Week Six in the bake off tent – PASTRY WEEK!
This might even beat bread week, unless you’re making a puff, that’s just silly. Pastry is so versatile and scrumptious! And I vouch pretty simple…famous last words as my tarts still in the oven while I start writing this. You can’t get closer to the challenge than making a frangipane tart like the contestants, no stretch of the imagination needed this week. Plus I need a good week after that dairy free ice cream fiasco in week five.
I’ve made shortcrust pastry before and it’s all round winner. You can’t go wrong with 3 ingredients and a 1:0.5 ratio! Mum impulse brought a food processer so I’ve excitedly given that a go – oh my gosh converted. So quick and easy, apart from the extended washing up bit but shhhh. I don’t normally sweeten my pastry as I find my fillings are sweet enough that a plain pastry works perfectly however being a frangipane I thought it better to follow some inspiration from the internet instead of thinking I know best.
So where does the P&P come from? Well frangipanes traditionally use stoned fruit, and I love fruit, all fruit, it would be unfair to have to pick one over the rest so… I’ve combined two! Peaches AND Plums. Yummy.
This week I’ve given my recipe as I started looking at quite a few for inspiration/technique but didn’t follow any of them and winged it a little so I have nowhere to link you to, and that would be unfair. Scroll right to the bottom to read all my secrets.
Evaluation? Oh okay then.
I love pastry lalalalalalalala. I over did it on the blind bake which is infuriatingly frustrating as it was a silly thing to mess up, but catches the best of them out. The pastry was also different to what I am used to adding sugar and egg was definitely harder to handle in the rolling out stage and I had to redo it quite a few times, if I did it again I think I would make my basic shortcrust (below) as the extra sugar doesn’t add much and just makes life more complicated than need be.
I would recommend everyone give it a try if they want, a tart breaks down into such easy steps and there is not the normal time pressure that comes along with lots of other baking. I burnt mine a little (a little a lot) and it still tasted fabulous so even if you get in a pickle it’s nothing to worry about.
It wouldn’t win any awards but I’m definitely going to get back into the tart making in what is left of this year. The tart got consumed at church lunch this week, and thus we have a special star taster this week Leah Frost!
Recipe (as promised)
Suggested weights in brackets for a 8/9inch flan tin.
Shortcrust Pastry Case – plain flour (200g) and half weight of fat/cold butter (100g) and a TBSP cold water. To fancy and sweeten it up add quarter caster sugar (50g), an egg yolk and a splosh of vanilla essence.
One. Cube and rub your butter into your flour or a quick pulse in a processer. You’ll get breadcrumb consistency. If you’re adding sugar do this next and finally stir in all the other ingredients. If your dough is not coming together and is too crumbly add a tsp of extra water at a time. Wrap the ball in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Two. Flour a surface and your rolling pin – if you don’t have a rolling pin – use a wine bottle! Take out the dough and roll it into a rough circle. It should be quite thin, about the thickness of a pound coin. Lift gently and place onto of your greased flan tin. Don’t worry about tiny holes these can be patched up while no one else is looking. Gently using your fingers or some excess dough press the dough into the side of the tin and trim and large overhanging pieces from the edge. Leave a little at the top as it will shrink while cooking. You can use these extra pieces to do your patching.
Three. The blind bake! Prick some holes in the bottom of your tart using a fork. Cut a large square of baking parchment and scrunch it up. Un-scrunch and lay onto of your pastry in the tin. Top with baking balls if you’re fancy or rice if you’re not. This helps weigh down the pastry and stops it from rising. Pop in the oven (180 degrees C) for 10 minutes. Take out and remove the non-edibles from your tin. I keep my baking rice in a jar to use again! Brush the pastry case with a beaten egg, this helps avoid the dreaded SOGGY BOTTOM and cook for a further 5 minutes. And that’s your pastry case!
Frangipane – Another easy weight list yay! Same amounts of ground almonds, butter and caster sugar (150g), third plain flour (50g) and 2 large eggs.
One. Cream the butter using an electric whisk- this avoids sugar going everywhere in step two!
Two. Cream the sugar into the butter until light and fluffy – using that electric whisk again
Three. Briefly whisk in the eggs
Four. Add al the remaining ingredients and combine – put down that whisk fool!
Toppings – Two peaches and one plum (or any stoned fruit you’re fan of), a TBSP of apricot jam and a shot of Ameretto if you’re feeling cheeky!
One. The fruit …slice your fruit. I go with the avocado method of slicing around in half and twisting to separate the halves. Use a knife to pop out the stone.
Two. The apricot glaze. Take a nice dollop of apricot jam a heat it in a saucepan, now would be the time to add that splash of Amaretto and let it boil almost to a syrup.
P&P Frangipane Tart
One. Spread the frangipane into your cool pastry case, as full as you can get.
Two. Lay your fruit slices out on top in a pretty pattern. The pretty bit’s essential.
Three. Pop into a preheated oven at 180C-190C and cook for 30-45 minutes until the frangipane has browned slightly and is slightly firm to touch.
Four. While still warm brush with the apricot glaze and allow to set and cool before serving.