Food

Whisky Live London

Seasonal food pairings
By Seáneen Sullivan
Skirting London city limits, the stalls of Borough Market cluster on either side of the Southwark overpass. In years gone by, heads were festooned aloft pikes at the crossing. Trains clatter above the stalls piled high with wares while the market gets on with its daily business. A splash of lurid pink on counters in February heralds the arrival of the first forced rhubarb of spring. Cob nuts appear in August, their season fleeting and medlars too make an ephemeral appearance each October, their sticky sweetness revealing itself after a couple of weeks of further ripening. Last summer, I spied the most amazing fingerling bananas. I had planned to use them in a whiskey dinner, roasting them in their skins until soft, then split and served alongside whiskey infused ice cream. When I returned just two days later, they were gone and the season had passed. It was with this in mind that I rang my market greengrocer in plenty of time for this year's Whisky Live London pairings.

"I have Yosemite and the Fino lemons, not Seville Oranges though, they are finished. The Golden Nugget are due in too. If you wait until next week there will be Blood Oranges, no, you need them straight away?"

I placed my order, delighted that the bananas wouldn't elude me this time. The people at Chegworth Valley import directly from farmers only what they cannot grow themselves on their family farm in Kent. Leaving the market, weighed down with bags crammed with fruit, I spied a basket of moon lemons at Spanish grocers Brindisa. This variety of lemon flowers each full moon, rather than only twice a year. The flavour is remarkable, but they yield less juice, as they are smaller. If replacing with regular lemons in this recipe, use half the number of lemons and all the zest. Spices from neighbouring stall Spice Mountain, and black pudding from the Ginger Pig completed my urban forage.


Dunville PX paired with cherry and black pudding bon bons



The savoury flavour of the black pudding is the perfect foil for the fruitiness of this whisky. The fattiness stands up well to the density and spice of the Dunville, and the tannin from the almond skin brings the whole lot together, with a nip of sweetness from the cherry.

Makes 20 bon bons

INGREDIENTS

  • 400g black pudding

  • 20 Griottine cherries, drained and soaked in 50ml fino sherry

  • 1 Braeburn apple, grated

  • 3 eggs

  • Splash of water

  • 100g flour

  • 100g almonds

  • 200g Japanese Panko breadcrumbs

  • Salt and pepper

  • Oil for frying



METHOD
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and toast the almonds for eight minutes, then let cool slightly before crushing in a mortar and pestle to
fine crumbs.
2. Mash the black pudding together with one egg and the grated apple. Divide the mix into 20 and with wet hands wrap each one into a ball around a drained cherry.
3. Prepare three plates, one with the flour and a little salt and pepper, one with the eggs whisked for 20 seconds with a splash of water, and the other with the panko breadcrumbs, mixed with the crushed almonds.
4. Roll each ball in the flour, then into the egg wash, being careful to use alternating hands and then into the breadcrumbs, taking care not to get your wet and dry hands mixed up.
5. Deep fry 190°C in batches of five until golden.


Teeling Revival paired with green tea and moon lemon meringue, sour cream pastry, passionfruit, ginger & coconut crumble



The fruitiness of this all rum cask matured 15 years old whiskey is played up with this pairing. the tang of the lemon curd and the sugar of the meringue play off the casks tropical sweetness while the ginger echoes its spice contribution.

Pastry


INGREDIENTS

  • 120g sour cream

  • 250g plain flour, sifted

  • 200g cold unsalted butter, cubed

  • Pinch salt



Lemon curd


INGREDIENTS

  • 6 egg yolks (save the whites for meringue)

  • 6 unwaxed moon lemons, zest of three and juice of all (or juice and zest of three regular lemons)

  • 75g caster sugar

  • 125g unsalted butter, softened



Meringue


INGREDIENTS

  • 6 egg whites, room temperature

  • 300g caster sugar

  • 4 tsp cornflour

  • ½ teaspoon matcha powder



TO SERVE

  • 2 ginger nut biscuits, crushed and mixed with

  • 1 teaspoon of dried coconut

  • 2 passionfruits



PASTRY METHOD
1. Pulse flour, salt and butter in food processor until resembles breadcrumbs. Alternatively rub butter into flour until it is breadcrumby looking.
2. Add the sour cream and pulse until the dough forms a ball.
3. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate for half an hour.
4. Roll the chilled pastry out until 3 mm thick and line a 27cm tart tin, then blind bake (lined with tin foil and dried beans) at 180°C for 10-12 minutes.

CURD METHOD
Place sugar, yolks and lemon juice and zest into a small pot over low heat. Stir continuously until mix thickens, about five minutes then pass through sieve and whisk in butter and matcha powder. Return to heat and stir until thick and glossy. Keep warm over a bowl of warm water while making the meringue.

MERINGUE METHOD
In a spotlessly clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, then add 150g sugar, a tablespoon at a time, whisking after each addition. Whisk in the cornflour and matcha, then continue to add the sugar tablespoon at a time until smooth and thick.

TO ASSEMBLE
1. Pour lemon curd into pastry case.
2. Starting at the outside of the tart, start adding blobs of meringue. Continue all the way across the tart, spreading so it touches the surface of the hot filling. Start to pile in a glorious swirl.
3. Cook at 180°C for 15 minutes, or torch with a brûlée gun. Let it rest in the tin for 30 minutes and then remove for an hour to cool.
4. Serve sliced, topped with the ginger crumble, and drizzled in passionfruit alongside a glass of the Teeling Revival.