Posts tagged pastry

Bakewell Tart

I

 love a traditionally made bakewell tart but its seems that those who don’t agree seem to have a tainted opinion founded into their childhood from thier experiences of Mr Kipling’s overly sweet and synthetic offerings. Found overdosed with grainy icing in your packed lunch that should ideally inspire and energise!? That said, on baking this tart over the weekend for my family his holy name was referenced three times without provoking! But I assure you that a homemade bake well is a good way to convince those haunted by Mr.K’s recipe and being such a traditional recipe I felt it needed a proud place on my blog archive.

I do already have a Rhubarb bake well tart recipe but this arguably this is not ‘traditional’ as is my style. And in fact this one is in my style also using some leftover homemade blackcurrant jam from the summer. But feel free to use a jam of choice here, traditional raspberry or strawberry, apricot or even marmalade!

Makes 1 tart

  • 1 pastry case (see here)
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 50g plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Splash almond extract (optional)
  • 100g jam (raspberry, blackcurrant, strawberry etc)
  • Handful of flaked almonds
  • 6 tbsp icing sugar
  • Juice 1/2 lemon
  1. Make the pastry case – instructions here
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together
  4. Then gradually beat in the eggs and the almond extract until the mixture is combined
  5. Gently fold in the ground almonds and flour until well combined.
  6. Spoon the jam evenly over the base of the pastry case.
  7. Cover with the almond frangipani mixture and use a palate knife or spatula to smooth out the surface until even and the jam is completely covered.
  8. Scatter over the flaked almonds
  9. Bake for 30 minutes until golden and the middle is set. Leave to cool completely.
  10. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the lemon juice drop by drop being careful you don’t add to much to fast. You’re aiming for a really thick paste consistency that you can pipe.
  11. Spoon into a piping bag and snip a small end off. Pipe the icing in your desired pattern over the top.
  12. Serve with creme fraiche!

IMG_4989

Nectarine, Almond and Rosemary Tart

I

 adore the savoury taste of rosemary in desserts which should not be knocked before tried. Whether with apricots (see here) or honeyed pine nuts (see here) it adds a lovely warming flavour if added with a disciplined hand…don’t get to carried away or you’ll be expecting roasted lamb to appear in your ice cream! With an abundance of fresh juicy ripe nectarines in season at the moment, I combined them with the sugary flavours of this frangipane tart and the subtle spike of rosemary. Although sweet, this dessert can handle the sharp honeyed flavours of a lovely Sauterens with acts as the perfect accompaniment to this dish. Washed down with a dainty glass (at my encouragement) was a perfect end to a summer BBQ with friends. Serve with creamy vanilla flecked ice cream, luxurious clotted cream or tart creme fraiche.

Serves 12

Pastry

  • 250g plain flour
  • 125g cold cubed butter
  • Zest 1 lemon

Filling

  • 2 ripe nectarines, halved and sliced into wedges
  • 1 1/2/ tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 200g cubed butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g soft light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
  1. Start with the pastry. Combine the flour, butter and zest in a food processor until the mixture starts to come together. Slowly add up to 2 tbsp cold water until the pastry forms a soft ball of dough.
  2. Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 15 minutes or so.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180. Grease and line a large tart tin with a loose bottom. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out to the thickness of about £1 coin and line the tart tin. Prick the base with a fork all over.
  4. Line with parchment and baking beans and bake blind for about 20 minutes. Once beginning to just colour straw brown, remove the beans and bake for a further 5 minutes or so until the base is lightly borne and cooked. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
  5. Make the filling. Cream the butter and sugar together in a food processor. Once combined, add the eggs one by one and a splash of vanilla. Add the 1tbsp of chopped rosemary
  6. Finally, fold in the ground almonds until thoroughly combined.
  7. Fill the baked tart shell with the frangipane mixture and spread out evenly.
  8. Top with the wedges of nectarine, allowing about 1 slice per portion or there abouts.
  9. Scatter with the crunchy demerara sugar and bake in the oven for about 40-45 minutes until golden brown and cooked.
  10. Leave to cool slightly in the tin before removing and serving on a large plate. Scatter with the remaining 1/2 tsp rosemary and a little dusting of icing sugar. Serve with creme fraiche and a delicious glass of Sautnernes.

Jess - Nectarine, Almond Rosemary Tart#2

Chocolate Mint Tart with Sugared Pistachios

image
image

M

y recent adventure to the colourful delights of Morocco has naturally fuelled my blogging obsession once again. I have, for this week at least, exhausted the classic tagine and now have only sweet treats on the mind. Green & Blacks recent emphasis on colour in our taste and perception can not only be reflected in their packaging but I couldn’t help but see this mirrored in Morocco which is a country that is summed up by colour and flavour. A feast for the eyes. With teasing fresh mint tea available in Morocco at any opportunity (whether requested or not) I stole this flavour inspiration using Green & Blacks new ‘Mint Crisp’ bar.

If you’re a chocolate connoisseur you’ll already have noticed Green & Blacks new bars – ‘Thins’ – so this won’t come as surprising news. Long ago I spotted the ‘Mint Crisp’ flavour and stocked up. I love this new format or bite-sized slices of flavoursome chocolate. Ironically here I’ve used the new ‘Thins’ bar in this recipe….which won’t make you that. But hey, the mint brings back the buzz of the Medina’s and Riads.

image
image

This tart is rich and dense. If you’re not a mint fan then feel free to make this soley dark or try using G&B’s salted caramel thins in stead. The crunchy topping adds a lovely texture but again can be substituted with pecans, walnuts, or almonds (which would go particularly well with the salted caramel bar). Devour with some clean simple ice cream or fruit.

Pastry

  • 1 x quantity of shortcrust pastry (see here for recipe) made with additional small handful of desiccated coconut.

Filling

  • 150g Green & Blacks ‘Mint Crisp Chocolate’
  • 100g Green & Blacks dark 70-80% chocolate
  • 100ml single cream
  • 250ml whole milk
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Topping

  • 50g pistachios
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 1 large lime, zest only
  1. Start by making the pastry case according to the link above and using a deep 20cm wide pastry case. Add a handful of coconut to the flour if you like.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Set aside your blind baked pastry case while you make the filling.
  3. Mix the cream and milk together in a saucepan and heat until just about to come to the boil.
  4. Remove from the heat and break in the chocolate in small pieces. After a few minutes mix together until the chocolate is smooth and fully melted into the cream. Use a whisk to throughly combine the cream and melted chocolate.
  5. Leave to cool until lukewarm.
  6. When lukewarm, beat in the eggs and vanilla.
  7. Place the tart case on a baking tray and fill ¾ full with the chocolate filling.
  8. Place the tray on the oven shelf and once its stable, fill the tart to full with the remaining mixture (or as much as will fit int your tin! I had a little left over)
  9. Bake for about 20 minutes until just set and shiny.
  10. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.
  11. Meanwhile make the topping. Crush the nuts in a pestle and mortar until finely crushed but with a few chunks here and there.
  12. Toast the coconut in a dry hot frying pan until just beginning to colour golden and then add to the nuts. Stir in the lime zest and the sugar and combine.
  13. Once the tart has cooled, use this mixture to scatter over the top of the tart.
image

Almond Blackcurrant Tarts with Salted Lime

 

image

image

I spent a gorgeously sunny few days at home in Wiltshire this weekend and had to make a batch of my favourite sweet treat. The recipe is from one of my previous blog posts but adapted slightly with some lime salt which I thought was a quirky experiment. I love salt with sweetness and the sharp lime and blackcurrant in this recipe make sure you’ll never forget the taste. Served with coconut ice cream it would happily top off my last meal…

Recipe

  1. Make the basic tartlets as per the recipe link above adding the zest of 1 lime to the frangipane mixture.
  2. For the icing, mix about 2 tbsp of icing sugar with a tiny amount of lime juice and mix until thick. Add more icing sugar if its too runny. Spoon into a plastic piping bag and snip off the end.
  3. Once cool, ice a neat pattern or random design on top.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 75°C. Place the zest of 1- ½ a lime on a piece of parchment on a baking tray and dry in the low oven for about 20 minutes to intensify the flavours. Alternatively you can leave it to dry overnight. Mix the dried zest with a tiny pinch of salt.
  5. Scatter sparingly on top of the tarts and top with a few dainty leaves of mint.

image

image

Gruyere and Onion tarts

This recipe (that is religiously made every year on Christmas eve in the Wardlaw house), is courtesy of Delia and has always been the most deliciously simple combination. For some reason we didn’t make it this Christmas eve, so feeling cheated I found myself whipping out a batch for a warming lunch in this Christmas provoking weather….

Filling

  • 2 eggs
  • 75ml single cream/creme fraiche
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  • 75g Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 25g butter
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • Cayenne pepper

Pastry

  • 175g flour
  • 75g butter
  • 50g cheddar cheese, grated
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  1. For the pastry, rub the butter and flour together and add the cheese, mustard and cayenne pepper. Add enough water to bring together to form a dough and then wrap and rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease some small tart tins. Roll the pastry out thinly and line the tins. Bake the cases blind with baking beans and parchment for about 15-20 minutes until turning a pale brown. Remove the beans/parchment for the last 5 minutes to cook the base. Leave to cool in their tins while you do the filling.
  3. Melt the butter in a frying pan and sweat the onions until soft and beginning to turn a golden colour. Do this slowly to get a good flavour (about 20-30 minutes). Set aside.
  4. Mix the eggs, cream and mustard powder together in a jug adding a pinch of cayenne according to taste.
  5. Fill the tart cases with the onion and grated gruyere and fill with the egg mixture. Scatter over a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  6. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until set. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before tucking in.

I made a tomato salsa to top mine by finely chopping a mixture of coloured cherry tomatoes, some bruised thyme leaves, salt and pepper and a good glug of extra virgin olive oil. Leave to infuse and serve at room temperature atop your tarts with a green salad.

Blackberry and almond slice

This recipe is one of my favourite treats for the cake tin and was thankfully saved from a copy of the ‘Waitrose Food Illustrated’ magazine from the 90’s before I was even tall enough to reach the kitchen counter. Its delicious, as is everything with a frangipane topping in my opinion. With the thought of that bumper crop of blackberries still stored safely in my freezer, half a block of sweet pastry stored in the fridge and some slight adaptation and tweaks in the recipe, it made a welcome occupier of the detoxing January cake tin……

(Alternatively you can use different flavoured jam and fruits. Cherries would be nice with a spike of Kirsch)

Sweet pastry (or buy a block of 350g)

  • 225g plain flour
  • 115g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten

Topping

  • 150g blackberry or blackcurrant jam
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 135g soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g ground almonds (I like to buy flaked almonds and grind them myself as it adds a much nice texture and flavour)
  • 300g blackberries
  • 50g flaked almonds
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Begin by lining a large baking tin  with parchment (about 20cm x 30cm or whatever is to hand)
  3. Roll out the pastry on floured surface to about 1 pound coin thick and cut into the shape of the tin, and line the base evenly. Prick with a fork and bake for about 15 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from the oven.
  4. Now make the frangipane. Using a spoon and some elbow grease or a blender, cream the butter and sugar.
  5. Add the eggs and vanilla bit by bit (don’t worry if it curdles)
  6. Now add the ground almonds and mix thoroughly. (Add a splash of milk if it looks too thick, depending on how big your eggs were)
  7. Spoon the jam onto the pre-cooked pastry base and spread out evenly. Top with the frangipane and spread evenly over the top to cover the jam. Sprinkle with the berries and scatter over the flaked almonds
  8. Bake for anywhere between 20-45 minutes (sorry but this depends on the tin size but usually about 30 minutes), checking every so often until golden and set. I often find frangipane takes a little longer to cook than recipes state but it will get there. It will always be more moist and soft than a cake sponge so check its done by giving it a wiggle. It should be set!

This is lovely served with some mascarpone or cream cheese, sweetened with icing sugar and a generous pinch or two of ground cinnamon….dreamy.

Pine nut, honey and rosemary tartlets

image

I love the subtlety rosemary can add to a dessert. Added carefully it can be delicious and after a first trying it in an outrageously scrumptious recipe which included a vat of stewed sweet apricots and some crunchy textured crumble, pine nuts were inevitably due to work. This is a cross between a pecan pie with pine nuts and a treacle tart. Served at the end of a recent dinner party topped with a chocolate sorbet, it was a winner.

Sweet pastry

  • 250g plain flour
  • 50g sifted icing sugar
  • 125g cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Splash milk

Filling

  • 150g pine nuts
  • 2 eggs
  • 75g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 100g runny honey
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • ½ vanilla pod, seeds removed OR 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 small sprigs of rosemary (optional)
  1. Make you pastry by rubbing the flour and icing sugar into the butter to form a breadcrumb texture. Add the egg and a splash of milk to bring it together to form a soft dough but make sure you are gentle. Wrap in cling and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Next, line 6 small or 1 large tart tin and bake blind (see here to do this)
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. In a large frying pan over medium high heat, toast your pine nuts until fragrant and golden. Leave to cool.
  4. Add the honey and rosemary sprigs to a saucepan and heat gently over a low heat until warm and runny. All the honey to sit on a low heat for a good 10 minutes to let the rosemary infuse
  5. Then remove and reserve the rosemary. Then whisk in the cubed butter until melted.
  6. In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs and vanilla until combined.
  7. Strip the leaves from the reserved rosemary and chopped very finely to get about 1 tsp or less of the leaves and add back to the honey and butter (optional). Whisk the butter and honey mix into the egg and sugar mixture.
  8. Now, space your pre-baked tart cases out onto a lined baking tray and sprinkle the pine nuts amongst the cases. Make sure you keep the tart case inside its metal tin (unlike I did) as this will add extra support for the thick mixture.image
  9. Fill with the honey mixture evenly and bake for 18-20 minutes until set. Remove and leave to cool and set.

(The first time I did this, I took the tart cases out their metal tins and the sides collapsed (disaster) so I strongly recommend leaving them in the tins to add support for the heavy honey mixture) Served with a generous and glossy scoop of chocolate sorbet, they were the perfect finish to a lovely dinner party.

imageimage

Pea and Smoked Ham Tart with Parmesan parsnips

image

This is a pleasingly alternative and delicious use of Christmas leftovers after exhausting the usual recipes with the turkey. My brief from the family for dinner was a light, fresh but tasty meal after a heavy week of Christmas delights, rich meats and glasses of guilt. So, with a fridge full or assorted cheeses, a cooked smoked ham and a few of our giant allotment parsnips that were looking very sorry for themselves, I enthusiastically took up the mission.

Cheesey Shortcrust pastry

  • 100g wholemeal flour
  • 150g plain flour
  • 125g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 70g cheddar cheese, grated plus and reserved handful
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cold water

Filling

  • 250g frozen peas
  • 3 eggs
  • 75g creme fraiche
  • Juice of half lemon
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard (optional)
  • A few large handfuls of smoked ham, cubed or flaked into pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • Splash of milk
  1. Begin with the pastry. Preheat the oven to 200°C. In a food processor, combine all the pastry ingredients, except the water, and blitz to form a breadcrumb-like texture. Or rub the butter into the flour by hand.
  2. Tip out into a bowl and add cold water, spoonful by spoonful, and mix in with a knife until you have a mixture that forms a dough when your gently press together with your hands. Form a ball of dough.
  3. Roll into a disc shape, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, line a tart tin (I used one about 23cm wide but use whatever is to hand) with parchment and butter the sides. This recipe in my case lined two tart tins so I made two and froze one for another time.
  5. After 30 minutes, thinly roll out your pastry on a floured surface and use it to line the tin, pressing the pastry up the sides. Prick all over with a fork to prevent it rising up while baking.
  6. Line the tine with parchment and fill snugly with baking beans or rice if your don’t have any beans.
  7. Blind bake for about 20 minutes until the edges are golden.
  8. Remove the beans and parchment and bake for another 5-10minutes until the base is cooked and crisp. Brush with a bit of beaten egg to seal the fork pricks and return for 1 minutes. Remove and leave to cool.
  9. Make the filling. Boil the peas for a few minutes until cooked. Drain and cool thoroughly with cold water.
  10. Reserve a handful of the peas and puree the rest in a processor or mash with a fork until you form a coarse paste. Add the lemon juice, seasoning, mustard, eggs and creme fraiche. Blitz again in the processor to mix thoroughly.
  11. Add a splash or so of milk to form a texture that is loose but not too watery, a bit like custard.
  12. Sprinkle the base of the pre-baked tart case with the flaked ham and the reserved whole peas.
  13. Fill this with the egg custard until distributed evenly and full but making sure it dose not overflow the edges of the pastry case. You may not need it all.
  14. Scatter over the remaining grated cheddar and bake in the oven at 190°C for about 25-30 minutes until the middle is cooked and set.
  15. Grate over a bit of lemon zest and serve with a green salad and some crispy baked Parmesan coated parsnips in my case….!

image

Parmesan Parsnips

  • 2-3 parsnips, peeled and cut into batons shaped
  • 200g brown bread crumbs
  • 100g finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Handful of flour
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • Sunflower oil or light olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C
  2. Boil the parsnips in water for about 4-5 minutes until tender and soft when pierced with a knife but still with a bit of resistance.
  3. Drain and allow to steam for a few minutes.
  4. Set up 3 bowls. Fill one with seasoned flour, another with beaten egg and the third with the breadcrumbs combined with the grated cheese.
  5. When the parsnips have cooled slightly, dip into the flour, then the beaten egg and finally coat in the breadcrumb mix.
  6. Repeat this with the remaining parsnips and place them on a lined baking tray.
  7. Drizzle generously with sunflower oil and bake in the oven, turning halfway through, for 30 minutes until crisp and golden

image

Almond, Pear and Amaretto Tart with Salted Caramel Ice Cream

A rich, buttery and almond flavoured frangipane is my most favourite way to fill a crisp, delicate pastry case. This tart is really versatile and the mixture can be topped with any seasonal fruit. Alternatively, you can grind other nuts such as walnuts or hazelnuts (see here) to give your frangipane an original twist. In the summer, I have a huge weak spot for this dessert, topped it with a scattering of the juicy, tart, and punchy blackcurrants from our allotment. However, with pears, apples of blackberries it is delicious too. Just watch that the fruit you add doesn’t have too much moisture which will ooze out and make the filling wetter. This recipe is Christmassy, wintery and extremely satisfying….A variation on this always makes an appearance at my dinner parties topped with some salted caramel ice cream in this case and a good shot of warming Amaretto……

Pastry

  • 125g cold butter, cubed
  • 250g plain flour
  • Splash cold water

Frangipane filling

  • 200g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Splash of amaretto
  • 1-2 pears
  • 15g butter
  • 15g caster sugar
  • Handful of flaked almonds for decoration
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Begin by making the pastry. For the method, see here. Follow up to step 7.
  3. Next, peel, core and slice the pears into long chunky slices. Melt the 15g of butter in a frying pan until beginning to sizzle, then add the sugar and stir until melted. Add the pears and gently fry for a few minutes.
  4. Turn up the heat and add a splash of amaretto. Let this simmer away and reduce a little before removing from the heat and setting aside.
  5. Now begin with the filling. In a processor or by hand, cream the butter and sugar together until creamy and thoroughly mixed.
  6. Add the vanilla to the beaten egg. Add this, a bit at a time, to the creamed butter, and mix in until well combined (don’t worry if it curdles, it won’t matter)
  7. Now add the ground almonds, a splash of amaretto (optional) and mix
  8. Once your pastry case is cooked and cool, fill with the frangipane and smooth out into an even layer.
  9. Top with the pears in an attractive pattern and press them lightly into the mixture. Drizzle with some of the buttery, sugary, amaretto flavoured caramel from the frying pan. Scatter with the flaked almonds.
  10. Bake for about 30-45 minutes until the mixture is set and doesn’t wobble. Check it after about 30 minutes however, to make sure it isn’t browning too much (like mine unfortunately….) If so, cover with foil and continue to bake.
  11. Once cooked, remove from the oven. Serve warm or at room temperature.

I served mine with some salted caramel ice cream and a shot of Amaretto!

imageimage

Peach and Amaretto Mini Meringue Pie

A simple beautiful dessert!  This I actually made the other day with some leftovers- a mini tart case, a lonely peach and an abandoned egg white…….I stewed the peach with some sugar and amaretto and popped it in the tart case before suffocating it in a glossy, sweet and airy meringue mix. Quick blast in the oven and it was ready to devour!