All posts filed under: Spring Recipes

Chilled Rhubarb Juice

Rhubarb juice is highly prized in our house-hold – especially when chilled and served with one or two raspberries and a slice of lemon. The juice I make is a by-product of making rhubarb jam and compote.  Since rhubarb is so seasonal enjoy it while it lasts. Soon the tastes of summer will replace those of spring and our enjoyment of rhubarb will fade into mere memory. Once again no measurements – you the cook decide how much you want to make. Ingredients Rhubarbs, strawberries, sugar. Method Slice the rhubarb into 1 cm thick pieces. Hull and cut the strawberries and mix together with the rhubarb. Add as much sugar as you like the taste of. Add plenty of water – at least 3-5 cm over the top of the rhubarbs and strawberries. Bring to the boil. When it has reached boiling point leave the rhubarb to simmer for 30-40 minutes on a low heat. When the fruit has stewed for long enough, pour the stewed rhubarb over a sieve resting on a deep pot. Bottle the …

Raw Strawberry Cheese Cake

In catholic Belgium May is a month for weddings, communions and confirmations. With unusual serendipity a four day week-end break coincided with a sunny and clement spell of weather. Over this period we celebrated a wedding anniversary, an 18th birthday party, a communion and mother’s day! So many celebrations call for a special, festive cake and I think this raw, strawberry cheese cake ticks all the right boxes! Tip: don’t skimp on the gelatine. The strawberries add quite some juice and the gelatine is necessary to hold it all together. Agar works as well but, to my mind, delivers a less pleasing texture. Ingredients Suitable for 23-26 cm sprung tin. For the base 250 gr of dry biscuit[1] (digestive, shortbread, speculaas) 80 gr. melted butter For the filling 300-400 gr. home-made cream cheese 250 ml. cream 500 gr. strawberries 5 eggs (separated) 3 packets powdered gelatine 120 gr. sugar Seasonal berries to decorate Method Day 1 Prepare the cream cheese. 1 lt. of yoghurt renders approx. 300-400 gr. cream cheese depending on how much whey is expressed. Day …

Traditional Fruit Tart

J. turned 18 last week. He requested a strawberry cake for his birthday celebration. I was not in the least bit surprised – it’s what he’s asked for since as long as I can remember. Strawberries and raspberries are an old favourite and his birthday happily coincides with the appearance of the first home-grown strawberries. You can always replace strawberries with blueberries, or raspberries or apricots or gooseberries …. Below is the basic recipe – you decide what fruit to use. This recipe is suitable for a shallow, 24 cm loose-bottom tin.   Ingredients For the base 180 gr. plain flour 100 gr. chilled butter 90 gr. muscovado sugar 2 egg yokes  For the custard filling 3 eggs 80 gr. sugar 100 ml. cream 150 ml. milk Vanilla essence or a vanilla pod. Method For the sweet pastry base In a mixing bowl rub the butter and flour between the fingers and thumb until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Stir in the sugar and add the egg yokes. Combine the ingredients together until the dough …

Beef, spinach and ricotta pie

This pie tastes great either warm or cold. Serve it with a fresh salad and with condiments such as pickles, sauerkraut or chutneys. It is probably not a dish for a quick evening meal but is fun to make over the week-end in preparation for a relaxing spring or summer picnic. I used suet for the pastry which works well with the beef but you can use lard or butter or a mixture of all three if you prefer. The meat in this pie derives from beef shin – a relatively cheap cut of meat since unlike veal shin, which is tender and delicious, beef shin is lean, tough and sinewy reflecting the beast’s age and working life. A cut or two of beef shin can be made to good use by turning it into a nutritious and delicious brown stock. The left over meat from the shin is too dry and tasteless for stew but is great when shredded and used for this kind of pie. Precisely because it is lean and tough it …

Traditional Asparagus Soup

The best way to make asparagus soup is to keep it simple. Four ingredients and a food mill is all you need. I use a chicken stock since it complements the light, delicate flavour of asparagus. If you buy asparagus from the market you may find the farmer or trader has sorted some of the fatter, bent and otherwise ugly spears from the more elegant, pristine ones and is selling them at a cheaper rate since they are too fibrous and woody to eat as a vegetable. These are real stars – packed with flavour and cheaper than the show models. Last week 1 kg of asparagus cost EUR 10 – but 2 kg of the woody, fatter spears cost only EUR 6. As is usual with soup recipes I don’t give exact measurements and amounts. Decide how much you need for the people you are preparing the soup for. Any uneaten soup can always be frozen. Ingredients Older asparagus being sold off cheaply Chicken stock An onion Butter Potatoes (optional) Salt and Pepper Chives Directions …

Ol’ Limey Honey and Coconut Cheesecake

I have a feeling this raw cheese cake would appeal to the Royal Navy of yester-year since it is full of fresh lime juice to keep the scurvy at bay and one can only imagine the mariners of old eating plenty of coconuts as they landed in paradise on their way to discovering new lands. For those of you who abhor anything grain based you’ll also be pleased to know this recipe doesn’t rely on biscuits to form the base but almonds and coconut. I used honey as a sweetener which is a very mild way to sweeten a cake. I loved it – but some members of the family protested that it wasn’t sweet enough, so depending on how puritanical you’re feeling you might want to add some sugar alongside the honey to give this cake an added boost. You can also replace lime with lemon if you prefer  – and if you don’t like coconut use cream instead of coconut milk. This recipe fits a 23 or 26 cm tin. Ingredients For the …

Basic Cheese Cake

Cheese cake can be eaten either raw or baked. Although different they are equally delicious. The one difference between the two is that raw cheesecake is brimming with beneficial LABs from your home-made cream cheese whilst the heat from baking kills off the micro-organisms present in the cream cheese should you decide to bake the cake. I prefer to work with yoghurt for my cheese cake since it is the most tangy of all the cultured milk products and works beautifully when off set by some fresh fruit and the added sweetness of  sugar or honey. This recipe is good for a 26 cm tin. Try and use a springform tin since it makes it easer to release the cake when ready. Ingredients For the base 250 gr of dry biscuit[1] (digestive, shortbread, speculaas) 80 gr. of butter – or a good pat of butter. For the cake 1 lt. or 1 pt. of home-made yoghurt cream cheese 250 ml of fresh cream 150 gr of sugar 6 eggs (the yoke separated from the whites) 1 tsp. of vanilla …