A Christmas Nosh Up

I’m in that post-Christmas dip before New Year’s Eve, so I thought I’d update the Christmas recipes I did over in Pudsey. I go home to Pudsey, Leeds, every year for Christmas to stay with my Mum and Dad, and probably always will. I like it. My Mum is the person that, unknowingly, got me into cookery, as she was a baker and therefore as a kiddiwink, it was baking we did on rainy days; making cookery a form of relaxation for me. Anyways, this was the first time I’d been let loose on the actual Christmas dinner, but thought it would be the perfect thing to do – take some of the stress off Mum on the day (though she did insist on doing the veg, so it was a team effort) plus doing something impressive for recipe 100! I shall be adding them over the next few days hopefully, though I’m off to the pub now – my mate Charlotte has moved in today and therefore cannot be arsed unpacking…

#54 Yorkshire Almond Tart

They say that you are what you eat, and being from Pudsey in Leeds, I suppose that makes me a Yorkshire tart, or something. One of my favourite puds is Yorkshire curd tart, but I’d not heard of a Yorkshire almond tart (if you’ve not heard of a curd tart, go and hunt one down), I had Greg, Joff and my mate from way, way, way back, Lee over for a curry, I had most of the ingredients in, so I thought I’d give it a crack. Have a go; it’s a piece of piss!

Roll out some puff pastry (I bought mine, but there is a recipe for it in English Food; I haven’t plucked up the courage, nor had the spare 5 days or whatever to put aside in order to make it) and line a deep plate, or a pie plate. Whisk up 2 egg yolks, 2 ounces of sugar and the rind and juice of half a lemon in a basin or bowl until creamy. This is not as arduous as it sounds, it happens quickly, I assume because of the citric acid in the lemons stabilising the egg proteins. Add an ounce each of ground almonds and melted butter, and whisk the mixture over simmering water for 8 to 10 minutes, I reckon, until it becomes thicker. Pour the mixture onto the pastry and spread the mixture leaving a good gap at the edges and bake at 190 degrees C for 20 to 30 minutes until golden brown on top. Whilst your waiting for that whisk two egg whites and a pinch of salt until stiff, when the pie is done, spread the egg whites over the top and sprinkle over a tablespoon of sugar and return it to the oven for 10 minutes. Eat warm. Foolishly, I forgot to buy cream.

#54 Yorkshire almond tart – 7.5/10. Very sweet, sticky and yummy! This comes as no surprise being a Yorkshire dish. The filling and eggs collapsed rather, and I’m not sure if it meant to – perhaps next time I’ll add the tablespoon of sugar to the eggs to make a meringue that shouldn’t sink. That said, the pastry was crisp, the almond insides were soft in the centre, but caramelised on top, the eggs were light-ish, and the sugar had formed a very pleasing crust. The only other way it could’ve been improved would be to have a dollop of vanilla ice cream with it.