Not to lean too heavily on superlatives, but flat hunting is the worst! Or, more accurately, I am the worst, because I passed on what could have been our dream apartment because it was the first one we saw, and lets face it, no one gets the perfect place first time.
The biggest horror show we’ve seen so far, was around the corner from Kings Cross, standing in the doorway whilst the agent fumbled with keys, I felt butterflies in my stomach. This is real London, from here we could walk everywhere! We’re just down the road from the British Library, a stroll away from the British Museum. We started ascending stairs, and exchanging excited glances. When we got to the top landing, eager to find out which door was to be opened, when the agent unlocked what I had assumed was a cupboard. Up another rickety spiral staircase into an attic, we came upon what we were told was ‘a little bit of a mess’. Now I am messy, but I could not live like that. Tshirts were dangling off the microwave, the sofa was covered in so much paper you couldn’t hope to sit down, and that wasn’t the half of it. I nimbly tiptoed around dirty pants and socks strewn over the floor to see the bedroom, and bathroom, with a note stuck to the door ‘please be gentle this door doesn’t close’. The whole time Dan was lingering on the stairs. ‘What do you think?’ we were asked, and incase our looks of utter disgust weren’t enough, Dan walked into room, proving what he had expected, that he could not stand straight even in the tallest part .
Each property we visit helps refine our idea of what we’re looking for, so not matter how frustrated I get at least it is productive. I just wish that I wasn’t describing a place, which was it not for my stubbornness we could be living in by now! I can’t help but feel that a large part of my eagerness is fueled by the warm weather. I am so excited at the prospect of spending the summer in the city. Picnics by some of my favourite London monuments (hidden amongst the tourists) is very high up on my list. As I have mentioned many times I love to pack a basket of homemade treats to enjoy in the sunshine. No picnic is complete without at least one pastry dish.
This salmon and mascarpone tart is really a whatever was lingering in the fridge/freezer tart, or as I like to affectionately refer to it as, the leftover tart. That name still makes me laugh. It was born from some of the final contents of my freezer before I moved. I can barely take credit for the recipe as it was nothing more than combining what I had to hand. You may notice that the pastry in the photos is a bit thin, with a few holes, I didn’t have much pastry left when I made this so I have bumped up the quantity in the recipe.
This tart is a combination of different contrasting factors. The smooth mascarpone against crisp pastry, bright citrus against meaty fish, fresh raw salad against a baked tart. We are large slices of this fresh from the oven for lunch with a large helping of salad, commenting that it would go particularly well with a chilled glass of white wine. The thin layering of the toppings makes this tart easy to transport, and can be easily eaten with your hands making it a perfect addition to a picnic.
Previously on BAKE
Salmon and Mascarpone Tart – AKA the Leftover Tart
serves 2 for lunch or 4-6 as a picnic snack
1 small to medium salmon fillet
1 tbsp olive oil
250g of puff pastry
zest and juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper
125g mascarpone cheese
a beaten egg or a little milk to glaze
handful of salad leaves, rocket works particularly well
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Drizzle the salmon with the olive oil and wrap in a foil parcel, place on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes depending on the size of the fillet. You want to fish to be cooked, but just barely as it will be put back in the oven later.
Roll the pastry out to about 5mm thick. Using a sharp knife score and a border (be careful not to cut through) about an inch away from the edge the entire way round. This will be the guideline for your filling.
Spread the mascarpone over the area you’ve drawn, season with salt and pepper and the zest of the lemon.
Flake the salmon over the mascarpone, and glaze the pastry with either a beaten egg or milk. Egg produces a shinery deeper colour, but milk will work in a pinch, or if you are like me and can’t see you using the rest of the egg soon enough.
Bake for 20 minutes in the middle of the oven. The pastry border should have fluffed up and turned a golden brown.
Before serving sprinkle with salad and drizzle with lemon juice.