Next on my belated list of Great British Bake-off signature bakes is a classic lemon meringue pie.
Where I grew up, most restaurants (at least the kind my family ate in), had at least three types of pie on offer.
Apple, cherry, blueberry, pumpkin, raisin, bumbleberry, saskatoon, rhubarb, pecan, peach… I’d happily order any of them, but if lemon meringue pie was on the menu, they wouldn’t get a look in.
After reviewing several recipes, I settled on this one from The Great British Book of Baking, which was published to accompany the first series of the Great British Bake-Off.
Sweet shortcrust pastry, a tangy lemon filling you could stand a fork in, and pillowy French meringue – it looked and tasted like the lemon meringue pie of my childhood. Works for me.
“I’m sorry I called you worthy, tabbouleh, I was just infatuated with kisir…”
Now that I’m working more hours at the office, tabbouleh is becoming a weekly staple around here. I’ve been putting it in packed lunches with olives, cucumber slices and maybe a piece of feta on the side.
It’s also featuring in serve-yourself, mezze-style dinners on evenings where conflicting schedules prevent us sitting down together for a family meal.
Measurements aren’t that important with tabbouleh – I like mine to have roughly equal amounts of bulghur wheat and chopped herbs, but have eaten versions that were 90% herbs – find a balance that works for you.
Avoid the possibility of worthiness by seasoning generously (and seasoning again to brighten it up before serving if made in advance.)
What I now recognise to be a mighty close cousin of the British classic lemon drizzle cake, went by the more modest name of lemon bread round ours.
Christmas baking aside, lemon bread was my hands-down favourite out of everything mum baked. I particularly adored the way the lemon syrup crystallised on the crust before seeping down to creating that thin layer of sticky citrusy goodness. Continue reading
We spent Easter in Bahrain visiting friends, where we were introduced to a drink called lemon mint. One glass and we were hooked, ordering it at every opportunity.
Lemon juice and fragrant mint are blended with ice to make a lovely, refreshing pick-me-up. The key is not to over-sweeten the mix – add just enough sugar to take the edge off the lemon’s sharpness. Continue reading
January can feel long and bleak and dreary. But the arrival of Seville oranges in the shops is a little spot of sunshine because it means I can make this year’s batch of marmalade.
Homemade marmalade on toast with a hot cup of tea takes some beating. Quintessentially British, both marmalade and tea are symbols of Britain’s colonial past – one through trade with Spain and the other due to colonising India. The history of the empire casts a long shadow over British cuisine – and we all eat better for it…
We won’t be repeating our twelve cocktails of Christmas extravaganza this year, but we did want to mark the start of the holiday season with something festive.
The French 75 (or Soixante-quinze) is apparently named after a field artillery gun, because of the punch it packs. Adam sees it as a gin and tonic for the Christmas season, a time of year when you do things like substitute champagne for tonic water…;-)
I recognise it as the inspiration for last year’s A Cocktail of Two Cities, which had the same London/Paris-gin/champagne thing going on.
A simple, elegant drink, the magic of a French 75 is in the balance of ingredients: gin, lemon juice, sugar and champagne. I went for a 2 to 1 ratio of the gin/lemon mixture to champagne.
The Great British Bake-off has returned to our tellies, and the family is following along enthusiastically. Inspired by the contestants’ efforts in the tent each week, I’ve signed up to complete each week’s signature bake. Baking and desserts are not my forte, so this will be a stretch for me. First up, Madeira cake… Continue reading