Baking is as much about feeding someone’s heart and soul as it is about nourishing their body. It’s also about kindness and generosity: whether it’s a pie or a tray of cookies, baking is always meant to be shared.
The Little Island Bake Shop by Jana Roerick features a collection of 80 easy recipes designed to satisfy almost any craving. Freshly baked muffins are a perfect start to the morning, while grab-and-go cookies make delectable treats throughout the day. Looking to make celebratory occasions even more special? Jana’s signature pies and cakes are as simple to make as they are delicious. The cookbook also includes a savoury dishes designed to nourish: comforting pot pies, satisfying quiches, lamb patties, and even homemade pickles.
Lastly, a section devoted to the essentials―basic pastry doughs, frostings, glazes, crumbles, and custards―will have you mastering the basics in no time. The Little Island Bake Shop is a wonderful collection of everyday bakes designed for cooks of every skill level. From a Perfect Pound Cake to irresistible Chocolate Chip Cookies to a crowd-pleasing Sour Cherry Apricot Pie, this is simple comfort food at its best.
Double Lemon Tart
Lemon lovers will adore this tart. It started out as a lemon cream pie, but that wasn’t quite enough lemon for me. So I put a layer of lemon curd over the lemon custard, and it was incredible. I love the way the natural citrus comes through. I recommend using a fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.
1 quantity Short Crust Pastry dough (recipe below)
Whole-wheat flour, for dusting
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup whipping (36%) cream
Finely grated zest and juice
of 2 lemons
½ quantity Lemon Curd
Sifted icing sugar, to serve
Preheat the oven to 350°f.
Put the shortcrust pastry into a 10-inch fluted tart pan. With floured fingers, press crust evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Freeze shell for at least ı5 minutes.
Remove pie shell from freezer. Cut a piece of foil large enough to cover pie shell. Press foil into the shell, shaping to fit.
Fill with enough dried beans or rice to cover sides of pie shell. Bake on the bottom rack for 20 minutes. Remove shell from oven and gently lift foil to see if the edges have started to brown, which will mean the pie shell is set enough to remove foil. If it does not look like it is set, return to the oven and bake for another ı0 minutes on the bottom rack. Remove pie shell from oven and carefully remove foil and beans.
Place pie shell on the centre rack and bake for 5–8 minutes, watching carefully, until lightly golden. Reduce oven temperature to 325°f.
In a bowl, combine sugar, whipping cream, eggs and lemon zest and juice. Pour filling into baked shell and bake on the centre rack for 20–25 minutes, until just set. Set aside for 20 minutes to cool.
While the tart is still a little warm, spoon lemon curd over the custard and smooth with an offset spatula. Place in fridge until completely cooled.
Remove sides of the pan easily by placing the pie on top of a large tin. Carefully slide a palette knife under the crust to loosen from the base. Transfer to a large flat plate. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
Short Crust Pastry
This simple, classic butter pastry is used for tarts such as the Double Lemon Tart. It is traditionally “blind baked” (see note below), which means baking it without the filling.
Makes 1 (10-inch) tart shell
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, room temperature
¹⁄³ cup sifted icing sugar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
¼ tsp salt
In a large bowl, cream butter and icing sugar until smooth. Add flour and salt and stir until just combined.
With floured fingers, press crust evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a fluted tart pan, dusting hands with more flour if they get sticky. Freeze shell for at least ı5 minutes before baking.
When you want to fill a pastry crust with a chilled, unbaked filling like chocolate cream, lemon curd or maple cream, you need to bake the crust beforehand. But an unfilled crust can easily burn and become both brittle and bitter. That is why you need to blind bake it. In blind baking, the chilled crust is covered with foil or parchment, which is then filled with light weights such as rice or beans to keep it in place. The covered pie shell goes into the oven and bakes for a time without being exposed to direct heat, so it can set without burning.
Makes 2 cups
Use this lovely, lemony custard as a filling in tarts, cakes and squares.
Mix a cup of it with buttercream for a bright, sunshiny frosting. Serve it as a sauce or use it as a spread on toast. You might even be tempted to eat it with a spoon straight from the jar, it’s that good. Unlike many recipes, this one calls for both whole eggs and egg yolks, so you won’t have quite as many leftover egg whites to deal with.
Just be sure to follow the steps in the right order, paying attention to timing and temperature, so you get the consistency you want.
2 egg yolks
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup sugar
½ cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp finely grated
In a small bowl, whisk whole eggs and yolks together. Set aside.
Heat butter in a medium saucepan set over low heat. When butter is almost melted, whisk in sugar, eggs and lemon juice. Using a heatproof spatula, stir continuously until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Do not allow the curd to boil.
Place lemon zest in a glass or steel bowl. Strain lemon curd into the bowl, pressing lightly on it but taking care to strain out any solids. Stir to incorporate lemon zest. Set aside to cool slightly, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Figure 1 Publishing Inc.