I enjoyed another great evening at Leiths getting to know the Asda Extra Special range which is approved by the very same school of food and wine. It’s not a partnership that you’d automatically put together, but one that can only spell excellence and is certainly ruffling the feathers of other supermarkets.
Leiths Managing Director Camilla told us how they’ve even got on board with the Extra Special ready meals, and are already preparing for the next Christmas range.
Having done courses at Leiths before, I can tell you they’re sticklers for perfection, so you just know that anything they put their name to will be top notch.
We cooked our way through a delicious Easter menu, but what I really wanted to share with you was the dessert. A blindingly simple affair using ready-made pastry tartlet cases. These are a fab corner-cutter and have a myriad of uses. I recently tried Sainsbury’s TTD version and while the flavour was good they were rock hard, the texture of these were spot on.
The filling is a mixture of whipped soft cream cheese (a simply gorgeous product) double cream, icing sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and zest.
It’s summer on a dessert plate, and perfect for al fresco entertaining. I’ve never really shopped at Asda much in the past, but some of these products are definitely twisting my arm.
Individual strawberry tarts – recipe by Leiths
150ml ES whipped soft cream cheese
50g icing sugar
250ml ES Channel Island double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 pack ES individual tart cases
Punnet of ES strawberries
zest and juice 1/2 lemon (optional)
For the glaze
4 tbsp ES strawberry conserve
2 tbsp water
1. Place the cream cheese in a bowl and mix in the icing sugar. Gradually stir in the cream, so you have a smooth mixture. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice and zest if using.
2. Divide the cream mixture between the cases and spread so that it is even.
3. Hull the strawberries and make sure they are clean, then cut into halves or slices depending on their size and arrange over the tartlets.
4. For the glaze: melt the strawberry jam and water together, brush the glaze over the tartlets and allow to cool.
Tip: Don’t assemble too far in advance or the pastry case can become soggy. If you want to make them ahead, you can brush the bottom of the cases with melted chocolate, allowing to harden before filling them.