Waiting for September to take stock of the things done, those still to be done and let some new project make its way through the pages of the agenda, I promised myself not to exaggerate.
The uncertainty and peculiarity of the year, the things around me keep changing, pushed me towards a programming “at hand” and simple recipes like a fig cake with pastry cream.
And while on the table an easy and fragrant cake like lemon tart with blueberry cream makes a good impression, I realize that from the list of projects, one in particular seems to want to jump out of the page as if the lines were narrow.
Wake up earlier in the morning.
I would like to do this to have some time only for me.
I thought to follow the suggestion of a friend who suggested me to start anticipating the alarm by 10 minutes, then by 10 and so on until I get used to a different awakening.
But things had to be different.
I just got back from the hospital to do a surgery I was supposed to do in February when Covid-19 created chaos in our lives and in hospitals.
When I was suddenly called from the hospital in mid-September, I was leaving for a weekend at the sea in a month of September still summer. I also thought about not going then common sense prevailed.
Instead of the weekend at the sea I did interviews, visits, exams and Covid-19 Test.
And after facing the surgery and the terrible hospital food that should comfort the patient’s body and soul, I went home to begin my convalescence.
Between pain and difficulty in moving, in the middle of the night it is almost always back pain that wakes me up. I walk around the house, return to bed, I bring patience.
Towards morning I go back to sleep but soon my alarm clock rings because my husband, before going out for work, has to give me a injection.
I could go back to sleep a little more but Emma, my dog, looks as if to say: breakfast? I can’t say no to her and so I get up with her wagging my tail following me.
And even though it’s not dawn, it’s still a good hour that I have earned in my day.
Time for me.
For now I enjoy breakfast, two slices of toasted bread with olive oil and one hot tea mug without sugar (until I can restart drinking coffee). For me no sweet breakfast when I wake up. Everything changes with brunch when I reserve a warm welcome to a slice of lemon tart.
Sitting in the kitchen in front of the window, I feel the fresh morning air, I appreciate the silence and the view of the roofs of Bologna.
Anticipating the alarm clock brings with it another change. It is necessary that I also anticipate the time I go to sleep because, surgery aside, I am more tired. But the night time in front of the TV is not really necessary. On the contrary, the morning time seems an incredible opportunity.
I will continue to seek inspiration in Morning. How to Make Time: A Manifesto (4th ESTATE, London) by A. Jenkins, a motivational book that I started reading and I find fantastic.
Even if I’m still on a hospital diet, but my soup is cooked in a good broth, it doesn’t mean I can’t take care of you and nourish you with words and recipes.
And so after the words, here is the recipe for lemon tart.
My lemon tart.
I use lemon juice and grated lemon zest for many preparations.
The blueberry cream makes this very simple cake more mouth-watering and, if you prefer, it can also be served with the addition of fresh fruit. But why not make it perfect?
It is a very easy recipe to make and there are three preparations: the base of cookies and almonds without cooking; the lemon-scented pastry cream, which takes about ten minutes; the blueberry cream which is whipped cream with blueberries.
If lumps form in the pastry cream, no fear. There is a trick that resolves everything: with the immersion blender melt the lumps and the custard will be smooth and perfect.
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Lemon Tart Recipe
100 g butter
130 g dry cookies
70 g peeled almonds
1 tablespoon brown sugar
grated rind of half a lemon organic
Lemon Pastry Cream
½ lemon filtered juice
50 g raw sugar
250 ml milk
25 g flour 00
30 g of liquid cream for sweets
grated rind of ½ lemon
50 g cream
120 g blueberries
In the mixer mince the cookies with almonds and sugar.
Add the grated rind and mix.
Pour the mixture on the bottom of a hinged mold (18 or 20 cm diameter) covered with baking paper.
Melt the butter and pour over the chopped cookies and with your hands form a compact base. Let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Make lemon pastry cream.
In a little pot mix yolks, sugar, juice and grated lemon zest. Sift and also add the flour mixing and taking care to dissolve any lumps.
Put the pan on a medium-low flame and pouring the milk slowly, stir until the cream thickens. As long as the cream is hot, brush the surface with a little butter so that the unpleasant film layer does not form. Let it cool and add 30 g of sugar-free liquid whipped cream to the cream.
Pour the cream on the base of cookies and put it back in the refrigerator.
Whip the cream and blueberries with electric, keep some fruit aside to decorate, and then pour over the lemon cream leaving an uncovered edge so you can see the two creams.
In the blueberry cream I don’t add in sugar, but you can do as you prefer.
Keep it in the refrigerator until serving time.