An opulent potpourri evoking dates and sun-dried figs, Red Delicious apples and quince paste – intermingled with aromatic fragrances reminiscent of rosehip syrup and Middle-Eastern spices. A lavish interpretation of the variety that is richly flavoured with dried fruits and liquored oranges – concentrated, luscious and delicious.
The fruit for this wine was grown near Renwick at the vineyard surrounding Greywacke HQ on young alluvial soils containing high proportions of New Zealand’s ubiquitous greywacke river stones. This 16-year-old vineyard is planted with the Berry-Smith clone and trained on a two-cane VSP (vertical shoot positioning) trellis. The vineyard was hand-harvested twice; the first batch picked on 10 May at 32 Brix and the second batch harvested on 5 June at 34 Brix. Both harvests were carried out after considerable botrytis infection.
The shrivelled grapes were whole bunch pressed using very long, low maceration press cycles. The juices were cold-settled and then racked to old barrels for fermentation. Half of the barrels were inoculated with cultured yeast and the other half were allowed to undergo spontaneous indigenous yeast fermentation. All the components were blended during July and returned to barrel to finish fermentation, which eventually ground to a halt in late October retaining 110 g/l residual sugar. The wine was bottled in December with an alcohol of 12.5%, pH 3.65 and acidity of 6.4 g/l.
Dessert & Fortified Wines
In order to preserve the natural sweetness in fortified wines, the fermentation is stopped before the yeast gobbles up all the sugar. Typically when you do this, you’d be left with a lower alcohol wine but since fortified wines are allowed to add spirits (in the form of a neutral-tasting grape brandy) the wines are usually around 17-20% ABV. Because of the high alcohol and sugar content, dessert wines are precious and meant to be enjoyed in small amounts in tiny glasses. Of course, there are many more options in the dessert wine category than just fortified wines like Sherry, Madeira and Port with late harvest and noble rot pudding wines.
Pungent Cheeses (like Blue), Caramel, Cakes, Chocolate, Fruit Pies
For the sweet pastry
120g Unsalted butter, at room temperature, diced
75g Icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
3 Egg yolks (organic or free range)
250g Plain flour
2 tbsp Water
For the lemon cream
5 Medium eggs (organic or free range)
150g Caster sugar
85ml Lemon juice
2 tbsp Finely grated lemon zest
150ml Double cream
1. In a large bowl, with a spatula or wooden spoon, mix the soft butter and icing sugar to a cream; then beat in 2 of the egg yolks. Add the flour and, with your fingertips, rub the butter mixture and flour together to achieve a crumbly texture. Add the water and press the mixture together to form a ball. With the palms of your hands, knead the pastry on a lightly floured work surface until it is blended (maximum 30 seconds – do not overwork the pastry or it will be hard and lose its crumbly texture). Flatten the pastry slightly with the palm of your hand, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes (this helps the dough lose its elasticity).
2. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and zest and whisk for a few seconds. Add the cream and whisk it in, then place in the fridge. Rolling out the pastry. On a lightly floured work surface, evenly roll out the pastry into a circle 3 mm (1/8 in) thick.
3. Roll the pastry over the rolling pin and unroll it over a 24 cm (91/2 in) loose-bottomed tart tin. With one hand lift the pastry and with the other gently tuck it into the bottom edge of the tin so that it fits tightly. Be careful not to stretch it. Cut off excess pastry by rolling the pin over the top edge of the tin. Take a small ball of pastry and gently press it all around the base of the tart to ensure a snug fit. Prick the base of the pastry all over with a fork and refrigerate for 30 minutes (this helps prevent shrinkage during cooking). Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 160°C/ 325°F/Gas Mark 3.
4. Line the pastry case with aluminium foil and fill with dried beans, pushing them against the side. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and lift out both foil and beans. Return the tart tin to the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes. Brush the inside of the pastry with the remaining egg yolk and return to the oven for 1 minute (this creates a seal on the pastry and prevents it becoming soggy when the lemon cream is added). Turn the oven down to 140°C/ 275°F/Gas Mark 1.
5. Pour the lemon cream mixture into a saucepan and warm it gently (this is to speed up the cooking time of the tart), being careful not to heat it too much or it will scramble. Pour the warm mixture into the pastry case and bake for 25 minutes, until barely set. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for at least 1 hour, then dredge icing sugar around the edge of the tart. Remove the tart from the tin and place on a serving plate.
Recipe from http://www.raymondblanc.com/recipes/lemon-tart/
Image from http://cotswoldbaking.co.uk/products/classic-lemon-tart/
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