Petra’s Lemon Tart

Quinta do Tedo’s Fine Tawny Port complements many desserts to include, high on my list, tarte tatin, panna cotta, tiramisù, walnut caramel tart, crème brûlée and this hauntingly delicious Petra’s Lemon Tart.  Why does our Fine Tawny pair so terrifically with this lemon tart? During our Fine Tawny's 8 years of cask aging (according to legislation Tawny is aged for at least 6 years) the port's astringent tannins breakdown, thanks to micro-oxidation.  The long barrel aging naturally concentrates the port, as water evaporates through the wood (like reducing a syrup).  The resulting « soft » tannins together with more concentrated natural sugar and aromas heighten our Fine Tawny’s sweetness, and pairs beautifully with the lemon tart’s mellowed acidity and richness of the dessert in the following recipe.

Petra Casini is a talented precious stone cutter and accomplished jewelry designer in Florence, Italy (www.petracasini.com).  She is also a very fine cook; always a pleasure to be invited to her house for dinner.  She has shared with me this dessert, and the first slice begs for another.  Thank you Petra, I will keep this recipe close to my heart.

For 6

110 gr butter

30 gr powdered sugar

160 gr flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Melt butter in a pan with high sides, and incorporate on a very low flame the powdered sugar, flour and salt until a ball forms. Let it rest while you butter a 24-cm tart pan. Press the crust mixture on the bottom and the sides, using a bit of “patch work” to mend the very rich crust.   Be patient - it is worth the effort. Pierce the crust with a fork and cook at 180°C for 15 minutes.

Filling:

4 whole eggs

350 gr powdered sugar

½ tsp baking powder

grated lemon peel from 2 lemons (preferably untreated)

5 T lemon juice

Mix the above ingredients with a whisk by hand. Put the filling in the precooked crust and cook for 30 minutes.

Don’t use a robot or electric beaters, and be patient with the crust!

Serve warm or at room temperature with a glass of chilled Tawny, and enjoy.

~KayQuinta do Tedo’s Fine Tawny Port complements many desserts to include, high on my list, tarte tatin, panna cotta, tiramisù, walnut caramel tart, crème brûlée and this hauntingly delicious Petra’s Lemon Tart.  Why does our Fine Tawny pair so terrifically with this lemon tart?

During our Fine Tawny's 8 years of cask aging (according to legislation Tawny is aged for at least 6 years) the port's astringent tannins breakdown, thanks to micro-oxidation.  The long barrel aging naturally concentrates the port, as water evaporates through the wood (like reducing a syrup).  The resulting « soft » tannins together with more concentrated natural sugar and aromas heighten our Fine Tawny’s sweetness, and pairs beautifully with the lemon tart’s mellowed acidity and richness of the dessert in the following recipe.

Petra Casini is a talented precious stone cutter and accomplished jewelry designer in Florence, Italy (www.petracasini.com).  She is also a very fine cook; always a pleasure to be invited to her house for dinner.  She has shared with me this dessert, and the first slice begs for another.  Thank you Petra, I will keep this recipe close to my heart.

For 6

110 gr butter

30 gr powdered sugar

160 gr flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Melt butter in a pan with high sides, and incorporate on a very low flame the powdered sugar, flour and salt until a ball forms. Let it rest while you butter a 24-cm tart pan. Press the crust mixture on the bottom and the sides, using a bit of “patch work” to mend the very rich crust.   Be patient - it is worth the effort. Pierce the crust with a fork and cook at 180°C for 15 minutes.

Filling:

4 whole eggs

350 gr powdered sugar

½ tsp baking powder

grated lemon peel from 2 lemons (preferably untreated)

5 T lemon juice

Mix the above ingredients with a whisk by hand. Put the filling in the precooked crust and cook for 30 minutes.

Don’t use a robot or electric beaters, and be patient with the crust!

Serve warm or at room temperature with a glass of chilled Tawny, and enjoy.

~Kay

A perfect Easter pairing: our Ruby Port and the best ever chocolate cake

Easter is a time for celebration with family and friends, and I can proudly share with you my "irresistible chocolate cake", a melt-in-your-mouth, dense and simply delicious bittersweet chocolate cake that pairs beautifully with our Ruby Port. The recipe is from Maison Lameloise, Burgundy's 3-star Michelin restaurant in Chagny, where we have proudly held a tasting dinner for Quinta do Tedo. Why a Ruby and not another Port? This fresh and fruity port, a blend of 3 harvests and aged for 3.5 to 4 years in wood (a short time compared to other port types), is less rich in tannins and thus pairs perfectly with an intensely-flavored and dense chocolate cake. As husband Vincent says, imagine the Ruby as  "fortified" red fruit - slightly chilled, fresh and full in the mouth and the cake as a delicious bittersweet truffle.

Serve with fresh red berries - raspberries, strawberries, currants - tossed in a light orange-peel infused syrup and a dollop of whipped cream.  Oh la la!

Melt-in-your-mouth Chocolate Cake

For 8 px

250 g bittersweet chocolate, cut in small pieces

250 g butter

200 g sugar

4 eggs

25 g flour

Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler until almost melted; remove from double boiler and let cool, it will finish melting.  Mix sugar and flour, add to chocolate/butter mixture.  Beat the eggs and add to the above mixture. Transfer to a buttered pan. Cook at 170 C/350F for 1 1/2 hours. Let cool and serve with red fruit berries, ideally a mix of strawberries, raspberries, currants – in a orange peel-infused syrup, with whipped cream or creme anglaise.

Cheers~ Kay

Easter is a time for celebration with family and friends, and I can proudly share with you my "irresistible chocolate cake", a melt-in-your-mouth, dense and simply delicious bittersweet chocolate cake that pairs beautifully with our Ruby Port. The recipe is from Maison Lameloise, Burgundy's 3-star Michelin restaurant in Chagny, where we have proudly held a tasting dinner for Quinta do Tedo.

Why a Ruby and not another Port? This fresh and fruity port, a blend of 3 harvests and aged for 3.5 to 4 years in wood (a short time compared to other port types), is less rich in tannins and thus pairs perfectly with an intensely-flavored and dense chocolate cake. As husband Vincent says, imagine the Ruby as  "fortified" red fruit - slightly chilled, fresh and full in the mouth and the cake as a delicious bittersweet truffle.

Serve with fresh red berries - raspberries, strawberries, currants - tossed in a light orange-peel infused syrup and a dollop of whipped cream.  Oh la la!

Melt-in-your-mouth Chocolate Cake

For 8 px

250 g bittersweet chocolate, cut in small pieces

250 g butter

200 g sugar

4 eggs

25 g flour

Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler until almost melted; remove from double boiler and let cool, it will finish melting.  Mix sugar and flour, add to chocolate/butter mixture.  Beat the eggs and add to the above mixture. Transfer to a buttered pan. Cook at 170 C/350F for 1 1/2 hours. Let cool and serve with red fruit berries, ideally a mix of strawberries, raspberries, currants – in a orange peel-infused syrup, with whipped cream or creme anglaise.

Cheers~ Kay

 

 

Eating in Douro Valley

Food in Douro Valley

The Douro river inspires all

Last month I wrote about food at our quinta, and I would like to extend the topic to food in the Douro.  Now this is very subjective, and I am not native to the region.  But I know and am passionate about good food, so I will take my chances and share with you a mere glimpse of culinary possibilities in the Douro, and will focus on bolas and 2 restaurants, to tease your palate and to inspire you to come and visit!

Every culture has a bread-based speciality; pâté en croûte in France, pizza in Italy, pasties in England, empanadas in Spain and BOLA in Portugal!  In the Douro bolas vary from town to town, bakery to bakery, home to home.  An egg and olive-oil based bread dough, filled with a myriad of stuffings from simple ham, ham and cheese, or ham, chicken and bacon to the more oh! so! savory stuffings of  bacalhau, sardines, or chicken, ham or bacon layered with slowly sautéed onions, black pepper and bay laurel, in sufficient olive oil, of course!   We serve small squares of bola during our guided port tastings and they disappear in no time.

Tucked away behind the marketplace of Regua is Cacho D’Oiro, simply decorated inside with enlarged black and white period photos of the port trade in the Douro, and with an ever so pleasant staff and owner Avelino Pereira there for you.  A favorite of ours since we bought the quinta in 1992, especially for a specialty picanha com feijão brasileiro, an aged rump steak, grilled whole on a spit with the thick layer of fat downside so most melts away and flavors the cut, seasoned with coarse sea salt, served tableside, sliced before you and others at your table and then brought back for additional grilling to repeat the process and the dining experience goes on and on…...  Served with black beans, carioca, sautéed bananas, rice, hand-cut french fries and a salad of greens, tomatoes and onions.  With a Douro DOC red wine you will think that you have gone to Heaven!

5 minutes from our quinta is D.O.C., a trendy and modern restaurant on a dock at Folgosa, where tradition successfully meets modernity in Portuguese cuisine with panache and skill.   Gorgeous location, with stunning views of the steep terraced vineyards meeting the Douro river.  Try the codfish with broa, shrimp with caril, pork cheeks with wild mushroom açorda (bread soup), serra cheese with Touriga Nacional marmalada and olive oil sorbet for dessert.  The place has a wonderful upbeat feel to it, the menu is seasonal, and you will be guided effortlessly by the staff.

Would you like more impressions of and tips for Douro Valley’s food?  Just let me know, send a comment and I will follow up in another blog in the future.

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