Easter made easy

Posted on: 14 April 2017 by Eloise Craven-Todd

With so many mouths to feed, an Easter feast can be stressful. Make meal planning easier this year with these delicious recipes.

From a succulent roast lamb, a moreish fruit and chocolate tart and a healthier take on homemade ice-cream, there is something for everyone in this Easter round-up.  

Herb & spice roast leg of lamb

Herb & spice roast leg of lamb

Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus marinating and resting
Cooking time: 3½ hours
Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 50g fresh flat-leaf parsley, thick stalks removed
  • 10g fresh lemon thyme, thick stalks removed
  • 10g fresh mint
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp light brown muscovado sugar
  • 2kg whole leg of lamb, part-boned
  • 450ml lamb or chicken stock

Method

  1. Put the garlic, cumin and fennel seeds, parsley, thyme, mint, olive oil, vinegar and sugar in a food processor and blitz until the herbs are finely chopped. Make plenty of deep cuts into the lamb with a sharp knife and place in a non-metallic dish. Spread some of the marinade into the cavity of the lamb and spread the remainder all over the surface of the meat. Cover loosely and chill for at least 6 hours, preferably 24 hours. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking.
  2. Preheat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7. Transfer the lamb, with any of the herb marinade, poured over, to a roasting tin and pour in the stock. Cover loosely with foil and roast for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C, gas mark 4, uncover the lamb (reserving the foil) and cook for a further 3 hours until the meat is very tender (see tip, below). Re-cover the lamb with the foil if it starts to over-brown during cooking.
  3. Let the meat rest in a warm place, loosely covered, for 30 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter. Skim off any excess fat from the pan juices, reheat and pour into a jug. Serve with the lamb, thickly sliced.

Cook’s tip

This long cooking time produces a slow-roasted, tender result that’s cooked right through. If you’d prefer to serve the lamb pink in the centre, don’t cover it with foil and cook at the lower temperature for 1-1¼ hours. The juices should run pink when a thick area of the joint is pierced with the tip of a knife.

Visit Waitrose for further roast recipe ideas.

Easter chocolate & pear tart

Easter Chocolate & Pear Tart

Serves: 6 people
Prep time: 120 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 125g butter
  • 60g caster sugar (for the pastry)
  • 1 egg
  • Half tsp vanilla extract
  • 215g soft flour
  • 35g cocoa
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 750g dark 70% chocolate, chopped
  •  280ml double cream
  • 100g cold cubed butter
  • 120ml amaretto
  • 2 large ripe pears
  • 100g caster sugar (for the pears)
  • 40ml water
  • 1 punnet of blackberries
  • 100g hazelnuts, toasted

Method

Pastry

  1. Cream the butter, sugar and salt together in a food mixer. Add the lightly whisked egg and vanilla extract.
  2. Sieve together the flour, cocoa and cinnamon then add, mixing slowly until a paste is just forming. Finish by hand into a ball shape, press into a disc, wrap in baking paper and rest in fridge for about 30 minutes
  3. Roll out to the thickness of a pound coin and line a 9’’ greased baking tin and prick holes in the pastry, line with paper and fill with baking weights or uncooked rice
  4. Rest again for 30 minutes before blind baking at 180°C for about 20 minutes, remove the paper and bake for a further 10 minutes until the pastry is cooked. Leave to cool on a wire rack

Caramelised pear

  1. Add the caster sugar to a frying pan and heat gently until all the sugar turns to an amber caramel. Add the pear chunks and cook over a low heat for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the water and continue to cook till the pears are soft. Pour into a shallow tray and leave to cool in the caramel.

Chocolate ganache

  1. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and add to a bowl. Bring the double cream to the boil in a small pan then pour over the chocolate mixing continuously.
  2. Add the cubed butter and continue to mix until fully incorporated. Add the amaretto and again mix through well.
  3. Pour into the cooled tart case then fridge for 30 minutes until set. 
  4. To finish, dot about the pieces of caramelised pear and blackberries and finally scatter over the chopped hazelnuts.

Recipe provided by Aldi, visit their recipe pages for further Easter treats.

Raspberry frozen yoghurt

Raspberry frozen yoghurt

A healthier alternative to ice cream, this raspberry frozen yoghurt is great for all occasions. Serve immediately or freeze in an airtight container. For the best results sprinkle with frozen raspberries to add another tasty texture.

Preparation time: 10 minutes plus freezing time
Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 350g raspberries, washed and dried
  • 500g Greek yoghurt
  • 200g condensed milk

Method

  1. Put the washed raspberries in a lidded container and freeze until solid. Once solid put them in the food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Take out 3-4 tbsp and keep in the freezer until you serve.
  2. Add the Greek yoghurt and condensed milk to the processor and whiz until everything is combined. The raspberries will have frozen the other ingredients so to serve ‘soft scoop’ straight away or tip into a freezer container to firm up.
  3. Serve scoops with the raspberry bits sprinkled over the top.
  4. Note: If you’ve returned the frozen yoghurt to the freezer remember to remove it 5 minutes before you serve so it’s soft enough to scoop.

Recipe provided by Berry World

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