Food writer Claire Macdonald shares receipes from her new book, Lifting the Lid: A Life at Kinloch Lodge, Skye. The book describes four decades over which Claire and her husband Godfrey Macdonald, High Chief of Clan Donald, were at the helm of Scotland’s award-winning hotel and Michelin-starred restaurant, Kinloch Lodge.
Pork fillet with apples, leeks and cider.Serves 6
2 pork fillets with a combined weight of approx 2.5lb
3 tbsp olive oil
6 medium-sized leeks
4 good eating apples
1 rounded tbsp flour
600ml dry cider or unsweetened apple juice
1 tsp salt
20 grinds black pepper
1 grating nutmeg
Trim the pork fillet and cut it into slices about 1cm thick, to give 15-16 slices. Remove any tatty outer leaves from the leeks and trim them at both ends. Slice each leek on the diagonal into 1cm thicknesses. Peel, core and quarter the apples. Cut each apple quarter into 3 slices.
In a wide sauté or casserole pan heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and fry the sliced leeks over moderate heat for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the sliced apples, dust in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes before gradually stirring in the cider or apple juice. When the sauce bubbles, add the salt, pepper and nutmeg. In a frying pan or sauté pan, heat the remaining olive oil and, over high heat, fry each slice of pork fillet on either side for a couple of minutes, removing them to the leek and apple sauce as they are browned.
Cook the pork fillets in the leek and apple mixture in the covered casserole or sauté pan at a moderate oven temperature for 40 minutes.
Gâteau Diane. Serves 8-plus
For the meringue
4 large eggs, whites only
220g caster sugar
Sieved icing sugar
Strips of baking parchment
1 tbsp instant coffee powder
For the filling
120g dark chocolate, broken into bits
3 tbsp coffee – filter coffee or coffee brewed in a cafetière would be ideal
220g unsalted butter
220g sieved icing sugar
4 egg yolks
For the meringue
Lay a sheet of baking parchment on a baking tray and mark 2 circles using a plate about 20cm in diameter as the template.
Whisk up the egg whites until stiff then, whisking all the time, add the caster sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking it all in. Lastly, add the instant coffee powder, folding it briefly but thoroughly. Divide the coffee meringue between the two marked circles and smooth it out until it’s even. Bake in a cool oven for 3 hours. Cool and then carefully lift both large meringues from the baking paper.
For the filling,
Melt the chocolate with the coffee in a bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water.
Mix well and cool slightly. Then beat the butter, gradually adding the icing sugar, beating till the mixture is pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time and beat very well after adding each one. Mix the cooled chocolate and coffee into the butter, sugar and yolks mixture.
To assemble, put a small dab of this chocolate cream on the base of a serving plate to anchor the gateau and put one of the meringues on top of this.
Spread some of the chocolate cream over the surface and the sides of the meringue. Do this several hours before serving – it is then easier to slice.
To decorate, cut 2cm wide strips of baking parchment and lay them diagonally across the top of the gateau.
Dust with sieved icing sugar and then carefully lift off the strips of paper, leaving rather effective striped gateau. Meringue cakes are most easily cut using a sharp, serrated knife.