Saturday, October 16, 2010

Colour me Purple...

The 'Liverpudlians' (natives of Liverpool), have their own name for this 'Lord Nelson' tart, and one I prefer, so why don't we all call it this.
'wet Nellie': makes 6 tarts
1 lb (500g) shortcrust pastry
9 oz (250g) Madeira cake crumbs
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 oz (100g) raisins
4 oz (100g) golden syrup, warmed
5 tblsp milk
1 tsp caster sugar
First put a baking sheet in the oven to pre-heat at 190C, 375F, gas 5.
Remove one third of the pastry, then roll out the larger piece as thinly as possible (this then cooks more crisply) and line 6 x 4" (10cm) loose-based flan tins. Leave a little pastry overlapping the rims.
Mix together the cake crumbs, lemon zest and juice, the dried fruit and the syrup with 4 tblsp of the milk, then when well blended, spoon into the tart cases, levelling the tops.
Roll out the reserved pastry to make six rounds to use as lids, dampen edges of pastry already in the tins, and lay the lids on top, pressing down to seal, then trim away surplus pastry. Brush the tops with the remaining milk and sprinkle with the sugar.
Place the tins on the hot baking sheet and bake for 20 - 25 minutes until golden. Then remove from oven but keep in the tins for 10 minutes to cool slightly before removing. Eat them whilst still warm. They also are good eaten cold.

It was many years ago that we once visited the Lake District and in my hunt to find a 'traditional' food discovered this next treat, much enjoyed by Beloved who loves sticky, fruity desserts. It is very much a dish of the region, sold in the Cumbrian area for tourists to take home. There is no such county as Cumberland any more, the area is now called 'Cumbria'.
Cumberland Rum Nicky: serves 6
8 oz (225g) chopped stones dates
4 oz (100g) no-soak apricots, chopped
2 oz (50g) crystallised or stem ginger, chopped
3 tblsp rum
juice of one orange
1 tblsp light brown sugar
12 oz ( ) rich shortcrust pastry
half ounce (12g) butter
demerara sugar
Mix together the prepared dates, apricots, ginger, orange juice, and rum together and set aside to soak.
Roll out half the pastry to line a 9" (23cm) pie plate, then spread the fruit mixture over the top, leaving a narrow edge uncovered. Scatter the top of the filling with little bits of butter.
Roll out remaining pastry to the same size, wetting the edges of the plated pastry and then covering with teh second pastry to make a lid, crimping the edges to seal. Make a hole in the top for steam to escape, then brush with milk and bake at 200C, 400F, gas 6 for half an hour or until golden. Serve hot sprinkled with demerara sugar and some pouring (or lightly whipped) cream.