Easter Sunday 2014 and another beautiful balmy day in the Easter holiday break. Lunch in the garden again, this time lamb to mark the special day.
I barbecued a butterflied leg of lamb, served it with baby new potatoes, Bill Granger’s Asparagus, Pea and Feta Salad (again) and a green salad.
Dessert was the star today – two different pastries focusing on seasonal fruit.
Fig and Raspberry Mille Feuille
Not really a recipe, more an assembly.
Roll out a quantity of store-bought puff pastry (I buy Careme brand as it’s a butter puff and is very light). The amount you use is entirely dependent on how many mille feuilles you want to end up with.
Cut into long rectangles. Bake according to the directions on the packet, usually about 10-15 minutes at 200 degrees C.
Remove from the oven and cut rectangles into individual pastry lengths. Whiles still warm flatten gently if the pieces are too”puffed”. You can also split the pastry in half to make it easier to fill, and also so that each half of the pastry is not too hard to eat.
When cool, fill with whipped cream flavoured with a little vanilla paste and fresh fruit. I used figs and raspberries as both are delicious and good value at the moment in April in Sydney.
Bill Granger’s Pear Shortcake
I made a strawberry version of this cake last week and it was so more-ish I had to do it again! This recipe is closer to Bill’s but I included plums as well as a good dollop of my plum and raisin jam.
30 g unsalted butter, softened
40 g caster sugar
2 small pears and 4 plums
1 tsp vanilla paste
2 tbsp plum jam*
Milk, to brush the pastry
1 tbsp demerara sugar
2 tbsp flaked almonds
125 g unsalted butter
125 g castor sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
175 plain flour
50 g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
Place the butter, caster sugar and vanilla in a saucepan over a low heat. Cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes until the butter melts and sugar dissolves.
Add the chopped pears and plums and cook over low heat for 8 minutes or until the fruit is soft. Remove from the heat and stir through the plum jam, being careful not to break up the fruit. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
For the shortcake, beat the butter and castor sugar until thick and creamy. Add the egg and mix well. Add the flour, almond meal and baking powder, then stir until combined. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly to just bring the mixture together. Divide the dough in half, pat in to discs, then wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Grease and line a 24cm springform cake tin. On a lightly floured surface, roll each dough portion into a round about the size of the tin, then press one round into tin. Spoon the pear and plum mixture and any juices over the dough, leaving a small border around the edge.
Top with the remaining dough round and press the edges together to seal. Brush with milk and sprinkle with demerara sugar and flaked almonds.
Bake for 30 minutes or until until golden (cover loosely with foil if browning too quickly). Cool in tin for 20 minutes before carefully removing from the tin.
*The recipe for plum and raisin jam: https://thequirkandthecool.com/2013/04/28/autumn-jams/