Dinner at my local

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After a full on day at the Goodwood Revival we were cold and seriously hungry, and I was really pleased with myself for booking a table at my local pub for dinner. We went there straight from the train and after looking at the menu for two seconds we all settled for steak and ordered three hanger steak, red wine (for mum and me) and cider (for dad).

The hanger steak arrived quickly accompanied by shallot purée, amandine potatoes, girolles, carrots, spinach and jus. It was delicious and just the hearty type of food we craved!

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After the maincourse we could relax a bit (I certainly know where my hunger panic comes from…) and ordered two puddings to share. One pretty-as-a-picture lemon meringue pie with lemon jelly and one cheesecake with plum icecream, ginger bread mousse, plums and blackberries. Both were delicious and perfectly executed.

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I’m so pleased to have this amazing pub just around the corner. The pub bit is cozy and offers nice snacks and the restaurant bit is just as rustic but with really good food!

The Sands End, 135-137 Stephendale Rd, London SW6 2PR

Lemon meringue pie

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I love a good lemon meringue pie. With a thin and crispy pie crust, a thick and sharp lemon fillinf and a light and fluffy meringue. I’m not so keen on the baked meringue; I want the fluffy Italian kind.

My mother is probably slightly to blame for my obsession as I have sampled plenty of lemon meringue pies with her, both in cafés and at home. And it’s also her trusted recipe I use for the filling and the crust. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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Lemon meringue pie, serves 8

Pastry:

180 g plain flour

100 g softened butter

2 1/2 tbsp cream or water

Lemon filling:

350 ml water

240 g caster sugar

6 tbsp corn flour

2 lemons (zest and juice)

3 egg yolks

2 tbsp butter

Italian meringue:

4 egg whites

120 g caster sugar

Syrup:

120 g caster sugar

100 ml water

Mix all the ingredients to the dough in a bowl or using a food processor. Press into a Ø 20 cm springform. Bake in a low oven at 180C, for approx 10-15 minutes or until golden and baked through. Leave to cool. 

Add all the ingredients for the filling, apart from the butter, in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and stir continuously until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and mix in the butter. Leave to cool completely. 

Make the meringue: Add egg whites and sugar to a clean bowl and beat for 10 minutes with an electric whisk. Meanwhile make the syrup by adding water and sugar to a saucepan and bring to the boil (don’t stir). Remove when 118C (the boiling point for sugar). Add the hot syrup to the meringue and beat for a further 15 minutes, until you have a thick and glossy meringue. 

Assemble: Remove the crust from the tin. Fill with the lemon filling, spreading it evenly. Spread the meringue on top and burn the edges with a brulee torch. Serve with lightly whipped cream. 

 

 

Lemon meringue pie

It was time for the monthy cakes again on Friday. This time I made a Tosca cake, a very cherry chocolate cake (recipe to come) and this fresh lemon meringue pie.

I really like lemon in cakes as the acidity masks the fat and makes the cakes to appear light.

Lemon meringue pie, serves 10

Adapted from this recipe.

Short crust:

200 ml plain flour

100 g cold butter

1 tbsp icing sugar

1 egg yolk

1 tbsp cold water

Lemon curd:

2 lemons, zest and juice

1 orange, the juice

100 ml water

2,5 tbsp maizena corn flour (for thickening)

100 ml caster sugar

75 g butter

3 egg yolks

1 egg

Meringue:

4 egg whites

200 ml caster sugar

1 tsp lemonjuice

Add the butter and flour to a food processor and mix it into crumbs. Add the icing sugar, egg yolk and water and blitz to a dough. Knead it in a bowl for a few minutes. Either roll out and cover your dish or press it into the dish. Pick wholes with a fork and leave to set in the fridge for an hour.

Once the crust has resten, cover with baking parchment and ceramic beads and blindbake for 15 minutes in 175C. Remove the parchment paper and beads and bake for another 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 150C.

While the crust is baking, prepare the curd and the meringue. Wash the lemons and grate the zest and add it to a saucepan. Add the juice and the juice from the orange too. Add the water, sugar and maizena. Bring to the boil and let the mixture thicken while stirring. Remove from the heat and add the butter. Stir while it melts.

Divide the yolks and the whites in two bowls (3 yolks and a whole egg in bowl for the curd and 4 whites in another mixing bowl for the meringue). Beat the yolks and the whole egg together and add to the curd on low heat. Beat with a whisk while the mixture thickens, do not let it boil. Put aside.

Beat the egg whites foamy, then add some of the sugar and beat until stiff peaks. Add the rest of the sugar bit by bit while beating, until very stiff peaks and a glossy meringue. Add the lemon juice and beat a little while longer.

Assemble the pie: Add the warm lemon curd to the warm pie crust and cover with the meringue. Bake in 150C for an hour in a low oven. Leave to cool before serving.

A wonderful day – spa, Busaba and cake

I had the afternoon off yesterday to go to a spa with Jenny. We had some time before our appointment, so we started with the sauna and the pool. After an hour or so we had our hot sugar scrub that after having showered the sticky mixture off, left the skin feeling sooo soft. The next treatment was a full body massage which was wonderful, and after this we were feeling very relaxed. After a nice hot shower we felt reborn and went up to the hotel bar to have a wonderful fruit smoothie and a fruit platter, all included in the package, and that truly hit the spot.

By this point it was early evening and we were hungry, so we went to Busaba Eathai for dinner. I really like this place, founded by the man behind Wagamama and Hakkasan, it is cheap, really nice food in nice surroundings. Compared to Wagamama this feels more luxurious because of the dark wood decor and burning incense, but the idea is the same; you sit at communal tables and you can not book in advance.

We started with something to drink, of course, and I tried coconut water for the first time. It came with ice and fresh muddled raspberries and it was amazing. Why have I not tried this sooner?! I am definitely hooked now. Jenny tried an equally amazing mango lassi. It was silky smooth and tasted lovely.

We ordered quite a lot of food, vegetarian spring rolls with the best sweet chilli dip I have ever had, Pat King Talay was my choice (stir fry with squid, scallops, prawns and woodear mushrooms), Jenny opted for the Pla Sam Rod (talapia fillets with a gorgeous pomegranate sauce) and perfect coconut rice and Morning Glory as a side; water spinach with garlic and chilli – absolutely fantastic and Jenny said it tasted exactly the same as in Thailand.

A happy and content Jenny!

We were very pleased with our cheap eat, the bill only came to around £40, so very good value for money. It is definitely worth going, and it is best to come around or before 6pm to avoid the queue, but it would be worth queueing for a little while as well.

On our way to the restaurant we had noticed a few bakeries on the same street (Wardour Street) and we felt we had to have something sweet to finish off the meal. We noticed a new (for us at least) branch of the Hummingbird Bakery but they did not have much left to choose from this late in the day. Instead we went to the place next door; L’Eto who had plenty of good-looking cakes in the window. After a few minutes to decide we went for the lemon meringue pie and the mille feuille with strawberry and plum. The lemon filling in the pie was nice and creamy, and the meringue on top was the almost unbaked one which was lovely. The mille feuille has obscene amounts of cream in it, which we happily scoffed down. Delicious! This place seems to be great for lunch as well with fresh looking salads, chicken patties, baked salmon etc.