If you ever invite me to cook or bake at your house, you should be aware that I am a very messy cooker. I am not one of these people who tidies away and washes up as she goes. No, all the ingredients get left stranded around the kitchen, dirty dishes and bowls are piled haphazardly on top of each other, and I am frequently doing twirls in the middle of the kitchen trying to find where I put down the oven gloves.

Still, my much tidier man put up with the chaos last night so I could cook him dinner for his birthday. We had Broccoli Crunch Salad (recipe from Heidi at 101 cookbooks) and Sundried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms (recipe courtesy of Deb at Smitten Kitchen). The large number of vegetables on the plate was to try and counteract all the CHEESE we at in Milan at the weekend…

For dessert, I pulled out my all-time favourite ever no exceptions not even James Martin cookbook, The French Kitchen, which is co-written by Joanne Harris (author of Chocolat and many other wonderful novels). I’ve had a bookmark in the Tarte au Citron page for about two years, so I finally got around to making it last night, and I really liked it.

And we took some cheesy photos of it for your viewing pleasure…

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Tarte au Citron

from The French Kitchen by Joanne Harris & Fran Warde

Whisk 2 eggs, 100g unrefined sugar, 150ml double cream, zest & juice of two lemons together well until creamy. Melt 50g butter and whisk in, then pour into a chilled 25cm pastry case.

– I halved the quantities, used ready made pastry (there’s a recipe in the book) and used a smaller tart dish.

Carefully place the tart in the oven and bake at 180°c/gas 4 for 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 160°c/gas 3 and bake for another 20 minutes, or until the filling has set. Leave to cool for one hour before serving.

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