We are bringing a little of Thyme's magic to you. At their restaurant, The Ox Barn, Head Chef Charlie Hibbert leads the team in delivering excellent British food with their own twist. This week, Thyme has provided this tempting recipe for lemon cream puffs - because we all deserve a little decadence!
Recipe: lemon cream puffs
For the choux pastry
120ml whole milk
100g unsalted butter
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp table salt
150g plain flour
4 medium-sized free-range eggs
For the lemon curd
4 unwaxed lemons, juiced
200g caster sugar
120g unsalted butter
3 large free-range eggs
For the candied peel
2 unwaxed lemons
200g caster sugar, plus extra for coating
400ml double cream
Vanilla ice cream
Icing sugar to dust
Start by making the choux pastry. Put the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat. As soon as it starts to boil, whisk through the flour and remove the pan from the heat. Keep whisking, ensuring there are no lumps. The mix will be dough-like and come away from the sides of the pan.
Allow the mix to cool for 5 minutes before whisking in the eggs one by one. Make sure that each egg is well incorporated into the mix before you add the next one. Once done, transfer the choux pastry into a piping bag and let it cool to room temperature.
Next up is the lemon curd. Fill a small pan a third full with water and place it over a medium height to come to a simmer. Then put all the ingredients except the egg in a heatproof bowl and place it over the pot of simmering water. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs together in a separate bowl. Once the butter has melted in the other pan quickly whisk the eggs into the rest of the ingredients. Keep stirring the mix, using a spatula, until it becomes thick and coats the back of a spoon. This should take about 5 minutes. Transfer the lemon curd into a container and cover with a square of greaseproof paper to prevent it from getting a skin and allow it to cool completely.
For the candied peel, use a potato peeler to peel strips of rind away from the lemons. Bring the strips of peel to the boil in a pan of water. Once boiling, drain the lemon peel and refresh them in cold water. Repeat this process again. Next, bring the sugar and water to boil creating a sugar syrup. Drop the peel in and allow it to simmer until any pith has become translucent and the lemon rind is soft. This should take around 10 minutes. Now allow the peel to cool until you can gently lift it out of the syrup using a fork and slice it into ribbons. Lastly, toss the candied ribbons in caster sugar and store them in a sealed air-tight container.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (normal) | 160°C (fan) | gas mark 4
For the puffs, line a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper. Pipe the choux pastry into small mounds equal to two tablespoons of mix. Dip your finger in a little cold water and flatten the top of each choux bun. Place the buns in the oven and allow them to cook for 25 minutes. When they are crisp and golden brown, turn off the oven and open the door to allow them to cool and dry there.
It's time to assemble! Slice the choux buns in half and scoop out any soft dough. Whip the cream to soft peaks and fold through 4 tablespoons of the lemon curd. Place a spoonful of the lemon cream in the base of each bun, followed by a scoop of ice cream, then another spoonful of lemon cream, and finally the top of each bun. Finally, pile on the candied lemon peel and dust each plate with a little icing sugar.
Thyme offers everything you could wish for from a break in the Cotswolds. Their accommodation offers 31 bedrooms within the Georgian Rectory, The Lodge, The Farmhouse and a range of cottages. The Ox Barn restaurant is an attraction in itself, seating 62 guests at full capacity. Thyme has its own bar, meadow spa, pool and various boutiques selling Bertioli by Thyme.
Thyme, Southrop Manor Estate, Southrop, Gloucestershire, GL7 3PW