Dished Up: Cardamom Shortbread and Lemon Curd

My sister in law bought me a subscription for delicious magazine for Christmas. When I was flicking through it the other day I came across a recipe for cardamom churros and lemon curd. Churros are Spanish and similar to a doughnut. I have made doughnuts before and they were delicious but I wanted something to take away for the weekend and anything deep fried doesn't keep well (and of course is very unkind on the hips) so decided to adapt a recipe and make some cardamom shortbread. I stuck with the delicious recipe for the lemon curd. Having used Delia's recipe before I was surprised to find this one actually produced a smoother result with just as much flavour and seemed to set better too. For the shortbread recipe I went once again to woman's weekly.

Prep time for the shortbread: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
You can make the lemon curd while the shortbread is in oven but if you want to eat it immediately you may want to do this the day before as the curd needs chilling time.

What you need (shortbread):
12 cardamom pods
250g Melted Butter
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
55g Caster sugar
55g Icing Sugar
50g Cornflour
350g Plain Flour

What you do:
1. Heat an oven to 160 Celcius and grease and line a 20 by 30cm baking tray.
2. Split the cardamom pods and place the seeds in a pestle and mortar. Discard the cases and grind the seeds.
3. Beat the melted butter, vanilla, sugars, cornflour and ground cardamom in a mixing bowl with and electric mixer until thick and smooth.
4. Stir in the sifted flour and press the mixture into the prepared tin.
5. Bake for 25 minutes until firm. Slice it into 25 fingers straight away and leave in the tin to cool completely.

For the lemon curd you need:
Zest and juice 2 large unwaxed lemons
85g unsalted butter
225g caster sugar
3 medium eggs, lightly beatenam
A sterilised jam jar (fill one with boiling water or put it through the dishwasher)

Place all the ingredients in a large heavy-based saucepan and heat gently, stirring all the time.
Keep the heat really low as if it gets too hot the eggs will curdle. When the curd is thick enough it will coat the back of a soon and a trail will be left if you run your finger through it. remember it will thicken more on cooling.
Poor the crud through a sieve into your prepared jar and top with some clingfilm touching the surface to prevent a skin forming.

When both have cool completely dip away and enjoy!
Cassie xx

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