One of the ingredients I use most in my baking is sugar, so I was delighted to be sent a box of various cane sugars from Tate & Lyle.
Tate & Lyle is proud to be the first sugar company in the UK committed to making all their retail sugar bags Fair Trade certified. They have an informative website, 'Taste & Smile', which also includes a recipe section. Facebook pages for products, companies and blogs are popping up daily, and there is an active Tate & Lyle Facebook page called "We Love Baking", where you can discuss baking, show off your own recipes and post photos - I spotted some wonderful looking cakes!
I was fascinated to learn that the Tate Gallery was named after Henry Tate, who in 1889 donated his collection of 65 contemporary paintings to the Government, on the condition that a gallery dedicated to British art was built. The Tate & Lyle sugar refinery is still in the original location, on the banks of the Thames in East London. The sugar that is transported by ships can be unloaded directly into the refinery, thus reducing the carbon emissions associated with long road journeys.
Using Tate & Lyle sugars, I made some little lemon meringue tarts, perfect for an afternoon tea party. If you read this blog regularly you will know that I love making pastry, and my favourite sweet pastry recipe is Dori Greenspan's - a tender, crisp pastry that, when baked, is actually good enough to eat naked! Pastry cases can be stored in an airtight container for a number of days until needed, as can the meringues. Lemon curd can be stored in the fridge for several weeks. All that is needed is a quick assembly of the tarts before serving.
Lemon Meringue Tartlets
The amount of pastry depends upon your tartlet size, as does the meringue and lemon curd.
Lemon Curd - I used Delia's recipe
Sweet Tart Dough
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
8oz plain flour
2oz Tate & Lyle's icing sugar
4oz butter, cut into cubes
1 large egg yolk
Using a food processor, blend the flour, icing sugar and pinch of salt with the cubes of butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and pulse gently until the pastry comes together. If the pastry is not binding properly, your egg yolk may not have been big enough, so add a little water or milk, a teaspoon at a time until it does come together.
Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, roll it out fairly thinly and cut out rounds to fit your tartlet tin. Prick the pastry bottoms with a fork and put the tartlet trays into the freezer for at least 30 minutes before baking.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF and bake for about 15-20 minutes until nicely browned.
Meringues - or substitute wipped cream
2 egg whites
100 g Tate & Lyle's caster sugar
Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment or non-stick baking paper.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff, add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking well for about 1 minute after each addition.
Pipe or spoon the meringue mixture into little conical shapes onto the non-stick paper.
Bake in the oven at 110ºC (225º F) for about 1 hour (they may need more), changing the position of the trays half way through the cooking - don’t let them brown.
Cool on a wire rack.
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