Sometimes milestones have a way of quietly sneaking up on you and taking you by surprise. Like this one. A little over two years and 500 posts later, I’m amazed that I’m still blogging. Albeit nowhere near as prolifically as in that first year. At first it was easy. So many fabulous recipes to share. Some family favourites handed down through the generations, others retrieved from my vast cookbook collection or Aladdin’s cave of magazine and newspaper clippings residing in my bottom kitchen drawer. All tried and true.
Along the way I stumbled across Michael Mosley’s intriguing BBC documentary Eat, Fast And Live Longer. Something else to write about. How to create interesting plates of food a foodcentric faster would want to eat for under 500 calories a day. That idea captured the imagination of many of my followers. Hence once a week interspersed among my hedonistic feasting there’s a fast day meal idea. The emphasis very firmly on fresh, healthy and vibrant whole food; cooked from scratch, visually appealing and full of flavour.
To be perfectly frank, sometimes the muse abandons me, leaving me stranded high and dry, scratching around searching for something, anything to write about. Those days take a marathon effort to get anything up into the ether. We’ve all been there, done that. That’s why I’m surprised that I’ve actually managed to cook, photograph and write my way through 500 posts.
So to all my followers, commenters, likers and viewers thank you for your encouragement and inspiration. It is you who have made writing The Paddington Foodie worthwhile. In celebration of my 500th post I’m sharing a simple but delicious Summer Stone Fruit And Whipped Creme Fraiche Tart. In keeping with my current relaxed summer holiday vibe it doesn’t take much effort at all to prepare. Fill a home-made or store bought shortcrust pastry shell with lashings of whipped creme fraiche and top with beautifully ripe thinly sliced summer stone fruit.
To be honest whipped creme fraiche has been something of a revelation for me. Whip as you would regular cream using pre chilled beaters and bowl to achieve light and tangy clouds of air. Perfect for dolloping. I love the contrast of the slightly sour creme fraiche against the natural sweetness of the fruit. Finish the tart with a scattering of finely grated lime zest and a dusting of icing sugar. Fast, fresh and impressive.
Summer Stone Fruit And Whipped Creme Fraiche Tart
1 shortcrust tart shell, homemade (recipe follows) or store bought
1 x 250g tub creme fraiche, chilled
1 large white peach, halved and stone removed
1 large yellow nectarine, halved and stone removed
2 plums, halved and stone removed
finely grated zest of 1 lime
a little sifted icing sugar, to dust
PLACE a medium glass or metal mixing bowl and beaters or whisk into the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes
MEANWHILE slice peach, nectarine and plum halves into very thin wedges.
PLACE creme fraiche into chilled mixing bowl. Whip with chilled whisk or beaters until soft peaks form, about 3 – 5 minutes. The creme fraiche should be light and double in volume.
DOLLOP whipped creme fraiche into the cooled tart shell. Smooth over with a palette knife.
ARRANGE thinly sliced plums, nectarines and peaches in a spiral over the creme fraiche.
SCATTER over finely grated lime zest and dust with icing sugar. Serve
Easy Shortcrust Pastry Tart Shell
Sufficient to line two 20cm tart shells
250g plain flour
100g butter, chilled and diced
100g icing sugar
2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
PLACE flour, icing sugar and butter into bowl of large food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
ADD egg and pulse again until the dough comes together. Wrap in cling wrap, then rest in the fridge for half an hour.
PREHEAT oven to 180C. Grease and line the base of a 20cm loose bottomed tart tin.
REMOVE the chilled pastry from the fridge. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the pastry until 3-4mm thick. I find it easiest to roll my pastry between two sheets of baking paper. Use the remaining pastry for another tart; pastry can be stored in the freezer for up to 4 weeks.
LINE tart tin with pastry. Peel away the top layer of baking paper from the rolled pastry and invert the pastry sheet into the tin. The bottom layer of baking paper will now be on top. Peel away, gently press the pastry into the tin and trim any overhanging edges.
CHILL pastry lined tin in the fridge for 15 minutes before preparing the pastry case for blind baking by lining the shell with baking paper and filling with a layer of dry beans or rice.
BAKE in hot oven for 20 minutes. Remove baking paper and beans and return the tart shell to the oven to bake for a further 10 minutes until crisp and lightly golden. REMOVE from oven and allow to cool completely before filling.
Congratulations on 500! That’s quite a feat 🙂 this is the first post I read from your blog, but I’m very intrigued with your notes about fasting day 500 calories a day posts…
Thanks and welcome Zully. It never ceases to amaze me how delicious 500 calories a day can be…of course it’s easy to get through a fast day when you know there’s always a feast day tomorrow.
Congratulations! Your recipes are wonderful and a great help to people learning to eat well. Keep it up 🙂
Thanks for the envouragement 😊
Congratulations! Five hundred posts is huge in that amount of time, and I know how much goes into all the cooking and photographing. I’ve enjoyed so many of your recipes, here’s to many more! X.
It’s a lot more time consuming than it looks isnt it? I guess I should thank my long suffering. All those long hungry waits for meals as I try to catch the light and best angle. 😍
Happy 500th post! What a great way to celebrate with such a beautiful tart… the crust looks incredible 🙂
Thank you. We enjoyed every bite.. I’m thinking this would be gorgeous with berries next time.
Well done. The muse does abandon sometimes. Elizabeth Gilbert did a great TED talk on the subject. So glad to find your blog and swing between healthy indulgence and happy fasting. thank you.
I wish the muse would give some advance notice before flying off. It’s so disconcerting how some days can be brimming with inspiration…and the next there’s nothing. Lovely to hear you’re enjoying the blog.
Great looking recipe and great reason to celebrate!! Well done and enjoy the next 500!
Somehow I think the next 500 will take a lot longer than 2 years but thanks for the encouragement.
Hi & congratulations on your 500th blog! I came across your blog in late 2014 when I was trying to find recipes for the 5:2 diet and meals for the 500 calories, although mainly look for dinners around the 300 calorie mark. Please be encouraged & keep up the great work. I am a fussy eater so don’t always like the ingredients but other recipes I like & adore, so many thanks for the assistance of helping myself & my husband with our 5:2 diet, & please keep up the great work.
Thanks Melody. Ha ha.I have a full house of picky eaters…
Congrats. 500 great ideas. That is an accomplishment. Tracey
Congrats on 500 posts! I’ve seen a lot of them and they are yummy. Keep up the good work! 🙂
Thank you so much for you blogs, they inspire me to try new things. I adore the Grated Carrot and Sweet Potato Rosti with Garlic Lemon dressing. Congratulations.