Eric Lanlard’s dreamy Easter desserts – including one you don’t have to bake!

March 31, 2021
Forget chocolate this Easter. Celebrity chef and P&O Cruises Food Hero Eric Lanlard shares his easy but oh-so-delicious recipes using oreos, fruit and Camembert cheese

Black-bottom cheesecake squares

Makes 12  | Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus chilling  | Cooking time: 5 minutes

Eric Lanlard: ‘This is a guilty pleasure of mine – a simple, yet striking no-bake cheesecake that doesn’t require too much work, but at the same time is very indulgent. It’s very important to use good-quality cream cheese for this recipe.’

350g (12oz) Oreo biscuits

125g (4 ½ oz) unsalted butter, melted

2 tsp powdered gelatine

4 tbsp hot water

175g (6oz) white chocolate, roughly chopped

350g (12oz) cream cheese

300ml (½ pint) double cream

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

100g (3.oz) golden caster sugar

Line the base of a 23cm (9in) square springform cake tin with baking paper.

Using a knife, open up 250g (9oz) of the Oreo biscuits. Scrape the creamy filling into a large bowl and set aside.

Put the biscuits into a food processor and whizz until they resemble fine breadcrumbs. Add the melted butter and mix until well combined.

Using a tablespoon, press the biscuit base evenly into the prepared tin and leave to firm up in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, put the gelatine into a small heatproof bowl, pour over the 4 tablespoons water and set aside.

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the surface of the water does not touch the bowl. Leave to cool for a few minutes.

Scrape the creamy filling from the remaining biscuits and add to the bowl with the other biscuit filling, then crush the remaining biscuits and set aside.

Beat the cream cheese, cream, vanilla paste, Oreo filling and sugar together in a bowl using an electric hand whisk. Stir in the gelatine mixture and the melted white chocolate, then fold in the crushed biscuits, reserving a few crumbs for decoration.

Pour the mixture on to the biscuit base, keeping a little bit back to use as decoration. Leave to set in the refrigerator for about 4 hours.

Using a sharp knife dipped in hot water, cut into 12 small squares. Add a small scoop of the remaining cream mixture to the top of each square, then dust with the reserved cookie crumbs for decoration.


These fruit tartes look as good as they taste. Manifique!

Tartelettes aux fruits

Makes 6 large or 12 small tartlets  | Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus chilling and cooling  | Cooking time: 30 minutes

Eric Lanlard: ‘I am always mesmerized by the displays of fruit tarts in the windows of pâtisseries when I go home to France. They are actually incredibly simple to make, but they need to be made properly; the pastry must be short and buttery, the crème pâtissière must be creamy, and the fruits should be sweet and ripe and, of course, look gorgeous!’

For the pastry

250g (9oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting

1 tsp golden caster sugar

pinch of salt

125g (4 ½ oz) cold unsalted butter, diced, plus extra for greasing

2–3 tbsp cold water

For the crème pâtissière

600ml (20fl oz) milk

5 egg yolks

100g (3 ½ oz) golden caster sugar

50g (1 ¾ oz) custard powder

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

2 tsp orange blossom extract

To decorate

seasonal fruits or berries

apricot glaze or sifted icing sugar

To make the pastry, put the dry ingredients into a bowl and stir together. Add the butter and rub in using your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Add enough of the 2–3 tablespoons water and bring together to form a dough, then knead briefly until smooth. Shape into a disc, cover with clingfilm and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the crème pâtissière. Heat the milk in a medium saucepan. In a heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and custard powder together.

Pour the warm milk over the egg mixture and whisk until smooth, then pour back into the pan, bring to the boil and cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously, until very thick and glossy.

Pour into a bowl, cover the surface with clingfilm and leave to cool.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan 180°C)/400°F/gas mark 6.

Grease 6 x individual 10cm (4in) diameter or 12 x 5cm (2in) loose-bottomed tart tins.

Roll out the pastry thinly on a floured surface and use to line the tins. Prick the bases, line with baking paper and fill with baking beans or rice.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes until golden. Leave to cool.

Whisk the vanilla paste and orange blossom extract into the cold crème pâtissière. Spoon the crème into the cooled tart cases and decorate with fresh seasonal fruits or berries.

Brush with apricot glaze or simply dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.

‘For me, this tart is pure comfort food: pan-fried apples covered with oozing Camembert cheese and fragrant walnut oil on top of a buttery, crispy puff pastry base – perfect for an afternoon tea.’


There’s nothing cheesy about this delicious Camembert and apple tart 

Camembert and apple tarts with a walnut drizzle

Makes 12  | Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus cooling  | Cooking time: 25 minutes

Eric Lanlard: ‘For me, this tart is pure comfort food: pan-fried apples covered with oozing Camembert cheese and fragrant walnut oil on top of a buttery, crispy puff pastry base – perfect for an afternoon tea.’

25g (1oz) unsalted butter

2 firm dessert apples such as Granny Smith or Cox, peeled and cut into thin wedges

1 tbsp clear honey

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

375g (13oz) ready-made all-butter puff pastry

plain flour, for dusting

150g (5 ½ oz) Camembert, sliced

For the walnut drizzle

 50g (1¾ oz) walnuts

3–4 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp chopped tarragon

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan 180°C)/400°F/gas mark 6.

Heat the butter in a pan, add the apples and fry until golden all over. Just before you remove the pan from the heat, stir in the honey and balsamic vinegar. Leave to cool.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to 2mm thick. Using a 6cm ( diameter plain cookie cutter, stamp out 12 discs.

Grease 6 boat-shaped mini tart tins, about 12 x 5cm (4. x 2in), and use 6 of the pastry discs to line the tins, trimming off any excess pastry.

Place an empty tart tin on top of each lined tin and fill with baking beans or rice to prevent the pastry from puffing up.

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then remove the extra tart tins and beans. Return to the oven and bake for a further 2–3 minutes until cooked through and golden.

Transfer the tart cases to a cooling rack. Leave the tart tins to cool, then repeat with the remaining pastry discs.

Meanwhile, make the walnut drizzle. Put the walnuts, oil, tarragon and salt and pepper into a food processor and blitz until it has the texture of pesto without being completely smooth. Set aside.

Fill the tart cases with the apple mixture and top each with a slice of Camembert. Bake in the oven for about 8 minutes until the cheese is all lovely and melted. Drizzle the walnut oil over the tarts to garnish. Serve warm.

Photos: ©Kate Whitaker Words: © recipes taken from Afternoon tea by Eric Lanlard published by Mitchell Beazley. You can find more of Eric Lanlard’s recipes here.You can cruise with Eric on P&O Cruises


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