Recipe: 3 Ways with Nutmeg
6 large eggs, plus 2 yolks
½ cup, plus 2 tbsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
4 cups whole milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
½ tsp grated nutmeg
¼ cup double cream, whipped to soft peaks
Additional grated nutmeg for garnish
1 Combine the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and salt in a large, heavy-based saucepan, whisking until well-combined.
2 Continue whisking and pour in the milk in a slow, steady stream until completely incorporated.
3 Place the pan over the lowest heat setting on the hob.
4 Stir the mixture intermittently until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Be patient. This should take about 45 to 60 minutes.
5 Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a large bowl to remove any small bits of cooked egg.
6 Add the vanilla extract and nutmeg, stirring to combine.
7 Pour the mixture into a glass jug or into a container and cover with either clingfilm or a lid, until completely chilled. (You can even make this up to four days in advance).
8 When ready to serve, pour the double cream into a bowl and whip until it forms soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the cold custard mixture until combined.
9 Serve the eggnog in chilled cups or glasses and garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg.
ORANGE AND ALMOND FRANGIPANE TART
MAKES 1 TART
A gloriously different dessert with an unmistakeable hint of Christmas spice
1 jar orange curd
FOR THE PASTRY
440g plain flour
75g caster sugar
35g ground almonds
A pinch of sea salt
220g unsalted butter
1 whole egg, plus 1 egg separated
1 tsp almond extract
FOR THE FRANGIPANE
60g unsalted butter, softened
50g ground almonds
50g caster sugar
2 tsp plain flour
A pinch of sea salt
The zest of 1 orange
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
1 Place the flour, ground almonds and sugar in a food processor and blitz for 10 seconds to combine. Add the cubed butter and pulse 3 to 4 times until rough breadcrumbs form.
2 Set the processor to a slow speed and add the egg, water and almond extract.
3 As soon as the mixture forms a ball of dough, stop the processor. If the dough is too dry, add a tablespoon of water.
4 Divide the dough into two balls, one about two thirds larger than the other and then flatten into discs using your hands. Wrap each in clingfilm and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
5 In the meantime, prepare the frangipane. Cream the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, until pale and fluffy. Add the ground almonds and mix for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. On a low speed, add the egg, then the flour, salt, zest, vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
6 Dust your work surface with flour and roll the dough to about 3mm thick, large enough to cover the base and sides of a 23cm pie tin. Roll the dough around the rolling pin and carefully unfold it into the tin. Brush the base of the pastry with some of the separated egg white to create a seal around the edges.
7 Spread the base with the orange curd, then top with the frangipane mixture.
8 Remove the remaining dough from the fridge and again roll out to a thickness of 3mm, large enough to cover the top of the tart.
9 Use a start cookie cutter to cut a star into the centre of the disc and again roll the dough around the rolling pin and carefully roll over the top. Press lightly to seal, and then trim the edges.
10 Place the tart in the freezer for 10 minutes and in the meantime preheat the oven to 180C.
11 Lightly brush the top with the egg yolk. Bake for around 45 to 50 minutes, until the top is a light golden brown, checking intermittently. If it appears to be browning too quickly, cover with foil.
12 Allow the tart to cool completely on a wire rack. Sprinkle with a generous dusting of icing sugar before serving.
MINI CORNISH PASTIES
These crowd-pleasing pasties will be gone in a flash!
FOR THE PASTRY
500g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
A pinch of sea salt
250g cold unsalted butter
1 large egg, beaten
FOR THE FILLING
350g skirt steak, cut into 1cm cubes
1 white onion, peeled, cut into 1 cm cubes
1 white potato, peeled, cut into 1cm cubes
1 small courgette
1 small carrot, peeled, cut into 1cm cubes
200g butternut squash, cut into 1cm cubes
1 whole nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/8 tsp fresh thyme
1/8 tsp fresh rosemary
A drizzle of olive oil
1 Place the flour and a pinch of salt into a large bowl.
2 Rub in the butter quickly using just your fingertips to prevent the butter from melting, then quickly add the water and roughly squeeze into a dough. It’s fine if it doesn’t look perfect. Add tiny amounts of water, if necessary, to help it come together.
3 Preheat the oven to 200C and dust a baking tray with flour.
4 Place the chopped steak and vegetables in a bowl. Finely grate a quarter of the nutmeg into the mixture, add the thymes and rosemary and season to taste with salt and pepper.
5 Drizzle in a little olive oil, then mix well and set aside.
6 Cut the pastry into 12 equal pieces and roll each one into a ball.
7 Dust a work surface with flour and roll each piece to about 3mm thick and 11cm in diameter.
8 Take a ball of the mixture in your hand and squeeze to make it firm.
9 Place the mixture ball into the centre of the pastry disc. Fold one side over the other to create a semi-circle and press to seal.
10 Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling.
11 Place the pasties on the prepared baking tray and brush with the beaten egg.
12 Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes until golden.