When you’re in the mood for a serious piece of chocolate biscuit nothing fits the bill better than a slice of chocolate traybake. This chocolate peppermint slice recipe came about because my Mum had given me a pack of three Fry’s Peppermint Creams that she wasn’t going to use and I figured I’d be able to make something tasty with them.
It’s Christmas Eve and I think that because it’s an evening that’s inherently filled with a sense of magic and wonder it’s a perfect evening for gathering around the dinner table and sharing a relaxing, warming meal with our loved ones. However, as much as I love making a good dinner on Christmas Eve I also think that it’s always nice to make something really special for dessert, such as this festive meringue wreath.
The chatter about Christmas has been well upon us since the start of October, so it’s given me quite a lot of time to think about what I like to cook around Christmastime. I tend to always make a Christmas cake at the end of November, albeit a FODMAP friendly version that’s very light on the dried fruit, but not everyone enjoys fruit cake so it’s nice to have an alternative to hand when people come to visit, such as this biscuit Christmas tree.
I recently made a double layer strawberry pavlova for my partner’s birthday and because you only use the whites of eggs to make pavlova meringue I was left with a bowlful of rich, golden yellow egg yolks. I’m sure you know by now that I hate throwing ingredients out if they can be put to good use so I used them to make a creamy, zesty filling for some lemon tarts.
These lemon tarts are really easy to make because their base is very similar to a cheesecake base in that it is simply made from crushed biscuits mixed with a little bit of butter and then left to set in small tart tins rather than messing about with having to make sweet shortcrust pastry cases. I made my base with gluten-free digestive biscuits, but you could use any type of biscuit really.
The lemon filling is really simple, requiring little more than adding your ingredients bit by bit into a saucepan and stirring. As long as you take your time and prepare your ingredients in advance it should turn out well. I used small tart tins that have a removable base so that the tarts would be easier to remove and I didn’t have to worry about trying to prise them out of the tins and potentially breaking the biscuit tart cases. However, you could just use a normal tart tray that’s got a small disc of greaseproof paper in it, if you prefer or you could easily just make one large tart.
I really liked these lemon tarts because the smooth, creamy, zesty filling was beautifully contrasted by the crisp, crunchy digestive biscuit base. Unlike shop-bought versions of lemon tarts, they’re not overly sweet or cloying and the beauty of making them yourself is that you could use different types of flavoured biscuit for the base, such as custard creams, bourbons, Oreos or even gingernuts. However you decide to make your own version, I’d say they’re a lovely addition to the end of a delicious meal this summer.
Ingredients for the biscuit base:
10 gluten-free digestive biscuits
50g butter (I used a non-dairy version)
Ingredients for the lemon filling:
The juice and finely grated zest of 3 lemons
300ml cold water
6 egg yolks
220g white sugar
Melt the butter in a jug in the microwave.
Break the digestive biscuits into small crumbs (I used my food processor, but you could just use a strong food bag) and stir in the melted butter.
Divide the buttery biscuit crumb into the tart tins and press it down on the bottom and sides to form the tart bases.
Leave to cool and harden in the fridge while you make the lemon filling.
To make the filling:
Place the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl and stir well.
In a saucepan, use a whisk to mix the lemon juice and zest with the cornflour to make a paste.
Add the cold water and stir well.
Place the pan over a medium heat and stir until the mixture gets hot and turns thick.
Continuing to stir the mixture all the while, quickly add the egg yolk and sugar mixture and stir well until the sugar is fully dissolved and the mixture has become thick again.
Leave to cool slightly and then pour the lemon mixture into each of the tart cases and leave to cool.
Remove from the tart tins and serve with a dusting of icing sugar and a dollop of cream (non-dairy if you’re FODMAP friendly like me.)