Sarah and Duck Big Picnic Celebration
Recipe by April Carter
For the Duck shaped cheese sandwiches:
- 1 loaf sliced bread
- 200g cream cheese
- 1 cucumber
For the lemon water:
- 100g caster sugar plus extra to taste
- 3 lemons
- lemon slices to serve (optional)
For the lemon curd tarts:
- 140g unsalted butter, chilled
- 250g plain flour
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 medium egg yolks
- 1 jar lemon curd
For the mini strawberry soufflés:
- 150g strawberries
- 3 tablespoons caster sugar (plus extra for the serving cups)
- 250ml whole milk
- 2 medium eggs
- 2 tablespoons cornflour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- icing sugar to serve (optional)
For the Duck shaped cheese sandwiches (makes 12):
- Peel and thinly slice the cucumber.
- Make 6 rounds of sandwiches with overlapping slices of cucumber and cream cheese spread on the inside of each slice of bread. Use a duck shaped cookie cutter to cut out 2 mini sandwiches per round.
For the lemon water (serves 8-10):
- Add the caster sugar to a saucepan with 500ml water.
- Use a peeler to zest the lemons (avoid the bitter white pith).
- Juice the lemons and add the zest and juice to the pan. Gently heat the lemon water until the sugar has dissolved and set aside to cool and for the zest to infuse its flavour. Strain through a sieve to remove the strips of lemon zest and add more sugar to taste if needed.
- Serve diluted with hot, cold or fizzy water.
For the lemon curd tarts (makes 24):
- Beat the eggs yolks with 4 tablespoons of very cold water.
- Cut the butter into small cubes and mix in a bowl with the flour, sugar and salt. Cut the butter into the flour and then rub together with your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
- Add the yolks and water and mix until a ball forms.
- Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 180°C fan / gas mark 4 and grease two tart trays. Roll the pastry out onto a floured surface until 3mm thick and cut out 7cm rounds. Line your tart trays and fill each tart with 1 teaspoon lemon curd taking care not to overfill.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
For the mini strawberry soufflés (makes 6):
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 180°C fan / gas mark 4. Grease 6 espresso sized cups or mini ramekins, sprinkle with caster sugar and place on a baking tray.
- Separate the eggs. Mix the cornflour and 1 tablespoon of caster sugar in with the yolks. Set a sieve over a clean jug or bowl.
- Hull, rinse and roughly chop the strawberries. Heat the strawberries with 1 tablespoon caster sugar in a medium saucepan for 5 minutes or until soft. Transfer to a small bowl and rinse the pan.
- Add the milk to the pan and heat until just simmering. Pour a splash of the milk into the yolk mixture and stir. Add the remaining milk, stirring as you go. Transfer back to the pan and simmer for 2 minutes stirring constantly until thickened (don’t worry if it looks lumpy). Add the strawberries to the pan and mix together. Pour the mixture through the sieve and press through any pieces of strawberry. Mix in the vanilla.
- Whisk the egg whites to medium stiff peaks. Add the remaining tablespoon of caster sugar and whisk again for a few seconds until you have medium stiff peaks again.
- Stir a large spoonful of egg whites into the strawberry mixture to loosen and gently fold in the remaining egg white until just combined. Fill the cups all the way up to the top and smooth over the surface. Bake for 8-10 minutes until well risen but still wobbly. Sprinkle over some icing sugar to serve if you like. Take care when serving as the cups and soufflé will be hot or leave to cool (the soufflé will gradually sink).