Saturday, May 06, 2006

Calming Winter Lunch

I think everyone in my house was in need of a bit of calm today, so I pulled out Nigella's CALMING WINTER LUNCH.

352. Roast Loin of Pork
353. Roast Leeks
354. Clapshot with Burnt Onions
355. Custard Tart

Mum and Dad went out in the morning to buy all the ingredients, and I got to cooking when they came back. The first thing to make was the custard tart - it needs to sit, out of the oven, for a couple of hours to reach "tepid heaven".

So the pastry is Nigella's sweet pastry (see the Basics etc.) chapter, which is simple to make in a processor. It needs to be blind baked (using my fab ceramic pie weights!), then brushed with egg white, and baked for another 5 minutes to set the glaze.

cooked pastry

The "custard" part of the custard tart contains eggs, an egg yolk and vanilla sugar, into which you beat some warmed cream and milk. Then you pour this custard mixture into the baked pie case (being careful not to fill it too high, lest it spill), and bake it for 45 minutes.

pastry with custard

I had HEAPS of custard leftover, so I took Nigella's suggestion of making some mini baked custards, putting them in the oven on the shelf above the pie.

teacups with custard

While they were in the oven, I got on with the pork. Dad bought this lovely piece of meat at Rendinas this morning - they boned the loin, removed the rind, rolled it and tied it... "like an artist", said my dad.


You can season the loin (Nigella gives 3 options), or leave it au naturel... I chose the ginger & garlic option, as I already had jars of minced garlic and ginger in the fridge, thus making it the easy option.

with ginger and garlic

If you choose the garlic and ginger option, Nigella says to sprinkle the rind with ground ginger before cooking it, for "hot crackling".


I stashed the leeks in the oven as well. For Nigella's roast leeks, you slice some leeks into squat logs, cover with olive oil and sea salt, and cook for 30 minutes in the same oven as the pork.

While they were all slowly sizzling away in the oven, I made the clapshot. This is basically equal quantities of swede and potato, which you boil and then mash. To make the burnt onion topping, you slowly cook a thinly sliced onion until soft and brown and slightly crispy (about 20 minutes), before adding a teaspoon of sugar, turning up the heat and cooking for 3 minutes until very dark and crispy.

clapshot with burnt onions

roast leeks

roast pork

The pork was delicious! And it was perfect for a cold Saturday afternoon. This lunch is, indeed, very calming.

Here's the custard tart.

custard tart

And the baked custards...

baked custards

slice of pie

The pie was lovely - just slightly sweet, light and delicate. It wasn't too heavy following the pork, thank goodness. And the baked custards were good too, even though I definitely prefer the pie. Mmm... I hadn't had pie in ages! I didn't realise how much I missed it!


domesticgoddess said...

Wow, looks like a perfect lunch. I was thinking about custard tarts just now, and then wondered whether you'd tacked the HTE one yet- funny you should have done so just now! I would kill for a slice of that right now...

Niki said...

Mmm - those leeks really caught my eye. Yum!

Lotta said...

That pie looks awesome! :D

Ange said...

It all looks delcious,the pork looks succulent

cin said...

what a fantastic looking lunch. was it calming though? I don't think I'd be calm after having to cook so much stuff!

Lisa said...

Sarah, can you explain the crackling bit to me? Did you roast the pork and then slice off the layer of fat and then stick it back in the oven? Everything looks delicious.

Sarah said...

Hi Lisa,

I got the butcher to cut the rind off, and cooked it on a separate tray in the same oven, at the same time as the pork itself.

It turned out pretty good, I think.

xox Sarah

markii said...



markii said...


Pie.. said...

Absolutely loved your blog!!
However I am interested in getting the recipes and don't know where you have posted them on your site. A few of us ladies in the office would love to know how to make some of your recipes... any chance you could help us out??
Allure x