July 25th, 2015
We’ve found a really quirky item for this week’s Charity Vintage post. We don’t think we’ve ever come across a Master sardine tin opener and fish server before… but, if you’re a big eater of tinned fish, then what could be better? It looks good and does the job perfectly.
It’s currently up for sale by Pilgrims Hospices* with a buy it now price of £10 and a further £1.99 for postage.
*Pilgrims Hospices in East Kent run 3 hospices to help and support families and patients suffering from terminal illnesses. Their aim is to optimise the profits from items donated to their charity
July 24th, 2015
We’ve made a couple of long car journeys to London and Brighton recently. Various things pop into your thoughts as the miles pass by – “I wish I had this, I could do with that”. We’ve chosen a selection of items which plug into the car lighter socket that resolve potential problems and enhance the travelling experience; whether it be playing music, re-charging devices, giving you a back massage or providing emergency air for a flat tyre!
- 60w car charger power adapter for Apple MacBook Pro: £22.98, eBay
- REALMAX® car music FM transmitter: £7.99, Amazon
- Portable power pack with 200w inverter and USB charging socket: £59.99, Maplin
- Lifemax heated back and seat massager: £39.99, Amazon
- Halfords rapid digital tyre inflator: £34.99, Halfords
July 23rd, 2015
Last week, you’ll remember that I set aside a small bowlful of redcurrants while I made the rest into jelly.
What I had in mind for this extra was to make a redcurrant mazarin tart using a recipe I found in Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking… Scandilicious by Signe Johansen.
It’s bit of a long-winded recipe to follow – the base, the almond paste (shop bought marzipan is much too hard) and the filling. But do give it a try, it’s worth the effort!
The amount of almond paste that is produced is slightly over what is needed. I plan on rolling the leftovers into little balls and then dipping them in melted dark chocolate; perfect little after-dinner petits fours!
The original recipe doesn’t call for leaving the tart in the oven while it cools, but I found mine needed a bit of a longer cook and it also helped stop the centre from sinking under the weight of all that fruit.
The sweetness of the almond paste was a lovely match for the sourness of the redcurrants, balancing each other out. A little dollop of fraîche on the side is all you need to serve with it.
Redcurrant mazarin tart
- 200g/7oz spelt (or plain) flour
- 100g/3½ oz butter
- 50g/2oz caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 150g/5oz ground almonds
- 200g/7oz icing sugar
- 2tsp almond extract
- 1 egg white
- 340g/12oz almond paste
- 100g/3½ oz butter, softened
- 100g • 3½ oz plain flour (or cornflour)
- 6 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 300g/11oz redcurrants, rinsed and de-stalked
- In a food processor, pulse the flour and butter together, or mix by hand in a large bowl, until it resembles breadcrumbs
- Add in the sugar and then the egg, and continue to combine until the dough comes together
- Cover the pastry with cling film and shape into a disc about 1cm/½ in thick
- Put into the fridge for an hour, or the freezer for 20-30 minutes
- Make the almond paste while you wait for the pastry to chill
- Put the ground almonds, icing sugar, almond extract and egg white into a food processor and combine until a thick ball of dough is formed
- Turn the paste out onto a work surface and knead it a few times. Roll it into a log and wrap in cling film until you're ready to make the filling
- Any unused paste will keep for a month in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer
- Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas mark 5
- Roll out the chilled pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is about 3mm/⅛ in thick (or as thin as you can roll it before it starts to crack) and about 30cm/12in in diameter
- Lift the rolled pastry into a 23cm/9in pie dish, cake tin or tart case (about 3cm-4cm/1¼ in-1½ in deep) and gently press into the sides and edges
- Trim any excess pastry from the rim. Prick the base of the pastry case with a fork, and blind bake on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown
- Prepare the filling while you wait for the pastry case to cool
- Put all the filling ingredients apart from the redcurrants in a food mixer
- Combine until the mazarin is smooth and even, and all the ingredients have been fully incorporated
- Turn the oven temperature up to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6
- Pour the mazarin filling into the cooled pastry case and carefully sprinkle the redcurrants over the top, gently pushing some of them into the mazarin mixture
- Bake on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes until golden and well risen
- Turn off the oven, leave the oven door ajar and allow the tart to cool slowly in the oven
Adapted from Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking . . . Scandilicious
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/