I have not made any New Year Resolutions this year. It has finally dawned on me that setting myself up for failure and disappointment every year is a waste of energy and does no good at all. The only thing I thought I would try to do is to fully grasp the practise of not wasting food, or at least wasting as little as possible. This is not so much a resolution (therefore doomed to failure) as an expansion of current housekeeping methods. Which brings me to a little conundrum that occurred last week.
Our friends Tim and Pauline introduced us to the delights of the above product, which is similar to a clotted cream, very naughty and perfectly delicious on puddings. So every time we come to France it’s one of the basic items in our first shopping basket.
So we were a little put out when, on opening the jar, we found that it had curdled and looked nowhere near as appealing to dollop on our puds as it should have done. ( The jar on the right is the offending product, the jar on the left is a fresh one we bought to replace it.)
It was our fault, of course. The little fridge in our little French kitchen was the cheapest we could get when we equipped the place and the temperature control is not the most effective to say the least. Somehow the fridge had been set to be extra cold and we think this caused the crème fraîche to split.
So I looked at it and thought that it looked like curds and whey. Wondering what on earth I could do with it, I thought of a Yorkshire curd tart, something I haven’t eaten for an awfully long time, and have certainly never made. Partly because you can’t buy curds in our local supermarkets, or at least, none that I have ever seen.
I found several recipes on the net but most of them had instructions for manufacturing your own curds from milk and lemon juice. In the end I found one that used real curd cheese but for tarlets. I followed the recipe but made it into one large tart instead, using the Mary Berry pastry recipe from my frangipane mince pies!
The other change I made was that I didn’t have any currants (I have never seen currants in a French supermarket) but I did have a few dried cranberries, the leftovers purchased for some long forgotten recipe, lurking at the back of the cupboard and slightly past their sell-by date.
The tart turned out to be delicious. We had invited our friends Tim and Pauline round and, as former residents of Yorkshire, they declared that it was fairly authentic in both flavour and appearance compared to a proper Yorkshire curd tart. Except for the cranberries of course.
I am submitting this recipe to this month’s Alphabakes Challenge, organised by Ros of The more than occasional baker, and Caroline of Caroline Makes. The letter this month is “Y” and you can see the details here.
Also to the “no waste food challenge” organised by Elizabeth of Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary. This monthly challenge is devoted to making us all think about how to use food in a way that avoids waste and you can see the details here.
So here’s how I made my Yorkshire curd tart ~ you can see the original recipe that I followed loosely here.
For the pastry:
200g plain flour
100g cold butter, cubed
25g icing sugar
1 egg, beaten
For the filling:
250g curd cheese
2 eggs, beaten
75g caster sugar
the finely grated zest of 1 lemon
70g dried cranberries
1 tblsp brandy (an ingredient I was not expecting to find in a curd tart)
freshly grated nutmetg
Make the pastry in a food processor, using just the egg to bind it. Chill in the fridge while you make the filling
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160° fan / gas mk 4. Grease a 23cm (approx) flan dish or tin.
Beat the cheese in a medium bowl to soften it a little. Add the eggs, sugar, lemon zest and brandy and beat together. Add the cranberries and mix well.
Roll out the pastry to line the flan dish or tin. Spoon the filling into the pastry and level the top. Grate a little fresh nutmeg on top.
Bake for 40-50 minutes until lightly browned and almost completely set, but check after 35 minutes.
Cool in the dish and dust with icing sugar if you like. Serve warm or cold with cream or crème fraîche.