…..multitasking. One post – 4 recipes, no waffle.
Oh, all right, but just a little bit of waffle, promise. Imagine the scene…….oranges and satsumas starting to look a bit pass their best in the fruit bowl, so what do you do with them? Make orange curd, of course. Then what can you make with orange curd? Orange Meringue Pie. So curd, pastry, vanilla sugar and pie recipes follow. And it’s a lot of work. Took me 2 days to make this (curd and pastry case yesterday, meringue today). Of course, if you just want a pie, buy the pastry case, a jar of curd and the meringue will take 20 mins, and STILL look impressive.
Barely a recipe, just get a large Kilner type jar, fill it with sugar, and pop a couple of used vanilla pods deep into the sugar. In a couple of weeks you’ll have vanilla scented sugar as the vanilla permeates through the sugar, giving your baking an extra depth. Also good when you’re making something like hot chocolate. Oh, and I seem to recall even Nigella saying there were ideal Christmas presents in her Christmas book.
- Grated zest and juice of 2 large oranges. Or 1 orange and 2 satsumas. Or 4 satsumas etc.
- 200g sugar (don’t bother using the vanilla for this, it won’t hold up against the orange flavour).
- 125g unsalted butter.
- 2 whole large eggs, plus 2 egg whites, whisked together.
Put all the ingredients, except the eggs, into a large glass mixing bowl and place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t toughing the water and Stir until the butter has melted.
Good grief, yes, a photo of me in action, taken by my daughter. Blame her.
Anyhow, once the butter has melted, take the whisked eggs and sieve them into the orange/butter mix, stirring constantly to avoid the mix becoming orangy scrambled eggs. Sieving gets rid of the glutinous bits from the eggs.
Keep stirring until the thickens up and leaves a thick film on the back of a spoon. Then you can pot it in a sterilised jar. It will get thicker as it cools as well.
Now the pastry. We’re on the home stretch now.
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
- 250 Plain flour
- 90g sugar
- 125g cold cubed unsalted butter
- 1 large egg, beaten
If you’ve got a food processor, place the first 3 ingredients in it and pulse until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Keep the motor running and pour the egg down the feed tube and keep processing until it comes together. Take it out and lightly knead it into a ball, cover with clingfilm , and pop it into the fridge to rest for at least half an hour.
Use it to line a lightly buttered flan dish (I used a 24cm one), prick the bottom, and blind bake it for 10 to 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 180˚C
Not my best one, but at least you know my photos aren’t Photoshopped in any way. And yes, I could have done with making the sides a bit higher. Oh well, you live and learn.
So, take your Orange curd and put it in the flan case.
And, finally, the meringue!!!!!
- 4 large egg whites
- 200g vanilla sugar (you knew there was a reason I wanted you to make it!!!!)
- 200ml water
First of all, place the sugar and the water in a saucepan and bring it to the boil till it reaches 120˚C
While it’s coming to boil, whisk the egg whites till they’re in the ‘soft peaks’ stage.
Once the sugar syrup’s ready, slowly pour it into the egg whites with the whisk still going. Keep whisking for 5 – 12 minutes until the mixture is thick and glossy and holds it’s shape.
Spoon the meringue over the orange curd and, using a pallet knife, flick it into peaks. By this, I mean place the knife on the meringue and lift it sharply so the meringue lifts up so that it looks like soft billowly clouds.
Stick it under a preheated grill and let the top brown – or at least goldenly glow.