Christmas has come and gone and I hope you all had a day filled with laughter, good company and fantastic food.
The restaurant is busy throughout the year, but this festive period has been more hectic than usual.
A lot of our customers ask for our Christmas menu as early as August.
This means the team at the restaurant has to work hard to get our menus in place.
It’s the only time of year we write a menu three months before we need it.
This means we have to know what is going to be good in the winter season.
There are obvious choices of game and certain fish like brill.
However, sometimes the produce is difficult to get and we have to rely on the skills of our suppliers for alternatives.
We change a few dishes at a time, making sure we are happy with them before changing the next dish.
Roast pheasant, with braised leg, parsnip purée and cranberry jelly was the favourite on the lunch menu for a main course.
The best selling dessert was a pecan and maple tart which reminds me of snowy winter trips in the Canadian mountains.
These individual tarts use ingredients you can get all year round but seem best suited to the winter months.
And if you have had enough mince pies to last a lifetime, they make a great alternative.
To find out more about Lawrence’s restaurant Fat Olives, visit fatolives.co.uk or call 01243 377914.
PECAN AND MAPLE TART
Ingredients (one large or eight small tarts):
200g plain flour.
25g rice flour.
1 egg beaten.
Dessertspoon cold water.
Tablespoon maple syrup.
1. Make the sweet pastry by rubbing the flour, rice flour and butter together until you get a breadcrumb consistency.
2. Mix in the sugar and add the egg and water.
3. Gently mix together and cover with cling film.
4. Let the pastry rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
5. Roll out the pastry and line the tart cases. Allow to rest again for 20 minutes in the fridge.
6. Bake the tart cases blind until golden brown in a pre-heated oven 170c/gas 4 for approximately 12 minutes.
7. Allow to cool slightly.
8. Make the filling by putting the butter, sugar and pecans in a food processor. Blitz until all the pecans have broken down.
9. Add the eggs and maple syrup and blend again until incorporated.
10. Pour the mixture into the pastry cases and cook in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes 170c/gas 4. You can check they are cooked by inserting a small knife which will come out cleanly.
11. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.