopped pistacios, for the topping

 

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Line a round baking tin with baking paper. In a bowl, whip together the sugar, salt and butter until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Beat in the lemon juice, rosewater, vanilla- and almond essence before adding the ground almonds. Once it’s all mixed up and ready to go, spread into the baking tin. Scatter with your almonds and transfer to the oven, where this baby’s going to bake for 45-55 minutes. Cover the top with some tin foil if it starts browning too quickly. Once the top is firm and a skewer inserted comes out relatively clean, take the cake out and cool it in the tin before transferring it to a plate. Shake some icing sugar over the top if you want to be schmancy, and serve with a dollop with Greek yoghurt.

Saffron, Rosewater and Pistachio Kulfi

pistacio top

They said I had too much wisdom, so they took it all away. Bastards. I mean, what is even the point of having four extra teeth right in the back of your mouth?  It’s a pretty flimsy attempt of interior decoration if anything. Just an added bonus for having successfully survived the crippling years teenage hood and transferred to the next blissful decade of so-called life. You’d think we would’ve evolved past that by now. Have an inbuilt toothbrush instead. Evolution? Whatever.

 

Other than pain I’ve had some other great things happen to me these last couple of days. Like soup. And cold packs. And delicious pain killers. Before you get all jealous though, let me tell you about ice cream. Because ice cream is delicious. You know those moments when you invite people for dinner and they bring along something that just completely blows your mind? Nah? You’ve got the wrong friends.

 

I’ve adapted, adopted and tweaked le recipe, and this is what I ended up with. In the past, a very long time ago – the wisdom era I like to call it – I made some cardamom and pistachio kulfi. A deliciously moreish and refreshing milky ice cream enjoyed in India. Well, now it’s time for another one, the rosewater and saffron one. Kittens, it truly is a stunner. And before you point it out, yes, it’s got pistachios as well, but come on, what goes better with saffron, both visually and tastedly?

saffron rosewater kulfi

Saffron, Rosewater and Pistachio Kulfi

 

400ml mi full cream milk

1 big pinch of salt

1 big pinch saffron threads, or 1 packet ground

1 can/379g condensed milk

1 can/354ml evaporated milk

2 Tbsp rosewater

50g pistachios,  chopped

 

Heat the milk in a saucepan until hot. Add the salt and the saffron and let it steep for a few minutes until the milk turns golden. If your saucepan is big enough, whisk in the condensed- and evaporated milk, as well as the rosewater. Alternatively, pour everything into a plastic container that will fit into your freezer. To speed everything up, place it into the freezer already. None of that “waiting till it’s room temperature” bullshit. Every half hour or so, whisk the mixture with a fork so as to break up the ice crystals. After about 4 hours or more, depending on how good your freezer is, your mixture will have the consistency of slushy snow. Now stir in the pistachios and fill into whatever mould makes you happy. I usually use small cups or those popsicle trays you can buy. If you’re lucky enough to have 2 of those trays, I reckon you could make 14-16. Now put them back into the freezer to firm up. When ready, hold a knife under a hot tap and slide it around the edge of each popsicle until it comes out.

Pumpkin Bread

a slice of pumpkin bread

You were almost hoping this would really be a bread recipe, right? Just a bit of bread dough with a bit of pumpkin puree folded in, yay, some healthy stuff for once. Are you kidding? Everything is healthy. It just depends on your attitude towards it, and in what quantities you consume it. Bring on the cake. Guilt? I don’t even know guilt feels like. Is it edible? Whatever, lets go back to pumpkin bread shall we? Why do people call cake in the shape of a loaf “bread”? Is it to calm their conscience? Back home, in a land far far away, also known as Switzerland, we call them loaf-shaped things Cake. The round ones are called Kuchen, and if they have some sort of custardy whipped component, they go over into the Torte realm. That’s a bit of trivia you can totally stun people with at the next dinner party. Bam!

In other words, this is a deliciously aromatic, sweetly spiced pumpkin bread. Great on its own, toasted, or with a smear of sour cream. Because you’re worth it baby.

pumpkin bread

Pumpkin Bread

¼ large jap pumpkin, seeds and skin removed, chopped into 2cm pieces

1 Tbsp butter

2 cups/300g plain flour

1 cup/220g caster sugar

3 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp grated nutmeg

¼ tsp ground cloves

1 tsp salt

220g butter, melted

1 Tbsp golden syrup (or maple syrup or molasses if you don’t have any)

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 egg

Chuck the pumpkin onto a lined baking dish, dot over the butter and bake in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes at 200°C or until soft. Remove from the oven and cool. Once it’s cool enough to touch, whizz it to a smooth puree in your food processor. You will need one cup/250ml of this. Do something imaginative with the rest, or just eat it. Whatever mood hits you first.

Lower the oven temperature to 180°C. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, spices and salt.

In another bowl, possibly the one you melted the butter in, stir together the butter, golden syrup and vanilla. Whisk in the egg, then add the cup of pumpkin puree.

Pour the liquid pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and gently combine. Don’t over mix it – it’s fine if you have a few bits of flour lurking about. The process is basically the same as that of a muffin. Spoon into a prepared loaf tin and bake it for about 1 hour, until a skewer inserted comes out clean and the top is nice and golden. Mind, our oven is extremely temperamental, so just keep an eye on your little loaf and periodically check after 50 minutes.

Mailänderli

mailänderli

My general attitude towards heart-shaped things is “Can you go and be kitsch somewhere else please?  It’s making my face ache. With disgust.”

I’m sorry if we don’t share the same outlook on life, but hey, more giant squidgy I-Love-You – holding teddy bears for you. I mean, someone’s got to take them.

However! There’s always a however. These biscuits are an exception. Why? Nostalgia and childhood memories my friend. This one is for you, fellow expats. For all those fondly reminiscing the tins upon tins of delicious Christmas bickies.

Nobody can make a biscuit quite like the Swiss.

Oh it’s not Christmas? Christmas is just an excuse to make biscuits. I don’t need an excuse.

So let me introduce you to the humble Mailänderli. A plain, simple, buttery little thing, with a golden lacquered top with a faint whiff of citrus. A general all-rounder, this biscuit fits perfectly into the breakfast category, best with a cup of milky tea.

cookie sheet

Mailänderli

 

Makes about 100, depending on size

 

250g butter, softened

220g caster sugar

½ tsp salt

grated rind of one lemon

3 eggs

500g plain flour

1 egg yolk

1 tsp cream

With a handheld mixer, whip the butter, sugar, salt, and lemon rind until well combined and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each one is added. Whip until the mixture turns a few shades lighter. Replace the mixer with a wooden spoon of some sort, because you’ll be adding the flour now, and you don’t want it all over your kitchen floor. Gently stir the flour into the butter mixture, until it comes together as a soft, yellow dough.

Now, divide into two and cling wrap each ball of dough and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight. I tend to put one half in the freezer, because it does make a lot.

Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out between two layers of plastic (I find a plastic bag cut in half works beautifully. That way you don’t risk your biscuits getting too floury or dry) to a thickness of about 8mm. Now it’s time to go wild with your cookie cutters. Use whatever shape you want, just be aware that you may have to adjust the baking time according to the size of your biscuits.

Lay them out on a lined baking tray with enough space between them so they can spread, and pop them back into the fridge tor 15 minutes to firm up.

In the meantime, whisk together the egg yolk and cream, and preheat the oven to 200°C. When the Meiländerli are ready to come out of the fridge, get one of those kitchen paintbrushes and  paint the top of each of them with the egg yolk mixture. Whack them in the oven for about 10 minutes until slightly golden. Whatever you do, keep an eye on them, because they like to be sneaky and go a shade darker, depending on your oven of course.

Take them out of the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.

They’ll last for a couple of days in an airtight container.

Apple Crumble.

apple crumble

Oh hi. Fancy meeting you here. Yes, it’s been a while, I know. I’ll cut a long story short by saying that being busy is a completely overused excuse, so I won’t even go there.

Study and procrastination have been true companions along the way, although I’d be lying if I didn’t say that out of the two, the latter was definitely given more time, love and attention. Yes I do have favourites.

However, I am not sorry to say that this apple crumble, or crisp, this heaven on a spoon, was part of the collaboration. You will love it. Nay, worship it.

I’m not the first and certainly won’t be the last to tell you how beautifully nutty and irresistible browned butter is, and how it will change your life, and that you should go and make some right now. Here it adds another dimension to the already delicious tango of caramelized apple goodness.

Adapted from this pretty place.

The Best Apple Crisp

Serves 6

250g butter

For the topping:

1 cup / 150g plain flour

1 cup / 80g quick oats

1 cup / 220g dark brown sugar

½ cup / 80g chopped almonds

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp salt

For the filling:

2 tsp vanilla essence

6 medium-sized Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and very thinly sliced

1/2 cup / 110g dark brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

Lets start with the browned butter, shall we? You’ll need to prepare it a little in advance because you want it to firm up again for the crumble. Place butter in a medium saucepan, and turn heat on medium. After a couple of minutes the butter will begin to crackle and foam—make sure you whisk consistently during this process. After a couple of minutes you’ll notice the butter turning a slight brown (caramel) color on the bottom of the saucepan; continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to give off a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent it from burning. Very carefully pour into a container and let it cool. Because I’m impatient, I let it have a go in freezer to firm up. Once the butter’s firm, divide it into two equal halves.

Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a 25x25cm baking pan.

To make the topping combine the flour, oats, brown sugar and almonds in a large bowl. Cut half of the butter into pieces and using your hands, squeeze and rub into the oat mixture until it becomes crumbly and resembles wet sand. Keep it in the fridge while you get on with the rest.

Now, too make the filling, place the sliced apples, the brown sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Gently reheat the brown butter and stir into the apple mixture. Take a heaping ½ cup of the topping mixture and toss with the apple mixture. Spread the apple mixture into the prepared pan and sprinkle evenly with the topping. It will seem like a lot of topping, but the apples will cook down and the topping will turn beautifully crunchy, and really, there is no such thing as too much topping anyway.

Bake the crumble on a baking sheet – in case the filling bubbles over – for 55-60 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Remove from the oven and cool 10 minutes if you can wait that long. Serve warm with sour cream, yoghurt or vanilla ice cream.

Lemons and Coconut

one little lemon slice

Little Cousin Eileen used to love lemon slices.  So small and frail with a big cloudy mop of blue hair, you’d think she’d get blown away if you’d turn the fan up high enough. But it was that wilful, slightly cantankerous character of hers that kept her going till 96. An interesting little lady she was. I often sit in the rocking chair Grandma inherited from her and ask myself how she didn’t get dizzy by that rocking rate. And the consumption of the many lemon slices. Perhaps even the two combined?

I don’t know if she’d like these – they’re a little different to the dense standard version you can get at the bakery. If it’s an indication at all, the first time I made a batch, Grandma’s lady friends went nuts about them. And if three lots of women with four times more cooking experience than I have ask me for a recipe, well then it is definitely an honour on my behalf to share it.

What you end up with is a cinnamon-kissed shortbread base, slathered with a tart and creamy lemon curd with a crisp coconut macaroon topping. Sexy stuff.

lemon slices

Lemon Curd and Coconut Macaroon Slice

Makes 12 or so

For the crust

150g / 1 cup plain flour

75g / 1/3 cup caster sugar

½ tsp salt

½ tsp ground cinnamon

125g cold unsalted butter, cubed

For the lemon curd

150g butter

¾ cup caster sugar

pinch salt

½ cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)

1 tsp grated lemon zest

1 tsp vanilla essence

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

2 Tbsp double cream

2 Tbsp plain flour

For the coconut topping

2 egg whites

pinch of salt

½ caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

180g / 2 cups shredded coconut

For the base, preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 20 cm square baking dish with baking paper. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Rub in the butter with your fingers until it resembles sand, then knead together until a dough forms. Press into the bottom of the prepared tin and bake for 10 minutes until ever so slightly golden around the edges. Remove from the oven and lower the heat to 160°C.

In the meantime, make your lemon curd. I am an impatient person so I forego the double boiler method and just do it in a saucepan. Just keep whisking the crap out of your curd and you won’t have to worry about curdled egg. So in a small saucepan, melt the butter on a low heat. Add the sugar, salt, lemon juice, zest and vanilla. You don’t want the mixture boiling, just nicely warm. Again, a shortcut created by me to speed up the process. (You can start with cold ingredients if you want.) Add the eggs and yolks, and start whisking. Keep at it until it thickens to the consistency of custard, or yoghurt or whatever you want to compare it to. Remove from the heat and stir in the double cream and flour. You can now pour it over the base.

Whisk the egg whites in a medium bowl for a few seconds with a fork, then add the salt, sugar and vanilla and whisk a little longer. Stir in the coconut and distribute over the lemon curd. Bake for 20 minutes, checking regularly to see how the coconut’s going, because it browns quite quickly. Once it’s golden brown and some of the tips have caramelised even darker, remove from the oven and cool. Then place in the fridge to firm up before cutting into as many squares as you want.

Chances are your grandma will love these, too.

%d bloggers like this: