It’s no secret that I LOVE cooking. However, if there’s one thing that I’m guilty of, it’s watching cookery programmes and perusing recipe magazines whilst hardly ever cooking the recipes that inspire me. I’m sure there are others out there who can identify with this. So, as part of a new ‘just do it’ approach, I have started cutting recipes out of magazines as soon as I spot them and pinning them to the noticeboard so they can’t be ignored!
Last week, I decided to tackle the Hairy Bikers’ Italian-style custard tart – torta menjar blanc – from their latest series, The Hairy Bikers’ Mediterranean Adventures. They created this beautiful tart in the sunshine on the Mediterranean coast. I, on the other hand, created it in my pokey galley kitchen on a wet, windy February night in Yorkshire!
After a custard disaster in my not so distant past, I tend to shy away from making custard from scratch. Memories of lumpy custard from school still haunt me! Indeed, all was going well with this recipe until it came to the dreaded custard-thickening. Diligently following the recipe, I stood and stirred my work of art continuously. Half an hour later, I was still stirring and my custard was still a runny, milky consistency!
My husband sensibly suggested that I turn up the heat. Putting my fear of our electric plate hob aside, I turned it up a couple of notches and applied the elbow grease, determined to make sure the custard didn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. But there appeared a lump! And another! And another! Mild panic ensued and hope was almost gone but I persisted. Much to my surprise, the end result was not a lumpy mess but a silky thick custard that I could confidently pour into my pastry case without fear that I would end up with the dreaded ‘soggy bottom’. Take that self-doubt!
As for the tart, it was stunning. So unlike the decadent chocolate desserts I usually go for, it blew me away with the subtlety of its flavours and striking simplicity. Thank you, Si and Dave.
I would not hesitate to recommend this tart so if you fancy giving it a try, you can find the recipe online here.
If, like me, you prefer a cookbook to flick through, there is a book to accompany the series which can be found here: Hairy Bikers’ Mediterranean Adventures.
Let me know how you get on in the comments below!