George has had a love of all things culinary from a very young age, and throughout his career, has worked with renowned chefs and food technologists. He discovered his passion for cooking at the age of five after spending time in his grandmother's restaurant. From then on, under his mother's guidance (who is a talented cook of her own accord) George recalls cooking anything his mother would let him, starting out with scrambled eggs and hamburgers and quickly moving on to fine Italian and French dishes.
After many years of honing and perfecting his culinary craft, George still enjoys what he humbly considers: "complimenting my family culinary experience," by taking courses in regional cuisines pertaining to the vegetable ingredient products his family specializes in, namely: Asian, French, Mediterranean, Mexican and Tex Mex.
Because of George's extensive knowledge and passion for food, he is a great resource to customers in helping them find the right ingredients for their recipe needs. "I need to understand what's happening in the kitchen," he explained. "If my client has an unfavorable flavor note, I need to be able to assess the situation to understand why." That extra level of service and care undoubtedly stems from his love of food and his work alike, which fortunately for George, go hand and hand.
FOR THE PASTRY
200g plain flour
140g unsalted butter , cut into small pieces
100g golden caster sugar
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 egg yolk
a few drops of vanilla extract
FOR THE LEMON CUSTARD
3 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp cornflour
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
50g unsalted butter
85g unsalted butter , room temperature
85g golden caster sugar
85g ground almonds
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
100ml whipping cream
5 tbsp fresh raspberries
5 tbsp seedless raspberry jam
2 tbsp Cointreau
1 - To make the pastry, put the flour and butter in a large bowl and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add in the sugar, lemon zest and a pinch of salt and mix. Next, work in the egg yolk and vanilla extract until smooth. Roll dough into a ball, wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
2 - While the pastry is chilling, make the lemon custard. Put the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk together using a balloon whisk for 1-2 minutes until the mixture turns pale. Add in the flour and cornflour and mix well. Put the milk and lemon zest in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour the boiling milk over the mixture in the bowl, whisking continuously until smooth.
3 - Pour the custard into the pan, place over a medium heat and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring continuously until it has thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and butter. Pour the custard into a clean bowl and cover. Leave to cool, then put in the fridge until completely cold.
4 - To make the frangipane, add all the ingredients into a bowl and mix until everything is well combined.
5 - On a floured surface, roll out the chilled pastry then use to line a 10-11 inch tart pan. Trim the pastry with a small knife but leave a lip hanging over the edge. Chill the tart case for at least 1 hour.
6 - Put a baking tray in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 F. Using a spatula, stir the lemon custard until smooth, then spread three quarters of it over the base of the tart case.
7 - Spoon the frangipane into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle. Pipe lines of frangipane evenly over the custard.
8 - Put the tart tin on the hot baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes until the frangipane is golden brown. The frangipane will puff up during the baking. Trim off the overhanging pastry with a small knife to give a professional finish. Lift the tart and base from the tin and leave on a wire rack to cool completely.
9 - To make topping, put the cream in a bowl and lightly whip. Then, gently fold the remaining lemon custard into the cream, and spread the mixture evenly over the frangipane. Arrange raspberries on top, placing them upside down as close as possible. Put the jam and Cointreau in a small pan and bring to the simmer, stirring, until it lightly coats back of the spoon. Gently brush the raspberries with the glaze. Allow to cool before transferring tart to a serving plate.