About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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St Kilda Today

Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Rolling On
Our gorgeous Christmas tree just had its first fall for the season. In previous years daughter M. would lurk around it until our attention was somewhere else, reach up and CRASH down it would come. This year M. understands better but her mates little brother does not. Collateral damage report - three baubles have gone to Santa.

One of the things I love about cooking is finding out new things or information. Last week I found out two new things. Reading Chubby Hubby's post titled "A good cheap eat" he talked about wok hei or breath of the wok, which he went on to say is the "deliciously smoky taste that food cooked in a well used cast iron wok over high heat can take on." It's something that I have noticed in asian food from time to time, but never realized it had a name. Before all the Asians in the world say "tankedup, you are sooo slow," I would like to say that my asian cooking really is a western interpretation of the real deal and it shows. It's not that I don't try hard but something is eluding me. Want barbecue hei, no problem; grill hei, it's yours; but wok hei, well, it's a wok in progress.

The other thing I found out was the result of my poor pastry rolling skills, hmmm I'm giving away too much about myself. Making pastry is no problem, even very short pastry; it's just that I can't roll it evenly. When it comes to lining a tart ring, some of the pastry is too thin to push up the side, so when it shrinks back in the blind baking, sometimes it shrinks back a little too far; when it comes to putting in the liquid filling, well lets say some of my tarts are exquisitely thin.

There is a great recipe for lemon tart by Marco Pierre White, which Rick Stein described as a real chef's pudding ~ high praise indeed. I've made it a few times and I always have a lot of lemon curd left over, which is stored in the fridge for a few days before sadly being tossed. This time I was determined to do something with the left over curd. The day before my new edition of Stephanie Alexander's, The Cooks Companion, had arrived from my ebay seller and I eagerly searched for advice. And there it was.

Stephanie wrote that she had read in a journal, that an egg mixture containing a lot of sugar could be cooked over direct heat with no fear of curdling, unlike a custard. Well, the nine eggs in Marco's recipe contained 400 g of sugar, more than enough to conduct a test; off to the stove I hurried, put the pot of curd straight onto the flame, stirred continuously and brought to the boil, no curdling!

It felt like an episode of The Myth Busters.

Marco's Lemon Curd

5 lemons, juice of all, zest of two
400 g caster sugar
9 eggs
250 mls double cream

Whisk the eggs and caster sugar together, add lemon juice whisk again, fold in the cream.

You can now cook on the stove and serve with berry fruits or ice cream, or if your pastry rolling skills are better than mine, make your favourite pastry, line a flan tin, blind bake, then pour in filling, bake at 120 c for 30 minutes or until set. You could even buy ready made pastry shapes from the supermarket and fill those.
  posted at 8:23 am


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