Cakes and pud­dings to treat those you cher­ish

The Observer Magazine - - Food & Drink - Jeremy Lee

As the early evenings of late au­tumn make way for the dark­en­ing skies of win­ter, thoughts turn to tarts and cakes, cus­tards and creams. The bus­tle of the kitchen is cheery. The clut­ter and clat­ter of pans, tart cases and cake tins is as in­vig­o­rat­ing as the pur­pose of nour­ish­ing and warm­ing those we hold dear. The home warms to the aro­mas caught on the steam, fill­ing the house and send­ing spir­its and ap­petites soar­ing at the de­light­ful promise of eat­ing well.

But­ter­milk pud­ding

The pair­ing of but­ter­milk and lemon curd with Jer­sey cream is a happy con­ceit. Make 8 pots or glasses

sil­ver gela­tine sheets 1½ vanilla pod 1 but­ter­milk 350g caster su­gar 60g best dou­ble cream 250ml lemon curd 8 tsp (see recipe below) Jer­sey cream thick or pour­ing, to serve Lay out lit­tle pots or glasses. Soak the gela­tine sheets in cold wa­ter and let soften.

Cut the vanilla pod in half length­ways and scrape out the seeds with a knife. Put the seeds into a pan and add the pod. Pour in the but­ter­milk. Add the su­gar and dou­ble cream. Heat all this to just below a boil. Re­move from the heat and re­move the vanilla pod.

Lift the gela­tine from the wa­ter and squeeze out any ex­cess. Add the gela­tine to the in­fused cream and stir well, en­sur­ing the gela­tine dis­solves com­pletely. Stir well. Strain the mix­ture through a sieve and pour into the pots or glasses. Cool, then cover and re­frig­er­ate.

When all is ready and re­quir­ing to be served, place a tea­spoon of lemon curd on each but­ter­milk pud­ding then a mod­est pour­ing or dol­lop of Jer­sey cream.

Lemon curd

Make lots, for it is very good for so many other lovely things.

Makes a medium jar

lemons 6 eggs 5 caster su­gar 175g best un­salted but­ter 150g

Set a pan of wa­ter to sim­mer on the cooker. Zest the rind from the lemons very finely, then juice the fruit. Crack the eggs into a bowl large enough to sit on the pan. Whisk the eggs with the su­gar, then add the but­ter and zest and juice of the lemons. Stir­ring all the while, cook the lemon curd for 20-25 min­utes, or un­til it thick­ens. Pass through a sieve then trans­fer into a pot or jar. Cool and store in the re­frig­er­a­tor till needed.

Choco­late, prune and al­mond tart

A har­mo­nious trin­ity of choco­late, prunes and al­monds makes a splen­did tart. Feeds 12

best 70% co­coa choco­late 125g whole prunes 12 – I love Agen prunes Jer­sey cream, roasted al­monds and ic­ing su­gar to serve

For the pas­try: plain flour 250g ic­ing su­gar 25g un­salted but­ter 125g, cold and cut in pieces egg yolks 2 salt 1 pinch cold wa­ter 1 tsp

For the frangi­pane: blanched whole al­monds 500g un­salted but­ter 500g, soft­ened caster su­gar 250g eggs 4, at room tem­per­a­ture

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