Thursday 29 December 2011

Christmas menu recap: Christmas Day desserts

As soon as I saw these Molasses Spice cookies on Andrea's blog, I knew I had to make them. It's a pity she can't remember where she found the recipe, because I would like to give them a round of applause. They are warmly spicy, not too sweet and just gorgeous. A very big hit with Paul. I used black treacle instead of molasses, and had leftover cinnamon sugar from the snickerdoodles so that is what they are rolled in.

They spread out loads, so I was only able to get 8 on a sheet. I made the 8, then put the rest of the cookie dough in a sealed tub in the fridge, for near-instant sweet gratification and fresh-baked cookies over the next week or so.

For our main Christmas dessert, I'd decided on Ecclefechan Tart, which is pretty closely related to a Canadian butter tart. It's a short, crisp pastry case filled with dried fruit and topped with a rich butter, sugar, egg and cream mixture. I used Jamie Oliver's recipe, which doesn't seem to be online, but it adds a dollop of black treacle before the fruit is put in and uses some whisky in the pastry.

Next time I make this (and it was lovely, there will be a next time!) I will mix the treacle into the custard mixture, because trickling it onto the base didn't work very well. I will also omit the whisky from the pastry, because I don't think it added anything to the flavour or texture.

To give my dried fruit a particularly festive note I used dried sour cherries and cranberries, and I flavoured the custard with some fresh, grated ginger and lemon zest. There was supposed to be orange zest as well, and crystallised ginger not fresh, but the oranges were omitted from my grocery delivery and the crystallised ginger I thought I had I apparently didn't. I thought the fresh ginger note was very successful, so I will do that bit again.

To serve with the tart, I made a whisky marmalade ice cream, thinking that the whisky and orange would go particularly well with the whisky and orange in the tart. Since you can't taste the whisky in the pastry and there was no orange zest in the tart my reasoning was flawed, HOWEVER the ice cream was glorious with the tart, so it doesn't matter.

Because of the amount of fat and alcohol in the ice cream, it doesn't need to be churned, so that is nice. It does contain raw egg, so usual cautions apply.

Whisky Marmalade Ice Cream

2 eggs, separated
100g icing sugar
250g mascarpone
3tbs whisky
50g fine shred orange marmalade
150ml double cream

Whisk the egg whites in one large bowl to stiff peaks. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks and icing sugar until pale and frothy, then beat in the mascarpone, whisky and marmalade. Fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture. In the bowl that held the egg whites, beat the cream to soft peaks, then fold gently into the mascarpone mixture. You want it entirely combined, with no streaks of egg white, but without knocking the air out. Scrape the mixture into a freezer-proof lunch box or similar and freeze for 8 hours or so. Remove from the freezer 5 minutes before serving to allow to ripen a bit.


Caroline said...

The tart sounds amazing, and particularly good with the ice-cream! Sounds like you had a delicious day with all the things you've posted!

miss south said...

This was basically the tart I planned to make for Christmas Day, but after heffing into a whole goose between two with mountains of roast veg, I didn't get round to it at all. Yours looks delicious and I'm regretting not bothering now...

Alicia Foodycat said...

C - it really is lovely.

Miss South - There is always New Year's Eve! We've decided to make this the go-to Christmas dessert.

Anonymous said...

summer has to come sooner or later, but until then, Christmas-themed desserts will keep me going. cheers!

Unknown said...

These look wonderful! YUM YUM YUM!!

leaf (the indolent cook) said...

I like the sound of everything! Your ice cream recipe looks amazing with those creamy boozy marmalade flavours.

Joanne said...

between the cookies and the tart and the ice cream....I want to do Christmas all over again. Not the meal. Just dessert. These all sound awesome!

JonathanN said...

So simple and so perfect! Yammy!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Steve - I'll drink to that!

Cafe Sucre - thanks!

Leafy - you should try the icecream, it is excellent.

Joanne - you don't really need the rest of the meal when dessert is good!

Jonathan - thank you!

Culinary Collage said...

These look great....Happy New Year!!!

Deb in Hawaii said...

It all looks delicious but I'll have two scoops of that ice cream please!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Culinary Collage - thanks!

Deb - it's definitely worth eating on its own!

~~louise~~ said...

That Ecclefechan Tart is new to me and yet, it sounds ever so enticing. I would love to dollop it with that dreamy ice cream. Sounds like a successful recipe to me, Foodycat.

Thanks for sharing...Happy New Year!!! I look forward to next year's goodies:)

Brain said...

All of your Christmas food looks amazing! Especially the desserts :) Oh, and Happy New Year - may 2012 be delicious!


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