Summer entertaining can be spontaneous, and it can be a challenge to come up with fresh ideas. We suggest that you keep these recipes handy for impressive lunch or supper dishes to wow friends and family.
Mushroom and Dill Flan
Packed with flavor and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, this is one of our all-time favorites.
For the pastry:
- 90g butter, cut into cubes
- 150g plain flour
- 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
- 40g Parmesan, finely grated
For the filling
- 400ml thick cooking cream
- Parmesan rind, about 10cm piece
- 300g small mushrooms, cut into small pieces
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 15g dill, chopped
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- Rub butter into the flour with your fingertips until it’s coarse. Mix in the egg yolk and the parmesan, bringing the ingredients together into a firm ball of dough, adding a tablespoon or two of cold water if necessary. You can use a food processor.
- Knead the dough onto a lightly floured board for 30 seconds or so (no longer), shaping it into a ball as you go. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 mins.
- Pour the cream into a medium-size saucepan, add parmesan and bring to the boil. Watch carefully, removing the cream from the heat immediately when it starts to boil, then cover with a lid and set aside. In a small frying pan, warm the oil, then fry the mushrooms for 4-5 mins then add the dill and set aside.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and roll into a disc large enough to line a 22cm tart tin with a removable base. Press the pastry into the corners, patching it where necessary. Make certain there are no tears or holes. Chill for another 20 mins. Set the oven at 190°C and place an upturned baking sheet on the middle shelf to heat up.
- Tuck a sheet of baking parchment or foil in the tart tin, fill with baking beans and slide into the preheated oven on top of the warm baking sheet. Bake for 25 mins, then remove the foil and beans and return to the oven for a further 5 mins until dry to the touch. Lower the heat to 180°C.
- Into a bowl add eggs and cream after removing the Parmesan rind. Season with salt and pepper, add the fried mushrooms, then spoon into the tart tin and bake for 25 mins until lightly set, the pastry golden.
Recipe courtesy of Nigel Slater
Salmon and Asparagus Flan
Light and summery, with a touch of luxury, this recipe is always a hit.
- 375g ready-rolled short crust pastry
- Flour for dusting
- Knob of butter
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 skinless salmon fillets
- Bunch of asparagus
- 100ml thick cooking cream
- 200ml crème fraîche
- 2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Handful of fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 200C. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to fit a rectangular fluted 31cm x 21cm tart tin. Line the tin with the pastry and prick the base all over with a fork. Chill for 15 mins in the fridge. Line with baking paper and baking beans or rice, then blind-bake for 10 mins. Remove the beans/rice and paper, then return to the oven for a further 5 mins until golden brown. Set aside and turn the oven down to 180C.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan, then fry the onion for 10 mins until lightly golden. Set aside. Heat the oil in the frying pan over a medium heat, then fry the salmon fillets for 2-3 mins on each side until just cooked. Set aside, then flake into pieces.
- Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 1 min, then drain and refresh in cold water.
- Whisk the cream, crème fraîche, eggs and egg yolk in a jug. Season well and whisk in the mustard. Scatter the onion and fish over the tart case, along with the tarragon, then pour over the cream mixture.
- Lay the asparagus spears down the length of the tart case so they are partially submerged in the cream mixture, then bake in the oven for 30-35 mins until just set.
Recipe courtesy of Delicious
Chocolate Peanut Tart
With all the yumminess of a Snickers bar, this scores high with kids of all ages.
- 40g salted peanuts
- 150g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tablespoon icing sugar
- 90g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 1 egg yolk
- 150g caster sugar
- 125ml double cream
- 25g unsalted butter
- 50g salted peanuts, roughly chopped
- 200ml double cream
- 150g dark chocolate, finely chopped
- For the pastry, put the peanuts into a food processor and whizz until fine. Add the flour, icing sugar, butter and a pinch of salt, and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs but still has little lumps of butter. Add the egg yolk and pulse briefly, then add ice-cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, whizzing until it comes together as a dough. Form into a rough disc, wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 190C. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to the thickness of a coin, then use it to line a shallow (about 21/2-3cm deep) loose-bottomed 23cm tart tin. Prick the base all over with a fork and line with baking paper, then fill with baking beans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are just browning. Remove the baking beans and paper, and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown all over. Cool completely in the tin.
- For the peanut caramel, put the caster sugar and 2 tablespoons of water into a non-stick pan. Heat gently until the sugar melts, then turn up the heat and bubble until you have a rich caramel. Carefully pour in the double cream, mix, then add the butter and stir until melted. Leave to cool slightly then pour into the tart case. Sprinkle evenly with the chopped salted peanuts and leave at room temperature for 1 hour or until fully set.
- For the ganache, gently heat the double cream until simmering. Put the chopped chocolate into a bowl and pour over the cream. Leave for 1 minute, then stir until smooth and the chocolate is fully melted. Pour over the set caramel, even out with a spatula and chill for 1-2 hours or until set. Cut into slices to serve.
Recipe courtesy of Olive Magazine
French Lemon Tart – Tarte au Citron
A classic for good reason, this easy citrus dessert is just perfect for summer days.
- 1 sweet tart crust, ready made
- Lemon Tart filling:
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 170g unsalted butter, cut in 1cm cubes
- 3 large whole eggs
- 3 egg yolks
Blind bake the pre-made tart crust and allow to cool.
Lemon Tart filling:
- Preheat oven to 180℃. Put all ingredients in a medium saucepan and whisk to combine. Place the saucepan on the stove over low heat. Whisk constantly, especially as the butter is melting, to ensure it doesn’t split. Keeping stirring until the mixture thickens enough to visibly hold its shape briefly. Don’t take it off the stove until it’s thick enough otherwise the filling won’t set. Strain into a bowl using a fine mesh strainer.
- Pour into tart shell and smooth the filling surface using a spatula.
- Bake for 5 minutes. It will still be a soft custard when you touch it but not liquid. It will set more when cooled so it’s sliceable. Cool tart fully to allow it to set before slicing to serve. Dust with icing sugar, sprinkle with berries, serve with whipped cream.
Recipe courtesy of recipetineats.com