Thank you to everyone who took part in last month’s theme of ‘Healthy Treats‘! It definitely cheered up our January to see the tasty yet healthier treats you came up with!
This month’s theme is… ‘Love Is In The Air’. That means anything made for the one you love, for Valentine’s Day, or anything involving hearts, red, pink and typical ‘love’ themes. Or if you’re single and you want to make something you love to eat!
For Christmas I was very excited to receive a rectangular shaped ‘Tarte Maison’ tart tin. It’s something I’ve wanted for a while as I love the appearance of tarts in this shape as opposed to circular ones. They look more elegant I think. For the tins first outing I decided on a savoury filling and I was inspired by Greek food, such as Spanakopita, which is filled with a spinach and feta mixture. The filling varies with leeks sometimes added and different cheeses, so this is my twist on it.
I made enough filling for two tarts, which is why it looks a lot more in the photos, but I’ll just give you the amounts to fill one tart. I started by cooking 1 clove of garlic, half a medium sized onion and 6 spring onions in a pan on a medium heat in 1/2 tbsp oil. Once soft, I set them aside in a bowl.
I added a drizzle more oil to the same pan and wilted 350g fresh spinach, once it began to wilt I added a small knob of butter and a sprinkling of nutmeg (about 1/4 tsp). When it was all wilted I put it in a sieve over a bowl to drain out the excess water. I pressed it down with a spoon to get plenty of water out.
I mixed the spinach with the onions in a bowl.
I chopped up 15g of fresh flat leaf parsley and 15g fresh dill. Fresh herbs are a must for this recipe, the flavour can’t be matched by dried herbs!
I added the herb to the spinach mixture and stirred in well.
In a separate bowl I weighed out 50g natural breadcrumbs, 25g parmesan, 140g crumbled feta, and 60g crumbled goats cheese.
I added the cheese mixture to the spinach and stirred in well. Finally I added 1 egg and mixed it in, as well as some salt to taste. I added approx 1/4 tsp, you can add more or less as desired.
To make the pastry I used the same method and amounts from my Pumpkin Pie recipe. I rolled out 2/3 of the pastry onto some cling film (this makes it easy to pick up!)
I greased my tin and lined it with the pastry, cutting off any excess and pricking the bottom with a fork. I then put baking paper in the pastry and poured in some baking beans. I baked it on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 10-15 minutes until the pastry started to brown around the edges.
I took the paper and baking beans out and baked it again for 5-10 minutes until the bottom looked fully cooked.
I filled the pastry case with the filling and packed it in quite well, filling the tin right to the top.
I rolled out the final third of the pastry and cut out strips, using 1 beaten egg as ‘glue’ I brushed the edges of the tart, stuck the strips in a lattice pattern and trimmed the edges. I also brushed the egg white on the bottom layer of pastry where it crossed over. When I was done I brushed the tart all over with the beaten egg.
I baked the tart on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20-25 minutes until it was golden brown.
I recommend serving with mash and vegetables! However if you’re serving the tart cold it would be really good with salad. Both myself and my boyfriend ate this up quick, it was really tasty. The freshness of the herbs really comes through in the filling and the pastry was perfectly crisp. A delicious week night dinner!
I am entering this into Lavender & Lovage‘s monthly challenge Cooking With Herbs as this recipe contains some great fresh herbs. This month’s challenge is Store Cupboard favourite, I used nutmeg, flour and salt in this recipe from my store cupboard.
Cook the garlic, onion and spring onions in a pan on a medium heat in the olive oil. Once soft, set aside in a bowl
In the same pan, cook the fresh spinach. Once it begins to wilt add the 1 tsp of butter and the nutmeg. When fully wilted put it in a sieve over a bowl to drain out the excess water. Press down on it with a spoon to get plenty of water out
Mix the spinach with the onions in a bowl
Chop up the fresh flat leaf parsley and fresh dill. Add the herbs to the spinach mixture and stir in well
In a separate bowl mix the natural breadcrumbs, parmesan, crumbled feta, and crumbled goats cheese
Add the cheese mixture to the spinach and stir in well. Add 1 of the eggs and mix in, then the salt
To make the pastry rub together the plain flour and butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add 2 of the eggs until a dough forms. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes
Roll out 2/3 of the pastry onto some cling film. Grease the tin and line it with the pastry, cutting off any excess and pricking the bottom with a fork. Put baking paper in the pastry and pour in some baking beans. Bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 10-15 minutes until the pastry starts to brown around the edges
Take the paper and baking beans out and bake it again for 5-10 minutes until the bottom looks fully cooked
Fill the pastry case with the filling and pack it in quite well, filling right to the top
Roll out the final third of the pastry and cut out strips, using 1 of the eggs beaten as 'glue', brush the edges of the tart, stick the strips in a lattice pattern and trim the edges. Also brush the beaten egg on the bottom layer of pastry where it crosses over. When finished, brush the tart all over with the beaten egg
Bake the tart on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown
I often find myself with leftover lemons, limes and oranges after zesting them for a recipe and I never know what to do with them. It always seems like recipes call for zest only, or more zest than juice, so I imagine this is a common problem for bakers! In order to resolve this problem and avoid food waste guilt I’ve had a scout around and collected together some recipes that use only the juice of citrus fruits. It took me a while to find recipes that don’t need zest at all, but I’ve found a good selection.
Let me know if you make any and how they turn out!
Hints & Tips
There is approx 30ml juice in a Lemon
There is approx 30ml juice in a Lime
There is approx 80ml juice in an Orange
Other ideas for leftover citrus fruits…
– Squeeze some lemon over chicken before roasting
– Squeeze lime over fish and prawns
– Pop a wedge or slice into your drink, or get cocktail making!
– Mix any citrus juice with enough icing sugar to make a runny icing, then drizzle over a cake
– You can freeze the juice in ice cube trays
Happy New Year everyone! I have had a wonderful Christmas break and I hope you have too. This Lime & Ginger Angel Food Cake is my first bit of baking for a couple of weeks now. That may not sound long, but for me it is! I know this time of year is when everyone starts to focus on healthy eating, and Angel Food Cake is a great option as it contains no butter so is low in fat. I also left the cake ‘naked’! So no buttery icing to worry about. Although I always try to eat well and have plenty of fruit and vegetables, I do think that indulgences are important. As long as it’s one slice of cake once a week, and not an entire cake every day, there’s no harm in my opinion!
The base of this recipe is an Ina Garten one that I use for all my Angel Food Cakes (I’ve made a Lemon one and Chocolate one before). I started by sifting together 170g plain flour and 2 tsp ground ginger (add 3-4 tsp for a stronger flavour), I sifted it 4 times to get plenty of air in it. I then added 100g caster sugar to the bowl and stirred in.
In my food mixer I whisked up 10 egg whites, along with 3/4 tsp salt and 1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar. Once soft peaks formed, I slowly added 300g caster sugar whilst continuing to mix. If you need some ideas to use up your egg yolks, check out my post on Things To Do With Egg Yolks.
Once the mixture was glossy I added the zest of 3 limes and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and whisked in.
I gently folded the flour
and sugar mixture into the egg whites. Ina’s tip for folding works for me every time. Cut the mixture
down the middle with a spatula and pull it round the edge of the bowl,
keep doing this and turn the bowl as you fold. You need to be very gentle so you don’t lose any air.
I poured the mixture into my pan and put it in the oven on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 35 – 40 minutes. If you are using an Angel Food Cake tin (as pictured above), you do not need to grease the pan. If you are using a non-stick bundt tin, you must grease and flour it.
When the cake came out of the oven, I tipped it upside down to cool. Although the tin has little ‘legs’ to assist with this, I always put it on a cooling rack as well.
When it was fully cool I ran a palette knife around the edge and middle of the tin and the cake came out easily enough.
I decided to keep the cake ‘naked’ and dusted it lightly with icing sugar and garnished with some lime zest and chopped crystallised ginger. Angel Food Cake is so light and spongey, I love the texture of it and really enjoy eating it. I was pleased that the lime flavour came through so well, although the ginger wasn’t very strong. I think I’ll add another teaspoon next time.
It’s perfect paired with creme fraiche and some fresh berries!
I’m entering this into The More Than Occassional Baker’s monthly challenge, Alpha Bakes (hosted on alternate months by Caroline Makes). This month the letter is ‘L’.