May 21, 2010

MORE HOLIDAY COOKING


I have started to enjoy baking again, especially when on holiday, mainly because I have the time to do it properly. Well, kind of, anyway.
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One of the challenges of baking on holiday is finding the ingredients in the recipe, or the French equivalents thereof. Also, many recipe books these days originated in Australia or the US and have unfamiliar-sounding ingredients and measurements. So a good deal of ad-libbing has to be done, all adding to the fun.
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On the very last day of our Easter holiday our friends Ken and Walt were coming to lunch and I decided to make tarte au citron, having never made it before.
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The recipe was in a book a friend had given to me and it required someting called "powdered sugar". I had never heard of this before and guessed it was either icing sugar or caster sugar.
When I got to the shops I found sucre en poudre so bought that and sure enough, it turned out to be caster sugar.
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I bought the eggs, lemons and a pack of ready-rolled shortcrust pastry, also a tart dish as I didn't have one at the house. We are gradually building up our cooking equipment there. I had brought with me from the UK a set of cup measures as I have come unstuck before, trying to use a non-English recipe assuming one cup was half a pint or 10 fl ozs. Reading Ken's blog a while ago (a discussion on baking brownies if I remember correctly), I realised that one cup is 8 fl ozs, which explains why whatever I baked didn't quite turn out right.
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I started baking for the lunch in good time. Unfortunately, I hadn't read the full recipe before I went shopping, only the list of ingredients. So I discovered I had no beans to use to bake the pastry blind. So I ad-libbed and used lentils. They worked fine.
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The tarte was good. It didn't quite look as perfect and professional as in the picture as I had no icing sugar to sprinkle on the top. But it tasted lovely.
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As I was serving it I then realised that in fact I had made this lots of times before. It's just lemon meringue pie without the meringue on top.

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Callie came to lunch, too.

9 comments:

  1. Oh why does not the world all use the same measurements and temperatures!! Life would be considerably easier. I have also made lemon meringue pie quite often, but tarte au citron sounds so much better. Diane

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  2. And it was delicious! Thanks!

    In the US, "powdered sugar" is icing sugar, or sucre glace in France.

    We call caster sugar "granulated sugar" which is what the French call sucre en poudre.

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  3. When one is in the mood there is nothing better than creating something from a new recipe book. Bloody WW diet - although there are lots of low fat recipes I could do (but it's just not the same)

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  4. Diane - this is why I keep my fingers crossed and pace up and down while something is in the oven.

    Walt - over here granulated sugar is called granulated sugar and caster sugar is finer. But I have a sneaky feeling sugar is just sugar. Unless it's brown sugar.

    FF - a carrot or a stick of celery is just not the same as a slice of cake, even if you fill it with low fat cream cheese - which is actually very tasty.
    I do have a recipe for WW banana muffins which is really good and only 3 points per bun.

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  5. I'm afraid I'm not much of a cook or baker, but I love you're description of what you're doing.

    "Callie came to lunch, too." Means that the "clean-up committee" arrived on time?

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  6. Rob-bear - welcome and you guessed right. It saves having to dispose of those annoying little bits left over !!

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  7. Her Ladyship, Miss Sadie, fulfils a similar function in our household.

    "It saves having to dispose of those annoying little bits left over !!" That's a great way of putting it. Thanks.

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  8. Jean, this whole discussion of sugar got me curious. I looked it up in the Collins-Robert Fr.-Eng. dictionary.

    sucre en poudre = (fine) granulated sugar, caster sugar

    sucre cristalisée = (coarse) granulated sugar

    sucre glace = icing sugar, confectioner's sugar, powdered sugar

    But like you said, if it's white sugar it all has the same taste, if not the same texture.

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  9. Hi Jean,
    Well done on getting one step closer to retirement. Does it mean more blogging time?
    Also doesn't Lulu look pretty! I visited the hairdresser today for my usual, and the first thing I did when I got home was to shower and wash my hair. I hate to tell him how much I hate the gunge and spray he puts on it. Why is it we pay a small fortune and come away with something we don't want. I think I need assertiveness training!
    Have a good holiday in Perpignan, perhaps we'll meet in the summer for a BBQ if our visits overlap.

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