I'm fond of a nice tart. Sweet or savoury, you'll have trouble keeping me away. And if there's even a suggestion of a curd on that tart - lemon, passionfruit - well, I'm anybody's. I've always stuck to Stephanie's lemon curd recipe, based on butter, sugar and eggs. But I recently tried out the Bourke Street Bakery one, which replaces the butter with cream. Mmmmm. I've changed it up a bit and added some springy zingy ginger for something different, and to complement that lemongrass and ginger tea just begging to be sipped.
You will need:
40g caster sugar
50ml lemon juice
rind from 1 lemon, finely grated
60ml pouring cream
1 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
In a heatproof bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, lemon juice and rind until the sugar has dissolved. Add cream and whisk until smooth. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and continue whisking until it thickens. It should take about 10 minutes. Make sure you whisk continuously or else it will go lumpy. Use a silicone spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as required. Spoon into a jar or bowl, place plastic wrap so that it touches the curd and refrigerate overnight.
Spread it on toast, dollop on a scone, fill tiny shortcrust pastry cases, or place atop some cakey almondy tarty things, as described below.
For the Cakey Almondy Tarty Things, you will need:
100g plain flour
90g almond meal
60g caster sugar
30g brown sugar
100g butter, cold
1 egg yolk
Place dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Dice butter and rub it into the dry mixture until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. This will take several minutes and give you muscles on your fingers. Add egg yolk and use a spoon or your hands to combine it evenly. It should now resemble a soft pastry. Form into a disc shape, wrap in plastic and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
Grease a mini muffin pan, preferably silicone. I used olive oil spray but melted butter would do. Roll out the pastry between two sheets of baking paper to a thickness of about 8mm. Cut 6cm rounds and squeeze into the mini muffin holes, pressing with your fingers to create a slightly concave shape. You're not trying to make a thin pastry case, rather a slightly dented cakey base that will hold some filling.
Once you've filled all the holes, bake for 6-8 minutes until the cakes are lovely and golden and cooked through. Allow to cool in the tin then pop them out onto a rack.
To serve, either spoon or pipe the curd onto the tops of the cakes. Arrange them on a dainty doily and place alongside your finest tea set. Have your butler pour the tea.
For the lemongrass and ginger tea, bash a lemongrass stick a few times with the handle of your knife to release its goodness. Squish it up and shove it in your teapot. Slice a few thin pieces of ginger - don't worry about peeling it - and add to the pot. Pour boiling water over the lot and leave to steep.