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A weekend away is a wonderful thing. This past weekend my lovely and now a year older husband (Happy Birthday!) and I went to County Kerry to visit his Nan. We drove down Thursday night after I finished work (I am now employed, but still cooking away, just not quiet as energetic or adventerous) and arrived in the small village of Keelerih at about 10pm. His uncle let us in because his Nan was still out playing cards (we were wrecked and ready for bed, she is much more lively than us!).

She arrived soon after us and we had a nice chat before all departing heading to bed. I love sleeping in such a small village because it is so dark and quiet. Well a different quiet, there were bleeting lambs and ewes calling their lambs in the dark, so there is noise, just different. Bucolic one might say.

I awoke, wandered down to the kitchen and looked out the backdoor window to see an ewe and two little lambins in the yard across the way. Then I saw the two little black ones born the night before frolicing around and trying to figure out how their gangly legs worked. Too cute.

Our first day was relaxed and full of fresh baked brown bread and straight from the hen-house eggs. We went to the nearby store to get a few messages (groceries). It is a post office and grocery store in one, but it had so many items I wouldn’t have expected to see; coconut oil, almond butter, rice milk, curry seasonings and so much more. It was fun to squeeze around the shop and discovery all the unexpected items.

We then dropped his Nan back of in the village and drove ourselves into Dingle to wander around and enjoy the village were we had our second wedding. There are such lovely little artisan shops. There is a little cheese shop full of fresh and pungent cheeses and a new specialty gourmet food shop with truffles, fancy oils, and all sorts of items I would love to have oodles of money to spend on. The Dingle Candle store was open, I have always been curious to see what’s in it, but it has literally always been closed. It was full of scented candles and handmade soaps such as oatmeal and sea salt…soaps that smelt and looked so appetizing there have been children who took big bites into them! Of course we went into the local bookshop. My husband always manages to find something that looks nice and I am always tempted by their table book display.

After our wander, and a few more grocery items we couldn’t get in the village store, we made our way back to Keelerih. Nan had the meals planned for the weekend. Our first night, Nan said she would make us her pork chops slow roasted in some liquid with apples and onions. Moist, sweet and tangy! She then requested that I make lasagna with the fresh lasagna noodles she had been given as well as make some homemade ragu. No biggie right!  I had also decide some kind of dessert would need to be made for my husband’s birthday. Since the first night’s dinner was sorted, I thought that would be a good late afternoon to bake a dessert!

Since my husband loves lemon desserts, and lets be honest so do I, and I hadn’t baked or had an excuse to bake in awhile, I decided I would do so. A recipe on pinterest had caught my eye awhile back- Mini Lemon Tartlets.

The dough was very simple with 175grams of plain flour, 100grams of cubed cold butter, 25 grams of powdered sugar and an egg yolk. I poured the flour and sugar together in a bowl and whisked to get out any lumps. Next I slowly mixed the butter in with my hands, smooshing the butter bits between my fingers to get the consitancy a bit like bread crumbs. Then mix in the egg yolk. It was a rather sticky dough, so I coated my hands with flour before forming into a disc and covering with plastic wrap to set aside and rest. Set the oven to 200C.

About 15 minutes later I rolled the dough out and cut into 3.5 inch circles (that was the only size cutter I had). I then stretched them a bit and put them into my greased mini muffin pan. The dough was enough for the 12 mini muffins and one shallow 6 or 7inch pie pan. I placed foil and dried beans in each cup and the large pie pan and baked blind for seven minutes. After this I removed the baking beans and foils and baked another few minutes until golden brown. I took them out and let the dough cool. Set oven down to 170C.

During this time I made the filling. I took four eggs, 100ml of double cream, 150grams of granulated sugar, and juiced and zested three lemons. (I nearly left out the double cream and was really happy when my husband mentioned the word “cream” in another conversation). Once that was all mixed and smooth and the dough was cooled, I mostly filled the cups with the filling. I waited until I had the trays on the baking rack before filling to the brim. I baked for another 10 minutes or until slightly jiggly in the center, but mostly set (like how a pumpkin pie sets).

Took out and enjoyed! Nan praised the dough highly and had to restrain herself from eating a tartlet each time she walked by them! That is high praise! I will have to make the Lemon Tartlets again.

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