Fruit for thought

Published date09 June 2024
Publication titleSunday Sun
Pastry chef Sarah Johnson's new cookbook Fruitful is packed with over 80 recipes from polenta and blackberry muffins and apricot muscat tart, to pear and farro salad, pan-fried duck breast with blackcurrant and mackerel with gooseberry compote and yoghurt

Interspersed between the recipes are flavour charts and pairing suggestions for every fruit, Here are three of Sarah's recipes to try at home.

¦ Fruitful: Sweet and Savoury Fruit Recipes Inspired by Farms, Orchards and Gardens by Sarah Johnson (Kyle Books, £30)

Lemon curd tart

INGREDIENTS (Serves 10-12) 25cm tart tin, lined with shortcrust pastry and blind baked; 400ml lemon juice; zest of 7 lemons; 340g caster sugar; 245g unsalted butter; 360g eggs (about 8 eggs); 230g egg yolks (about 12 eggs); 1 tbsp full-fat milk; cream, to serve METHOD 1. First, make the pastry case using store-bought dough.

2. In a heavy-based saucepan, combine the lemon juice and zest, sugar and butter. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks and milk. Put the pan over a medium heat, then wrap a tea towel around the base of the bowl to stabilise it. 3. Give the lemon juice mixture a gentle stir to dissolve the sugar and melt the butter.

4. When the mixture begins to simmer, ladle it into the eggs in a steady stream, whisking as you go and taking care not to curdle the eggs. Return the mixture to the pan and, using a spatula, stir until the curd coats the spatula.

5. You can use a whisk if the mixture seems lumpy, but use it sparingly so as not to incorporate too much air.

6. Immediately strain through a sieve into the prepared tart tin and place it into the oven at 180°C/ 160°C fan/gas mark 4 for 3 minutes. The tart is done when the edges are set but the centre has a gentle wobble. If the centre seems loose, cook for 2-3 minutes. 7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Serve with cream.

Lemony chicken piccata

INGREDIENTS (Serves 4) 4 skinless chicken breasts; salt and pepper; 140g butter, separated; 50ml oil; 250g flour; 1 garlic clove, chopped; 100ml white wine; 100ml chicken stock; zest of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges to serve; 1 tbsp lemon juice; 2 tbsp capers; handful of parsley, freshly chopped METHOD 1. Cut each chicken breast in half, slicing through horizontally to create two thinner pieces. Place the slices between two pieces of baking parchment and pound until they're about 1.5cm thick. Season, cover lightly and set aside for 30 minutes to an hour.

2. When you're ready to cook, heat a heavy-based frying pan over a...

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