It was a sign: Corsican lemons asking to be picked from the basket, still with their leaves on and prickly branches. I filled a large bag and, dreaming at the Monoprix checkout, thought about all the lovely desserts I could make with them. Corsican hubby would be pleased.
Then Lucie suddenly came down with a virus all last week while Mummy bear tried to calm her scratchy throat and racking cough with hot lemon and honey drinks. Finally when the fever subsided after a few days, it was my turn for the symptoms; then Antoine; like crashing dominoes, we were. The lemons didn’t make it to dessert mode.
The oversized jar of honey, bought from the market at Apt last summer, was also our best medicine. Miel de Garrigues, or honey from the Mediterranean coastal regions from such typical wild shrubs as lavender, thyme, sage, rosemary was the perfect soothing addition to drinks, yoghurts and to coat our favourite weekend brioche (thank you, freezer!).
Feeling sorry for myself (I’m a typical Aries – I’d hate to live with me), I felt the love circulating via friends with hints on the best remedies on Facebook – thank you! Next time I’ll try that turmeric drink, Belinda, but with no turmeric in the house, that really felt like cheating.
However, I’ve also been thinking about the new website, and so Jérôme’s suggestion, “More egg yolk recipes?” was also welcome. I’ve gradually been building up a list of yolk recipes and you’ll be happy to hear there are plenty more waiting for you in my forthcoming book, Teatime in Paris. Meanwhile I’m adding more to the list here on le blog. After all, we are mad about macarons, and we need to use up these yolks tout de suite.
Luckily I hadn’t lost my appetite. Come teatime this weekend, the end of the honeypot was looking rather concrete and unappetising. With only a few seconds in the microwave, the last of the liquid nectar was just too good to down all in one go, so I found these biscuits on the internet.
I say biscuits with my Scottish accent, my Amercian friends call them cookies, the French call them sablés, so what on earth was I supposed to write as a title? Incidentally, the French refer to them as sablés since as you mix the butter and flour together with your fingertips, it resembles sand (our breadcrumbs reference). Crumbs; isn’t that fascinating?
Honey and Lemon Sablés
Recipe slightly adapted from 750 grammes French website for Petits délices au miel. I reduced the sugar slightly and added a pinch of salt. I used a stronger honey (like mountain honey) which flavours the biscuits beautifully.
Makes about 40 sablés (depending on the size of your cookie cutters)
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
250g plain flour
130g softened butter (unsalted/doux)
2 egg yolks
2 tsps lemon zest (unwaxed)
3 tbsp runny honey (Accacia)
1. Measusre the flour in a large bowl. In the centre, add the sugar, softened butter, lemon zest, honey and salt. Mix all together well with the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs (or sand – sable – as the French say) then add the egg yolks.
Alternatively, if you have a stand mixer, mix all the ingredients together for a couple of minutes maximum until well blended together.
2. Split the dough into 2, cover with cling film and set aside in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan. Remove the dough from the fridge and film and roll out with a rolling pin to about 5mm thickness. Cut the dough using your favourite cookie cutters. Put the biscuits on a baking tray covered with parchment paper or a Silpat mat. Bake for 10 minutes.
4. Leave the cookies to cool on the tray for a couple of minutes (this will make it easier to remove them) then cool on a wire rack.
I was planning on coating them with a ginger and lemon glaze but after having tried the first ones, I can honestly say they don’t need any fancy toppings. They are delicious and tasty enough on their own. Although don’t forget the tea! Serve with a pot of Darjeeling with a twist of lemon.
Hearts for the girls and the stars go to my Antoine. Get better soon, darling!
P.S. If you have any ideas for the new website, your suggestions are more than welcome.