Friday, 22 April 2011


A few weeks ago, my parents and I went up to Edinburgh – to see the sights and have a fabulous foodie time. I had my first ever Michelin-starred dining experience at Tom Kitchin’s The Kitchin, which certainly did not disappoint. We also had a great time wandering around Edinburgh Farmers’ MarketDSCF8517

DSCF8518 The tablet stall (and tablet tasters) must have been my favourite stall.Tablet is a Scottish sweet – like a firmer fudge, mainly sugar and totally irresistible! I bought some and also look forward to attempting my own very soon.DSCF8519 A stall selling a huge (and tempting) array of cakes and piesDSCF8523 Oink, the business that made the perfect hog roast sandwich at lunchtime, complete with stuffing and apple sauce – delicious!IMG-20110326-00171 Chutneys, relishes and jamsIMG-20110326-00167 (1) The amazing chocolate stall selling more flavours of chocolate you could ever think of: Chilli, Black Forest, Mango, Salted Caramel, Raspberry, Red Pepper and Candied Orange to name just a few!

Just before catching the train home, we visited the magnificent The Dome. In the grandest of surroundings – complete with heavy chandeliers – we enjoyed a delicious afternoon tea…IMG-20110327-00187 (1)Middle Layer: fruit scones with strawberry jam and whipped cream.
Bottom layer: Sandwiches – Roast Beef & Horseradish Sauce, Ham & Mustard or Egg and Cress.  IMG-20110327-00190 Top Layer: Lemon French Fancy, Apple Pie, Chocolate Eclair and Strawberry Cream Tart.

All in all – a thoroughly delicious weekend and I can’t wait to visit again!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Passion Fruit Curd Tart

Never let it be said that baking is a stress-free hobby. Passion fruit curd making is distinctly stressful. For nearly five minutes you stand whisking a bright orange watery liquid on an almost negligible heat, so you turn it up just a smidge, then all of a sudden the colour changes to sunny yellow, the curd thickens rapidly and you’re terrified your curd is curdled and your sore hand from 30+ minutes of squeezing and straining passion fruits will all have been in vain. Pheeew.DSCF8566 Thankfully today I got the curd just at the right time. And oh, the results were good. I love passion fruits. As soon as you cut one in half their super sweet, fresh, summery aroma is released. The orange pulp is sweet yet sharp and the black seeds are a shot of crunch. Even the inedible skin is beautiful with its deep purpley/pink colour. They are the perfect fruit for welcoming in the summer sunshine and their name is well deserved.DSCF8565 I wanted to make a passion fruit curd tart after sampling the individual ones with meringue from top London bakery Ottolenghi. Despite owning the Ottolenghi book the recipe was not to be found – its kept top secret because the tarts are so popular! After a little searching around, I found a Waitrose recipe that I felt would work. My tart doesn’t have meringue – to save both time and calories – and I made one large one to use a new tart pan. Also, the curd is not cooked again once being added to the tart so it stays delightfully creamy and soft. DSCF8576 As I’ve mentioned – I did not enjoy juicing and straining 12 passion fruit. Mine were not hugely ripe so this may have been a factor but I found I spent a long time pushing every last drop of juice away from the pips and through the sieve, so as not to waste any and make as much juice as possible. If you are less concerned about waste you could use more passion fruit or perhaps riper ones would yield more juice easily. Overall, I very much enjoyed the end result of this tart. The lemon pastry adds an extra dimension of summery fruitiness and the passion fruit curd was smooth, buttery and full of that distinctive passion fruit zing. The best part? This tart needs no accompaniments. Armed with a (generous)slice, a fork and a chair in the sunshine I was extremely happy. Enjoy :)