When my boyfriend moved to Houston, he brought this cookbook with him. It was a present from his mother. She enscribed it,
"July 15, 2006
As you embark on your big adventure in America - a reminder of 'good old English' cooking.
All my love.
Delia's cookbook is the quintessential English guide to cooking, basically equivalent to my fellow American Irma Rombauer's Joy of Cooking.
The tart will have 2200 calories. Delia says this should be 4 to 6 slices but we'll make them smaller than that. You can work out the calories per slice easily enough. The total for the curd is 750 calories, but 180 calories worth will be going into the tart.
Lancaster Lemon Tart
(serves 4-6 people)
This is a first cousin of a Bakewell tart, using home-made lemon curd instead of jam, which I think goes very well with the flavour of almonds.
For the pastry:
3 oz (75 g) plain flour
¾ oz (20 g) lard
¾ oz (20 g) margarine or butter
a pinch of salt
For the filling:
3 rounded tablespoons lemon curd
3 oz (75 g) butter, at room temperature
3 oz (75 g) caster sugar
1 egg, beaten lightly
1 oz (25 g) ground almonds
4 oz (110 g) self-raising flour
grated rind and juice of 1 large lemon
1 oz (25 g) whole almonds, peeled and halved
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).
Start by making the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, holding the sieve up as high as possible to give the flour an airing. Then cut the fat into small cubes and add them to the flour. Now, using your fingertips, lightly and gently rub the pieces of fat into the flour – lifting your hands up high as you do this (again to incorporate air) and being as quick as possible. When the mixture looks uniformly crumbly, start to sprinkle roughly 2 tablespoons of water all over. Use a round-bladed knife to start the mixing, cutting and bringing the mixture together. Carefully add more water as needed, a little at a time, then finally bring the mixture together with your hands to form a smooth ball of dough that will leave the bowl clean. (If there are any bits that won't adhere to it, you need a spot more water.) Now rest the pastry, wrapped in foil or polythene, in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. Roll out the pastry and line the pie plate, fluting the edges, then spread the lemon curd all over the pastry.
Now cream the butter and sugar together till pale and fluffy, then gradually beat in the egg about a teaspoonful at a time. Gently and carefully fold in the ground almonds and flour, followed by the lemon juice and grated rind.
Now spread this mixture evenly over the lemon curd, smoothing it out with a palette knife. Then sprinkle the halved almonds over the surface. Bake it, on a baking sheet, in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to gas mark 2, 300°F (150°C), and continue cooking for a further 25-30 minutes.
This can be served either warm or cold with cream.
This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course.
grated zest and juice of 1 large, juicy lemon
2 large eggs
3 oz caster sugar (75 g)
2 oz unsalted butter (50 g)
Place the grated lemon rind and sugar in a bowl. In another bowl whisk the lemon juice together with the eggs, then pour this mixture over the sugar. Add the butter cut into little pieces, and place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until thickened - about 20 minutes. Cool the curd.
If you want to make this ahead, store in a clean dry jar with a screw-top lid. It is best eaten within a week.