since I had met Mr. Lazarus, the great Seer of London, odd things have been going on in the kitchen. I’d find someone had been rooting about in the pantry, or that the spoons and forks had been rearranged. Just yesterday, I found the sink-full of dishes, which were waiting to be washed, all squeaky clean on the counter.
Then I knew, dear Reader, whatever was causing all this must be hungry.
Add 200 g of chilled (freezer for 30 minutes) butter, 3/4 of a teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 of a tablespoon of sugar to about 2.5 cups of flour. Rub the flour and butter together until the consistency of the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add about 5 tablespoons of very cold water and mix until the dough starts clumping (add a little more water, if needed). Form the dough into a ball (do not knead), cover and cool in the refrigerator for a few hours.
Sort out the mess of spoons and forks while you wait.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator, divide it into pieces if you are using multiple smaller pie-tins. Roll the dough out, about 0.5 cm thick.
Line the bottom of your tins with baking paper. Place the rolled out dough into the tins, smooth out the corners and trim the overhanging edges.
Bake the tart shells at 200 °C for about 35 minutes.
Justin sat in the kitchen eating hot buttered toast as he leafed through a couple of notebooks, reminding himself of the existing clients‘ previous seances: predictions, leads, gossip, weaknesses, crucial names. Breakfast had to be toast because that smelled homely but not ludicrously domestic.
While the shells are baking, let’s start making the filling.
Like his own master, he’d placed a strict household ban on any form of bacon, smoked fish, or boiled cabbage as entirely unspiritual odors.
„When I retire I’m going to have bacon for breakfast every day,“ he remarked through a mouthful of toast.
Fry up several strips of bacon. Cut two medium sized onions into slivers and caramelize them (you can use the fat rendered from the bacon instead of oil for more flavor). Lightly whisk four eggs, add about 80 g of grated cheddar, the bacon strips (cut into pieces), the onions, a pinch of pepper, and a small pinch of thyme. Mix it together.
Spoon the filling mixture into the tart shells. Sprinkle some dried basil on top.
Preheat the oven to 200 °C again. Say a quick prayer to the holy alchemists.
Bake for about 30 minutes until the filling looks golden on the outside and is firm on the inside (test with a toothpick).
I see someone has already started without waiting for me.
„Tell you what, my spirit guide’s a f*****g tart.“
Yours from behind the veil,
P.S. If by any chance You should need any more convincing to read the book, take a look at Nosferatu’s review.
P.P.S. Dough recipe adapted from https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/classic-sour-cherry-pie-with-lattice-crust-242514.
Author: K. J. Charles
Title: An Unnatural Vice (Sins of the Cities, Part 2)
Find it on https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32161804-an-unnatural-vice