The Boat House Edinburgh: Lemon & Thyme Tart

As the Commonwealth Games kick off in Scotland, I’m taking you on a whirlwind trip there, just like I did last week.  Back to my roots and wonderful family.

Back to loaves of raisin bread, toasted with melted butter in the mornings.  Back to oak smoked salmon and mackerel and a great choice of New World wines.  There comes a time when French is great but we all need a change now and again, don’t we?

St Andrew's Square Edinburgh and Changing rooms at White Stuff, George Street

Scottish changes! Hot weather and er, interesting changing rooms…

I always see changes when I return to Edinburgh.  This time the weather was hot and sunny – the opposite to Paris (although we’re now making up for it!).  Even the changing rooms hidden behind wardrobe doors had changed again at White Stuff in George Street – I opted for the Irn Bru rather than the toilette scene, thank you.  The trams were finally running in the City and so that was definitely worth the trip: with free Wi-Fi, I don’t think anyone looked outside the windows, though!

Forth Road Bridge and Building of New Bridge Queensferry Scotland

Huge change was at the River Forth: the pillars were well set in for the building of the new Forth Bridge connecting Queesferry to the Kingdom of Fife.

Postcard of South Queensferry village near Edinburgh

Certain things had not changed that much: like South Queensferry.  I love this little village where the original film of the 59 Steps was filmed.  With stunning views of the Forth Railway Bridge next to the Victorian postbox and quaint crow-step gabled houses, the Seal’s Craig restaurant from my childhood was still there.  No it wasn’t!  The sign remained but it had turned into a pizzeria.  Gosh, all those happy memories of Claude, the waiter, and the chatting Minor bird at the bottom of the stairs.

Forth Railway Bridge view from the Boat House Restaurant

View from the Boat House Restaurant of the Forth Railway Bridge

But new happy memories were made, as Mum steered me towards the Boat House Restaurant.  I have found a new, wonderful address!  Precious moments, indeed. With stunning views directly opposite the Forth Railway Bridge, the other gastronomic views were on my entrée-starter-appetiser of Cullen Skink (that’s smoked haddock and potato soup) followed by a main dish of red mullet – exquisite and great value for money, including the wines (with good options by the glass).

My one upset was that I didn’t manage dessert!  On my way out, the lovely waitresses handed me a magazine featuring their Chef, Paul Steward.  And in it is his recipe for this lemon and thyme tart.  He adds caramelised pears to the recipe but, as it’s not yet pear season in France, I’m serving it plain with summer berries.

 Lemon Thyme Tart Recipe

Lemon and Thyme Tart Recipe

Recipe from Chef Paul Steward, The Boat House Restaurant and Bistro, South Queensferry, Edinburgh

For the short crust pastry:

400g plain flour
200g salted butter, cubed
1 vanilla pod
1 egg
25ml milk
75ml cold water

For the curd:

4 unwaxed lemons (zest & juice) - I used the zest of only 2 lemons
200g caster sugar
100g unsalted butter
3 large eggs
2 egg yolks
4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves stripped off

 Pastry

Put the flour in a large bowl and add the cold cubes of butter.  Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until you have a mixture that resembles coarse breadcrumbs with no large lumps of butter remaining.  Combine the vanilla, egg, milk and water.  Add just enough of the mixture to the flour and butter to bind the dough together.  Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for 20 minutes.

Roll out the dough until it’s just thinner than a pound coin, then place in a buttered tart case and blind bake using grease proof paper and baking beans for 18 minutes at 180°C.  Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes or until the pastry is finished cooking.

Lemon and thyme curd

Place the juice and zest (my lemons were strong so I only used the zest of 2 lemons which was more than enough) of the lemons in a large bowl over a pot of simmering water.  Add the butter and sugar.  When the butter has melted, add the eggs and gently stir until the curd is thick and coats the back of a spoon (this took me over 10 minutes).  Add the fresh thyme and pour into the pastry case.

Lemon Thyme Tart egg yolk Recipe

I’m serving this well chilled tonight, as the weather in Paris is around 33°C!   Refreshing indeed, with a glass of something chilled.

What would you have with it?

Fireworks in Paris for Bastille Night Celebrations

Enjoy the Commonwealth Games in Scotland!

THE BOAT HOUSE RESTAURANT
22 High Street
South Queensferry
Edinburgh EH30 9PP
Tel: 0131-331 5429

, , ,

6 Responses to The Boat House Edinburgh: Lemon & Thyme Tart

  1. Kim - Liv Life July 29, 2014 at 02:44 #

    Scotland is another place I’ve never had the luck to visit, but it’s oh so high on my list!! Lovely pictures, Jill. And that pie?? Oh MY!!!

  2. Helene D'Souza July 28, 2014 at 18:49 #

    Oak smoked salmon…. mhmmm =)
    How great it would be if I could beam over there right now. =D
    Absolutly need to try your tart some time soon. xo

  3. Mum July 25, 2014 at 20:35 #

    Ever the teacher Jill – it was the 39 steps. Must have been a typo. Many memories for me pushing you in a pram along the prom and also over the newly built bridge with Granny.

  4. Parisbreakfast July 24, 2014 at 11:28 #

    Great Scott I would love to be there right nôw!
    Well if I didn’t have a vanille glace tasting to go to today.
    Life can be tough sometimes…
    Bonne vacance

  5. Ilva July 23, 2014 at 19:42 #

    What a wonderful tart and I love the lemon-thyme combination, I must try it when I get back to Italy.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Frozen crème brûlée recipe with caramelised whisky toffee | Mad about Macarons! Make Macarons like the French - le blog in Paris - September 28, 2014

    [...] brûlée dessert, a recipe I’d ripped out from Mum’s pile of Sunday Times mazagines this summer when in Edinburgh, as it’s an ideal egg yolk recipe for all of you macaron [...]

Please don't be shy - leave your reply